Friday, 19 July 2013

A Weekend in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam - Part 1

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Hubby and I went to Ho Chi Minh (HCM) last week for a short holiday without our 6 year old kiddo.  While we had a total chill and pig out break, our son was having a ball at a friend's house for 3 nights.  So everyone's happy :)

Since hubs and I absolutely love Vietnamese food, we stuffed ourselves silly with all the glorious Vietnamese street food.  The hotel we stayed in is situated in a great location - it is right at the fringe between the old town - where there's plenty of cheap, coffee shop food to indulge in and local street markets to do our shopping; as well as the more fanciful, newer part of town with the stylish, Fusion cafes and bistros as well as upmarket art and craft shops.

The old part of town - where a zillion motorcycles reign on the road
and roundabouts are free-for-all.  Our hotel porter told us "if you
want to cross the road, don't wait. Just CROSS."

Think our Malaysian overhead poles are unsightly??
These wire mazes are EVERYWHERE in HCM.

Did you know that HCM is just a little over an hour's flight away from KL?  Well blimey, I didn't realise that.  We took the 7am flight, and reached HCM at 8am, just in time for breakfast! Faster than going up to Penang or down south to JB.  It is totally possible to do a short weekend R&R to HCM especially if you are a light traveler.  Go with just hand carry luggage and print your boarding pass from home; and the entire travelling time is no longer than 2.5 hours.  Cool eh!

HCM from above. Touching down at Tan Son Nhat International Airport

Spending Vietnamese currency will make you feel like a millionaire. At the airport, hubby passed me a stack of Vietnamese Dong and said "here's a million bucks for you!" Heehee. RM150 is equivalent to Vietnamese Dong 1 million. So everything in Vietnam costs tens and hundreds of thousands of dong. Make sure you have your calculator with you at all times!

Holidaying in HCM is very affordable, especially if you managed to get cheap deals on airfare, which is always the most expensive portion.  Hotel rates in HCM are very reasonable.  We stayed in Eden Saigon - a spanking new, 4 months old, 4 star hotel at a crazy rate of RM188 (with breakfast and lightning fast, in-room wifi).  Impeccable service, great room, nice breakfast and good location. 

A brand new, 4 star hotel.  Reminds me a lot of our favourite hotel in Melaka

The spacious lobby



A very nice lobby lounge with a water feature

Brand new rooms, very comfortable and king size bed

Nice touches

Jacuzzi in the room.  Great, but it's a bit fiddly when you just want
a standing shower.  Reminder to self - next time we will get a room with
a separate standing shower area.

The rooftop pool - not super size, but nice enough for a dip and short laps.
We spent quite a bit of time just chilling here.
The bar restaurant does some great bbq meals on weekend nights.

The gym is at the top floor

Buffet breakfast at the Restaurant

Our favourite section - the Pho station! Customise your noodles with
chicken/fish/beef and various types of noodles and condiments.
The omelet and bakery section are just on the right side.

Believe it or not, the hotel pho was the best we've ever had. 
The broth was light and hearty, the herbs fresh and zesty and the beef
- oh the beef.  It was fresh, tasty and tender. Simply melt in the mouth.
Because we could customise the noodles, we always asked for minimal
serving of noodles, lots of beef, beansprouts, soup and herbs.

The hot section with porridge, noodles, dishes, soups, dim sum,
and some western sides like scrambled eggs, grilled tomatoes
with cheese, pancakes etc

Fresh Fruits and Cereal section

From top left: Bread, various cheese and cold cuts;
Ham and Cheese Jumbo Omelet and Grill Tomatoes;
Make-your-own Croissant with Pork Sausages; and
my absolute favourite - Fresh Yogurt with Passion Fruit

I had bottles after bottles of these fresh yogurt with passionfruit

Yes, the REAL thing

On our last night here at the hotel, we decided to splurge and treat ourselves to a nice BBQ meal at the pool bar restaurant.  The mains - a selection of various beef, lamb and pork cuts - came with several sides - baked potatoes, toasted bun and salad, as well as a glass of red or white wine.

I had the pork ribs and hubby had the Australian rib eye.

This one cost us only 90,000 VDong - equivalent to RM14.  OMGawd!!!!

Succulent, superbly marinaded thick pork ribs

Next post - Glorious Vietnamese Food!


  1. Wow, sounds like it was a great getaway. Good food and shopping especially when they are all value for money! Now i must start planning to make a trip there :)

  2. Esther , wonderful photos esp those wires overhead - you should our version back home lol Those food just made hungry *sigh*

  3. Esther, I must earmark HCM for a future holiday destination. Can't believe that your dinner cost RM14.00! Looking forwards to your next post :)

  4. Truly a wonderful trip and the food- can't believe it is only RM14.00!


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