Tag Archives: eat

Hanoi (Day 3: Imperial Citadel, Pho Bo, Egg Coffee, Legend Beer)

After a night of drinking, we woke up a bit later than the usual. For breakfast, we had complimentary vouchers at the hotel but decided to skip it for some authentic Vietnamese food.

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We came looking for Pho Suong located at Trung Yen Street which is one of the side streets inside the Old Quarter. We tried out their Pho Bo which is basically beef pho.

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Having some hot beef broth that morning was just what I needed. Ahh…comfort food!

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We also went Cafe Giang for some Cafe Trung (egg coffee). At first, we did not notice that there was a second floor which is where I would recommend that you stay. I also tried their Cafe Sua which is coffee with milk.

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Later on, we visited the Temple of Literature. A lot of students visit this place to pray for good luck.

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Our next stop was the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. I personally removed this from our list of places to see but the hotel staff insisted that we go and visit the place.

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Definitely a must see if you are an ethnic and cultural buff. I have been to several Asian countries and have visited similar museums. Also coming from a country rich in tribal culture, I think Westerners will appreciate this place much more than I did.

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For lunch, we went to Quan An Ngon. I was expecting a hole in the wall type of place but it was the complete opposite. I wanted to scream tourist trap but their food was surprisingly tasty!

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We headed to the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long that afternoon. I was surprised to see that this was a UNESCO site as I have not done my research about this place.

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There are a couple of things you can do around the citadel. Apart from the walled surroundings, the Flag Tower was just around the other end. Also, this place was used as a secret headquarters during the Vietnamese War. The old and new blend with this one.

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It was interesting to go around the buildings that housed offices hidden underground.

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There seems to be a lot of renovation going when we visited. Some areas are still being excavated. Hopefully, there will be more areas open and more things to see when I return in a few years or so.

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We also visited Dong Xuan Market. I was expecting a more touristy place to buy souvenirs but it seemed more like a wholesale market for locals. Some sellers were already packing up when we went so we really did not spend a lot of time in the market. Instead, we went back to the Old Quarter and walked around the streets to buy our goodies. We bought around 2 kilograms of ground coffee to bring home.

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At night, we visited Legend Beer to get a glimpse of Hanoi for one last time. We grabbed some drinks and light snack while overlooking the organized chaos below the streets.

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We grabbed some quick dinner at a nearby street BBQ place. One last meal before we head back.

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As we waited for our airport pick-up, I felt mixed emotions about going back home. From chasing sunsets in Tanjung Aru to catching the sunrise in Mount Kinabalu to our layover in Kuala Lumpur and finally bia hoi Hanoi, this trip is definitely one for the books!

– The Tourist Pao

 

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Boracay: Fifth Time Around

It’s my fifth time in Boracay when I visited last November 2014. I’ve been back almost every year since 2009. Whatever you heard about Boracay is true. Whether it be the good or the bad. Bottom line is, you have to visit the place yourself. I’ve been here during the summer months, rainy season and off-season. Each season means a whole different vibe to the island. I somewhat prefer the weather this time when we visited. It wasn’t rainy at all and was sunny during day time but cool at night.

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I won’t be thoroughly reviewing the must-sees as there are numerous blogs about this already. Our trip was mainly composed of beach bumming in the afternoon and lounging with drinks at night. Here are the place we visited during our short weekend stay:

1) Dos Mestizos

(Address: Remedios street, Sitio Manggayad,, Boracay Island, Sunset Road, Malay, 5608 Aklan)

One of the places I’d like to recommend is Dos Mestizos – a Spanish restaurant located near La Carmella Boracay bordering Station 2 and 3. Food was great and I recommend that you order their Salpicao de Vaca and Ensalada de Pulpo. Don’t forget to try their Paellas as well. They come in different portions depending on your group size.

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We were fortunate enough to catch their Rockaoke Night. Our group participated and jammed to the tunes of Californication by Red Hot Chili Peppers and Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd.

2) Real Coffee

(Address: Station 2 2/F Sea World, 5608 Boracay, Aklan, Philippines)

A must-try when you are in Boracay. Their calamansi muffins is a staple pasalubong among fellow local travelers. Don’t forget to order at least a day before if you’re planning to take some back home. Real Coffee has since moved (to the address above) and this was my first time to visit their new location. There’s also another branch along Station 1.

3) Jonah’s

(Address: Aklan Brgy. Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay)

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You will easily locate this place heading towards Station 1 from D’Mall. Jonah’s is another staple in Boracay who’s best-known for their fresh fruit shakes. You can make your own fruit shake mix or order straight from their menu. Very affordable!

4) Aria

(Address: Beachfront, D’ Mall, Station 2, Boracay Island, Boracay)

Situated just in front of D’Mall (and beside Epic), Aria is one place that you will not miss spotting in Boracay. The place gets packed each time I visit the island. They offer Italian cuisine much to the delight of everyone. They branched out a few years back in Metro Manila but has since closed. Aria is one of those good-eat places in Boracay but only in Boracay. Yep, you read that correct!

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Our trip was cut-short as we had to return back from a long-weekend holiday. Other than the one’s we went to, we were hoping to try the much raved Tilapia ‘N Chips (a local version of Fish ‘N Chips) but failed to do so.

I will definitely be back for the 6th time!

– The Tourist Pao