It is unfortunate that a prelude to a wonderful travel destination be tarnished by an awful plane meal.  On our flight to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) in Vietnam, what was really nasi kerabu was passed off as fried rice by one of the flight attendants.  But even after forgiving him of such an error, I thought it was unacceptable for MAS to serve tasteless food, more so when they bear our nation’s name, a name which boasts good food at every nook and corner (except in the skies, apparently).  On our return journey, the fried rice resembled plain rice stir-fried with chilli paste to give it a red tinge.  Oatbran and water is tastier.  I suppose as far as MAS is concerned, cost-cutting equals removing 8 out of 10 ingredients in a meal.

Vietnam traffic

A few significant thoughts crossed my mind during my stay in HCMC.  Firstly, women in Áo dài on bicycles have excellent postures.  There is a Notre Dame cathedral in the centre of the city; a hunchback would seriously stand out amidst these beautiful, well-postured women.

Moving on to other significant thoughts, take a look at the following picture:


This is a common sight in HCMC. Like the traffic, even the phone lines are chaotic.  I wonder if they ever have crosslines.

Vietnam scenery

Ancestor worship is prevalent in Vietnam. In the outskirts, driving past vast areas of paddy fields, it is not an uncommon sight to see graves amidst the green fields.  They believe that the spirits live among them and protect them.


The food is amazing.


The ubiquitous pho (rice noodles with meat slices in a clear broth), available at every corner, in fine dining restaurants and in dark, musty alleys where people squat on low stools to slurp up a bowl of hot piping noodles.


Vietnamese coffee doesn’t taste very different from our local coffee. The thick filtered coffee drips down on several spoonsful of condensed milk resulting in a cuppa that packs a punch. Kurang manis? Forget it. It won’t taste as good.


The Mekong River runs through China, Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.


I was amazed at how strong the women were. But it’s a chicken and egg thing, isn’t it? Thrown into such circumstances of abject poverty, one has no choice but to make do and survive.


But they seem happy.