My friend introduced the coffee shop which just located at the alley of our hotel. He said they served the best coffee in Ho Chi Minh which the owner is an aunty in her 50s. I was not a coffee lover but since he strongly recommend me to try, I had a glass of ice milk coffee. After a slip of the coffee, I totally agreed with my friend that it is the best coffee in Ho Chi Minh. The owner add caramel into the coffee which made it taste unbelievable nice. The portion of the caramel, milk and coffee was well-controlled by the owner. Even not a coffee lover like me was totally mesmerize by it. The owner does not speak English, so during payment, she would take out the money and showed us how much was the bill. We will then paid accordingly which was around 7000 VND. After our coffee, we went for breakfast just around the corner of the hotel. We had Pho again but this time the ingredients were same as Yong Tau Foo. The soup taste very delicious, the ingredients were as good as Singapore Yong Tau Foo and it cost around 25000 VND.
After breakfast, Lone came over to bring us to the supermarket Giang Sinh, to buy things for the orphanage. Ho Chi Minh do not have subways and buses with limited coverage, this made cabs the common public transport and the pricing of cabs were reasonable. We took cab to the supermarket which was just 10min drive and it just cost 10000VND. While buying things for the orphanage, we also bought some local food for souvenirs like the famous G7 coffee which was cheaper than Singapore. Their style of selling instant noodles were different from Singapore. The instant noodles were sold in single packet, thus, you can mix and match different varieties. However, the instant noodles were all written in Vietnamese words, it was quite exciting as I did not know what I bought… Hahaha!
When we got all the stuff and we took cab to the orphanage, Chua Linh Son. The journey was around 20min and the cab fare was around 35000 VND. Lone introduced us the principle of the orphanage who is a nun. This orphanage is run by a Buddhist temple, and it did not received any subsidy from the government. The orphanage normally raised the kids to the age of 18 where they finish their basic education. The principle lead us to the second floor and here is where the babies who are below 1 year old stay. Moving to the third floor, there is a baby playroom. There were a lot of toddlers in the playroom. All the toddlers here regardless of gender, have the same haircut. We had a great time playing with the toddlers here and all of them are just so adorable. There is a specially fat toddler and can be recognise easily due to the size different is so great. We were all thinking how this little boy get so fat compare to the other toddlers and when we ask the staff there, we got a shocking information. That fat toddler is a girl, and we keep thinking she is a boy. We also help to do some house keeping. Time really flies when you are having fun, if it was not for our stomach grumbling, we would not know that it was way past our lunch time.
Lone suggest to us to try Ho Chi Minh famous baby snakehead fish restaurant called 87 Ba Huyen. We took a cab there which cost around 40000VND and the duration was around 25min. The restaurant were full of locals and Lone explained that this restaurant was only well-known to the locals, hence, there was no tourists around. We ordered BBQ baby snakehead fish, steamboat style baby snakehead fish, chicken wings and fried rice. The waiters serve us the wild plants again which was to go with the steamboat. The BBQ snakehead fish were served first, and taking my first bite on it, I can say it is just simply marvellous! The marinating sauce was fabulous, they had spread the sauce evenly on the fish and BBQ till it was a bit crispy on the outer side and well done for the meat. Next served was the steamboat snakehead fish. In order to show us that their fishes were very fresh, the waiter brought the live snakehead fish to show us. We could see the fishes were all still moving, and the next moment, the waiter dump the fishes into the pot of hot water. Seeing that, I certainly had no dispute to the fish freshness. The pot was then placed on the table where Lone showed us that all the wild plants must be dump into the pot. After cooking for a while longer, it was ready to eat. I could immediately taste the sweetness of the fish when it was pop into my mouth. The sweetness come from the freshness of the fish and the meat was so soft and tender. the fried rice and chicken wing were normal. The cost per person was around 200000VND.
After lunch, I went to visit a couple of tourist sites in District 1. These places were near to my hotel, thus, I decided to walk there as Ho Chi Minh traffic condition was very terrible. My first place was Ho Chi Minh square. I saw the city hall of Saigon, the building was built by the French, hence, it had the taste of the Europe. In front of the building, there was a park where the statue of Ho Chi Minh was situated. The high end hotels and shopping malls were located near here too.
My next destination was Ho Chi Minh Notre Dame Cathedral. It was located around 800m behind city hall of Saigon. The cathedral is situated in the centre of a round about. This Gothic and Roman-style architecture was constructed by the French in the 1800s. Walking into the cathedral make me feel that I am in Europe. It was really special to see a French design cathedral situated in South East Asia.
Across the street was Saigon central post office which was also built by the French during the early 20th century. Although the post office is a tourist site now, but it did not lose its mailing service. I am able to buy post cards here and mail out to anyone.
Walking back to Ho Chi Minh square, the Saigon opera house was located around 100m from Ho Chi Minh statue. The Saigon opera house is also known as the Municipal Theatre. It is also another art created by the French in late 1800s.
It was dinner time and this round Lone brought us to a seafood restaurant called Asoi. We took a cab from our hotel which took around 20min and cost around 40000VND. The best and recommended food for this restaurant should be the BBQ prawns. The prawns were very fresh as I can peel off the shells easily using fork and spoon. It were marinated with their secret recipe spicy sauce which goes perfectly with the sweetness of the prawns. Another dish I like to recommend was their steam squid. Using steaming to cook food, the ingredients must be fresh or it will be easily exposed. The squids taste so fresh, and due to its freshness, the meat was tender and easily chewed.
After a great dinner, we took cab to MZ club for chill out. It took us around 25min to reached there and fare was around 45000VND They had a very good environment. The moment we step into the club, we were greeted by 2 rows of staff which made me feel so VIP. The club was not very crowded, music was not at full blast which able us to chat. They have live singing and their singer sing quite a range of songs, from English to Mandarin to Vietnamese. It cost us around total of 6 million VND for 2 bottles of Johnnie Walker gold reserve, mixer and some small bites.