Vietnam goodies

We spent less than RM600 on Vietnam local products, which including friends' souvenirs. If you are new to Vietnam, hopefully the following pictures will give you an insight of what they have.
 Handmade hand bags and toy vehicles with the recycling beer canned and soft drink canned
 Hand bags, be it fake designer hand bags or original non designer hand bags. lol!
 Kids clothing, like pyjamas, dress, gown, blouse and pants.
 Candies, sweet sour plum, potatoes chip, dried and preserved fruit and lots of junk food.
Dumplings and glutinous rice, which have red beans and green beans as the filling.
Shoes galore. I didn't buy all the above, except a pair of hand made Bollywood inspired heels, 2 clogs and some clothing.
 Fruit stall. The fruit there seems larger and nicer than our fruit here. When I were there, it was the mangoes season. We had quite a lot of mangoes, and they were so sweet and yummy.
Hand made coconut shell products like necklace, bangle, bracelet, hand bag, and lots more.

I enjoyed shopping in Saigon Squares and Benh Thanh, because things there were cheap and nice.
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Dong Khoi Street, Ho Chi Minh

We excused ourselves from the tour group and solely on our own on the 2nd day in Ho Chi Minh. We took a taxi to Dong Khoi Street. Then, we walked to Saigon Square and ended our shopping day at Benh Thanh.
 I tell ya! We were at this so called 5 star rated street for window shopping only.
 I didn't intend to buy any designer brand stuff, so I didn't bother go and check the price either.
 We really walked passed all these high end outlets from one end to the other end.
You can see that my left hand was holding Princess April and my right hand was holding Princess May. My most expensive products, whom I brought across the ocean from Malaysia.
 So many animal printed clothing from Milano.  

Sheraton Saigon Hotel is a great 5 star hotel on the street. We didn't have the luxury to stay there, we stayed at Lan Lan 2 hotel.
Other than looking at Esprit outlet, please also pay attention at this taxi, which I was told to trust by the tour guide. If you are going to Ho Chi Minh, please remember this Vinasun Taxis,  with the phone number 38 27 27 27 on both sides of their taxis, as there are also a lot of fakes taxis on the streets. We were warned by the tour guide that the driver taking you to somewhere other than your destination and demanding more money.

Beware, this place is not only having a lot fake LV, Gucci, Long champ and Coach, it also has fake taxis.
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Ho Chi Minh City Tour

There were a lot of pictures that I snapped here and there in my Ho Chi Minh trip, and I really feel like sharing some of them here, if not all.
This picture could clearly tell you how messy their traffics and there have more motorcycles than any other vehicles on the road. Every rider on motorcycles needs to wear helmet. They like to wear those cute and fancy design helmets, which do not  provide safe protection for their head from the impact of an road accident.
Street cafes which mainly sell "pho" were packed with people. You will be surprised to see motorcycles passing by so close to their back, and they can still go on enjoying their food.
They will not be summoned for taking more than 1 people at the back of the motorcycle. Most of the riders will wear mask, as the air is quite dusty.
 We stopped at some famous City spots too to take pictures. Notre Dame Cathedral.
 Ho Chi Minh Centre Post Office.
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What Vietnamese women wear

I captured a few shots of what Vietnamese women wear on the street.
 Many Vietnamese women wear traditional pyjamas type outfits with a coolie hat.
I kept seeing Vietnamese women wearing these matching blouse and pants, be it in the market or in the street. Here, we only see this type of matching blouse and pants on kids. Adult, probably only wear this type of outfits to sleep.

The strange things is I couldn't see this type of outfit being sold in their market. May be they tailor made these blouses and pants themselves.
Some of the women I met there also quite revealing in their fashion. Low cut blouse with hot pants were the Vietnamese sweet young things (SYTs) ' favourite.
On the other hand, firms and companies in Vietnam making Ao DAI, the traditional costume as their office uniform. This costume is presented as a formal wear in their country.
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Enjoy Vietnamese Food - Part 2

Folks, I hope you enjoy my Vietnamese food - Part 1. Part 2 is going to show you the Vietnamese dessert, noodles and rices that we had in my recent Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam trip.  
After spending hours shopping in the very crowded Benh Thanh market, we stopped at this place for some refreshment. I randomly ordered a glass of lookalike  "Ais Kacang", or we used to call ABC (Ais Batu Campur) in Malaysia for April.  I was not sure what's being scooped into the containers, but I know it's very tasty.
The glass was filled with coconut milk and an exotic array of seemingly incongruous ingredients. Chick peas, white fungus, agar agar jelly, tapioca and coconut milk, together? Delicious. Add another mixed spoon of lotus seeds, kidney beans, and tapioca-flour jellies, and April happily slurped away the day.
While seeing April taking spoon by spoon all these colourful ingredients with coconut milk, I was worried that she might have diarrhea and suffer from stomach ache throughout the rest of the days in Vietnam. Thank Goodness, she was fine, and I had to use force to make her go to toilet. It only proves that Vietnam hawker food is hygiene and safe.
Though I was not really hungry, but I was lured by the "Pho". A bowl full of their cloudy, protein-speckled broth and chewy pork only confirmed my choice of noodles fantastic.
"Pho"  Vietnamese seafood soup.
"Pho" Vietnamese chicken soup, Lee, I put on 1.5 kg after coming back from Vietnam, all because of these "Pho" noodles.

My kids love fried rice. Wherever we go, we must order fried rice. Vietnamese seafood fried rice is not as greasy as the Chinese style fried rice.
Vietnamese fried rice with shrimp and corns.
We also tried this special food in Vietname, rice cover by lotus leaf.
The sticky rice was steamed in lotus leaf. It also garnished with lotus flower and served with soy sauce and chilli dipping sauce.

Other than Thai and Japanese food, I am now starting to flavour Vietnamese food.
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Enjoy Vietnamese food: Part 1

Tourists can enjoy Vietnamese food everywhere at deluxe restaurants or even at street cafes. Once I was in Vietnam; I immediately fell in love with Vietnamese Food. Vietnam is also a coffee-lover’s dream. It seems like every street cafe sells the thick coffee preferred by locals. I try to introduce here some typical Vietnamese food that no tourist can ignore when they come to Vietnam.
Vietnamese spring rolll is a traditional Vietnamese food which is wrapped in rice paper. Like most of Vietnamese food, spring roll (goi cuon) is a very healthy diet which all ingredients are made fresh from pork(grilled or boiled), shrimp, or grilled beef, rice vermicelli, and vegetable. Spring roll is served cold, with dipping in a simple sauce consisting of Hoisin sauce, garlic, peanut butter, and water or a combination of fish sauce, garlic, sugar, lime, and carrot. 
When I first saw this, I called this escargot. It is not escargot, but it is a must try Vietnamese food, Snails Stuffed with Minced Pork.
Salads are popular in Vietnam. Simple combinations such as cooked chicken and shredded cabbage are given an exotic touch by the addition of chopped mint and fresh coriander leaves and the inevitable nuoc mam sauce or nuoc cham, used as a dressing.
The spring roll in the first picture, which we actually had it at a street cafe, and this one we had it in at a cosy restaurant. Both are equally good.
On both sides of Benh thanh market will be filled with food vendors, mostly seafood merchant, was on the opposite side will be full of clothes and souvenir vendors. This is an empty street in the day, it will quickly turn into a busy night market when dusk. This seafood cafe that we went were packed with foreigner.
Grilled big prawns.
Deep fried egg roll.
Stir fried big clams with lots of garlic.
Steamed crabs.
My husband's favourite made in Vietnam western herbal tea, triple 3 beer.
The food and drinks that we felt satisfied in this famous seafood cafe called Quan Cua Tay, caused us a total damage of RM300 (1,950,000 Vietnam Dong).
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Loots from Vietnam Trip

Some of you have known from the pictures which I shared in my FB that we were in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City from 17 to 20 March 2011. This trip was partially sponsored by my husband's company, and it could be considered as the yearly family trip that his company gave to its employees.

Things that I enjoyed the most there were Vietnamese food, shopping and massage. We spent roughly RM1K on food, massage and shopping in this 4D3N trip. Things there are quite cheap, massage charge is reasonable, but food is not really cheap.
 Souvenirs for colleagues are fridge magnets of Vietnamese couple dolls, RM1.50 (10,000 Dong)
Some sexy tops for my lady friends, RM12 each (80,000 Dong).
 Coconut candies for friends, RM15 (100,000 Dong) for 6 packs.
 Foldable hat for my MIL to wear under the sun while gardening, RM3 (20,000 Dong).
 My first checker outfit, RM35 (230,000 Dong)
 Gymboree one piece jumpsuit for April, RM26 (170,000 Dong)
 Bead heels, RM50 (325,000 Dong) for myself and clogs, RM15 (100,000 dong) for the girls.

Gap blouse, RM10 (65,000 Dong) and Gap pants, RM7.50 (50,000 Dong) for the girls.
Bangles for myself, RM15 (100,000 Dong), leopard print singlet at the back also mine, RM23, (150,000 Dong)
Good quality Vietnam boy shirt for my FIL, RM20 (130,000 Dong).

2 Vietnamese costumes which my girls are wearing here, cost RM23 (150,000 Dong) suit. Clothes and things above were all made in Vietnam.
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