Articles

2013 Travels: #20 Vietnamese Cuisine

In 2013 Travels, Asia, Photography, Travel, Vietnam on October 26, 2013 by eongxien Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mixed mango salad at the more upmarket Morning Glory Restaurant in Hoi An. Not a common dish in Vietnam but retains the essence of Vietnamese cooking. Fresh and full of flavour.

Mixed mango salad at the more upmarket Morning Glory Restaurant in Hoi An. Not a common dish in Vietnam but retains the essence of Vietnamese cooking. Fresh and full of flavour.

If someone asks me to recommend a place in Southeast Asia for good food, I’ll send them to Malaysia. Of course, that’s my nationality bias speaking but if there was a second choice, it would be Vietnam. Yup. Not Thailand. Not Indonesia. And certainly not – God forbid – Singapore. (Sorry Singaporeans, no hard feelings!) This blog and its glorious photos will show you why.

Read More »

Articles

2013 Travels: #19 Sapa

In 2013 Travels, Asia, Photography, Travel, Vietnam on October 24, 2013 by eongxien Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Rice Terraces at Sapa

Rice Terraces at Sapa

Being in long transit is perhaps the worst part of travelling. Whether it’s an overnight bus, midnight plane or a sleeper train, being confined to a narrow personal space for long hours is spirit draining.

After the long minivan ride back from Mai Chau, I followed it up with an overnight bus to Sapa, a town locateds within the northern mountains, close to the Chinese border. As you are probably aware of by now, these buses are not very comfortable. A little brake or swerve by the driver and you will be jolted from your sleep. Plus, despite not having enough legroom on my bunk, I kept my bag with me at all times to avoid thievery.
Read More »

Articles

2013 Travels: #18 Fun at Mai Chau

In 2013 Travels, Asia, Photography, Travel, Vietnam on October 22, 2013 by eongxien Tagged: , , , , , , ,

fafa

Bright Green Paddy Fields at Mai Chau

My friend insisted that I visit Mai Chau while I was in North Vietnam, having read good reviews online. It is a pictureque agriculture-based town situated 160km northwest of Hanoi. I enquired for a tour at my hotel in Hanoi and Zoom told me the Mai Chau one was highly recommended. He personally went there last year and told me he had a great time. Although I didn’t have a lot of time to spare, I managed to squeeze in a 2d1n tour into my schedule.

Read More »

Articles

2013 Travels: #17 Halong Bay

In 2013 Travels, Asia, Photography, Travel, Vietnam on October 20, 2013 by eongxien Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Mis

My Halong Experience in Halong Could Summed Up In 3 Words – Fog, Shadows and Cruises

So… how did it feel to tick off an item like Halong Bay on your bucket list? Frankly? Not very exciting. I’m sure you heard of Halong Bay and the uncountable number of karst limestones scattered around the sea. On a good day, it’s supposedly both beautiful and mysterious. Blame it on the weather and luck, when I was there it was rainy and foggy. The visibility was bad and the 2d1n cruise tour that I took was mediocre at best. So much for looking forward to seeing Halong for the first time. Read More »

Articles

2013 Travels: #16 Bia Hoi

In 2013 Travels, Asia, Photography, Travel, Vietnam on October 18, 2013 by eongxien Tagged: , , , , , , ,

afa

Getting Ahead of Times

Bia Hơi, loosely translated into fresh beer is a type of homebrewed beer sold everywhere in Vietnam, especially in Hanoi. A glass of Bia Hoi could be had for as low as 20 cents (Less than RM1). Since production isn’t monitored by the local authorities and the quality of beer varies signficantly, consuming is always a risk.

But what the hell, who could resist trying fresh beer that cost less than a packet of mint candy?

Read More »

Articles

2013 Travels: #15 Hue, Imperial City (Pt.2)

In 2013 Travels, Asia, Photography, Travel, Vietnam on October 15, 2013 by eongxien Tagged: , , , , , , ,

ll

Lunch! Tables and Chairs Optional!

With a fair share of students in this city, it’s no surprise to find an organization such as Hue Enter. It is an independent group organized by students who volunteer their time as tour guides to help visitors get the best out of their time in Hue. It’s a great platform for travellers to meet locals and vice-versa. I found out about the tour on CS and signed up for a full-day tour.

Originally, I was supposed to tour with Masanori whom I met in Hoi An. He decided not to join me at the last minute, which is why I had 2 guides, Trang and Le, accounting and English university students respectively, bringing me around. Oh speaking of Masanori, here’s a story. He was actually travelling with his friend for 2 weeks and unfortunately his friend fell ill to food poisoning at Hoi An. It was so bad that they arranged for a doctor’s visit at Hue. Eventually, his friend recovered and I met him in Hanoi, but by then, he has spent most of his time and money at Hoi An and Hue in the hotel. Poor fellow.

Read More »

Articles

2013 Travels: #14 Hue, Imperial City (Pt.1)

In 2013 Travels, Asia, Photography, Travel, Vietnam on October 13, 2013 by eongxien Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Strolling Around Thien Mu Pagoda

Strolling Around Thien Mu Pagoda

Imperial capital of the Nguyen Dynasty before it was eclipsed by Hanoi, Hue today is visited by travellers for its historic monuments, many of which were set up during the heydays of the dynasty.

I took a bus from Hoi An to Hue. The road, although short took us through the China coast and the mountainous region of the Hai Van pass. This is considered as one of the most scenic driving spots (And I’m sure you’ve seen that Top Gear episode!) and yes it was spectacular. So much so that I regretted taking the bus, where I could only enjoy the view behind a tinted glass.

Read More »