Saturday, June 30, 2007

Welcome To Kuala Lumpur

KL, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur is such a modern and green city with big trees along the streets and in the parks. It is a very interesting city with lots of fun things to do, and it's very easy to travel from place to place. There are heaps of options for visitors to choose from, including bus, MRT, Sky train or taxi. This is a really multi-ccultural country which means you can find different types of great food and meet different people from all over the world.

KL, Malaysia

Wandering around Kuala Lumpur is very easy and safe during the day or late at night. Accommodation and food are not really expensive as well. The people are friendly in general and helpful and I'm really impressed. There are a mix of Indian, Arab, Chinese and Malaysian people. After quite a few conversations with the locals, I guessed that Malaysians don't really like Indians and Arabs for some reason. I recognised that during my trip but my attitude is that people are different and I don't like to judge people on their race.

KL, Malaysia

Follow my story in the next few posts and you'll see how enjoyable my trip was and I also will give you guys some entertaining places that I have been to. I am sure you will like them if you ever make it to this part of the world.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Noizee In Hanoi

Why Noizee? I don't really know but this is a cool name which is my good friend, Liann and her friend have come up with for their new business. They make very nice, impressive T-shirts with different designs which are unique to Hanoi. Last week, they celebrated their offical business opening in Hanoi at the Lighthouse Bar.


For now, they only do T-shirts, but they will do all type of clothes, shoes and hand bags in a few months. I guarantee the good quality because I already bought some from them and most of my friends love them heaps. Made in Viet Nam but designed by foreigners will attract Vietnamese consumers now because they don't need to spend hundreds of dollars for Gucci or Louis Vuitton or even D & G.

Welcome to Noizee Hanoi and congratulations on your summer T-shirt collection. They will deliver to your house for a surprisingly cheap price. Contact Paul Davidson by +84(0)915321317 or via email and take a good look at All welcome :)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Saigon, Welcome Back!

Saigon Beer

After a few hours wandering around Noi Bai Airport due to a delay of Vietnam Airlines, I arrived in Saigon at 4 pm during a heavy rainfall. I was a bit disappointed about the weather but luckily it was only raining around the airport, not in the city center. This is kind of weird because the city is only 15 minutes from the airport.


Anyway, I am happy to be here, having fun with my mum and my sister's family. Will try to update when I'm in KL and Singapore with them soon for a short holiday.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Boat Trip Along Perfume River In Hue

Hue habour

While in Hue, we stopped at Khuyen Trang Cafe for a drink and to hire a motorbike. We noticed that they also sold tickets for boat trips for only 25,000Vnd so we decided to take a boat trip the next day. We got picked up at the cafe at 8am by two beautiful young girls who drove us to the boat dock on their motorbikes, where the adventure would start. We were part of a group of over ten people who were already on the boat, including the tour guide, Nghia. His English wasn't great but he was very friendly and a bit shy.

Thien Mu pagoda Hue

Our first stop on the trip was Thien Mu Pagoda. This is such an old and beautiful pagoda located on a hill, right on the right bank of the Huong River. We spent 45 minutes taking photos and listening to Nghia talking about the pagoda's great history.

Tu Duc tomb Hue

Tu Duc tomb was the second stop and this was the best stop for the whole trip because the tomb was amazingly beautiful, old and huge. We had to pay 20,000Vnd for a return trip from the boat dock to the Khai Dinh tomb by motorbike and 30,000Vnd to enter compared to 55,000Vnd for western tourists.

Khai Dinh tomb Hue

Khai Dinh tomb was the third stop and we stayed there over an hour walking around. The chambers inside the building were quite incredible, with lots of mosaic work.

Altars( Hon CHen temple) - Hue

Next up was Hon Chen temple which is not as interesting perhaps because I've been here before. It's a small temple right by the river, up about 100 steps. I think it was just a convenient place to get us off the boat so the staff could prepare and set up for lunch.

Minh Mang tomb Hue

Minh Mang tomb was the last stop before heading back to the city. This one is also surrounded by huge and beautiful pavilions and gardens. We spent about an hour here before the rain came down. All the way back on the boat, it poured. Lucky for us!

Boat trip in Hue

We had such a great day seeing the tombs and learning a bit of history for only 25,000Vnd, which included a lunch of veggies, eggs and meat. The tour guide had a tough day coping with all of our questions but we offered him drinks and a tip at the end. Thank you very much Nghia for a lovely day.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Restaurants In Hue Part II

Rice and Noodle Hue's style

We drove around the city and wanted to find Hue food for ourselves in the end. Finally, we found some food stalls in Truong Dinh street which had a couple of beautiful small dishes, which are what we were indeed looking for. We tried Com Hen and Bun Hen, two of the most famous dishes in Hue and we just loved them. They were so good and I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard the price, only 12,000Vnd for 4 bowls. People from the shop were so nice and friendly and they didn’t rip me off. In fact I feel like I ripped them off!

Cakes Hue's style

We were so excited about finding that place; we drove further along that street and found another small restaurant which sold all types of Hue food. We tried them all until we couldn’t fit anything else in our now huge stomachs. Another surprise with the total bill only 66,000vnd including three Huda beers. Isn't that amazingly cheap?

Cakes Hue's style

Here are my recommendations for good restaurants in Hue:
1. Ba Cam in Truong Dinh Street
2. Ba Hoa 7 Truong Dinh Street
3. Lac Thien 6 Dinh Tien Hoang Street

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Restaurants In Hue Part I

Hue seller

Hue people have a very special accent which is sweet and soft but a bit difficult to understand if you come from other areas. In Hue recently, there were many times that I had to ask for the locals to repeat themselves and I felt so embarrassed.

Am Phu - Hell restaurant

I love Hue food and people kept talking about the Am Phu restaurant where real traditional Hue food is sold. Well, we went there and they didn’t serve Hue food that evening at all. We tried some normal Vietnamese dishes anyway, but they were nothing special unfortunately. The man who ran the restaurant was a bit grumpy, too.


So, the next evening, we asked some Hue people about the real Hue food and they recommended the Ong Tao restaurant. After half an hour following crazy directions from a few different people, we ended up at the restaurant. It was the same result - that they only served normal Vietnamese food which is available all over the country. I asked the waiter why the restaurant had a sign advertising traditional Hue food. He said that they served boiled meat with shrimp sauce, and that’s the only one dish. Strange? We left this big empty two storey restaurant after ordering a drink and some peanuts. Still no Hue food!


I called the tour guide from our river tour and asked him about Hue food again. He told me that we should go to the Hue restaurant near the Ong Tao restaurant. We found the place and I asked the staff and they said they only serve Hue food during the afternoon. We wondered why they only sell their beautiful Hue traditional food during the day. We were disappointed about this situation and decided to just walk into any restaurant we saw along the street. Luckily, not long after, we found Lac Thien restaurant where they sell some traditional dishes. This is a really special restaurant which is run by a deaf family. It has been open for years and is very popular for both locals and tourists.

Tobe continued

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Tay Thien Pagoda And Silver Waterfall Part II

Thac Bac-Silver water falls

We left Tay Thien Pagoda at about 1pm and took a xe om down to the Silver Waterfall for a look. A shock for me was that there were quite a few agent orange victims sitting around asking for money, including little girls and boys. Looking at them made me feel so sad. We all donated some money to help them to get some food even though I know it will never be enough. We walked up a bit to see the waterfall but some guys in uniform wanted us to pay an entrance fee. We refused and walk in adifferent way but ended up at Cau Temple. We decided to stop here for another prayer and some relaxation. We took an oracle each and waited for an explanation from the old man fortune teller. He told us what it meant and he asked everyone to give him some money for his work.

Thac Bac-Silver water falls

There are many services here along the way up to the waterfall such as plastic shoe rental, walking stick rental and also many stalls selling the famous running chickens(free-range chicken)and vegetables.

Thac Bac-Silver water falls

After visiting Cau Temple, we walked back with feed of running chickens to enjoy as a second lunch at a little restaurant. Some of my friends took a nap and the others played cards. We had a great time until bill time, when the lady ripped us off so much for the vermicelli we ordered to go with the chicken. She charged us 70,000Vnd for half a kilogram of vermicelli. Oh my gosh! Everyone was angry and we told her we would only pay half that price even though it was still too much. Anyway, we ended up paying 60,000Vnd to that rip off merchant and left. Wish these things would never ever happen. My friends said to me that we were their big fish of the day and they don't catch many fish around in such wild areas. Shit happens.

Thac Bac-Silver water falls

We finished our tour on a different bus as the other bus couldn't be fixed. I got home at 6pm and was happy with our trip. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt!