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Alone to Ho Chi Minh City & Stayed in Thien Xuan Hotel

Date of Visit: 01st April 2012

Initially, it was a trip of two. Then, it became four. Unfortunately one month before, one couldn't make it and so it became three. But how come at the end, only I alone to Ho Chi Minh City?

I went Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam less than a week after back from a week trip to Philippines last year. To be frank, I never thought of going Vietnam until one of my best friends proposed that she wanna go there just for their famous authentic and strong aroma coffee, and so I tried my luck for AirAsia's promotion and surprisingly, I managed to secure the deal that I think might be one of the best - a return for just RM146 as well for my return ticket via KK-KL-KK for just RM12.20 (when can you get this best deal anymore?). Then, when my collegemate know about this, she and her friend interested to join too but unfortunately by the time she wanna book the same flight as mine, the airfare had increased and I advised her to buy the night flight and so she did. Luckily my collegemate did bought cause one month before the trip, my best friend unable to join cause she will having exam on our travel period. Therefore, I went alone in the morning and waited for my collegemate and her friend at night in Ho Chi Minh City. Hereby, I can concluded that this is the first time I flew abroad alone without the companion of any friends of mine.

Vietnam 01
#1: The flight duration from Kuala Lumpur to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon) took 1 hour and 55 minutes. In between, Ho Chi Minh City is 1 hour behind Malaysia.

Travel Tips in Saigon:
Beware of the rip-off taxis scam. Do not simply take any taxi cause it will hurt your wallet so badly. The most reliable cabs are MaiLinh and Vinasun. Beware of the letters as well cause some try to fool you by placing Vinasum. See the difference? To get more info on how to avoid Saigon's rip-off taxis - read this article.

Day 1 - Ho Chi Minh City Taxi Mai Linh
#2: Took MaiLinh cab from the airport's counter to hotel and it cost USD$10

Thien Xuan Hotel 05
#3: Thien Xuan Hotel in District 1

From airport to Thien Xuan Hotel (which recommended by my friend), it took less than 20 minutes via taxi. I noticed that most Malaysian and Singaporean love to stay in District 1 cause it nearby most of those popular and main attractions of Saigon such as Ben Thanh Market, Notre Dame Cathedral, Post Office, Reunification Palace, Opera House, and War Remnants Museums. There are more than 20 budget and affordable hotels around this district. 

After done with all the check-in procedures, I was allowed to check-in into the room earlier. I though I have to wait until 2pm like most of those typical hotels but then I was being told I can check-in as early as 8 am. On top of that, the full amount of the hotel fees were paid when we check-out.

Vietnam 02
#3: Cozy and modern design superior triple room

Thien Xuan Hotel 02
#4: Clean and well-equipped with a bathtub and hot water

Thien Xuan Hotel 03
#5: All basic toiletries were provided in each and every room including bath towels and hair dryer

Although there is a free Wifi inside the room but unfortunately maybe because our room was located at very corner end, hence the connection was very weak. Sometimes I can access to Internet, sometimes I can't. Most of the time I access internet at the lobby or using the hotel's computer which located besides the hotel small little so-call cafe. To my surprised was besides China, even country like Vietnam is unofficially blocked Facebook.

Ben Thanh Market 01
#6: Famous Ben Than Market is located less than 100 meters away from the hotel

I can see Ben Thanh Market by just standing right in front of the entrance of the hotel. This is what I like about the strategic location of this hotel. Besides Ben Thanh Market, there are also many restaurants nearby. And when the day turned to night, a bustling and happening night market set up outside Ben Thanh Market. [Will blog more about Ben Thanh Market in next post]

After scouting around Ben Thanh Market alone for almost two hours, I went back to the hotel and took a nap. Imagine I woke up as early as 3 am to catch my flight and I was extremely tired and exhausted.

Thien Xuan Hotel 04 - Foods
#7: My first dinner in Saigon - Rice with roasted pork [USD$3]

When I about to step out from the hotel hunting for my dinner, the weather was really bad with heavy rain and strong wind. Out of sudden, the whole District 1 including the hotel I stayed was blackout. Scary to the max cause this is my very first time of experience this. Therefore, my last resort was having my dinner inside the hotel's small little so-called cafe. By that time as well, I received message from my friend that her flight will be delayed until the next morning due to the bad weather conditions.

Day 1 - Ho Chi Minh City 08 Postcards
#8: Whole night alone in the room wrote postcards cause of the bad weather conditions

Overall, this hotel is ideal and perfect choice for traveller and tourist at leisure as it tucked right in the center of the city and only few walking distance to most attractions like I mentioned above. The amount that we paid for 6 nights was USD$294, which it cost roughly USD$16 per person per night, this room is absolutely affordable and friendly to our wallet. The rate that we paid was including breakfast as well. This hotel is highly recommended for those who travel on a budget - clean, convenient, cheap and excellent services.


  1. The air tickets that you managed to get was really cheap. Luckily your friends only left you alone for a night..

  2. Last time we went there, we stayed at Golden Wind Hotel for 8 nights and paid only USD192, quite cheap but need to walk about 10 minutes to get to Ben Thanh Market, but still ok. Btw nice article & blog you have..

  3. my mom thinks of a trip at Vietnam next year, if it's on, i can ask you for more tips or advice before going there, right? this post also helps ;)

  4. I'm impressed with the budget trip. My one nite usually cost more than that! Definitely great value for those on a shoe string. Always stay safe while travelling yah, my dear girl!

  5. How in the world did you end up going alone? Thank you for posting this because it is so informational and a big help to others going to Vietnam. All of the pictures are wonderful thank you for sharing your adventure with us.

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  6. Oh Wow! You have shared an amazing information and provide every detail about the Ho Chi Minh City and its attractions. I like your pictures and the places which you have mentioned in the city. Very good blog and keep on sharing to help new travelers in the Vietnam or Saigon.

  7. I’m happy that you enjoyed your journey in Ho Chi Minh City. We hope to have a chance to welcome you back soon at our hotels in Ho Chi Minh City, District 1. Please check out our cool hotel deals and enjoy Vietamese cuisine at The Garlik Restaurant (one of the top 3 restaurants in HCMC on Tripadvisor).


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