Sunday, 19 October 2014

Miss'adventures at Ho Chi Minh.


I finally found a legit reason to wander off to the land of Pho.



By the looks of my luggage?
I was clearly packed for the rave itself.

It was altogether a really affordable trip given its the no.1 DJ on a solo tour.

After much spontaneous planning, I managed to drag along my BFF for lyf with me to HoChiMinh City.


we decided to try out the airbnb homestay rentals for a change.
mostly also because we wanted to save our budget for shopping as well.

This looked really good for its price, so we were pretty hyped for this upcoming experience tbh! :)


Oh and this is also my first time in the new KLIA2.

Honest opinion,
I absolutely loved the new place,
it looks way more presentable firstly,
much more convenient for waiting flights as there were so much stores and eateries available.
it was spacious! less fighting to move past crowds and stuff compared to LCCT.
The air conditioning is awesome. LOL
Washrooms are less crowded as well. and much much cleaner. omgggg.

It was pretty confusing for a bit, but we found our way really quickly.
The only problem I found was that there are no self-check-in counters for airasia tickets?
WHY?!
I really dislike queueing up at counters in airports.
but this one's pretty quick and efficient. 
The bag scanning and immigration counters were quick too. Loved it :) 
another downside was that the journey to the departure lounge is SO LONG.
Definitely not a good thing for late people.



My girlfriend/lesbo partner for the upcoming 4 days 3 nights. :) 


Decided to try this Warung Cafe something cos it looked nice.
(forever being attracted by design)
Well turns out the ran out of almost everything we wanted to order.
No curry puffs,
No more nasilemak even.
WHAT.

Then it was like, fine. Carbonara pls?? 

It took them another almost 20 minutes to bring the food.
I swear if we were late for our flight we'd be goners.
Luckily the food tasted fine, so we just ate and let this be the last time, ever. 



& here we are at Ho Chi Minh. 


Amazed by the different language on the signboards. :)
Travel feelssss !


Matchy matchy passport cases and our luggage. 
such princesses arent we. 


& heres the vietnamese airport. 



Needed to get a cab to our space.
Panic started though, we couldn't get through to our host.
and the cab rate was 45USD? 


Cab guy was being quite helpful though, 
but we were really uneasy about the price.
Being lost as we were,
I just couldnt think of any other solution anymore...



We had to ask our way around to get to the place,
AirBnb didn't give us the exact address for reference at the page.
seriously, 
this is like, if your host dies on u ur screwed.
First time users. 
definitely not a right way to start off though.
1 hour in, we were still uncertain if we had anywhere to stay at all.
and our budget had spun right off track. 


funny thing i noticed bout HCM, 
they have really big contrasting architecture.
its either huge luxurious buildings,
or broken down village houses. 


I really liked this scene though.


& here we are at the apartments.

2 hours in, still not getting through to the host.
We were annoyed, tired and worried.
PLUS everyone had limited english proficiency. 
TBH, i felt like I was gonna die anytime soon...
to the point I just stopped considering the possibilities and went onto problem solving mode.

So we got off to the apartments and the driver told us 
we could ask the people around to help find our host. 


went to the reception area for one of the apartments and asked them to search for the hosts name.

the poor guy was almost twice as confused as we were.
Things spun of to bigger and bigger problems.
My gf called her boy to help us contact airbnb helpline for assistance.
Instead of being understanding, they were overly persistent on their principles. 
Refused to take or give any information to him.
It was proper, but also very very inconvenient in some ways because of how they chose to resolve our problems. Being namely the "emergency hotline", they did not act according to the situation.
They sent an email to verify the problem with my gf, and because her phone is now under a new vietnamese number, she was unable to access her mailbox.
(which is cos they refused to listen about the number replacement).



It felt as if the problem was bubbling up so badly its spilling over and burning us already.
(metaphorically speaking)
I used up my phone's batteries, and then I noticed the sockets in Viet has a different format.
So I had to ask for a phone charger plug. Thank goodness the nice restaurant guy managed to understand me, and passed me a charger....
everything was still alright, phone was charging.... and then, my cable gave way.
I probably had a mini explosion in my brain at that moment.
but I knew I had to keep calm.
My gf was trying her best to fix the situation, and all I could do was come up with a backup.

So I called up our friends who arrived the day before, and he told us we could book the hotel he was staying in. It was way nearer to the tourist attractions as well.

We hesitated for a moment.
Broke, tired, homeless and starving. 
How much more to a glamorous start to our vacation could we have asked for??

It almost felt as if everytime we do something together we end up in epic messes.
But I guess thats what makes our friendship amazing.

We ordered ourselves some Vietnamese soup noodles,
A lot pricier in the cafe and probably less raw and authentic as compared to the street foods we were planning to get.
predicted the much needed energy for our upcoming tragedy.
All I could hope for is the very bit of peace while eating.... that I didnt manage to get.

Finally we decided to take a cab off to our friend's area to look for a hotel.
We were extremely low on budget because the amount we spent for our first booking is blocked off for at least a week or two.
We asked the cabbie to recommend us a nice hotel.
We were pretty thankful... even paid him with a little tip.




Went in to this hotel here... and I found out the rate per night was RM130.
It looked way to shabby to be worth that amount since the one our friend was at is about RM98 per night for a basic room..

We ran out to the cabbie again to go to the other hotel instead.
Managed to get the booking through an app and use my Visa.

So here we are at Phạm Ngũ Lão 


and seriously, our luck was still not turning for the better yet.
The computer we were using to login to print the booking was busted.

of all computers, we had the busted one.
awesome. not. 


Couldnt be more thankful to finally have somewhere to rest. 






showered and got some rest til later in the evening.
well its only normal to feel that theres still hope in this strange land we're in.

We decided to walk over to Benh Tanh Market 
(apparently one of the most famous flea markets there)
& then get some nice street food for dinner.


& then we were greeted by this amazing, fascinating traffic.

like seriously. how does this even work.




Pretty things at the market that I really liked...but had no substantial need for.
Got scolded for the pictures...but worth it.




personal fav are these masks.
Sadly they're not anywhere close to affordable.

Oh did I mention, the prices they offer in this market is RIDICULOUS.

We got ourselves some little magnets...thats all.


Oh look! Is that Malay words I see??

Got ourselves some interesting drink,
looked like smirnoff's ICE logo...
but its peach? 


cant read anything it says on the label. meh.


& then we walked into this interesting night market.
found a nice stall that was selling or sorts of vienamese coffee blends.
& they had the cute little drip coffee machine for sale too.
I had to get some!!!

cos I thought this would be definitely something worth getting at least.


& damn that fresh blending process smells amaaaaazinggggggg!!!!!

We got some Luak Coffee.
Not sure how authentic it is,
but it sure smelled awesome!


hahahaha I came across these protein shakes at the convenience store.
52,000 vnd each tho. 



Then here comes the best part of our day.

We stumbled upon apparently, one of the most famous street food cafe's in this place.
Xôi gà No 1
Pretty much meant "chicken rice no 1."


What we had?
Im seriously googling up for the names now because there was no way for me to translate anything they say into notes.

So the brownish dish at the front is basically sticky rice with chicken innards. called "(phá lấu)"
& the rolls on the right would be the vienamese rolls, they had prawns and lots of veggies in there, some that tasted a little odd for my gf's taste. So I finished most of it off. The sauce was a little sweet and salty. Liked it though!
& then we had a bowl of soup noodles.
and the one on the left....
I have no idea what is it called. Looked like tiny eggs, but turned out to be some sweet bean paste and white jelly stuff. + meatloaf at the top and prawn dumplings...with the shells attached. what... :/ 



Our special drinks.
Felt alot like the herbal jelly stuff we have at home.
The one on the left is a little like cendol.
and the one on the right has seaweed and barley.
Both were yummy...but not enough to quench our thirst.


This really nice guy at the restaurant (rare nice people.)
offered to help us take a picture.
he held my continuous shutter down for idk how long,
i have like about 15 pics of the same pose LOL

Nevertheless. Love this shot.
sadly theres a smudge mark on the lens landing straight at my face.
oh wells. 


Manicure time.
Gf insisted we get this done today. LOL
we needed pampering anyways. so yeah. why not.

The lady was pretty rude though when we tried to bargain for the price.
and then she got nicer afterwards. 
chatted and all.
thank goodness she speaks english.


Did this gel nails for 25USD Totally worth it.
This was at least 2 hours of work, with about 6 layers of gel + gelish & marble-like glitters.


The result. :) I loved it.
Now i dont have to worry 'bout my nails breaking.




& then we got hungry again.
more Pho time.


Came across this really cute roadside stall, 
& we were pretty hungry so we randomly ordered something 
( i cant read their menu to save my life...oh goodness this place is so not tourist friendly??)
with that cute fat sausage I thought may be quite interesting to taste. 



Ended our night with a traditional trishaw ride.

this uncle here, is vicious. 

Should never have been convinced in languages i cant even understand
It was only about 5 minute walk away from our hotel
and he was trying to charge us 150.000VND for a ride.
we said no, 50,000 is enough.
and he insisted. so we walked off.
then he agreed... and my gf really wanted to try, so we took the deal.


when we arrived, 
he took 50.000VND from my gf, 
then came to me and said 100.000 for two, 
so I was asking my gf if she paid, while holding on to the 100.000 note,
& before I know it, the old man snatched the money off my hand and sped off.

I was dumbfounded, and really upset.

this is not how u treat tourists, Vietnam.
I am so disappointed. 




I guess one of the things I'm thankful for is to be in this hotel.
Like my gf said, losing our AirBnb booking could be a blessing in disguise.

I agree.
This is the breakfast cafe, rooftop at 11 Floors.
Not much, but alot for Vietnam, cos all their buildings are pretty short.
I could literally look upon the entire city.
It was good.
So good that we basked ourselves in the sun to enjoy the view for a bit
and try to forget what a horribly bad night we had before this. 



Mom told me that the breads here are one of the specials.
And I kind of agree.
they do really good french pastries.
and the most interesting part of my breakfast has got to be the meat sauce they provide.
Tastes amazing with the bread.

Oh carbs overload, here I come.
& the freeflow coffee is really good.
Cant be more happy. :) 





Here we are, 




Caramel pudding!!! Not bad, but cant beat the ones I have in Ipoh. 



Another famous market for clothes.. seems interesting :) 


Disappointed again at the prices. about RM30 for a tshirt.
I'd better off shop at forever21. =.= 


This one's pretty interesting.
Almost RM1000 for a bag.
What in the world. 


Didnt get anything at the market.
So tired of the attitude and prices.
I'd also like to add a note about how the stall owners show attitude when we browse their products.
I moved a bag a big cos I took it up too look, 
and then the lady came out right after me and angrily rearranged the bags. 

Definitely made feel really upset about their attitudes. 


Wanted to chill at a cafe instead, 
rest up and then go back to get ready for the rave.
Came to this highlands cafe, looked famous like some local starbucks.

Gf doesn't drink coffee, and they only serve caffeine drinks 
so we only ordered one
and the lady gave us an attitude saying like "only one coffee??" 
and I wanted to take a picture of the cafe, and she said "no pictures" 

Wow. seriously. ? 



One last stop before we head back.

Went exploring at the other side of the town.
BitExco was listed as one of the points of attraction.
This building lets people up to the top floor to look over the City and the river.

I was glad tho,
the moment we stepped in it was like a proper shopping mall.
Couldn't be happier with a bit of civilisation.



The inside.
pretty nice.
but i was curious why theres such huge contrasts between the suburbs and this place.


and this is the infamous saigon sky deck.
charging about 30,000VND to go upstairs.

we hesitated and decided not to go.
Too overcharged for just a view.
There were no restaurants or souvenirs included in the package.

Im starting to feel these people are over-leeching on the tourists. 

So we decided to take a walk around the streets a bit. 


Didnt get to go up, so 
a look from outside would do.
its not bad.. maybe if they stop overcharging they might get a better rep.


awkward street OOTD.
Snap and run. LOL


Yes, heres where we wandered around, by feet.
just the two of us.


Valuable lesson from experience.
Whatever that looks like milk/vanilla flavored, its not.
its YOGURT.
EVERYTHING IS YOGURT.

waht.



& then we walked right into a day market...?
I think these are the ones like our "pasar malam" back in Msia.


life. 


Kinda curious what these were.
but they werent exactly appetizing on such a hot day.
Im guessing seafood...and pork intestines? 



I thought this was 2000VND for Pho.
I was wrong.
LOL


PHO-ed OUR LIFE.
LOL
45.000VND for this.
Really good though. apparently the president came here before too.
Lots of tourists.
should be reputable I guess.


Another random street shot.
I look too chubby.
MAAAAN :( 


ALRIGHT. ALL READY TO RAVE. :) 


HARDWELL!!!! :D :D :D :D Forget all the pain. :) 


Group photo at the lobby :D
All excited and ready to party!!! 


Shenanigans while waiting for our UBER.

I should've used UBER for all our trips.
Friends used RM17 for the trip from the airport. :'( 


BELLOW! 


Jammed all the way.
3 Lanes to 6.
How to drive in Vietnam.
(no guide available) 


First thing we did? QUEUE 45 minutes under drizzle to exchange the tickets for RFID bands.
SERIOUSLY. 3 counters for a HARDWELL tour.

WHAT were they expecting. 200 people? 


FINALLY. I was holding on to this for dear life.
Afraid some mad people may snatch it off my hands.
By the time we got our wristbands it was about .7.45PM, and Hardwell's set is at 8PM.

I was on PANIC mode. 


Went in and waited for the opening.
Heard from my friends that his openings are epic.
I CANT WAIT.

Wish we pre-drank though.


& here comes HARDWELL!!! :)

Let the party begin. 

I didnt take much pictures because I was saving batteries for emergencies.
We lost the big group. But managed to get our share of new friends.
And really drunk on Budweiser.

180.000VND for 3 Beers = 6 tokens.
and they give an extra token with ever 6.
So at the end we got an extra few beers too :)


HARDWELL GLOWING BEHIND ME! :D 


With Mr.Ashley.
A guy we met at the line outside while buying beer.
He lost his friends too. and its his first rave
I guess hes lucky he found us! :D


Thats Ashley's friend. that ditched him a billion times, and then ditched him again.


AAAND!!! Finally we found our friends!!!
We'll my gf found them, I followed her along. LOL
That magical moment when we feel soooo glad and relieved.


Im just really happy to party with my BFF. :)
15 years of friendship and we hardly ever party together. 
Its never too late to start now! 



Okay this is really hilarious.
Notice how tipsy use both are as compared to the sober guys.
LOL oops. Partied too hard ?


Never too busy for a picture.
Thankyou Ashley for helping me take this shot! :P


le boys helping us get a cab :D 

I was falling over like mad. 
It was amazing tho.
I had so much fun, his set was amazing.
Definitely wish it didnt have to end.
One thing tho, the sound systems arent as great as the raves I been to previously.
not sure what was the cause. but there was a noticeable difference.

overall?
Glad I went,
Wouldn't have come if I were to choose again. 


Breakfast at day 3 morning.
Dragged ourselves off bed to eat,
and then went back off to sleep.

Never say no to free breakfast.



Pretty much how the entire city looks like. 


Weird narrow lots.


And a shiny new building that stands out from the rest.


My IDGAF outfit. 

We slept through the day because we were literally sick of the place by now.
Agreed to not get ourselves disappointed and annoyed anymore

We woke up later at about 2PM or 3PM.
Got hungry again, and we have a few hours til dinner. 
Plan?
eat and walk around a bit more 


was pretty curious 'bout this little stall..
but again, i'm tired of asking for price and then getting some ridiculous offer.
so i didn't bother. 


went on to look for something interesting to eat.
gf's request "can we not have anything soupy anymore.." 
i agree.

too much Pho for our own good. 


& here's my partner in crime, sitting in this oddly furnished shop.
hoping for a good meal. LOL


I dont know why she ordered this when it was supposed to be a drink.
But yes, that white thing is yogurt.
and those are fruits. Plenty of avocadoes, straberries, mangoes, dragonfruit and one really odd chewy transparent fruit...I'm guessing its sugar palm fruit? Im not sure. Not like we could ask either. :(



Avocado blend. pretty affordably priced, and yummy too omg. 


Us with our food. Thats one shot to remember when we grow old. 


My beef steak.
Smelled amazing. 


It came with a bowl of veggies and a bun too.
Im guess this is how it should be done?


& one more shot of the messy crazy streets we wandered in. 

Gf and I went around the other side of our hotel area to explore some shops.
Turns out even regulated brands have higher prices here.
and a casual pair of non-branded heels can cost up to at least RM80. 

nothing is worth buying at all.
They did have some nice locally designed clothes,
basic price? RM250 above.

madness!

We wanted to head to the famous water park called "Suoi Tien"
but it was quite a distance away, and before we could decide, 
it started raining. 

Headed back to the hotel to rest up instead.
really uninterested for real. 


Silly me wanted at least a sunset photograph.

But this is all I got because it was raining.
I did enjoy the breeze though.
Downside?
They never do stop honking at this place
NEVER. 
it just goes on and on and on.


Lucky me, pictures dont come with sound so I look like I'm relaxing with the view here. 


The park area is gigantic.

Lights coming up.
its almost time for dinner. YAY


Thunderstorm.


Gf did more research to find a good place to try exotic food.
I love her for this. Shes so dedicated to exploring :D


This place is famous for their reasonable prices and huge variety of local delicacies.

And I agree, their menu looked like the food dictionary of Vietnam. 


Frog like fish.
Can u frog it like a fish.
can u? 


What happens to people who doesn't train legs?



Interesting behaviour for sale
anyone?


Sea food bitter weed salad.
weed salad.
WEED.


Salted Chicken Save Hong Kong.
I cannot even make sense of this. What can it really be? 


Probably one of the most entertaining meals ever.


requested for a local beer.
tasted watery.


So here's what we ordered.
Spicy clams.


Crab soup. Textured like thick glue.
but lots of crab meat in it. Omg. 


Grilled snails.
SNAILS
I ate snails.
ALOT OF THEM.
well how did I do it?
kept telling myself those were swirl clams. 


Hi.


Spicy grilled squid.
YUM!
I loved this
But it was way too sour and spicy at one go.
We should've varied the orders a little.


Vietnamese Salt chilli.
Really goes well with the squid.
Am gonna try to make this one day.


and its night time.
one more shot of the havoc crossroad.

We were on our way to find some more souvenirs and also get a massage for relief.
Body hurts from all the head and walking.
and also so stressed out by the majority here.

Definitely not somewhere I'd want to visit again for no reason.

Oh yes I didnt mention that the tour for their 
Mekong river and Hanoi tours cost about 80USD per person and above??

sigh..


Massage time.
This place charged about 20USD for an hour foot massage + back massage.
What shocked me first was that the masseuse was a guy.
awkward much! 


Like their very unified colors of towels and all though


Omg nice warm water.

Okay and then here comes the full experience talk.
The massage was amazing all the way til the end.
and then when we came back out to the lobby, 
we were given a piece of "feedback" form that lets us tick on how good the massage was.
it says

Please rate your massage:

( ) NORMAL - USD5
( ) GOOD - USD6
( ) VERY GOOD - USD7 

I was shocked at how ridiculous that seemed.
It was literally like guilt tripping us into giving them tips.
and they didn't even mention about it until the end.

We were both really upset about their manner of service and business.
This is not how you please your customers.
Then again why would they care about these since none of us are coming back?

Wow. really Vietnamese people?
What an utter disappointment.

Honestly as a blogger I really do not wish to put down anyone in my reviews.
But this is also part of my job to be honest and straightforward.
I'd say to everyone that is reading this,
don't get cheated like we did.

This place is a giant pothole of conmen, rude people, and sly tricks.


On the way to the airport the next morning.
For the first time,
Im truly relieved to be going home


The only thing I got myself so far, 
This bag cost RM13. the only thing I could actually call "cheap" so far.


At the airport. barely able to force a smile. 


and here I am charging my phone.
abandon all civilised manners.
I need to charge my phone. 

Thankyou for going through the entire post.

Do share with me your experiences if you've been to Vietnam too!
I'd like to hear if I made any mistakes that put me into such epic experiences! :)








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