Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tales of the Unexpected from Saigon

#1: Untold Secrets of the Message Room

When darkness falls, everything turns into a picture of dead silence.

I stepped on the narrow staircase leading to the underground.

' don't want to wake them up...let me show you the way.'

I saw this young boy when I stumbled upon this place. In fact, I saw him everywhere. From the main door, the message room to the combat officer room... He was there, everywhere.

I lost him soon after.


The floor is so thin that I can feel the tremble. I heard that coming from the back.


When darkness falls, everything turns into a picture of silence ... a dead silence.


I didn't dwell myself too long in that B-grade horror flick as I walk through the underground tunnel of the Reunification Palace.

Oh by the way, I was at Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) for 3 days. Thanks to the free air tickets from the lucky dip.

The first, second, third and fourth floor didn't excite me. There were numbers of meeting rooms, conference rooms and dining rooms of different themes, a place previously resided by the presidents.

We were just wandering around the Palace and stumbled upon one eery staircase that leads to the dark underground. That really intrigued my interest.

There were secret rooms (or message rooms) with bulky and dusty switchboards, the very 60s phones and the good old typing machines.

Hairy attempted this shot ala Wong Kar Wai mode that inspired the series of dark tales.

The young boy is definitely not from our hallucination but he was really everywhere. Everywhere that we went. He loves blocking our way, interrupting at the background when we were shooting photos and looking at Hairy with a creepy smile.

'Sekali you see him in one of the black & white pictures hung on the wall' said Hairy with a blank look.

How interesting.

Obviously we didn't spot him in any of the pictures, in fact the pictures shown were depressing and disheartening. Nuclear bombs, massacre and concentration camps. I just want to get out of that place.

Back to reality, we were caught in the middle of the junction with motorbikes coming from all 4 directions and with 58 bikes honking at us at the same time, as if we were blocking their ways *sweat*

Funny mode of transport in Vietnam
I was literally distressed, I think a bowl of piping hot noodles would be a good cure.

We dropped by Ben Thanh Market (we call it the 'Beh Tahan Market') and zoomed straight into the food section.

Tell me about pracitising food hygiene, there were a few dead cockroaches lying under my seat.

To eat or not to eat? Gulp...There goes my first bowl of pork knuckle noodles in Vietnam and L-S (diarrhea) on the very next day.

At night, we strolled along the night market street and the dai chow stalls came into sight. Born to be gluttons, we settled for another round of food.

The return of the alcoholic.

Can you believe that a bottle of Saigon beer costs only 90 cents (10,000 dong)?

But that 90 cents can only give you a taste of gassy plain water. I stopped at one bottle.

Oh well, the journey didn't end here. In fact it only started the next day - a five hours helluva extreme journey that can only be found in Vietnam.

To be continued.

Photo credit to the legendary Hairy from Black Tie White Lie.


UnkaLeong said...

*sigh* I need to visit Vietnam soon :) So really L-S wan r?

jason said...

Yalor, really L-S ka? :S

Anonymous said...

oh my god woman...since when you've become an alcoholic????? nice picture tho...the food looks good, only if there are no coachcroches can be found under the table :P

HairyBerry said...

actually, i think the fibres were the culprits la, not the dead cockcroaches...i cant imagine how many kilos of basil leaves i've digested...interesting

"legendary Hairy". i'm sure you mean legendary for being hairy and not hairy the legend. :)

Simon Seow said...


ladyironchef said...

haha it was nice reading nic's post, den another angle from yours about Saigon :)

Camemberu said...

oh wow, what a spooky post! but the food photos are so good! makes me want to go to vietnam, LS or no LS!

wmw said...

Oooh...great post and intriguing pics!

Xiu Long Bao said...

unkaleong & jason:
Haha...i think i'm more susceptible to L-S virus :p Just avoid street & market food.

oh, that's part of the package. I mean the cockroaches :p

u had all the basil leaves. I didn't touch the greens also L-S. The legendary, since when u become so humble wan...:p

*Creepy* can you feel the unusual breeze coming from the back...*music*

ladyironchef: not poetic mar. So it's betta for me to go idiotic in writing :p

Haha...high 5! Actually i didn't mind the L-S part cus the food was really good.

Tankiu :) we shall meet up soon ya!