Monday, August 10, 2015

Vietnam, 2-7 August 2015


Sopan sungguh, Anak siapa la ni.

Okaylah. Baca tajuk dan sedia, boleh kita mulakan sekarang? (beware, its a looooong post)

6 days 5 nights in Vietnam was full of memorable things. First, all the single ladies were fun to be with. Second, it was all self-guided tour. Third, first backpacking experience.

We reached Ho Chi Minh (aka Saigon) international airport around 11am. Our initial plan was to take a bus straight to Mui Ne however, plan changed last minute as we decided to travel by train the next morning, just for experience.

We stayed a night at a budget hotel named Dai Huy Hoang located around Pham Ngu Lao area. This area was a bit further from the infamous Ben Thanh market, we have to walk across 2 park to reach the market (eta around 10-15 mins). *lap peluh*

Not recommended for those who come to Vietnam to shop. No worries, there are lots of hotel near Ben Thanh market.

peserta rombongan : dee, me, feeza, irma

Just in front of the market ( i dont remember which entrance), there is the Malaysian street, you can find lots of halal restaurant here and the first thing we bought is the Vietnam coffee.

It was so tasty even a non-coffee drinker also fall in love with it. Tak mahal pun, satu gelas RM3 (dont worry, they accepted RM, even loved it more than dong)

So, apa ada kat Ben Thanh market?

Duhh. Should i answer that? Obviously, kain, kain dan kain.

But be careful, the seller here were all aggressive. I should admit, I got a lil bit culture shock with the pulling-hand-extra-mad-pushy-seller pfthsbdhwjw.

We got irritated and walked out, feeling moody and less excited.

Oh, disebabkan area hotel kitorang takde makanan halal, so kitorang tapau siap-siap nasi dan telur dadar untuk dinner. Sambal ikan bilis memang bawak siap2 dari rumah (dah nama pun budget trip). Harga boleh tahan lah, nasi putih sebungkus pun 15k dong, lebih kurang RM2++. Mahal k!

Dah balik, makan, kenyang, tidur!

End of Day 1
Taxi from airport to city : around 150k-200k dong
Budget hotel : RM92/night

The next day, our journey begin. To be honest, we were more excited to travel to Mui Ne rather than staying at Saigon. Train departed at 7am, we pre-booked the ticket through online ticketing. The 4 hours journey was nothing much. Just some decent scenery of plantation, the most jaw-dropping is the dragon fruit farm towards the end of the journey.

The nearest train station to Mui Ne is Phan Thiet station (sebut betul-betul). From there, we took a cab to our hotel, Mui Ne Hills. But our room has yet to be ready so we have to wait a couple of hours. Mehh, check in time is at 1'o clock.

ala-ala ktm je ni

while waiting for the room to be ready

Mui Ne (sebutan NE-garaku) ni sebenarnya kawasan pantai. Serius, tak ramai Malaysian kat sini (sebenarnya tak jumpa sorang pun) kalau nak dibandingkan kat Saigon. Yang ada semua mat saleh je. Apa tarikan kat Mui Ne ni? Haa, the tour around Mui Ne. (boleh amek jeep, boleh self-guide sendiri sewa motor).

We took the jeep tour package from our hotel, so we departed at 1.30pm. The first stop is the

1. Fairy stream

nothing much, just a stream, for fairy

My logic : the stream is too small and narrow specialized for fairies.

Okay, thats not funny. But as we walked further down the stream, we found this

a sand hill. gigih nak daki walaupun panas kaki.

sampai atas-penat-rehat-pose

the never-ending stream

The sand hill was not worth the hike. We went down, and decided to turn back. We heard that there is a small waterfall if we continue walking straight but nevermind, we've had enough exercise, for now. We moved on to the next stop,

2. Fishing village

Just a couple of minutes stop for taking pictures. Whats different is the small round fishing boat.

the view

Then we continue our journey to the highlight of Mui Ne,

3. The white sand dunes

*jaw dropping*

It is basically a desert. Gurun pasir yang saujana mata memandang. So beautiful, SubhanAllah.

Disebabkan keluasannya yang melampau, kitorang mengambil keputusan untuk menyewa jeep (another jeep, business pfth). Boleh sewa atv jugak, Dan boleh jalan kaki jugak, kalau larat.

aku semut kecil di padang pasir

sliding down the hill
to rescue my flip flop

oasis in the desert

Jeep : 600k dong

ATV : 300k dong/30mins

kolam teratai 

Couple of hours seem not enough for us. But we have to run back to catch the sunset at

4. The red sand dunes

not much of a sunset, coz its drizzling

kids selling slides

The red sand dunes is smaller than the white sand dunes. But still, another breathtaking view.

At the end of the trip, all girls are happy girls.

*jaw still dropping*

Oh, sempat terjumpa satu (satu je ok!) kedai makan halal kat Mui Ne, dan tapau lagi nasi kosong dengan omelette.

End of Day 2
Train ticket :  RM85/head
Taxi from Phan Thiet to Mui Ne : 177k dong
Budget hotel : RM99/night
Jeeptour : USD8 @ 174k dong
White sand fee : 10k dong/head

The next day at Mui Ne, we planned to get up early for the sunrise at the beach.

But our earliest was when the sun has risen up. pfth.

The beach is just so-so. Not many people, maybe because most of it was private beach.

sunrise la jugak

The morning spent in the room, while waiting for our bus at 1pm. After check out, we walked to the one and only halal restaurant we found yesterday.

20++ minutes walk okay!

gigih berjalan tengah panas dengan beg berat

Bus arrived at 2 pm (plus minus). And guess what, the bus (or what they called, buyt) has no seat, just bed. And got wifi. *wow lagi*

budak bising kena dok belakang sekali

lepak tidur je la dalam bas

Arrived Saigon around 7pm. We checked in at the hotel we stayed before.

End of Day 3 :
Buyt - USD 6/head

The journey continues. We wake up early, had a breakfast at Hjh Basiroh restaurant (dealt with the owner for Mekong trip), grab a map and heading to the landmarks of Saigon.

1. The Independance Palace

2. The Notre dame

pose poyo lagi

3. The Central post office

inside the post office

who needs travel agent when we can walk by ourselves

4. The War museum


inside the museum

I am glad that we skipped Cu Chi Tunnel tour, coz i cant imagine how suffering it was to be in the real war area. Looking at the exhibitions in the remnants museum was depressing enough, Cu Chi tunnel experience should be avoided for a good mental health.

Tour ended before afternoon. Had an early lunch at Basiroh and to Ben Thanh again.

End of Day 4:
War museum fee : 15k dong/head

The next day was the longest day ever. Mekong trip, another must-do thing to do in Vietnam. We took the package from Hjh Basiroh, for the Halal lunch.

Another travel agent was there to guide us. The tour guide was a soldier during the Vietnamese war, thus, he was quite strict. Whatevs pakcik. First stop is the handicapped handicraft place. They showed us how they craft, paint and make the handicrafts.

next stop, the buddhist temple

no caption


We arrived at the jetty and head to the boat, crossing the Mekong river.


next stop : coconut candy making

next stop : horse riding

next stop : another smaller boat riding

next stop : the village

crocodile fishing

the hobbit home

lying on the grass is a must

next stop : honey tea drink

and snake petting

and fruit eating

lastly, the highlight, row, row, row ya boat

End of Mekong trip. pheww. 

I'm getting lazy to write. Just enjoy the picture, hahahaha.

The night spent at room, but another option is to go to the night market in front of Ben Thanh. I skipped that because of the headache from Mekong trip.

Saves money. bahahaha

End of Day 5 :
Mekong trip - 456k dong @ RM80++/head

Nothing much to do in Day 6. Shop again. Walk again Check out and hang out at the airport.

6 days and 5 nights at Vietnam totally turned us a local. We blend in with the road, we master the skill of avoiding rude seller and we totally made it with a very tight budget (we even getting used to the hungriness and starve).

Its worth the experience. Sometimes we just need to go out and see the world, and play. Nevermind the money, if you want it, you can do it. 

Till then, bye.

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