Experience · singapore · Travel

Disney: Magic of Animation @ ArtScience Museum

After procrastinating since December 2019, we finally went to see the exhibition Disney: Magic of Animation at ArtScience Museum. The exhibition will last only until 29 March 2020 so if you havenโ€™t visited it, you better do it soon. During this period, however, they will limit the time to 30 mins per visit to avoid too many people inside at the same time. When we were there it was empty so we could enjoy it with no rush. In the end, we spent around 1 hour inside the exhibition.

I hope you guys enjoyed the photos. Stay safe and stay home if you can. We need to stop the spread of the virus.

Thank for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

Experience · Travel

Siem Reap Trip Journal โ€“ Day 3 ( Artisans D’Angkor – Angkor National Museum – Floating Village )

After a tiring day visiting temples in Angkor city, the 3rd day we decided to do some relaxing activity. After breakfast, we met our remorge driver in front of the hotel and headed to Artisans d’Angkor.

Artisans d’Angkor is a handicraft workshop center. They have workshops for wood carving, stone carving, silver plated, fabric painting and so on. They are open daily from 8 am to 6 pm and free entrance. Once we arrived there, someone welcomed us and became our tour guide for the entire stay. And the great thing is it was free of charge! Yes, they also provided free guided tour in our language.

It was very interesting and fascinating to see the process of crafting the product. They are very talented indeed. There were a lot of questions popped up in my head, mainly about “how did they do it?! how did they have such an inspiration?!”. For a person who can’t create any art, these things are always amaze me. It such an amazing trip to this place! Please take a look of some pictures I took there ๐Ÿ™‚

Wood Carving Artisan d'Angkor Siem Reap Cambodia
Wood Carving
Step by step wood carving Artisan d'angkor cambodia
Step by step of how they do wood carving
Step by step wood carving Artisan d'angkor cambodia
Using a metal version as a model for wood carving
Stone Carving
From a block of stone to a beautiful statue
Stone carving for Temple Restoration project
Stone carving for Temple Restoration project
Elephant stone carving artisan d'angkor siem reap cambodia
Elephant stone carving (model & work-in-process)
silver craft artisan d'angkor siem reap cambodia
Silver plating
step by step artisan d'angkor cambodia
Step-by-step process. An amazing end product!
Silk Fabric painting artisan d'angkor cambodia
Silk painting. Look at that level of detail!

After we finished visiting all their workshops, we arrived at the shop where they sell their product. The shop is pretty big with a lot of product from every workshop. I enjoyed strolling around the shop and adored the pretty stuff. Make sure you make time to visit this place if you like handicraft. Happy Shopping!

Next place we visited was Angkor National Museum. Another fascinating place to visit! The entrance fee is US$12 for adult. We had to leave our bag at the counter and they gave us a small bag to put our wallet and phone (and camera for me). Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photo in most rooms so my camera had no use there.

Bag Angkor National Museum Siem Reap Cambodia
Small bag for our stuff

When we entered the area, I had a low expectation of this museum. Thankfully I was wrong! This museum is a must-visit for a history lover or an art lover. There are total 9 galleries in Angkor National Museum and my favorite is the Exclusive Gallery which has 1000 Buddha Images. I didn’t count them, of course.. but there are many of Buddha statues in that gallery. All different kind of Buddha. Amazing images. Visit their website to have a sneak peek on how does the gallery look like and to get to know other information. Some people recommends visiting the museum before visiting Angkor Wat, but I think visiting it after Angkor Wat also can give you insight of what you’ve seen at the temple. It might answer your question about the temple as well, if you have any.

Angkor National Museum entrance to Galleries
Angkor National Museum entrance to Galleries

Our last destination for the day was floating village by the lake. It took around 42 mins from the city by car, or about 1 hour by remorge. Sitting on the remorge for an hour was quite a journey. The wind blew so hard on our face but the good thing was it made the weather less hot ๐Ÿ˜€ (although I was afraid I might catch a cold lol). I think it even rain that time..

On the way to Floating Village

We stopped by at the ticket counter to buy our entrance ticket. We paid for US$23 per person for the ticket. Quite expensive but we had no complaint since we got our own boat with noone else around. Lovely private trip ๐Ÿ˜€ If you need to go to the bathroom, this is the time because there will be no more bathroom after this point. After we got our ticket, we continued our journey.

We boarded on our boat and went to Floating Village. I wished our guide, Mr Bun Rong, was with us. He can speak English very well. Floating Village is not my favorite place to go. Not because of the view but because I’m scared being on a boat ๐Ÿ˜… I don’t like to get on a boat that is shake so much. This boat was actually not bad, but whenever we passed by another boat it would shake because of the wave. Thankfully, I was busy enough taking photos so the trip was not too bad for me. Although I must say it is better to go there near sunset time. For the other time, the view is just like a normal floating village, no special lighting ๐Ÿ˜€ The villagers have to live and do their daily life from boat to boat. Temples and schools are on top of water as well.

After about 30 mins boat ride, we arrived at sunset point. It was an open space with a lot of other boats around. They were also waiting for sunset like us. We stopped by at one spot and just waited there. There was a small boat approaching us and turned out she was selling drinks and snacks! ๐Ÿ˜„

Drink seller on boat!

It was a bit cloudy near sunset time so the sky was not as we expected ๐Ÿ˜” There was no orange sky in the horizon, but at least we could still see some yellow-ish and magnificent sky. Ah~~ I love sunset! We enjoyed it until the sun almost gone then decided to head back because I didn’t want to go back too late.

Beautiful floating village at sunset
Sunset on the boat at Tonle Sap Lake

Thank you for reading, my story! Have you been to any of these places? What do you think about them? Let me know in the comment ๐Ÿ™‚ Bye for now! See you on day 4.

Selfie on boat floating village siem reap
Food · Ho Chi Minh City · Vietnam

Bun Thit Nuong Chi Tuyen

“What shall we eat for lunch?” This question always appear especially on weekend and national holiday, because my husband is not working and I can’t just go somewhere alone to eat whatever I want (can I?) :D. He was not feeling feel and wanted something cheap and throat-friendly because of his cough.

We opened once again the list from migrationology and looked at Bun Thit Nuong place. It is not too far from where we live and last time we were there, they tasted good. We went there riding our motorbike with me as navigator (google map on stand by!), and it was an easy trip.

In front of the restaurant, there was a guy calling us to park our motorbike at the spot. He helped my husband arranging the motorbike in parking lot, then another guy gave me a parking card.

Bun Thit Nuong Chi Tuyen

The space inside this restaurant is limited. Maybe they have second floor though, but I’m not sure. We sat on one of empty table and one of the employee approached us. I ordered bun cha gio, while my husband ordered bun thit nuong. The guy asked me something but I couldn’t understand him.. For the drink, we ordered just iced tea.

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The food came out quite fast. My bun cha gio didn’t taste like expected ๐Ÿ˜ฆ It’s either their cha gio (Spring roll) was worse than before, or I happened to have tried a better one. It didn’t taste terrible though. Still edible. Just not as good as I expected.

Bun Cha Gio

My husband’s bun thit nuong on the other hand was delicious. Their grilled pork is tasty. If you like pork satay, then this one is similar.

The total for our meal was 84k vnd. We came out to get our motorbike on parking lot and it was free parking! I saw a guy was grilling the pork skewers at the side of the street near parking lot, and I said to my husband “This is why their grilled pork taste good! :D”

Ciao.

Bun Thit Nuong address

Drinks · Food · Ho Chi Minh City · Vietnam

The Vintage Emporium Saigon – first try

When I have no idea what to have for lunch or dinner, I often use Foursquare to help me out. I find the reviews there are reliable. So this time I also used it to find a lunch place.

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The Vintage Emporium

There was 1 interesting restaurant that I wanted to try before. The Vintage Emporium at 95B Nguyen Van Thu, Ho Chi Minh City. It is a European style small restaurant. I have it on my list on foursquare and the review also really good. A very high review score. So I went there for lunch.

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The Vintage Emporium first floor

The place is not too big but really comfortable to sit and have coffee or meal. They are famous for their breakfast, brunch and lunch, but I think in the evening will be nice to hang out there as well. They are open from 8.30 am to 10.00 pm. When I came, there were many customers in first floor so the waitress ushered me to second floor.

 

I sat on a long table near window, and then she gave me the menu and wifi password.ย I like the ambiance, feels homey and relaxing. I like the interior design as well. Classic.

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Lunch Combo

I saw the menu and mostly costs above 100.000 vnd. There is lunch combo from 11.30 to 13.30 with several choices for only 99k vnd. Better try the combo then. I picked saigon baguette and vietnamese ice coffee with milk. I found out later that they charge 5.000 vnd for the milk.

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Saigon Baguette

Saigon Baguette. One word. Loved it! The bread is crunchy outside and soft inside, with fresh vegetables and BBQ pork on top of it. Very recommended!

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Vietnamese Ice Coffee

Their ice coffee also good. It’s a bit strong for me but I like the taste.

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Another thing that I like here is that they serve free water for you!

This is The Vintage Emporium menu just in case you want to see what they are serving there.

All-in-all this is a very good place to go alone or with friend(s), to have a chat or just enjoying morning / afternoon.

Have you been there as well? What do you think of this restaurant? Let me know in comment below ๐Ÿ˜‰

Food · Ho Chi Minh City · Vietnam

Hong Hai Restaurant – Seafood Restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City

One of the famous type of dish in Ho Chi Minh is seafood. Almost in every corner of this city has a seafood restaurant. Hong Hai Restaurant is one of the big seafood restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City. It is located at 236 Pasteur Street, District 3, HCMC. I have been here 2 times, both with my guests. It is always better to go to seafood restaurant with 3 or more people. More food to try ๐Ÿ˜€

This restaurant also have non-seafood dishes; beef, chicken, pork, noodle, eel, poridge, and rice. So don’t worry if one of your companion can’t eat seafood, he / she still can enjoy other food. They have many kind of snails and clams, cooked in many ways. Their menu has English translation as well, so it’s very easy to order. Some of the dishes also have picture on the menu. I will share with you all of the food I ordered here.

Blood Cockle stir-fried with crispy fried garlic topped with laska leaves
Blood Cockle stir-fried with crispy fried garlic topped with laska leaves (79.000 vnd)

This one is delicious. The blood cockles are bigger than the one I ate before in other restaurant. What is better than a garlicky food with juicy blood cockle?! Many lol, but this one is not to be missed out.

Medium-sized Escargot grilled with black pepper
Medium-sized Escargot grilled with black pepper (58.000 vnd)

This one doesn’t look special, does it? But trust me, you HAVE TO order this one. Made you want to eat more and more. The escargot is well-done and a perfect seasoning. I ordered this on both my visits there xD

Giant River Prawn wokked with crystal salt and chili
Giant River Prawn wokked with crystal salt and chili (seasonal price)

This one has a seasonal price, so you better check it first before make the order. We didn’t check it and was very surprised with the price but no complaint. Because it’s good. This prawn is very delicious, with a pinch of crystal salt and chili. I can’t stand the chili though, too spicy for me. Normally I don’t eat prawn because I don’t really like their taste, but for this one I have no problem.

Grilled squid with salt & chili (135.000 vnd)
Grilled squid with salt & chili (135.000 vnd)

Another one I recommend is this squid. They cooked it in time so the squid still soft and not chewy. The seasoning also done well. If I didn’t worry about my cholesterol level I would ate this more ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Soooo finger-licking good!

Fresh chilled oyster accompanied with sliced lime
Fresh chilled oyster accompanied with sliced lime (35.000 vnd)

Vietnamese people likes grilled oyster with cheese. I saw many table ordered that dish. On my 2nd visit here, my guest ordered it as well but I didn’t. I prefer fresh oyster, and since it’s cheap here so I ordered it. But I should have known that the price never lie. This oyster is not fresh but was frozen before. I won’t recommend this to anyone.

Scallop grilled with garlic & butter
Scallop grilled with garlic & butter (77.000 vnd)

This one is an okay dish. They cooked this too long so the meat is a little dry. That’s too bad though, because the flavor of garlic and butter in this dish is really good. Nothing special I can say about this menu.

Vietnamese Horn Shell stir-fried with house special fresh coconut milk
Vietnamese Horn Shell stir-fried with house special fresh coconut milk (60.000 vnd)

This horn shell only have 1 type of cooking, that is with coconut milk. I don’t know why but in other restaurant I’ve tried only have cooked with coconut milk as well. I like this dish, it has a creamy and soft texture.

Areola Babylon steamed with ginger & lemongrass
Areola Babylon steamed with ginger & lemongrass (seasonal price)

I don’t like this one, the taste was very plain. The snails were chewy. I don’t mind with chewy snail as long as it has flavor, but not this one. So no, I’m not gonna order this one again in the future. Also, this snail has seasonal price. Need to check before order. There are other type of cooking for this snail : grilled, stir-fried with Vietnamese cheese, and stir-fried with fresh pineapple.

Here in Ho Chi Minh City people likes to order seafood with fried rice. But they don’t eat it together. They usually finish off all seafood then start eating fried rice. I heard from a friend of a friend that they have a good seafood fried rice, so we ordered that on our second visit. It was as I thought, they served us all of our seafood order first, then lastly they served fried rice. The problem was they served it very late for us. We were waiting for more than 15 minutes and it didn’t come out, while other table was getting their fried rice. Maybe there was misunderstanding happened. The waitress told us to wait for 5 minutes, but after 5 minutes nothing served on our table. I was a little annoyed and intended to cancel our order for fried rice but they didn’t allow it. That made me even more annoyed. In the end we asked them to wrap it for take away.

For the drink, local people normally drink beer when eating seafood. In case you don’t like beer or just don’t want to drink beer, you have to try their coconut. It was really refreshing! I like it very much.

According to my friend (a Vietnamese , most of the people in Ho Chi Minh City prefer to go to the beach when they want to eat seafood, because it’s really fresh. But when I told them about Hong Hai Restaurant they were agreed as well about the quality of food there. Their price is not expensive for a restaurant with that scale.

Hong hai restaurant
Hong hai restaurant

In conclusion, if you want to try Hong Hai I would recommendย Blood Cockle stir-fried with crispy fried garlic topped with laska leaves,ย Medium-sized Escargot grilled with black pepper, andย Grilled squid with salt & chili. Take a note that their service is bad when they are busy. For more information, please check their website.