Macau/HK 2013 – Senado Square 議事亭前地, Tai Lei Loi Kei Pork Chop Bun 大利来咖啡室

Mar 31, 13 at 2:24 am

Click here for trip summary.

After the delicious tarts which warmed up our hungry tummy, we took a short walk to Senado Square 議事亭前地. Since it was still CNY, the atmosphere was lively with CNY decoration adorning the place.

Senado Square
CNY

Macau/HK 2013 – Margaret’s Café e Nata 玛嘉烈蛋挞

Mar 20, 13 at 12:54 am

It was the fifteenth day of CNY and we have landed safely at Macau International Airport. We spent quite some time looking for our shuttle bus to our hotel (Note: City of Dreams, if you read this, you really need to improve your shuttle service at the airport!), and finally after all the hassle, we started the very first thing in my itinerary, Margaret’s Café e Nata.

If you want to try the legendary Macanese egg tarts but don’t want to go all the way to Lord Stow’s in Coloane, this busy cafe (supposedly founded by Stow’s ex-wife) does an equally sweet and melty version. At least we can’t tell the difference. It also has good-value sandwiches. Lonely Planet

Margaret's Café e Nata
The obvious signboard in case you need it

Eat Drink Macau/Hong Kong 2013

Mar 9, 13 at 5:11 pm

Here is the summary of my latest version of HK/Macau chapter, my best HK and Macau trip so far in terms of food hunting. More to come and links will be added from time to time. Remember to check back again for new updates!

Day 1
– Eat: Margaret’s Cafe e Nata (玛嘉烈蛋挞)
– Eat: Cafe Tai Lei Loi Kei (大利来咖啡室) @ Ruins of St Paul
– See: The famous street of Rua da Felicidade (福隆新街)
– Eat: Gelatina Mok Yi Kei (莫義記) @ Rua do Cunha, Taipa
– See: Taipa Houses – Museum (龍環葡韻住宅式博物館)
– Eat: Casa de Pasto Seng Cheong (城昌饭店)
– Stay: Hard Rock Hotel
– See: City of Dream’s The House of Dancing Water (水舞間)

Day 2
– Eat: Breakfast @ Hard Rock Cafe
– Eat: Dimdimsum Dim Sum Specialty Store (點點心點心專門店) @ Mongkok
– See: Starbucks (星巴克咖啡) @ Mongkok (Starbucks with movie theme)
– Eat: Kam Wah Cafe (金華冰廳) @ Mongkok
– See: Apple Store, Hysan Place @ Causeway Bay
– Eat: Wing Kee Noodles (榮記粉麵) @ Causeway Bay
– Eat: Se Wong Yee (蛇王二) @ Causeway Bay
– Eat: Lucky Dessert (發記甜品) @ Mongkok

Day 3
– Eat: Mui Kee Congee (妹記生滾粥品) @ Mongkok
– See: Wong Tai Sin (黄大仙祠) @ Wong Tai Sin
– See: Sai Kung Waterfront and Public Pier (西貢公眾碼頭)
– Eat: Chuen Kee Seafood (全記海鮮菜館) @ Sai Kung
– See: The streets of Sai Kung
– Eat: Tung Po (東寶小館) @ North Point
– Eat: Lee Keung Kee North Point Eggette (利強記北角雞蛋仔) @ North Point
– See: Ding Ding Tram from North Point to Central
– See: Lan Kwai Fong
– See: Star Ferry

Day 4
– Eat: Australia Dairy Company (澳洲牛奶公司) @ Jordan
– See: Tian Tan Buddha (天壇大佛) @ Lantau Island
– Shop: Citygates Outlets
– Eat: Yue Kee Restaurant (裕記大飯店) @ Sham Tseng

Day 5
– Buy: Duck Shing Ho Egg Rolls(德成號蛋捲) @ North Point
– Eat: Good Hope Noodle (好旺角麵家) @ Mongkok
– See: Lamma Island excursion
– Eat: Rainbow Seafood Restaurant (天虹海鮮酒家) @ Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island
– Eat: Tao Heung (稻香) @ Carnavon Plaza, Tsim Sha Tsui
– See: Ozone Bar @ Level 118, The Ritz Carlton, International Commerce Centre

Day 6
– Eat: Kam Wah Cafe (金華冰廳) @ Mongkok
– See: Starbucks (星巴克咖啡) @ Central (“Bing sutt” theme)
– See: Pottinger Street (砵典乍街) @ Central
– Eat: Tai Cheong Bakery (泰昌餅家) @ Central
– Eat: Sing Heung Yuen (勝香園) @ Central/Sheung Wan
– Eat: Lan Fong Yuen (蘭芳園) @ Central
– Eat: Kwan Kee Store (坤記糕品專家) @ Sham Shui Po

Saigon Stories – Reunification Palace

Jan 1, 13 at 12:59 am

It was yet another day in Saigon, and we actually requested to visit another landmark in Saigon, the Reunification Palace. I won’t tell much about the history as I am more interested in showing you the interior of the palace.

Reunification Palace (Vietnamese: Dinh Thống Nhất) formerly known as Independence Palace (Dinh Độc Lập), built on the site of the former Norodom Palace, is a landmark in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It was designed by architect Ngô Viết Thụ and was the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It was the site of the end of the Vietnam War during the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, when a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates.

Source: Wikipedia

We started off from the main compound and from there, it looks grand.

Reunification Palace

The guide then ushered us to the main entrance, and immediately we were brought to the main conference/discussion room.

Reunification Palace

I love the high ceiling. It makes the room classy and big.

Reunification Palace

I guess the above is dining hall for the VIPs. I think back to the olden days, the dining hall must be far more decorated than it is now.

Reunification Palace

This is actually the control room judging from the huge map and the array of telephones.

Reunification Palace

The president’s office, the place where the president hangs out the most. 🙂

Reunification Palace

This is actually another room next to the president’s office.

Reunification Palace

Don’t you just love the elegant furniture?

Reunification Palace

Tea room perhaps?

Reunification Palace

The palace is actually four stories high. The first two floors are for meeting and dining and they are usually for the VIPs. The next two floors are the actual working area for the president.

Reunification Palace

Those drawings are actually gifts from VIPs.

Reunification Palace

Private dining hall maybe?

Reunification Palace

There is a piano at the end of the hallway. This floor is mainly entertainment floor and it consists of mini theater and recreation hall.

Reunification Palace

This is the view from fourth floor. Pretty grand, right?

Reunification Palace

Mini theater, anyone?

Reunification Palace

Recreation hall for the president.

Any finally…

Reunification Palace

Helipad on rooftop.

There is a secret office located at the basement. I didn’t manage to take any photo as I was sandwiched between a bunch of rowdy students who ran along the narrow passageway. Overall, it is an interesting palace filled with many historical moments that is located right in the middle of Saigon.

Reunification Palace (Dinh Thống Nhất)
106 Nguyễn Du, Quận 1, Thành Phố Hồ Chí Minh

Saigon Stories – Com Tam Cali

Dec 15, 12 at 1:13 am

Our first lunch in rustic Saigon was pretty memorable. We were famished and thought of getting our lunch at Ben Thanh market since it is nearby our hotel. So, we were walking along Lê Thánh Tôn street towards the market when we stumbled upon this small cafe/restaurant called Cơm Tấm Cali and immediately, we were sold.

The ever friendly staffs ushered us in and we duly got our seats. As we noticed, the staffs spoke very little English but luckily there is English translation in the menu so we were not completely lost. Also, the apparently signature dishes also plastered on both side of the walls, making our decision-making process even more simple.

Com Tam Cali
Bún Chả Cá Nước

Saigon Stories – Cho Ben Thanh

Dec 2, 12 at 6:13 pm

Chợ Bến Thành, or popularly known as Ben Thanh Market to tourists, was our first stop when we got into Ho Chi Minh city. It is a mere 10 minutes walk from where we stayed (Hoang Hai Long Hotel).

The market developed from informal markets created by early 17th century street vendors gathering together near the Saigon River. The market was formally established by the French colonial powers after taking over the Gia Định citadel in 1859 (see Citadel of Saigon). This market was destroyed by fire in 1870 and rebuilt to become Saigon’s largest market. In 1912 the market was moved to a new building and called the New Bến Thành Market to distinguish over its predecessor. The building was renovated in 1985. – Wikipedia

Ben Thanh Market
View of Ben Thanh market from side