Tuesday, April 23, 2013

We went to Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh

I think long time readers here ( ade lagi ke) may remembered I had already went there a couple of times. This time I want to shop. But bringing in baby also hampered a bit of shopping, but not by much. Baby Aziz had been a delight that he deserved several smacks and cute embroidered clothes for his trouble. But I am getting ahead of my post.

Before we go to Vietnam, which is on Thursday last 2 weeks, mak die and anak die baru la terkedek2 nak buat passport on Monday. Nasib baik la gak I opt to wait for husband because passport baby punye process goes something like

"passport ni nak ikut mak ke ayah. Kalau mak sehari je kalau ayah 5 hari."
Kite orang mesti la nak amik mudah cakap mak. Sekali nasib baik die bagi ayat seterusnye
"then kalau ikut passport mak, anak ni tak boleh dah dapat ape2 keistimewaan yang orang Sarawak dapat, e.g. biasiswa, pembelian tanah di Sarawah, penurunan harta"..

Woooooooo. So we decided baby passport ikut ayah die. The process is not that complicated, isi extra borang with photostat copy of IC by the father, and father signature then need approval from Kuching. The approval takes around 4 - 5 days. But of course that does not work for us, so they said we can appeal it by faxing to Sarawak office our flight itinerary and asking for a speedy approval. It took just 2 day. Monday sent, Tuesday husband telefon 20x and got it. Hehe. My husband is persistent. Harapkan mak die memang lama la kut. So we can go to Vietnam that Thursday!

At Vietnam we stayed at Bong Sen hotel at Dong Khoi street. I chose this rather than the popular Bin Thanh area because I know the area as my family had stay around here before. So it is easier to move around. I would think my choice was apt because I love staying here. It is nice to walk around, halal restaurants are just a stone throw away.

My hotel was great. It was comfy, clean, well kept, bathroom was nice and even have those extra amenities , like toothbrush and toothpaste. I stay in Sheraton Kuching baru2 ni pon takdak ok. It is those extra things that counts. I would most definitely stay here next time. Breakfast of koz la non halal, but there is plenty of breads and cereal and fruits and salads to keep hunger at bay. Dan I was fantastically full everytime breakfast pon.

Omelette during breakfast. I really enjoy their coffee. Sodap,  kona dengan tekak den. 

And the Halal restaurants we went too.

We can't get adventurous in Ho Chi Minh, well because I don't fancy getting food poisoning with baby, also because there is limited what halal food you can obtained.

Our breakfast is at the hotel.

Lunch is usually around Bin Thanh area, which the first restaurant named Kg Melayu I think is just ok, and the Warung 1Malaysia ( ko jangan, kat Vietnam pon 1Malaysia), is nice except don't order the sweet sour or the sotong or both! But the soup there is very nice. Another time during lunch we just ordered cakes at Gloria Jeans which is a MISTAKE because DILA when will you ever learn cakes in coffee shops are never good.

Dinner we went around Dong Khoi area, Halal Saigon the first and last night, D'Nyonya the second night and a Turkish restaurant which I suke sangat virgin mojito die. And the kebab is nice too.

These are mostly dinner food pics. Lunch we got our hand full with little Ajis yang asyik tunjuk perut seksi die tu. 

Halal Saigon food was pretty good nothing too great tapi sedap la di perut. D'Nyonya was so and so.

I somehow without realizing ordered Pho in D'Nyonya. It was nice enough, but it is distracting to eat a soupy noodle with a struggling baby. 

Most of these restaurants are pretty expensive as we are in the tourist district so if you guys go there make sure you calculate betul2 the meal in RM before ordering. All those 00000s in VietDong is pretty heady and confusing.

What we see

Ajis tidur afterwards so boleh tengok photographs bebetul. 

Not much. Like I said before I had been here before. I suggested to husband if he wanted to go to Chuchi Tunnel, but he said no because he does not want to take the risk of a temperamental baby there. So I ajak him to go to War Remnants Museum only.

Aside from that jalan-jalan area Ho Chi Minh is quite a good way to spend the time too.

Where we shop

Honestly not much too.

One of the bag I bought, I like this bag. It is biggg.  Kenapa gamba ni tak centered? Shut up

I bought few bags, but I think you'll fare better if you wanna buy a lot, go to the other shops around Bin Thanh. However there are more choices in Bin Thanh, which is why I bought there, but bile nak pegi the other place, dah malas pulak, because the shops outside Bin Thanh, while cheaper, only 1 or 2 design is kinda ok to me, lain2 macam so so.

Baju smocking for little girls, is cheap in Bin Thanh. Go deeper in the market to get the best price. They are much more incline to give discount if you buy more so if you beli 1 agak2 la kalau nak tawar menawar tu kan berapa banyak you wanna discount. I bought some for the nieces. Ajis of course la not smocking gown, but we bought him a cute embroidered coverall for him. Embroidered cloths are big in Vietnam, but I already have a few embroidered tablecloths dari long  time ago and I very rarely entertain so tak kose nak menambah.

Ape lagi ek, oh for baju kurung, I memang dah aim Hong Anh je, nowhere else. Maybe there are other places who sells good quality and pretty baju kurung, but I didn't go around and see but I had always before like and am satisfied with their baju kurung so malas to see around and just aim there. Hong Anh is not cheap compare to other places in HCM, tapi bile ko dah bandingkan dengan harga baju kurung yang sama kualiti dijual here, sangat2 la cheap weh. Dengan itu aku amik 3 sekaligus, and bought one for my MIL and one baju melayu kecik comel untuk Ajis boy untuk raya kelak.

Other than that, I didn't buy kain sebab kain kat rumah tu dah melambak dah. Ops, I only bought kain for blouse to be made here. Dan menangislah aku sebab dengan bodohnye I didn't bring a sample blouse for them, so they can copy it, instead just ask them to ukur and just make according to the blouse I was wearing that day. The result was not pretty. Menangis aiii okehh. Eh tak nangis lah, tapi cukup la untuk bad mood. Agak kebangangan jugak kan, I asked for blouse simple straight cut just like the one I am wearing, die orang pegi buat ala2 gaya peplum tapi lebih kepada kemakcikan. Nangis dalam hati je la, sebab diri sendiri salah tapi still berbakul jugak la kalau boleh aku nak maki. So those who wants to make blouse BRING SAMPLE. Penat je cari kain kat Bin Thanh, nanti tailor sana butchered your baju. They can make simple baju kurung, but go lebih sikit je memang out of their comfort zone, tu yang kain aku tu jadi practice sewing kut.

Other stuffs,  bought some other stuffs not worth mentioning, oh maybe one. A lacquer painting reproduction of Gustav Klimt  'The Kiss', because I love that painting. It sold for 20 USD but I manage to buy it for 15 USD sebab I pointed that there is a small chip here and there. Hehe. Boleh ko taknak tawar menawar dengan aku, so I pointed la what is wrong with your product.

Once I entered a shop near Bin Thanh, I looked at one of the dusty bags they displayed outside and asked the price, thinking maybe it is below 10 usd because honestly, the bag seen better day. Boleh die quote aku USD20. I just laughed at his face and walk away while he quickly adjusted his price from 20usd to 2usd. 2 USD kauu... but I tadek mood nak beli from guys quoting price that is daylight robbery pon.

In summary, where we go to shop pon is primarily Bin Thanh, Saigon Square, Saigon Tax , shops around HCM la.

Ade Loubotin ok the street hotel aku tu. Tapi aku tak masuk. 

Bin Thanh - good for cheap items, but i think yang betul murah is kain and clothes. Other tu especially souvenir items, I don't think so Bin Than is the place. They are very aggressive sellers, if you taknak tengok sometimes they take offense, macam ade 1 place tu, I memang nak beli the MNG knockoff clothes they are selling, but they refuse to tell me the price. They cakap, they cari my kaler and bukak packaging dulu baru nak bagi tahu price. Of course la kan if they do that we feels obligated to buy kan even if they said no, I asked repeatedly but they still do not want to give, so annoying. Then dedua la annoyed with each other. Honestly if you can't stand the hassle, Saigon Square is the best place for you to buy clothes. But I think mostly the tshirt sellers yang I perasan very aggressive  other sellers like the children clothes, kain, table clothes are not that aggressive. So we tried to steer clear away from them.

Saigon Square - There are 2, but you can opt to go to the one in front of Bin Thanh, they sell the same things, but things are not that oppressive, the sellers not that aggressive. I did go to the Saigon Square 2 and found a nice palazzo pants made of silk that I didn't found anywhere else, so I guess it is a worthy trip for me, but not too much items or a bargain you can get there.

Saigon Tax - These are for the tourists who malas to go in Bin Thanh, you can get somewhat more of the same things, and the price is ok too, but like I said old design. There is a supermarket in there.

Owh and we bought our souvenirs at a gift shop in the War Remnants museum. Cheaper from the discounted price we got at other place. Tapi ni souvenirs biasa je2 la like fridge magnets, and hat and bookmarks.

I didn't manage to go to the pasar malam at Bin Thanh, I heard lagi2 la murah, but with baby in tow I kesian la pulak nak bawak so I rather not. Usually nighttime we just jalan2 around the hotel je. Lagi pon bile dah petang I usually go back to hotel and let Ajis sleeps comfortably, so bile die bangun time dekat2 dinner tadekla die emo sangat.

Apakah konklusi ni: Tak tahu la, I bought some but not a lot, but tadekla serik to go again. I always like Ho Chi Minh, so yeah, kalau my family decided to go I might tag along too!

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