Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What I did in Ho Chi Minh.

Hey guys! SORRY. I'm late. But you see I went to this Megazip Adventure Park with James (angmoh) and I kind of got stuck.

Hey guys!

SORRY. I'm late. But you see I went to this Megazip Adventure Park with James (angmoh) and I kind of got stuck.
And I had to be towed back to safety. 
That's right.Work for your pay.
HAHAHA but seriously, while I felt bad that the guy had to crawl all the way out to get me, I was also secretly pleased because James was taking photos of me and my nicely arranged legs and pointed toes. Yes. I'm vain like that.
(Via Metro).

ANYHOW. You might have read that I went to Ho Chi Minh with my great friends Thad, Moks, and James (Chinese)!
It was a very short trip - about 3 full days in total. And here's what we did there.

#1 We got ourselves into tight situations.

So our first day in Ho Chi Minh was spent at the Củ Chi tunnels, which was maybe a 90 minute drive away from the city centre. Yeah we took a cab and a round trip cost us around $70. I know we could have done the trip in $0.70 by taking bus 13, but you know, we left for the tunnels immediately after we landed and we didn't trust ourselves to be awake enough to navigate. I know, I know, I'm a slave driver.

And yes, I like Britney Spears. Anyway, the tunnels were great! It was drizzling a little but everything was more or less sheltered so we didn't get wet. Also the on site guide was very informative and amusing. He demonstrated how the various traps that the Viet Cong employed in the war...
And then told us how they were now "tourist traps" when I almost stepped on some shrapnel thing which Moks is holding in her hand here.
Anyway the tunnels! We (with the exception of Moks) had fun squeezing into them and acting like we were presenting someone with a platter of leaves.
James needed some encouragement. According to him, burrowing yourself into a tiny tunnel isn't something that army men need to do. Army men are supposed to go all out with guns ablazing.
HAH. James doesn't even dare to look at me in the eye to tell me that he wants more of my Snapple.
Don't mind my eyebrows. I was....I don't even know how old young I was. But I clearly didn't know any better.

#2 We pretended that we were tough.

So actually, we aren't a very tough bunch of people. You see? This is us like, 7 years ago. The girls can't be bothered to carry their bags, and they guys aren't macho enough to carry our bags without getting all upset.
But we're different now! Here we are on a tank. And you know, you have to be tough to be associated with tanks and stuff.
And we also fired guns. Here we are with an AK 47, because James said it was about the only one he had never fired before.
James said he hit the target. But I didn't see that because I was busy taking his photo. So I guess we'll never know.
And he said that Moks missed the target and hit the mountain at the back. But you know, it was dusty and I wasn't paying attention. So I also wouldn't know.
(Via Buzzfeed).

Anyway, there's a minimum purchase of 10 rounds, and you can share it amongst 2 people. So you get 5 shots each. However, you have a friendly James-like demeanor, you can share it amongst 3 people if you ask nicely. The guy at the range decided that Moks and James would get 3 shots each, and that I would get 4 shots. Why? YOU PLS LOOK AT HIS HAND AND HIS FACE.
And this was essentially why I got 4 shots. Hahahaha luckily it was over in less than 30 seconds. So sad. Like that also happy.
(Via Buzzfeed).

Anyway, amongst the four of us, James is probably the one who would probably be the most qualified to appear as a legitimate tough guy considering his army background at all. But you know, he spends 70% of his time imagining that he's a bear. So you know, that kind of ruins his street cred.
Yeah. He's a very strange person, and I don't know why he has friends. But you know, I still maintain you must be a strange person to actually want to interact with me on a regular basis. So I guess this is how it works...

#3 We got caught in a human-traffic jam.

Jac, humans are not traffic. It's either a traffic jam, or a human jam. There is no such thing as a human-traffic jam."
Yeah yeah. I'm fully aware that that's probably what you're thinking right now. BUT WELL.

Here's a picture of what we were experiencing.
See? Human-traffic jam! The interesting thing about this is that it was on board a ferry. So a human-traffic jam in the middle of the sea.
Or river. Sea sounded more legit when I typed it out. But yeah. It was very unnerving to line up in the middle of a throng of motorcycles. I'm not kidding. Here's a photo of some motorcycles. Please imagine where I had to stand in order to take this photo.
That's right. I'm a daredevil in the making. Always living life on the edge. Which I shouldn't be doing judging by how clumsy I am. Why just the other day I fell off the bed while changing the sheets. And I also fell down while blading yesterday a few days ago (I procrastinate a lot). I have a theory as to how this happened. My theory includes a rogue Pokemon.
(Via Giphy).

And just in case you were wondering, we were taking the ferry to Cần Giờ because that's what tough people do.

#4 We took the bus.

Yeah so we headed to Cần Giờ, which is in the middle of nowhere. To go there, you have to take a bus, a ferry, and another bus. Apparently, the rule in Vietnam goes, if it can fit through the door, it is allowed onto the bus. Let me illustrate.

This is us in the bus.
And here is also this man selling newspapers in the bus.
And also here is a man with his motorcycle in the bus.
Basically the bus doesn't ever stop. It slows down to a pace equivalent to an old person strolling, and then people jump it and start marketing their wares such as lottery tickets, coconuts, sugar cane juice, buns, etc. And then they jump off just before the bus speeds off. Very enterprising of the Vietnamese.
(Via Imgur).

#5 We helped to complete the circle of life.

AKA we fed eels to some saltwater crocodiles at the UNESCO listed Cần Giờ Mangrove Biosphere Reserve as part of a nice and fun activity known as 'crocodile fishing'. Or 'crocodile baiting' if you'd like. It was really fun. Let me show you how it was done.
(Via Fanpop).

Here are some fearsome saltwater crocodiles.
Here is me and Moks with some $1 eels.
Here is Thad feeding his eels to some crocodiles.
And here's a gif of what it looks like.
Tadah! Circle of life.

#6 We tried to be hipster.

We really tried. We walked into this nice grove where the trees were somehow arranged to form a nice canopy.
And this was where Moks magically produced a book from her bag and suggested we take artistic, hipster shots together with the book. And here are the results. Most of them are rather convincing.
Others were not so.
And some were quite successful but were ruined by my own incompetence in acting hipster.
But you know, when times get tough the tough get going. Or walk away. Either one. I'm not so good at this hipster quote thing.

#7 We decided that we were better at being cool.

Of course we did encounter some rather sad instances of failure...
But most of them turned out pretty well!
(Thad's jump shot was taken at the Inpendence Palace, not in Cần Giờ).

Yeah. We're too classy to be hipster, and also too classy for our own good.
Oops, wrong photo. I meant to put this instead.

#8 And we did the classy drinks thing.

And that's us sipping cocktails in the Helibar on Level 52 of the Bitexco Financial Centre, aka the tallest building in Ho Chi Minh.
We ate dessert in some hipster dessert cafe otherwise known as Thức coffee.
And we also drank coffee in some modern-ish cafe called "M2C".
The slogan of the cafe was "Modern meets Culture". And this is the result of that happening.
But no matter where we went, the bar was still our favourite place of course. It served alcohol.
So we went back! I know a lot of people say that it's an expensive place blah blah blah. So here's my advice. Pretend that you're in a bar in Singapore. $13 for a cocktail? Ok what. I would pay for that.
(Via Buzzfeed).

#9 We shopped but didn't drop.

I have concluded that Vietnam has lots of good fake shopping. And all can be found within the premises of Saigon Square.
Instead of stocking fake replicas of high end brands, which most people can probably tell are fake, Saigon Square stocks fake products from brands like Uniqlo, H&M, and even my beloved Forever 21!!
And because these clothes come from the cheaper brands which don't usually make use of the most quality of workmanship, you can't tell whether the real piece from the imitation. Here's Amanda in mid-purchase of her $30 Zara dress.
And if you can't find a brand you like, there's always that option of getting a two in one. For example, you could buy this Burberry top and get the shop keeper to throw in the hanger as well.
Two brands in one buy. Extremely worth it if I do say so myself.

I didn't buy anything there because I'm not too fussed about shopping overseas. BUT. I did manage to find my hairpins which cannot be found anywhere in Singapore any more. So I bought 40 of them for $2.
What! I'm very picky when it comes to hairpins. They have to be curved and smooth. And also longer than those pathetic 4 cm ones that you see in Watson's which can't hold any hair at all. Yes. Although it may not seem like it, I actually pay lots of attention to what goes into my hair.

#10 We relived our younger days.

So Moks and I bought coconuts to replicate this photo from our 2008 Bangkok holiday. This is us from about a few weeks back.
And this is us from about 7 years back.
CBBBBBB. Firstly look at how young we look. Secondly what is wrong with my face. Thirdly OMG MY ARM. MY ARM WAS SO SKINNY THEN. Sigh. Nevermind. Now I can do this.
James also upped his carrying skills since our last holiday in Bintan 3 years ago. Check out the before and after!
Yeah. The after isn't so glam even though I feel it requires more skill.

Anyway! I've come to the end of my list. I'm sorry if you were looking for information on what I ate and stuff. So um well, yes I ate pho and it was great. 
I forgot where I ate this particular bowl of pho as I finished many bowls of pho during my stay there. So I can't recommend where you can go for pho. But I can tell you where you can get some tasty bread.
If you're looking for sushi I heard that this restaurant called "Sushi Tei" isn't too bad. You also can get some really nice shoes at this shop in Bitexco Financial Centre.
But okay I get that I'm being annoying so here are some tips.

ONE: If you want to eat Banh Mi, buy it in the morning or you will have trouble finding it at night. It will be a long and arduous journey and you will curse yourself for not buying banh mi in the morning.
TWO: If you want to at black vermicelli you can get it from M2C. I don't know what makes black vermicelli black or if it tastes any different from normal vermicelli, but I saw it on the menu and decided to get it.
THREE: Ho Chi Minh seems to have GrabBike instead of GrabCar. Please someone take it and let me know how it is.
Okay now it is time to sleep. I will leave you with a song that James (angmoh) was playing while we were running. (Yes I went running).


Cheers! 
❤ Jac.

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