I have actually been to Ho Chi Minh City on business trip for more than half a dozen times since some three years ago, it is alway such a delightful place to visit. The Vietnamese people really does offer the very best of hospitality anywhere, and of course, the city offers some interesting food too.
clam with pork, bbq frog with skin, and bbq prawns
I managed to contact an old pal of mine, Trinh, for some drinks on Sunday night. The last I met this guy was back in August 2005 for some Banh Xeo, more than one and a half year ago. We rode to one of the nearby seafood and beer restaurant to catch up on old times.
The host ordered a plate of BBQ prawn, some interesting “grilled clam rolled with Pig’s omental fat”, and BBQ frog with skin. Of course, a few bottles of chilled Heineken to go along with these local delights.
The words mean “welcome” and “see you”.. or something like that
The food were certainly very good. The BBQ prawn was marinated with some pretty spicy seasoning, and packs a kick even if you don’t dip it into the traditional lime + salt + chili paste. The locals usually chew down everything, including the head and shell.
The grilled clam was an interesting dish that tasted kinda like bacon and clam meat, except in a bigger and juicier bite. It went very well with beer, and definitely one of the heart surgeon’s worst nightmares.
Thought I’ve had frogs before, this is the first time I’ve had it with skin intact. The texture is similar to fish skin, but tougher and slightly sticky. The aroma of the frog meat was very good as well. Fresh vegetable is featured in every dish, not very different from the Malay ulam. It is actually a very nice concept, you have some meat or seafood, then some vegetables to freshen up the tongue, repeat.
this place is just right next to Legend Hotel in District 1, HCMC
It was a very good supper, and nothing beats meeting old friends from far away places. I’m not exactly sure how much the food costs, but the pork with clam was about 55,000 VND, with another 10% tax. One ringgit equals to around 4,500 VND.
This particular restaurant is situated on
3C, Ton Duc Thang
District 1, HCMC
Recently I paid my third visit to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) for the 3rd time, as the destination is not exactly a hot tourist spot, I decided to introduce the place to you.The skinny:
- Vietnam is the 13th largest nation in the world with some 83 million people
- HCMC is the largest city in Vietnam
- Way too many motorcycles
- Traffic is at a constant state of controlled chaos
- Chicks are cute
- Food is excellent
- People are friendly
- Things are generally cheap
Currency is Vietnamese Dong but USD is often preffered. US$1 is currently about at 15800 Dong.
The following photos will give you a better sense of what HCMC has to offer.
The traffic is generally very chaotic to foreigner, honking sound can be heard every 5 seconds. However, it seemed relatively safe at the lower speed of flow and people aren’t so full of rage like them road bullies you find in Malaysia.
lotsa motorcycles, and helmet is an option, not a must
Viet chicks on bike, you see that alot
more bikes, with valet service too
Being in South East Asia, the flavor of food does not vary too much from Malaysia or Thailand, and best described as a mixture of both with a hint of Chinese. There are very few fastfood restaurants around, and their beef noodles (Pho).. yumm.. ooooo yummm..
pho, comes with basil, bean sproud, and jalopeno pepper on the side, excellent
kerang bakar (grilled clam) is served here too
steamboat fish in slightly spicey soup base, plenty of vege on the side
mixed rice buffet style, similar dishes to Malaysian food
Despite being a relatively poor country, there still plenty of people with decent spending power, hence, fancy eat-outs. These places, however, are relatively cheap compared to Malaysian restaurants. For example, a decent meal for 4 fetches US$20
one of the cafes, better decorated than Starbucks, which they don’t have btw
another restaurant with nice rain forest theme
my favorite pho shop, a meal costs less than US$2
War History Museum:
The war history museum is a must-go place to get the perspective of Vietnamese side on the war that killed so many.
plenty of photos taken during the war
recreation of POW cells, and how Faggot will look like if he’s ever incacerated
more war remnants
What is a city without places to shop? They’ll just instantly lose 50% of visitors. You know which gender I’m talking about anyway. HCMC has all that covered, there are plenty of places selling everything from handbags to wooden decorative boats.
pottery and more
scaled wooden boats, these are from less than US$10 and up
MAS has 2 daily flights to HCMC. If you plan to go to Bangkok for the 2nd time or more, I suggest you might want to give HCMC a try.