This post is <b>SUPER</b> long overdue! I've got a lot a lot of photos to post for my trip to HCM! So I'm going to split my HCM trip up into several posts. Alright! Let me start my recollection of our <strong>2007 Ho Chi Minh trip</strong>!

This post is SUPER long overdue! If not for Malique’s plurk, I would have thought I’d posted my trip to Ho Chi Minh (HCM) already! But to my horror, when I was trying to search for the post for his plurk, I couldn’t find it!!

Anyway, I’ve got a lot a lot of photos to post for my trip to HCM! So I’m going to split my HCM trip up into several posts. But mainly under the following groupings…

1. Arriving at Ho Chi Minh – my first impression
2. Things I saw on the street and at the market
3. The yummy and cheap food! *slurps*
4. People I saw
5. Leaving Ho Chi Minh
(I’ll link this content up once the posts are up.)

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Alright! Let me start my recollection of our 2007 Ho Chi Minh trip!

As my mother was returning from her trip that night before our flight to HCM, we decided to welcome her back and stay overnight at the airport since our flight was quite early in the morning. That was the first time I spent hanging out at the airport for that long! With our luggage, we traveled from T1 to T2 than back to T1 again.


We spent sometime trying to decide where to settle down and what to do for that night.

Then we settled at Coffee Bean. Found a comfortable sofa seats and took a break there. We played some scrabble to keep ourselves entertained.

But the game didn’t go too well, our brain was just too tired to form any sensible words. So we went to take a nap at Mcdonalds! And we were not the only ones trying to sleep there loh! There were few other groups of teens hanging around and some trying to sleep while some pretending to study.

What a night we had at the airport! Good thing we have a well furnished and maintained airport. Soon the sun came up and off we went to check-in our luggage and off for breakfast inside the transit area.

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Arriving at Ho Chi Minh – my first impression

The journey from the airport to the heart of HCM took about an hour plus. When we got nearer to the city, we were fascinated by the riders, drivers and pedestrians on the road! I’ve never seen so many motorbikes on the road before! Every corner you’ll see riders and you’ll be entertained by the sound of horns happening everywhere! We have officially declared HCM as the horny-est city!

If my dad is to drive in HCM one day, he’ll be cursing and swearing throughout the entire drive lah! And I’m sure any Singaporean will do the same too. But to the people at HCM, its so common that everyone is just horning but no one was angry with anyone. And no matter how much you horn, your vehicle will still not be able to move much through the jam on the road.

We thought the horns would stop at night. But it was actually worst lah! The traffic at night is twice of those we saw in the day! When we stepped out of our hotel, we didn’t know how the hell we’re going to get across the road with that many bikes riding non-stop! We had to literally squeeze our way through the bikes while they’re being stuck in the jam, having our hands stretched out to prevent from being hit by any of the bikes.

What really impressed me is the way the drivers manage to travel on the road with minimum traffic lights and control system. Especially at the huge round-about, vehicles were coming from all different directions and heading to all kind of corners. But they know when to stop and when to go and when to give way! If that kind of traffic situation should take place in Singapore, it’ll either hold up everyone cause no one knows who to give way to first, or there’ll be a massive accident with cars trying to get on with their journey.


At one of the huge round-abouts

Check out the traffic at night!

Don’t say I didn’t warn you ah! If you’re very sensitive to dust and smoke, you better prepare a mask or buy one there! I couldn’t take the air pollution there and had to buy a homemade mask from one of the many stalls along the street.

My stylo mask! Bought from the lady behind.

Don’t need to be shy about wearing one of those in HCM. Many people around you are wearing it too!

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Things I saw on the street and at the market

After checking out a few hotels around HCM city, we settled down with one that gives us a room with window. The one we first stepped in didn’t have a window at all! We can’t live in a room like that, so we checked out immediately when we found a suitable hotel.

Here’s some shots of the view from our room…

As you can see, the buildings are all very close together and they’re all only 6 to 8 level high. All the hotels are sandwiched between buildings and all buildings have the same structure – a staircase leading up to the lobby and a small basement carpark.

Check out the key to our room!

It’s HUGE lah!!

Our hotel is very near to one of the biggest market and main shopping place at HCM – The Ben Thanh Market.

This market is almost like the weekend market at BKK. But smaller. The ventilation inside the almost enclosed market is very bad too. So be prepared with lots of water and bring tissue or a mini-fan along! Its very very hot in there!

Map showing the layout of stalls in Ben Thanh market

Some of the things we saw inside the market…


Lady selling shoes


Preserved or dried fruits

Crafts from Vietnam…

Outside of the market…

Many flowers and fruits stall

We also visited one of the up market departmental store at HCM. But look at what we saw at the toys section!


Retro toys!!

It sure was an interesting find at a departmental store. These you’ll never see in Singapore. I wonder if kids these days still want to play with these toys?

One other pretty sight is the ladies selling colorful balloons around the city…


Pretty isn’t it?


Will anyone float in the air from carrying that many balloons?

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All right, enough of scrolling for this long post. Your fingers must be tired by now. :P I’ll continue my recollection of HCM in my next post. Stay tune for it!


Click to view more photos taken with Nikon D40