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Thread: Visiting Ho Chi Minh City, Any thing to note?

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    Default Visiting Ho Chi Minh City, Any thing to note?

    Hi all,

    I am planning to visit Ho Chi Minh City in the month of Jun. Any one has any experience to share or advise?

    Thanks in advance.

    Cheers!

    Ming Huei

  2. #2

    Default Re: Visiting Ho Chi Minh City, Any thing to note?

    Originally posted by mig37
    Hi all,

    I am planning to visit Ho Chi Minh City in the month of Jun. Any one has any experience to share or advise?

    Thanks in advance.

    Cheers!

    Ming Huei
    change currency from the bank (better rates than black mkt).
    go for one day Cu Chi tunnel tour if u are on leisure.
    some of the pple there maybe cunning, careful of u $$.
    stallholders always try to sell u things in US$, ask them how much it costs in dong (their currency).
    check weather forecast, if i am not wrong, it is nearing their rainy season soon.

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    Member mig37's Avatar
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    Hi jybubba,

    Thanks for the prompt respond.

    I am going for a leisure trip. Any other places of interests besides the tunnel? I hope the weather will permit the visit to the tunnel.

    Thanks again.

    Cheers!

    Ming Huei

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    you need a visa.
    you must enter and leave vietnam from the same place, ie if you enter via HCM, you must leave via HCM.

    work or play?
    i think hanoi is a better place for shooting and offers more opportunity for street photography (maybe i spent too little time in HCM). i find HCM more "commercialised".

    the traffic is terrible - especially during peak hours.

    not sure if 1 day is too much for the cu chi tunnel. i spent about 2-3 hours, 1 plus for the transport, the remaining for the video show and exploring the tunnel.

    enjoy yourself.

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    Note of caution.
    If you are doing street photography, dun take out your camera until you are ready to take a shot. Hanging your camera by your neck with a strap that says Canon or Nikon actually screams," Rob me!"

  6. #6

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    I m impressed with their cafes in HCM. everyone has its own flavour and decoration is quite stylish.

    Do venture up north if u have the time.
    climate in Dalat is fantastic, cool and even cold at night.

    Visit Hue for its ancient palace and Hoi An for its architectural beauty.
    haven venture further north than Hue myself

    vietnamese are friendly people, jus show a little respect and smile if you are taking photos of them.

    Do take care of your belongings, and always bargain if you are shopping at places with lots of tourist

    Enjoy...

  7. #7

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    Vietnamese are actually very friendly and talkative people. During weekends, there are many people taking photos. If you're a vintage camera lover, take a walk around town and it's shopping time.

    Most of the time, try to pay in Vietnamese Dong. Though US$ is accepted, you can actually save a few cents which could be useful in future.

    Cigarettes and beers are less than 1US$ per pack/can.

    For photography, visit Cu Chi Tunnels or Mekong Delta (My Tho) Tour which costs 6US$ one day trip, Cathedral of Notre Dam, People's Committee Building, and the best, street shots ...

    Remember to eat Pho. If not, don't tell people you've been there.

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    HCMC...
    Won't touch on Cu Chi or the usual places. But you'll probably want to try out these places -

    An Dong district - the "Chinese Quarter" in HCMC. Go wander around the An Dong market in the morning 0800-1000 and catch shots of them selling local hams, meats and dry foods. Get a taste of their local chendol in the market. Around the side streets there (lots of people walk around), you can try asking in Cantonese, for coffeeshops that sell local peanut paste, almond paste and black sesame paste. They are a whole new flavour from the Sg over-sweented ones! And often, you can find little trinket stalls that sell stuff cheaper than Cu Chi.

    You can also go to 230-270 Nyugen Dinh Chieu and wander down the little backstreets there (in the daytime with at least 1 male companion). You will find some street hawkers selling local breads there, stuffed with vegetables and other yummy foods. Make sure you grab some raw garlic to go with it (for cheapo antibotic) just in case....

    Get a van or someone to drive you north toward the Sing-Viet Industrial Park. The villages around there have lots of nice kampongy sights to see, and chiku/avocado/chempadak drinks. And you can get great porcelain stuff too, if you can get a local to bring you.... I think the province used to be called Song Be. Dunno what its called now. But you'll find pomergranate teas and street markets around there.

    Dien Phien Phu (correct spelling???) is a long stretch where there's food, repair shops and all form of houses and weird shops.

    Food wise, Pho Bo, Pho Ga, local Yong Tau Foo, Lao Ye, and many things you can't find back home abound!!!!!

  9. #9

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    there is one super famous pho stall in the HCM city
    u can ask around
    if u are daring enough, u can try those un-hatched duck eggs
    i miss it alot
    taste pretty good(but be warned ! can see the wings & feathers)
    US money is the prefered currency there
    i have a handbook that i bought from vietniam
    if u are intrested maybe i can lend it to u?
    just PM me
    think its called lonely planet
    u can read it in the plane or something
    and ofcos u MUST MUST MUST try the
    "ka fei sir dar"
    (actually coffee which u have to leave it to drip into a smaller cup filled with condensed milk, then u stir & pour it into a glass with ice, better then star bucks or coffee bean anytime)

    its superb !!!!!
    Last edited by gabriel06; 30th May 2003 at 12:47 AM.

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    Originally posted by gabriel06
    if u are daring enough, u can try those un-hatched duck eggs

    Yum....

    On the road to Song Be, you can also get roast doggie (looks like char siew). 30mins drive away, just after the VSIP, there are 2-3 eateries (still around I heard from fren...) where you can get padi rat and catfish. And on occasion, delicious porcupine!

    Thought of the food, plus gabriel06's eggs making me

  11. #11

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    Originally posted by Azure

    Yum....

    On the road to Song Be, you can also get roast doggie (looks like char siew). 30mins drive away, just after the VSIP, there are 2-3 eateries (still around I heard from fren...) where you can get padi rat and catfish. And on occasion, delicious porcupine!

    Thought of the food, plus gabriel06's eggs making me
    i miss those really badly !!!
    when i was there for 20+ nites
    i add those !!!
    EVERY nite orelse cannot sleep man !
    haha
    any idea where to get these in singapore??
    i dun mind paying like $5 for one egg

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    Member mig37's Avatar
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    Thanks alot, guys!

    Great stuff there by all of you!

    Will try to cover as much as possible, especially the food mentioned.

    Cheers!

    Ming Huei

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    DO NOT GIVE $$ to the kids when approached, give to 1 and a whole lot will come out from no where to surround u.

    Careful when crossing the road, zebra crossing won't help as most are motorists and they won't stop.

    U cannot bring back the Viet currency, so try to change some small amount. I once paid USD10 for a pack cigarette and guess what, I got myself 2 big plastic bags full of Viet currency for the change. They collect USD and give u Viet for change hahahah.

    Girls r pretty, for the guys, do not be tempted by those "mobile chicks", u won't know where they will bring u

    stay on the road, as some of the field has got hidden mines.

    Taxi serivce is superb make a call upstair, taxi is already waiting dwnstairs.

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    Originally posted by Hua Luo Han
    DO NOT GIVE $$ to the kids when approached, give to 1 and a whole lot will come out from no where to surround u.
    Just say "kong kor ting" to them. It means, I Got No Money....

    Originally posted by Hua Luo Han
    Taxi serivce is superb make a call upstair, taxi is already waiting dwnstairs.
    Or you might want to go for a cyclo ride.... Something like a trishaw, except the passenger sts in front. May be pretty scary if you keep seeing traffic zooming AT YOU, TOWARD YOU and looking like they gonna RAM INTO YOU.

    Anyway, have a good trip and enjoy...
    .
    .
    .
    Girls r pretty, for the guys, do not be tempted by those "mobile chicks", u won't know where they will bring u
    I'll reply "hang giap em truong mo".

  15. #15

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    the road crossing is really a skill u need to master there
    yeah alot of motor "cup zai" there
    u intrested in the lonely planet book ??

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    Originally posted by gabriel06
    the road crossing is really a skill u need to master there
    still remember my first time there crossing the road, look at all those bikers filling up the road and u have to cross it. Once u step out, don stop, if u hesitate, BANG !!! keep an eye on the oncoming bikes, move slowly so they can sway past you...... at first damn scary, after a few tries, kinda like it.

    And if u notice, the drivers/riders there use their horn alot......and I was told they only need to watch the front, not the rear and not even the sides , so everyone only watching the front while driving, interesting
    Last edited by Hua Luo Han; 30th May 2003 at 12:03 PM.

  17. #17

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    still remember my first time there crossing the road, look at all those bikers filling up the road and u have to cross it. Once u step out, don stop, if u hesitate, BANG !!! keep an eye on the oncoming bikes, move slowly so they can sway past you...... at first damn scary, after a few tries, kinda like it.

    And if u notice, the drivers/riders there use their horn alot......and I was told they only need to watch the front, not the rear and not even the sides , so everyone only watching the front while driving, interesting
    ya just cross slowly !!!!
    let them zic zac past u
    beware of your belongings too !!
    had one friend whoose sling bag was snatched by a motorcyclist.
    but lucky he held unto the bag real tight
    every motor cycle looks the same, 0% u can catch the snatch thief

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    Ming Huei, just a few pointers for u.

    1. Visit the Cu Chi tunnels takes almost a whole day, and it can be visited regardless of weather condition. One impt point to note is do u fear confined spaces? If yes, then u can only be a spectator and not crawl through those tunnels.

    2. If you are into Vietnam War, pse don't forget to visit the War Remmants Museum in Vietnam, Located at 28 Vo Van Ran St. District 3. Can be very interesting and quite gross, so be prepared.

    3. U can even book tours to neighbourhood areas, like Cambodia and the Mekong Delta. Mekong Delta is quite scenic and the people there are really friendly. While you are there, enjoy the mekong pple hospitality, watch their musical performance and eat coconut candy.

    4. If you want to make local tour reservations, there is an area called backpackers alley, at De Tham St. Dist 1, HCM, We patronised a shop called Sinh Cafe, very good service. At backpackers alley, u will also see many shops that sell backpacks at good prices. They accept US$.

    5. Buying pirated videos and CDs. Pse note that it is hard to come by real stuff regarding music and movies there. But you can buy plenty of cheap (US$2-5) of DVDs in many places. Just remember, these stuff are pirated, so u may have problem bringing in them to Singapore later.

    6. As for pho, their beef noodles, a famous one is at Pastuer Street, very famous and safe to eat. Tell the cab driver u want to go to Pastuer Street for pho (pronounced as "fur") and they will take you there. Their coffee is also nice but watch the sugar ok!

    7. As for food, u have to be careful when u eat street food, cause u may not get used to their level of "hygiene" if u are from Singapore and being used to our std of hygiene. There is a restaurant I wld like to recommend for your to try authentic Vietnamese food, it is called "nha hang com ngon" located at 88 Nguyen Du, Quan Mot, Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh. The food there is fantastic and cost only abt S$10-15 per pax for dinner. This one is considered upmarket by Vietnamese standards.

    8. Also, if u are flyng via Vietnam airlines there, u can exchange your ticket on your way back for a SIA seat. Just take your ticket to the SIA office in HCM to finalise your paperwork w/o incuring additional cost.

    9. I have a Periplus Travel Map of Vietnam and HCM, if u want pse PM yr contact and I can pass u the map and let u know more info. Possibly also show u my photos taken when I was there earlier this year! enjoy

  19. #19

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    aiyo - crossing the roads there seem so scary!

    any probs with communication? people understand English?

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    Member mig37's Avatar
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    WOW

    Thanks a lot everyone. This is good stuff!
    Seems like there are really quite a lot of things to do over there. How long do you guys think one should stay to have a good feel of the place? Was thinking of 5 days but look like I'd have to stay longer.

    Cheers!

    Ming Huei

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