Sunday, 28 December 2008

Ho Chi Minh City trip - 28 Dec 08

Today our itinerary is shopping. We woke up earlier today as we intend to head to Ben Thanh Market first. As the afternoon sun is unbearable, we go there early in the morning and to avoid the crowd.
We went to Bi Saigon Cafe for breakfast. YQ ordered pancake while I ordered omelette. I found the whenever I order omelette, it would come with the French Loaf. I'm sian of eating french loaf. =(

Our breakfast

We head to Ben Thanh Market as it was not crowded as yesterday afternoon. We walked around and I bought quite a lot of things.

We intend to have Banh Xeo for lunch but the problem is I can't locate the street on the map. -_-" When we were buying jeans, I saw a map at the stall and found the location so I ask the owner whether they can give me the map, haha... I bought jeans and get free map. We board a cab and i point out the location at the map to the driver and luckily the driver know how to go cos the cab fare is only VND 30,000 ~ S$3.
Banh Xeo is located at 46A Dinh Cong Trang Street (a block or so east of Hai Ba Trung, about 500m of the Notre Dame) and is open from 10am to 10pm. According to my research, it's frequently missed for its slightly out-of-the-way location. If I didn't have the map, I may give this place a miss cos the taxi driver may not be able to find the location.

Banh Xeo is a unique Mekong-style dish, a crispy pancake filled with pork, shrimp and bean sprouts. The pancake is huge and we were really very full after finishing the pancake. Luckily we only ordered one pancake and 2 coconuts drinks. The lunch cost us VND78,000 ~ S$7.80 which is pretty cheap. The pancake is really really nice and I would strongly recommend it.
Enjoying coconut drink @ Banh XeoOnly one location!!! Beware that there is another shop opposite selling Banh Xeo Banh Xeo
The fillings Toddler covered with veil
Location of Banh Xeo
Making of Banh Xeo
For your reference

Dinh Cong Trang Street
A church at the junction of the Dinh Cong Trang Street and Hai Ba Trung Street

After lunch, we head to Saigon Square. According to YQ's frenz, they said that this place is more affordable and they even bought a blouse for S$3. There are 2 storeys and is air-conditioned, more comfortable than shopping in Ben Thanh Market. There was blackout twice when we are inside but the electricity resume quick fast, I guess it should be quite common here. I bought a blouse which YQ's frenz bought yesterday. Alas, after i bought it, the shop opposite slashed the price to S$2.50. ><"

We left and head to Parkson Plaza, these are the 2 places left which YQ's frenz had elimimated from a list of shopping places. Haha... someone has already done the homework for me. =p Parkson Plaza is more like a departmental store and the things sold here are those branded goods. We didnt bought anything here and left within 15 min.

Saigon Square
Inside Saigon Square
Parkson Plaza

We head to Fanny Ice Cream for dessert. Fanny Ice Cream is located at 29-31 Ton That Thiep, D1 (near the corner of Pasteur St). Temple Club restarurant is located above.

Well, the ice cream does not taste great but it was indeed quite creative in the layout. They offer ice cream buffet at VND 67,000 from 7-11pm on the first Friday of every month. Those interested can check it out.

Fa Baileys Ice Cream

Dame Blanche

Alfresco area

Soon, it started to rain and we stay at Fanny Ice Cream until 2.45pm and left for massage. We board at cab to Therapy Massage Ngoc Anh which is located at 31/1 Nguyen Binh Khiem St, D1. When we reached there, the place a bit run down and we were offered cold drinks while browsing through the price list. The price here are definitely much cheaper than the foot massage we had yesterday. We chose the 60min body massage and 75min foot massage. It only cost VND 190,000 ~ S$19.

Steam bath and suana are included in the package but we didnt use it. There is a locker where you can put your belongings and we shared one locker. After the massage, the therapist would give you a piece of paper where you indicate the amount of tips. YQ and I both tipped them VND20,000 each.

Currently they have 4 outlets:
1) Therapy Massage Ngoc Anh: 348 Cach Mang Thang Tam St, Dist 3 HCMC
2) Therapy Massage Ngoc Anh: 31/1 Nguyen Binh Khiem St. Dist 1 HCMC
3) Beauty Spa Ngoc Anh: 93 Nguyen Binh Khiem St, Dist1 HCMC (Charge in US$ & more ex)
4) Beauty Spa Majestic Ngoc Anh: 1 Dong Khoi St, Dist 1 HCMC (First floor)

The massage location

By the time we finished the massage, it's already 6.30pm so we board a cab and head to a place for dinner. Alas, the restaurant is no longer around when we reached there so we walked and see if there are other eateries. We stopped by a shop which sell chicken rice, should be quite nice cos there are lots of locals and takeaways. We stand there for about 5min but there is no available seats and somemore nobody seems to usher us in. I told YQ to head somewhere else cos I'm also worried that they could not speak English. In the end, we walked and walked before we saw this cafe and there is menu in English so we went in and had our dinner.

Inside the restaurant


Braised pork with egg and Braised pork in claypot moc style

After we finished our dinner, YQ said that he wanna buy a packet of the chicken rice to try. We walked back to the shop and this time, the crowd has disappear and someone speak English to us. We ordered one packet for takeaway and it cost VND21,000.

Chicken rice stall



When we reached the hotel, I ask YQ to eat the chicken rice but he replied that he's full. I told him to consume it while it's hot otherwise it wouldn't be nice when it's cold. He just ignore me and continue watching his TV. After I finished my bath, then he start to eat the chicken rice, it's already cold by then and the chicken taste quite nice but I only eat a bit as I was still full. He also eat a little bit as he told me that he just bought it to try.

Chicken rice

My shopping spree

YQ shopping spree

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