Thursday, November 24, 2016

[Travel] 5D4N to Hanoi - DAY 1

A trip to Hanoi! 
Albeit a bit rushed as we just needed go for a trip so we quickly booked this trip to Hanoi. 

Reached Hanoi!
BreakfastPho ThinRandom stall
Check in Golden Time Hostel 3Ha Long BayWander around HanoiWest LakeHead to aiport
LunchBun Cha TaQuan An NgonLotteriaAirport food
Wander around HanoiHOME!
TeaGiang cafeYoung CoffeeComga
Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son temple
The Note coffeeWater Puppet Theater
DinnerHanoiKids Food TourNew Day RestaurantXoi YenPho Ga
SupperBanh Mi Hoi AnCong Caphe

We booked the hotel and air tickets together with AirAsia in a rush, costs about RM1500 for 2.
The hotel we stayed was not great. Service was excellent but the hotel itself seems pretty run down.
The place is narrow and small but I think most of Hanoi buildings are like that. The problem is the toilet door was broken and there was only a lousy cupboard in the room.

Bun Cha Ta
Website :

Our first meal in Hanoi turned out to be the best we will ever have here!
This my first time ever having this Bun Cha and it was amazing!

The sauce like soup was a beautiful complex mix of flavours, there was sweet honey, a lot of fish sauce and some sour from rice vinegar and green papaya.

The accompanying grilled pork was also awesome. Bursting with flavorful marinade and plenty of herbs mainly lemon grass.

We were also given a bowl of greens, lettuce and herbs, and a plate of vermicelli. We can either wrap the meat and herbs in the lettuce then dunk in soup, or we can simply dunk the vermicelli into the soup and eat.

And the spring rolls, wonderful multiple layers of crunchy outer skin, stuffed with mix of meat, thinly sliced black fungus,carrot and glass noodles. The taste and the mouth feel was off the charts.

Oh, and service is AMAZING! The lady working here was very friendly and made us feel like it was a personal tour as she explained everything about the Bun Cha.

Definitely HIGHLY recommended place. MUST TRY!

Giang cafe

Website :

Through this small opening..

Down the little tunnel...

And up the stairs...

And we are here! A little rustic cafe!

This little cafe serves interesting egg coffee. Beaten eggs mixed with condensed milk is served on strong vietnamese coffee. It's very nice and definitely worth a try. Tastes eggy and sweet but balanced out by the strong Vietnamese coffee.

Hoan Kiem Lake

Loved walking around the lake, however the temple on the lake wasn't great.
For us Malaysians this temple is very unimpressive. I guess I would only recommend people who have never seen a Chinese temple before to go here.
It was very small and you could easily find plenty of these types of temples in Penang. You won't even get charged entry fee.

The wonderful thing is the streets around the lake is closed on weekends for people to enjoy walking around. Absolutely loved this. We were able to have a wonderful leisurely stroll around the lake and take selfies without worry of becoming road kill.

There was even a band playing by the road.

The Note Coffee

Website :

After a walk around the lake we stopped at a nice little cafe where you can place post-it notes all over the cafe. Of course we also added our own notes :)

Coffee was ok. The London Fog (pic below) was quite interesting, it is tea with some frothy sweet milk. A more fragrant milk tea then what we are used to back here in Malaysia.

HanoiKids Tour

Website : 

In the evening, we booked a tour with HanoiKids. This was a tour done by students who want to practice their English. There is no charge for the tour!
You will have to pay for the tour guide's expenses during the tour and that's it!
The tour guide was very gracious, and did not spend excessively. Also they do not take tips. So bring a gift for them. We gave a simple key chain. 

This was a very interesting experience for us. We chose the food tour and our student tour guide was very friendly. She spoke good English and we had a really good time just getting to know her and bombarding her with questions on Hanoi.

Our first stop was dinner at this place Net Hue.

Food was nice, but not amazing.
We then took a walk at the night market. Disappointingly the night market was not interesting, pales in comparison with Thailand and Malaysia. Of course I was only looking for food :) It was quite boring with not many variety. Maybe most of the good foods are at the shops with the low seats at the side instead of the night market stalls themselves.

Our next stop was dessert at Cong Caphe. This was where we spent most of the night talking. They serve very nice Coconut Coffee ice blended here. Highly recommended! The sweet coconut ice mixes well with the coffee.
We went here twice on this trip.
Sit at the higher floors and enjoy watching the crazy traffic while sipping this heavenly coconut coffee.

A note here, this tour is done by students, they are by no means experts. Do not expect extensive knowledge on everything. It is more like meeting a friend. My advice would be to do a bit of research on your own first and see if you have a specific place you want to visit, then you can get the tour guide's help to bring you to places you want. Or in my case, a certain food we want to try.

Monday, September 5, 2016

[For Fun] Carlin and Stewart : Legends of Comedy

Two of the best comedic geniuses of our time!
Excellent comedy requires great intelligence and insight. That's something both these men have.

Friday, August 26, 2016

[Travel] A Quick Trip Down To Malacca

Got a free stay from a friend at Swiss-Garden Residences Malacca, so we took the opportunity to go for a quick 2D1N trip. Itinerary and estimates below :

BrunchPuchong Yong TaufuJuat Lye
- Yee Kiao Mee
- Prawn Mee
- Toast
Head to MalaccaEnjoy hotel facilities
Stop at Freeport A'Famosa Outlet stores
LunchUnicorn Cafe
- Babi pongteh
- Nyonya laksa
- Paitee
- Durian cendol
Ming Huat Restaurant
- Mee Kahwin
- Nasi Lemak
TeaBacklane Coffee
Check in to Swiss-Garden Residences MalaccaKlebang beach
DinnerBan Lee Siang Satay CelupLucky Famous Restaurant
- Duck noodles
- Loh duck
- Fried Pork Balls
- Spring Chicken
DrinksSky GardenHead home


Started the day a little late, headed to Puchong for Yong Tau Fu brunch. Our favorite place for Yong Tau Fu. Unfortunately it was closed on Monday so we went to the one nearby. 

Then off we go to Malacca! 
We first stopped at the Freeport A'Famosa Outlet. Decent amount of stores here, Nike, Adidas, Under Armour. After a couple of hours, we are back on the road to Malacca.

Next stop, Lunch!
We tried a cozy little cafe called Unicorn cafe. Apparently they serve nice Malacca Nyonya food.

Nyonya Laksa - Did not like it, the aroma of spices is nice but unfortunately seasoning seems a bit off, tasted bland.

Babi Pongteh - Pretty nice, but I'm not really a fan of Pongteh.

Pai tees - Awesome crunchy little cups of goodness. Loved it!

Durian Cendol - Heard durian and had to order, but forgot that unfortunately Malacca cendol is not my cup of tea.
Pales in comparison to Penang's, just a ball of ice with gula Melaka and durian puree on top.
All in all a pretty good cafe with affordable prices. Would love to come back for more Pai tees. To note, I am in general not a fan of Malacca Nyonya food.

Unicorn Cafe
Google Map :

Opening Hours : 
  1030 - 1630
Closed Thursday

Rating : 3 STAR

Next we headed to Swiss Garden Hotel and Residences. This was a hotel, rentable apartments, residences and a mall all rolled into one. We did not stay at the hotel, but the I think rentable apartments tower. Nice room design and right beside the Malacca river. However it is a very high density accommodation, even on a non-peak weekday the 4 lifts serving 40 floors seems severely inadequate. 

One of those useless see through showers, makes it not cool to come with friends and family.

After lazing in the room for a few hours, we headed to perennial favorite, Ban Lee Siang Satay Celup. Interestingly along the same road there was another shop with the exact same name, I think it's a branch.Simple ingredients cooked in an unctuous peanut satay sauce. A Malaccan specialty worth a visit when your in town.

Ban Lee Siang Satay Celup
Google Map :

Opening Hours : 
Daily 1600 –1230

Rating : 4 STAR

After dinner we went for drinks at Sky Garden located in Swiss Garden Hotel block.
Awesome view and wonderful breeze, what better way to end the night.
I think you can also order food from the room service menu but we were not hungry. Drinks should set you back about RM20 per drink.

Sky Garden @ Swiss Garden Malacca
Google Map :

Opening Hours : 
1700 - 0100
1700 - 2400


Next morning we headed to Juat Lye restaurant which is a bit off the normal tourist areas.
We were hoping to find a hidden gem but it is just disappointing normal food.
Yee Kiao mee was new to me but it's just some boring dry style noodles. Prawn mee is nice if you have never ever tasted Penang's. Toast is good, comes with real butter.

Juat Lye Restaurant
Google Map :

Opening Hours : 
0730 – 1430 (Closed on Mondays)

Rating : 2 STAR

We then headed back to the hotel to enjoy the cool facilities. You can also borrow a basketball from the counter for a quick game.

Now lunch was much better. We went for Mee Kahwin which is Mee Rebus + Rojak. 
Awesome dish, beautiful potato-ish sauce, slight sour, slight spicy and nice pieces of cucur. RM4.50 per plate, well worth it. The nasi lemak here is also nice, fragrant rice and spicy sambal.

Mee Kahwin
Simple Nasi Lemak

Ming Huat Restaurant
Google Map :

Opening Hours : 
0930 - 1500 (Closed on Friday)

Rating : 4 STAR

So after a good lunch it's time to just do nothing. So we headed to Backlane coffee to relax and play Cluedo. Coffee was good, nothing to shout about, cafe design is very nice and very comfy.

Backlane Coffee
Google Map :

Opening Hours : 
Sun-Thu 1100-2400
Fri- Sat 1100-0100

Rating : 3 STAR

Since it was still a little early for dinner, we headed to Klebang beach. They have interestingly some old buses which have been converted for use by the booth operators. Really interesting, even the public toilet is a bus. Unfortunately the booth operators did not capitalize on this unique concept and the buses seem to be only used as storage or their personal resting place. So sad, considering it could have been better used to attract more people here.
The beach is nice and wide, not the I-can't-wait-to-jump-into-the-water kind but more of a let-me-just-sit-at-the-beach-eat-keropok-and-enjoy-the-breeze kind.
There seems to be some new developments going on around the beach, plenty of new shop lots and some kinda theme park near the submarine museum. 

For our final stop in Malacca we went to Lucky Famous restaurant. They serve duck noodles and all the loh stuff. Taste-wise pretty standard, just ok. The fried pork balls were nice. Spring chicken is crispy but dry. Overall not something I would purposely come for when in Malacca next time. First choice for dinner is still Tong Sheng and their amazing cheese prawn bihun.

Spring Chicken and Fried Pork Balls

Loh Duck

Lucky Famous Restaurant
Google Map :

Opening Hours : 
(Closed Monday)

Rating : 3 STAR

And that's the end of a quick but wonderful and relaxing trip.
Now to head back home and dream of the next trip :)