Thursday, November 07, 2013

Backpacking at Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Part 1

Note: Dear all, im using blogger apps on Android Note 8 and I cant insert photos after paragrapgh. It only appear after my blog post! Terrible apps but I still have to use it because I dont have laptop with me! DO scroll down after post for photos!!!  Thank you!!!!

Our 2013 backpacking mission!

With two guys, Jj and Bobby tag along this trip, the more the merrier!

Booked air tickets 1 year earlier with Airasia promo, a return trip (KUL-> HCM -> KUL) only cost us RM180 (about USD60).

Landed at Ho Chi Minh International Airport in the morning, with the arranged airport transfer by hostel (USD20 per way, van) send us direct to Townhouse 50 Saigon.

You know you are in Saigon when the streets packed with motorcycles!!
And no one really follow the rules of traffic lights!! (We found a tee in market which reads out: Green light I can go, Yellow light I can go, Red light I STILL CAN GO! <- I regret I didnt get this!)

Half an hour stuck in the busy streets and we are greeted with cold drinks at Townhouse 50 Saigon by Britney. She is a friendly staff who will take care of everything! Our mixed dorm rooms is 12 beds eith shared male/female bathroom/toilet. 6 of us, so we took the room space by half! Clean hostel and good location for about USD10 per pax/bed.

After we are shown our dorms and locked stuff in locker, we went for a quite Vietnamese bites across the street which recommended by Britney.

I must say that, most menus and road signs in Saigon didn't have English translation, abit hard for us to communicate with locals. Lucky this shop have proper translation!

We ordered sticky rice with Vietnamese steamed pork & braised pork, Vietnamese sticky rice with onion, and of course the must-have Vietnamese Spring rolls! (By the way, they always served cold tea at every cafes/restaurants when they hand out menus!)

Headed back to Townhouse where our shuttle waiting for us to Cu Chi Tunnel! For your information, they have bus tour service to there but we couldnt make it on time as the bus leave around 8am and we only landed after that mentioned time. So thats why we get van shuttle!

Cu Chi Tunnel is about 40km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, takes about an hour ride. Admission to the tunnel, a guided trip cost us USD5 each.

The guide showed us the tunnels are used to provide refuge & defense the American soldiers. He even showed us the weapons used and bring us to walk in one of the shortest tunnel which is reconstructed to fit a normal size human goinf through! Because those Vietnamese in older days, they are much small sized!

How they survived under the tunnels? We are shown those "breathing holes" on soils and usually either under or next to the trees which is not easy spotted by the Soldiers. 

Such a tough time for Vietnamese to live beneath the soils during the war for about 25 years. They cook, eat, sleep, study, recreating weapons from those used bomb by American and even surgery room down there!

Towards the end of the visit, we went to shooting range! We chose AK47 (which is 35.000VND per bullet, but must buy 10 bullets at least). Oh gawd, the person in charge during our shooting is a short tempered man who always instructed us to "shoot" in his loud voice and strict looking face! Every shoots was rushed and not really having a fun time!

We leaded to hand washing area, spring water from bamboo. And we are served tapiaco (asian potatoes) with combination of peanuts, sugar and salt as dip for the potatoes and pot of pandan tea!

Group photos taken with the tour guide before we headed the exit!
I recommend this place is a must visit, if your want to know more about Vietnamese history. I always love history!

And we had our dinner the Vietnamese way!! We found this little noodles shop flooded with locals. And Bobby said, this must be good! Low tables and chairs, and by the roadside! We shared bowls of beef noodles! And they served herbs vegetables too, add to your liking to the soups or just munch it!

And our next Vietnamese food galore is economic fast food!
How fun to end a day! :)

P/s while im blogging this, im having a cup of Vietnamese coffee! I never like black coffee but I fall in love with them! ♡
Backpacking here we go!!

Everyone stuck In the middle of junction!

Common area at Townhouse50 Saigon

Common area at Townhouse50 Saigon

Townhouse50 Saigon

Welcome drinks!

12 beds mixed dorm

Us at Townhouse50 Saigon entrance!

Our 1st Vietnamese eat out!

Cold refreshing tea!

Sticky rice with spring onion

The must have, Vietnamese steam spring rolls

Sticky rice with mixed pork

At the ticketing booth Cu Chi Tunnel

Our guide showing us the hidden tunnel.

The tunnel entry!

Breathing hole! For those living under the soils!

Modified entrance for tourist purposes!

Us on the destroyed tank!

Their slippers made from tyres. Durable and thick!

Shooting range bullet pricing!

For shooters only!


Have a crawl to experience Vietnamese Living under tunnels!

Complimentary Potatoes served with crushed peanut&sugar&salt and pandan tea! this is what they had under the soils during war!

Girls and the guide.

Boys and the guide!

Our 1st round dinner! Low tables & chairs by the roadside and pho!


The busy centre of Saigon when night falls!

Our 2nd round dinner of the day! With Vietnamese economic fast food!

Bbq 3 layer pork!

Our 2nd round dinner: Vietnamese economic fast food!!

Full of bikes at Saigon city!

P/s Sipping a cup of Vietnamese coffee :)

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