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

Krabi Random

Oct 7, 12 at 1:43 am

Krabi La Playa Resort
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#1 Room in Krabi La Playa Resort. I was dead worried about the condition of the hotel prior our arrival. Thank goodness, it turned out just fine. And everyone loves the big swimming pool.

Aonang Beach
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#2 Aonang Beach. We were supposed to have our team building here on one of the days, but it didn’t materialize. Still, we were here on one of those nights to release the beautiful “kong ming” lantern on the eve of Mid-Autumn festival. Sweet.

Kong Ming Lantern

#3 Kong Ming lantern. Kindly provided by tour agency. I never expect this to be a hit among us. I guess everyone was more excited flying it up than writing our wishes on it. One of the surprises that we had for the lads.

Chicken Island

#4 Snorkeling at Chicken Island. Not a very great spot for snorkeling but everyone was having fun in the water.

Poda Island
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#5 One of the island hopping is Poda Island. It’s a great spot for photo-taking. We took numerous shots here. Thanks to the great sunny weather!

Phra Nang Beach

#6 Phra Nang Beach. The last of the island hopping excursion. A totally chillax place. 🙂

Phra Nang Beach
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#7 Another view of Phra Nang Beach.

Phra Nang Beach
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#8 Still at Phra Nang Beach. Playing with iOS 6 Panorama feature. 🙂

Krabi

#9 A visit to the lagoon during our Hong Island excursion. It’s beautiful.

Pakbia Island
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#10 Pakbia Island. At one of the stops during our Hong Island excursion. The beach is littered with a lot dead corals. Still, the view is to die for.

Pakbia Island
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#11 Another view of Pakbia Island. I love panorama shot!

Hong Island
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#12 Hong Island is our last stop. Here we chilled to the max until the cows come home. 🙂

Hong Island
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#13 White sandy beach at Hong Island. Terrific!

Hong Island
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#14 Low tide reveals all the dead coral.

BBQ Pork

#15 We were looking for anything PORK, and sniffed our way to this stall. Hmmm, perfectly marinated grilled pork skewer! Life’s simple pleasure… 🙂

Save the Turtle!

#16 Everyone reluctant to go down initially but ended up excited like a school boy when we saw scores of baby sea turtles.

Tiger Cave

#17 Tiger cave. Our visit was cut short due to time constraint.

HK/Macau in Summary

Nov 19, 10 at 12:43 am

Heelloo peeps, I’m back from my 3rd trip to HK and my 2nd trip to Macau. This time, I made the move by bringing my parents around on foot (without travel agents of course!), visited quite a number of places and more importantly, ate a lot of food. I shifted a lot of things which were initially planned as part of our itinerary due to insufficient time (aka shopping overload) and also to accommodate my parents as they were quite tired from excessive walking.

Here’s the summary of the things we did. Contents and links will be added later.

Hotel (HK): Stanford Hotel (118, Soy Street, Mongkok)
Hotel (Macau): Metropark Hotel (Rua de Pequim, Macau)

Day 1: Ocean Empire, Ladies Market @ Tung Choi Street

Day 2: Australia Dairy Co @ Parkes Street, Ocean Park, Kam Wah Cafe @ Bute Street

Day 3: Law Fu Kee @ Des Voeux Road, The Peak, Tsui Wah Restaurant @ The Peak Galleria, Star Ferry from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui, Chee Kei @ Lock Road

Day 4: Ocean Empire again, Ngong Ping 360, Tian Tan Buddha, Citygates Mall, Dai Pai Tong beside Stanford Hotel

Day 5: Kam Wah Cafe again, Rua do Cunha (Gelatina Mok Yi Kei, Pastelaria Fong Kei), Venetian Macau, Grand Lisboa Casino

Day 6: Wong Chi Kei @ Senado Square, Ruins of St. Paul, Yung Kee @ Central

Day 7: Tim Ho Wan Dim Sum

Stay tuned for detailed updates!