MUM IN SAIGON

Share this article

I HAVE BEEN meaning to bring mum to Saigon or the modern Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam. But, there are several factors that made me postponed the trips several times.

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

Things like: age factor. Well she’s already in her 70-s, can she still has the energy to walk around, take public transportation and most importantly… can we stand each other?

Mum and I always have this strange relationship. We could barely stand each other but whenever we’re a distance away, we still miss each other. I guess because we’re almost alike. Both of us are easily cranky, stubborn and yet adventure at heart.

Thinking that time may run out and this would be the only opportunity for me to bring her jalan-jalan, we finally decided that we must go on this mum-and-daughter trip by end of this year.

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

After booking the flight tickets and our accommodation for four days, off we went for our Ho Chi Minh adventure.

We took a bus to our Hotel. Here not only the passengers need to pay bus tickets, beg pun kena tau.

After quite a few deliberations, I picked Mifuki Boutique Hotel after reading hundreds of hotel reviews online that made my eyes water.

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

The hotel is about 1km away from where the bus stops near Ben Thanh market. So, we decided to just be brave, read our Basmallah and cross the roads when they are less cars or motorcycles.

Once we checked in, put our bags and rested a bit, we went out in search of late lunch. There are quite a number of Halal restaurants in Ho Chi Minh but be prepared to dig deeper into your pockets. The prices are quite exorbitant, but the food are still tasty.

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

Ben Thanh market is famous among the locals and tourists. From fresh produce to food, dry food, bags, shoes, clothes and other things are available here under one roof. The price, depends on the colour of your skins or where you come from.

The trick is to bargain to up to 70% off the original price. If both of you are on good mood, you maybe carting away a good bargain but if one of you is adamant then maybe you need to bargain more.

Be courteous when bargaining. But Ben Thanh is not the only place to look for a good bargain. They are other shops around the area or even a bit walking distance away to look for interesting goods.

The choices of dry food, fruits and nuts are nuts!

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

She is happy when she bought some kacang (nuts) for her favourite people back home. Apart from titbits, they are also Asians favourite dry food such as dried fish, dried prawns and dried fruits.

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

Have you ever tried dried jackfruits in Vietnam? I love the ones we bought at the market. It is as natural as possible without adding any sugar and perservatives.

You can spend hours browsing the goods at this market. Well, although you can get most of them at many pasar malam back home, but there are a certain charm here that have the power to make you part with some dongs.

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

Like I mentioned earlier, the price of food in Ho Chi Minh can be on a pricey side. Eating for two persons can easily reach around RM70.

So if you’re on a budget, just look for bakery or maybe canned tuna fish and make yourselves some sandwich. Other than that the normal kampung styled food like stimmed tapioca with grated coconut is yummy.

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

For non-Muslims travelers, they have the best alternative in street food, but do beware if you’re not familiar with spicy food and should stick to stick to the normal western fast food.

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

But they are many street food market that are set up to cater for tourists to Vietnam. Be brave and just check out the food markets and who knows you would find the best food or dessert at one of these eateries.

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

A Vietnam coffee is also a must for those traveling to Ho Chi Minh. The price is around RM3 per cup. You can see these sellers around the Ben Thanh market. It is a thirst quench during a hot day.

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

At night, two roads sandwiching the Ben Thanh market is closed to make way for the night traders. This type of night market is a norm in many cities in South East Asia. However most things that are sold at night market are the same as the ones in the Ben Thant Market.

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

Just stand at one safe corner around 5pm and 6pm, and you’ll see so many traders on motorcycles dragging their tents on wheels. Like this bustling city, it was such an incredible organised chaotic scene that left your jaws dropped for a minute or two.

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

In just an hour or two, the two roads emptied from motorised vehicles (except for some bikes) and are transformed into a night market selling anything that both locals and tourists would fancy buying.

Now, it is time to bring Mak jalan-jalan.

Our hotel is actually a bit far from the city attractions but Mak rather walk then taking a taxi to experience the night in Ho Chi Minh. We decided to take the evening stroll as it is too hot for her to do the walkabout during the day.

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

As I have walked to this part of the city that morning looking for Maybank, we decided to come to this area at night. By the way, for me, it is still safe to walk alone and ask directions from the locals. Use your common sense and ask either shop assistants or the policemen for direction, but of course they are some language barrier but you’ll get by.

For your information, the address for Maybank Bank would be : Sunwah Tower, 115 Nguyễn Huệ, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam.

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

We took a walk down Saigon’s Walking Street, just opposite the Sunwah Tower and the place was crowded with street performance as it was Saturday night. We enjoy the beautiful City Hall building that was lighted up nicely.

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

We didn’t go for many sightseeing as mak is not as active as before. I had plans to bring her to the museum and the mosque but she wasn’t up for it. Furthermore, the trip is more for her to experience Ho Chi Minh and do some shopping.

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

But we do some short walkabout around the hotel and Ben Thanh market to check out some things and her to experience the bustling city. The heat was one thing both of us can’t really stand though.

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

#travel #vietnam #saigon #hochiminh #hcm #mum #jalanjalan #asia #asean #coffee #benthanhmarket #benthanh #market #shopping

You might also enjoy

KE DUBLIN

Isnin lepas, saya mengendeng ikut ‘housemate’ pergi ke menyeberang laut

DESTINASI TERAKHIR: MANCHESTER

Jumaat: 18 Mac 2022 HARI NI KAMI tinggalkan Glasgow dan mulakan perjalanan ke Manchester pula. Ini bandar terakhir kami di UK sebelum…

DUNEDIN, IBU KOTA SCOTLAND

Rabu: 16 Mac 2022 BAS KAMI KE Edinburgh bertolak jam 9.40 pagi. Awal pagi kami dah ke Buchanan Bus Station untuk naik bas ke ibu kota…

HELLO GLASGOW!

Selasa: 15 Mac 2022 INILAH TEMPAT JATUH bangun selama 5 tahun. Banyak kenangan pahit manis di sini. Bandar yang menyatukan kami yang ke…

BYE HULL, SAMPAI KETEMU LAGI

Isnin: 14 Mac 2022 TIBA MASA KAMI tinggalkan bandar York dan pasangan yang dah jadi keluarga angkat aku. Hari ni kami akan ke Glasgow…

KOTA DI BALIK TEMBOK

Sunday: 13 Mac 2022 HARI NI KAMI ke York pula. Asalnya nak cari carboot tapi memandangkan masih lagi dalam bulan musim sejuk, belum ada…

KNARESBOROUGH PEKAN FAIRY TALE

Sabtu: 12 Mac 2022 HARI NI KAMI ke Knaresborough. Tempat ni lebih kurang 70 batu jauhnya dari Hull. Jadi, pagi lepas sarapan, kami pun…

PERJALANAN KE HULL

Jumaat: 11 Mac 2022 JAM 6AM, KAMI dah sedia nak keluar heret beg ke stesen kereta api King Cross. Pembantu hotel kata, tak perlu buat…