Food · Ho Chi Minh City

Ebisu Restaurant – Mini Don Set for Lunch

Haven’t been to this restaurant for long time. I ordered their lunch set combo (udon and mini rice bowl). They have other lunch set as well, including curry rice or grilled fish or sashimi. For mini don set, I got to choose 1 udon and 1 mini rice bowl. I chose hot sanuki udon and mentaiko don. It was very delicious!! Must try for udon lover.

Address : 35 bis Mac Dinh Chi, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

Drinks · Ho Chi Minh City · Vietnam

Cua Hang Cafe81 – Retro Style Coffee Shop

Going to a coffee shop is actually not my thing. Not because I don’t like coffee but more to the ability of my stomach to cope with coffee! Yup, I have a weak stomach… So then why did I go to this coffee shop?! It was actually a coincidence. I was looking for a place with traditional looking and some grit for a photoshoot. I’ve been in Saigon for 3 years but I rarely walking around the city. Now that I’m leaving Saigon soon, I feel like I need to know the city better. This is what they called to take it for granted. I’ve had all my time in this city but I always thought I could do it later (or more like procrastinating I guess?).

When I researched for something I could go on and on until it’s just too much, including this one. I found an article / blog about the unique coffee shop in Saigon. I noted down the places and decided to visit them. My plan was to invite my coffee drinker friends, but my impulsive side couldn’t wait any longer so I went to one of them by myself.

Cua Hang Cafe 81 Coffee Shop Saigon

I checked the list and picked one nearest to my place, which is Cua Hang Cafe81 in District 1. It was around 13 minutes by car. I have their address but when I entered on google map, it didn’t show up the correct location. Hence we got lost until the end of the road. Apparently, it listed as 81cafe on google map, and it is very near from the intersection. At first, I just want to take photos from my car without hopping off, but when I arrived there I couldn’t hold the urge to enter the place!

They have a very classic, retro interior. I love it. Inside has 2 rooms filled with tables. The room where I sat was a bit dark, while the next room was brighter. The waiter can’t speak English but he was friendly. I looked at the menu and they are mostly Vietnamese drinks, from coffee, chanh muoi to beer. No snack or food available. No smoothies. Their price is still reasonable for a cafe. Coffee was 30k – 35k vnd. Chanh Muoi 40k vnd (this one is a bit expensive for chanh muoi but maybe they are good (?). I’ll try it next time.

cua hang cafe 81 coffee shop interior
A table opposite of mine

I placed an order of ca phe sua da (Vietnamese Ice Coffee with Milk) and waited. The guy brought water to my table. Nice! A proper coffee shop. I took out my camera and started taking photos. Unfortunately, I don’t have a suitable lens for this. My shortest focal length is the 35mm prime lens, and it was too tight to take a photo there. I need a wide lens. In the end, I used my phone to take some photos. Good enough 😀

When the coffee came, I was hesitating to drink since I just recovered from upset stomach. I questioned myself whether this was a good idea or not… After contemplating for a while, I took a sip to try the coffee. It was delicious. Not too sweet. I took my time on drinking that coffee. One sip at a time while editing photos on my phone.

I showed the photos to my friends, in Indonesia and in Saigon (Japanese and European ladies). Funny though that they have different opinions. My Indonesia friends said something like “That looks scary”, “Looks like my grandma’s house”, “Wow, now I know my house can be a cafe as well if it gets a little messier”, “That looks like my old house”. While my friends in Saigon said “That is cute! Are you there now? Where is it?”, “That looks lovely! I want to go there too”, “Nice, retro looking cafe”.

For me, this cafe is cute and very classic. It is quiet enough (aside from some students who keep talking while doing their homework). I think next time I will go there if I want to work in different atmosphere.

cua hang cafe 81 coffee shop interior

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cua hang cafe 81 coffee shop interior

What do you think? Would you go there as well after looking at the pictures? The place is good for an Instagram post. Let me know in the comment below.

Ciao.

PS : My stomach was okay after drinking the coffee, so I guess I can go back there! Yay.

 

Place : 81Cafe, 216 B Nguyen van Nguyen, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

 

Food · Travel

Beast burger – Best Burger in Chiang Mai

On the last day during my trip to Chiang Mai, I couldn’t do many things because it was raining for the whole day! I stayed at hostel all morning and ate the leftover food from the night before as breakfast. We didn’t have any plan that day but of course we had to get lunch at some point. Me without food is impossible…

At first, we wanted to go to a Japanese restaurant nearby. My Thai friend said they have good food. But my other friend wanted to try a burger place. I forgot the name but the sister of my Thai friend told us it is the best burger in Chiang Mai. Apparently, my Thai friend disagreed. He said it is not that good and just a big portion. He showed me the photo and I instantly gave up on trying! It was so huge!

While we were debating on where to go, another friend from Thailand who is in the chat group replied “Try Beast Burger, it is very delicious”. It was approved by everyone after seeing some photos. There you go, I found my lunch! 😁

Beast Burger restaurant chiang mai

We went to Beast Burger at lunchtime and ordered different type of burger for each one of us! I ordered Crunchy Chicken Parmesan (230 baht), my Indo friend ordered Double Double Burger (250 baht), and my Thai friend wanted Aioli Mushroom Burger (230 baht). Then we all sat near the window. They have outdoor seating as well but we couldn’t go upstairs because of the rain.

Crunch Chicken Parmesan Beast Burger

Crunch Chicken Parmesan

Double Double Burger Beast Burger Chiang Mai

Double Double Burger
Aioli Mushroom Burger Beast Burger Chiang Mai

Aioli Mushroom Burger

It didn’t take long for us to finish our meal. It was really delicious! I would definitely recommend this burger place. Their location also great, at the famous street in Chiang Mai, that is Nimman street. One thing to remember though, they only accept cash payment. Make sure you have enough cash before going there.

Thank you for reading! And hope you have a great eating experience there as well.

Ciao.

Address :

Nimmanhemin 17
T.Suthep A.Muang
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Food · Ho Chi Minh City · singapore · Travel

Sanpoutei Ramen Singapore

This morning me and my friend went to Holland Village to have breakfast at one of the cafe there. After we finished, when we walked to the bus stop my friend told me about this Japanese Restaurant on the way. The name is Sanpoutei Ramen and she said it usually very crowded so we have to queue early if possible. Their ramen is using fish broth and my friend recommended it. So we decided to eat there for lunch.

Sanpoutei Ramen Holland Village Singapore
Sanpoutei Ramen Holland Village Singapore

I stayed around the area until lunch time, while waiting for my friend. There is a small park where I can sit and enjoy the weather. Then I also remembered there is a good pet shop in the area, called “All breed pet shop”, so I visited them. Next, I waited in a coffee shop, Costa Coffee while updating my blog (but haven’t posted and now I’m writing this one instead… oops :D). I mistakenly order a heavy drink (which made me couldn’t finished the noodle at lunch!). I thought it was a hot green tea, but it was ice-blended (frostino) instead. Morning brain fart..

Around 11.55 am my friend came, and we entered the restaurant. I supposed to queue for us though but I saw no line in front of the restaurant so I didn’t queue but sitting on the bench near by while watching the restaurant in case they suddenly have people queuing. I think the staff there was suspicious at me since I watched the restaurant for quite some time while waiting for my friend lol.

We sat down at the table appointed to us, and the guy brought me a box to put my bag in it. It didn’t take long for us to order since we know what to order already. I wanted to try their rice dish but maybe next time.. was still full from the green tea drink.

Both of us ordered shoyu ramen with soft-boiled egg. It’s their specialty.

The noodle came so fast and we dig in immediately. First, I tried the soup. Fresh! If you like rich type of soup, maybe this is not your cup of tea. Bamboo shoot was yummy. Soft-boiled egg was delicious and cooked perfectly. Noodle is thin and chewy. Overall it is recommended to try.

Sanpoutei Ramen Menu

Sanpoutei Ramen Menu

Sanpoutei Ramen Menu

Niigata Shoyu Ramen Sanpoutei Singapore
Niigata Shoyu Ramen

Have you tried this before? What do you think of this ramen? Do let me know  in the comment! Thank you for reading.

Ciao!

Address : 253 Holland Ave, Singapore.

Website : sanpoutei.sg

Experience · Travel

A day in Chiang Mai (Doi Suthep Temple, Bhubing Palace, Night Safari)

After an ‘easy’ day (you can read here), the next morning we went to mountain area around 10 am with my friend. Before that, I went to a nearby market to find breakfast and bought a grilled pork skewer, then continue checking out the market area. It was a small market and a clean one too.

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Untitled design (1)

I went back to the hostel first to eat the pork skewer. It was very delicious! Too bad I only bought 1 piece. And after I finished, my friend told me that they usually come with rice as well. Ugh.. missed a nice meal!

Around 10am, we left the hostel heading to mountain area. It took us around 1 hour to reach there. The best way to reach the mountain area is by motorbike or red car taxi. We went there with his car and it was hard to find a parking spot for the car. Very crowded with all the car parking around the area.

red car taxi chiang mai

Parking spot at Doi Suthep Temple

Doi Suthep Temple

Our first destination in the mountain was Doi Suthep Temple. There are many temples in Chiang Mai but this one is the most famous one. The entrance fee is 30 baht for a foreigner, and free for local. Before you enter the temple,  make sure you wear proper clothes. No tank top, No shorts, No mini skirts, etc. You don’t need to wear a long sleeve but you need to have a sleeve. For the bottom, need to be at least under your knee. Safer if you wear long pants or long skirts, but if you don’t have those clothes you can put on a scarf or borrow a cover from a counter there.

Doi Suthep Temple Entrance Area

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Climbing up to temple area

One of the building in temple area
View from Doi Suthep Temple
View from the top. It was foggy at that time 😦
Doi Suthep Temple Chiang Mai
Many visitors inside the temple area

I don’t know much about this temple since my friend can’t explain anything to us, but it is a very beautiful and magnificent temple. It has a great view of the city as well (if not foggy). There is an area where you need to take off your shoes and walk barefoot, and this area is the main hall of the temple. Many Thai people do a prayer or ceremony there. It can be very crowded in there so be careful of your belonging.

Doi Suthep Temple Chiang Mai
People pray in Doi Suthep Temple

Doi Suthep Temple Chiang Mai

Doi Suthep Temple Chiang Mai

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Doi Suthep Temple Chiang Mai
Pouring oil
Dragon Sculpture Stairs Doi Suthep Temple
Beautiful Dragon sculpture all the way down the stairs

On the way out, I saw one of the shops selling pork skin. Bought one bag pork skin with fish sauce for 60 baht.

Deep Fried Pork Belly in Fish Sauce

Royal Palace (Bhubing Palace)

Our next destination was Royal Palace of Chiang Mai called Bhubing Palace. It is located at the higher end of the mountain. We went up by car about 20-30 minutes and looked for a parking spot again. This time it wasn’t that bad. They have a parking area.

The weather there was cold for me! Luckily I brought my jacket. To enter the palace, we need to buy a ticket at the counter, 50 baht per person. For this palace, please wear proper clothes as well.

Once we entered the gate, the security guy asked us where are we come from. Then he ushered us to a lady who gave us a map and explanation of how to explore the palace based on the map.

Map of Bhubing Palace
Map of Bhubing Palace

This royal palace’s area is very huge. Make sure you’ve eaten before you visit it. I was hungry when I arrived there but thinking to just visit first for a short time. It wasn’t a short time in the end! We were inside for more than 1 hour and still have some areas which were not explored!

There are a lot of beautiful flowers. I love their giant rose. It was so big, as big as my face! (Nah, I’m exaggerating a bit… but it was really a big rose though). The buildings have a classic style. It is a very nice place to enjoy the nature and fresh air. You can easily spend 2 hours in that area.

I almost fainted when I exited the palace area. Too hungry! We immediately looked for food at nearby restaurants. No idea which one is good, we just went into the restaurant with most customers. The menu was on the table including the price. Luckily I was with my Thai friend so he read the menu for us. No English menu. We ordered Khao Soi, Laab Pork, and Pork Sausage. Khao Soi is one of the specialities in Chiang Mai, so you have to try it if you go there. I love it. It is a noodle dish with curry and chicken.

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When our order arrived, I just realized that I should haven’t ordered Laab Pork! I was so tempted to order because I only remembered how delicious is the minced pork meat dish. I forgot about one important detail… it is VERY spicy 😦 The Khao Soi was not bad for me, but for my Thai friend it was bad and expensive than the one in the city. Well, kind of expected for a restaurant at a tourist spot. The pork sausage was very spicy as well! It has chilli inside it. I couldn’t eat more than one. In total, our bill was 415 baht.

After lunch, we headed back to the hostel. At least that was my plan because my camera was out of battery and I needed to charge it first. My friend suggested us to go to Night Safari right away but I told him that I would go there by Uber later. Apparently, he wanted to not let us waste any time so he silently drove us there!

Night Safari

I love seeing animals and especially in Safari, and I’ve never been on a Night Safari before so this is very interesting for me. From the outside, it looks huge and beautiful. Very promising! To enter the safari, we had to buy a ticket at the counter. There are differences in the prices between local visitor and foreigner. For example, the price for set B Night Safari for a local is 300 baht, while for a foreigner is 800 baht. It is pricey! We bought set B. It includes night safari (savannah safari and predator prowl), jaguar trail (walking route), night predator show, and tiger show.

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Night Safari Chiang Mai Thailand

Main Stage Night Safari Chiang Mai

 

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Activities Show Time

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There is a timetable for each show so you better check it first and arrange how will you do the activities as efficiently as you can. The night safari has 2 routes at different places. The difference is at the type of animals shown there. Also, each route of night safari has 2 lines of queue, one has a Thai guide and the other one has English guide. Both start at 6.30pm. You can buy a basket of food to give to the animals as well before you enter the queue for the tram.

From my experience, you need to prepare some things before you do this night safari. First of all, you need a jacket because it’s gonna be very cold! Especially if you come from tropical country or city. The second thing, if you are like me who like taking photos, is a good camera for low light situation or just use it in video mode. I tried taking photo with my camera (after charging it with power bank) and it turned out bad. Couldn’t get a nice photo since the tram only stopped for a while and it kept moving so all the photos were blurry. I couldn’t use faster shutter speed due to my lens limitation, so I tried taking photos with my phone instead.

 

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Failed attempt at photographing a deer

 

The Jaguar Trail or the walking route is really nice. I like it. The things that annoyed me was the group of tourists who didn’t respect the rule. It is said to keep silent and not to speak loudly, but they just keep talking as if they were inside their house. Also, another rule is not to use flash when taking a photo, and they did… I was so annoyed that one time I told them not to use flash.  They didn’t care about the animals at all, it is just a show for them.

 

Speaking about a show, I watched Tiger Show because it is included in Set B as well. I don’t like it at all. The tigers and lions were skinny and they looked scared. While other visitors were enjoying the show, I just sat there quietly.

 

After finished watching and doing the night safari, we looked for dinner. There are food stalls in the middle area. We bought some snacks to share, pork mushroom (20 baht), roasted squid egg small (60 baht), roasted squid small (70 bath) and orange juice (35 baht). They were quite nice. We finished on time just before the water fountain started.

 

Water fountain on the schedule was at 8pm, but it didn’t start yet. There was a dancing show which was started at the same time, and it was at the main stage. Everyone went to the main stage area to watch the dancing show and I was too lazy and tired to see so I just waited for water fountain show.

It lasted quite a while and we didn’t wait until it finished. I ordered Uber and waited at the designated location. If you want to use Uber, the best meeting point will be near the entrance to parking lot, away from red car area. You need to walk a bit but it is better than waiting near Giraffe Restaurant. Total cost from night safari to our hostel was 177 baht.

Beautiful sculptures at Night Safari Chiang Mai
Deer water fountain
Night Safari Entrance at night
Night Safari Entrance

Evening Snack

Yup, we were hungry again once we arrived at the hostel. Therefore we walked to the food market nearby and bought some buns and mango sticky rice again (yeah! they were so good and cheap that I could eat it every day).

 

That was it! I hope it can help you organize your trip in Chiang Mai and itinerary on how to spend the day there. The next day we didn’t go anywhere because it was raining the whole day. But we did go to a delicious burger place for lunch and tried a famouse pork rice for dinner! I love staying in Chiang Mai 😀

Thank you for reading this post!

Ciao.