[Beauty Review] First Beauty Review : War of Cleansing Water

Oke, jadi ceritanya setelah sekian lama hobi ngutak-ngatik make-up products, baru kali ini review produk kecantikan. Untuk beauty review yang pertama saya memilih untuk kasih review tentang cleansing water. Kenapa? Karena hal yang paling penting dari make-up itu adalah saat kamu membersihkannya di malam hari. Saya sendiri dulu termasuk orang yang sangat malas untuk membersihkan make-up apalagi bagian mata, tapi serius deh terasa banget perbedaan ketika mulai rajin dengan rutinitas kecantikan di malam hari yaitu membersihkan muka *padahal mandi aja males >,<

Nah, karena anaknya malesan jadilah cleansing products dengan water based itu pilihan yang paling pas. Dengan fungsi membersihkan, toner, dan juga moisturizer ditambah kamu gak perlu membilas muka dengan air lagi. Pas banget pokoknya untuk muka kering kayak saya dan orang males kayak saya hahaha.

Sebenernya saya sudah beli berbagai macam produk cleansing, tapi di review kali ini kayaknya ada empat produk yang mau dibahas. Oh iya, Berhubung baru kali ini bikin reviewnya dadakan, jadi foto produk asli hanya ada satu hiks :'(. Yang lainnya akan pakai foto dari website lain tentunya saya akan cantumkan kredit.

Sebenarnya pengen sih kayak beauty blogger lain bahas per faktor macam daya angkat, wangi, bahan, bla bla bla. Tapi ya kalau saya reviewnya ga pake panjang-panjang dan yang penting harganya!

Nah biar gak panjang kita mulai aja ya.

The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Rice Cleansing Water

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The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Rice Cleansing Water. 150ml around Rp. 100ish at TFS lotte many times ago >,< Picture from koreandepart

Produk ini adalah produk water cleansing pertama yang saya beli dari TFS line Rice Water Bright. Waktu itu kebetulan saya beli langsung di TFS Lotte Avenue Kuningan, dan sudah 2 botol saya habiskan sebelum produk ini dikemas ulang dan mulai susah ngedapetinnya kalau gak di online shop.

Karena mungkin berbahan dasar rice water, saat pengaplikasian produk ini muka langsung terlihat merona. Wanginya enak dan sangat lembut di wajah. Untuk mengangkat make-up mata produk ini memang kurang bisa diandalkan. Saya juga pakai cleansing foamnya dan mereka menjadi duo yang menyenangkan hahaha. Hanya saja saat ini saya kayaknya jarang banget bisa dapat produk ini, karena kebanyakan toko TFS jual yang tipe oil dan gel. Jadi kalau mau beli mendingan online deh (plus lebih murah)

Verdict: I love it! Repurchase? Yes, already hahaha.

 

Bioderma Solution Micellaire

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Bioderma Sensibio H2O Solution Micellaire 500 ml. Watsons 300ribuan. credit picture : Watsons Singapore

Pertama kali booming, sebenarnya gak terlalu tertarik sampai suatu saat lihat produk ini di watsons dan mbak-mbaknya dengan senyum super ramah menghampiri saya. Da saya mah lemah mentalnya kalau udah ada mbak cakep sambil keringetan nawarin barang dagangan hahaha. Jadilah beli ini untuk harga yang terbilang WAW. Sebotol 500 ml waktu itu sekitar 350ribuan. Lupa namanya juga udah lama.

Pertama kali coba langsung mencoba ke daerah mata. NOPE. BIG NO. Produk ini sangat tidak ampuh untuk membersihkan make-up mata kecuali niat banget digosok-gosok. Tapi jangan ya girls, nanti mata kamu keriputan. Plus produk ini perih kalau kena mata. Jadinya saya masih setia sama maybelline make-up remover untuk urusan mata.

Selama hampir 2 bulan dengan intensitas make-up sedang saya berhasilkan menghabiskan 1 botol produk ini. Menurut saya malah boros untuk ukuran botol segede gambreng begini. Karena kulit saya sebenarnya gak terlalu masalah jadi saat pengaplikasian di muka gak ada masalah break-out atau apapun.

Kesan saya saat pakai produk ini sebenarnya biasa aja, gak ada yang spesial dan gak ada yang buruk. Tapi untuk kamu yang mukanya sensitif mungkin produk ini oke.

Verdict: Repurchase? Nope. Terlalu mahal buat saya dan juga gak ada efek lebih di muka saya.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

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Produk ini jujur saja cuman jadi “pelarian” saya yang kehabisan cleansing dan males beli Bioderma yang mahalnya naujubile. Saat saya lihat beberapa review yang bilang ini oke, saya meluncur ke Guardian untuk beli produk ini size 125 ml dengan harga seminar 30-40ribuan. Murah bangets kan?

Dengan hati riang gembira karena pasokan cleansing water sudah terjamin, sayapun mencoba produk ini ketika udah sampai rumah. Jujur saya gak ingat apa yang saya rasakan pertama kali pakai produk ini. Dipakai di mata perih, dan dipakai di pipi saya agak tidak nyaman karena teksturnya yang gak selembut Bioderma.

Untuk harga yang murah, produk ini layak dicoba. Tapi apakah saya akan beli lagi?

Verdict : Repurchase? Hmm,, maybe kalau saya butuh pelarian lagi. Hahaha.

Corine de Farme Purity Micellar Water

 

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Corine de Farme. Guardian 500ml Rp. 159,500

Produk ini adalah produk terakhir yang saya beli berkat review salah satu beauty blogger. Karena gak puas dengan performance Garnier saya jadinya ngubek-ngubek lagi produk cleansing water di Guardian. Tampilan 500 ml yang gedombrang miming agak ribet kalau mau dibawa kemana-mana sama aja kayak Bioderma. Tapi saya suka dengan adanya pump, jadi ga ribet harus nuangin ke kapas dan bisa atur jumlahnya.

Semua produk di atas selalu saya coba ke daerah mata terlebih dahulu, karena saya mau liat dia ciamik gak angkat make-up mata. Surprisingly produk ini lumayan ngangkat make-up mata tanpa saya merasa perih. Walaupun saya masih lebih milih maybelline eye make-up remover sih. Produk ini punya wangi khas seperti wangi mawar. Somehow, make-up serasa gampang diangkat dilihat dari kapas yang udah alaihim kotornya walaupun hanya satu kali usap. Setelah pengaplikasian, saya merasa muka saya moist banget. So far, saya puas pake banget dengan produk ini.

Verdict: Sukaaa! Repurchase? I think so, masih harus lihat beberapa minggu lagi apakah saya masih sebahagia ini?

Nah itu dia review dari saya. Kalau mau dirating menurut saya, keempat produk di atas mungkin akan jadi seperti di bawah ini.

  1. The Face Shop
  2. Corine de Farme
  3. Bioderma
  4. Garnier

Sebenarnya agak ragu kasih rating teratas untuk TFS secara sekarang susah banget cari produk ini. Tapi saya jatuh cinta pada pandangan pertama sama produk ini dan jujur saya orangnya setia. cieeeeh.

Saran nih ya untuk para beauties, dari sekian produk yang saya beli-pakai-buang, beli-suka-beli lagi-suka-buang, de el el, basically what you need is to throughly cleanse your face with whatever product you buy. Mau pake mustika ratu juga gak apa-apa asal muka kamu ga sensitif. Saya masih lebih suka pakai oil cleansing untuk heavy make-up karena rasanya bersih sampai ke pori-pori. Untuk hasil maksimal, bersihkan lagi muka kamu dengan foam cleansing. Setelah itu lakukan kegiatan rutin seperti pakai toner, cream, essence, dan lain-lain. Oh iya, jangan lupa juga lakukan exfoliating paling tidak seminggu sekali agar sel mati di kulit kamu berganti.

Clean face , happy face, girl!

Semoga bermanfaat. Muah!

 

Love,

Irra

South Vietnam Finale Day 3 & Day 4: Mui Ne Highlight – Someone’s knocking our door at 4AM!

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Good Morning Mui Ne! Mui Ne Beach in front of our room ūüôā

Read Day 1 & Day 2

1 VND ~ IDR 0.68

In my previois post, I told you that we booked a Mui Ne half day tour at The Sinh Tourist. Our schedule for pick-up was at 04.30 AM. The night before we set our alarm at 4 AM thinking of spare the 30 minutes to get ready.

03.50 BANG! BANG! BANG!

Someone knocked our door and we were shocked to the point I got up and opened the door with so much headache. A guy holding a piece of paper in a broken english told us to get to the lobby. I was like “Right now? NOW?” and he nodded and left :O.

We grumbled but got no option other than to get ready as fast as we could. We were ready in 10 minutes leaving our room in mess :)) and went to the lobby. It was still dark and nobody sighted not even a car. Apparently the guy from before only tried to be an “alarm” for us. What the #$%@^@!*.

We decided to wait in the lobby and after 15 minutes there was a small bus came in front of our hotel. They picked up some people from other hotel and we wait for about another 15 minutes for some other people that I assumed stay at our hotel too (Ugh!). The driver finally decided to left them (haha!) for being late. There were just five of us in the bus, me and my friend, and young lady with a guy and an older lady that probably her mother.

 To be honest I kind of disappointed since I expected an open jeep where I can take the picture of surrounded area while driving to our destinations. But the bus was comfortable enough and since there were only five of us we got the so many empty seats. 

White Sand Dunes & Red Sand Dunes

It took us almost half hour to get to White Sand Dunes and the driver gave us 30 minutes to explore the dunes. You can rent atv to explore the dunes, and I think if you’re not a hiking fan, please do rent atv. I only got to the peak of the dunes in 20 minutes fhewww.. 

The sand was soooo soft and at that time there were not so many people which nice. We got to see the sunrise and took lots of pictures until the 30 minutes was up. Sadly, 30 minutes wasn’t enough to explore the dunes. My suggestion is you should walk or ride an atv to a part where there’s not so much crowd where the sand is still smooth, not too many trails left from atv or someone’s traces.

The next destination was Red Sand Dunes which about 10-15 minutes from White Sand Dunes. Red Sand Dunes provide a more picturesque sight than White Sand Dunes due to the red sand color contrast with the blue sky. There were so many children offered us some kind of plastic board for you to sand boarding cost about 30,000 VND (30,000 for many many many, Madam! -said the girl with plastic board). My friend tried to slide on the dunes and had so much fun, while I prefer to took pictures of her hahaha.

Red Sand Dunes has smaller area and much on the hilly side than White Sand Dunes, so there’s a lot of hiking involve when you explore Red Sand Dunes.

Personally, I prefer White Sand Dunes since it is cleaner and not too crowd, probably because tourists usually flock this area at noon or when sunset time.

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White Sand Dunes

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Red Sand Dunes

Fishing Village & Fairy Stream

To be honest I was a little bit tired from all of the hikes >,< when we’re about to go to our third destination. Ah, don’t forget to bring water, luckily we brought our drinks with us!

When we arrived at Fishing Village we did not go down to where the crowds of fishermen and those who wanted to buy fishes were. We just sat and looked down to the busy shore. Some of the fishermen still use a kind of bamboo basket boat also known locally as “Thung Chai” and the others use wooden boat with engine.

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A glimpse of Mui Ne Fishing Village. That green basket is actually a boat called Thai Chung.

After 20 minutes we departed to our next destination: Fairy Stream. Fairy stream is a soft red creek that colored by the red clay and surround limestone particles. You can walk along the stream that about ankle-deep and find this beautiful red colored stone wall formations. I took off my shoes and went straight to the stream and play with the water :). The red sand is soft and I had a good time walk on it. After found the red stone wall we made a u-turn and went back to the bus. Some articles said that if you walk straight from the red stone wall you will find a small waterfall.

oh, and finally I asked the lady that went in the same bus with us where is she from. She is from Szechuan, China and came for a vacation with her boyfriend  (or brother?) and her Mom (aww,,,sweet right?).

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Fairy Stream, Mui Ne. No hiking needed! hahaha

We went back to our hotel, took a bath, relax at the beach and checked-out because we were going back to Saigon at 1PM. 

The bus station is just right in front of the lobby hotel, and to get the bording pass you have to do check-in process. The check-in process is similar and we got our boarding pass in no time, bought an ice cream and board the bus to Saigon. We got a sleep-berth bus and our seat is on the top bed. The bed was quite narrow  probably specifically made for Asian body size, I think European will find it a bit cramped. As usual the bus will make a stop in a rest area so don’t worry if you’re hungry in the middle of the journey.

We arrived at The Sinh Tourist office at Pham Ngu Lao at 7PM and walked to our hotel that located near Ben Thanh Market. We stayed at Zoolut Stay 271 and paid USD 24 for a night. Our room was small but well enough for the two of us. I think this hotel is relatively new so everything is great. They got elevator, rooftop bar, business center, gym, television, water dispenser, hairdryer, a very good value and its cheaper than our first hotel.

We dropped our bag and went outside to have a dinner. We had our dinner at Halal Amin located at NguyŠĽÖn An Ninh street just 5 minutes walk from our hotel. This street is also known as Malaysian Street where they have so many Halal Restaurants there. We have Malaysian cuisine and quickly finished our meals we forget to take the picture :(.

After dinner, we went to Hard Rock Cafe because my friend wanted to buy a shirt for souvenir. Hard Rock Cafe located at Pasteur Street about 15-20 minutes walk from Ben Thanh. *kekinian banget gak kita?

We then went back to our hotel after buy souvenirs at Ben Thanh Night Market. Ben Thanh Market open from 7 AM to 6PM (indoor) and 6PM to 11PM (outdoor). If you shop here, be sure to haggle the price up to 70% of their offer.

After shopping at Ben Thanh Market we went to our hotel and ready to get sleep. We had a trouble when we’re about to sleep, I don’t know just because our room was the cheapest room, or something just went wrong with the AC, it automatically turned off after 30 minutes (eco friendly room maybe? Hahaha) and we have to turned the AC on again. Not to mention that even at the lowest temperature, the room was still hot because there was no window.

They don’t have phone inside the room so I had to go down to the receptionist to report this. They sent us a technician that couldn’t speak english so we had a hard time to explain the problem. He went somewhere and told us to wait and got back to our room to gave us an earplug thinking that the problem was with the AC noise! @$@^%&##%*@&^#.

We explained again to him and he said “No inglik (No English)” $&#*{^{!¬£! We were quite upset, the technician then called the receptionist. When the receptionist came, we have to explain again pfft.. 

We asked if they have another room and they said their room already full. We were desperate and tried to use body language to said that we’re tired, hot, and wanted to sleep.

After leaving us hanging for a while, the guy came back and told us to move to another room. YEAH! So there we were at 1AM moving our bags to another room downstair. Our new room was BIGGER and NICER. The AC worked well, and the bathroom has bathtub with a good water pressure. We thought that it was probably because we chose the cheapest room, Hahaha.. but fortunately everything went well after that and we got a nice sleep.

Our last day in Saigon began with a very nice breakfast from at our hotel. I ordered fried noodle and Ice coffee with milk. The coffee tasted sooo good. I am officially a fan of Vietnamese Coffee from then on!

We then headed to Post Office (again) to sent some postcards and went to a bookstore that located just beside the Post Office. I bought a very cute fairytale book for just about 32,000 VND! This bookstore has a lot of fairytale books, children books, and all of the books were not very expensive. Love it!

We then went to Ben Thanh indoor market and I bought some Vietnam silk for my mom. We got back to our hotel for Check Out and bought our lunch at Halal Amin. I always wanted to taste Banh Mi so we bought two for takeaway, one Banh Mi cost 50,000 VND. We then took a walk to Ben Thanh Bus Station and wait under sign 109 and wait for 109 Bus. You can also take 152 Bus, but I decided to take 109 since the 152 was crowded and it makes a lot of stop. You can take 152 bus for 5,000 VND only and 109 for 20,000 VND.

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The 109 Bus to Tan Son Nhat Airport for 20,000 VND. It is cleaner and has free wifi. We took the bus at Ben Thanh Bus Station.

The bus will arrived at the Arrival area of airport so you have to go up to Departure area. There were not much seat for us to have our lunch. We went to a small area at the 3rd floor and ate our Banh Mi. I Loooove the Banh Mi, the bread has this crunch texture outside and really soft inside and it filled with grilled chicken with a sweet spicy sauce, cilantro, cucumber, and a scrambled egg. The portion was big enough so we didn’t finish it halfway and we ate it again when we were waiting for our boarding time.

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Banh Mi, Vietnamese style baguette sandwich. I love this one! Would love to come back to have this!! Bye Vietnam!

Alhamdulillah the weather was nice when we were about to take-off and the flight was smooth as we landed KLIA2. We only have 40 minutes until our next boarding time for Jakarta so we walked fast from the arrival area to the departure gates.  Because the KLIA2 is soooo big we finally arrived at the departure area after 15 minutes walk. We only bought dinner at a convenience store near our gate, I had cheese sandwich and my friend had an instant noodle >,< .

We were boarding our last flight of the trip going back to Jakarta and arrived at Soekarno Hatta Airport at 12 AM, tired but happy that we’re back home safely with so many memories.

Detail flight back to Jakarta is on my Day 1 post. Check if you want to know the schedule and cost ūüôā

Travel Tip Day 3 & Day 4:

  1. in Mui Ne choose a hotel that near to Bo Keh Street, that’s where the crowds are. The easiest way to go to everywhere in Mui Ne is by taxi (preferable Mai Linh Taxi) or rent a motorbike.
  2. If you want to book Sand Dunes tour, choose a sunrise tour, that’s when the area is not very crowded.
  3. If you have more budget, choose private jeep tour where you can have longer time to explore the area, especially the sand dunes. You can also rent atv at White Sand Dunes.
  4. Be careful of children at Red Sand Dunes that offer you plastic board. Though we weren’t experience any trouble, I’ve read an article that sometimes they can be very pushy and rude. Do not give your belongings to them when you’re about to slide the dunes. I think because we were arrived at morning time, there were not so many children and we have no trouble what so ever.
  5. Bring a water with you, the hikes at the dunes are no kidding.
  6. If you book a sleep-berth bus, ask for a bottom bed because going up to top bed can be very troublesome.
  7. There were no halal restaurants in Mui Ne, but most restaurants serve seafood.
  8. When looking for halal restaurant in Saigon, Nguyen Anh Ninh Street also known as Malaysian Street. Some restaurants can be trusted but be careful of restaurants that only put Halal sign for extra money.
  9. If you want to go to airport from city centre, you can take taxi for about 200,000 VND, Bus 49 for 40,000 VND (you can see the stop at my Day 1 post), 152 Bus for 5,000 VND, or 109 Bus for 20,000 VND. I personally like the 109 Bus although you have to wait quite a while since they only have few 109 buses. It’s cleaner and faster than 152, cheaper than taxi and bus 49.
  10. You have to try Banh Mi for sure!

My experience of Vietnam was one of my unforgettable one. I think Vietnam is safe for a woman who travel alone or in group. The people are nice though not all of them can speak english, but that’s the art of traveling aboard right? Learn basic local language and eat their local dishes to have a full local experience. Four days are certainly not enough time to explore Vietnam especially if you want to go to North area. I will for sure go back to Vietnam one day and wish to visit Hanoi, Hue An, Danang, Nha Trang, and many more! Aamiin..  Thank you to my friend, Santi, and thank you Vietnam! I will go back soon. ūüôā

Thank you for reading my post, if you have something to ask or comment drop one below. hŠļĻn gŠļ∑p lŠļ°i! (See you later!)

Love,

Irra

 

South Vietnam Day 2: Leg Day in Saigon, Best Coffee Ever, and First Experience on a Veery…..Slow…Bus.. to Mui Ne

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Our Morning Workout in Saigon :p – walking route for tourist attractions within District 1 Saigon

Read my previous post of Day 1!

We woke up at 6 AM, took shower and had our left over grilled chicken for breakfast. Actually our hotel provide breakfast but we didn’t have much time to order this and that since they have no buffet. We started our morning walk at 7 AM, headed to our first destination – Reunification Palace which later turned out to be our last destination (Ha!)

Walking Along Saigon Street

There is one thing that we found challenging when walking along Saigon street. Crossing the road! Even though the numbers of motorcycle and cars are probably similar in Jakarta, but we found that the motorcycles amount are overwhelming. Tips for crossing the road in Saigon is just go for it, do not hesitate for one second, go straight and still look to your left and right. Ah, and at first we had a little difficulties with look to the left first and then your right since the road in Vietnam is on the opposite with Jakarta.

After mastering our crossing road adventures, we couldn’t help but fall in love instantly with Saigon Street. A lot of parks, trees, and cars are considered not too many for us Jakartans, so at 07.30 in the morning you can still breath that fresh air. How cool is that?! At first we thought it was too far to walk to our destinations, but along the way we just loved the sights and the walks.

When we were walking, an old guy in a bike came to us (I guess he¬†noticed that we were foreigners). He offered us tour around city but I forgot how much, we politely refused his offer and just went straight to our destinations. Be very firm when you want to reject this kind of offer, sometimes they can be very pushy. Say no with a smile ūüôā and just walk away.

Nguyen Hue Street – Ho Chi Minh Statue & People Committee Building – Saigon Opera House

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Ho Chi Minh President Statue and People Committee in the background

Nguyen Hue Street is the new attractions in Saigon that just opened last year. It was then become a huge square where people can have many activities especially when weekend and night time. Unfortunately we didn’t come at night and weekend, but the view was absolutely amazing. For a place that located in the heart of the city, this place is lovely. You can feel the¬†french architectures from the buildings around, and the lovely parks, with statue of late President Ho Chi Minh and that People Committee Building, I just couldn’t get enough.

We had our time of taking photos, selfie, and chasing the flock of ¬†doves (yes, there were doves!). We continued to the next nearest destination which is Saigon Opera House. Saigon Opera House, which is another example of French Colonial architecture in Saigon was built in 1897. It is still used to hold events like orchestra, opera, or shows. The ticket can be acquired in some travel agent and I saw a booth in the Post Office that sell the ticket too. We didn’t watch any show there, we just took photos. When we were taking photos, a guy with a cyclo came and offer us a tour to China Town, we (again) politely refused his offer :p and walk to our next destination which is Post Office and Notre dame Basilica Cathedral!

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Saigon Opera House. On the left side is Hotel Continental Saigon (the first hotel in Vietnam)

Saigon Post Office – Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral

Not too far from Saigon Opera House we finally arrived at another building which was built during French Colonial, Saigon Post Office and just across it is Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral.

The Post Office open at 7 AM and you can send a post card to your loved ones. Post cards cost around 5,000 – 12,000 VND and the stamps cost about 11,000 VND for South East Asia area and 12,000 VND for Europe. The interior inside the Post Office reminded me of this European late 40s movie, there’s telephone booths which they transformed into ATM booth. The chairs are also vintage. Many tourists took pictures inside of the Post Office and when we were there mostly come from French.

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Saigon Post Office. Send a Post Card to your loved ones or to yourself !

Just across the Post Office building, there’s Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral. You can go inside the cathedral during mass. In front of the cathedral there’s a little park and a Virgin Mary Statue. The red brick shade cathedral is really contrast compare to the surrounding area which makes the building even more beautiful.

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Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral front (right) and side (left) view. In 2005 it is reported that the Virgin Mary statue have shed tears!

Reunification / Independence Palace

We then proceed to the nearest stop which was The Reunification Palace or Independence Palace. It is one of Saigon landmark which used as a Presidential resident during Vietnam War. The entrance fee is 30,000 VND per person. The palace is very large at about 120,000 sqm. The building has 4 floors and a bunker and it’s surrounded by park. The interior¬†influenced by French and also Chinese style so you will also see a lot of red and gold color. All the rooms description is written in Vietnamese, Chinese, and French.

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Reunification Palace. Down right picture was me having the best coffee ever!

They only open the second until fourth floor for tourist, when we were there they have an open recruitment for a bank (?). Second floor mostly consist of meeting rooms, third floor is for ambassadors, guests, and apartment for guests. Fourth floor is dedicated for entertainment purposes such as mini theatre, sports room, and they have this “rooftop” area where they put a heli (?) there.

Expect a lot of walking up and down the stairs inside of this palace. There’s an elevator but just for up to 5 people I think, so you will have to take the stairs and the bad news is you can only go in and out from the right wing. We got lost at left wing thinking that we could get outside but then we have to take another stair to go up and walk to another wing, fyuh!

Exploring the outside park is also a good option, where you can sit and enjoy the breeze or take a photo with a tank. Feeling thirsty? There’s a cafe in front of the entrance/exit and you can get Vietnamese coffee, coconut, etc. We got a little bit worn out after the walks from earlier and the palace stairs so we sit at the park and I ordered a cup of ice Vietnamese coffee. I always wanted to try the coffee seeing a lot of coffee places/stalls crowded by local people since early morning. The coffee I bought from Reunification Palace cafe cost about 35,000 VND and I swear that was the best coffee I have ever drink! I am not a fan of black coffee but the coffee was sweet and aromatic. Plus, I got this at the well known landmark in Saigon, what could be better?

Our Lunch – Going Back to Hotel – Bus to Mui Ne

It was about 10ish when we got out of Reunification Palace and we felt hungry since our left-over grilled chicken breakfast :)). After bought some souvenirs at the palace’s souvenir shop we headed to Ben Thanh Market and found a recommended halal restaurant just near the market. The restaurant called The Daun Resto and served Vietnam & Malay cuisine. We ordered Pho (of course) and a plate of spring roll. Santi got the spicy Pho and I got the original one. Both were great but I personally love the original soup. They give a lot of beef slices and meatball slices inside the Pho. The spring roll also great with vegetables and shrimp inside accompany by a sweet sauce with peanut. They also give free ice tea that you can refill (yeay! :)) ).

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Fresh Spring Roll (top) and Pho Bo (bottom) at The Daun Resto near Ben Thanh Market

Satisfied with our lunch, we got back to our hotel in Pham Ngu Lao to get ready for our bus to Mui Ne. Our bus departed at 2 PM and we had to checked in at 1.30 PM. We had a power nap for one hour until we have to check out from hotel and go to the The Sinh Tourist Office to check in.

Arrived at The Sinh Tourist we checked in and they gave us boarding pass and a luggage tag, cool! We departed on time, but after a long walk to a bus terminal that located 10 minutes from the office. I thought the bus would pick us up in front of the office, but no, we walked to a bus terminal with our bags. Me and my friend had no difficulties but other passengers with big luggages had tough time walking to the terminal :O.

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Our Boarding Pass to Mui Ne

The bus was okay, we got plenty of leg room and AC was good. Saigon to Mui Ne is 215 km and about 5 hours driving. For us, that was a very long time driving compare to Indonesian driver. The road was not congested at all and mostly highway road, and we got to stop at a rest area. Be very patient because the driver will not go more than 80 km?

It was at 18.30 we finally arrived at Mui Ne and one by one passengers were dropped at their hotel. You have to tell your driver the hotel you stay in and they will drop you unless your hotel is not located along the bus route. We stay in Mui Ne Resort managed by The Sinh Tourist so we were the last passenger since the hotel also used as bus station.

Mui Ne Resort is beach-front hotel and it has a swimming pool which add a nice value considering¬†its cheap price.¬†1 Night Villa (i think this is their standard room) cost about USD 29 (breakfast included). The room was good and just right to¬†the beach, the downside of this hotel is it is located far from where the crowd is and not so many restaurants nearby. I really wanted to try the famous seafood restaurant but considering the distance, we decided to eat at hotel’s restaurant instead.

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Failed to have seafood dinner and eat this chicken curry fried rice instead (90,000 VND)

Travel tips Day 2:

  1. Check your route and what kind of transportation you want to take or just walk, it’s fun!
  2. There are a lot of places we didn’t visit such as Remnants War Museum, Ho Chi Minh City Museum (Gia Long Palace), Ho Chi Minh City Hall, China Town, Museum Of Vietnamese History (Oh My God, I will have to comeback later). I suggest you take a full day or two to explore the city. If you need a guide, I saw websites about non-profit organization that offer free tour. They are Saigon Free Walking Tour and Saigon Hotpot. Or tour with fees such as back of the bike¬†or every other travel agent that offer city tour. *It’s not a sponsored link, by the way
  3. Try being local people by getting a cup of Vietnamese Coffee in the morning. You can spot many places sell a good cup of coffee, even I found one on a bike!
  4. I suggest you start to get out of your hotel at 7 AM, the sun is not too hot and you can still get the fresh air.
  5. Though we didn’t have any trouble, but be careful of your belongings. Do not bring a lot of money in your wallet (or you can wear a¬†hidden pocket).
  6. Check the weather and don’t forget your umbrella or raincoat, just in case.
  7. You can see the walk route here.

That was Day 2! Huft, thank you being patient reading this long post, hahaha. Please wait for my next post : Day 3 , our trip in Mui Ne (Sand Dunes and Fairy Stream) & Day 4 (Shopping Day & Going Back Home) . Feel free to ask or comment. Thank you!

Love,

Irra

South Vietnam Day 1 : Rainy Saigon and walking along Saigon Red District? :o

 

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I think this is my first time travelling without carrying a luggage. – semacam foto wajib di bandara Soetta sebelum berangkat-

It was a very long time ago me and my friend, Santi, talking about travelling together somewhere. We, Santi particularly :p, have a really packed schedule so we hardly meet and talk about the plan. Until a month ago we decided the date and the destination. Vietnam it is!

After some considerations, we decided to go to the South this time. Ho Chi Minh City (or yes, you may still call it Saigon) and Mui Ne.

Booking The Flight Ticket

We booked ticket plane via traveloka.com and chose to fly with Tiger Air and Air Asia. To be honest we didn’t get the best price since we a little bit too late so the price already¬†went up.

CGK – SGN (by Tiger Air) cost about IDR 995,000 ~ USD 76 (1 USD = IDR 13,000)

SGN – CGK (by Air Asia) cost about IDR 1,600,000 ~ USD 125 *this include shared baggage 20kg with my friend.

That was actually my first time booked a ticket via traveloka. It was quite easy and they display the final price so it is already include tax and other fees. But to my disappointment, booking via travel agent is quite troublesome, Due to the respective airlines will not give you any notification directly to your email because you are booking the ticket via travel agent.For my return (Air Asia) ticket, I have to wait more than a week to get my revised e-ticket since I have an add-on baggage after called traveloka three times!  The second time happened when I got message to my cellphone from Air Asia that my flight got delayed (thank God I turn on the cellular data for a while), but I got no email notification eventhough the message told me to check my email.

CGK – SIN – SGN

Our flight was at 9.45 AM so I told my friend that we should be there at 8 at least and we should be on our way at 6 considering Jakarta’s Monday morning traffic. Aaand my friend showed up in front of my house at 5.20ish :)).

We arrived at Soekarno Hatta Airport at 6 AM thanks to our taxi driver (not even once the speedometer showed under 100km/hr , except at the toll gate!). As expected, waiting at Soekarno Hatta Airport was not fun at all. So we went on selfie spree while waiting for boarding time.

 

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waiting for boarding time be like … :))

It was our first time flying with Tiger Air, and for a budget airline, I think Tiger Air is one of the best options for you with limited budget. Tiger Air flights will mostly have layover in Changi, Singapore. And there is nothing wrong at all with having a layover at Changi, right?¬†You can check here if you have no idea what to do when waiting for your next flight >>¬†What to do in Changi?¬†. During our 3 hours layover,¬†we only had our lunch at McDonald and I bought some souvenirs. Don’t worry about food in Changi, you will have huge options and mostly the restaurans will put a sign whether the restaurant is halal or not.

Our flight to Saigon was smooth until we were just above the airport. The pilot told us that there would be delay since the weather was not so good. When I looked outside the window it was cloudy and I was able to see some black cloud and thunder light :(. We were circling around for about an hour and that was the worst flight I have ever been :(. But Alhamdulillah we landed safely at¬†Tan Son Nhat International Airport, even some people clapped for the smooth landing during the heavy rain. Also, the captain was personally greeted us and apologize for the delay (He’s handsome by the way!).

Going from Tan Son Nhat to City Centre (Pham Ngu Lao)

After exchange our money to Dong (VND), we were going outside to take a bus to our hotel. At Tan Son Nhat you can go with Taxi, Busses, or hotel pick-up.

Taxi to city centre (District 1) cost around VND 200,000 (1 VND ~ IDR 0.58). From what I have researched, the trustworthy taxi is VinaSun and Mai Linh. Be very careful of other taxi company, some taxi even have their car painted similar to Vinasun or Mai Linh.

Hotel pick-up mostly cost about 16 -20 USD depends on the car (4 seat – 7 seat).

At first we decided to take 109 bus (new airport bus). The bus station is just in front of the arrival gate, you just have to cross the road (still inside the airport area) once, and there is a booth with a dispatcher that will give you the ticket. The bus fare for long distance cost about 20,000 VND and if you travel for a short distance it will cost you 12,000 VND.

109 bus route : Tan Son Nhat Airport (international terminal) Рdomestic airport РTruong Son РTran Quoc Hoan РLang Cha Ca roundabout РHoang Van Thu РNguyen Van Troi РNam Ky Khoi Nghia РNguyen Dinh Chieu РCach Mang Thang 8 РPham Hong Thai РLe Lai РBen Thanh roundabout РBen Thanh Bus Station РPham Ngu Lao РSeptember 23 Park

The dispatcher told us that the 109 stucked in a traffic since it was raining heavily, he offered us to use the 49 bus instead. Bus 49 is newer and smaller shuttle bus that has shorter travel time to City Center, it will go directly to some big hotels or your hotel at your request. It cost you double than 109 Bus which is 40,000 VND. After more than 15 minutes waiting, we decided to take the 49 bus since it was already 7 PM and we were tired from the long flight.

The bus has wifi so we were happy to be connected to internet all the way to our hotel. In fact, most busses in Saigon (tourism related) has wifi on board so you can go post that selfie right away!

Since our hotel is situated at an alley, the Bus couldn’t ¬†stop in front of the hotel, instead we were dropped in Pham Ngu Lao road. We had a 5 minutes walk to our hotel,¬†Yen’s Hotel.¬†Yen’s hotel situated in the well-known backpacker area called Pham Ngu Lao/Bui Vien. We choose this hotel since we will need to go to The Sinh Tourist (which I will tell you later about this) to book bus ticket and tour to Mui Ne.¬†1 Night standard room cost about USD 25 (breakfast included)

 

Talking about accommodation, to my surprise, rooms in Saigon is not that pricey. I chose to stay at three different hotels for three nights since we have to go to Mui Ne at the second day. All of our bookings was made via booking.com. Booking.com will send you email about the rate in USD and later you will pay the rate at the hotel in local currency (or you can pay in USD if they accept USD).

Arrived at the hotel, the receptionist welcomed us, took our passport and offered us tour package. Don’t be surprised if you are offered by your receptionist or hotel manager, they will try to get you a great deal (as they claim) and say that The Sinh Tourist bus will be fully booked (but actually not). The point is you should do your research first. I was offered a tour with my itinerary for 1,500,000 VND! He said he will arrange all of our bookings. But, I already did my research and found that The Sinh Tourist has much lower price than his offer. He kept offering us another price, another tour agent, and not giving us the key room, so with a frowned face I asked him to give our key room first and that was the end of his offering. Honestly, he was a nice guy and did not push us to buy from him, but still we were tired then and very hungry so we kind of a little bit irritated by his act.

Oh, and most hotel / hostel/ B&B in Saigon will keep your passport, eventhough you already pay in front. I don’t know why, but I think you can talk if you want your passport after paying. And mostly they will accept your USD , VND, or Card.

Our room is on third floor, and there were no elevator :(, those with heavy luggage just be sure to take a break in the middle :p. The room is okay, they give you amenities, refrigerator, tv, ac,water heater, ceiling fan, and wifi. The downside was only the water pressure in the bathroom is bleh.

Book a Tour and Bui Vien Street

After drop our bag, we were heading down and went to The Sinh Tourist. The Sinh Tourist is a well known tour agent that offer a lot of tours around Vietnam. It has so many branch throughout Vietnam. You can check their website here¬†. Be careful when you go to their office, there are so many imposter that claim they are the real Sinh Tourist. You can check their address at their website and they post a map & an image of their office so you won’t get lost. Other well known tour agent offered same route is¬†Phoung Trang located in the same street.

It took us less than 10 minutes walk to The SinhTourist. The lady that help us speak a really good english, we have no problem in booking our ticket. Here are our bookings:

Bus Saigon – Mui Ne (Sitting Bus) : 89,000 VND

Mui Ne Tour Sunrise (White Sand Dunes, Red Sand Dunes, Fishing Village, Fairy Stream): 139,000 VND

Bus Mui Ne – Saigon (Sleeping Berth) : 199,000 VND

After booked Mui Ne related, we took care our hungry belly and tried to find a halal restaurant. We wanted to go to Baba’s Kitchen that located in Bui Vien street, so we walked just about the corner and found so many restaurants, mostly bars. The unique things were mostly restaurants have this short table & chairs that facing the road, so we were a bit shocked and kind of ¬†awkward hahaha. We forgot to take pictures there, so if you want to see what kind of vibes offered there you can go to trip advisor¬†to see.

After walk along the Bui Vien street we couldn’t find the restaurant. Instead, a lot of young ladies (and guys, ehem..) offered us Nail Spa, Massage, etc. At first, I thought that this street is some kind of massage heaven but after paid attention to the ladies outfit, aaaahhh,,, I can say that Bui Vien is the red district of Ho Chi Minh City. Two girls walking along red district? Hahahaha, don’t worry they have so many other things to see beside us, really. :p

We took a detour and went back to our hotel alley and found that just next to our hotel is a Lebanese restaurant called Hummus & Grill. We ordered chicken soup and grilled chicken with pita bread. The chicken soup was a perfect appetizer for a rainy night and the grilled chicken was seasoned well. We shared the food since it was a big portion. Ah, and they gave us free ice water (freee).

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First dinner in Saigon, which was Lebanese food? 

For dinner we spent about 240,000 VND for two persons. We wrapped the left over chicken since it’s so big we couldn’t finish it.

We got back to our hotel at 10.30 PM I think. We were tired and calling it a night.

Day 1 was filled with long flight and rainy Saigon. I really like the vibe in this city actually and couldn’t wait to explore the city. Day 2 will be about us touring around the city centre and going to Mui Ne. Wait for my next post!

Travel Tips:

  1. Bring enough snacks to eat along your flight.
  2. Bring empty water bottle, you can fill it at Airport.
  3. Bring umbrella or rain coat, and rain cover for your backpack.
  4. For a short stay like us, I don’t think you need to by 3G data, a lot of place in Vietnam have free wifi even on bus.
  5. Do your research before travel about places to go, restaurants, transportations, and trusworthy tour agent.
  6. Wear a comfortable shoes, ladies. You will walk A LOT.
  7. For moslems, a lot of halal restaurants in city centre you can choose of, so don’t worry :).

Love,

Irra

Yes, I am writing a blog!

I think I started write a blog many years ago. From poets, curhat, pictures, and many more. At some point, I decided to delete all of my blogs and slowly I lost the interest to write again. Until this year I really want to share so many things with all of you.

So, welcome to my blog and hopefully I will keep it coming, whether it is about travel, food, beauty or everything in between.

Sit down, relax, drink that cup of coffee (or tea) and enjoy this journey with me.

Love,

Irra