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Ho Chi Minh Day 3

We are pretty much done with shopping over the last 2 days. We had late breakfast at Basiroh while waiting for my delivery. Quite a breakfast or rather brunch we had beef noodles and big karipap with hot Vietnam coffee. We also bought 2 boxes of Vietnam coffee which we later found out more expensive than at the market.

My parcel was left at the reception. During the injury time shopping yesterday I measured up for 2 pair of trousers and a suit of baju Melayu Johor of cotton linen. The trousers was usd31 each while baju Melayu I got it for usd45, all done in less than 24hr. I must say the workmanship was as good as any tailor you can get but it is astonishingly good deals that you can get it cheaper and faster in Vietnam. When I am done trying the dress we rushed to the market to get a sizable bag for our newly acquired luggage. We got to rush because we are checking out by 1pm. We leave our luggage at lobby and walk around the city towards the river bank.

Before leaving the city we thought of having another meals despite of heavy brunch we had in the morning. We stopped at Hj Halim, on the road by the back entrance of Ben Tanh market. We had Terung bakar, Tomyam ikan, fried Springroll and of course iced Vietnam coffee.

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Terung bakar

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Fish tomyam

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Fried springroll

 

We finished off the remaining VND at the market, get the delivery of baju kurung from Lan the tailor and left the hotel by 5.45pm. The TSN airport was located conveniently at the fringe of the city that it takes just half an hour from the hotel the taxi was driving 30-40kmh.

We read so much about vietnam immigration and custom that we had to hide our USD and RM notes. I just have USD2 and VND 30k in my pocket. During the security scanning, I was called up by the officer not knowing what was the problem. When I got to him, he asked me how much money I have in my pocket and I told him what I have. He kinda surprise that I have that much and asked me to go!.

Takeaway

Ho Chi Minh is indeed a shopping heaven for baju kurung, custom-made dress (including office dress and baju melayu) as well as fake shirts, shoes and bags. For the ready made baju kurung with all the beads just cost between RM50-60. To do a dress just cost about RM45/USD15 (your own materials). In my case a pants cost USD31 and suit of baju melayu of cotton linen cost USD45. And the best thing is it will be done nicely and quickly. As for the imitation good, it ranges from shoes (mainly Nike, Adidas), bags (Samsonite, Dueter, Crumple) and shirt (Polo, Nike, Adidas). My guess the price is 30-50% cheaper than the original but you really have to know the game. The imitation goods has few grades and unless you know how to tell than it will be tricky to bargain for one.

Makan was also a treat. Really outstanding is the vietnam coffee especially iced coffee that you must try. Beef noodles also very delicious. The rest that we have had during our meals are equally tasty. Overall the halal restaurant is quite pricey. The value for money restaurant would be Hj. Halim shop, tasty and not too pricey. The budget one is Busiroh, good food minus the ambiance.

For this trip we skip the tour to Mekong River and Chu Chi Tunnel, as we thought we can do it next visit.

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Ho Chi Minh Day 1

Smooth clearance at TSN airport. Wierd that immigration officer asked about visa to some visitors including mas, but not others and me. It took about half hour to Tan Hai Long hotel. THL hotel is at the centre of city facing big roundabout. From our room can see My Sang tailor.

The weather was nice, not too hot. Its cloudy,

The are about 2-3 halal restaurants nearby the hotel. We lunch at VN Halal located near Baskin Robbins.  Having fried fish sweet sour and roll meat in cabbage soup with rice.

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Fried fish sweet sour

Rolled meat in cabbage soup

Rolled meat in cabbage soup

After lunch we headed back to the hotel to meet Lan the tailor. Around 3pm we went to Ben Tanh market. It is a big market where you can find anything. Anything really. Clothes and cloth, dresses and shirts. food and vegetables, handicrafts, souvenirs, painting, bag etc. But Mas can’t seem to find anything!. We left empty handed. Later she bought few baju kurung at Hasanah shop, it’s a small shop limited choice though.

Ben Tanh Market, back entrance

Ben Tanh Market, back entrance

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Next we walked along the shop (Le Lai road) nearby the hotel which mostly sell bags mainly outdoor knapsack as well as for office. I can say that those bags are good imitation stuff but you can know it if you can bargain. Off course they don’t tell you it’s a fake one. Rarely. If you don’t mind the imitation stuff than its jolly shopping.  Still, the brand is limited. The common one is Samsonite and Deuter. The original ones would have warranty, obviously, like Sakos, a US brand. I want to buy medium size knapsack for my weekly commute but didn’t find anything or any design that I like, maybe tomorrow I’ll find one.

We walked pass our hotel and than Ben Tanh market (along Le Loi road) and take left at the Adidas shop where we find Daina’s collection next to a halal restaurants. We bought more dresses there. We left when it’s already dark around 7pm.

Daina's Collection, huge selection, superb customer service

Daina’s Collection, huge selection, superb customer service

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After a short break at the hotel room, we had dinner at Kampung Melayu restaurant, just a few doors away from our hotel.  I had kue teow fried and sour and Mas had Vietnam beef noodles. Halal food is really pricey here,  same like Bangkok, I remember.

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Kue teow fried and sour

Kue teow fried and sour

Beef noodles

Beef noodles

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It was about 10pm we headed to night market, located at both sides of Ben Tanh market. It’s actually the same stuff from the market and nearby shop. Things is, it’s “pasar malam” which means you can bargain hard. The night market is there every night from around 7pm till midnight. When you go around, its pretty much the same stuff; bags, shirt and pants, souvenirs, Vietnam coffee. Make sure you bargain at least 50% off. Some sales girl are very pretty but don’t get carried away. Buy only what you want not because it’s cheap. After all most of the items are fake ones. We left by midnight with few goodies to call it a day.