A quick brief.
Today,marks one month after celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr. This year, my family (only the three of us) chose to go to a place outside the country. We departed to Ho Chi Minh,Vietnam on the last day of fasting and came back on the 3rd day of raya. Breaking from the tradition, I would say.
Vietnam is not a Muslim country with Muslims percentage of only around 4%. So, there was no raya feel at all. We didn’t go anywhere on the first day since we arrived few hours before Maghrib. So, we just took some rest at the hotel room (New World Hotel). For budget traveling, this place is definitely not an option.
It is a known fact that Malaysians (specifically the Malays) love to go for shopping in Vietnam especially for the textiles (cotton, silk, ready-made clothes and all). And the place where you can find these is called the Ben Thant Market. It is just nearby our hotel but still we couldn’t get the right direction since the Vietnamese don’t speak English. They didn’t even understand when we said “Ben Thant Market”. Not sure if we pronounced the “Ben Thant” wrongly. But seriously, it’s difficult to communicate and I think that the people there are not so friendly unlike Malaysians. Nevertheless, we still managed to find the place. It’s big. There, you can find all the textiles, clothes, t-shirts, coffees, fruits and all kinds of handicrafts.
See..”Cua_Tay = Ben Thant” .. No wonder they dont understand!
What about the price? I think it’s cheap. I mean, such as the cotton textile, after bargained, I can get RM25/4mtr. You can either buy in VND, USD or MYR. Based on my first time experience, I would suggest using MYR. You can’t easily get confused. For simple, good quality t-shirts, I can get RM 7-8 per piece. Of course, if you’re buying in bulk, the price would be a lot cheaper.
On the third day, we went to some famous historical places in Ho Chi Minh and we decided to hire a tour guide, considering that it would not be a good idea to go on our own. So the package includes a visit to the Chi Chi Tunnel, the Reunification Palace, Remnant War Museum, the Central Post Office and Notre-Dame Church. If you love to learn on the world war histories, then these are the places that you must visit if you’re going to Vietnam.
By the way, one important subject: The food. There are few halal restaurants that you can find. We went to try two. One is the ‘Halal@ Saigon’ and the other one ‘Banana Leaf’. It’s quite expensive but you don’t have any option. You must be really careful on choosing the right place to eat. I found one website suggesting few “real” halal restaurants (including those that I mentioned) but unfortunately I didn’t remember the web address. So, please Google it.
On the last day, after breakfast, we headed straight to the airport. All in all, it was a great experience, short but fun. I definitely would love to go there again (for some serious shopping :p)
So, that’s about it. Ciao!