This is my 5th day and also the last day of my Vietnam trip. If you like to see the last 4 days of my trip, please do click here. Above photo shows the corridor of Elios Hotel (which I am staying) – I was pretty satisfied with the overall experience (clean and good location) but just that sometimes it does get rather noisy in the wee hours when other guests return after a “night out”. Some guests also smoke at the corridor and the ciggie smell can get into the room. Not good for those whose are light sleepers or have sensitive nose!
Free wireless is available to all hotel guests. Took this while going for breakfast.
We do not have much on the itinerary today as basically we just want to rest/relax and do some shopping. This is also the reason why we woke up slightly later than usual. 🙂
After our breakfast, we went to nearby Highlands Coffee to laze around and also have their famous Vietnamese Coffee. Photo above is showing the 2nd floor of Highlands Coffee at De Tham street (near to Pham Ngu Lao St).
For smokers, you may want to check out the outside seats where you can sip you coffee and see traffic buzzing by. Yeah, the Highlands Coffee is directly opposite Allez Boo (See “A Day in Ho Chi Minh City” for my visit there). Noticed that there are lots of overhanging wires around?
Traditional Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk, served with the tin dripper. VND 28,000.
Ca phe sua nong (Vietnamese: cà phê sữa nóng) — literally, “hot coffee with milk”.
After lazing at Highlands Coffee for an hour, we took a taxi to Cho Binh Tay (Binh Tay Market) which is the main market of Cho Lon (Chinatown). Taxi ride costs VND 70, 000 from Highlands Coffee at De Tham street.
Many shops are available here! Decided to quickly head inside the market to escape from the scorching sun.
Ladies, any handbags for you?
Rows of dried food and spices for sale!
Bags, backpacks and travel luggage can all be found here! My partner bought a “The North Face” branded backpack here at VND 180,000.
Store layout – it’s quite a large market with 2 floors selling a vast variety of products ranging from food, bags, shoes, slippers. Look at the bottom of the chart.
Hats for sale! As it was a hot day, we bought 2 hats (each at VND 30,000). Should have gotten it during our first day not the last day! Haha! But anyway it’s fine, we will use it for other upcoming trips.
Exploring the 2 floor of Binh Tay Market.
Chinese pagoda/structure at the middle of Binh Tay Market.
View of Binh Tay Market from the opening area in the middle.
Dragon statue sprouting water in a pond with fishes…
Public bus? We took a taxi from here and the taxi driver really took us for a ride by going round in circles thinking that we don’t know. Then, I purposely took out the map to check and then in less than 3 mins, we reached Ben Thanh Market.
Pho 2000 is the reason why we are coming to Ben Thanh Market area. The restaurant’s slogan is “Pho for the President” and this is because was honored by a visit from former United States President Bill Clinton in 2000.
After the lunch, since we are nearby to Ben Thanh Market, so decided to walk around for last minutes buys.
Food stalls at Ben Thanh Market. I forgot to try the glass dessert (che) here…heard that it was nice… 🙁
For coffee lovers, there is large variety of pre-mixed coffee powder for your selection.
Souvenirs and handicrafts are also available too!
Of course, how can Ben Thanh Market not have the girl’s stuffs such as handbags, purse, hair accessories, etc.
Walking back to Elios Hotel to take a break. There wasn’t much people around as it’s a Sunday and they are likely to be lazing at home.
After the short break, we venture out to look for a manicure shop that we passed by several days ago as my partner wanted to do her nails. Passing by Crazy Buffalo Saigon again.
Another nearby restaurant and bar, Go 2 Eat.
Walking along Le Lai street. The manicure shop which my partner wanted to go is closed. Haha…
Fruit seller along the streets.
Wet market where the locals purchase their daily groceries. We did pass by this area in the night before and it was really rowdy and gives my my partner an insecure feeling!
Pocha Korean Restaurant, seems to me that there are quite a lot of Korean restaurants around. Probably, it’s due to the influx of Koreans working in Ho Chi Minh City.
On our way back along Pham Ngu Lao, there were several fire engines on the road which was creating quite a scene. My partner said maybe it’s our hotel that caught fire and I quickly dismissed the thought. The fire engines was blaring their sirens as if something drastic had happened but after their loitering around the area for a few minutes, they left! Maybe it was a false alarm?
Anyway, we headed towards Sasa Cafe (242 De Tham Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) for dinner. It’s our second time here in 5days! See here for the first visit.
Having the delicious spring rolls (10 pieces) again VND 33,000.
Enchiladas VND 62,000. Also had 2 x Saigon beer (VND 15,000 each) and 1 Dalat red wine (VND 22,000). Total for the dinner is VND 195,000. After dinner, we went back to hotel early to do packing up and also to have an early night as our flight back to Singapore is at 9am. We need to leave from hotel around 7.30am to cater additional time just in case we are caught in traffic jam.
Woke up, eat breakfast, checked out and then took a cab to the airport for VND 120,000 (fixed price). It was due to the hotel bellboy asking whether I need a taxi to the airport, which I replied “Yes”. I thought he was going to help us flagged down a taxi (using meter) but instead he bought us over to another taxi which promptly asked for VND 120,000. As I don’t want to be late for my flight, so I accepted without any haggling. My estimation that it will cost around VND 95,000 during 0730am.
Checked-in and waiting for our JetStar flight to arrive from Singapore (which will route back to Singapore).
Boarding the plane for our journey back home.
The overall trip was fun and amazing even though the weather was really hot. Next time we will be more prepared!
There are a few places or activities which I planned but didn’t visit or do respectively, namely
- Visit “Reunification Palace“.
- Try “Jolly Spa” at 38 Mac Dinh Chi Street, Q1, HCMC”
- Visit “Quan An Ngon at 41/1 Pham Ngoc Thach, Q3 – a food-court layout but with various small stalls each whipping their specialties. Prices are inexpensive.
- Eat “Bang Chang” – heard it’s nice and made primarily of vegetables, much like salad.
- Eat “Glass dessert (che)” at Ben Thanh Market.
- Explore more at Vung Tau (beaches, temples, statue of Jesus, seafood, etc.)
Well, it’s fine as it gives us another reason (other then the cheap and tasty beers) to return to Ho Chi Minh City. I also heard great feedback from fellow travelers about Dalat and Halong Bay! Both places will be in my next itinerary for sure! Might even add Cambodia (Phnom Penh and Siem Reap) if my partner (cannot take hot weather) is not joining!
Until next time then, Vietnam!