Sunday, February 08, 2015

Ho Chi Minh Itinerary 4D3N – Day 3


Thien Hau Temple at Chinatown - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

The journey continues... After having a delightful local breakfast, we went to Chợ Lớn, area dominated by Chinese – or so called Chinatown. We took a taxi to visit Thiên Hậu Temple or Chùa Bà Thiên Hậu, one of the oldest traditional Chinese Temple in Ho Chi Minh (built in 19th century) to honor the Lady Thien Hau / Lady of the Sea (in Chinese, known as Tian Hou or the Mazu ()– a very well-known Goddess, believed as a protector of fishermen and sailors and usually worshipped in the coastal regions). The address: 710 Nguyễn Trãi, phường 11, District 5.
 
Thien Hau Temple - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

The interior was beautiful, very ancient and picturesque, especially the diorama made of porcelain that decorated the roof, surrounding the courtyard, where many spiral incense coils were hung on the ceiling, looked like a very typical old Chinese temple that you could find it elsewhere. You could write your name on the red paper that was attached to each coil. Prayers believed that their prayers and wishes would be conveyed to the deity. Or otherwise you could purchase normal long stick incense and place it on the bronze bowls provided, just like what three of us did. Both had the same purpose and meaning.

4-Storey house in Cho Lon - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

On our way to another temple, we smelled a nice fragrant from a food stall and we saw noodles!!! Oh oh… I was exciting that I finally found yellow noodles in Vietnam (because we always eat rice noodles, white in color, and taste differently). I was asking MG and hubby if they would like to enter, and as usual, they nodded full of agreement.

Delicious Chinese rice noodles at Cho Lon, Chinatown - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

When it came to order, the staff was clueless on what we would like to say hehehe… So I walked and showed her what we wanted by pointing on what a gentleman was eating on his table. However, to my disappointment, the yellow noodles were out of stock – so sad!!! And we had to order kway teow and bee hoon instead. Hiks... Nevertheless, we were still very happy as the taste and fragrant were very nice!!! It reminded me of the noodles tasted back in my father’s hometown. They used the same and very important ingredient in it, which was deep-fried pork oil. Hhhmmm….. I was hymning full of gratitude for letting us trying it there in Vietnam and thinking that my parents would love these if they visited this place one day… :)

Chùa Quan Âm or Kuan Im Temple - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

The Quan Âm Pagoda or Chùa Quan Âm (Avalokiteshvara Pagoda or what I usually called Kwan Im Temple) was located very near from the Thiên Hậu Temple, about 5-minute walk. The pagoda consisted of many praying chambers. You had to go through the altar for Jade Emperor (Tian Gong )and Thiên Hậu ()Goddess before finally reached to large courtyard dominated by the s tatue of Quan Âm and many other deities.  

Pond opposite of Chùa Quan Âm or Kuan Im Temple - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Although it’s believed to be the oldest pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City, the place inside had been restored many times by local residents to preserve its architecture, very visible though. I didn’t take photos inside as I preferred not to take photo of the statues as to respect them. But it was very similar with Chinese temples that we had back in Jakarta and other places in Indonesia. There was a garden and artificial pond at the opposite of the temple. In the middle of the pond there was an artificial miniature island with rocky terrain with Kwan Im statue with beautiful background. Looking at the whole place made me again, feeling like at my home sweet home.

As usual, the familiarity and chance to see the Buddha, Kwan Im, Thien Hao, and other deities’ statues filled my heart with happiness and gratitude, as no matter which country I go, they were always be around me, protecting around me invisibly and keeping me safe. Thank you, thank you, and thank you SB! :)
 
Typical shops along the Nguyen Trai Street - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

I couldn’t find the big wholesale market that I imagined existing there in Chinatown. I thought the building would be significant around there. 

Road side selling oranges - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
 
Wet market along the Nguyen Trai Street - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Instead, we walked along the Nguyễn Trãi Street, passing by shops and wet markets. It again reminded me a lot of home. There were areas in Jakarta that look very similar like this. The wet markets were almost the same standard too.
 
Our trio coffee from ABC Bakery at Pham Ngu Lao - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

After a while, we decided to take cab and headed to ABC Bakery and Café at 223-225 Phạm Ngũ Lão, District 1, to have our daily dose of Vietnamese coffee :)

Pho Hoa Pasteur - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Late lunch crowd at Pho Hoa Pasteur - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Dadadada.... We finally visited one of the best Pho restaurant in Vietnam!!! It's a family owned type, where the family secret broth recipe was passing down from one generation to another. A MUST TRY beef noodle soup located at 260C Pasteur Street, District 1. 

Delicious Cha Gio or Spring Roll from Pho Hoa Pasteur - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam


We ordered the Cha Gio or spring roll (VND 60,000 or S$3.75 per portion) as appetizer and personally, it becomes the best spring roll I ever had there. The crab meat inside was simply succulent and delicious!!!

Pho Dac Biet Du Thu or Special Beef Noodle from Pho Hoa Pasteur - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

We ordered two bowls of Pho Dac Biet Du Thu (VND 75,000 or S$4.70 per bowl) - the rice noodle soup with all kind of mixed beef inside added with various vegetables, slices of chili, and dash of lime. Hhhmmm...... nyummy!!! The portion was quite big, enough for 3 of us.

Menu and price list of Pho Hoa Pasteur - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

The price was very reasonable too!!! With this quality and portion in Singapore, we might have to pay twice or triple times of the original price in Vietnam. We were wishing to have it again on our last day, however, due to time constraint, we had to give it up!!! :(

After that late lunch, we headed back to hotel. We had a traditional Vietnamese massage appointment at the hotel at 4pm continued with a little rest and last minute shopping before we headed for our river cruise dinner.

At US$50/pax we booked it from the travel agent as I was curious on what kind of night scenery we would get from river in Ho Chi Minh. I was imagining that it would be as great as the cruise trip I had in Russia not long ago and also curious on what kind of boat we would take.

Elisa Floating Restaurant - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

No, no, it wasn't our cruise.. not our boat.. which we thought it was. Lol!!! Our boat was parked beside it, called Bonsai River Cruise. It's made of woods, has oriental design. It was full on the first floor deck and empty on the second. They had buffet spread in the middle, mixture of hot and cold appetizers, main course, and desserts.

Bonsai River Cruise Dinner - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Most of the tables were filled by tourists from the travel agent group and like us, who booked individually. It's around two hours and they had entertainment like interactive dance with guests, live music, even magic.

Chill and unwind along the river - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

The food was good. But what made me disappointed was that there wasn't much scenery to look at and the boat didn't even go a long way. It's almost the same view over and over again, a very short distance and sailed in tortoise speed. Perhaps, they couldn't offer much due to the limitation of the river.

Ho Chi Minh night view

Well, at least now I knew how it looked like and what they offered. Never try, never know! But, not very recommended though. With that amount of money, we could perhaps go somewhere else having a nice food with better ambiance. Anyway... that's how we spent our last night in Ho Chi Minh.

Will continue for another day, our last day there... Stay tune!!!

P.S. Read on what we had on day 1 and day 2, Cu Chi Tunnel trip, Goby fish dinner, and beware when you meet coconut seller near the Reunification Palace ;)

17 comments:

Sangay Cholden said...

Nice to read~ Enjoy another day~

Ugyen T Tenzin said...

Beautiful pictures infused with an aesthetic description of your journey. Seems you're having fun and great time browsing the places. And you know one day in near future, you will have plenty of bygone memories to cherish. Have good time. Hope all is going well with sound in health. Regards from me. Do Great. Take Care. :)

Rima Reyka said...

Thank you Sangay! Same to you! :)

Rima Reyka said...

Thank you for going through Ugyen! Yes, a lot of memories in life to treasure :) Have a wonderful day! ^^

Flora said...

Thank you again Charo, it's really expressive. You are enjoying too much. Good to see you having fun

Rima Reyka said...

Thank you for going through Charo! :)

Kipchu Namgyel said...

The whole time I was reading the post, those fresh pictures of different varieties of foods kept triggering my taste buds.They would churn my stomach.You really seemed to have had a wonderful day.I could feel it.Take care.

Rima Reyka said...

Hahaha.... Sorry if it made your saliva dropped while reading this Kipchu! ;) But even me, missing those food so much! Wish to be back there again one day! ^^

Tenzin Chophel said...

When you take us through your blogs, it reminds how beautiful life is. Live to the fullest! God bless you always.

Rima Reyka said...

Thank you Tenzin for going through! How have you been? It's been some time since the last time I hear from you. Hope you have a great time there! Take care! :)

Kang Wei said...

Hi Rima, mind sharing where were you staying in HCMC and also, do you mind sharing your foodie list?

Rima Reyka said...

Please send me email and I'll reply you there :)

Patricia Lim said...

Hello Rima! Thanks for sharing your experience and your posts are all so entertaining to read with lots of info. I would like the foodie list too but I couldn't find your email. Please let me know your email address so I can send you one :) Thanks!

Rima Reyka said...

Hi Patricia, thank you for reading my blog! It's my pleasure to share the info with others including you. I'm not at home right now and will only go back on 7th. My email is rimamanis@gmail.com I can only give the info after that date only. Hope you understand :)

Mekong river cruise said...

Oh Wow, you have shared an amazing information with us, i like your post and the details you have mentioned here are excellent. Your amazing experience inspires me to visit Vietnam soon. Thanks for sharing details.

eshna E said...

Hi Rima, glad i came across your blogpost.
Do you mind sharing how much does it cost on average(food, transport, sightseeing) excluding the accommodation to go around ho chi minh.
Thanks,
Kuha

Rima Reyka said...

Dear Kuha,

I used around S$200 plus tour to Chuchi at US$40/pax, Cruise dinner at US$50/pax, and on my last day I took My Tho tour (not posted in this blog) at another US$40/pax. The S$200 has included all transport (Taxi was my main transport, which was pretty cheap and shared by 3 of us), meals, souvenir, snacks, gifts and tips. Hope it helps! :)

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