The Plan. The Plane. The Palace.
So recently I visited the motherland. It had been over a decade since I had last visited. I remember the the last time I went, I didn’t really enjoy all the hustle and bustle of the cities in Vietnam. I didn’t like the crazy roads or trying to look for a toilet when your busting to go. I didn’t like a lot of thing. But that was only the cities. I did truly love it out in the country side and boy oh boy did I love the food. But I was much younger then, these days I’m all about the culture and love getting amongst it all. But the hustle and bustle of the cites was too much for me that time. The last few times I went I got pretty cheap accommodation, which was ok. But this time I decided I would splash out a bit and stay somewhere a bit more flash. I was only planning to stay in Ho Chi Minh City this time as I was heading there for my best friend’s wedding. I was thinking if the hustle and bustle of the city got a bit much for me this time, I could always retreat back to the comfort of my accommodation. So I picked a very nice suite at the Sheerwood suites in District 3. It’s a very modern and beautiful hotel. The suite was huge and the facilities where second to none. Oh I know not exactly immersing myself in the culture, but this was part of the plan. I usually fly budget airlines too but this time I flew on Singapore airlines. Can I just say WOW!!! This was by far the best flight I had ever been on. The comfort and service where soooooo good. I don’t often give out recommendations but I would not hesitate to recommend them anytime. They have now become Saba’s airline of choice. I wounder if they would ever let me create a menu for their onboard menu hahahah. So the accommodation was booked, the flight was booked and my Visa was approved, now I just had to wait for the date!.
The day had finally arrived. It was 1 am in morning. Plan was to sleep as much as possible on the flight so having a 1 am flight time was perfect! As I was flying with Singapore airline it was not a direct flight. From Melbourne we had to a stop over at Singapore for 4 hours. This was fine with me. If your going to have to do a stopover at any airport. Singapore’s Changi airport is the one you want it to be at. As I mentioned up until now I had only flown with budget airlines so this was a whole new experience for me. Food was all inclusive, which was pretty good. I don’t really care much for airplane food but it wasn’t bad to tell you the truth. Entertainment was included, which was great as I could watch some movies, the chair even had a usb port. Which was quite exciting for a simple guy like me. I could charge my phone and play all the games and listen to all the music I wanted too without fear of my batterie running flat. I was quite pleased with my decision not to go with a budget airline this time. So we finally arrived at Singapore 5.45am local time (flight time was 7hrs and 45mins) My plan of sleeping most of the way did not quite pan out right. I didn’t sleep a wink. I have to tell you I’m usually only good for about 4 hours on a flight then I’m buggered after that. But when I arrived in Singapore I was feeling fresh. I put this down to the comfort and service on Singapore airlines.
So we had 4hours to kill at Singapore’s Changi airport, so what does one do when you got to kill 4 hours. Go hunt down some food of course. The food hunt was on, the first place we came across was selling bakkwa which is like jerky of sorts. I have had their bakkwa, on previous trips to Singapore. But one of my travelling partners had never been to Singapore, actually he had never left Australia before so we had to try some for him. They had quite the selection and we weren’t sure what to choose, so we just asked the lady to give us the spiciest one they had. It was delicious but wasn’t really that spicy to tell you the truth. Next was onto the food court, we had so much selection here, and we all had something different. I had some roast duck on rice and the others had noodle dishes, rices dishes and so on. With full tummies and a few more hours to kill, we strolled around the airport for a while, mostly doing window shopping.
Our 4 hours had passed. Now on to the next plane and we were well on our way to Ho Chi Minh. Our plane had landed right on time. It was 11 am local time. It did take us a while to exit the plane and clear immigration. To tell you the truth the lines for immigration where huge and I though we where never going to get out of there. But after some times we did. Walked out the doors and boom. Did the heat hit me or what?? It was hot hot hot. Waiting for us was my best friend and his soon to be wife. He had arranged a taxi for us to take us to the hotel. So we set off to the hotel in district 3. The ride was interesting to say the least. The traffic was exactly how I remember it. Crazy as hell. There where a million horns honking, people cutting off each other. People riding on the footpaths. It was Vietnam! You know the funny thing, all of those years before I hated that, but on this day, I absolutely loved it. It was just facitaing to me, how all this craziness, which seemed to have no rules just worked. There was no road rage, no anger, nothing like that. Just everyone going about their business. I must say this time around I really found an appreciation for it. My friend who had never left Australia however was just left in shock to say to least. The best thing was he hadn’t seen nothing yet. He still had to cross the road on foot to look forward to lol.
Welcome to the palace. Sheerwood suites in district 3. It was beautiful and so luxurious. Maybe a bit too flash for a simple guy like me. Ok maybe not. The staff where very welcoming and we where blown away by the suite. They even had fruit hampers waiting for us on arrival.
It was even better in real life then it was in the photos on the internet.
I know unusual hey? There was 6 of us staying here. 4 adults and 2 kids. The suite had a master room where the kids and their mum and dad stayed. The other room had 2 single beds. I took one of the single beds. The place was plenty big and we didn’t feel like we where ever in each others space. The kitchen was fully equipped with every appliances you needed. Not that we where planning on cooking anything here. Street food was our plan. But it was all there if you needed it. There was a supermarket just across the road which we went down too and stock up on the fridge essentials. You know 333 beer of course. Oh yeah and milk and food for the kids too. After stocking the fridge, unpacking and washing up.
We went and explored the Hotel. The pool and spa area was excellent it was on one of the lower floors but was fully open so you sort of felt like you where outside but inside at the same time. This was going to be the perfect place for me to escape the hustle bustle if I needed.
There was a great side spa and awesome sauna too. There was even a bar right near the pool. They had a gym next to the pool area and next to that was a pool table and then a kids play room, they had it all. It was a very luxurious place indeed.
So after checking the place out we though we would relax a bit before we would head out to the hustle and bustle of the outside world in search of the most important thing. Food!!
So we headed down to the lobby bar and ordered a few beers and some refreshing tropical fruits. I also ordered a mango custard just for good measure. Hey I’m on holidays alright lol.
As I sat back and enjoyed my ice cold beer, I closed my eyes and a sense of calm came over me. I was feeling one with my mother land again. I felt at home. I was in Vietnam again.
And when in Vietnam, do what the Vietnamese do.
Come and join me in the next chapter as I explore the wonderful world of HCMC street food.
Saba Eats Ho Chi Minh City