Makanan kegemaran Vietnam

13020143Other than the famous Pho, there is another Vietnamese food that I really like. Some people call it Bun Cha and some people call it Bun Thit Nuong. I think it’s similar with Soba but not entirely the same.

For the halal version, the grilled pork is replaced with beef. The white rice noodle is served with fish sauce. The one in the picture can be bought at Halal stall, Hai Ba Trung. The same place as my previous post.

Tahun Baru di Saigon – Kalendar Lunar

During recent Lunar New Year (Tet), our friends went back to Malaysia. The local friends traveled to their hometown to be together with family. Public holidays was longer in Vietnam office (it was four days) and many took advantage to be somewhere else except us. I was on standby, just in case of emergency that would activate the emergency coordination center.

The roads were empty, many shops were closed and it was not good time for tourist to come, especially for Malaysians who came here to buy cheap baju kurung, telekung and tudung, unless the intention is to see Lunar New Year celebration in Saigon.

13020091

Unusual, empty road in Saigon.

We went to Nguyen Hue street and Cong Vien Tao Dan for the flower decorations. At Nguyen Hue street,  as every new year celebration, the street was opened for public, while visit to Cong Vien Tao Dan required an entrance fee of VND20K for adult which was about USD1 only.

13020062

Decoration at Nguyen Hue Street.

13020101

Decoration at Cong Vien Tao Dan.

Seeing so many flowers, wifey was thinking to buy Sunflowers, but the size was too big to bring it home. Nearby the flower shops, there was a motorbike selling fishes in plastic bags.  We wondered, could the fish survive the heat? It’s 31degC in Saigon! We bought a pair of goldfish for my son, leaving the rest in agony.

13020081

Aquarium fishes for sale.

Other than that we just stayed at home.

Gurun di Vietnam

There is desert in South East Asia region! Not Gurun (Desert in Malay Language) in Kedah, Malaysia but at Mui Ne in Vietnam. Unfortunately when we went there, it was raining the night before, hence the sand as in the picture.

The desert.

The desert.

We went there in July 2012 and stayed at Sea Links Beach Hotel at one of the bungalow. The hotel area is too huge and to go to the main building and beach we have to call the buggy and sometimes it took almost 15 minutes for the buggy to arrive.

In Mui Ne/Phan Tiet, other than the desert, another interesting thing I tried was mud bathing.

Kota Lama Hue

Mak came to Saigon in June 2012 so we brought her to Hue. As usual we took Vietnam Airlines. We stayed at Pilgrimage Village, a boutique resort and spa. Through Agoda we got great deal for two connected spacious rooms. The place and staff were wonderful.

That night we went to Perfume River and took a boat. The boat cruised along the river and stopped for a while and there were four ladies singing locals song. It was not really pleasant experience because nothing was spectacular by the river and we were clueless as nobody explained to us in comprehensible language. Anyhow, we showed appreciation to the singers by applauding at every end of their song. Before we back, each of the passenger was given a floating lantern to be released to the river.

12060130

The boat at Perfume River.

The next day we went to the Citadel, once was Hue Imperial City. The main gate is majestic. This place was central governments headquarter and where the Nguyen dynasty families lived. It has been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993.

12060190

Part of the main gate.

12060187

The main gate in drawing.

Mak enjoyed the royalty exhibits and amazed with the details on the royalty clothes. We explored a bit the place but it was too hot and dry.

We went to different locations and visited several tombs. They were bit tired, so Mak, wifey and my son waited in the car while I continued until the last tomb. Wifey said she had too much oriental for that day. I went alone to the last one which was Tomb of Khai Dinh; it’s located at a steep hill. Out of all tombs, this is the most beautiful with the details ornaments and wonderful greenery view.

12060214

Relics at the Khai Dinh Tomb.

12060217

Khai Dinh Tomb with statue of himself.

 That afternoon we had spa at the hotel. I took turn with wifey to babysit our son. That was first time I had whole body spa together with Mak and she seemed to enjoy it. Wifey had it later for facial spa. Relatively to Vietnam standard, the spas were pricier but we were satisfied.

Ke Pulau Phu Quoc

Sao beach at Phu Quoc was the best beach we have seen so far in Vietnam. It is not far from the hotel we stayed.

Sao Beach

Sao Beach.

We went there in late April 2012 by Vietnam Airlines and stayed at Long Beach Resort. The resort manager is a Malaysian which he welcomed us during check in. We like the village style of the resort.

Long Beach Resort.

Long Beach Resort.

Through the hotel, we took a tour which includes snorkeling, fishing, a stop at Pearl shop and the best part was Sao Beach.

Nearby there is night market which there are plenty of seafood. That was my first time I had sea urchin and it was great.

The night market.

The night market.

Seafood!

Seafood!

Pergi ke Da Nang

It was wrong time when we visited Da Nang. It was early December 2011. It was wet, the sea was rough and the temperature was relatively cold.

Nevertheless we managed to visit gorgeous Marble Mountain and Cham Museum.

Most of the time, we were relaxing at the hotel and were walking along the beach.

Even though Da Nang is located in the central of Vietnam, do check the weather condition before you go. If you are traveling from Malaysia, there is flight by Airasia from LCCT (as of this post).

The beach at Lifestyle Resort Danang.

The beach at Lifestyle Resort Da Nang. The sea was rough.

Santa at the chimney - the decoration at the resort.

Santa stuck at the chimney – the decoration at the resort.

Elevator at marble mountain but we took the steps.

Elevator at marble mountain but we took the steps.

View from top of Marble Mountain.

View from top of Marble Mountain.

View from top of Marble Mountain.

Long beach, another view from top of Marble Mountain.

Among exhibit at Cham Museum.

Among exhibit at Cham Museum.

Da Lat, Tanah Tinggi di Vietnam

Cameron Highland (in Perak, Malaysia) is always in our heart. We were hoping to see something similar at Da Lat, Vietnam. Da Lat has not much similarity with Cameron Highland but its uniqueness made the trip worthy.

We went there in end of December 2011 by Vietnam Airlines. We stayed at Saigon Dalat hotel, which was wonderful. The room was spacious and cheap.

As usual, halal food was not available.

Below were the places we’ve visited.

DAY 1: Cho Dalat (Market) and Linh Phuoc Pagoda

Selling Ducks at Cho Da Lat.

Selling Ducks at Cho Da Lat.

Linh Phuoc Pagoda.

Linh Phuoc Pagoda.

DAY 2: Datanla Falls, Truc Lam (with cable car), Bao Dai’s palace, Crazy House, Flowers Festival Exhibit

Crazy House.

Crazy House.

DAY 3: Cho Dalat and Flowers Festival Street Market

Of all the places, we enjoyed the Datanla Falls because of the manual roller coaster (there is brake). Sliding down to the fall was fun and exciting! From that fall, we took a cable car to get to another fall. Going up to the starting point, we used again the roller coaster. The falls was OK but the ride was fun.

View from our roller coaster.

View from our roller coaster at Datanla.

We were on the right time where there was Flowers Festival. The flowers, fruits, vegetables and plants were beautifully arranged in many creative ways.

Vegetables.

Vegetables, the hut too made of vegetables.

At Flowers Festival.

Tulips at Flowers Festival.