[Here is the photostream of Ho Chi Minh City 2015, for those who prefer pictures to tell a story. 🙂]
After a very sumptuous breakfast at the hotel, we made our way to the War Remnants Museum and spent the remaining morning there.
This is a museum on the Vietnam War, and it is a rather emotional exhibition to us, and it serves to remind us of the cruelty of war and the selfishness of people.
We spotted the M2C café, and immediately went in to avoid the scorching sun. We got seated quickly, and were served iced water that had a bit of tea colour, but essentially tasteless.. Haha 😛
We decided to share a Sticky Rice with Braised Pork (VND65,000++). Hubby wanted a Cold Latte (VND 65,000++), while I settled for a Grapefruit Juice (VND50,000++). Wet tissue was VND1,000 per piece, so in total we spent VND191,000 (~S$12).
The grapefruit juice was super sweet; not quite what I was expecting. The pretty latte was very milky and had a nice balance of acidity and bitterness. The sticky rice reminded us of lotus leaf rice, and while the braised pork was not exactly tender, it had a rather addictive chewiness to it. The gravy went well with the rice, and the cucumber provided a refreshing crunch.
After our break, we went on to the Independent Palace (aka Reunification Palace), where we met a very nice security who helped us cross the road… Haha! But we also met a strange man carrying coconuts with a pole and he randomly placed the pole on hubby’s shoulder and encouraged us to take photos. But hubby was more alert, and thought that the man was probably trying to make money out of us taking photos, and quickly pulled me away!
The Independent Palace was very much like a furniture shop… Plenty of sofa sets 😛 At VND30,000 per pax, it was the most expensive entrance fee that we had paid but enjoyed the least.
After touring the palace, we went to Propaganda Saigon for our late lunch. Decided to try a Pulled Pork Rice Roll (VND90,000++), Taro Cake (VND75,000++), Iced Vietnamese Coffee with Fresh Milk (VND40,000++) and hot Lapsang Souchong Tea (VND35,000++) Oh yeah, hot tea for a hot day 😛 While waiting, we snacked on the peanuts that was served at each table. We enjoyed the rice roll, as the vegetables and dipping sauce made this a refreshing snack. The taro cake was ok, and reminded us a little of our local carrot cake. The coffee was definitely an improvement compared to the previous day, but hubby thought it was just alright. Tea was pretty good though.
After the short break, we went on to cover Notre Dame Cathedral, the Saigon Central Post Office, the Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theatre (aka the Saigon Opera House). It was quite lovely to just look at the architecture, and a pretty leisurely stroll for the rest of the afternoon.
In the late evening, we went for a massage at Nano Nature Spa which we booked a day ago. There was a week-long ½-price promotion to celebrate Women’s Day (aka 三八妇女节), so we chose the usual body massage and paid extra to have the couple room (VND530,000 in total ~S$33). We could have not paid for the room, but that would mean that we would have to share room with others (separate gender room), and since the room rate was not too expensive (around VND70,000), we decided to just pay the extra. The massage was so-so, and definitely not worth full price. In fact, we were feeling rather dissatisfied after the massage and decided to return to Jolene Spa, haha!
We had a relatively light dinner at BBQ Gardens, and ordered the Couple Skewers Combo (VND214,000). The staff helped us set up everything and got the first skewers going. It was pretty nice to sit outdoor and barbecue away, but unfortunately, there were plenty of smokers having dinner too. We also had some free live music from the restaurant opposite 😛 Food was not bad, but not very memorable.
Strolling over to Jolene Spa, we made reservations for a later time, and went to Trung Nguyen Coffee nearby to digest our dinner, and also in search for better coffee. Finally, hubby has discovered the best Vietnamese coffee of the trip! He tried a hot Thanh Cong (VND49,000), which was a creative blend using premium Arabica beans, while I settled for Fresh Guava Juice (VND54,000). The coffee was aromatic and strong, and not too acidic, unfortunately, the guava juice tasted a bit too artificially sweet.
Soon enough, it was time for yet another massage, this time for 90 minutes (VND380,000 each)! Hubby thoroughly enjoyed his massage, but I did not have too much luck with this therapist, and the air-conditioning was blowing directly at me this time, so it was too cold to be enjoyable 😦 But given the good experience 75% of the time, we would probably want to come back here the next time we visit Ho Chi Minh City 🙂
Note that VAT is 5% and service charge is 10%.
- Propaganda Saigon – 21 Hàn Thuyên, Bến Nghé, 1, Hồ Chí Minh City, Vietnam (Phone:+84 8 3822 9048)
- Nano Nature Spa – 140 Pasteur Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Hồ Chí Minh City, Vietnam (Phone: +848 3822 4130 – 3822 4132 – 0972 19 69 69)
- BBQ Garden – 135A Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 1 | 134 – 136 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Phone: +84 8 3823 3340)
- Trung Nguyen Coffee – 84 Bùi Thị Xuân, Bến Thành, 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Việt Nam