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18 December 2010

Hidden Charm of Vietnam Part 1

By Hsin Yee

November 17, 2010

Written by Soh Hsin Yee, Customer Care Department

Photos credits to Sumi & Sino

This is my very first post regarding my very first travel experience with my beloved department. On Monday, 15 November 2010, I was asked whether I could write a blog post about our trip. At that time, in my mind, I was like: “Oh gosh, can I?

I should try it. I should share the travel experience of our department trip with others.” and here it is – the story of our trip in exploring the hidden charm of Vietnam. To be specific, we were exploring the hidden charm of the Ho Chi Minh City (previously known as Saigon).

Our trip was organized by Sumathi and Masino and we had 26 participants of all age group. This included our own department staff, our extended family members and also staff from other departments. Travelling with staff from other departments and our extended family members indeed let us know each other better and tightened the relationship amongst us.

Above : Our organizers in serious discussion

Originally, our trip was scheduled as 3 days 2 nights. As most of us wanted to experience another additional day of exploring Saigon on our own (especially shopping), 21 of us decided to depart on 11th November 2010 (including me) while the remaining 5 departed on the very next day.

Here’s our journey:

11th November 2010

This is our group photo in front of the Tan Son Nhat Airport.

After that, we headed to a restaurant for our lunch. The dishes were very delicious and we had a scrumptious lunch.

Once we had our lunch, we headed to our hotel and it was free and easy for the remaining day. We stayed in Blue Diamond Hotel for the entire trip and it is located near the famous Ben Thanh Market. Although Blue Diamond Hotel is not as big as a 5-star hotel, it is a very beautiful and comfortable hotel. Most of the furniture is in gold and golden yellow colour where it brings a feeling that we were staying in a palace. The staffs are really friendly and helpful, making us as comfortable as staying in our own home.

Later on, after we finish checking in and settled down in the hotel, we were so eager to begin our exploration that most of us went to Ben Thanh Market. In Ben Thanh Market, there are lots of stalls selling fruits, titbits, food and beverage, clothes, souvenirs, accessories, shoes and many more. There are four entrances into the market. So, be careful or you may loose your way in there.

12th November 2010

Met up with the other members and started our journey by having lunch at Saigon 3 Restaurant. The food served was quite similar to our Chinese food.

Then, our half day city tour began by visiting the War Remnants Museum. It was opened on September 4, 1975. In the museum, it consists of 7 halls and all of them are exhibiting the remnant proofs of the Vietnam War results and the consequences.

The above is a fragment of B52G jet powered bomber plane used during the war and below are the war remains from the US Army.

After exploring the museum, we proceed to the Reunification Palace.

Want to know more about the palace and the following happening? Catch up with our blog post – Hidden Charm of Vietnam Part 2.