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Showing posts from July, 2010

Crossing the Borders and Mekong River


Nowadays there are many buses, night and day, operated between Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and Siem Reap (SR). It took 6 hours to go from HCMC to Pnomh Penh (PP) and plus 6 hours to SR. We decided to take Mekong Express (in the day time) based on people recommendation in internet. It is the first bus company that operates HCMC - SR route, so the buses were considered old but I believe they were more professional and experienced.

Our hotel in HCMC offered this bus ticket for $25 per person, but we could get $20 from other tour agent. We waited in the tour agent office, to be picked up to bus terminal where the bus was waiting. It was just few blocks away from the office (around backpacker area), but we brought along some heavy luggages so the picked-up-guy took taxi for us (he paid for the taxi).

They have one steward/stewardess (with uniform) for each bus who's traveling along. When the bus started moving (around 8 am), she started talking in bilingual, one was English and …

Horrible Tour


Today we woke up early because we took a full day tour toCu Chi Tunneland Cao Dai Temple start on 8 am. Mrs Vu (the hotel owner) booked the tour for us which costs $8. FYI, do not book any tour via online, usually it's much expensive than the usual price, better approaching travel agents directly once you arrive in HCMC. Cu Chi tour half day should be around $5, Mekong Delta 1 day tour is around $7 and City tour is around $10.

After breakfast, Mrs Vu gave me the receipt, and I spotted that she'd booked us for half day tour to Cu Chi Tunnel (without Cao Dai Temple). Tried not to panic, I reminded her that we wanted full day tour, hope we could get it. For few minutes she tried to contact several tour agents until finally she got spots for us. We were picked up by a guy and sent us to this minibus. The tour guide was too much speaking, in a bad way, I didn't like it! First we went to Handicapped Handicrafts, a workshop for handicapped people, victims of toxic chem…

Going Around Ho Chi Minh City


Today I woke up late almost 9.30 am due to world cup and holiday mode on. Hurry up going downstairs to catch the breakfast that lasted til 10 am. Our day plan was easy and relax, walking around the city to visit landmark buildings of Ho Chi Minh City. We didn't take any tour (which usually costs around $10), we went around by ourselves: War Remnant Museum, Reunification Palace, Notredame Church, Post Office building, Opera House, People Committee Hall, and Revolutionary Museum. That way we could go anywhere we wanted, and total costs we spent not even $5. One funny thing when we went to War Remnant Museum by cab, the driver who could not speak English ask us: "voom voom voom?" like a gun/bomb shooting sound, to make sure our destination. This museum really made us depression with all the bloody pictures during Vietnam war with US troops.

We had lunch in a famous Vietnamese foods restaurant named Nha Hang Ngon or Quan An Ngon. From internet we noted the address…

Greetings from Saigon

Yesterday morning I was still in Singapore. I called and got taxi to office around 9.30 am when taxi fare was not in Peak-hour anymore, which was less expensive. I put my luggage in the receptionist, then went upstairs to my workstation for working half day. I didn't expect much works to do, I'd already sniffed the smell of holiday. But the universe stated otherwise. Don't you feel that every time you're going on leave, suddenly there are many things to be done?

From office, the hectic madness moved to Changi Airport. Ok, this is not something you should try. Me and my friend had Tiger Airways tickets without check-in baggage and was sure we would not bring more than 7kg, but on the day it turned out each of us carried luggage around 8kg. In check-in counter, they didn't check about it and I thought we were already safe. But after passing the gate towards immigration counters, there was additional checking session for the cabin baggage. Crap! I am sure this is new…