Thursday, 28 July 2011

Ho Chi Minh City - Day 1

Actually, this piece of writing was meant for Air Asia blog last year but i had difficulty uploading it. Therefore, i keep this journal and waiting to publish it in the near future. Never thought of publishing it in my own blog..Ha..ha...Here it goes...

     At the beginning of the year, I'd planned with a few of my colleagues at work for a trip to Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City. Most of us bought the tickets through the FB extra 20% promotion and we managed to grab tickets to HCM City for less than RM200 per person. Tickets were purchased as early as 6 months in advanced, so we'd ample time to prepare for our vacation. It was just a short weekend getaway since most of us were working the next Monday. Even though it was such a short trip, but it was fun and memorable.

     The day we had been waiting for had arrived. My friends including my husband and I (21 of us) departed to HCM City after work. Most of us are teachers, since it was Friday, so we could leave work earlier in the afternoon. Some friends brought their children along.  Checking in was fast as we had used the online boarding service and printed our boarding pass before hand.
The Bukit Kepong bus that took us to the airport, courtesy of SSBJ

The city dwellers in the evening. 
     The flight to HCM was smooth. In fact, we arrived 15 minutes earlier than the stipulated time. Upon arrival at HCM City Airport Terminal, we were greeted by our driver. Since our group was quite big, I had decided to book an airport transfer from the hotel.  On our way to the hotel, we saw the locals riding back from work. Most of the people in HCM City use motorcycles as their mean of transportation. I seldom see cars on the road except for taxis and commercial vehicles.

The hotel's front entrance. Small hotel but cozy enough for us.
We checked in at Beautiful Saigon Hotel. I chose this hotel because of its location and also good reviews read. Some of our tour members really love shopping, so they preferred to stay somewhere near the market. The hotel was just a 10-minute walk from Ben Tanh Market and other attractions. In the evening, we explored the nearby neighbourhood on our own. For Muslims, not to worry as there are plenty of Halal Restaurants at HCM City. At night, we embarked on Saigon River Cruise based at the central pier. It was an amazing experience for most of us.  It was the perfect way to view the city at night. There were also musical performances on the deck. 

This way to the cruise ship. Our cruise was a 3-storey ship.

One of the singers was singing a local song on the cruise
The fire dance!
Other Saigon River Cruise (taken from our ship)
Our four hunky guys
Capturing memorable moment in front of Majestic Hotel

Later that evening, we went to the night market selling all sorts of local n touristy stuff. Key chains, textiles, fridge magnet, u name it... Cheap..? May be for the locals but they tend to slaughter the tourists. You need to use all your bargaining skills here :)

The Night Market
A hawker selling food by the roadside. I had no idea what she
was selling. Perhaps, something local.

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