Experience · Food · Ho Chi Minh City · Travel · Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City Trip Diary – Day 2

We started day 2 with a visit to Cu Chi Tunnel. I would recommend to go there with a tour, or if you rent a car please go at 7am or 8am. We were really late, it was 10 am when we took off from Ho Chi Minh City. It takes almost 2 hours from Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi Tunnel.

This is my 3rd time to Cu Chi Tunnel. I know most of the story that the tour guide told us lol. During those 3 times I always heard something new about Cu Chi Tunnel, so it’s still quite fun for me to come. I can be a photographer for my friend as well lol.

Don’t miss walking through the tunnel here. I think that is the most exciting (and tiring) experience in Cu Chi Tunnel. The whole tour in Cu Chi takes about 1 hr to 1.5 hrs.

We were finished around 1.30pm, and very hungry. Luckily we ate tapioca at the end of the tour, enough to survive the hunger. The nearest mall is AEON Mall in Binh Duong. It’s a Japanese-concept mall. We looked around and checked on the menu on several restaurant to find something interesting.

bo luc lac nijyu maru
bo luc lac nijyu maru

In the end we picked a Japanese restaurant. I ordered Grilled Beef and a bowl of rice. They have a set menu for this but I don’t think I can finish it because it also has soup and salad. This dish is okay. It tasted bland…really bland. I poured soya sauce in small plate to dip in the meat. The meat was actually good, it cooked nicely and didn’t smelly, but it was a part of beef that has many fat (I don’t know what it’s called).

After we filled up our stomach, we looked around the mall a bit. Then continued by drinking tea in Phuc Long Coffee and Tea.

Phuc Long Latte Tea and Peach Milk Tea
Phuc Long Latte Tea and Peach Milk Tea

I ordered Hot Latte Tea, while my friend ordered Hot Peach Milk Tea. It was really good! Mine is 42.000 vnd and hers is 35.000 vnd. The portion is very small. It’s half of the glass 😦 They have many branches in Ho Chi Minh City but mostly inside a mall. Outside of the mall they are all Phuc Long Express, with minimum number of seats.

Next destination was Golden Dragon Water Puppet. We couldn’t catch the 5 pm show, so we tried to get to 6.30 pm. The road was very busy because of rush hour, and we managed to get there at 6.25 pm. We ran to ticket counter and was told that all the tickets were sold out. Disappointed, but couldn’t do anything. My driver couldn’t believe that the tickets sold out so he walked there and asked them in Vietnamese, and miraculously we got 2 tickets! We paid 180.000 vnd per person and went in directly with a guy who showed us our seats.

It’s an interesting show. I’ve been here for 3 times already lol, each time with different guest. I wish I can make a membership card or something and get a free ticket for myself, so next time if someone come to visit me I can accompany them for free! Just a wishful thinking. . .

We ended day 2 with some night walking from Dong Khoi Street to my apartment.

Night view
Night view

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Experience · Food · Ho Chi Minh City · Travel · Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City Trip Diary – Day 1

This is it, the day for touring has begun! I need to be a good host for my guest 😉 Many people and books said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So let’s start this Ho Chi Minh City Tour with a good food 😀 We took off at 8 am and went to one of breakfast place in District 3. I knew about this place from another blog, who said that this is the best breakfast he had in Ho Chi Minh City, and been wanting to try it out. Eating alone is never fun (at least for me), so i was so happy i went there with my husband and my friend. The place name is Banh Mi Hoa Ma. A very small restaurant in the corner of the street which we almost missed it. They gave us a table inside but I chose the one outside, with small table and small chairs. Very local! (And I’ve been wanting to try this out lol).

I have no idea what their menu is, but i heard they serve op la here (and maybe only that). It’s one of traditional meal in Vietnam. It serves with a bread (banh mi), mayonnaise and liver pate.

This Op La is really good! Seasoned deliciously and also made us really full. Love it very much! I will recommend this to everyone, except for those who were not allowed to eat pork. My husband and my friend also love it. It was a very satisfying meal for us, despite of the hygiene condition when we were eating lol. There were many motorbikes and cars passing by. But we’ve survived until now, no stomachache. Total payment was 153.000 for 3 op la’s, 2 hot tea and 1 hot coffee with milk. We also like their tea, the delicious mysterious flavor tea which we don’t know (I thought it was lotus tea, but it wasn’t :(). Try them at 53 Cao Thang, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City. They are open from 7am.

It was 9 am when we finished. Time to go to Notredame Cathedral Church for English Mass at 9.30 am.

Before the mass begin
Before the mass begin

After the mass finished, we took our time to take some pictures around the church.

Next destination is Central Post Office. There are 2 souvenir shops inside the post office, on the right side and left side from entrance. There is a store in the middle of the hall as well. We went to the right side and looked around. My friend was looking for a postcard and they don’t sell it here. If you want to buy a postcard, it is better to buy from souvenir shop elsewhere or you can also buy from the center shop. They have postcards with range of price 5.000 vnd to 25.000 vnd.

Interior Central Post Office
Interior Central Post Office

Here you can also buy a stamp collection. The price range is 40.000 vnd – 300.000 vnd.  I bought 2 stamp collection for my friend. I used to collect stamp as well long time ago, but i quit. Next destination is District 5! I’ve never been there so i was excited as well. We were going to see old churches and the market as well.

This is Jeanne D’arc church. We couldn’t go inside 😦 All the entrance are closed.

Lunch time~!

We went to Thuan Kieu Restaurant. They are famous with their broken rice and grilled pork ribs. They have many branches around the city. This one is one of them in District 5, and they were good as well. We tried one of their soup, Chanh Rau Ma. It wasn’t what i wanted. I tried to explain the type of soup i wanted but they seemed to not understand English very well, so i ordered this one. It was okay, although it’s not my favorite.

After lunch our driver took us to this church. St Francis Xavie Parish Church, or Nha Tho Cha Tam in Vietnamese. It’s a very nice church, don’t you think? Next destination is Binh Tay Market. We wanted to buy some snacks or any other thing that is interesting.

Binh Tay Market
Binh Tay Market
Binh Tay Market
Binh Tay Market

In the end we didn’t go in to the market because it was too crowded. I lost my interest to walk around. We moved to next location as soon as possible before evening came. We went to Metro, one of the biggest grocer supermarket. My friend bought some local snacks for souvenir, but couldn’t find some snacks. Therefor we went to Cantavil Mall after. After a long walk we felt really thirsty and wanted to sit in a cafe and just chill.

We bought an ice cream instead haha >_< Tried a korean ice cream in top floor of Cantavil Mall. It was so-so. I won’t buy it anymore. At dinner time, we went to Nha Hang Ngon 138. I read a bout this place and many good review. It is located at 138 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Bến Nghé, District 1, Hồ Chí Minh City. The place is really nice. Classic decoration with some modern touch.

That was the view from our table. We got a table at second floor.

Nha Hang Ngon 138
Nha Hang Ngon 138

We ordered several local food. I have to say I was not impressed with their food ( I didn’t smile at all when i tried it! Not even once). I think the other Ngon restaurant has better food. That was all for first day. What do you think of our adventure? 😀

Experience · Ho Chi Minh City · Vietnam

Just another night walk in the center of Ho Chi Minh City

It was Saturday night and my friend just came from Singapore. We just walked around to sightseeing. It was her first time to Ho Chi Minh City, so i took her around Le Thanh Ton street to Dong Khoi Street. Many stores prepared to end their day because it was 9.30 pm already. So we just walked and took some pictures.

First we went to Saigon Opera House. Using our camera it was hard to get the whole Opera Building. We need to take the picture from across the street.

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Taken from Caravelle Hotel side.

I took this picture from in front of Caravelle Hotel. Not bad eh? 😀

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Saigon Opera House

This one taken from across the street, in front of construction area. Need to be careful of motorbike though.

The walk continued to Dong Khoi Street and we saw this beautiful cafe.

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Khanh Casa

We wanted to try but taken back after reading the menu. Price for smoothies is 85k vnd (before tax). Maybe next time when we can really spend the time there, and not in a hurry 😀

Next, we saw this beautiful design of a hotel entrance.

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Times Square Saigon

It’s beautiful, isn’t it?

The last stop was City Hall.

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City Hall Saigon at night

This time it was not packed with people, and i got a chance to take picture when the fountain is on! The lights keep changing after some period of time.

And finally after some walking, we arrived at home. Need to get ready for the next day because the real adventure day has just started!