Friday, 1 February 2013

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - Jan 2013

Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City to me is a very nice and an easy to go-about city. You may have thought and imagine the really old roads and buildings with chicken crossing the road...naa...Ho Chi Minh has developed tremendously. Not yet up to our Kuala Lumpur kind of state, but , not a bad place to stay at all. The people are warm and  they dont speak good english pun, but they would still help you with your directions even though you dont buy stuff from them..they will still smile and make that humble asian!!! I like..even the Malaysians are not as warm as them..

Anyway, theres nothing much in Saigon (another name for Ho Chi Minh City) though, besides its most famous "Ben Thanh Market". Handbags for USD5-10!!! You'll be an instant shopaholic ;)

Picture Googled

We spent our nights at "Grand Silverland Hotel & Spa". About 20 mins drive from the airport. But, its just 5 mins walk to the Ben Thanh market! With a decent , clean, and rather affordable rate (around RM1800 for 2 huge rooms / 4D3N ), we would definitely check in into this hotel for our next visit insya Allah.

Many good ratings and positive comments from the guests too ;)

Check in date : 24th Jan 2013
Check out date : 27th Jan 2013

Im not going to write about our shopping spree la ha.. ;) . Just some tips for any first timer..

What I would love to share with you about my trip to Saigon this time, is about the "The War Remnants Museum".

From our hotel, we walked roughly 15-20 mins to the museum. I highly suggest that you depart early in the morning ( around 9am or so, because the premise closes at 12:30 PM for lunch and re-opens back at 2:30 PM if Im not mistaken )

The red box I marked is the Ben Thanh market. How close was that!!!! Just a building away ;) . Ok ok ok ..back to this museum story.

Here are some of the pictures I would like to share with all. Seeing the exhibits really opened up my eyes and countlessly Im extending my gratitude to Allah S.W.T that I was not born there and at that time frame. Syukur alhamdullilah.

As I entered the gallery,my jaw just dropped and both me and husband were very quite,enthusiastically reading the captions on each photos/exhibits..suddenly I realized warm tears on my cheeks... "How would I be if I was one of the ladies being tortured?" "Will I be able to bear the pain,emotionally, physically? mentally????? "

All these questions lingered around and I cant stop speaking out loud "How cruel" "Oh my, they are so mean","Ya Allah" ...I didn't care much on the visitors around me (even if they were from the States) , I purposely said those words out aloud so that EVERYBODY knows the truth!!!

Im not such a good narrator here goes... Let these pictures bring you back to that time...May it bring some awareness to both you and me about how the world was (is) like...


Cruel? Kejam? I cant find a suitable vocab to describe how jahat these people were..There are many more pictures over there but I just could not tahan myself from I went out of the room, being alone at the terrace of the museum. And was still crying ...Apalah dosa anak kecil sayang..They know nothing..babies kena torture..kena toreh, kena tendang..Seakan-akan I boleh bayangkan tangisan those babies..alahai...kesiannya... I really felt like hugging them into my arms and keep them safe...seriously...kejamnya manusia...

"Ya Allah, Kau berilah balasan mengikut pengiraanMu kepada yang tidak berhati perut itu...dan Kau rahmatilah bayi-bayi dan kanak-kanak yang sangat suci itu..Kau tempatkanlah anak-anak ini didalan syurga indahMU...amin.."

My heart even more crushed as I entered the "Orange Agent" exhibition room..Cant imagine the suffocation endured...and the residues are still there until today tau..

 On how they prepared and sprayed the gas out...

The furthest left frame on the wall....

 Seeing these masks made me very angry...VERY ANGRY!!! How could they be so heartless :'(

 It affected genetically ever since....sedih :'(

Until today...This is the latest picture found in the room. Born 2008..not too long ago kan..still ada sisa-sisa chemicals tu...


And not surprisingly, macam biasa lah , ego with the advices given by the countries who were agiants this war,the US still sent their troops to Vietnam.

Vietnam Independence : 1945
The Vietnam War : 1959-1975

Tak malu kan...Orang dah merdeka still pi perang & anaiya orang tu.

Reason given?Lets read what Eisenhower's excuses were...

Geram kan? Such a selfish minded...

Now lets read this and you will know why until today, 'some' people still cant be any way pun..

They even broke their own pledge. Ce tengok tahun bila tu.. Again, this is nothing new to us lah kan? ;)

~hmmmmmm~wahai manusia~wahai manusia...

Im sure there are many many many more untold stories about how the locals has been tortured. And if you see, its even happening now..not in Vietnam, but to Syria, to Palestine, and who is the main culprit???? And am absolutely positive that similar tortures were done towards our ancestors during the major wars at Malaya, it was just not recorded or documented or photographed in any way...

I did not photograph any of the US helis,war tanks, the fireguns etc collections..I dont feel they would bring any benefits to me (tak berapa nak faham and tak berapa nak tau how to appreciate those machinaries kot), aside awed at the technology the US had had at that time je lah.

My favorite picture from the trip ;)
 Summary and some learning points : 

1. Halal diners are almost everywhere within the District 1. On average for a 4 people meal would cost around USD60-USD66. Any Halal eateries around the globe will always be a little costly in a non-muslim countries.Some restaurants that I would recommend here in Saigon  are:
    (a) Halal @ saigon - District 1
    (b) Kampung Village - District 1
    (c) Sate House -  You need to drive out. Nearer to the airport.

*Famous order:
- Iced Vietnam Coffee
- Mee Goreng Mamak
- Fried Vietnam Springrolls
- Fried Tonkin with garlic ( a type of vege)

2. Im not so much of a 'shopaholic' but I do shop a little.Merchandises are very cheap. However, you need to bargain until to a reasonable bargained price. Be it designer brands atau pun yang takda brand..I OK je tak de brand as long as cantik!!!
- A normal telekung for USD10 (these are the kinds that are sold for RM70-80 per piece in Malaysia).
- A 4 mtr kain cotton for USD10-USD12 (these are the kinds that are sold for RM80-RM100 in Malaysia)
- An Adidas/Nike casual sneakers selling at USD20-USD30 (these are the kinds that are sold for RM190-RM300 in Malaysia)
- A medium size Samsonite luggage selling at USD34 (these are the kinds that are sold for RM300-RM500 in Malaysia)

3. A non-metered taxi within the District 1 would only cost USD1- USD2 only. Any extra will not be worth a dollar. Jalan kaki je lah. We have never tried hiring a car. Tengok the way the locals drive memang surrender baik naik cab je..

4. Many of the tourists attractions (more like kedai untuk shopping/handbags to me...hehehe)  are within walking distance from our hotel. So, when you do your bookings, make sure the places you aimed are all within your reach.

5. The Vietnamese does not converse well in English. Hardly a proper sentence. But, since many Malaysians have landed and do batch shopping here in Saigon, some important/widely used words they can comprehend. "Murah", "Tak Mahal" , "Cantik" , are some that I could remember .

6. Upon arrival at the airport, we would suggest you to take the coach offered by the hotel.Believe me, you will have a hard time trying to explain to the taxi drivers where your hotel is. Since its a metered fare system, they will go around ntah ke mana making you pay at a ridiculous absurd fare. We took the coach from the airport and to the airport...with an extra charges of course. Ours were USD24 kot ..
7. Do not leave Ho Chi Minhh without visiting the War Museum..seriously..And you may want to visit the Chu Chi tunnel too..*air mata duk bergenang ni teringat-ingat gambar kat sana*

8. If you ask me, there is no need to convert your RM to DONG so much, takat RM50 will do to buy some cut fruits (USD2-USD3) per pack, as most of the shopping and hotel/restaurant payment can be made in USD. And its cheaper ;)

9. As I've already said earlier, Im not so much of a shoppaholic.But, from the Ben Thanth Market, we bought ourselves 3 kilos of baked cashew nuts!!!crazy sedap!!! PIL bought some of those too and few kilos of "Lotus Seed"...ini pun sodap!! Nuts to kudap2..stress free!!!!

10. Finally, roughly sharing our budget spent excluding airfares for the 4D3N trip for your plan!!!! ;)
  (part Makan was for 4 pax) ... So jom la kita ke Saigon !!!!

And as for those who have oppressed is a piece of note...

"(Luqman telling his son) O my son! If it be (anything) equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed,and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in earth, Allah will bring it forth. Verily, Allah is Subtle (in bringing out that grain), Well Aware (of its place)" - Al Quran ; Surah Luqman [31:16]

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