Had an opportunity to spend 48 hours in Saigon so I packed my bag in a jiffy and jet off to Ho Chi Minh city!! So here's the deal : I have to explore the city alone and only meet ah bui at night because he's an adult and he has to work HAHA
I was a bit apprehensive at first because hello HCMC isn't BKK and I've only been there once! But ah bui pushed me in to it cos
1) I always wanted to do solo trip
2) spend more time with ah bui
Lol, anyway here's how the 48 hours went ✨✨
Took an early flight, like getting out of the house at 530 AM early 😪😪😪😪 we were both struggling to get up esp ah bui because he had to work, less so for me because IT'S HOWIDAY HAHAHA
Downloaded a new book on kindle just in case I'd be bored out of my mind because who knows maybe I won't dare to step out lolol yes even at eleventh hour, I'm still having second thoughts 🤓
Reached #HCMC at 8AM, got some data and we cabbed down to our hotel to put down our stuff first! The cab charged us 400,000VND!! Wtf and that's meter leh... that's $24 omytian... till now Idk if that's genuine or not but whatever ah no choice haha! Honestly vinasun or not, I think we're better off with grabs!
Reached hotel to put down our stuff and ah bui had some time for a cup of coffee with me so he tagged along to the first stop of my itinerary with me!
This was the only banh mi opens at such early hours and Google Map stated it's only 7 minutes away from our hotel. LIES YOU TELL hahaha!!
The thing with Vietnam's google map is it takes longer and is further compared to 5 minutes journey in Singapore. It almost felt like 15 minutes of walk in sweltering and scorching sun hahaha.
Been dying to eat banh mi and finally 😭😭😭
Got the Roast Pork while ah bui got the Ca Phe Sua Da which essentially is their milk with coffee. The meal totalled up to VND37,000 which is S$2.30 yums yums. Parted with ah bui and took away my baguette to walk around my next destination which is
YES THE MARKET!! Idk what possessed me but I mustered up the courage to visit the market by myself?!! That's one thing but I actually dared to cross the road myself?!!! HAHAHA no you don't get it! HCMC's street is CRAZY! I had to manoeuvre my way amongst the oncoming cars and motorcycles which just was an endless stream of chaos.
If you were to tell me that I would be able to do it two weeks ago, I would have called you cray cray HAHA
Ben Thanh market is definitely not as overwhelming as I thought it'd be. Yes they will hawk you to come visit their stalls, but just ignore them! I walked around with banh mi on one hand and just pretended I never hear anything lol they will try to speak to you in all languages they know English, Chinese, Tagalog and even bahasa LOL towards the end of my visit they actually started to talk to me in Viet HAHA 😂
The items sold there are mostly souvenirs targeted for tourist so expect endless rows of vietnamese coffee, lanterns, shirts etc but I knew what I wanted to get in mind so it wasn't a wasted trip hehe
Blew so much more money than I intended within 15 minutes 😭😭😭😭😞😞😞 I only changed S$100 which is only VND1,600k because I thought what else can I buy LOL WRONG!!! Loot loot loot 👇🏼
Some straw bags because I cannot resist the trend omg!! Hahaha so anyway the bags aren't all over the place like how you would imagine Chatuchak is... you've to go through the snaking alleys to find these! Please please do not buy from those stores that are in front because they're out to cheat your money 😞😞 they quoted me close to VND2000k for 3 bags, I gasped and just walked away HAHA sorry I have no money for you to cheat LOL
Found a store in one of the quiet alleys and nested there 😂
Many choices of bags from plain ones like these
To those that are with designs!! Super spoilt for choices but I knew I won't be able to wear them all so I narrowed them down to 3 only hoho *patself
I carry a lot of barang barang so big bags are always a yes for me! I did ask for ones that I can sling over my shoulder but they ran out 😭 this is pretty plain but I'd imagine I can paste over some scarf/pom poms over it!
This clutch that I'm sure many of you have owned already hehe! Super cute for a quick coffee run so grab grab ☺️
And lastly, this super cute basket!!! I'm still not sure what I can store in this because it's honestly quite small... i asked for the biggest they have but they have no ornaments around it AND they actually ran out of ornaments SAD!
The SA quoted me.. wait for it... VND1,200k for these 3!! YA WTH! That's S$74 leh!! Although it's almost 40% off from what I was quoted previously, it's still staggering.
So I haggled, and haggled, and haggled for 15 minutes and finally I got it down to.
YES 50% OFF!! and I believe that they actually do still earn from it leh whalao!! But I'm willing to pay $35 for these, it's cost VS worth so nvm I let go, I gave in! HAHAHAHA but can you imagine those angmors that can't haggle and just got them at such prices? Cray max leh. Lucky I'm asian and I'm stingy LOL
I was also pleasantly surprised to be able to find clothes that can fit wy there!! Anyway this lady initially quoted me like VND900,000... which is the rest of my money for the trip HAHAHA so I said eh no, I don't have that much! Then she asked me what's the max I can give her.. so I said
VND400,000 I Okay
LOL! then she was super hesistant, she kept saying she never earn already if she sells to me that much. Then I told her, I really don't have that much I only have VND400,000. Then I hurried her up to sell to me by pretending like I'm rushing somewhere so we settled at VND450,000 HAHAHAH she told me I'm her first sale so she give me 😂
Anyway after buying these two items, I barely have enough already and I still needed to do my nails!!
Got the hell out of the market and went to Trung Nguyen Coffee opposite for some Ca Phe Sua Da which cost me VND80,000 wth ex max!! Wind down a little bit, changed some money and tried to book a grab to my next place but nobody accepted my request WHALAO!! I had no patience, somemore I was already on the street and I felt v paranoid to be using my hp out in the open so.... I walked... YES WTH I walked a good 20 minutes before finding it! *pat self on the back
I don't hold out my phone to track google maps all the time btw, I will walk a certain distance, stop at one corner nearer to an entrance of a shop and check if I'm on the right path! Hahaha most of the time I took the wrong turn LOL cos I'm very bad with directions.
Walking around in Viet's street is alright. It's definitely pretty overwhelming but if you just pretend like you're one of the locals nobody will come and disturb you de.
Shops in Vietnams are really hole in the wall, very easily missed if you're not paying attention omytian. Anyway I was so happy that I found this by myself and Google Maps HAHAHA
Was quoted VND580,000 for set of gel manicure so there I spent my one hour 🐱
My left hand ~
And my right hand. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH CRY! I actually just said " I want marble design but white and pink, then I want gold colors too " and they came up with this. Omg cry cry cry so pruddy! I was so happy I gave the lady who buffed my nails VND50,000 and the lady who did my nail art VND50,000. It sounded a lot but actually just S$3 only lah hahaha
And then Funnily enough they so happy then they only charged me VND480,000/S$30 HAHAHA swee!!
Fame nails have many outlets in HCMC, the one I went is near Ben Thanh Market ☺️☺️ It's famous amongst Singaporeans & Koreans so rest assured that you're in good hands. Also, they don't make you feel obligated to tip them! I actually had to go up and find them to give the tips.
anyway after that I was trying to find grab to my lunch place because I was starving leh whalao but nobody accepted my request AGAIN 😭😭 I was mad hungry already so I decided to walk!! It was a good 20 minutes walk again 😥
WHA THIS PLACE REALLY HOLE IN THE WALL hahaha it's in a very small alley and I missed it twice leh OMG!! Lucky I was alone because if w wy I would be damn agitated alr cos I rly hate to mafan people HAHAHA it's located right opposite of the market! ☺️
Really old school leh this lunch place hahaha actually vietnam's restaurant are mostly like this. Maybe this is the design they're looking for LOL
First order of business!!! Wha damn thirsty after that long walk!! Coke in HCMC is a must!
bánh xèo chay which essentially is omelette with taugeys, shrimp and pork. I was expecting quite a bit out of this but it was honestly just your basic omelette
Not sure what this is but it's described as vietnamese pizza on sesame rice cracker with grilled pork, quail egg, peanut, green onion and viet shrimp sauce!! Wha damn mouthful
my eyes ate more than my tummy can so I took half of these away LOL but the cracker became soft after so it was a futile effort 😞 the whole meal quite ex wor like VND190,000 which is S$12.
Anyway when I stepped out I saw this
YASSSS Idk how it'd be because vintage just means secondhand sometimes and not necessarily 1950s vintage. Anyway I just went and see lor
I LOVE IT?!!! I Spent 30 minutes looking for clothes for my brother and sister hahaha yes I'm too old for this hipster trend but I still gian song want to buy LOL
Vintage denim dungaree for my sissy! Actually I didn't want to try leh because hor dk they got wash or not but the shopkeeper encouraged me to try... or should I say judged me for not trying Ya wth HAHAHA so I tried it over my jeans LOL This was VND425,000 and fits well! It's a nice light denim colour and the material is softttt
And vintage Levis Denim Jacket for my brother which cost me VND435,000. So everything totalled up to VND900,00++ then the shopkeeper told me they have this promotion that I have to earn :
HORRIFIED!! He was ready to pour me the shots wtf!! I said eh bro no la too early man, Im too old for this HAHAHAHA YA I SAID THAT then he judged me again 😥😥😥 my sister and brother would prolly be damn gung ho. Would prolly offer to drink the whole bottle and dont even need discount HAHAHA So ya old aunty me ended up paying full price of around S$60 for my siblings sobs! Lucky they accepted Mastercard hehehe!
Lugged my loot back to hotel and ready to check in!
Love love the room!! Sadly they don't have the tub that we wanted HAIZ but it's alright! I still love the place ☺️ design effort rly gao gao sia! They have wooden ceiling and wooden fan?!! What even! So damn extra I love it!! Hahaha
Wearing #theclosetlover top and jeans! I really love the jeans to death, truly one of the best pieces I've owned hehe.
The hotels name is Fusion Suites, located in district 1 as well and it's only 1.5 year old! Very hipster I love it and the service is amazing!!
Rested, slept and waited for my dear ah bui to end work so we can go jalan jalan at night hehe! The room is super shiok, I really love the whole scandavanian aesthetic to it. Really a great place to rest away from the hustle and bustle of ho chi Minh ☺️
Out for our dinner date! Hehehe wearing #lovebonito top and skirt, well basically the only decent things left in my closet LOL the rest brought back to Indo alr 😭
In this famous joint where all the expats are 😂 I've heard many raves saying the pizzas are mindblowing so I made a reservation online before going down! I'd recommend the same for you because there was a queue when we reached ☺️
Ordered the half and half pizza!
Verdict : OKAY LA hahahaha!! I was expecting to be mindblown but I can only say it's nice! Anyway it's a great dinner place for your last night in HCMC.
Oven baked potato for side dish!
And ordered dessert to share plus 2 drinks and 2 coffees after, the bill came up to VND680,000 which is pretty hefty but still cheap for SG standard! The service is impeccable btw!!
Walked down the street to find Ben Thanh night market but was sorely disappointed 😞 the prices are even more extraorbitant compared to the day's market LOL!! Went home emptyhanded but look what I found at Circle K!!
Xiang piao piao!!!!
And this hahaha! Planned to raid circle K so I can bring home some of these yums yums 🐱🐱
Went home after with bui to enjoy the room together hehe! Poor thing, he told me if I weren't there he would just continue work and be very sad cause he's alone in a foreign country. He's been to hcmc many many times for work but never go out one HAHA
And that concludes my day 1 hehehe I'd say it went great!! Continue day 2 tmr ☘️☘️
Slept so well and woke up early the next day to plan the rest of my time , yes I never planned finish LOL our booking included breakfast for two so we hit the buffet before 10!
The selections are pretty limited but but
You can order more!! Shiok max, I ordered ice coffee of course!!
Even their eggs from the station are plated nicely. The breakfast service was impeccable too, really I've nothing to complain about this hotel!
Lounged around the room till it's time to check out and made myself another cuppa
French press sibo HAHA utilising the hotel's perks to the max LOL
Wearing #thestagewalk dress to walk around and it's mad comfy!! Dress is lined but it wasn't hot at all, material is soft and especially love the pockets, I can put my phone inside easily HAHA
Checked out and parted with ah bui who has to work again, and grabbed my way to
Massage parlour!! Hehe this is a pretty famous joint as well and the one I visitted is Miu Miu Spa 4 but they were fully booked till 7 PM 😭 I tried my luck to ask them to check with other outlets for any slots and outlet 1 has one opening in an hour YAYAY quickly confirmed the booking and walked out of the outlet hehe!
Figured I still had 45 minutes to spend so...
I walked over to Saigon Square and sped shopped for 20 minutes!!! Hahahaha the stuff sold here mostly are counterfeit sports wear etc so if you're one for it, this place is way cheaper than Ben Thanh market!
Prices here are mostly fixed so they wont charge you extraorbitant prices and they wont hawk you either! If you think prices are still expensive, the walk away haggling method doesn't work here LOL they will just let you walk then you ownself paiseh come back later HAHA
What I got within 20 minutes HAHAHA to be fair only some are mine and the rest are for wy's family 👇🏼👇🏼
Polo tee and shirt for wy's dad and bro! Wy is against buying counterfeit products but it's the thought that counts ma HAHA anyway per piece is around VND130,000 when ben thanh will probably hike up to VND300,000 geez!!
And sleeping wear for meself!! Hehehehe the designs are pretty limited sobs so I got striped in blue in cotton and flamingo in pink in satin material for VND400,000 both, which is $24! Quite ex lols but I went around to 3 places and they offered same prices sad! It's short sleeve and shorts pairing btw ~
Grabbed to my massage appointment and saw there's highland at the end of the street so quickly grabbed a cuppa so I can drink during my massage later HAHA
Shun bian bought this as well and it was for around $5! Vietnamese coffee really very thick btw it only consists of 50% condensed milk and 50% coffee 😨😨 I usually let the ice cubes melt first before consuming it hahaha
Reached outlet no 1 and I was late for 15 minutes 😨 thank God they still kept the appointment for me if not I'd be damn saddd!! Booked foot massage for 90 minutes and they told me I cannot bring my drinks in HURRRRR I also not encouraged to bring phones in WHAT... okay nvm hahaha
They also asked me to change... at this point i re confirmed that I'm doing foot massage right.. HAHAHA my usual foot massages very simple one leh like just sit on reclining chair and you can play phone or drink one hur
Verdict : SHIOK MAX!! they didn't only did my feet, they also did my head, shoulder, back, hands... whalao! Really made me second guess did I say I want the full body massage HAHAHA they used hot stones for my feet massage and even did the back stretching which you can opt out from LOL no wonder I cannot play phone or drink coffee HAHAHA
Effort gao gao after massage still have refreshment HAHAHA anyway I paid... wait for it... VND400,000 😭😭😭😭😭 so cheap leh!!! One hour massage in JB is already $35 and it's those sit on reclining chair ones... this massage is 90 minutes, extensive massage thats super shiok and only $24!! Sold sold no wonder the parlours are so popular!!
Grabbed to my next destination for lunch and by then I was starving max HAHA this place is called Propaganda and the aesthetic is 💯
Ordered a bowl of bun thit nuong which essentially is noodle with pork and spring roll. SUPER YUMMY!! the pork is very juicy 😍😍😍 it's going for VND100,000 per bowl which is around S$8 so not say very cheap but really shiok leh!
By then it was 4pm ish and ah bui finished his meeting nearby so waited for him to come and eat before making our way back to hotel to retrieve our luggages ☺️
Our flight is at 940 PM but we left hotel around 530 because traffic can really be quite maddening at such hour!
And that's the end of my semi solo trip in Saigon!! I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and it's really great to do things otot and not burden your partner to wait for you etc. Anyway, if you're planning a trip to HCMC here's some tips :
Use Grab!! Don't bother with their taxis because they refuse to use meter ones, dont spoil your holiday by stressing over it! Also I would recommend grab over uber because grab drivers can see your destination while uber can't. Ive heard of instances where the uber drivers will drop you halfway because they are going different directions!
Grab drivers in hcmc won't talk to you due to language barrier hahaha so you can just say hello and bye LOL
Is it safe?
It is!! But low crime doesnt mean no crime! If you walk around with your phones and wallets out that's just an invitation for pickpockets in hcmc. Also try not to open your wallet in front of them when you're paying for something... i actually do this to every places I go la.
Walking around the streets as a girl isn't dangerous as well, they won't hawk you with their eyes or disturb you like in Indo 😨
Because hcmc sun is STRONGGGGG!! If you see around you'd notice that hcmc local girls will wear cardigan/jacket/jeans when they're riding out because the sun and pollution is mad cray!! I bring a shawl to go around and just drape it around me to protect my arms from the sun hahaha also helps to make you look like locals de LOL it's very bo hua to come back from hcmc a shade darker!
Haggling is a norm
Hcmc is a fast developing country and infested with many tourist, with their weaker dong it's only natural that they will try to make crazy profits from tourists whose dollars are way stronger. But don't be their victims!! In Singapore haggling prices down to 50% will get your dirty stares, but in vietnam it is only normal and don't feel paiseh to do it! If they don't want to give you then be prepared to walk away!
80% of the time they will meet your prices, the other 20% they will let you walk lor hahaha but the items sold in hcmc are repetitive so fret not! Can go next shop and try your luck ☺️
Generally they are still much friendlier compared to Bangkok if you're eating at those road side stalls instead of restaurant, but don't expect smiles la HAHAHA but but if you do go to those S$6 a plate for noodle, expect some damn good service with plenty of smiles and they almost come off genuine! Hahaha usually these joints are angmor-owned so theyre prolly trained to do so!
You would be pretty overwhelmed by hcmc traffic where there are a lot of bikes and honkings... omg the honkings! Sometimes I think they just honk for fun one HAHA so if you're crossing the street, there's pedestrian crossing and just look around when there's quieter street then you can cross! The bikes will just go around you in any case hahaha
There's not much to shop compared to BKK so don't expect a lot!! I try to research where the girls buy their clothes but you'd notice that bkk trend is much faster compared to hcmc so don't bother anyway!
Come to HCMC to experience the city for some good food, cheap massage and cheap manicures HAHAHA
Anyway with this trip down, it marks that I only have around a week left in Singapore before my move to JKT HAIZ I feel damn emo everytime I think about it but nvm shall just move forward 😔😔 I do hope that things will work out in the end but with all new things, it's going to be scary and difficult and worst of all, i dont have any friends/wy so basically anyone in Indo sigh ): want to cry also no tears alr hahaha
Otw out to meet my excolleagues for dinner! Going to run a few errands before heading there, hopefully I have some time 🤓
Anyway my first order of business is to make specs! Hehehe
This is my current specs! Damn suaku one HAHAHA it's the cheapest specs in Own days I purchased with my first pay hahaha and yes I dont wear makeup to office all the time 😂😂 so anyway I'm looking for a replacement so I can retire this piece hoho
Woohoo made my choice already and waiting for my specs to be ready ☺️☺️I love owndays!! No frill prices and ready in 20 minutes!! Love love it, cant wait to show you girls the piece later hehehe
Collected my latest airfrov purchases while waiting for my specs to be ready!
Just in case some of you are keen to purchase, airfrov office has these for sale!
Just collected my specs and paid half because my kind friends gave me Capitavouchers for Christmas HEHEHEHE shiok max
Last dinner together with my ex-colleagues turn friends at my favourite joint slf HAHAHA I tried hard not to focus that this is the last time I am seeing them sigh
My airfrov loot!! Hehehe tea from Fortnum & Mason, tee and pants from Kmart for wy, as well as fake flowers for my room! Lastly the foot gel patch for my always-tired feet! Hehehe airfrov rly mad shiok one, no nd travel also can get HAHA
I usually buy those that are cheaper or only available overseas, like wy's shirt is only AU$5?! for so much cloth it would have cost 10x more ex in SG confirm one! So happy he likes it! Actually got one more shirt but he's wearing it now LOL
NEW SPECS WOOHOO!!! I love it so so so much 😍😍😍 my previous specs can now retire to be home's specs hehehe love love! If you're keen it's under the brand Graph Belle in Owndays and retailing for $178 ☺️
Farewell gift 😭😭😭😭 it still does feel surreal hufs i think it will only sink in when the day comes...
Wednesday, 18 Apr 2018
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