Wednesday, August 25, 2010

final days- Vung Tau

i think i'm gonna write about our final days in vietnam. i told you that we're off to Vung Tau, did i? we really did. Vung Tau is a city at the south of Vietnam. we're visiting a friend of mr hubs. en yusri and puan maslina. hehe. Kalau kat Malaysia, Vung Tau ni mcm Labuan la. tp far more better from Labuan. We bought our ferry ticket 3 days before. owh sini tak bole beli lambat2 ok. tiket mcm tiket bas nak balik raya. mcm goreng pisang panas.
owh its humid in vietnam. and the people wear this for air filtering. and i have mine too. :)this is Vung Tau's jetty. its bigger and nicer compared to Muara's jetty. :P

Sampai je ngam2 time bukak puasa. and i cud say that Maslina can cooked malaysian food very well. and being us, who had been eating vietnamese food for a week long, definitely turned into two super hungry creatures. ahahhaha. mr hubs dgn tak malunya tambah 3 kali ok!! owh they are blessed with two kids. sorang 2 tahun and sorang lagi baru setahun. what a complete life. :) actually yusri is working with Schlumberger too. previously he was at the same place with mr hubs back in Labuan. and now he has been transferred to Vung Tau for about a year. and they got a very beautiful house over is a house with modern design and not very big. they have their own jacuzzi, swimming pool, security guards and maid. i like their house. very much.this is me together with Mas and Icha in front of their house :)
how i wish i have this at my house too. you are free to do whatever you like with some privacy because its your own pool!

So malam tu, we decided to have a city tour. but we have to ride the bike ourselves. haha. so pinjam moto pakgad satu, put on our helmets and we're ready to go. and now i feel like a real vietnamese. *LOL*. and i tell you, the night life is far more happening than Brunei. hahhaha. mr hubs on helmets! OMG. *takmo ckp ape2* :P
me with Icha, the adorable daughter of Yus and Mas. :)
then we stayed awhile for a cup of coffee. and this is the correct way how to drink Vietnamese coffee. tunggu kopi tu habes tapis, stir it well with the creamer, then pour it into the glass of ice. and it tastes: SUPER DUPER KAW!! this is the best coffee i've ever had. Starbucks pun tak bole lawan.

The next day, the couple took us to a few places around Vung Tau since our ferry back to HCMC was at 2pm. we went to the Fish Bone Temple where they kept the oldest whale bones together with baby whales skeleton in here. then we visited the White Palace, a historical building that used to be that palace for the British/Americans. then we went for a cable car ride up to the hill. tinggi giler!! i think its the same company supplying the cable car cabin with Genting cable car because it looks just the same. :P and they are building a simple amusement park up there.
this is the whale bones that i've been talking about!!
and this is pokok pisang ajaib!! klik gambar utk tumbesaran gambar

ini view Vung Tau dari atas bukit. pack giler!! dari atas nampak mcm susunan kotak-kotak yg rapat-rapat. macam lego. but seriously, the population is huge. and its not even the capital city. its just the third city in the country!!
the white palace!! palace ni besar tapi sini nampak kecik. :P
hahahahahaaaa jangan marah naaaa!!

lepas tu terpaksa pulang semula ke HCMC. sampai2 dah nak pukul 4 centu. plan asal nak pegi berbuka dekat Hard Rock Cafe Saigon, tapi disebabkan beberapa perkara yg tidak dpt dielakkan, kami ended up berbuka dengan nasi briyani :) esoknya kami pulang ke brunei semula.

and now, i am so happy to announce that my mini has finally arrived from KL!! hhhoorrraaaayyyyyy *jumping upside down*
so takdela bosan sangat. i can drive on my own and explore more without my hubs.
owhh, expect me to lost my ways for this couple of days ok :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

HCMC day 5 & 6

haha terlepas report sehari. :P
well, actually i was busy. very busy indeed. you know what? i bought these copy of very clever DVDs in store. u wont get these anywhere but here in vietnam. *LOL*
they compiled movies according to the actor/actress with good quality of picture with a very cheap price. it only costed me about VND25,000 (USD1.5) for each DVD. and the ANTM season 12-13 only costed me for USD3. mana la tak borong kan. so thats enuff to explain why i missed my report. hehe

owh, yesterday i went for a my pampering session. i went to JOICO. niat di hati nakpamper satu badan. tetapi tidak kesampaian. mana tak nye, hair wash and hair cut alone took me 3 hours. gile lama!! mane sempat nak balik bukak puasa. but the service was superb. before they do your hair, they'll give you a head+neck+shoulder+back massage which is so awesome. kat situ dah 45 minutes. then only they started with shampooing my hair. very gentle i tell you. hahahaa. sampai nak tertido. pastu time basuh rambut, siap ada face massage. they put some face massage creme that smells soooo good. mula2 cam takut since i have a very sensitive skin that i don't dare to use any skincare on my face. tp bile balik tengok cermin, OMG!! my zits have gone. amazing sungguh kan. after that only they did the cutting. mak ai sket punye teliti. total: 3hours. and cost me just USD15. saiko? yee saya saiko sbb u can't get such services with such price neither in KL nor Brunei. i read a few good reviews on this salloon. you can check the store locator here.

i think they also sell imported books with a cheap price. i bought these two books for only VND200,000. (USD12).
as usual after berbuka puasa, we went for a romantic night walk. so kawan-kawan yang belom kawen, cepat-cepat kawen ok. sbb best tau kawen ni. :P

us in front of Notre Dame Cathedral. belakang kitorang ada org tgh sembahyang. klik utk tumbesaran gambar.

well, we'll be out of town for this weekend. we are planning to go to Vung Tao to visit a colleague of mr hub's. and i am so happy i bought these at Ben Thanh Market. it helps me to pack easier. :)

have a blast weekend everyone! always remember to be happy because you never know who's falling in love with your smile. trust me!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

HCMC day 4, the Saigon Squares

I spent my fourth day in HCMC at the Saigon Squares. before going to the place, i was on googling the route and had found two Saigon Squares. I was puzzled and wondering how come they have two different building at different place but with a same name. Then only i realized that Vietnam has two Saigon squares. Saigon Square 1 is the older one and obv Saigon Square 2 is the new one. Saigon Square 1 is located in District 1 between Ben Thanh market and the Saigon Opera House. and the other Saigon Square is located near Legend Hotel. both Saigon Squares have become one of the most popular shopping centres for local fashion oriented youth.

I decided to walk to Saigon Square 1 since it is nearer to the hotel. the products of almost every famous brand including GAP,Mango,Banana Republic, Zara, Lacoste, D&G and Ralph Lauren can be found here. Unfortunately, these are vastly fake brand accessories. these products are mostly from China,Vietnam,and Cambodia. some say the products may have slightly defects and being bought by the Saigon retailers to sell here. Some items are obviously fakes, but if you know your brands and are familiar with the colours and styles, it’s pretty easy to tell the real from the rip-off. and i was so surprised that i found one Forever 21 dress very similar to what i have bought in Pavillion. Sebijik Ok!! I spent few hours at the mall walking around and grabbed a few clothes for my sisters.i didn't bring my camera and i googled this picture for you. so this is Saigon Square 1.
i am so happy that i bought myself this t-shirt. i called it as t-shirt komunis. i think its cool. :P

these are a few dresses i picked for the girls at the Saigon Square 1.
these shirts are for the boys. well u know, other than my hubs, now i have 6 other men and 6 other women to take care in my life. :P
aahhaaa. this is super cheap. i bought this for only VND79,000 (USD4). i should have buy more right? but of course u need to wash all of these before u wear it. for hygienic purposes. :)
and these are the fridge magnets. sape nak sile dtg amek kat rumah. hahahaa

after berbuka, my and mr hubs decided to go to Saigon Square 2. We have to ride a cab since the distance is quite far from our place. Ok ye anak-anak. Taxi scams are well known in Vietnam. there are only a few company of taxi service that can be trusted. one of them is the Mailin Group. So pls choose wisely. Saigon Square 2 is located at a very busy area. kiri kanan penuh clubs and bar. Japanese restaurant pun byk. maybe tpt ni kalau kt KL gabungan Changkat Chulan, Jalan P Ramlee and Bangsar. hahahaa. pandai je kan.

this is one of the Mailin Group cab. Clean and comfortable. We only pay VND15,000 (less than USD1)for a single trip to Saigon Square 2.
so this is Saigon Square 2. same goes with Saigon Square 1, you can find everything from trendy casuals to work wear and from footwear to bags and purses, as well as funky and chunky jewelry, all counterfeit brand goods, are sold here at reasonably prices. it's quite organized in that the first floor sells fashion accessories, textiles, shoes etc. The second floor specializes in apparel and the third has warm clothes and craft.Standard Vietnam bargaining rules apply and you can expect to be overcharged here, though perhaps not as badly as in Ben Thanh market.
Whether you’re in a shopping mood or not, however, both Saigon Squares are worth a visit just for the experience.

Well, one more thing about HCMC is the famous Highlands Coffee. its a hip chain of cafes modelled after American-style coffee shops. kalau kat tpt kita, tpt ni macam Old Town White Coffee gitu. pegi mana-mana mall pun mesti ada highland cofee ni. bersepah-sepah.the vietnamese coffee is very kaw. they have a various delicious supply of coffee. well i can say its worth to try, worth the price.

both of us having a very good romantic time at the Highland Coffee, with our selected coffees and a slice of chocolate brownies :)

check out more here.

i can't believe myself that i survived well in HCMC until today. hahaha. what a surprised. well, when you dance , your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. its to enjoy each step along the way. Have a great Thursday everyone :)

HCMC day 3. err not really

yesterday i decided to stay in the hotel room. was too tired to go out? no no. i wasn't that tired. sometimes it feels calm,peaceful and easy just to stay silence,lying on your bed, watching telly and read some books. i know i am in Vietnam. Its not home. its like, come on its a new city and should you take this opportunity to explore more ? and i'll go HAHAHAHA. maybe i'm not a historical-goer and definitely won't dig further about it. i satisfied enough with everything served on the table.

Let me be honest with you. i didn't go out yesterday because i spent my whole day surfing on Emma Pillsbury of Glee. she is the guidance counselor at the school. one week before getting here, i watched the whole episodes of Glee for season 1. and i fall in love with Emma's fashion. My own definition of fashion is not too much. Not too much bright. Not too much skin. Not too much beads. Not too much sexy. Not too much tight. Not too much loose. Not too much buttons. Not too much pleats. and my not-too-much list goes on.

can't you see? colourful cardigans. bowed blouses. vintage accessories. its maybe kinda girl-next-door style of wearing. but i can't help to extremely liking it. sopan santun but very stylish. i spent the whole looking at the collection of dress. until mr hubs came back. terus dia suruh model kan lagi skali vietnamese dress yg baru sampai tu. being a good wife, terus la pakai dan posing-posing gitu. hahahaa. smalam time nak tempah baju ni, he called and said "nnti boleh la bawak pegi smayang terawikh".. dah kalau outcome dia lip lap mcm ni buat raya pun bole kot. hahahhaa..:P

as usual siap2 utk pergi berbuka. craving for milk tea with pearl made us going to viscomm city. its a new mall. macam the gardens la kalau kat KL tpt ni. mistakenly recognised that the drink is originated here but actually Taiwan. :P then we had our carl's jr after confirming with the staff that the food is halal.

after that, i had successfully get my hubs convinced to go to Trang Night Market.yes i was so eager after Cik Wanny has told me repeatedly about this night market. Knowing him, the place is definitely not his preference. he rather stays in the hotel room. tp takkan nak biar wife pegi sorang2 kan. hehe. and i promised to treat him tutti frutti.

along the way, we snapped pictures.. there, me at the Dong Khoi Street.

sampai je situ, banyak sgt motosikal. i was freaking out. i was so afraid that they wud hit us. huhhu. well, i can say this night market has plenty to offer. still, bargaining power is the most resourceful tool you need to have. luckily i've been to ben thanh a day before so i knew few best price of some items. you can get pretty colourful lanterns, shawls, headscarves, readymade vietnamese dress, cheap accessories, imitated designer handbags and shoes, clothes and etc etc.

tak sampai 5 minit, my hubs sudah ajak balik. hahahahaaa. siap ajak balik naik cab sebab berpeluh jalan jauh. cet poyo betul. see i told you. he doesn't like going to such place. he is very bad in bargaining and he hates crowded place. then, we headed to tutti frutti to enjoy some cooler air. :P

I truly believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime. and i am not regret to choose tutti frutti to make me happy. HAHAHAHHAHA.

mr hubs, your love is my drug.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

HCMC day 2

my second day in vietnam was great. i was totally on my own. after waiting for the laundry man to collect our clothes, i went off for a simple shopping. i wanna buy a cotton pants because i think my jeans won't be that comfortable to walk under the sun. so i put my sunnies on and started walking out. owh i didn't bring my canon because its just too heavy for me to carry in my tote. plus, Ben Thanh Market is not just next door. it took me around 10 mins of walking to reach there. and pls don't forget that i am fasting. hehe. sebelom sampai, sempat singgah satu kedai stationery beli calculator!! harus!
this is one of the historical building. so vietnam. well, its hot sunny day i told you..

Ben Thanh Market is well known as one of the tourist attractions. they got souvenirs, silk, handicrafts, flowers, foods, and etc. its a huge market that allow you to bargain. and of course the price is expensive. if you are good in bargaining, this is heaven for you. and i can say that my mum is the best person on earth with the bargaining talent. me? no no. i am not good at all. but at least i wont buy on the first price offered. and of course, this will never be my hubs place. he hates place like this. thats y he prefers pavillion. :P

my eyes caught on the hanging silks. it was so beautiful. they have vietnamese silk, korean silk, japannese cotton, satin, and a lot more. the embroidery is totally hand made. tanya-tanya harga, definitely will burn a hole in my pocket. yelah, mana taknya. kan dah kawen. mestila tak bole beli utk diri sendiri je. adik beradik pompuan dah 4. blom masuk mak. abestu takmo kire skali mak mertua ngan adik ipar? so harus kene beli sepuluh pasang ok. kalau sepasang harga VND 400,000 tak ke kalau 10 dah VND 4,000,000 kan? wuwuwuuwwwuu. dah cam jutawan dah. so tawar2 harga sampai dah nak begaduh. ade la dlm sejam tawar hrga je.blom masuk pilih kain. hahahhaa. so dia kasik la last price utk sepasang VND 210, maybe sbb dah betekak lame sgt kalau tak beli buang karan kan. memandangkan jam dah kol 3pm which means i hv no time oredi, so kire jadik la. lgpun it almost 50% off kan. sape tak bangga? diri sendiri jugak kan. kalau boleh nak beli lagi banyak. tp budget utk hari ini setakat itu sahaja. nnti suami saya mengamuk. yela saya dah la tak bekerja. suami saya pun kerja makan gaji je. so tak bole membazir ok. :P tp kan, yang lagi best dia kasik upah jahit free utk jahit sepasang baju vietnam. satu hari siap. pastu terus dia measure and paling best, kain yg 10 pasang td dia delivery pegi hotel. hahahaha. tak kuasa eden nak mengangkut jalan kaki pulak tu.
so inilah hasil buruan di selama 4 jam. jangan mintak. ni dah ade org punye. :P

ni cenderahati utk bakal-bakal tetamu dari semenanjung yg dtg ke rumah nanti. sape cepat dia dapat. :P lambat kalu, habes.

and i get a few fridge magnets. tp macam tak cukup and kene beli lagi. tengokla. ade banyak hari lagi pun kan. then jalan kaki pulang ke hotel. panas dia bukan main lagi. kalau ikut hati nak je singgah tutti frutti beli eskrem kan. tp tengok jam macam syg pulak nak bukak. sbb dah puasa separuh hari. lagipun sini berbuka awal. so tak jadik la. :P tp yang kelakarnye, i didn't get any cotton pants for me!! i totally forgot about it..damnn!!

sampai hotel terus penuhkan bath tub dengan air sambil tu solat jamak. lepas berendam dlm buih buih sabun itu, bersiap-siap nak pegi bukak puasa. yesterday we had our iftar here, at the four season restaurant.being a good wife, i packed few dates in a tupperware and brought it together with us. well, they have a variety selection of food. kebetulan ada sekumpulan org malaysia yg kerja dgn petronas makan dekat sbelah meja kitorang. borak2 and we shared our kurma with them. seronoknya bukan main sbb vietnam takde kurma ok.
me, in front of the restaurant. tegok, siap ada ejaan melayu lagi. hihi. currllaasssttt gitew!!

balik je hotel terus bercerita dengan mr hubs sambil tunjuk sume brg yg beli td. ade ke patut dia ckp still i'm losing money. because a colleague of him said that the actual price is only quarter from the price offered. huhuhuuu. well, at least i managed to get closed to 50% off. kalau dia yg pegi..hhahahhaha. only god knows. then we went for a simple foot massage. balik hotel, tido. bangun sahur, makan maggi and mihun pama. naseb baik bawak dr malaysia, sbb maggi kat sini semua nampak tak menarik langsung. dah la tak paham kan. pastu most of it with pork flavour.

after sending off my hubs to work, i wanted to continue sleeping. suddenly, the receptionist called and wanted to deliver a clothes. i was so excited that my vietnamese dress is delivered!! owhh i know it must be the good deeds i've done that god give me good things in return. :P and the outcome is just sooooo fabulous. now i have a traditional dress of vietnam in less than 24 hours. great isn't it?

my vietnamese dress :) *droollll*

i put on the dress and starter to modelling it in front of the mirror. haha. ni cik eita punye pasal la ni. :P well, at least i look slimmer and smaller in this dress. i chose to have round neck rather than the other pattern since i'm wearing hijab. i can say that the beading is very beautiful.the details is amazing. the material is just so soft. and they matched it with satin pants inside. this dress covers all part of your body and skin but it is very sexy in everyway. and i'm loving every inch of it.
am not regretting of having one :)

this is a photo of sweet vietnamese girls in their traditional dress. believe me, you can see this on the streets. they are so proud with their traditional costume.

picture: googled

and today is another great day to live on. i wish the same to all of you out there. don't worry over same shits happen again. its just life. it is too short for not having fun. god bless!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

HCMC day 1

we arrived in HCMC and picked up by the company man to our hotel. We resided at the Bong Sen Hotel in Dong Khoi street, District 1. ni kalau kat KL, area Dong Khoi ni cam Bukit Bintang la. Happening semacam with all the branded outlets along the street. bukak pintu hotel je terus Tods. sebelah Tods ada Gucci.sbelah Gucci ada D&G. Bawah hotel ada butik Omega besar gile. tu baru depan hotel dan bawah hotel. sebelah hotel tayah ckp la. Tp seriously branded outlet dekat sini mahal sket. maybe sbb derang ni belagak nk gune USD takmo guna VND. setengah kedai tu ada yg dah convert siap2 currency pegi USD. tp apepun, location of our hotel is just so strategic. we are close to the halal restaurants, shopping mall, hubby's office and the mosque! see, we still have the chance to perform our terawikh here. :) well, the mosque may not be as big as ours, but it is just nice to accommodate minority of muslims in HCMC.

so lepas checked in, we decided to have a small walk around Dong Khoi Street. then we thought of riding the sit-lo. it is the vietnamese trishaw that will bring you around the city. but ppl, vietnam has a very bad transportation system. they cheat! even the taxis. there are a few that can be trusted. but most of them try and rip you off. specially when you are the tourist.we asked how much per trip will he charged to the museum, then he said a short trip should have been no more than VND50,000. and i tell you it would be 10times this amount. and we paid for more than VND1mill for 2 people. and the money just went down the drain just like that. so pls pls pls do not repeat out stupid mistake. i would advise you to walk and see the city.

so about the halal food, i can say that its not hard to find halal food here. bergantung sedap ngan tak je la. luckily cik wanie emailed me one of her recommended restaurant. and i can say that its a great place to dine. and plg best tpt ni dekat gile ngan hotel. betul-betul depan masjid. so time nak berbuka tu mmg tak confuse la kan dah masuk waktu ke belom. hehe. and mr hubs got a friend lived here. he helped us a lot with the place lagi la senang kan. he is a malaysian but working here with schlumberger. he stays with his family . company bg dia rumah besar gile 3 tkt complete swimming pool. kalau ada masa, nnti kitorang visit dia. tp tula, mr hubs hari2 pun kol 530 baru abes. kol 6 dah nak berbuka. haih. ok for those going to visit HCMC, pls take a look at this. it might help a bit.

forget about it. let me show you few pictures that we captured on our first day in HCMC.

1) the opera house
Opera houuse ni besar sangat. ada 2 patung separuh bogel kat entarance dia. kebetulan time lalu kawasan ni ada org tgh buat main music.

2) Quach Thi Trang and Ben Thanh Market
org naik kuda ni atau Trang ni antara landmark yg anda perlu tahu sbb sebeleh dia ialah the famous Ben Thanh Market. hahaha.

3) War Remnants Museum
ni museum zaman perang. perang ni cam horror jugak la sbb vietnam kene spray dgn dangerous chemical yg menyebabkan kecacatan. gambar-gambar manusia sembelih manusia is everywhere. huhu. and perang ni tamat pada 1970-an which just few decades back. and all i can say that vietnam has a rapid development on the infrastructure.

4) Notre Dame Cathedral

ni kira historical building jugak la ni. its actually a church. mmg ramai tourist tgh amek2 gambo sume. and of cos la the newlyweds pun sebok jugak amek gamba. hari ahad kan mmg mcm ni. ade la time kitorang lalu kawasan ni dekat 6 pasang pengantin tgh amek gamba. pastu gown2 derang, makk aiiii. mmg taknak kalah punye. :P

5) sit-lo

6) kedai helmet colourful
jgn taktau HCMC ni city of motorbikes. so they need more helmets. helmet diorang ni meriah. colorful gitu. corak-corak tayah cite la. macam-macam. maybe motto dia: design and image comes first. safety second. kat sini motor lagi byk dr kereta. pastu parking pun disiplin je. rapat-rapat mengikut susunan even derang takde pun parking lots utk motosikal. tp kalau sape2 driving in HCMC mmg perlukan kesabaran plg tinggi. ingatkan jakarta dah teruk. HCMC lagi dahsyat. honking is the favorite past time i can say.

ok lepas tu ktorang balik hotel untuk berehat-rehat. and i do my homework on the route. haha. then, siap-siap utk turun bukak puasa. tp cam turun awal sikit sbb nak pegi solat kt masjid. kt bilik tatau kiblat. at least pegi sana tau la kiblat mengadap mane kan.
pemain muzik tradisional di lobby

taraaa..saya sudah sampai utk berbuka puasa untuk pertama kalinya di HCMC. dekat sini berbuka awal. pukul 6.17pm dah masuk waktu. and halal @ saigon offers variety of food, both vietnamese and malaysian food. yg kelakarnye, time kitorang dtg ni, siap pasang lagu alleycats lagi. haha.

okla thats all for now. i wish it can help a bit for those ppl going to HCMC later. :)
have a great Monday ppl!