Vesak Day Long Weekend Trip to Ho Chi Minh City from 18 May to 20 May 2019

One month just passed with a blink of an eye. Before I know it, I am already on my way to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Though a short trip, it is always good to be able to get away and spend quality time with family outside Singapore.

This is a key advantage as we are close to many neighbouring countries which is just within 5 hours by flight.

I am always excited when the thought of visiting this beautiful country surfaced. Food, is (of course) the main attraction other than the relaxing lifestyle that draws me here.

Without fail, it is almost a S.O.P. to pamper myself with a good meal at the airport lounge each time prior to departure. This is what I like best about travelling out of the country. The feeling is beyond description.

My highly anticipated lunch at TGM Lounge.

Sashimi Bento Set – An assortment of fresh sashimi.

Beef Shogayaki Set – Sliced beef fried with ginger sauce and onions.

Chicken Teriyaki Set – Pan fried chicken cooked with Teriyaki sauce.

Korean Rice Cake and Dumpling Soup Set – Korean rice cake with kimchi and Kurabuta pork in hot soup.

All set comes with miso soup and steamed rice.

A great sumptuous lunch as always.

Time to depart…….

Swift arrival into Tan Son Ngat International Airport after 1.5 hrs as scheduled.

Headed off to the hotel after immigration clearance.

It is really convenient to travel via taxi (Vinasun) to the city from the airport. The ride to the city centre takes about half an hour.

This time round, I am staying over at the Liberty Central Saigon Centre Hotel.

Woo….Loved the nice & spacious inter-connecting room that I have. ☺️

This is a relaxing trip with no specific itinerary (more for family bonding) given a short 3 day 2 night stay over.

In order to kick start, you need local currency to begin with. 😀

I would always recommend to change the currency when in city centre as the rates are much better.

There is this particular money changer, Ha Tam that I would highly recommend as their rates are certainly one of the best in town.

Upon settling down, it is a standard routine to spend time visiting the usual place that we are comfortable with.

Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon – the exterior structure is still under going restoration works.

Saigon Central Post Office

Alley street shopping beside central post office

Diamond Plaza

Takashimaya Saigon Centre

Saigon Square

Beautiful night view of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City

A new trendiest place for tourist is probably this Cafe Apartment (42 Nguyen Hue), an old eight-storey residential apartment that is occupied by cafes, restaurants and shops that is mainly run by young Vietnamese.

More beautiful night views along the main open square from the City Hall building.

Catching up on food fix goes without saying for sure.

There are a lot of good & delicious food in Ho Chi Minh City; Vietnamese, Japanese, Italian, Indian, etc and best part, value for money. 👍Thus, putting me in a spot. 🤣🤣

Good sumptuous spread of morning breakfast served at the hotel

Enjoying great dessert at Meet Fresh at B2 of Takashimaya Saigon Centre.

Meet Fresh Mochi – the mochi is superbly good with the brown sugar.

Meet Fresh Taro Balls with Crystal Jelly & Noodle Jelly

Strolling and window shopping at Ben Thanh Night Market

Followed by a good dinner at Hai Lua in Ben Thanh Night Market. This is a must dine place each time I visit Ho Chi Minh City. Strictly no compromise.

Grilled Meat – taste like our satay meat.

Shrimp Sugar Cane – one of their local delight.

Water Morning Glory Sauteed with Beef – cooked with oyster sauce with a generous serving portion of beef slices.

Big Grilled Prawn – live prawn grilled to perfection.

Red Snapper Grilled with Salt & Spicy – this is a must order dish. The fish meat is so tenderly good and smooth in texture.

Seafood Fried Rice – another must order dish as it comes with generous chunks of diced squid and prawn.

Vietnamese people loves to hang out in cafes. In Ho Chi Minh City, you get to find a lot of cafes chain with notably popular brands like Trung Nyugen Legend, Highland Coffee, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaves, Starbucks, amidst many other smaller cafes joint.

My all time favourite chill out joint is Trung Nyuyen Legend as I loved their internal decor.

It gives the homely feeling.

The place is relaxing & calm especially when having friend’s gathering or simply sitting here doing nothing and watching the world goes by.

Green Tea Latte with Jelly

L’amour Coffee – comes with a tinge of cinnamon

Yogurt with Fresh Fruits

Banana Crepe with Honey From M’drak Mountain

Buzza Pizza is one of those value for money Italian cuisine that is worth trying.

Seafood Soup & Garlic Bread – this is one of the champion seafood soup that I ever had. The tinge of spiciness in the soup gives it a oomph!

Vongole Pasta – another power dish though plain looking. Really tasty.

Hawaiian Pizza – the use of fresh pineapples gives this dish a different turn out compared to the usual canned pineapples that we used to have.

Wrap & Roll is good with local Vietnamese cuisine and wherever possible, I will have the spring rolls here as well to get my fix.

Square spring rolls with crab meat

Wrap & Roll deep fried spring rolls with pork and seafood

Grilled pork skewers

All items will come with a set of vegetables as condiments. Vietnamese people are really healthy conscious as you will have generous serving of vegetables with your meal.

Pizza 4P’s – This is one new Italian joint that I did not get to try the last time round when I was in Ho Chi Minh City. So this time round, I had to make it happen that I get to try.

This restaurant is always jam packed with diners and advance reservation is highly recommended if you want to dine here.

Baked Mash Potato & House-made Raclette

Shrimp & Mushroom Fettuccine

Burrata Parma Ham Pizza – before the Burrata being cut

After the Burrata being cut

Certainly worth the visit 👍👍👍Glad that I came. ☺️

Castella lovers, you should make a trip to Tai Yang King Castella shop to get your fix.

Freshly baked castella cake at affordable pricing.

The process of castella making…

The end product and bon appetit.

Final item before leaving Ho Chi Minh City. It is always a must to visit Gio Cha Minh Chau for my Vietnamese Pork and Beef Sausage.

These sausages are good especially with condiments in Banh Mi and I like to use it for fried rice as it gives out an umami taste when frying it with Thai Fish Sauce.

Hmm…. the mere thought of it already had me salivating…. 😋😋😋

One for the road meal at Orchid Lounge prior to home coming.

This is one of those better lounges that I like. Though simple but serves champion food.

Short staycation has come to an end. As usual, always had mixed feeling about leaving this beautiful country.

Given the short span of time, covering of food grounds is extremely limited with the wide range of food selection available here. A lot of prioritization is required. That is my dilema faced for food fixing trip.

Having said that, I am now one step closer to my Jeju and Seoul trip in a month’s time….. Woohoo……

Till then and hope you enjoy your read.

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