Friday, August 14, 2009

10,000 Steps in HCMC

I’d blame it on the big “S” thing. “S” thing? Ahhhh….what else, it’s the infamous STRESS. Worst still when it’s work stress - the kind that could drive one up the wall and you pray so hard that it won't make you fall sick and demotivated.

The city's most prominent landmarks, is now somewhat incongruously the home of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee. where SALE

It was stress alright that impelled both Muni and I into making that pronto decision to go for a quick holiday in Ho Chi Minh City. Muni was in a meeting at her office in Melawati and I was in a boring discussion in my office in Subang. A few sms exchanges went across town - between Subang and Melawati, and the next thing we knew we had booked ourselves tickets to Uncle Ho’s Land.

That was in June I think when it happened. Our busy schedules kept us occupied. There were times when we were so unsure if we could actually release ourselves from work commitments. We braved the storm alright and when the day finally came, there was no looking back, no remorse feeling what so ever, and HCMC here we come!!!

Our plane landed safely at Tan Son Nhat International Airport about 8.00am local time. I dozed off for a short while during the flight, not enough considering I hadn't slept over the last 24 hours. Never mind, I knew I’d be ok. Got all the adrenaline pumping into my system as my retail therapy will start in just a bit.

Entrance of our hotel

We took a cab from the airport to our hotel in down town HCMC. Our hotel, Hai Nam Hotel was a modest shop lot sandwiched between a jewelry and shoe shop. A few steps to the left led us to the Ben Thanh Market place and to our right, a few blocks away was the city centre. One thing good about these small hotels is that one could negotiate the check in and check out times. We got our rooms the very instant we checked in at 9.00am. about good service huh??

Roses in HCMC...beautiful!!

After having a quick breakfast in our room, both Muni and I were all recharged to venture the streets of HCMC. Maka keluar lah the maps and the notes on shopping places that we have compiled before coming. Muni had earlier gotten tips from a colleague who had just returned from HCMC. Wahhh…macam orang mengantuk disorong bantal. All the information feed that we could get was most welcome.

Ben Thanh Market entrance

First destination for the day was the Ben Thanh Market place. We went round “surveying” what was good and interesting. Ohhh…banyak lah benda yang we knew we’d do damage on. From cotton, chiffon and silk fabric to beaded handmade bags to cotton bed sheets to the strong smelling Vietnamese coffee to many, many other stuffs, we just had to control our splurging urge.

We spent a good two hours just looking around and collecting business cards as we hopped from one shop to the other. There was also one occasion when we met a group of ladies which was together on the same flight this morning. From the big bags they were lugging we could see that they had made good progress with their shopping. Later we learnt that the three ladies were on a day trip, buying all they could get hold off before their return flight in the evening. Whoooaaaa....ini sudah bagus!!! Macam gi Penang balik hari je. And what they were doing gave both Muni and I lots of crazy ideas afterwards..heh..heh (read : ade cita-cita nak buat the same stunt….)

Lunch crowd at Ben Thanh Market

The walking around made us hungry so we headed back to the hotel for lunch and solat. Lunch was instant noodles and serunding, the bekal we brought from home. The plan was to eat light and then go have dinner later in the evening.

Motorbikes every where in HCMC

Our next destination was Binh Tay market. I learnt from my research on the Internet that this market was a fabric heaven. Ahhh…a must go for fabric hunters like us!!! We took a cab to Binh Tay, and what happened when we got there was pretty much expected. There were lots of “oooooossss” and “aaaahhhhsss” as we scouted the place. Within minutes, we did our “damages” and happily carted away bags of good bargains. Happy nyer…happy nyer….

Air kelapa by the road side...ada berani nak indulge???


Naz said...

Lovely pictures, Kay. Ah! bila nak sampai ni? :)

mamasita said... and Muni sure did the right thing..detoxfying your stress at HCMC with your retail theraphy was a fantastico idea!!

Kak Teh said...

Looks like HCMC will be in the list for next year's visit. Tahun ni i managed a one day (more or less) trip to Jakarta. and I now know the meaning of macet.

Laracroft74 said...

wahhhhh...not badla HCMC...ini sudah bagus..boleh masuk dalam list next yr..mana barang shopping nya kak oiii.... nak tengok!!!
eh, the airfare to HCMC, abg Tony bagi murah ke? currency exchange?

Kama said...

Salam.. saya belum pernah melangkah kaki ke Vietnam. Laos adala. By the look of it, Vietnam has a lot more to offer. Nampaknya the next tourist destination for me Ao-dai Land la kot!

(psstt Kay, your comment box punya word verification ni kan, hina I tau. the word is 'wobbly'

kay_leeda said...


InshaAllah one day pasti sampai. Best stroll along the streets of HCMC.

More pics coming up yah :)

kay_leeda said...

Dear Mamasita,

Menang right choice, and made a nice, big hole in our pockets too. But then it was worth it and we had a gala time :)Enjoy tu yg penting...ha ha :)

kay_leeda said...

Kak Teh,

Yes, yes make HCMC as yr destination for jalan-jalan next year. Things are cheap but you must bargain.

Jakarta...I likeee that place too. Macet or no macet :)

kay_leeda said...

Dear Lara,

I stress here again, MUST go to HCMC. Nanti ku pamirkan damages dr itu RT, pasti kau akan menghala kesana juga dalam masa terdekat ini.

Wait kinda kalut sikit with my pics (plus malu nak pamirkan ader jugak..ha..ha)

Masa we book tickets to HCMC ni, abg TonyF bagi cun punyer price - RM240 pulang pergi!!!

kay_leeda said...

Dear Kak Puteri,

Did my word veri do that to you? Hep!! Nanti I babap they all ni kerana menyentuh perasaan & hati kakak ku :)

Yes...go to HCMC. But itu Ao-dai ahhh...we cannot wear lah. Only for those yg waist line ala-ala Vivien Leigh je..sigh.

the principal said...

kak kay,

but the traffic terukkan? main hentam je jalan. Luruh jantung tengok motosikal tu...

ada satu halal rest kat situ. My father still tak boleh lupa mee kantonis dia. tak sama cam kat M'sia katanya...

NanaDJ said...

HCM City is nice isn't it? I certainly plan to go there again. Did you go on the Bonsai Dinner Cruise, nice food and superb entertainment plus you can view the lights of HCM City from the river. Had an Ao-Dai tailored for me, can't wait to wear it! Waiting for an excuse to do so (by the way am being very brave, not that I have a good figure)- you are still young, come on be adventurous like this old lady. Salam

kay_leeda said...

Madam Principal,

Afraid to cross the roads as they are motorbike infested? Naahhh...trick dia senang je. Jalan selamba and they will avoid you. No worries, they won't knock you down. We learnt the trick in Hanoi last year and practiced it again in HCMC.

kay_leeda said...

Dear NanaDJ,

Yes, we loved HCMC and doing a revisit is definitely in the plan. Unfortunately, we didn't do any site seeing this trip. It was TOTALLY retail therapy!! Teruk kan?

Ohh..I can't fit into them ao-dais. My "extras" would spill out here and there. Do go for it Maam, I bet you look great in it :)