Good Morning Saigon – Finale

Salamz everyone,

I already promised myself that i need to post the final part of my Saigon trip just before this coming AidilAdha or else i’ll drag it too long from the day i came back from there. For the 3rd days of the trip, we opt for a Chu Chi Tunnel Trip (pronounced as Ku Chi) since it’ll be one of those compulsary places that you need to go once you get your feet in Saigon. The trip cost us approximately around ~USD 4 / USD 5. I couldn’t remember much since i got lost track with the currency. Hehe. The trip started early in the morning around 8am and will come back to the hotel approximately around 2pm. Not to forget the bus will drop at one of the disabilities centre (Me and my sis believe that a small percentages of those disabilities ppl are being affected by Orange Agent) which produced the best traditional art product in Vietnam on our way there . And it cost you the bomb! Hehe. But mum still insists to buy something from there since she said those things is much more expensive in Aseana and other places. They claimed that there’re imitations to their product out there in the market.

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We’ve been given around 45 minutes to do a short visit and shopping there. We then continued the journey to Chu Chi Tunnel for another 30 minutes. It took us about 2 hours to get there. And not to forget, we enjoyed the view very much. With the paddy fields around, tomb in the middle of the paddy fields, cloudy sky and others.

Once reached there, we got ourselves the entrance tickets since it was not included in the tour. Oh ya, the tour guide of the day was Aung. He knew the Chu Chi Tunnel very well since he used to be one of the telephone operator for the US Army. That means, he was one of the local peoples working with US Army having war with the Viet Cong. So, imagined how old he is now.

Our path way to the Chu Chi Tunnel. We are know going towards the 1st manhole that to be discovered.

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The staff showing us on how to fit the body to the manhole. This is not the original size of the manhole. This has been changed to suit the average size of ppl nowadays. The size used to be smaller than this since most of the Viet Cong are much more smaller those days.

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You can even try the gun out here. M16, AK47, you name it! This are all the original gun used by the Viet Cong and US Army those days during the war.

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Original bomb collected during the war. Along the way they will serve you “ubi kayu” and tea. You can try these at the canteen area of Viet Cong. Not to forget, i did experienced the journey going through the tunnel as well. As mentioned, it has been renovated twice the size to fit the size of the peoples. As for me, i can actually squad inside the tunnel. Agak besar. But a lil bit stuffy and dark.

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We wrapped up the whole journey by watching a video documented by the local government on the activities of Viet Cong and on how they constructed Chu Chi Tunnel. It was such a journey for me especially to see how they survive for living. Amazing!

We continue our journey back to Saigon town and we decided to complete the day by visiting the War Remnants Museum. Just a lil’ info, all those places of interest can be actually reach by walking from one place to one place. Just get a complete map of the town from the hotel receptionist and here we go!

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You can find all those photographs well documented during the World War. Very very well documented. Need to have some guts see all those real photos hung on the wall.

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The external area of the museum. You can find all those US army jet, vehicles that has been used in the battle and others. Real one!

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And we did passed our lunch. Its almost tea time. Mum is making some noise. Hehehe. And we opt for Halal@Saigon. Owned by Malaysian. A lil bit expensive since it situated in Dong Khoi Street and its very easy to spot it. Facing Sheraton Hotel.

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The rest of the day we did some shopping at the Dong Khoi Street area. To be specific at the Lucky Plaza. A factory outlet! Worth buying guys! I continued the final days by visiting a few other places in the itinerary the next day before with did the final shopping at Ben Thanh Market. We did visited the famous Asian Cathedral (nice architectural design), the Saigon General Post Office (still operated and designed by Gustav Eiffel, the same designer of Eiffel Tower) and the Opera House.

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I definitely loved Saigon and i’ll plan for another trip to Hanoi.

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* Got myself a good stuff which i really longing for – A 50L deuter backpack, a crumpler camera bag and a north face raincoat! Yeay.

Simply me,
Zara~AB
The Province of Chroma

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Good Morning Saigon – Part 2

Salam everyone,

As promised, this is the 2nd part of Saigon. And basically, it was my 2nd day there. Been forced by Nar (my unimates) to update it as soon as possible since she will be going there soon next November. So happened that i told her that we bought a ticket to Saigon via messenger, and she then immediately make a purchased as well. On our 2nd day in Saigon, we decided to do a tour to Mekong River and we booked it through our hotel since the price is way too reasonable for me. But i bet, the best price would be much more cheaper from all those travel agents around the backpacker area. And the most famous would be Sinh Tourist. We managed to get a 1 day tour to Mekong River with USD9 from Delta Adventure.

Local newspaper spotted at the hotel lobby while waiting for our tour guide to fetch us.

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It basically took us about 1 and 1/2 hour drive by bus and the bus is full of tourist around. We did meet up with new friends. The tour will covered island hopping and visiting all the local village as well as their local acitivities. Serious rasa cam kat kampung2. But for white, this will be such a trip for them but for me, nothing much kot since we can experience all this kat kampung sendiri. Hehehe. The reason is that, i just want to feel to be cruising on the Mekong River je. Lil fact of Mekong Delta region is this delta encompasses a large portion of southeastern Vietnam and the size of the area covered by water depends on the season.

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We stopped to taste tea + fresh honey. I drank with one slurp since banyak bees around. And end up terbang masuk dalam our cup.

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We again walked towards the fruit farm. Nothing amazed me since they offered the same local fruits that we have back then in Malaysia. And the only table that couldnt finish up all the fruits is US. Hehehe. But they did served us with local live show.

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And this is the highlight of the tour. Rowing boat! It can only fit 6 of us together with the boat man. It means, only 4 passengers is allowed at one time. And siap boleh traffic jam lagi. I was so amazed with their efforts and strength to earn such money for living. Tengok dia row pun boleh nak tercabut tangan. And they did a few trips back to back non stop neither the man nor the ladies.

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A lil’ potrait of the local peoples there while getting ourself on the big boat for another island.

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We then continue to few other islands. But i couldn’t snap much photo since its started drizzling and raining. But in overall, it was such a trip. Our next trip – Cu Chi Tunnel (and see how we fit into it).

Simply me,
Zara~AB
The Province of Chroma

Good Morning Saigon – Part 1

Salam everyone,

Again, I don’t even know how on earth I end up travelling in Saigon @ Ho Chi Minh. My sis text me out in the messenger and telling me that there are promotion around. We checked the date on the calendar and we strictly grab the ticket for 4 (me, hubby, sis and mum) of us. It supposed to be a birthday treat to my mum and hubby (March babies). Unfortunately, hubby has to put this one off last minutes since he couldn’t be release from his leave. This is all because of the international conference and exhibition he’s having back in PWTC organized by his faculty over the weekend. Poor him. But, there’s always next time I guess. Or next year! Hehe.

I started my journey early in the morning and the flight took us about 2 hrs times. And based on the itinerary that we’re having for 4 days (a very limited times to discover Saigon), we have to get our feet on the road as soon as possible. My 1st impression on Saigon is massive MOTORBIKE on the road. Not to forget the sound of hones here and there. I would say, every single second. I got the fact from one of our tour guide, Luc that there are 40 million motorbikes in Vietnam itself out of 90 million peoples. Average of 35 peoples died everyday in Vietnam and 5 peoples died in Saigon to be specific.

We stroll down the road based on the map given by the hotel. And seriously, it is much easier to walk around. Most of the buildings in Vietnam are influenced by the French design. And one of it is the Community Hall on the way to Dong Khoi street (sort of Jalan Bukit Bintang with all the designer outlet around). Rear elevation of my mum’s on the right. She’s busy snapping all the photos to be uploaded in her FB and she’s carrying her own digicam all around. Isnt that lovely?

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Lunch? We then headed ourself to Parkson (wholly owned by Malaysian) and there are Halal Food in the food court. Overall, you wont find any difficulties in getting Halal food around. We managed to get ourself a treat at D’Anjung, Bombay, Halal @ Saigon and V.N Halal. The food? Superb and marvellous! Should try out the spring roll and the beef noodle (Pho`). Not to forget all the bakeries and pastries around. Heaven!

We then again walked to the Independence Palace. It used to be the home and the office President.  Again, in overall, the president lifestyle, ermm, i would say as way too LAVISH!

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We took almost 1 and 1/2 hours to cover up everything in the palace as well as the external area.

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Mum and sis look tired but i forced them to watch the puppet show since we’re already in Saigon.

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The Palace is just 3 minutes away from the most famous vietnam water puppet show. Its actually originated from Hanoi. And again, we walked there and booked for the 5pm ticket. And its almost full. Glad we didnt miss that and have to wait for another show at 6.30pm. There are about 14 traditional epic stories within 1 hour time.

And again, we walked back to our hotel and prepared ourself for dinner and late night shopping near Ben Thanh Market. There goes our 1st day in Saigon. Will continue further with the Mekong and Cu Chi Tunnel trip soon!

Simply me,
Zara~AB
The Province of Chroma