Thursday, 25 August 2016

Two Girls Extended Weekend Trip @ Ho Chih Minh, Vietnam (Day 2)

Morning Saigon!
Good morning! We both had a very good sleep and it is wonderful to waking up feeling recharged!

First stop today is to my favourite Banh Mi Stall. So, what is so special about this stall? Most of the Banh Mi sold in HCM uses pork meat or sausages as filling and some of them did not even heat up the cooked meat. This stall uses fish paste meat, deep fried, and top with vegetable. Lastly , their own special sauce is added and serves warm to its customer. No publicity whatsoever. 

The first time I sample this banh mi is by coincidence and I could not find any blog recommending this stall and I am glad that after searching it on google map, I manage to find the location for this stall. So, after venturing out in the morning, we found this stall! 

The banh mi is still very nice and even after 2 years, the price remains the same! Priced at VND 10K (SGD $0.60) , it is still the best banh mi I ever try! Not to be missed if you are visiting Ho Chih Minh. I had double serving cause it is just too nice (even though the hotel i stayed serve complimentary breakfast)

The very very happy me with my banh mi!
G posing with the stall.
G was hesitant on trying street food but after a bite, she decided to get one for herself as well!

**So, where is this place?**

Pop this address to your google map....

59 Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm, Đa Kao, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

Look out the stall (as shown in the photo above) in one of the alley. You should be able to locate it. Lots of motorist will just stop by, grab the banh mi before going to work!

Motor is very abundance in HCM
After our morning walk cum banh mi session, we are back to our comfy hotel for our complimentary breakfast!

Orange juice and passion fruit jelly (free flow buffet style)
Muesli with greek yogurt (one of the choices on the breakfast menu among English Breakfast, Ramen, pancake)
I am very very full after the two banh mi so I only opted for the muesli breakfast set with a cup of latte. There are also bread, yogurt, jelly at the buffet section but I did not eat much.

We went back to our room after a hearty breakfast and got ready by 10.30am to be picked up by our wonderful driver. 

First stop of the day: 

Notre Dame Cathedral

This cathedral is build based on the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Of course, this is much smaller than the one in Paris but at least the design is very much similar. 

There are usually lots of wedding couple who takes the opportunity to include this beautiful church in their wedding photo... and there one couple who is taking their wedding shot in the middle of the road... passing by car and motor will just avoid them gracefully and did not honk or scold them at all. I am really loving the road culture here!

Weather is really good that day and we manage to capture some shots with clear blue sky.


Our wife at the cathedral.
The wedding couple... I must say this angle look fantastic!
Next to the cathedral, stands the majestic Central Post Office.

Central Post Office is just adjacent to the Notre Dame Cathedral
It is still a working post office so besides admiring the architecture, you could pop in , buy a postcard and send it to family, friends or even to yourself.

There are a couple of stalls selling souvenirs inside the post office itself and their quality are pretty good. Prices are slightly more expensive than Ben Thanh Market but if you are going for quality, it is definitely better here though there are more choices in Ben Thanh Market.

If you want a bargain, there are also many freelance seller outside the post office selling postcard, stamp book etc. You can bargain and prices can be much lower than the price inside the post office. 


We spend about one and a half hour at this two attractions (even though the initial plan is just 30 minutes) as we are just happily browsing away the souvenirs... Love the flexibility of travelling without following strict schedule as I could slowly enjoy the places that I like without the need to rush for the next attractions. I guess to me now, the most important part of travelling is not to tick off each and every famous attraction of that particular city but instead, to enjoy every small little details and to spend as much time as I want to chill, to enjoy a cup of coffee, or to enjoy the scenery/people around me. 

Our next stop is Ben Thanh Market and there is so much variety of stall there. From dried food, coffee, clothes, cloth to souvenir, one is spoilt for choices. We bought some clothes, some souvenirs and dried food as well. If you are looking for something special to bring home, I would highly recommend their baked lotus seed , definitely not something commonly seen elsewhere and the taste is quite good as well. The stall that I usually patronise is Anh Dao Stall 1 and the lady can speak fluent chinese. You can sample the food before buying and so far, it is all very fresh and yummy. Price can be bargained to slightly lower than the displayed price.

G and I are still very much full from our heavy double dosed breakfast. It is already close to 3pm and since we have made booking for a French restaurant in the evening, we did not want to fill ourselves up with heavy meal. Hence, we opted for a French cafe. We were a little disappointed that they are not serving their famous cakes now.. so, we only had fruit juices.

My favourite shot of G during the trip! LOVE the colour combination
Interior of the cafe...

I had a small scope of green tea ice cream as well...
and a glass of ice blended mango passion fruit juice..
Enjoying a cooling drink on a hot sunny day..
We went back to the hotel with our shopping loots for the day... rest, freshen up, changed and off we go for our dinner reservation at 6.30pm. 

G wanted to try one of the local French Restaurant and I found this place which is highly recommended for their authentic local dishes and reasonable price. 

Do make reservation as it is always full....

We tried their French Onion soup and it was sooo good!

French Onion Soup- very tasty!


For main courses, G opted for grilled chicken with goat cheese which is surprisingly wonderful..

Grilled chicken with goat cheese sauce
I went for steak with mushroom sauce. I find that the steak is a little overcook, hence a bit tough but otherwise the sauce is good. 

Steak with mushroom sauce
For desserts, we chose Creme Brûlée and profiteroles.

Creme Brûlée
Profiteroles 
Overall, the food is good and nestled in a very cosy restaurant. Worth a try if you are looking for rustic, authentic French restaurant.

Le Jardin
31 D Thai Van Lung | Dong Khoi Area
Tel: (08) 3825 8465

After dinner, we settled for a cup of local coffee at Highland Coffee, one of the other famous Vietnamese Coffee chain. A great place to chill and catch up. 

Enjoying a cuppa...

I had the cold coffee...

Our driver pick us up and he brought us on a city tour around the Ho Chih Minh Square and Saigon River. After that, we went back to the hotel and rest.

Next up: Day 3 http://blessedlittletravelers.blogspot.sg/2016/09/two-girls-extended-weekend-trip-ho-chih.html

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