A budget 4 days in Ho Chi Minh!

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I never expect Vietnam to be so affordable, I mean we all Malaysian know Thailand is our favourite country to visit because it’s affordable, but trust me, Vietnam is much more affordable than Thailand.

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Exploring Asia can be so budget because of Air Asia. Remember FREE SEATS that I mentioned earlier in one of my post? No? Ok, check it out here!

This is the price we paid for 4 PAX including the skybus tickets. Oh, did I mention that if you buy Skybus tickets through Air Asia, you get cheaper rate?

If you purchase skybus ticket at One Utama counter, it cost RM15/pax, but here RM83.40 for THREE PAX, indeed, it’s cheaper!

RM744 for FOUR pax, 744/4 = RM 186/pax.

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In Ho Chi Minh, you don’t really need a driver if you have the stamina to explore the city by foot. Of course, there is budget city tour too if you prefer to do it with mini bus! It’s such a small city where everything is next to each other.

Getting from Ho Chi Minh Airport to the City

Taxis are located on the left part of the terminal, the cost to most hotels in District 1 is from 150,000 to 170,000 dong. Do not use USD as it is an opportunity to get ripped off. Please use only the two most reliable taxi company, Mai Linh, with car and van white and green, and the white Vinasun more frequent in HCMC.

Don’t trust people holding Vinasun license and come near to you.

Please bare in mind, it’s 150,000 – 170,000 PER CAR.

Why I said so? As there are taxi or drivers trying to ripped us off by telling us only 100,000 dong, so we thought 100,000 dong is cheaper than the average rate and took the offer. But as we’re leaving the airport, just 2 minutes out from the airport, the driver stop aside & try to collect 100,000 dong from each of us!

WE REFUSED TO PAY even though the driver trying to convinced us that the rate is per person even at the airport. So when he failed to ripped us, eventually he drove us back to the airport.

If you saw the kiosk or counter outside of the airport wrote 200,000 dong, just go ahead and book the ride with them, as they will be giving you discount when you book their ride back to the airport.

Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh city?

If you search online, mostly you will find yourself confused with the name District 1, District 3, District 5, District 7 etc.

Most of the things to do in the heart of the city occur in District 1 and District 3: This is where you’ll find most of your sights, museums, best eateries, bars, etc. For this reason Districts 1 and 3 are the best areas to stay in as it can be time consuming and energy draining catching taxis all the time back and forth from your hotel if you are staying too far away from the centre of the action.

So the hotel I’m staying is Bloom 3 Hotel, it’s at District 1, right in front of the park. Don’t confused with the name Bloom Hotel, Bloom 3 Hotel is more like a guesthouse and it’s located inside an alley. 🙂

You can book the hotel through booking.com –> Bloom 3 Hotel

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As you can see, the hotel is located beside the busy street Le Lai, you can walk to Ben Thanh Market within 10-15 minutes. Ben Thanh is right next the roundabout, you will see the market when you’re around the roundabout.

Walking across the road from the hotel is a park, and walk pass the park to the opposite you will see some pubs & bars. Along the street De Tham, is where you can find the office The Sinh Tourist.

The Sinh Tourist offers a variety of tours, not only in Ho Chi Minh, and also buses to popular places like Mui Ne.

As we only had 4 days to spend in Ho Chi Minh, we did only Cu Chi Tunnels & Cai Be Vinh Long tour.

A half day tour to Cu Chi Tunnels cost only 79,000 vdn = RM 15.

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And a full day tour to My Tho/Bentre a.k.a the floating market cost only                          249,000 vdn = RM46.

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Ben Tanh Market

After we checked in our hotel, we walked to Ben Tanh Market & get ready to grab some Vietnamese cuisine. But it turned out to be one of our most disappointed meal. I felt like we got RIPPED OFF & the foods basically got nothing good to talk about.

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Each of this cost us 50,000 dong which is about RM9-10, can you believe it?

So after our first meal, we kinda refused to go back to Ben Tanh Market again. We really weren’t pleased by Vietnamese already as FIRST, we almost got ripped at the airport & SECOND it’s the market.

But still…it’s a holiday! So we got smarter & ask for price or menu before we order anything.

There is still good street food to try such as this French Bread that looks quite similar with the one I had in Siem Reap. We stopped and ordered 3 of these breads as we saw the long queue along the way to watch Water Pupper Show.

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Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater

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I won’t say it’s not worth going for the Water Puppet Show, but since it’s a tradition, WHY NOT? Partly because we have seen this in Runningman before too. 😀

The ticket cost 50,000 vnd & there are 2 shows per day: 5PM & 6.30PM.

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HO CHI MINH WHERE TO EAT?

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We came across this Seafood restaurant while my sister got very bad food allergic & enter the INTERNATIONAL SOS clinic. So this restaurant is somewhere around the corner.

Nhà Hàng Việt Phố

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Very good & affordable seafoods! And lots of local in the restaurant, we barely found someone who can speak english. 😀

AND….HOOOORAY for ALCOHOLIC!

As the Sapporo beer cost only RM4 per bottl!! WTH right? But it’s true!!

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Com Tam Cali Restaurant – BROKEN RICE

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Com Tam basically means Broken Rice. Since we had no idea what is broken rice & it’s recommended by our hotel, so we want to give it a shot!

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Com Tam Cali offers a variety of Broken Rice, and the drink is one of the signature.

TIPS: Please share the drink! =.=”

HOW MUCH TO SPEND?

To be frank, I changed only RM500 to vietnam dong for 4 days trip. It’s about 2,800,000 dong. Of course I do bring along USD for emergency use. But basically RM500 is just good to spend for foods & drinks & tour.

Day 1 – Ho Chi Minh Arrival –> Ben Tanh Market –> Water Puppet Show

Day 2 – Cu Chi Tunnel + Ho Chi Minh City tour

Day 3 – Cai Be Vinh Long tour

Day 4 – Ho Chi Minh –> Kuala Lumpur

For my next visit, I will definitely do Mui Ne!

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