As most of the countries are in lock down and Malaysia is no exception i thought it might be better to write the memoirs of my past travel .As mention in my blog earlier i have lost most of my travel photos in a online travel album.Anyway i can still remember some of the unlucky or happy incidents or surprises which happen throughout my travel before retirement.i am going to base it by countries traveling with a friend or solo.
Delay at immigration
As mention earlier we took another ferry and arrived at Chau Doc the border town of Vietnam.After passing through immigration where the Vietnamese personal who manned the open checkpoint looks more like a army officials rather than immigration staff.After checking my passport and a few questions i was allowed to pass through easily.My friend who accompany me was not so lucky as he was forced to spend more time with the officers.I become restless as this officers doesn’t seem friendly and i become anxious maybe we might be denied entry or detain for some reasons.Luckily after about 15 minutes he was let in.From there we proceed to Chau Doc with the same ferry.We arrived at Chau Doc at dusk.
Our main destination is not Chau Doc but Saigon or Ho Chi Minh city renamed after the famous Vietnamese leader.As it is already late we decided to put up in Chau Doc for the night. We went to buy a bus ticket to Ho chi minh city after booking a hotel and taking a bath.Soon we were join by another hotel guest an American solo traveler that we have met in the hotel earlier. Finding a suitable restaurant or stall to suit our taste in a small town is a uphill task.We decided to join this American who is quiet familiar with the town.He took us to a western restaurant which is attach to another hotel.After dinner and some wine we call it a day.The next morning we left to the bus station to board the bus to Ho Chi Minh city.At the bus station we decided to take our breakfast first in one of the food stalls.
The coffee puzzle
As we settle down for breakfast we just use sign language to order bread and coffee as they don’t understand English. We were served some bread with jam and cheese.We were expecting some coffee in a glass like what it was in Cambodia. We were soon served with a glass and a big cup arranged one on top of another which smells like coffee. Feeling puzzled and confused but at the same time we try to figure out how are we going to drink it.We could not ask the stall owner as they can’t speak any English.We taught it is a strange way of drinking coffee.In the end we just try to sip the liquid both in the glass and the cup which was very bitter.Feeling embarrassed we quickly left after paying the bill and board the bus to Ho chi minh city.It is only very much later in Ho Chi Minh city that we learn the art of drinking vietnam coffee from a waiter who can speak English.
We reached Ho Chi Minh city in the evening not exactly on a bus but on a big van squeezed with goods and passengers.From the bus station we took a cab to Pham Ngu Lao Street which is the backpackers area to book a hotel.The city was big than we expected and bustling with tourist and the nightlife was quiet vibrant. After booking the hotel we headed to look for a restaurant and was spoilt for choise as we found many including indians . We visited many tourist sports in Ho Chnh Minh city. I still remember a few and the popular Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique post office, Ben Thanh market to name a few.I was impressed with the Notre Dame Cathedral which is one of its kind in this part of the world outside Paris.
Coconut water rip off
When we were walking along a street during one of our sightseeing trip in the city when we were stopped by a man peddling some young coconuts.He offered us some fresh coconut water and since it was a hot day we decided to freshen up with some cool juices.The mistake is we did not ask the price beforehand as the man look friendly and honest.After gulping the tasty juice when we ask the price he told us in the local currency Dong. We are not familiar with this currency so we paid up and moved without suspecting anything.Only after lunch time in a cafe when the bill came and we paid more or less the same amount we realized how the coconut water for two person equals the lunch for two person.We knew we have been taken for a ride by this sweet talking coconut water peddler.As a matter of fact we try another coconut drink by the roadside asking the price before hand and realize the price was about four time cheaper. lesson learnt to know the currency conversion and to ask the price in advance.