4D3N in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam | PART 1

9 April 2018


This is my second time visiting Ho Chi Minh city, the first time was 10 years ago. I don’t really feel like going back after my first visit. But I’m glad i did this time. There are so much changes compare to my first visit. It is fast-developing and i’m pretty impress with the changes. I still remember last time, there is only ONE shopping mall and it is super “palia” and now...it is a CITY! hahaha. Not bad at all! Well, Vietnam is well known for its history, culture and traditions, which are still an important part of the locals everyday life. 

My trip is quite free and easy because when i travel, i want to take my own pace to enjoy. I don’t really like pack schedule or else i’ll just follow tour. For this, I didn't do much travel planning before i do. I just Googled and starred some places to visit upon arrival and on Google Maps for the direction. Besides that, we also booked a day tour from one of the random travel agency in Saigon. ( Will share about my day tour in PART 2 )


BUY A LOCAL SIM CARD

First of all, remember to buy a local sim card with 4G, you can find it in the airport. It is a must for me because i can’t live without wifi. Well, I got mine from Vinaphone, 9GB data is around 130k which less than RM30. Super cheap. 

By the way, everything in Ho Chi Minh City is quite affordable. Don’t worry about the transportation.  I traveled everywhere by Grabcar.  It is quite easy to get a grabcar everywhere in the city. From the airport to our homeaway is around 155k dong which is around RM26. I traveled by Grab Car everywhere.

The only things is that Vietnamese Dong is quite confusing. Basically 100,000 Dong equal to RM17. Therefore, 500,000 Dong equal to ____? hahaha 5 times 17 = RM85 

Do your math carefully especially when you pay. 


FIRST OF ALL, we start with city touring - Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica

The Notre Dame Cathedral (map) is just beside the Central Post Office. The best time to go to these two places are in the morning or evening when the sun hits the front of the Notre Dame.


 Saigon Çentral Post Office

This is the prettiest post office i’ve seen! At first i thought it was a train station but its not.LOL
YES, It's still a working post office as well as a tourist highlight.


The interior of the Post Office
The Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh is a beautifully preserved remnant of French colonial times and perhaps the grandest post office in all of Southeast Asia
They do provide postal services inside. It's a popular tourist spot so there are many stalls selling souvenirs and postcards. I’ve also sent a few postcard to some of my followers from there. It is super cheap. 5 stamps for only 6300 Dong, while the postcard is around 15,000-20,000 per pcs.
It works daily from 6AM to 10 PM. 


Tân Định Church (pink church)

One of the most famous attraction in Saigon is the pink Church Tan Dinh (Tân Định), which is named for the striking rose color of its facades. You can visit here everyday but if you wish to visit the inside  of the church you might need to go before 4.30pm. Also, remember to avoid sleeveless clothes and shorts. 
Beautiful Romanesque style church with Gothic and Renaissance elements 


Tan Dinh Church  
Address :289 Hai Ba Trung, Ward 8, District 3 | Ward 8, District 3, 
Ho Chi Minh City 70000, Vietnam


NEXT, CAFE HOPPING ......

If you are a fans of CAFES, make sure you drop by the famous 9 storeys Cafe Apartment in Saigon. You can wander from floor to floor. There are many cafes and small shops in the building. But to be honest, the food is not that good. Make sure you had your meal before you go for cafe hopping in The Cafe Apartment. 

The Cafe Apartment is located nearby The City Hall Saigon. It is just walking distance. So if you plan to pay a visit, can also drop by to the City Hall for a check!


 If you are not sure which one to go, i can recommend you some :

PARTEA TEA ROOM

DOSH doughnuts and shakes
  This is one of my favourite pick. The cafe itself is so instgrammable, i really thought i’m in Korea at once. LOL, the Doughnuts is good too! 

Besides the cafe apartment, i also went to LOFT CAFE which is in the top list of cafe recommendation in google. FYI, the cafe itself (interior) is quite instagrammable but sadly the food and coffee is not that good.


 There are two branches in Saigon, the one i went is right opposite Vincom Shopping Mall. 
Purposely go there for this HUGE CLOCK cause it is instagrammable hahaha

So far, these are the cafes i went this round. There is a lot more in Saigon. It is better to explore by foot and just pick the one you like. 


WHERE TO EAT ?

How can you not eat Vietnamese food when you are in Vietnam. Had our first meal in Bep me in some authentic Vietnamese Cuisine nearby the Ben Thanh Market. It is a bit tricky to find, cause it is located in an alley near the Benh Than Market. Overall, everything is good but not the Banh Mi because i’m not a fans of it. The bread is a little too hard for me. 

BEP ME IN 
Address: 136/9 Lê Thánh Tôn, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh 700000, Vietnam


PHO is a must! The noodle soup, or pho as they call it, is sold on every corner of the country. Pho is usually served with beef, but there are many vegan options in Ho Chi Minh City. You can try PHO 24, they have many outlets in Saigon which can be find easily. 


Barbecue Garden 

We had out dinner at Barbecue Garden which is located nearby Vincom Shopping Mall too. Barbecue Garden specializes in a unique mixture of Vietnamese and international barbecue recipes. The place is designed to offer a natural environment filled with the appetizing smells of Asian barbecue while being in the heart of Saigon.
We cooked by ourselves at the in-table barbecue. The meat was fresh and beautifully marinated. The price is quite reasonable too. Worth a visit! 


Address: 135 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam 
Hours: Open ⋅ Closes 11PM


WHERE TO STAY?

I’ve traveling with a group of friend, total 6 of us. So it is better for us to just rent a house, more worthy and easier for us. As usual, i rent a house from HOMEAWAY. It is around RM1200 for 3 night for 6 pax. So sorry i didn’t take photo of my stay, but the area i’m staying is VINHOMES CENTRAL PARK. I love this places! It is a new area, the apartment is very new and there are many restaurant and convenient store downstairs. It is not too far from the main attraction area, around 15 mins drive by grab. 



If you are planning to book your stay through HOMEAWAY, feel free to use my discount code <HOMEAWAYKARENKHO> to entitle 8% off when you pay.


FARES 
We booked our flight from AIRASIA which is around RM400++ including meal and 20KG luggage. 
For the stay it is around RM200-300 per max. So basically it is less than 1k for the tickets and stay. While for expenses ( food and transportation), MYR1000 is more than enough for 4D3N. 

So that's it from our trip at Ho Chi Minh City. It was quite relaxing and easy. Now, i’ve been to Ho Chi Minh, Maybe next time i should visit Hanoi. Well. That’s all for my PART 1, will share about my day tour itinerary on PART 2. I’m trying my best to update ASAP because i know some of you are traveling to Vietnam very soon.

STAY TUNED GUYS!








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