Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - Nov 2013

Bismillahirahmanirahim...



Took me 2 hours to get this photo out...graphic designer sangat! Such a crazy 'marve-laugh' weekend. My 3 days 2 nights trip to Ho Chi Minh this time was quite a memory challenging one. Hehe, nothing serious, just that, this time, Im the one who navigates...ingat-ingat lupa on the streets and landmarks but alhamdulillah, berkat doa suami and parents masing-masing, selamat perjalanan pergi dan balik kami. Perjalanan belum pun mula kami sudah plan untuk yang seterusnya..this time kena cukupkan quorum the euro r wives.

Our main agenda (click on each link) :

Sun 3rd Nov 2013 - Day 3 : Benthan + Handbags + Depart

Summary and some learning points :

1. Turned out, USD500 is not enough when you have no intention to shop. Nafsu hawa ada sembilan katanya...

2. Getting a sim card is advisable when you are in quite a big group. If Im not mistaken, the girls bought them at USD9.50 for an unlimited internet access. Expires within a month from activation date.

3. Being able to get connected to the google map is very convenient. Thats how we managed to get to Hard Rock Cafe there ;p ..hehehe..

4. Bring one or two extra bag(s) whether or not you are planning to shop. Extra padlocks from home if you dont mind getting 1 tiny small one at RM4 from the shop in Ho Chi Minh.

5.Halal eateries are almost everywhere nearby the famous Ben Than market. No worries. Most of the owners are Malaysian's themselves.

6. Walking around in Ho Chi Minh is not as complicated as it seems if you can remember certain landmarks such as buildings. Me particularly is bad at memorising the street names, hence buildings and shop names are my other options.

7. Perhaps due to the unstable stock rates of the USD this time around, the locals prefers Ringgit Malaysia or just their Vietnam Dong for trading.

8. Unlike those years, the locals can be very rude at times now. Maybe sebab sudah ramai sangat Malaysians datang and shop there, the locals sudah bertambah sombong. You just have to be FIRM and STERN whenever dealing with them. Thats the only way to show them the meaning of respect. Expect small arguments during bargain.

9. Cotton ela are still very cheap. Those that are sold here in Malaysia for RM60/ 3.5 mtr, you can get it around RM13-RM15 there from Ben Than. I accidentally bought some sets for myself too  ;) aside from some cotton quilt cover that cost me RM50-RM60 for a kind size bed.

10. Entering and emerging out from the country (Vietnam) was relatively hassle-free, the only slight hiccup encountered was that the customs/immigration officers in Malaysia. Yes. Any flights from Ho Chi Minh is a HOT flight. Hence, you need to carefully and be smart packing your purchased items so that it will not look so obviously alot!...Tapi if the officer has his eyes on you,or saje menggatal nak mengorat you, then no choice la kan...our beautiful friend Eva terkena juga RM50... ;p

Tips:
* over 10 sets of Telekung, over 10 sets of kain cotton is considered a lot.
* do take off any plastic wrappers, boxes etc. They will assume you nak berniaga.
* Arrange used clothes / lingerie etc on the very top layer. Hoping the officer would malas to check your bag further. Biar baju-baju yang busuk pekong atas-atas..



SGN : Day 1 : Arrival + Lunch Kampung Melayu + Benthan + Dinner

Bismillahirahmanirahim.....

The famous phrase, "picture speaks a thousand words".. hmm...rasanya for us, "pictures make us laugh sampai keluar air mata".. hehehe..thats the best description I could say when it comes to the 6 of us.

Im glad that our husbands gave us the green light for this vacay. Memang sangat over the moon okay. Trip in November, tetapi flight tickets bought sometimes in end August ..hotel confirmed in September, tickets printed in October...Sudah terpancar kegedikan disitu.

Ever since tickets were firmed, memang terkinja-kinja la kami para ibu waiting for the date. Almost every day we 'whatsapp' about the trip. Many questions addressed from each of us..bermacam-macam icon shared.. "Nak beli apa eh nanti?"...."Bestnya makan nanti"..."Berapa harga hotel?"..."sukaaaaa" ..."#ladies menari2#"..."tak tau la nak beli apa".."i tak de nak shopping sangat kot"...."USD500 cukup ke eh?" ....yang paling biasa ialah....."oii banyaknya msg...conclusion please" ...


Pictures of us upon arrival at the airport and at the hotel. Checked in 6 person in two rooms. 3 adults in each..harga for the extra person in a room cost us USD20 per night if Im not mistaken..Not bad la kot...the consolation is that the hotel is very near to the shopping market. And the room is lavishly spacious.*ok..not that lavishly but besar enough for even 4 person per room.


Some decent photos I would like to share. Yes..we have many not-so-decent photos of us that I segan-kucing to get it uploaded for the public. Cukup la sekadar yang ini..haha..if you could consider these as decent lah..

Our first stop was to the "Kampung Melayu" restaurant for lunch. Delicious dishes so far even after my several visits here. About 5 mins walk from our hotel.

Kampung Melayu Halal Restoran
31 Nguyen An Ninh St, (District 1), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

We then marched to the Ben Than market next door. Walaupun muka masing-masing agak putih pucat when crossing the streets, tetapi happy faces mula terpancar di muka masing-masing bila approaching the market. Hati berdebar ntah tidak tau bagaimana hendak dikata..Senyum simpul yang kuat lenguh muka dibuat..Bahaya for me because I kalau excited, terasa macam nak terberak.

Melangkah saja masuk ke salah sebuah pintu utama, our friends yang accessories-freak sudah rambang mata. Datin pula sikit-sikit pesan "dalam ada banyak lagi kedai kalau dia tak bagi murah"."Focus..focus"..Datin faham perasan mereka.. ;p

So much of "i tak de nak shopping sangat kot". Shelly, u terkejut apa tu?

Some started with souvenirs,some bought cotton table cloth, I bought cotton quilt covers and few pieces of pajamas for Dahlia. Tetapi yang pasti,each of us bought at least 1 piece of cotton..Riuh jadinya kedai 399 ini.."haaa yang ni cantik.." .."I nak,I nak ni.".."Tak cantik lah macam pak jawa".."Ada lagi tak ni?".."Aku punya..aku punya"..."Model model..kasi besar..model model.."..."eeewww...geli lah, t*t*k dia terkena tangan aku" ..."tak cantik lah..macam wall paper"..."tak cantik la, macam ular tersepit"..."cantik tapi macam dinding bergerak"...and seperti biasa lah..sebelum kain ditpotong soalan yang biasa,"best friend price berapa?.."..ada astu tahap if I cant get to a mutual price, I would say.."kalau harga kawan mahal,harga musuh berapa?"

Huru hara gelak tawa...Mahunya tidak..sekejap kami tanya harga di dalam USD,sekejap di dalam RM,si Fura paling lawak, tatkala semua bertanya dalam these 2 currencies, dia selalunya bertanya dalam Dong dengan muka yang seolah-olah lost...Ended up kami semua juga tolong mendarab dan membahagi figures dalam kepala.., in the end, harga Ringgit juga yang berbaloi.....Si penjual hanya menunggu bayaran ...I think the locals are accustomed with these kind of questions and arguments since ramai sungguh Malaysian membeli belah di sana.

Biasa lah.Lama juga kami di dalam market itu ..Dari berdiri ke duduk ke bersandar kami memborong menawar....Dari cerah hingga gelap hingga hujan selebat alam cuaca..Dari kering ketiak sampai basah melekit ketiak..Dari wangi sampai kami sendiri tidak tahan dengan bau badan sendiri..Dari kekenyangan hingga lapar semula..


After 'sort-of-menyesal-tak-menyesal-tapi-happy-sangat-dapat-beli-murah' agenda ,we freshen up a little and had our dinner here called "Serai" . Again, not very far from our hotel, few minutes walk sahaja. Serai Restaurant ( along the way to Ben Than market from our hotel). The food was ok but was not as good as "Kampung Melayu"'s.Personally I will not come here again.

Next to this restaurant ada sebuah booth menjual telekung lycra. Seeing them very excited, Datin immediately say, "Makan dulu..focus focus..". Hmm..I guess Datin's words sudah tidak dapat masuk telinga sebab duit di poket masing-masing masih berkepuk. Masing-masing seolah-olah hilang lapar bila melihat telekung lycra yang pelbagai warna. Murah katanya, RM15 sepasang. Blue, pink, merah, merah bata, hijau katak, hijau pas, hitam, kelabu cair,kelabu taik anjing, semua sudah rambang mata..termasuk lah aku...Pening abang kelate,si penjual.hehehe..tiba-tiba..

One-of-us : u all pilih lah seorang satu..i belanja.
The rest : *terdiam*tekedu*tak-percaya*

Even dengan muka serious she said she is serious of belanja-ing us. Masih tidak percaya of her words tetapi di tangan masing-masing sudah ada telekung pilihan hati..sambil mengumpat seorang makcik tua yang duduk mencangkung sambil menayangkan kedua-dua buah betiknya..*pelaris agaknya :p *

Ok. 30 mins gone di booth itu. Tetapi..hati riang!!!!Tiba masanya to order our dinnah!!Sudah menjadi lumrah, time meng-order adalah masa yang sangat mengujakan..tiba-tiba..

One-of-us : u all order la apa nak makan..i belanja.
The rest : *terdiam*tekedu*tak-percaya*..u ni buat lawak ke apa? 

Mungkin ada yang tertanya, apa yang lawaknya..I cant describe that,perhaps sudah terlalu lama kami ibu-ibu tidak get some time-off seperti ini, bila bersama seperti ini, kami jadi luar kawalan..


Food was not bad. I had nasi,some had noodles,some had Vietnamese assam fish soup..ada orang itu,datang Vietnam makan fish&chips..diet agaknya...We had a marve-laugh time,did not we girls? Rasanya banyak perkara kita bual kan malam itu...I cant recall the whole story, but I pretty much percaya the girls will  recall if I say this ...

Me : The fish and chips macam tak fresh je
Somebody : Sedap je..masin..


The fun did not end there at the restaurant. Terbawa-bawa hingga ke lobby hotel. Setiap perkataan boleh sahaja dibuat bahan. Ada sahaja yang tak kena..Apa-apa pun dijadikan bahan..Bellboys di lobby pun boleh digelakkan...kesian...




*okay, gambar ter-duplicate..

As I said, the fun did not end there, di dalam elevator pun boleh sahaja 2 orang itu buat lawak membahan orang...I guess ini lah dia ertinya kawan..buruk baik digelak bersama.. :D

SGN Day 2 : Benthan + Lunch Halal@Saigon + Hard Rock + Dinner + Uptown

Bismillahirahmanirahim...

Our day started as early as 8 AM Vietnam time. Taukey Ben Than masih belum gosok gigi kami sudah bersedia for a 2nd round. Datin said, "No need breakfast, kita tukar barang kita, and Eva tukar alas meja yang koyak, then kita terus berjalan to Halal@Saigon for late breakfast"

Datin melihat rombongan hanya kata "OK" harapan kedai yang dimaksudkan beberapa minit..hehehe..to me it was lah because Ive been there like each time Im in Saigon kot.

Jadinya bertapak lah kami ke sana for lunch sambil melihat-lihat kota Saigon..Perjalan agak lama kerana kami banyak berhenti untuk mengambil gambar...Seperti biasa, crossing the streets was very challenging..tetapi let me tell you something, you will not be as excited as this kalau crossing the streets in Malaysia. Hanya di Ho Chi Minh kita akan berlari sambil bergelak2 ketakutan sambil crossing the roads.Di Malaysia kalau u cross the roads sambil bergelak takut,u gila namanya..

Di Ho Chi Minh ini, ada banyak kedai kecil-kecil yang menjual barang-barang yang kalau di Malaysia, kita mungkin tak teringin nak beli atau tak perlu untuk dibeli....Bayangkan lah, I yang tak perlukan selipar pun pergi sana ter-beli juga...RM5 katanya..The girls lagi lah,membeli seperti membeli the whole shop ;p

 The weather was on our side that day...alhamdulillah..

Mee Gorang Mamak, Spring Roll Goreng , Tonkin Goreng Garlic ( 2nd & 3rd picture googled)


Happy hour. Gelak sakan until I cant recall which was what and when went wrong or of what reason pun..Ada yang gelak besar ada yang gelak tutup mulut..gelak sampai mata sepet pun ada tu...

Banyak juga yang kami bualkan during our late breakfast di sini...ada seseorang tu menceritakan bualan debatenya ...begini lah bunyinya :

seseorang : bla bla bla bla bla.....I kata..
seseorang : eh engkau la tak sedar diri...dia kata..
seseorang : ehhhhhh..patut la *** tak suka kau...I kata..

the "I kata".."Dia kata" prolonged sampai our orders came..kami yang lain mendengar luahan 'seseorang ' dengan penuh minat..hehehehe...walau apa pun 'seseorang ', kuatkan iman ye..biarlah sahaja that person memandang rendah terhadap you and your family...That kind of person selalunya hati tidak tenang and mungkin juga lonely... and will be lonely for the rest of her life..kita doa kan yang baik-baik sahaja for her.. :)

Gambar menantu-pilihan preparing her drink, I myself tak tau apa yang lawaknya..tetapi biarlah..she seems very happy menyediakan minuman..Malu hendak tuang air gula kot? Tak pun mesti tengah mengumpat ke apa ni kan? 

Sedap pula air ni..."refreshing gila doh" bak kata Fura

More pictures of us...a candid one this time ;)

"Jom la kita pergi Hard Rock, I nak beli baju for my boys.." ....Datin agak reluctant kerana tidak tahu jalan, tetapi gasakkan saje, ada live-map called "Waze"...Shelly, awat muka hang macam tu?

The famous Ho Chi Minh statue. Was along our way to the cafe pun..Datin paksa rombongan ambil gambar. This is the landmark katanya..."Nice picture kan? Tengok la siapa takde dalam gambar, kata photographer"..hahahhahah..ayat tak boleh blah!!!!Dear Shelly..hahaha..best la ayat you!!menyucuk jiwa...

Memang agak letih kami mencari Hard Rock Cafe. Bila diajukan soalan "Do you know where Hard Rock Cafe is?" to the locals, dibuat muka rock pula..ish ish..memang kesabaran.dressing office-wear bagai nak rak, tapi sepatah English pun tidak faham..Kesabaran diuji..Yes,tengok saja raut wajah menantu-pilihan kita...tu muka pandangan jauh mencari 'Hard Rock cafe' ala-ala boleh tembus dinding buildings ..

Hard Rock Cafe
39 Lê Duẩn, Bến Nghé, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


At last, sampai juga at Hard Rock Saigon ni... Wah..Berpeluh-peluh ketiak tak usah dikata. Datin terasa hendak sangat lekap tisu dikedua-dua belah armpit tetapi payah la pulak nak menyelak baju..

Datin sangat teruja bila bumped into Abg Azley and family. Saw Kak Mina trying out some baby-t's..terus aku menyapa...ala-ala jejak kasih gitu...Coincidentally MAS was having a small lunch function there at Hard Rock Cafe, itu yang terserempak tu..Nasib baik Fura nak sangat pergi Hard Rock cafe..(dapat free ride back to the hotel) ;p *Thanks Abg Zaley, kasi bill to MAS je lah, will ask ayah to approve it.

I did not shop sini, Datin tak faham concept Hard Rock katanya...It is a brand? What is the history of 'Hard Rock'?...ala..orang kampung Datin ni,mana kenal erti 'Hard Rock'.....Shelly lagi lah tak tau...So the both of us duduk saje melangut at the seating area in front of the shop tu. Padahal duit tak berapa nak ada..tinggal USD100 plus je kot...hahaha...


Kak Mina & Abg Azley's 3 beautiful girls..kawan Datin memang parkinson sekejap time ambil gambar ni..ntah mengapa I wonder..hahahaha...thanx babe for this picture..love it!!

We laughed we walked we argued and we took loads of pictures 

About 40 mins or so,we then emerged the premise. To the handbag shops pula!!!!The the normal shops yang selalu I pergi. Bukan la murah macam mana pun, cuma datin suka this particular shop kerana handbags yang dijual agak berlainan kuality sikit dari yang dijual di Ben Than ...design yang ada juga tidak la nampak serabut sangat...motto datin..."biar murah asal nampak mahal"...


*memori indah di Hard Rock Cafe Ho Chi Minh : somebody terdiam bila Datin bertanya.."kenapa diet extreme?" ;p

SGN Day 3 : Benthan + Handbags + Depart

Bismillahirahmanirahim....

Pretty much the same routine lah even on our last day in Saigon...Breakie + Shopping sikit till the very last coin ;p . Nak capai KPI bak kata Eva..hehehe..but we spent less time in Ben Than sebab we need to check out by noon. After a quick handbag shopping, we rushed back to the hotel and waited for our shuttle to the airport. This day around, Datin's "Focus.. focus" advice sudah mula di dengar para rombongan. Sebab duit sudah habis dibelanja kan...USD500 in few hours kot habis minah seorang tu during our visit to the "Uptown" last night. So how was our shopping spree by this last day? Agak tertonggeng berih juga lah kami hendak close our luggages. Total luggage weighted 230 kilo. Sudah melebihi combined weight..Excess luggage fees berapa pulak la tu... Hmmm....lets just say thanks to Abg Azley, the MAS Ho Chi Minh station manager. ;) . Nanti mom kirim daging salai masak lomak cili api lagi to Vietnam ;p


Many had asked, how did we knew each other.
Did we went to the high school together?
Since birth did we knew each other?
Sorry but the answers to all is neither.

In TT session we all first met
Since then we became friends
TT is a session for Teh-Tarik for the guys
but for the wives,its together time we get
And correct me,was it since 2008?


We talk we argue we laugh we share
This is how we bloom the affair
Im glad Im happy syukur alhamdulillah
To have met you ladies yang gila-gila juga

We dont meet much We dont kepoh much
about each other's business what more wealth
yes we chat we whatsapp we're there
as our friendship gives us the strength 
to turn from lambs into the crazy lion gang ...hehehe



From left-right : Menantu-pilihan;kaki-gaduh;diam-diam-paparazi;paling-last-menantu-pilihan;si-muncung;bakat-joker-terpendam

"In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed".~Khalil Gibran

Thank you ladies : Safura, Shelly, Jue, Laila, Eva. I had a MARVE-LAUGH time!!!! Love u ladies so much!!!So, where to next? heheheh...