Thursday, September 21, 2017

Day 2 in Pho Land

Started day 2 with pigeon feeding at 7:00am outside the cathedral and the post office. 

First pigeon feeding experience in Vietnam

Too busy eating, they didn't notice. Too busy feeding, I didn't notice. When the lens was on us. 

Birds flocking to the square for breakfast

First a few came 

Then more came after news of new feeders travel to the rest of the pigeons. Indeed, they are the pioneers of communication. 

One of them monopolising the grains and beans on my palm 

A bright orange pigeon. Have you seen it before?

Some were smarter to go to the source

Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral

Family shot

After feeding the birds, we crossed the road to tour the post office for a bit. 

The Central Post Office

So do the pigeons get their assignments here? 

The day had barely begun. This explained the emptiness of the post office. 

I hope I did manage to send a postcard from there. :)

It was time for breakfast so we headed back to the hotel. On the way back, we saw a vendor selling banh mi, a local sandwich similar to Subway format - you get to choose your meat and other vegetables to go with your bun. 

The prep of our banh mi 

Banh Mi attack!

Our pre-breakfast

Too lazy to go into the compound of the Independence Palace so just took a shot from the outside. 

The Independence Palace 

Eggs and bacon 

Tan Dinh Catholic Church 

The pink church

The pink church, taxi and me 

Had a personalised home-cooked meal for lunch. This is undoubtedly the best meal of the entire trip. Thanks to Van and her family for their kind hospitality!

Vietnamese salad 

Beef broth with bun

And several other dishes. I am stuffed. We chilled a while and then the rain started. Thank God it wasn't a heavy one as I have yet to buy another umbrella. 

A cute girl and me


Finally managed to get an umbrella and an ao dai top - something I cannot get in Malaysia. Sorry, no pictures available. :P

Dinner at Thanh Vien, serving traditional Vietnamese cuisine. 

The interior

Something like lor bak wrapped with lettuce, basil leaf and fish leaf. 

Barbecued prawns with some vegetables and flour pancake. 

Sweet prawns cooked in coconut water

Unique, but it does take some getting used to. It's an eye-opening experience for me. 

Second day passed by as swiftly as the first. Best experience? It has got to be the pigeon feeding activity today. 

Looking forward to another wonderful experience at HCMC tomorrow. 

By the way, day 2 is over. Still has not tasted pho. 

Day 1 in Pho Land

Was missing and here once again. I am getting better at this disappearance act. 

My first view of the city before touchdown 

First day in Ho Chi Minh city. Thanks to the first trip to Phnom Penh in May, I had prepared myself for the traffic culture in Vietnam. One thing for sure, the people here are really good in maneuvering their vehicles under such congested conditions. Hats off to them! 

Amazed to see the Grab Bikes

Checked in to our humble abode for the next three nights. 

Miniature figurines wearing ao dais at the reception of the hotel. 

The most wonderful thing about the room?

It's not this but...


Can you see how many channels were available on TV? Not that I enjoy staying in the room watching TV all day but the variety of channels just blew my mind.

First stop: Ben Thanh Market

It was drizzling slightly so umbrella came to the rescue. Sadly, I lost the heroic umbrella later in the evening due to my clumsiness. :(

Bought something for someone's special day at the market. I stopped myself from looking at more goods as there would be more opportunities to get better bargains at the night market nearby, maybe tomorrow or the day after. 
Colourful sticky rice spotted outside the market. Cheerful colours. 
Yet to get a taste of pho yet but my tastebuds were pampered with other wonderful dishes native to Vietnam at the start of my first evening here. 

Dining on this fish-shaped ship. Never did I know it would also swim away halfway through our dinner. 

A couple of highlights from the chow time. 

The first dish was so good that my camera did not have the opportunity to feast on it. I was famished, probably. 

Some chicken and coconut cakes with fried rice wrapped in egg

This bowl of bitter gourd soup and noodles reminded me of the koay teow soup from Cambodia. I added lime to bring back the familiar taste. So appetising. 

A performance that keeps me holding my breath, fearing a single breath would jeopardise her balancing of glasses on the sword. 

Just enjoy looking at the lights

Another floating restaurant on a ship called Tau Sai Gon. Wish I could be there too. 

A while later, we took a stroll at Walking Street. I was a bit tired so there were not many photos taken. 

The City Hall

Mr. Ho Chi Minh

Tried to take a selfie with him but I looked invisible. Bad skill, so I gave up. 

Interesting coffee shops seemingly stacked up like Jenga

There were some street performances. Even spotted Kungfu Panda in a rush. Probably he was late for his training with Master Wuguai. Hmm... 

Beautiful lights in Saigon Garden. I guess it is a popular hangout spot for young people with some modern tea places for catch up sessions among friends. Cool place. 

Brain tired to think more. Will update more when I have the willpower to do so. 

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Kuching - Day 1

Been absent for a month or so. My procrastination hits once again. Travelled quite a bit during the start of the Rooster Year and before the spring festival ends, final destination to the Land of Hornbill to spend some quality time with family.

First stop of the day was to the immigration office located at Jalan Simpang Tiga, about 5km from where we were staying. 

I have never seen such barriers specifically to block cars but allow motorcycles to pass through. Only in Kuching? 

The Spring Shopping Mall is just a stone's throw away from the immigration office. Spent some time there window shopping.

If you have a keen eye, you could see I am modelling with a stick of spiral fries. Not exactly window shopping as mentioned earlier because I bought some spiral fries at the basement. Impulsive buy but definitely worth it.

Lunch time at Rock Road Seafood Restaurant was quite awesome. 

Midin vege, grows abundantly in this part of Malaysia. 

Chicken in brown sauce. The sauce was somewhat addictive when eaten with rice.

Brinjal (or aubergine as learnt by the young people born in the 90s) with minced meat with bits of mushroom and savoury gravy. Another great accompaniment with the rice. Totally yummy. 

Eunice's craze. Crab in black pepper and honey sauce. Too sweet for my liking but the crab was fleshy and fresh. 

Total damage was less than RM150 for four persons. Worth coming back again. 

As we left the restaurant, we caught sight of this. 

This is how a local parks the car. Make sure the car is parked in between the space. It probably is a domino effect from the previous few cars in front which are parked the similar way. 

I suspect the lunch had a sleep-inducing effect on me as I was knocked out for a couple of hours after we returned home. 

Soon, it was chow time again. A dinner I have been looking forward to. 

Original recipe from Klang.

Dry bak kut teh served steaming with a bowl of rice. Came here all the way to eat something from Klang. Hahaha... 

Time for bed soon. I should stop here for now. Night!