Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - 3.5 days + tips & recommendations
Grateful for such a beautiful day today! The #dayretravel starts officially haha just a short travelogue!
Landed earlier than expected and omg Grab and Uber is so useful here. We changed some money at the airport and got a SIM card with unlimited data for USD$10.
But omg the driving here is giving me multiple mini heart attacks and I feel like I'm in some fast&furious movie HAHA
There was some deal when we booked our tix so we booked the Silverland Jolie Hotel and we got upgraded! 🙆🏻🙆🏻🙆🏻 Me so happppppy. Probably cause it isn't peak travel period lah.
Came with the prettiest river view 😍 and now we are off to get some pho and then to the tailor for the husband's suit.
I'm gonna compile all the Pho & Bánh mì places at the end. So can see which is the best 😋 Can't wait for all the good coffee too!
Sans makeup except for some lippie! This is my latest obsessed shade in Beau Brun 😍😍😍 I have a whole bunch of swatches coming soon and can't wait to show my fave way of wearing this.
Testing my sunscreens throughout this trip so I can write my review soooon. I actually brought a notebook to take notes LOL
The husband is getting one 3-pc suit done with an additional shirt and it's USD$235. He picked the wool/cashmere material so it's slightly pricer. There's also wool/cashmere/cotton mix which is cheaper~
She said we can come for a fitting tmr and collect day after wtf
It's not a very big place and can be easily missed but we Grabbed here and the driver dropped us directly there. No communication issues or anything. Super convenient!
There's this Jap ceramic shop just opposite the tailor and omg I wanna buy them all.
I think I'm gonna go back and get this 🙊 HOW CUTE
*update: they didn't have it the second night I went back :( Most of their stocks only come in 1 pc so BUY FIRST, THINK LATER HAHA
Wearing my comfy black midi from #TTR 😍 I bought this when I was in Boston cause it looked so comfortable. Couldn't resist and I was right. It is comfy and the material is so lightweight. Shiok.
Of course I had to get my nails done! Can u believe the prints are from a machine??? Like wtf it's so nice and accurate!! The boss is from SG and we were just talking to him about dayre. He said that any of u visiting the shop can quote SWEETPEA and he will give 10% off LOLOL
He has this machine - Artpro and u can basically insert ur finger in it, it will scan the size and adjust accordingly, then u can choose from THOUSANDS of designs including adding pics and words. Then it just scans ur nail and print the design on. ZOMG SO AWESOME?
Then the manicurist will just seal it with a layer of top gel coat and you're done. Wtf really. I did a regular spa mani + gel + 4 fingers of nail art and it's like ~SGD$20. Wah I can't take it. I love it here.
After that, we went to hunt down some banh mi. I love banh mi btw. I did some research to make sure we try a variety so one of it supposedly makes good ol'fashion ones and the other is slightly more unique with grilled pork!
📍Banh Mi Huynh Hoa (Bánh Mì Huỳnh Hoa)
The regular kind and omg this is amazeballs. I LOVE IT. I'm no food blogger or whatever so I'm just gonna say this is amazing pls try this 😂 Dang I should have dabao one to the hotel lol
📍Banh Mi 37 Nguyen Trai (Bánh Mì Thịt Nướng Hẻm 39)
Instead of serving banh mi pate, she serves Bánh Mì Thịt Nướng, or grilled pork sandwiches.
Like the lady was legit fanning and grilling the pork over a grill fire. It was SO GOOD. This is 19000d for one so it's $1+.
And it was raining so she was just located hidden in a alley tunnel. Very easily missed but try and locate if u like the normal banh mi! It's very diff but just as nice. I everything also nice HAHA but I'm not v picky with food lah. So it's really nice to me.
We decided to end the day early cause we woke up at an unearthly hour to catch the flight. Plus nice hotel to enjoy! We ended up catching some horror show - The Forest or smth close and it sucks LOL stupid show as per most horror shows.
Today's gonna just be doing some touristy stuff and I'm really hoping to visit the market to get some basket! That rhymes haha I'm also so excited for more pho.
I really like Vietnam more than I expected leh.
Yay I finally got him out of bed. Okay Day ✌🏼 starts now. Need me some coffee.
📍Dominique Saint Paul
Came across this shoe shop and the collection is 😍😱 Husband's looking for wedding shoes haha but their average price is USD$260 which I thought was still quite pricy leh. Need to go see others
I'm still very obsessed with my nails 😍
My very act-cute #ootd but I'm damn regretting it cause it's SO HOT.
Random roadside banh mi whilst walking to the Central Post Office. I love this so much. I think it's my 4th one in 2 days.
The Central Post Office is so packed but we managed to send some postcards out and bought a few souvenirs! Hope the postcards make it back to SG tho 😂
And we saw this model doing some shoot right outside the post office and she is GORGEOUS 😍😍😍 Look at her jet-black hair omg damn nice
The post office is so grand ah!
Right opposite it is the Cathedral of Notre Dame but sadly, it is currently under restoration so no one can enter.
📍Pho Hoa Pasteur
This is so highly recommended so gotta try!
The place is packed leh. I'm even more surprised it's packed with locals!
I had the beef brisket one and this huge bowl was 65000d. Okay, tbh, I had one bowl from a franchise yesterday (Pho Hung) and I can't tell the diff leh. The husband can't either. Maybe I just like banh mi more lol
📍 War Remnants Museum
We had an hour+ to spare so we decided to drop by this museum!
Entrance fee is 15000d (<$1) and I feel like it's worth a visit. I didn't take any pics tho cause the display ones were showing torture/suffering pictures and I felt it was quite gruesome lah. It's so sad to read about it tho ☹️
They had huge tanks and planes that were used in the war displayed out in the open and here's my husband looking really happy playing with them LOL like 小孩子 really.
This was beautiful tho.
A'lil digress....I can't wait to see the husband at his fitting later!
Back for a fitting! They basically took the measurements and preferred design yesterday, cut the cloth out and hold everything in place with pins for the fitting so adjustments can be made on the spot. Then they will sew up when it's confirmed. The speed is incredible tho.
The seamstress is adjusting the pants on the spot lol wtf and I use glue to hold my pants together HAHAHA
I'm just sitting here going 😍😍😍
Can't wait to see the actual suit tmr!
Had enough Pho and Banh mi for two days so the when the husband met his project manager from Viet, he asked him to bring us for some local food and this is goood leh! Very simple and satisfying - pork chop, egg and rice!
📍Ben Thah Night Market
We haven't had a chance to visit the day one but decided to take a look at the night one. Like HK Ladies' Street! The stall owners keep trying to sell us imitation goods and now they even have imitation Under Armor leh omg lol. I would say....this is worth a 20-min visit just to see see lah. I alr bought my souvenirs from the Post Office area just now so I didn't get any here.
Hotel changed our flowers to roses 😍 and they were so blooming so beautifully, I almost wanted to bring them home.
Wearing my bugis street top and earrings
Also, I've been going without makeup cause my skin is SO NAISE recently - no unevenness or anything except for those damn eye circles. I kinda love-hate it cause I'm trying some really expensive skincare and I'm on the fence if I should write about it fml.
This is like some franchise in HCMC and erm, give this a skip lah. It's very average and not worth the time/calories imo. It's not that it's bad, just that there are way better/cheaper options!
📍Ben Thanh Market
Finally got around to coming to the market in the day! The night one is right beside this and it's out in the open. This is sheltered all the way and there's local food in there too.
Discount your way through cause most of them speak English. I was looking at a basket and the lady along one of the outside stall quoted me 400000d
She didn't wanna give me any discount so we walked ahead to another stall inside and the guy quoted me 350000d for a similar one. In the end, we managed to get it down to 280000d which is like SGD$16. I still think we got 'chopped' lah but they also earning keeps right so lol okay fine wtv. HAHA I'm pretty happy with it leh.
😍😍😍 Hello my new baby. You're absolutely stunning.
Was looking for lunch and my research mentioned Pho 2000 which is nearby the market but once we stepped in, we know confirm cannot.
The whole place was filled with tourists and I think cause some US President was brought there in the past then it just became a tourist spot. Prices weren't very high or wtv but we wanted smth more local so we took our SIL's recommendation and ubered to...
📍Pho Le Nguyen Trai
OMG THIS SHIT IS GOOD. Like this is the BEST pho I've had the entire trip. BEST. The soup was zomg DAMN NICE DAMN NICE. And it was really all locals there so we know we can't be wrong LOL It's really damn good. Even better than Pho Hoa imo! The husband likes it so much, he wanna go back tmr HAHA
It wasn't very crowded when we went at 11+am but after we finished, it got really packed! So avoid lunch hour.
The menu has English even tho the servers don't really speak them so can just point and indicate haha
📍Banh Mi Huynh Hoa
If u like your banh mi's fat and meaty, u gotta visit this. I took down this place cause I know the husband will love it and I was right. He liked it so much, he went back and queue again after we finished ours to dabao another back to the hotel 😂
There's a constant queue but it goes really fast. There was one guy infront of us who bought like, 10. Each one is 35000d btw.
It was kinda too much for me and I preferred the Banh Mi Hong Hoa which is really more of the the standard kind haha
But man, the husband LOVES this.
Went back to collect the suit and it's perfection. The cut, the fit and the quality 👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼So worth it!!
He looks mighty dapper lah 😍
I'm in love with the stitching of the shirt. The inside of the suit is blue but they let us choose the design and we picked a polka dotted one. So cute and subtle. I highly highly recommend this place for sure!
📍Trung Nguyen Coffee
Went to some fancy pants one to try and it was so GAO. I was on some caffeine-high for like, 30 mins straight but the crash also damn bad lol
I really really really love my coffee. It has no more effects on me cause I've been drinking for more than a decade but I can't function at all until I have my first cup. It's just life LOL
But not all is for me lah wtf hahahahaha I am buying them back as souvenir lah.
📍Bloom Saigon Restaurant
We hunted down this place cause we didn't want any more pho or banh mi and it was recommended on Culturetrip.com (it also recommended the best pho place too so we thought we'd just try it again).
The entire restaurant's profit goes to this organization where they support and train disadvantaged youths; & it serves as a vocational training center in Saigon.
We had the soft shell crab roll as appetizers and it was SO GOOD; not to mention it looks damn pretty and effort.
And we also had an entire table of food lol what's new wtf.
The place is super hard to find, hidden in some alleyway but worth a visit - for the cause, the food and the service. The building is an old French Colonial place so it's very beautiful inside too. The service was crazy excellent and I really enjoyed myself. Both of us totally food-coma at the end of it.
Okay, ending the travelogue here. Feels so abrupt HAHA but that's really it. A quick summary on the best places we had there:
📍Pho Le Nguyen Trai
To me: 📍Bánh Mì Hồng Hoa
To husband: 📍Bánh Mì Huỳnh Hoa
📍Miumiu Spa (need to call and reserve in advance!)
The coffee there is generally great and I don't have a fave leh. Highland Coffee is really popular there compared to like Starbucks or Coffeebean but really, coffee is just 👍🏼 there lah.
Souvenir shopping can be done at Ben Thanh Market but be prepared for them to 'chop' and get ready to bargain ur way through. I intend to go back there and pick up wedding shoes for my cheongsam cause i only thought of it on the plane. I wish I have pics but everytime I stop and look at smth, the stall owners come right up to hustle so I wasn't comfortable stopping just to take pics lol damn loser lah wtv. Lucky my husband big and gigantic.
Dung tailor proved to be excellent for tailoring men's suit in just 3 days (we got a total of 1 shirt + 3 pc-suit done) but I'm really not too sure about women's wear due to the the selection of cloths they have there. Pictures help and they do speak relatively well English so communication was quite easy.
There's plenty of backpacker inns, boutique hotels and regular-brand hotels everywhere in HCMC. We stayed in Silverland Jolie Hotel & Spa cause there was some pretty good deal when we book our air tix.
The service is excellent there, and the hotel is beautiful. The location couldn't be any better - it was right in District 1 and it was literally a 5 to 10-mins car ride to anywhere.
The husband asked his project managers from Vietnam and we did a bit of googling and basically, everyone suggested we take Uber or Grab. Price is almost the same or even cheaper than regular taxis and u don't have to try and communicate ur address. U just gotta key in ur add and get into the car.
Uber was slightly more ex esp. during busy periods but they had more drivers so there was more availability. We had a harder time finding a driver with Grab sometimes.
Every morning before we leave the hotel, the receptionist would remind us to be extremely careful with our bags, wallets and phones. The local manicurist at the nail salon I went to got robbed just last week apparently lah wtf.
I would say as long as u don't wear loud/expensive jewelry, or flash ur wallet/money about; hold your bag infront and close to you, it should be good. Just be more wary of surroundings lor.
We actually didn't change money till we got to the airport and apparently the rate also pretty good there. It wasn't as good in the hotel compared to outside places tho. The airport had plenty of money changers so u can literally just walk down and compare prices and then change at the best one leh. Very very easy.
Oh they also sell unlimited data/20-mins talk time (10 days) SIM card at the airport for USD$10/SGD$15 Very cheap lah compared to the outside places I saw.
OH YAH, I gotta add this part in. Everyone there thinks I'm Vietnamese???? SIMI LEH?? The hotel receptionist, masseuse, manicurist, waiters, Uber drivers, stall owners all thought I'm Vietnamese?? They would approach us, look at the husband and start talking to me in Vietnamese and I would just stare at them blankly. LOL Then they would go - oh u no Vietnamese? U look Vietnamese.
Maybe that's where I truly belong 😂😂😂
Ok, I guess this is the end of my travelogue for HCMC. I honestly can't wait to go back. Maybe I'll tag with the hubs the next time he goes back for work.