20170414 Ho Chi Minh

Well rested yet somehow still a bit blur, our adventure in Ho Chi Minh continues.

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Went to bed super late last night. Ended up watching a handful of episodes of ‘Doc Martin’ to fall asleep. Thanks netflix LOL.

Our room without a window played all sorts of havoc on me. Couldn’t quite tell whether it was time to get up or continue sleeping. I recall my alarm blasting away a few times but I remember turning it off as well! Damn that snooze button.

Made it to breakfast at the hotel lobby (thank goodness their breakfast hours are from 6-12noon! Perfect for late starters…no finger pointing please.

After a few minutes planning away, a guy from the street approached me and wanted to clean my shoes. He wouldn’t take no for an answer and proceeded to peel my shoes away. After that, we headed back to the hotel room to wash up and get ready to venture out.

2pm. First stop. Dropped in for a drink at ‘Phuc Long’. Interesting name huh? Nice coffee shop just next door to our hotel. Appears to be a franchise of some sort that is very popular with the locals. Ordered a rich milk coffee (1 hot and 1 cold).

So first up was the rich milk coffee. Delightful. Cold, thick, earthy and delicious. I wouldn’t describe this refreshing, but rather more dessert-esque. The hot rich milk coffee was sweet, caramel and made my eyes pop open. Didn’t realise it was like an espresso shot. Still went down nicely though.

Coffees were about 25k-30k VD. Sweet, creamy and tasty. Quite filling mind you.

Have got a few things planned for the rest of the day – mostly food adventures. Plus a couple of the landmark ‘must visit’ sites. 

Whist on the way to the War Remnants Museum, dropped by the famous Ban Mih place. A stuffed french bread sandwich that is simply to die for. Sweet, savoury, crunchy, chewy, creamy, spicy. Wow. All in one. What a treat indeed.

A Ban Mih sandwich at this place was 35k VD.

Another pit stop along the way to the museum. More coffee! Sweet with condensed milk and chocolatey like a mocha. Divine. Had some spillage due to lack of knowledge of how to prepare the hot coffee and transfer it to the iced glass…oops.

Traditional drip coffee. Was about 25k VD if I recall correctly. Hot water is poured into the top canister filled with ground coffee. The hot water seeps through the holes and you get droplets of delectable coffee in the cup below (pre filled with condensed milk). Once all the hot water has gone through, remove the dripper, stir your coffee with the condensed milk and pour into an ice filled glass. 

Will we ever make it to the museum? Only time will tell.

….And we made it!

15k VD entrance fee. Interesting, informative and overall quite depressing.

And back to the food. Amanda picked up a ‘bone’. 

15k VD.

Then we went hunting for a famous Pho shop. Unfortunately, it no longer existed. So we ended up wandering around. Partially joined mass at Notre Dam church.

Free entry though, they do restrict tourists during holy prayers.

Then a quick stop at Hard Rock cafe for a beer.

More expensive than local joints of course, but at about 40k VD, I thought this was still pretty reasonable.

With our stomachs now growling from the amount of walking we did today, we made our way to ‘Secret Garden’. Scary at first with a totally uninviting entrance and a spooky staircase to match, we were pleasantly surprised by this hidden roof top restaurant that was super packed. The food was great and cheap too! All for circa 360k VD. We had squid / cucumber salad (which tasted like assam laksa!), sour fish soup and stuffed snails. Delicious.

Creepy stair cases. But rewards come to those who preservere!

Stuffed snails. Horrible to look at but really tasty.

Sour fish soup. Really tasty with some rice.

Then we went wandering again. Quick pit stop for a steamed bun.Steamed plain bun 10k VD.

A wander around the square…

Bustling with locals and tourists. 

And then we arrived at our destination. An apartment block filled with cafes!

Really quite remarkable. Don’t know how long this will be here for. Heard that it will be torn down or refurbished for apartment use again in the near future.

An uninviting entrance and spooky stairs (sound familiar?) but still a lot of character and very interesting.

Do you dare to continue?

Decided on ‘Boo Cafe’. Cute little coffee shop on the 8th floor. Coffees go for about 25k VD per cup.

And now, high on coffee and stomach satisfied, crawled back to our hotel and called it a night. Ciao.

Author: sethleong

Hi. My name is Seth and I love taking pictures and writing about food, travels and random stuff.

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