Over the last Hari Raya Haji break, I organised a trip for a group of 9 persons to Ho Chi Minh City. If you read my previous blog post about Ho Chi Minh City, I know I said it's a place I would not return to, mainly because this photo is what I remember it as. Ha-Ha-Ha.
I was fairly surprised that a lot of things have changed in Ho Chi Minh (HCM for short).
1) It has become globalised, much more apparent than before. What used to be the lobby for Rex Hotel is now Versace and Chanel. Humongous shopping complexes line the city area in District 1, and a truly impressive expat area known as Phu My Hung at District 7, can rival Mont Kiara in KL or Bukit Timah in Singapore.
2) There are FAR less motorcycles on the road now, compared to 2006.
3) Almost nobody wore the traditional Ao Dai costumes anymore, only when necessary for work or school. Previously, I could easily spot anyone wearing one even when they are on motorcycles.
I found myself truly enjoying the new HCM, where I could break away from the hustle and bustle of markets to enjoy a nice cuppa at a cafe if I wanted to.
- Departed KL at 7:40pm after driving like F1 drivers to the airport after work
- Found my airport pickup waiting for us
- Checked in to Seventy Hotel, 70 Bui Vien Street, District 1
- Walk to Ben Thanh for the night market and supper
Expenses: US$24/night for a double room, US$16 for pickup by a 7-seater or US$14 by a 4-seater. Dinner for 9 persons 685,000 dong
|Tiny room at Seventy Hotel. The window faces the corridor, thus no sunlight|
|At least it had a modern TV and a/c and hot water shower|
|Night market next to Ben Thanh market. Things were expensive here|
|Glutinous rice of many colours|
|Pop-up cards selling everywhere|
|Our first meal at this stall, as everything else was closed at 10:30pm|
|My favourite Vietnamese dish - Bun Thit Nuong (Grilled pork with Vermicelli)|
|View of the newly opened Bitexco Tower in HCM|
|The typical petrol station in the city, mostly for motorbikes|
Ho Chi Minh City 4D/3N Itinerary - Day 1
Ho Chi Minh City 4D/3N Itinerary - Day 2
Ho Chi Minh City 4D/3N Itinerary - Day 3&4 (Final)
Review: XO Tours - Saigon By Night