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Monday, October 31, 2016

2016 Wilma Shana Backpacker Stories (This is Vietnam) Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Vietnamese
On our way to Bent Thant market, we walked pass the 23/9 Park. There were lots of Vietnamese in that park, some are just sitting in bench, there were a group of aunties zumba in the middle of the park, a group of teenagers some still with their school uniform playing Vietnamese traditional game, kicking the feather (sepak bulu tangkis) and etc... We stop there and I was excited looking at the aunties actively moves their body and at one point I wanted to join them and just get crazy but I’m not ready to show my crazily part of myself to that two gentlemen. They might think I don’t have any shame. While asking the Vietnamese girl about best place to visit, the two gentlemen were having fun joined the teenagers group playing the traditional game. The Vietnamese suggest that we should go to night market that would open at 8 until midnight, it just located next to Bent Thant market. She suggest us to shop there since the price more cheap compare to the price offer in the Bent Thanh Market. I ask her how to can we go to the Bitexco Tower and she suggest to take taxi since its far from here.
copy right: Wilma Shana

The day getting dark as we reach to the Bent Thanh Market, its close already and the street were very busy with people preparing to open their stall. Another culture shock, they were pulling their stall using their motorcycle while other hand in the motorcycle handle, the other hand and feet holding part of their stall in weird position. I never see this kind of situation in the night market in my country, our people just simple open up a table, an umbrella and set up their things out form their vans. Vietnamese really utilize their transportation as maximum as they can to run business.
copy right: Wilma Shana

We went to money changer to change money while the street getting crowded and we meet lots of Malaysian that night, no wonder some of the Vietnamese can speak Malay when doing business. They said Vietnam was like another heaven for shopper after Bandung, so a lots of Malaysia went to Vietnam to shop or buying bulk of cotton, telekung, baju kurung, sport shoes and tudung for their business. My goal that night was just want to try Vietnam’s coffee which many Malaysian has suggests to try.  They sell the coffee with their modified motorcycle that have box at the back of the motorcycle which is enough to carry their coffee stock and stuff to make the coffee. Its written “Halal Coffee” in the box and the motorcycle remind me of the motorcycle selling ice cream and fish ball every evening in my hometown. The ice coffee cost 15,000 dong and taste different from any coffee that I have drink before. It was tasty and the smell quite strong which is I like it.
copy right: Wilma Shana


After having a cup of Vietnam coffee, we walk to Malaysian Street where many Muslim restaurants located. It is still in the night market area and in this street I saw a lot of Malaysia shopping and having dinner in the restaurant. We choose to have our dinner at Restaurant Hajah Basirah. While scanning the menu, I was surprised with the price, everything is expensive. We choose to have simple dish with rice. I was disappointed with the foods taste with that kind of price, its bland but I couldn’t complaint more. Maybe Vietnamese cooking style doesn’t suit my taste but we are lucky being able to eat rice in foreign place. Well, I am typical Malaysian that couldn’t live without eating rice.

...to be continue..

..."I know how its feel to lost your handphone", I've lost my smartphone too when I was in vacation at Mabul Island, I exactly how its feel... We are quite lost, do we need to make a report or what?... He might wanna just get drunk tonight since he lost his smartphone..

Monday, October 24, 2016

2016 Wilma Shana Backpacker Stories (This is Vietnam) Chapter 1

Backpacker Vietnam
Chapter 1: The Two Gentlemen
7 May 2016: Its monday saturday and I'm getting in the airplane to Ho Chi Minh City and this is my first solo backpack trip to foreign country, Vietnam. 
copy right: wilma shana
While waiting for the flight to depart, I met this two gentleman also it was their first time backpacking to foreign country and it was their first time travel by airplane. We talked a lot, I shared how it feels for the time travel by airplane, that feeling when the flight started to depart and to landing (You might somehow read this funny but everyone feel the same for the first time). Since the disappeared of MH370, MH17 crashed after being hit by a Russian-made Buk missile and QZ8501 crashed, I admit it that I'm afraid sometimes. What if the same thing happen to the flight that I was in? Its scared me but then I leave it all to Allah. Back to the two gentlemen, they don’t have any preparation since they come all the way from Perlis to Penang to catch the flight. They haven’t change their money and they don’t really know what to do once their reach there. I lend them my dong (Vietnam money) just enough for the bus fare.
copy right: wilma shana
Around 1.15pm, AK 1502 safely landed at Saigon airport, I wasn’t in rush and walk to the shop that selling sim card. Surprisingly, that two gentlemen waiting for me and we taking bus no. 152 to Bent Thanh Saigon bus stop which the fare 5000 dong per person. I remember all the tips I have read in blogs, we should not put our backpack on the chair because they will count it as one person fare. So, I just hugged my backpack and enjoying view from the bus. I was in shock, my eyes open widely, traffic in this city are insane and noisy. A lot of motorcycle user and it seem like there are no traffic rules, they make U turn whenever they like, they don’t care about cars distance to each other and people just simple walk through the heavy traffic without any fear. Its like they have their own understanding and communication using the road.
            It was a long journey, after hour of shock we finally reach to our destination and there is another problem, these two gentlemen didn’t know where to go and where is their hotel located. So since I had bought simcard and have internet, I offer to help them using my phone to find their hotel location and more, since I didn’t book any hotel I decide to go with them and trying my luck to stay at the same hotel if there are rooms available. The hotel located in district one but it was hard to find, we do lost and went to opposite direction of Phan Ngu Lao Street, the hotel located in that street.

“Welcome” the reception greet us cheerfully
“Hi, these two guys already book a room through booking.com and I wonder if there any room available for me?” I don’t know but its looks like I have become their spoke person.
“You stay together in one room?’ He said it with his local accent. I don’t know if its a statement or a question but for sure it surprised me. I’m laughing.
“No, I mean I want another room for me. How much it is for two nights” I'm trying to have a negotiation with him.
“Oh okay, we have one room and its cost 400,000 dong for two nights” He said while showing me the number in his old school calculator. I agree to the price and he holds our passports since we didn’t pay full. Just like in Thailand, it’s a norm to the hotel to holds your passports if you pay during checkout. We decide to take a rest and going out to the Bent Thant night market together at 4pm.
View from my room. Copy Right: Wilma Shana

It’s a budget hotel, six floor with no lift and I was lucky they have empty room for single and not lucky enough because its located in the sixth floor. So we stay there for 2 nights and I try my best to use the stairs as little as I can. Unlike other budget hotel for single room, the room quite big with its own toilet in the room and I got everything I need such as mini fridge, flat screen TV, air condition and queen bedroom even though the room look shabby but its provide everything that essential to me.

...to be continue..
teaser of chapter 2: The Vietnamese...
"they were pulling their stall using their motorcycle while other hand in the motorcycle handle, the other hand and feet holding part of their stall in weird position..."