Vietnam …. land of the Dong!! , a country that I’ve always wanted to visit but for some reason I’ve always thought that it’s really difficult to get the visa, well …. it wasn’t, and here I am in one of the most beautiful countries on earth 🙂
I took an AirAsia flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to ho chi Minh city, Vietnam
The cost of the ticket was RM238 (one way)
We took a bus from KL sentral to LCCT airport, the ticket cost was RM10 and it took approx 1 hour.
The flight was quite short and nice, took approx 2 hours.
And damn, Vietnam just looks so amazing, rivers and green land everywhere.
2) Here we are!!
We reached HCMC airport, the Vietnamese time zone is GMT+7 , which made it look like the flight only took 1 hour, which is pretty cool xD
We proceeded to the visa issuing office, we then filled an application form and then submitted : passport + application form + 4×6 personal photo + approval letter (check my “war room” post if you are not sure what is that)
Then you’ll take a seat and wait for like 5-10 mins, your name will be called, you’ll pay 45$ and voila ….. you have the visa!! (Hint: you should really have the 45$ in USD and not any other currency)
You’ll then proceed to the immigration desk to get the entry stamp, we kinda took long in this one as the officers asked us to pay them 5$ and stuff, but we stuck to our guns and we so pathetically told him that we are students and we got no money bro!!
After getting the stamps we proceeded to the luggage belt to find it deactivated and to find our 3 poor bags laying so sadly in the “lost and found” office, as we took hell of a long time to claim them xD
3) motor bikes …… motor bikes everywhere!!
We got out of the airport and our destination was the backpackers district which is called “pham ngu lao” , we could either take taxi for 8$ or take the bus for 5000 dong (30 cent) each , needles to say …. We took the bus but paid 10000 dong each coz of our luggage.
However, it was indeed a very good decision, coz riding in the public bus right next to the locals and school students and watching the streets COVERED with motor cycles was so AWESOME!!
We reached a bus station/big stop, so it was our Que to leave, we wandered around for a while, we then wrote the exact place we wanted to go to “De Tham” in a paper and asked the locals for directions till we reached.
4) Capsules … PERIOD!!
After checking out a quite disappointing hotel, we found this GEM right next to it.
KAITEK hotel, a NEW hotel in the area (it was actually having its grand opening) , this hotel rent out CAPSULES like the one in Japan xD, it’s so awesome beyond description.
1 capsule cost 5$ per night (promo coz of the opening) , starting next month Dec 2013, it’ll cost 10$.
“Hint: The hotel reception will ask you to hand in your passport and they’ll hold on to it for you as they said that lots of customers lost their passports to thieves.”
You start by taking off your footwear in the lobby and putting it in a locker, then taking the hotel slippers in that locker and putting it on.
You’ll be escorted to your capsule and handed a basket with: towel, toothbrush, remote control for your tv, headphones and a cup.
In front of the capsules, there are keypad-protected safes to put in all your valuables.
The bathroom is equipped with an awesome shower, toothpaste dispenser, shampoo and body wash dispensers xD
5) Dinner time!!
In our part of the city there was a lot of places to eat, after going back and forth and checking most restaurants, we settled for “mimosa“.
It was a quite nice place, not expensive and their food tastes great.
We ordered the famous Vietnamese beef noodles (pho) which is actually pronounced (pha) (30000 dong)/(1.45$), also ordered chicken noodles(30000 dong) and shrimp spring rolls (24000 dong).
We also went around and checked many tours’ offices to book some tours in the next days but more on that later.
For now, and from the capsule …..
(All pictures are captured with Samsung Galaxy Note I & Note II phone cameras)