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VIETNAM FOR VIET-NOMS

Thursday, April 20, 2017
Flew up to Ho Chi Minh City in March over the weekend for Daphne's birthday trip! In total we were 6 girls on a #girlfriendsphoever trip - Daphne was trying to think of a suitable hashtag & yours truly came up with that. Ok fine it was basically a rip-off of #phoeverfriends.

Here's everything we got up to over the 4 days, chronicled entirely on my iPhone 7 Plus :)


So yeah there I was happily minding my own business watching Moana (after hearing how it's really good & all that; it was slightly underwhelming). Daphne was beside me & she was fiddling with her hand sanitiser when lo & behold... She got the cap open & a shot of hand sanitiser flew out & hit me square in the eye. HOW DOES THIS STUFF HAPPEN TO ME LIKE WHAT ARE THE ODDS.

As you can see my eye is super red & in the beginning it was burning SO BADLY.
I was clutching my face & tearing like crazy. I couldn't open my eye at all!

Me: *rubbing my eye frantically & tearing like mad*
Daphne: "Omg your eyelash extensions!"
Me: "I DON'T CARE"
LOL #priorities...


Speaking of which, check out the size of Daphne's luggage haha. She looks more like she's going on a 3-week long vacation rather than a 4D3N. And yup there's my battered green suitcase which has followed me on so many flights around the world! That's the exact suitcase I used to use even for my 3-week long trips to Europe wtf #packingskillswin.


So there's my outfit OOTD which basically usually involves jeans for practical airplane-seating as well as a cardigan for cold air-conditioning! And featuring Daphne's Rimowa as my prop since my own suitcase looks terrible.

And we got a great recommendation from our hotel for a proper legit hair salon just opposite that was modern & fairly posh, yet cost only S$11 for a hair wash! As someone with very long hair, I hate having to wash it because it's such a drag. A hair treatment at the same salon only costs S$28 or so but unfortunately I didn't get time to do it before I left!

 

After taking a short nap we headed out to explore the surrounding area & one of the restaurants along our road was running an oyster promotion that day! Urban Kitchen & Bar was industrial-chic & pretty affordable for the "poshness". The oysters (both fresh & baked, which I wasn't a fan of) were about S$1 - $1.50 each & I think we got 20 in total or something haha.


Girlfriends L-R: Jacqueline, Daphne, Sheena, myself & Maggie! Missing Rebekah. Think we didn't actually manage to get one picture that had the entire 6-girls #girlfriendsphoever team.

And so the story with my outfit is... I've owned this white top since 2013 & I had no issues fitting into it back then. So I didn't think anything more of it when I chucked it into my suitcase. Then in Vietnam I pulled it on &... I couldn't zip it up. Like, absolutely could not.

So what did I do?

Nothing. I let it be HAHA.
I considered it a "DIY" bareback top since it was zipped up halfway at the back. I simply tucked in the sides so the back became a V-shape. Ingenious right?

At dinner I burst a seam moving slightly. Ok never mind.

Then... a strap almost snapped completely. It was barely hanging by a thread.
WTF. OK TIME TO FACE FACTS.

Had to head back to the hotel to change...................
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So after dinner at El Gaucho Steakhouse which is really famous, we headed to Penthouse Rooftop Lounge! It's not actually on a rooftop, nor is it really a lounge lounge. It's pretty much a club.


I'd have to say the Vietnamese really know how to party! The service staff were super attentive & it's so cute how they serve a platter of fruits hahaha. And Singapore banned shisha entirely a few years back. I remember going to Arab Street for shisha back when it was still common.


The next day we got up early-ish & headed to this local restaurant famous for serving crab dishes!
Ok wow the address is kinda difficult; you really need Vietnamese friends lol.

Thuy Restaurant
84 Đinh Tiên Hoàng, Đa Kao, Quận 1

The food was really good & the crabmeat was really generous! 
Loved the crabmeat beehoon & spring rolls.


Our friends brought us to this indoor shopping space called The New Playground which was full of lots of really cool shops! Lots of cute clothes & accessories & each shop was well-decorated. Prices were still very reasonable as well, ranging from S$10 - S$40.

The New Playground
26 Lý Tự Trọng, Bến Nghé, Quận 1


Bought quite a few accessories on this trip! Hehe happy.


42 Nguyễn Huệ, Bến Nghé, Quận 1

Have you seen those Vietnamese apartment blocks where every unit is a cafe or boutique?
We stopped at one of those for a tea break! It's pretty nice sitting at the narrow balconies overlooking the bustling streets below.


Grabbed dinner at l'Usine, which is a French restaurant which a super pretty interior!
It's supposed to be quite well-known as well but we found the food to be pretty ordinary cafe fare. Luckily the prices are very reasonable so we ordered A TON of food & ate ourselves silly.

l'Usine
70B Le Loi, District 1


Drinks at Glow, which is a 2-storey rooftop bar overlooking the city! Views here were really nice but cocktails pricey, averaging about S$18 each. And after that it was back to Penthouse! Ok the 2 pictures really look like the difference between your own photos versus tagged photos hahaha.


Lunch the next day at Pizza 4Ps which was really good! This restaurant can get pretty crowded so do consider making a reservation first! Please take into account the popularity of this place.

Again prices were really reasonable & food was great! Their crab pasta is pretty famous & the cheese appetisers above were so good that we reordered them a second time!

Pizza 4Ps
8/15 Le Thanh Ton, District 1


Haha the Vietnamese Dong took some getting used to because their currency runs really large.

And yes wtf I packed 3 pairs of shoes, wore 1, bought 1 at the airport & finally bought 1 more in Ho Chi Minh. So I wound up with 6 pairs of shoes for 4D3N #overkill #HCMFashionWeek


The girls wanted to head out one last time & luckily I had a spare dress to wear. Looks like a party dress but in reality it's just a basic dress from H&M in size 34, a.k.a. too small for me so it became a minidress. We headed out to Qui Cuisine Mixology, which is another famous bar.

22 Lê Thánh Tôn, Bến Nghé, Quận 1

The cocktails were again a bit on the high side though & were very comparable to posher bars in Singapore. This big cocktail bowl came up to S$100 :O


The day of our return we squeezed in another massage (really good & cheap!) + I had my hair washed again! Lunch was also at a recommended restaurant just beside our hotel:

Quan Bui
17a Ngô Văn Năm, Bến Nghé, Quận 1

By the way our hotel was in a great location in District 1, which is basically the centre! There were tons of restaurants around us, everything was within a 10-minute taxi ride & places like Qui Cuisine were even within walking distance. You can consider our hotel if you're travelling to Ho Chi Minh!

Bay Hotel Ho Chih Min
7 Ngô Văn Năm, Bến Nghé, Quận 1
(same group as Bay Hotel Singapore)


Finally it was time to head home... We all departed at different times based on our various work schedules & flights. Luckily I remembered to buy magnets to add to my fridge collection :D I began collecting magnets in perhaps my 2nd or 3rd year flying? Some crew do things like collect a snow globe from each city, or take an exact same picture (same pose but different background)...

And yes I was very pleasantly surprised to bump into a stewardess I had flown with before & she recognised me, so she gave me a little care package. This is something that crew usually do for each other on flights (where one is travelling on holiday of course). And we also have the custom of buying a little token snack/food for the operating crew when we board their flight, but since it was such a short flight (about 2 hours) I thought I needn't bother. Felt a little bad that I had nothing for her or the crew working that day! What we do is maybe buy things like chocolates or snacks like curry puffs, pandan cake, or any local snacks from the destination we just came from. It's just basically a way to thank the crew for serving you today since they're your fellow colleagues.

Being back on a SIA flight definitely made me miss flying a little... aside from the many destinations, I actually really enjoyed the work itself. I loved how everything rolls out like clockwork & I did enjoy making people happy. And even though to a crew this Ho Chi Minh flight is just a turnaround (meaning they don't get to spend a night there), I still missed the actual stewardessing as I watched them work.

If you haven't seen it on my Instagram, I filmed a short video for this Vietnam trip!

That's it for my little Vietnam getaway! It was lots of fun to hang out with all the girls & see a little more of a city that I knew very little of! Quite a few friends were surprised at how fun Ho Chi Minh turned out to be. There's lots of great food, shopping & massages & best of all, prices are comparatively low. Taxis & Ubers are also cheap & easy to get!

Till the next time Vietnam!

<3

1 comment on "VIETNAM FOR VIET-NOMS"
  1. Great advise and Guide. I have started traveling as a friends group. Your above tips will surely help us complete our goals in the long term. Travel Agency in India

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