Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Jalan-jalan (shopping) Saigon City

When : 26-29 Jun 2010
Where : HCMC
Who : The Kakaks : Kak Izan, Kak Has, Kak Hanim and Moi

Well, well.. another Cik Kiah’s trip! read: escaping responsibilities from family and employer! You might be wondering why does Dd love to hang out with the kakak(s)? We used to be in the same unit way back when I was at Pusat Bdr Damansara. They are ‘cool’ as: they listen and share stories but don’t broadcast it to the whole dept, they don’t compete to each other: we pretty much a different person individually (some like gold some doesn’t, some live in hype area some live in quiet suburb , one have many kids, one don’t have kid, one still available etc..). The major magnets that clicks us: the love for food and shopping!! Well, honestly I’m the least in the later considering paling tak berduit!. And albeit the constant whining of gemuk and nak diet from me, kakak(s) never complain..hehehe

Saigon - I noticed they were so many articles about this particular city in paper lately. So, Vietnam, HCMC specifically is what you’ve been reading/seeing in the box or on paper. Few things surprised me that despite the massive motorists on the road the traffic are rather good and hardly an accident there. Meter cabs are everywhere with driver wearing smart uniform.

1. You can just email to book your rooms (google the hotel contact add) and if they didn’t reply, don’t panic! (We did). Its normal. And btw, there are A LOT of small budget hotel around (walking distant) Ben Thant market. Price from as low as USD20-40/night.

2. Take cab from the counter at the airport and bargain the fee. Ya, kat counter pon boleh bargain! Hehehe. Airport to Ben Thant area USD10. Somehow from hotel to airport, pay at the hotel reception cost us only USD7!.

3. Bring a lot of USD instead of Dong . Some small shops or even gerai pasar malam didn’t accept Dong! Why oh why?. Be fast in mental calculation between RM, Dong and USD as we found that many shops sell goods cheaper in USD. Oh RM also accepted in some shops ya. Even the price is offered in RM. If you decide to buy at certain price, stay to your word and blah je kalau dia tak kasik. Nanti dia panggil balik!. Kalau tak panggil tu meaning the price ask memang melampau, hehehe. Kalau tak malu, boleh patah semula and do the bargain thing again. Kalau malu pi carik kat kedai lain. As references, check the price kat kedai yg SA pakai uniform (Saigon Coop etc). Sini fixed price. Some cheap, some not.

4. If you stay at Ben Thant area like we did, particularly at Saigon Pink 2, you can enjoy shopping at the market to the max, dah berat, hantar balik bilik. Nak terber*k? Balik bilik. Dekat sesangat!. Pasar malam pun depan hotel saja. Free internet at the lobby (pc available), so u can update your fb status while waiting for your friends yg lambat bersiap. Hehehehe. Oh many famous boutiques juga walking distance sahaja. Kalau hebat dan kuat boleh jalan sampai city area where LV and Tod’s among many others are located. Cab costs only V15000 = RM3.

5. Muslim rests are easy to find. Many serve Malaysian menu. Please try the local favorites. Just describe the food (as you can see many from the street) and they know which is which. Be warned, Vietnamese love BASIL. In noodle soups, it’s like the substitute to sawi.

6. And the best part, unlike indon, tak de airport tax! Weeeehuuuu.