Monday, May 13, 2013

Ho Chi Minh :: Last Day

We have now come to the final installment of the story of my trip to Saigon.

Right after breakfast, we made another visit to Cho Ben Thanh for last kopek shopping. bought some more kain cotton, gowns for adik baby & kerepek.. pastu sampai kena cari  another luggage bag sebab muatan dah terlebih :D selesai shopping, drop barang kat hotel  & kami 3 beradik laju-laju cari taxi. again, tak susah mana pun, depan hotel je ada seketul :D misi kami hari ni: jalan-jalan sekitar bandar Saigon.

first destination - Hard Rock Cafe.
The taxi fare was around VND30k(±RM4.50), tapi jadi VND40k(±RM6) sebab the driver tak pulangkan baki :(

Hard Rock Ho Chi Minh City
Kumho Asiana Plaza
39 Le Duan Street
District 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

pardon our jakun-ness. sakan bergambar biarpun terkenying dek silau matahari!
kipas tangan tu dapat free hadiah borong sakan
a lot of designs to choose from.. rambang mata ok!

next, the Saigon Central Post Office. It's only a few hundreds meters form the HRC, given that you know whick way to go la kan. senang cerita, keluar HRC tu lintas jalan, and just go straight until you see a T-junction, with an orange/brown coloured buiding right infront of you. then, turn left, tadaa.. you've arrived! dekat je, jalan kaki pun tak sempat peluh!
the entrance
& how it look inside..
jangan tanya siapa pakcik tu.. saya tak tau :)

3 of us each bought a postcard to send to.. who else? ourselves la :P I was inspired by a friend who did just the same. inspired la konon..padahal tiru! haha, jangan marah ye Kirin :D
mereka ini tulis lama sangat.. tulis apelah tu ye?
lepas 11 hari barulah sampai.. lama sangat, penat tau tunggu. tapi berbaloi-baloi walaupun setakat tulis satu ayat je keke. kalau ada kesempatan, we'll sure do this again for the future trips ;)

right opposite the Post Office, there's another tourist attraction - the Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral
it's the orange/brown building that I mentioned earlier.
click-click-click, and then we move on to look for a taxi. it was hot, so we decided to go back to our hotel. yang lain tu lain kali la, kalau ada rezeki ke sini lagi, InsyaAllah!

sampai hotel, rehat sekejap & then packing.. we checked-out form the hotel at around 3pm, & have late lunch at The Daun. then, off we went to the airport
this much for just 3 days trip ;;)
Alhamdulillah kami tak kena kacau dengan customs officers baik di HCMC, mahupun di LCCT. bawak buah ciku pun lepas! shuuu ;)

itu saja cerita saya. seronok tak terkata walaupun pergi sekejap sahaja :) we'll definitely come back again!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Ho Chi Minh :: The Food

 Salam Jumaat. Semoga hari ini lebih baik dari semalam :)

Hari ini, saya nak bercerita pasal makanan. to be specific, the food in Vietnam :) #FoodFriday, kekdahnya..

I don't know about you, but I can't live without food :P I love food.. eating is one of my many hobbies ;) hah!

we know it's not hard to find Halal food in Saigon, it's just that the price can be a lil' bit 'hard' on our pockets :D therefore, we brought along lots of instant noodles & nasi impit to go with serunding kelapa, sambal bilis & black pepper beef. plenty enough for 2-3 meals!

 we had breakfast at the hotel, so dah selamat di situ. lucky us, there's one very friendly hotel staff who's able to speak Bahasa, who upon seeing us, immediately shown us the food fit for Muslims. even though there's not much to choose from, it was filling enough to last until late afternoon, so we were able to skip lunch.

being said that, we still HAVE TO try the local delicacies!

coincidentally, just before we went out to have late lunch/early dinner on the second day, there's this fellow Malaysian next to our room was kind enough to introduce us to a restaurant not far from our hotel. According to him, the price was reasonable & the food was quite delicious.

introducing.. The Daun restaurant, a kind of newly operated (2 months at the time), multi-storey restaurant, own by a Malay Singaporean.
we had white rice with fried flower with beef, kerabu taugeh, siakap tiga rasa & seafood tomyam, while kaklong had Pho (Vietnamese Beef Noodle) which is one of the must try food in Saigon.
and a cup of hot Vietnamese coffee to finish off the dinner
the food was indeed delicious! so delicious that we made another visit to the restaurant the next day, before going back to KL!
this time around, I had the Bun Bo (Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle), mee goreng mamak for papa & adik, mama had nasi goreng pattaya, & kaklong ordered a pasta dish. oh, and we ordered the  fried flower with beef again! ratah gitu je pon sodap :)

so, for those going to Saigon, now you have another option for Halal food. I highly recommend it! it is not far from Cho Ben Thanh (about 10 mins walk). here's the address:
305, Ly Tu Trong Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Satu yang saya perasan, locals here love to eat Baguette/french bread. we saw hawkers selling it everywhere we went to! even at the hotel, they serve it for breakfast. tho, I'm not really sure how they eat it :D but I had my baguette with butter, pb & jams ;)


ingat tak, I've mentioned about Trung Nguyen Coffee?

It is quite famous among my colleagues, most of the time they'll bought it for souvenir. I've tried this many times & I like it very much! apparently, it is the no.1 coffee in Vietnam.

but most importantly, it is certified Halal :)
you can actually find it in many places, especially in Ben Thanh market. jangan tak tau, kedai kain pun ada jual ni! it is THAT famous! but fyi, here in this shop you'll have more selection & you can have the coffee freshly ground for you!
the cuppuchino is to die for :x very creamy, & not too sweet. bau dia, semerbak! oh, tak boleh jadi ni.. dah terbayang-bayang kesedapannya! tak pe, petang ni jugak saya bancuh. sekarang tak bleh la, nak pegi lunch :D byee..

Sunday, May 05, 2013


saya sudah mengundi! Alhamdulillah :)

ni buktinya :D maafkanlah saya excited terlebih sebab first time mengundi ni ;;) 

barisan untuk saluran 1. kesian pakcik-makcik kena beratur tengah panas.. nasib ada kerusi!

tanggungjawab dah dijalankan, moga-moga yang saya pangkah akan menang, Amin! 
apa-apa pun, peace no war!

btw, have you seen the Google doodles specially made for PRU13? 
saya sukaaa ;)

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Ho Chi Minh :: Cu Chi Tunnels

Mari sambung cerita yg dah berkurun tergendala ni :) Hopefully I'm able to conclude the story soon!

On the 2nd day, we went for a half day tour to Cu Chi Tunnels. We booked the tour the day before thru our hotel, and the bus picked us up in front of the hotel at 9am.
It took about 1½ hours to the Tunnels.. but before that, we made a few stops to pick up more people from their hotels.
permandangan sepanjang perjalanan.. top-left pic - locals having morning exercise, next to it - the 100 years-old trees.. and the rest are random pics of the city.
that's our guide, Daniel. dia ni boleh tahan gatalnya.. pantang nampak perempuan cantik. boys will be boys :P but he's quite a funny guy :) from him I learned that the Vietnamese prefer the name Saigon over the HCMC. Thus, I will also call it Saigon hereafter :)

about halfway through, we had a quick visit to 'happy house'. apparently that is how they call a washroom! it is actually inside a handicapped handicrafts centre. i say, killing 2 birds with a stone.. melepaskan 'hajat' sambil bershopping, gitu :)
a quick tour around the workshop, where we watched trained craftsmen making exquisite inlay crafts, using egg shells & mother of pearl, on paintings, vases, bowls, plates etc.
these craftsmen are the 2nd & 3rd generation Agent Orange victims of Vietnam War, where they suffered birth defects.
 and then, proceed to the gallery..
look at the size of this vase! and the craftsmanship! amazing :-o
we managed to resist the temptation ;;) syabas bete!

We arrived at the Cu Chi Tunnels at around 12pm. It was sunny, but not too bad since there were lots of trees around.
this is the sticker you'll get at the entrance. we were asked to wear it at all times during the tour. apparently, you're considered an enemy without it!

We started the tour with a short introductory video showing Cu Chi's resistance to the Americans during the Vietnam War, plus a quick lecture on the structure of the tunnels.
The Cu Chi Tunnels system was created during the war against the French in the late 1940s and the building continued during the Vietnam War in the 1960s. The tunnels were dug with simple tools (a small shovel and a basket to carry the soil) and bare hands. The 75 mile-long tunnel complex consist of fighting holes, storage caches for weapons & food, medical quarters, workshops, kitchen, living quarters etc. The complexity of the tunnel system give the Viet Cong(VC) a major advantage over the American forces. I'm amazed by how brilliant the VCs are!
adik & few others from our group went into the tunnel thru the hole. although it looked small, a medium size man can fit into it!
we waited for quite a while for the guys to resurface.. in the meantime ;;)
kami yang kepochi tak menyempat nak tengok gambar dalam tunnel :D
this is how it look inside the tunnel. according to adik, it was stuffy & hot! 

next, we looked at a booby trap with bamboo spikes, which sometimes laced with poison
Daniel claimed that this is for those who weren't able to try the tunnel before. Haha.. not funny!

the various entrance to the tunnels & shooting holes..
According to Daniel, the holes were made so small, they can only fit the VC. he also added, "the Americans have big body because they love to eat pizza & hamburgers. If you want to be slim like me, you have to eat veges & rice." tsk tsk.. saya yang makan nasik hari-hari boleh terasa okeh! inikan pulak the 2 Americans in our group!!

not sure whether these mannequins represent the Americans or the VCs. lupa sudah.. tsk!
but obviously the lovely couple are my beloved parents :P

this is the remains of an American tank..
the engine is at the rear part of the tank, so the VC designed a land mine that will explode after a short while, right when the engine part passes over the land mine. smart VC!

the different types of traps. my favourite would be the door trap, the one being shown by Daniel..
recycling bomb shells & weapons in the military workshop

We had a short break at the shooting range, while waiting for the guys to try their hands at shooting with weapons from the Vietnam War. the bullets are wee bit pricey, I tell you!

slippers made out of tyre tubes, if I'm not mistaken :)
here's another brilliant trick by the VC: they wore the slippers backwards to make it look like they went to the opposite way!

i peeked into this tunnel which has been made wider and taller to accommodate visitors.. and then retraced my steps back and waited for the rest at the other end of the tunnel :D

a military uniform garment house, the ventilation shafts & a guard bunker
the kitchen & remote smoke outlets
 the smoke from the kitchen went through several layers of filtration before being release to the surface. during the war, they will cook in the early morning so that the smoke can blend into the fog.

at the end of the tour, we were served with ubi kayu rebus cicah kacang tumbuk - the food of Cu Chi Tunnels' residents
sedap oo (perut lapar makan apa pon sedap!) dihidangkan pulak dengan teh pandan panas, nikmat!

berehat sebentar sementara nak naik bas..
 tak de gambar entrance sebelum masuk, gambar dah nak balik pon jadilah!

all in all, it was an amazing tour; enlightening & exciting at the same time. well worth the long trip! no wonder it's a must-go place while you're in Saigon. You have to visit it yourself to understand!

that's all for now ;)


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