Experience · Ho Chi Minh City · Vietnam

AO Show – Best Cultural Show in Vietnam

It was Sunday afternoon and I was lazy to do anything. My friend was in Saigon so I was wondering what would she do for the afternoon. She told me about her plan to watch AO Show and then do massage at Miumiu Spa. I know for sure I can’t do massage because this spa is very famous and always fully booked during weekend. My friend got her spot on 7.30pm. Then how about AO Show? That show is very famous as well and sometime people need to buy the ticket several months ahead of their performance time.

My friend told me that she bought the ticket already online at their website. I was late to check and the online booking was closed already! It was 3.40 pm when I checked, for the 6 pm show. I guess they are closed about 3 hours before the show. It said I need to go to ticket counter directly before the show to check available seat. Oh well..

AO Show Price List

I met my friend at cafe Runam Dรณr next to cathedral around 4.45 pm. My friend was told to take her ticket at the ticket box in front of the opera at 5.30 pm the latest.ย After a quick meal, we walked to Saigon Opera House and reached it before 5.30 pm. There are 2 locations at the entrance of the opera to get the tickets. The one on the left (there are 2 counters) is for direct selling before the show, and the other one on the right is to exchange online ticket to real ticket.

Luckily, the seat next to my friend was not taken yet so I bought that one. There are 3 types of prices, depending on which area you want to sit. You can check for the price on their website. They are not available every day, so better do your research before go to Opera House. There are other shows available to watch as well if you accidentally forgot to check the website. But worst case, no show at all on that day.

We bought tickets for W (wow) zone so we got a welcome drink to enjoy before the show started. The options are wine (white or red) or tea. If we chose tea, we would get a traditional snack as well. We picked white wine. It was the Dalat wine. We took a selfie with the AO Show logo and hanging around a bit before went upstairs to our seats.

welcome drink AO show

W zone is located on the 1st floor. Two persons greeted us at the 1st floor’s entrance and ushered us to our seats. Finally got a chance to see the inside of the Opera House! We took some photos before the show begun. We were not allowed to use our phone or camera once the show begin.

Our seats had a not-so-bad view to the stage, but for next time I will choose a different seats. Now that I’ve been inside, I can tell which seats have a good view. The A zone is the cheapest, the view is not on the center of the stage unless you chose between A 9 until A 22. BUT, they are in 2nd floor which will be too high to see for my taste. For the O zone, I think the best one are around E 1-10 until J 1-10. A very center view and just in appropriate distance from the stage. And last, for W zone, it would be around E 11-21 and C 15-24. For me these seats have the best view to watch the show. If you can’t get it, then a little bit to the side is okay, just be aware of the position of the pillar.

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Saigon Opera House interior

Before the show started, I moved to D8 on first floor. There is a pillar near by and it really blocked some of my view. I needed to sit a bit up front to see the whole stage, couldn’t relax ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Good thing the show was really awesome!

I love the choreography, the acrobatic action, the story line (theme), and especially their teamwork. They played around with bamboo sticks, with bamboo baskets, and other properties. It was well organized and well played. There were times when I opened my mouth and made a sound “wow”. There were times that I laughed. Over all it was very entertaining and well designed. I think every one who visited Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi) should watch this show.

After the show end, visitor can take a group photo with all the performers. It would be a nice memory to keep! Having a photo taken with all those talented young people.

Group Photo after the show

Awesome job to all the AO Show performers!

Have you watched it yourself? What do you think about the show? Let me know in the comment!

Ciao.

Experience · Travel

Singapore Trip – day 2

We woke up quite late and then had to think about where to have breakfast. I can’t eat many in the morning, so I prefer a small portion of breakfast. My husband suggested a place in Wheelock Place, so we departed there as soon as we ready to go. On the way there, we found Watanabe Coffee, so we decided to try this one instead ๐Ÿ˜€

After breakfast, we were ready to go around with full tummy! It was a nice breakfast. It was 10.30 am and we need to go back to hotel by 12 pm, so we just strolled around ION mall.

There was a nice offer at H&M for man’s blazer. Good slim fit style for only SGD 30 and SGD 50! Good deal.

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Saw this bear necklace for kids and I was thinking about my friend’s daughter. She would loved it. I sent message to my friend and didn’t get respond :s Bye bear necklace~

Later on, she replied back and wanted the blue one for her daughter. Okay, so.. I will look for it again then!

For lunch, I had appointment with my friend (which was my boss) and her family at Wild Honey in Scotts Square. They didn’t accept reservation. I came early so I made reservation on the spot and they put me on the list. After a while, I got a phone call from them, but it was an automatic answering machine. It told me that the table is ready and if I want to delay for 5 minutes, I need to press 2. And press 3 if I want to cancel the reservation. My friend was not there yet so I pressed 2, and it told me they will keep the table for the next 10 mins and if I didn’t show up, they would give it to next customer.

Then I was thinking, since I was already there why not trying to get a table for us. I approached the person in charge and said I got the message that the table is ready. She asked me where were my friends… I told her that they were in parking lot and on the way up (I lied a bit, yeah.. but not necessarily wrong since they were close by already :D). She refused to give me table until at least some of the people were there. The best would be all present at entrance. No chance then. Back to waiting..

When my friends arrived, we went in immediately. There were no empty table inside. It made sense that they are really strict in reservation term. The food in Wild Honey is all day breakfast. Almost all the menu consists of eggs and bread. I ordered I love NY. Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, and bagel.

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The food is delicious. Eggs were cooked and seasoned perfectly. My bagel also nice. I like the sour cream as well. All of this for about SGD 22++ Quite expensive eh?

I went back to hotel right away after lunch, cos I had a heavy package of bakwa! The specialty meat from Singapore. My friend told me that this brand is the best bakwa in Singapore. Can’t wait to try it later at home.

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Lim Chee Guan Bakwa

After resting for a while, I went out again to meet other old friend in City Hall MRT Station. I saw a Guardian so we went there to get something for my dry hair. I washed my hair in the morning and it become really dry because I didn’t use any conditioner. Found something interesting by L’ucidol but I wasn’t sure how good it is. The shopkeeper approached me and offered me another brand. They have small packaging so it’s easier to carry and if it doesn’t work I won’t feel guilty as well xD She gave me free sample of hair shampoo and hair conditioner as well. Nice!

We strolled around Citylink Mall and found some fashion shops. They have nice items and reasonable price as well. The dresses are around SGD 30+, with several styles. They have fitting room as well so we can try it easily. Some stores are busy and need to queue to get into fitting room.ย We walked to Esplanade direction afterward. There are several pop up stores as well there. Also with reasonable price. We didn’t go in into every shops because of limited time we have. But we managed to stop by at accessories shop ๐Ÿ˜€

I need to meet my husband back at Cityhall MRT Station. We planned to have dinner at Song Fa Bakkut Teh, but my friend suggested another place which, according to her, has a good bakkut teh as well. It is in Bukit Timah area. I’ve been in the restaurant once (with her) before. And it was okay. So I agreed with her suggestion and kind of forced my husband to try it out ๐Ÿ˜€

To reach the place, the nearest MRT station is Beauty World MRT Station. Walk out from there and go to restaurant row. The place’s name is Koon Bakkut Teh. They have similar menu as Song Fa.

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Koon Bakkut Teh

Unfortunately, they tasted bad ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I ate here before and it was good food, but not now. Their soup was so bland, feels like overflown water on soup. Their salted vegetable was never won from Song Fa though. The homemade Ngo Hiang also just so-so. This was a disappointing dinner meal..

We went back to hotel afterward and just rest to prepare for the next day. Thank you for reading my adventure in Singapore day 2. See you again!

Ciao.

Experience · Food · Travel · Vietnam

Mui Ne – A Short Getaway

Have you been to Mui Ne? Do you know where Mui Ne is? To be honest, I never heard of this city before. I heard it from my friends and they said it’s really nice to relax there. Mui Ne is a small city in the north of Ho Chi Minh City. You can reach there via train or car. I used a car, and it took me around 4 hours of driving. There are some hotels which allow pet as well. One of them is the place where I stayed, Canary Beach Resort. They allow pet in the resort and their private beach, but preferably small pets.

Many expat friends recommended Coco Beach resort for being pet friendly. I checked their price and it was very expensive! USD 510 for 3 nights for a 3-star hotel. While at Canary Beach Hotel, I spent USD 240 for 3 nights. Although we didn’t have our private bungalow, I think the room is very comfortable and big! I asked for 2 single beds, and I got 2 queen-sized bed! We have our own balcony as well with sea view (yes, I chose sea view over garden view! :D).

Our hotel area is not big but really nice. It has swimming pool, breakfast buffet and private beach.

At first I wanted to make a day-to-day journal for this trip, but I will skip it and just make it easier to look at, which is where to eat and what to do in Mui Ne. That is the most frequently asked question when we go on a trip ๐Ÿ˜€

Now let’s start with what to do in Mui Ne. The city is small so there aren’t many things to do there. These are what we did on our trip :

  • Relaxing on beach, enjoying sunset

Of course! It’s a trip to the beach.You can’t miss the sunset (and sunrise, if you want). Relaxing on the beach, or swimming, or playing with sands, anything!

 

  • Red Sand Dunes

This one is a must-visit spot in Mui Ne. A beautiful red sand dunes in the middle of city. Don’t go there between 10.00 am til 4.00 pm because it will really hot. We went there around 10.30 am and the sands were really hot! Use sandals when you come to this place. There were some local people trying to get us rent a board for sliding on the dunes. I bet it’s really fun to do that, but we couldn’t do it because we had our dogs with us and it was very hot as well. Didn’t want to get a sun burn. A sunblock cream / lotion is a must here. We also read on some reviews that this place is good to enjoy sunset.

 

  • White Sand Dunes

White Sand Dunes is a little far from resort area. It’s about 30 minutes to get there and need to ask the way from local people. I think google map has it as well but it was different location, better ask local.

It’s also known as white lake, because there is a beautiful lake next to it. We need to pay for entrance ticket and parking ticket (if you bring car). The lake is really beautiful. I couldn’t stopped taking pictures.

We can rent an ATV. There are 2 types of vehicles, small one and big one. They have different price, and it depends on how long you rent it as well. We didn’t rent it because we were in a hurry when we were there (it was 12.00 pm! hungry tummy :()

We kept walking on the sand between trees until we reached the dunes. It was really beautiful! It must be nice to stay longer there and explore around with the ATV. Maybe next time I’ll do it! They said that it is a good place to watch sunset as well.

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  • Fairy Stream

This place has many entrance which are connected to each other. You can go from any entrance you want. Just find the one nearest from your resort. We found one very close from Canary Beach Hotel, it was on the opposite side. We need to pay for 5.000 vnd for them to keep our shoes/sandals. Note : better use sandals if possible. And then you just need to follow the path there (or follow the people :D). We had no idea which way to go, but we saw many people went to right direction, so we followed them. And it was the right decision! First part will make you question what’s so special about this place. Just a normal river with very shallow flowing water.

And slowly you will enter a new area with natural stones, amazing job by nature.

And next up is the most beautiful part of Fairy Stream. Sands, stones, water and grass all together making a very beautiful view.

My friend read on one of the review that there is a mini waterfall at the end of path. So we tried to reach there but we gave up on the way. Too much water and the area was not nice anymore. We took a note that after the first area where you need to cross a knee-high water, just go back to entrance because there’s nothing to see anymore. The mini waterfall also less tempting compared to avoiding the muddy water on the way.

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Stop after you see this area.

 

  • Champa Temple

Champa Temple is a bonus visit. We didn’t plan to go here, but since we’re in the neighborhood we stopped by. We had to walk to the hill to see the temple. After the entrance there is an area with many statue and intended for praying.

And at the top, there are 2 temple and a rest area. It has a beautiful view to the city.

 

We also need to know places to eat around Mui Ne. I used Tripadvisor and Foursquare to find a restaurant and see the review or recommendation. These are the restaurant we went during the trip :

  • Sandals Restaurant @ MIA Mui Ne

This restaurant has a really good review. It is located inside MIA Resort, a 4-stars resort. The resort looks really nice and clean. We didn’t find this on our search before because they don’t allow pet here.

It looks luxurious lol. I told my friend this restaurant can’t be cheap by looking at the exterior of this resort. But at least the reviews said the food is good.

These are the food we ordered that night. The grilled scallop was so-so, but risotto mushroom was really really yummy! I was never a fan of risotto, but I like this one very much. Their brownies was so-so as well, too sweet for my taste.

  • Bao Tran Restaurant (Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street)

We were looking for Bao Tram (from Foursquare), a Vietnamese restaurant, but ended up at Bao Tran, also selling Vietnamese food. The owner was really friendly and helpful. The food was so-so, but good price.ย _DSC5552

  • Bao Tran Guesthouse (89 Huynh thunc khang)

This one is close from our resort. It was quite famous in backpackers group. We tried fried fish and also veggies spring roll. Food was so-so, but cheap. Maybe we should’ve tried their grilled fish. It looked delicious and smelled yummy as well!

 

  • Sindbad (233 Nguyen Dinh Chieu)

This restaurant is number 1 on tripadvisor for restaurant in Mui Ne lol. A middle east restaurant, selling kebab. But I must admit their kebab was really tasty. It also come in big portion, even for the small size. And the price was quite cheap as well, so it was really a good deal for meal.

 

  • Bo Ke Lam Vien

There are many seafood restaurants along Nguyen Dinh Chieu street. We had a hard time to pick one because all of them looked crowded. Our driver dropped us at Mr Crab, he said it is the most famous restaurant there. But I was hesitating because the review of that place is so-so, and also the night before I saw another restaurant really crowded. So we decided to move to Bo Ke Lam Vien.

 

 

We ordered several dishes for just the 2 of us! They cooked it very well. Our favorite was scallop with butter and green onion, and grilled squid. The fish with lemongrass was actually not bad, but it was a bit bland, need to add some soy sauce. Shrimp tempura was so fail in term of shape lol. It was not like the one we were imagined. The last dish, baby squid with lemongrass, chilli and garlic was good to eat with steam rice. We didn’t order rice so it was tasted a bit too much of spices for us. But overall the foods were yummy! Happy tummy on last night in Mui Ne.

 

That’s all I can share about my trip to Mui Ne. Thank you for reading this very long post lol. Will update you on my next trip ๐Ÿ˜‰ Ciao!