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Monday, 3 December 2012

Ho Chi Minh (Part 3)

Know something?  I missed out the part on night market at Part 2, heehee.........

After the hearty dinner at The Black Cat I "forced" my boys to go to the night market before going for the foot massage.  Cos' it was either that night or miss it since we were taking a night flight the next day.

The night market consist of tentage stores occupying a few small streets around Ben Thanh Market.
Plenty of stalls selling similar items like T-shirts, lady's handbags, really good haversacks and back-packs, souvenirs, shoes etc.

Some bargain skills needed but they were eager to do your business.
So as long as you don't ask for impossible prices, you will be able to close the deal. 

Last year when I visited this night market, it was difficult to walk at ease as there were many motor bikes driving around.  I was so afraid they might roll over my toes if not knocked me down.  The vehicles also obstruct the passages sometimes even to the extend of blocking the stalls.  Things seemed to have improved a lot in just over a year's time.  My experience this time was much more pleasant!

Motor bikes were parked neatly without obstructing the walkway.
What's attracting?

The night market food stalls brought back fond memories of Bangkok street food.  Over here, they had Pho (rice noodles in soup), rice rolls with prawns and lots and loads of SEAFOOD!!!  Just look at the huge clams and those 2 big fat red groupa fishes! Drooooooools...........  Wanted to try so badly but hubby said he was too full, sigh........ that useless chap; I should had ignored him and  just sat down, order and eat till my heart's content.

Hubby tugged back 2 polo shirts @150,000VND/S$8.82 each.

 I bought 2 singlets as home wear 100,000VND/S$5.88 each.

Now, I'll continue with Part 3, my last day at Ho Chi Minh City, and yes with more *Tips to come ~~~

Day 3 - 22 Nov 2012

Blue Diamond Hotel's lobby in the morning.

After breakfast we took a 5 mins walked over to Ben Thanh Market.
This was the side entrance.

Wet market was interesting with plenty of live seafood.
Saw big fat cat fishes wriggling, wanted to take pic but got chased off by the stall keeper lolxxx....

We started from covering the perimeter of Ben Thanh Market.

It didn't take us too long to realise that the stall tenders wore light blue uniforms selling similar items.
Below pic was one of the stall's unit number and it's stated "FIXED PRICE".
So, shopping along the perimeter was fuss-free but less exciting.

I bought a set of  Ao Dai from this stall.

Going to wear this for Chinese New Year's Eve!!
It was about 320,000VND/S$18.82 or 370,000VND/S$21.76 at the most.

Last year's CNY's eve, I wore a pink set of Ao Dai to a restaurant for reunion dinner and I made a "grand entrance" with all eyes on me, waaahaaahaaa.......

Luis spotted Oppa Troll Style, damn funny!
 Bought navy blue & white at 100,000VND/S$5.88 each.
(pardon the creases, cos' no time to iron >.<)

After the purchases, we walked further into the market.
There were local stalls selling drinks, sandwiches and Pho.

We stopped over this stall to try a drink.
Prices between 15,000VND to 20,000VND/S$0.88 to S$1.18.

Chendol in Vietnam style!
It's not bad but too sweet for my liking.

There were provision stalls selling coffee and local dry food.

Bought pork floss from this lady.

A small bag of 100g at 37,000VND/S$2.18

It's very saltish, just like our salted fish, but in pork version.
The texture is like our cuttlefish, not bad with porridge.

Exploring further down, we found this bread stall.
The french loafs were warm and a wonderful fragrance of oven bread lingers!

The boss is a chinese and he speaks Cantonese!!
I finally found someone who speaks my language! waaahaahaa......

Bought 2 loafs  and hand carried back to Singapore.
The loafs were warm as I held them in my arms.
Good food may not be expensive, source of happiness can be very simple.......

This was what we had the next morning ~~

Let's come back to Ben Thanh Market, one can easily spend a few hours here.

Necklaces selling at 220,000VND/S$12.94.
Managed to bargin to 150,000VND/S$8.82

Pretty and the quality is good.

The plastic bag given has the address, so here it's here in case anybody's interested.

Florists outside Ben Thanh Market.

A fruit stall, on the same stretch as those florists where we bought big dragon fruit to try.
It was about S$2 weighing exactly a kilogram.
Shortly after, we went back to the hotel and gobbled up the sweet fruit.

Managed to take a pic of Blue Diamond Hotel from the opposite side of the road.

Strolling towards the Central Post Office.

Vinasun Taxi in white.

The Central Post Office.

A couple having weddding photo-shot in front of  Cathedral Notre-Dame.

See the zebra-crossing at the right hand corner of the picture?  Here's another tip!

*Tip #6 - You will be able to see zebra-crossings in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh, but no vehicles will stop for you if you stand aside waiting.  Vehicles normally move below 50km/hr.  So, DO NOT RUN, WALK, give them time to "react" and they will stop just a few inches away from you.  It will be good if you see the vehicles stopping for a traffic light ahead from where you need to cross, then the road will be clear.  If not, don't panic, just cross over slowly and steadily.  It's scary initially, but that's their way of traffic.

Closer pic of the Central Post Office.
Another couple getting their wedding shot here!

As you can see, The Central Post Office is very near Diamond Plaza.

 Had been into the Post Office before and my purpose of re-visit was to try my luck.
And yes, I was lucky, I found her!
This lady makes love-letters and little triangle cakes just besides The Central Post Office.
I bought love-letters from her last year and I couldn't find the same taste in Singapore.
However, I think this time she jacked up her price on purpose.
2 packets of love-letters and 2 packs of triangle cakes was 150,000VND/S$8.82.
I remembered previously was less than S$1 per packet.
Never mind..............

Walked into the Post Office to rest my feet (and eat), while my boys looked around.

<3 <3 Love Vietnam's clay tiles <3 <3

The cakes were pipping hot, can see steam fogging up the plastic bag ^_^

Cute and soft, warm and puffy.
It went into my mouth releasing endless satisfactory and joy...........

Stroll our way for late lunch.  I was deciding between Quan An Ngon or Nha Hang Ngon Restaurant.  Both has good reviews,  so I went to ask my trustworthy consultant, Blue Diamond Hotel's Ms Paula for opinion in advance.   And guess what?  She said both are owned by the same boss so both restaurants has got the same standard!

Decided to visit Quan An Ngon as it's just opposite the Independance Palace.  I know my way there and it's near our hotel.

Live seafood tanks at the left hand side of the entrance.

Restaurant is big with 2 floors.

It's a non-aircon restaurant with vents of cool air mist instead.

 Hubby strike a conversation with Germany couple.

 Some dishes were prepared at the dining area instead of the kitchen.
Was very interesting especially for curious tourists like me.

Lime juice 30,000VND/S$1.76

 Luis's pork chop with rice 54,000VND/S$3.18.

Clams in hot pot 85,000VND/S$5.00

We was told we might need to wait 40mins for Elephant Ear Fish (210,000VND/S$12.35),
but it arrived our table in less than 20mins time.
Mama miaaaaaaaaaaaa........... wooooooo hooooooo.........

Local way of eating - Place fish meat, assorted veg/lettuce and rice noodles on rice paper;

 roll the ingredients up as tightly as possible;

Dip in special made sweet and sour sauce;
give it a big bite for unique sensation.

 My way of eating - Heck table manners, suck and lick every bone and every fin clean, heeheehee......

With that fish, I knew I could leave Ho Chi Minh without regrets T___T
Below pic taken at the entrance of the restaurant.
Was wearing platform slippers bought from Ben Thanh Market which hurts like a bitch.

Quan An Ngon Restaurant
138 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia
District 1, Ho Chi Minh City,
Tel: 38 279 666

On our way back to the hotel, was pastered by this drink seller.  I totally ignore him so he paster my soft hearted hubby to buy coconut drink.  He pushed his shoulder pole to him and ask me to take picture some more.  Urrrrggggg...........  Ask my hubby to ignore him but he ignore me instead!  So angry, put a 笨蛋 over his face .V.    At the end got ripped off 25,000VND/S$1.47 for coconut drink.
When we reached the hotel, he told our bell boy what had happened.   Bell boy smiled and shook head in dismay.  We found out that coconut drinks were about 15,000VND/S$0.88 only.  Urrrgggg.........  The few cents difference is no big deal, seriously.  But the feeling of being taken advantage of is not nice.  Tourists are not idiots!

*Tip #7 - So now you know coconut drinks are about 15,000VND/S$0.88.  I also found out that a bottle of mineral water is about 10,000VND/S$0.59.  Anyway, I think it's safer to buy drinks from the market or stalls.   Ignore this kind of dishonest mobile sellers and walked away quickly.  They probably will follow you for a few metres but will give up if you play deaf and blind.

Our flight was at 9.15pm but we left the hotel early to go CT Plaza which was near the airport.

CT Plaza shopping mall with Parkson.
It was a boring place with more sales people than customers.

It was only at this junction, hubby realised that.......... we left our passports at the hotel's counter.

I called Blue Diamond Hotel and they send the passports to us at CT Plaza within 40mins ^.^
Thank goodness.....of course, we paid them a transport fee.  Mini-heart attack.

Tired, we spend most of our time at the foodcourt playing with our Iphone.
There's free wi-fi, heehee......

Ho Chi Minh don't have Mcdonald's only Lotteria.

A mini-mart besides the foodcourt.

View from the foodcourt where we could see the airport.
Our initial plan was to walk over.  Since it was raining, plan aborted.

I was really comfortable at the foodcourt but hubby said it's better for us to go over to the airport before the rain got heavier.  
So we reached the airport at around 5pm.

Spend the very last few dollars of Vietnam currency at Domino's Pizza.

"Meat Lovers" if did not remember wrongly.

Pic taken at the cafeteria floor.

Counters finally opened.

Hand carried love-letters, coffee and loads of soft Hikosen Cara soft toy cats.

Checked in.

Jet-star plan on stand-by.

Luis's supper on board.

Soya sauce chicken with button mushroom and quail eggs.

Gotten this key chain from ordering the above set meal.

There was a stretch of 3 empty seats, so I occupied them and snooze my way back.

So now I'm back to Singapore, working hard, trying to save as much $$$ as possible for the next trip :)


  1. Work hard then can go on hol more =)

  2. Hi Susan, have been following your blog for a while!
    Is HCM a good place for shopping?

    1. Thank you for your support! Hmmm.... not exactly if you compare with BKK.

  3. hi susan, where isit cheaper to get those G7 coffee from? SUpermarkets or the cafes?

  4. Hello, happened to blog-hopped your blog while I was planning for my upcoming HCM trip! Love all the posts that you have posted. So coincidence that i am also staying in blue diamond hotel and your posts really help me to locate some of the places interest that you have visited.

    Just a question, are all the tourist attractions walkable distance from the hotel?

    1. Not all but quite a few. Ben Thanh Market, the restaurant and the museum are all walking distance away. But no worries, cabs are very affordable there. Just have to take a correct cab as mentioned in Part 1. Enjoy your trip!