Archive | June, 2016

Day 5: Goodbye Ho Chi Minh City

30 Jun

Four rounds of golf is so taxing even though there is enough sleep and rest. The spirit is willing but the body is not. By the time we finished our last game today, everyone is so tired. Thank goodness we are leaving this evening.

All in all, it has been enjoyable. I made some new friends. Played some decent golf and terrible golf too. What can I say? This is my standard.

Looking forward to going home.

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Day 5: Last Day in Ho Chi Minh

30 Jun

We had a long day yesterday. The journey to the golf club took rather long or rather it felt like it. First, we had to wait for the water and fruits (for our golf game) to be delivered, then it was the slow traffic crawl. But I think we got there on time considering the golf club is 20km less and closer than the first two.

Vietnam Golf and Country Club was very crowded and our tee off was very haphazardly arranged. Everyone was ushered to different tee boxes rather than starting on the first tee or the tenth tee. My flight started on the 12th tee. Pace was slow, every hole we had to wait. The sun came out, it became hot. Then it rained. On our last two holes, the skies opened up. I had to take out my rain jacket only to keep it after the super quick downpour before we got to the last hole.

We didn’t lunch at the club but came back to the hotel and had a quick bite during the complimentary high tea session. It was unsatisfactory so we ended up going to the Street Food Market again for lunch. Yesterday was a day of shopping on top of golf. I certainly exceeded my walking quota.

Today is our last day and we check out shortly, have a good breakfast before heading to Tan Son Nhat Golf Club for our last round. It was be another long day.

Day 4: Not 5.00am

29 Jun

It’s nice when we don’t have to wake up in the wee hours of the morning for golf. I had a late night somewhat. It was fun.

The Sky Deck gave us an awesome all round view of the city. And after that, we went to the Helibar on the 52nd Floor for a nice cold beer. There was even live music but was too loud for us to chatter. We left shortly to head to Bui Vien Street.

The place is booming with people, both locals and tourists. We didn’t walk as much but chose to sit at Crazy Buffalo, a prime junction bar and restaurant to have another drink. This time a mojito and snacked on some appetizers.

There was satisfaction after this, maybe it was the food and walked back to the hotel which wasn’t that far.

Today we play at Vietnam Golf and Country Club. I looked out the room window and the skies looked good. It will be another good day today!

   
    
   

Day 3: Excellent Weather

28 Jun

Although Royal Island is closer to the hotel than Jeongsan Golf Club, it felt as though we took longer to get there. Maybe because the road en route had a lot of trucks and big vehicles, we just couldn’t go any faster. Plus the fact that our tour guide came late, we lost a good 20 minutes before the journey started.

When we arrived, it was pass our tee off time so this had to be resolved quickly. Thank goodness it wasn’t crowded and soon, everyone was off!

Today my flight mates were new friends (having just met them on this trip) except for one whom I know prior. I had a really good time because the company was good and the weather excellent. Not once did I take out my umbrella. The wind posed a much stronger challenge but I took it in stride. Yes, I played slightly better today. Although the caddies today lacked course knowledge, it was the language barrier that cause more frustration. Sigh…

After the game, everyone had a quick bite at the clubhouse before heading back to the hotel to enjoy the complimentary high tea spread. And from here on, the group decided to split the activities.

The majority has opted for the river cruise with dinner thrown in while myself together with three others are planning to check out the Sky Deck. It should be interesting.
   

    
 

Day 3: Golf Again

28 Jun

Woke up on time and was ready quickly. Was downstairs by 5.40am but the hotel staff didn’t allow us to start until six! 

So we wait.

This is the first time I find hospitality staff bordering on rudeness. From all my travels, I have never encountered such behavior. I could see the frown and disbelief on his face when we told him we were allowed to start earlier as our golf group has a schedule to follow.

Oh well. Royal Island Golf Club… Here we come.

Day 2: After Golf

27 Jun

After our game and quick bite at the clubhouse of Jeongsan Golf Club, we went back to the city and it rained all the way. So much so, the intended stops at two landmarks, the Post Office and the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon could only be a fleeting moment. It was impossible to have a proper look with the rain throwing a damper at the plans. Oh well…

I find motorists in Ho Chi Minh City such impatient creatures. They honk all the time! In fact, our bus driver was also one agitated dude. He certainly made full use of his honk and even rolled down his window to argue with the motorbikes when we were caught smack in the middle of a gridlock. Gosh, such attitude. We were headed for a massage when this incident happened. 

Nonetheless, it didn’t spoil the mood of all looking forward to the massage ahead. When you see the name of the massage place, try to pronounce it without any funny ideas. Chortle…

The massage center was very disorganized despite being informed ahead of our group of 16. It took much talking and negotiations before matters were settled and soon everyone was ushered along for their treatment. 

I noticed the language barrier always poses the biggest challenge when things don’t fall into place smoothly. There will be blank looks, frustrated feelings and sometimes even bordering on annoyance for all involved. I am sure we are not the only ones experiencing these sentiments. 

I must say my masseur was good. She worked out my kinks well. How did I play today? Well… My short game and putting was the big letdown. Hopefully the next three games I would fare better. Anyway, after the session, it was time to head back to the hotel.

A short rest and soon we went to look for food. Street Food Market was just around the corner and we ate to our heart’s content. By eight, my roomie and I decided to call it a night and headed back to the hotel.

Tomorrow another 5.00am routine. Better sleep well tonight. At least the bedside lamp can switch off now.

 

Gotta have Pho!

 
 

Land of motorbikes

 
 

The Massage place

 
  

Day 2: 5.00am

27 Jun

I got to face it, when off for golf trips, waking up at 5.00am is a must.

Groan… The bed was too soft, the pillows were not comfortable, there were noises and my bedside light could not switch off. But I am on a golf holiday so does it matter? Sigh…

The breakfast spread was good. By 6.30am after the usual golfer’s breakfast, we made our way to Jeongsan Golf Club, a good 60km away and we had to beat the morning Monday traffic. 

It was cloudy and I would say the weather was perfect and we managed to finish our game just before the first drop of rain came down.

A quick lunch at the clubhouse and a hot shower after that, I think the plan is to head back for a massage.

Life is good.

   
    
 

Dinner Time

26 Jun

We were recommended to go to Ngon 138 Restaurant, which was kinda like a food court. With little stalls within the place, you walk around to see what appeals to you and order to your liking. They also have a menu for you to order dishes.

We decided to order one of everything to share and this worked out well. With so many of us, we get to try a little bit of everything. Yum… Delicious.

Vietnamese food is very flavorful but because I avoided the chili bombs, tonight’s choices don’t feel as spicy as Thai food . After the meal, we are headed to the Ben Tanh market to look see. It’s amazing that the bus has wifi, that’s why I could post my stories.

  
   
 

Hello Vietnam!

26 Jun

The last time I visited Ho Chi Minh City, I wasn’t such a golf freak and coming here for golf. It was many years ago when I came with my office staff, rewarding the team with an incentive trip for working so hard. It was a good time then.

This time around, I am here for golf with 15 others! 

Although MH758 departed ten minutes late from KLIA, it was on time upon arrival. The chicken murtabak wasn’t too bad and soon we arrived to humid and drizzling conditions – weather that golfers don’t like. Ugh. But better to rain today than tomorrow when we play our first game.

With a boisterous bus load of 16 adults behaving like kids on a school excursion, we made our way through the busy streets to the hotel, Grand Silverland Hotel & Spa.

Checked in and freshened, the group decided to an early dinner and most likely an early night because tomorrow, we have to wake up early for our first game.

The fun begins now…

 

Raining – view from our room

 
 

Home for the next four nights

  
 

And Off I Go!

26 Jun

It was unplanned and the next thing I know, here I am at the airport with the usual suspects for yet another golf escapade! Unfortunately this time, it is without hubby. Maybe next trip, he will come along.

Where are we off to? Not to Bangkok this time but to Ho Chi Minh City instead. At the airport’s Premium Lounge now and having a cold Carlsberg before our flight at 2.45pm. Looking forward to it!