Our second day in Vietnam was of course spent shopping, shopping and more shopping... hehehe.
Early in the morning, after breakfast, we started our journey. Actually, I did a little bit of preparation prior to the trip. I managed to ask my friend Anne about where to shop and eat beforehand (she used to travel to HCMC a lot). I also googled and wikied HCMC. So, I kind of know what I wanted to do and a loose itinerary in mind.
Since yesterday was spent looking round in Ben Tanh and the night market, today I wanted to do serious shopping. It seemed that yesterday, some people felt left out of the shopping spree, the majority decided to travel in a big group. Iskh, I was not really keen because travelling in a big group is a little bit messy and slow, I mean real slow. I'm the type that if I wanted something, I would just grab it. I'm really not the window-shopping kind of lady. But well, I also understand that some felt that they're not confident travelling in another country, so I decided to join them.
First, we went to Hong Anh Collection which is very near our hotel but it was still closed. After that, we went to Minh Collection (the one I visited yesterday), also closed. Then we decided to go to Cho Binh Tay in Chinatown (my original suggestion, by the way!). It's a bit far from where we're staying but it was worth it. It's smaller than Ben Tanh, but definitely cheaper.
In Ben Tanh, we kept on bumping into Malaysians, but in Cho Bin Tay, we're the only one there... Even the shop owners in BT went there to buy stuff. I managed to buy gifts for the upcoming bowling tournament. I also bought jubah material for the whole BSS department, even for my Chinese boss...muahahaha. I also bought a lot of vietnam silk which is going to be given out to those lucky people...hehehe.
From there we went back to the hotel, where I chucked everything in the room. This is when our group got a little smaller, one cab was nowhere to be seen. I led them to Hong Anh Collection but the group felt that it was a bit expensive. For me, it's better than Minh Collection because the material used and the beading works was definitely superior. But, I didn't buy anything because I could not squeeze all my fat inside the readymade clothes...hehehe. If I were smaller, I would have went into a shopping frenzy there...muahahaha
After that, they wanted to go to Minh Collection, and I bid them farewell because I wanted to rest in the hotel while waiting for time to go for lunch. My boss wanted to follow me to Khai Silk, so I asked them to lunch with us at halal@Saigon. I booked a place for 12 people at 1pm. When we arrived there, we were ushered to the top floor where a place was already set for us. Yeay! My boys were really hungry, they could have eaten a horse. The waiter was really attentive because he gave the kids two plates of fries. The kids had nasi lemak while the rest of us had nasi berlauk. I ordered lemon grass chicken, ginger chicken, grilled lala, vietnam style chili fish, fried local vegetable called 'tokin' among other things. I had one of the best lunch...yummy!
After lunch, we just walked to Khai Silk where I bought my MIL a silk shawl and treated myself with one shawl also. Then we took a taxi to HRC where my husband bought himself 2 shirts and Amir managed to get one shirt also. On the way out, we met some of the others going to HRC. We went back to the hotel and I went out to the BT market with Kak Ina, Kak Aliah and Kak Midah. We went to the same stall that we found the day before. I knew that I wanted to buy the linen pouches, so that was what I did. I bought the small and the big linen pouches plus some table cloths and bed linen. I asked the seller to send all the stuff to the hotel and walked back with Kak Ina's daughter in tow.
After dinner, my husband and I went to the night market to buy a bag for kak long. There we met Kak Ina and Kak Midah with a calculator in hand roaming the streets...muahahaha. We got back to the hotel by 9pm and I started packing all my 'loot'. I didn't realised that shopping can really be hard work! Hehehehe...