1. Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam October 2013: Museums, Churches and Markets

    As several parts of the world enjoy the beautiful start of spring, allow me to continue basking in my memories of the equally lovely Vietnam. We left off from our visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels and now, here is Part Two of that same day!

    First, lunch.

    image

    View from our lunch table near the Vo Van Street where our next destination - the War Remnants Museum - was

    image

    So many tomato slices

    Then we went to the War Remnants Museum, as if we hadn’t had enough horror in Cu Chi. The entrance fee was only at 15,000VND (around Php32 or roughly US$.80) - a small price to pay for much heartache.

    image

    image

    The museum exhibited several galleries containing victims and survivors of the Vietnam war which I would all describe as terrifying. Why anybody would want to engage in battle and do those horrible things to innocent people is a concept I will NEVER understand. (Unfortunately, our beloved country, the Philippines, participated in support to that war. This is why we are so ~popular in this region.)

    Since the museum was already near to the “downtown area” (which was near to Bui Vien Street where we were staying), we decided to walk off our pain.

    Hello, motorcycles.

    image

    Note how they are all behind the box line in respect to the pedestrian

    Hello, banh mi.

    image

    Then we saw something we didn’t expect: HELLO, JOLLIBEE!! I kind of ran a whole block because EXCITEMENT.

    image

    I assume that’s a “langhap sarap” slogan 

    I enjoyed checking out the menu because it incorporated Vietnamese cuisine into some of the meals.

    image

    We had sundaes but they were ordinary so here instead are the meals we ate the next time we were there, which was two days later.

    Look! Soup. And cucumber slices. 

    image

    The Philippines still has the BEST CHICKEN JOY

    Then we swung by the Independent Palace, which was already closed since it was past 5PM. I slid my arm through the gates to take a photo, in spite the fact that we were coming back there the next day.

    image

    Right in front the Palace was this park…

    image

    … Which leads to the Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral.

    image

    image

    image

    Built by the French colonists sometime in the 1860s, the cathedral looks very “Paris.”

    image

    We followed the road right across the church and that led us to the awesome bookstore my friend Jenny Pearl talked to me about

    image

    Do not judge the store by its front display; you’ll be surprised by what’s inside!

    Some more motorcycles!

    image

    image

    A hundred photos and thousand steps after, we reached Ben Thanh Market.

    image

    The tasty sticky rice, as strongly recommended by my friend Ali

    image

    image

    image

    image

    image

    Bibingka! 

    Almost everything inside the Ben Thanh Market is expensive so don’t go buying in there! Well, except for chè! Because yummers.

    image

    Chè is like halo-halo but with coconut cream

    image

    Outside was the statue of General Tran Ngyyen Han on his horse. He fought against the Chinese during the 15th century.

    image

    We were spent from a whole day of terror so we went back to our hotel to rest. 

    Later on, my brother and I (my parents were glued to the bed, haha) went down for dinner. Street food, whattuuuup.

    image

    Meals cost around 10,000-20,000 VND including rice, viand, soup and well, wet tissues

    Aside from the many food stalls along Bui Vien, the street was very… happening. It amused me that people who were dining and/or drinking sat facing the street!

    image

    PARTEEEEH

    We walked to the end of the street to find out how far the party was going. It was there that I found a lamp post that provided sufficient light support for photos.

    image

    Hello, my face says “Tomorrow’s another day!”

    Up next: Downtown Saigon!

     
  2. tokyo-fashion:

    Cherry blossoms in full bloom on a rainy day at Yoyogi Park in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo, Japan. [Tokyo cherry blossoms video here]

     
  3. Here’s another church in Baras, Rizal, albeit a smaller one.

    As you can see, it’s going under renovation but look at how pretty that is. A good option for weddings, etc.