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 and was not there in the beginning of the year. So yeah we both were caught up and each of us had to pay $18 for 1 kg exceed baggage. This is so expensive compare to $12.5/15kg if we just bought it online. Then we excused to go back outside the gate to throw some things, but all we did was transfering some things from the luggage to our handbag. They did not weigh handbag, only the luggage, so yay we did not have to pay anything! :P
The flight from Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City takes 1 hour and 40 minutes. Tan Son Nhat International Airport is decent and nice. We went towards taxi stand and was offered a cab to city for $10, by the taxi stand keeper guy. Before, the hotel staff had already informed me via email that taxi fare to hotel is $10, so we took it. But when we were already inside, the cab was moving, we showed our hotel's address, the driver who did not speak English suddenly said something about $20. Shoot, the guy in the airport said $10 but the driver asked us for $20 because of far distance, traffic jam and airport parking ticket, WTF! Of course we said no. Along the way he still tried to say $20, and then down to $17 then to $15. But we insisted to pay $10, and additional 50,000 VND ($2.5) for the airport parking ticket. He seemed so unhappy, whatever! Deal is deal. Next time please get Mai Linh or Vinasun taxi with metres!
Arrived in Luan Vu Hotel, located in backpacker area Bui Vien St, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1. I have booked via email the cheapest double room they have, it's $18/night for 2 people. The room is good filled by aircon, fan, fridge, tv and bathroom with hot water. Also free breakfast and free internet are provided. What I dislike are the room's location which is on the 4th floor without lift. There is free wifi, too bad it was not reliable, but it's no big deal lah!
After putting all belongings, we walked to Ben Tanh Market. It's already closed but there is night market around the place, selling all unique things from Vietnam. Along the way, we crossed many streets full of motorbikes, crazy hell! Also electric cables there are chaotic, just like in Phuket.
We had dinner in Pho 2000, to try the best Vietnamese noodle soup in Ho Chi Minh City. One funny moment, when we tried to order Shrimp Spring Roll, the waitress said to me: "you pork?" Huh, she called me pig?! Apparently she wanted to say that the spring roll contains of pork, and (surprisingly) she guessed correctly that I don't eat pork (maybe from my appearance like a moslem Malay). While my friend is a Chinese who really looks like a Vietnamese.
Back to hotel. Another good thing in this guesthouse is many TV channels. Trinity was right, movies are dubbed into Vietnamese language by only 1 person! A man, girl, child... all have the same voice. I slept and woke up at 1.30 AM to watch the hot match Germany vs Spain on local TV channel, with Vietnamese commentator.
Ok that's it for the first day, see you on the next story!
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