Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam 2016 - 7D6N

and hello dear readers!

Quick and short update about a week trip to Ho Chi Minh city
and i was five months pregnant during the trip
can i consider these as our "babymoon"
yeah? haha

Travel time : 7th January 2016 - 13th January 2016

Currency :
Malaysia Ringgit (shopping)
Vietnam Dong (shopping, taxi fares and etc)
US Dollar (shopping, hotel, etc)

simple calculation : RM 5 =  20,000 VND

you can choose to pay in USD, MYR or VND
as of me, we chose to pay all expenses in VND
as what my Vietnamese friends said
"better to do business in VND or else they will charged you more" - noted!

Day 1 - 7 January 2016

 Happy baby ready to take off

flown by MAS Airlines
booked the tickets three months before traveling

Adult : RM413.90/person
Infant : RM 44/person
Total : RM 871.80

Depart at 9.05 AM, reached Saigon International airport at 10 AM

Time Zon : +1 hour

Check in to our first stay at  LE LE Hotel.

Review : Average
1. a 1 star hotel
2. 15 minutes walk distance to Ben Thanh Market
3. Facing the main road which caused to road noisy
3. Breakfast for Muslim (halal) was limited, only provide coffee and bread
4. above picture shown is for family suite room. Good condition
5. Bathroom is okay
6. Room services always comes at late evening not in a morning, and it is such a disturbance
7. poor WiFi connection

Total paid for two nights stay : VND 3,810,000

nothing much to do on first day trip
having an evening walk
what we do love of being here is, park everywhere!
great walking experience in here

i do in love with the playground
tidy, clean and most importantly it is safe!
yeah safe, it's a fenced playground, only one entrance to enter
enough bench for parents, you definitely can monitor your children in here

having dinner everyday
yeah everyday at Musakariem Restaurant

Review : 4/5 rating
1. the most delicious malay and authentic vietnam halal foods in Ho Chi Minh
2. not cheap but affordable, compares to others

Capturing moment, nightlife of Ho Chin Minh city near the Ben Thanh Market

Day 2 - 8 January 2016

Cu Chi Tunnels
the-must-visit-place whenever you in Ho Chi Minh

"The tunnels of Củ Chi are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located
in theCủ Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon),Vietnam,
and are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country.
The Củ Chi tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War,
and were theViet Cong's base of operations for the Tết Offensive in 1968." - Wikipedia

the main entrance and exit

Begin the Cu Chi Tunnels experince with watching the short film/video about Cu Chi
and short briefing by the tour guide

Lots of people are coming here actually
more than 2000 tourists per day

the tunnels was rebuild, three times bigger than actual size
totally can't breath and panic when i'm inside the tunnel
you can choose to finish the tunnel travel to the last exit
or you can exit anywhere you like
as of me, get my ass out at the first exit is the best
i just can't breath, what a tiny holes to crawl!

Wash your hand and face and whatever you like at the end of the tunnel trip
by the bamboo water flow

Being served with boiled tapioca/cassava and salt
and pandan hot tea at end of the trip

Review : 4/5 star

great experience to have since Ho Chi Minh city is a city full with war history instead of shopping
we took the half day tour to Cu Chi Tunnels which cost at  230,000 VND/person  

fill up our stomach with grill corn cost at 15,000 VND/each 

Day 3 - 9 January 2016

bought the vietnamese flag t-shirt at Ben Thanh Night Market, last night
from baby size to 5XL
cost only at 200,000 VND for all
the t-shirt quality is good

Well today trip is touring the famous Mekong River of vietnam

"Gateway to the Mekong Delta, My Tho is the capital of Tien Giang province
and an important market town – although for the famous floating markets,
you’ll need to continue on to Can Tho. My Tho's proximity to HCMC means
it's a popular day-trip destination for a taste of river life – a flotilla of boats tour
the local islands and their cottage industries daily, though many bypass the town itself.
The riverfront makes for a pleasant stroll and the town, including the lively market (Ð Trung Trac),
is easily explored on foot.

My Tho was founded in the 1680s by Chinese refugees fleeing Taiwan after the fall of
the Southern Ming dynasty. The economy is based on tourism, fishing and the cultivation of rice,
coconuts, bananas, mangoes, longans and citrus fruit." - lonelyplanet.com

 Reach the pier at 10:00AM located at My Tho district
It took two hours travel by bus from Ho Chi Minh city to My Tho district

Began the tour by riding the big boat to turtle island
it took only 8 minutes to reached the island

Touch down the turtle island for coconut candy touring and lunch

 Coconut ice-cream cost at 10,000 VND/each

took the horse carriage after the coconut candy tour to the restaurant for lunch
which 5 minutes distance from the factory

 The restaurant was so big!
they even have crocodile pool, big bird cage, snake cage, lizards pool and fish pond.
having the hammock swinging after lunch and a nap

5 minutes riding small boat back to our big boat
and again traveling by big boat to unicorn island
 which is only 10 minutes distance

Visit the unicorn island for honey bee farm touring
they provide us honey and lemon accent mixture and some tit bits for free
and after that playing with small Vietnamese anaconda

Enjoying the unicorn river covered with the water coconut tree by rowing boat
and afterwhile we did enjoyed Vietnamese ladies performed
while having fruits-tea time at the unicorn island

Last but not least
ending the full day tour by vising the Pagoda in My Tho district

Review : 5 star

worth money and time!
only 200,000 VND/person


Day 4 - 10 January 2016

moved to new hotel known as Aries Hotel
we will stay here for  four nights

Review : 4/5 star
1. a new renovation hotel
2. clean. tidy and comfortable
3. hotel not facing the main road, reduce lots of road noisy
4. room services will come in the morning/afternoon to make up the room
5. breakfast for muslim was awesome! they have fruits, plain porridge, much more to eat!
6. the hotel WiFi was excellant!
7. bathroom awesome condition

Total paid for four nights stay for Family Queen Suite, City View : 4,700,100 VND

Things to do on the fourth day of Ho Chi Minh tour
visiting all the historical place

 1. The Ho Chi Minh City museum

"A grand, neoclassical structure built in 1885 and once known as Gia Long Palace
(and later the Revolutionary Museum), HCMC’s city museum is a singularly beautiful
and impressive building, telling the story of the city through archaeological artefacts, ceramics,
 old city maps and displays on the marriage traditions of its various ethnicities.

The struggle for independence is extensively covered, with most of the upper floor devoted to it.
Deep beneath the building is a network of reinforced concrete bunkers and fortified corridors.
The system, branches of which stretch all the way to Reunification Palace,
included living areas, a kitchen and a large meeting hall.
In 1963 President Diem and his brother hid here before fleeing to Cha Tam Church .
The network is not open to the public because most of the tunnels are flooded. "- lonelyplanet.com

"In the gardens are various pieces of military hardware, including the American-built F-5E jet
used by a renegade South Vietnamese pilot to bomb the Presidential Palace
(now Reunification Palace) on 8 April 1975." - lonelyplanet.com

Entrance fee : 15,000 VND/person

Operation hours : 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM (monday to sunday)

2.Reunification Palace

"In 1868 a residence was built on this site for the French governor-general of Cochinchina
and gradually it expanded to become Norodom Palace.
When the French departed, the palace became home to the South Vietnamese president
Ngo Dinh Diem. So unpopular was Diem that his own air force bombed the palace in 1962
in an unsuccessful attempt to kill him. The president ordered a new residence to be built
on the same site, this time with a sizeable bomb shelter in the basement.
Work was completed in 1966, but Diem did not get to see his dream house as he was killed
by his own troops in 1963.

The new building was named Independence Palace and was home to the successive
South Vietnamese president, Nguyen Van Thieu, until his hasty departure in 1975.
Designed by Paris-trained Vietnamese architect Ngo Viet Thu, it is an outstanding
example of 1960s architecture, with an airy and open atmosphere." - lonelyplanet.com

Entrance fee : 20,000 VND/person

Operation hours :
7:30 AM - 11:00 AM
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

We unable to explore the palace since we reached there at 12:00PM
the palace was closed and re-open for visiting at 1:00 PM
so we moved to the nearest park, rest and chill

Cong Vien Park

3. Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral

" Built between 1877 and 1883, Notre Dame Cathedral enlivens the heart of Ho Chi Minh City's
government quarter, facing Ð Dong Khoi. A brick, neo-Romanesque church with
40m-high square towers tipped with iron spires, the Catholic cathedral is named
after the Virgin Mary. Interior walls are inlaid with devotional tablets and some stained glass
survives. English-speaking staff dispense tourist information from 9am to 11am Monday to Saturday.
If the front gates are locked, try the door on the side facing the Reunification Palace." - lonelyplanet.com

 4. Central Post Office

" Right across the way from Notre Dame Cathedral, Ho Chi Minh City's striking
French post office is a period classic, designed by Gustave Eiffel
and built between 1886 and 1891. Painted on the walls of its grand concourse are
fascinating historic maps of South Vietnam, Saigon and Cholon,
while a mosaic of Ho Chi Minh takes pride of place at the end of its barrel-vaulted hall.
Note the magnificent tiled floor of the interior and the copious green-painted wrought iron." - lonelyplanet.com

5. War Remnants Museum

" Formerly the Museum of Chinese and American War Crimes, the War Remnants Museum is
consistently popular with Western tourists. Few museums anywhere convey the brutality
of war and its civilian victims. Many of the atrocities documented here were well-publicised
but rarely do Westerners hear the victims of US military action tell their own stories.
While some displays are one-sided, many of the most disturbing photographs illustrating
US atrocities are from US sources, including those of the infamous My Lai Massacre." - lonelyplanet.com

US armoured vehicles, artillery pieces, bombs and infantry weapons are on display outside.

" One corner of the grounds is devoted to the notorious French and South Vietnamese
prisons on Phu Quoc and Con Son Islands. Artefacts include that most iconic of
French appliances, the guillotine, and the notoriously inhumane ‘tiger cages’ used to house
Viet Cong (Vietnamese Communists; VC) prisoners." - lonelyplanet.com

Entrance fee : 15,000 VND

Operation hours :
7:30AM - 12:00 PM
1:30PM - 5:00 PM
everyday including holidays

end our fourth full-day tours with chilling-talking-walking back to hotel.
What a historical day we had

and we do learn a lots of things about Vietnamese who struggling and surviving during war
and i beat you their war much worse that our war
we can feel their pain and feel pity towards them in the same time

i bought book named " Education and childhood during war". Kind of interesting to read.

Day 5 - 11 January 2016

 today we're going to spend our time at Ho Chi Minh city zoo and botanical garden

" Dating back to 1865, Saigon zoo is the largest zoo and botanical garden of Vietnam.
Ranked as the 8th oldest zoo in the world, the zoo is a humble abode of over
100 species of mammals, reptiles and birds.

A must visit of Ho Chi Minh city, the botanical garden within the Saigon zoo is also
home to rare orchards and ornamental plants arranged in pretty beds that are
a delight to look at." - triphobo.com

Hud first fish spa and he kinda like it.

Fish spa for only 20,000 VND/15 minutes

The animal and plant conservation area within the park is a great place to be!
Visit the orchid gardens and click pictures with multi-hues backgrounds
Kids can have fun at the amusement park located within the Saigon Zoo.
Makes for a perfect family outing.

Entrance fee : 50,000 VND/person

Operation hours : 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM (everyday)

"Within the Zoo are many attractions like the Museum of Vietnamese History
which displays 25,000 documents and memorabilia of Vietnamese history,
culture and ethnography. There is also a monument dedicated to
Vietnamese people fallen in the WW II." - triphobo.com

we unable to enter the museum (closed) due to spending so much time in zoo.

Saigon Water Puppet Show

" Traditional Vietnamese Water Puppet Shows remain one of the cultural draws
for most travellers to Ho Chi Minh City. Originating in the sodden rice paddies of the
Red River Delta in North Vietnam, the two most popular places to see a water puppet show in
Ho Chi Minh are at The Golden Dragon Water Puppetry Theatre and at the
Villa Song Saigon (formerly Thao Dien Village). Depicting the culture, traditions and
folklore of Vietnamese life, visitors are entertained by puppets acting on a ‘stage’ of water
accompanied by live old-fashioned music played on authentic instruments.

Shows are performed entirely in Vietnamese which is not a problem for the visiting tourist
as the puppet gestures are obvious enough to keep the audience enthralled.
The musicians are often positioned to one side of the stage adding in sound effects
and songs as the people-styled puppets, dragons, fairies and other
ornamental figures dance across the stage." - vietnam-guide.com

Show times :
5:00 PM & 6:30 PM

ticket price : 150,000/person

end the day with padicure in Ben Thanh market

only 75,000/person
good price for basic padicure

Day 6 & Day 7 - 12 January 2016 & 13 January 2016

Ben Thant Market

Free and easy
shop, shop, shop till you drop!

if you ask me where i prefer to shop
i would say "Bin Thay market"

Bin Thay market is much cheaper that Ben Thanh market
since Bin Thay is a local market and their price mostly for local not foreigner
i have no picture of Bin Thay market but what i can say is
what you need to do is take a deep breath, chill and shopping! :)

looks like rubbish but here you go!
we spend a lots! mostly on their craft things, coffee and fabrics

and here the must-buy-things whenever you in Ho chi Minh City
1. Egg shell crafts
2. Ao Dai - Vietnam's national costume
3. Their silk and chiffon
4. Coffee
5. Luggage and sport bags
6. Shoes
7. Jubah - the price much way cheaper that in Malaysia, only RM 50/piece. great quality!

After a week we learned a lot of their history, where they came from and how their struggle 
to eat and educate. Taught us to appreciate our root & strive in our depressing times. 
Our customs may not be the same but as we have been soldiers, 
will always fight for our future generations. 
Good bye and see you again, 
beautiful Vietnam.

till then

1 love bananas! nyuumyy:

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