|Trust me when I say that it was quarter of the total madness|
I cringed and hold my husband's hand tightly. And prayed that we made to the other end safely.
The journey from LCCT to Tan Son Nhat International Aiport took roughly 2 1/2 hours and our flight arrived at 9pm (local time) as Vietnam is 1 hour behind Malaysia. After settling our legal documents, we proceeded to our hotel via taxi. We bought a taxi coupon at a stand next to the exit. The company is called Saigon Taxi & the total fare is 10USD per car. When we arrived at the hotel, the driver wanted to con us by asking for another 2USD . It was apparently for the alleged airport tax. My husband refused to pay and insisted for a receipt which he (the driver) couldn't produce. I was on the verge of paying actually but lucky my husband refused. The next day we then met another Malaysian couple (whom we met on the arrival day) and their driver didn't ask for any additional charges. So, be careful of (some) taxi. The most reliable taxi companies (taken from Wikitravel & upon advice from the hotel) are Vinasun and Mai Linh. No haggling necessary as they're using meter, all the time. Beware of taxis looking like the mentioned companies. We saw varies of VinaSUM, VinaMET and Mei Linh on the road. These could be scammers.
We stayed at the brand new (budget) Green Suites hotel which I booked via Booking.com. The published rate is 26USD/night (with breakfast) and we stayed there for 4D3N. For a budget hotel with less than 3 stars, the hotel seemed impressive. Clean room and bathroom (you have no idea about how anal I am with hotel bathroom), with air-cond, cabel tv (yay!), hot shower and basic amenities. The only thing that I hate about the hotel was the water pressure was so low and it took ages for the hot water to come out. Breakfast was a no-fuss menu with about 5 selections. Limited choices for Muslim though. For breakfast, we ate eggs and breads for 3 consecutive days. I think never in my life have I eaten that much of eggs. Well, beggars can't be choosers, can they?
On our arrival day, since it was already late and most of the shops were already closed, we decided to take a walk to the Night Market near the (in)famous Ben Thanh Market. The market is 1 km from our hotel and it took us about 15 min to get there. Here, you can find lots of relatively cheap stuffs such as ready made baju kurung(!), sportswear, lacquer ware, souvenir. I used the term cheap loosely as it really depends on your bargaining skill. My bargaining skill sucks to the max so I left it to my husband. But despite of a lot of people telling us the way to get a cheaper price is through bargaining, I saw that most of the sellers refused to lower down their prices.
We also saw a lot of Malaysian flocking the night market and other shopping area (esp. the makcik-makcik) Due to that, Malaysian are an easy target among the sellers and hence, they refuse to lower down the prices. Undoubtedly the prices are cheap compared to what we have in Malaysia but hey, buying it at much lower price doesn't hurt either, right?
After spending 1 hour there, we then headed back to our hotel to get some rest.