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Archive for August, 2010

Vietnam In Seven Days: Preparing For The Trip

August 6th, 2010 by

I have always wanted to go to Vietnam.  There was a time last year when I thought I would finally go but in the end, the trip didn’t happen. No complaints however – my partner and I ended up visiting Malaysia, Thailand, and Cambodia in a span of ten days instead. We did promise ourselves to visit Vietnam this year however.

Halong Bay – Photo credit

For this post, I would like to share a simple checklist of what I took into consideration to make my “Vietnam in 7 Days” adventure hassle-free, within budget and a lot more fun.

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Cu Chi Tunnels of Ho Chi Minh City

August 4th, 2010 by

Vietnam still bears a heavy burden and countless scars decades after the end of one of the 20th century’s most vicious and violent conflicts. A remarkable, uncanny ability to bounce back from oppressive violence – yet again – and emerge resilient proves however, just how special a place Vietnam is.

Cu Chi tunnel exit, out side of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Conspicuous, physical reminders of the Vietnam War linger everywhere throughout the country. From elusive, still-active land mines to survivors, the horrors of war never seem too far away – despite the harmless, mindless fun millions of tourists now enjoy on the Nha Trang coast. Read the rest of this entry »

Manila’s Binondo Chinatown District

August 2nd, 2010 by

Binondo is truly a historic district of Old Manila, serving as the Chinese community since the earliest days of the city.  This area near the Spanish settlement of Intramuros was a major financial center until Makati took over the role (it was even referred to as “The Wall Street of the Philippines” at one time).

Since then, members of the Chinese community who made it big have established new residences in the suburbs, but often still maintain stores and offices in Binondo. Today, the world’s first Chinatown retains much of its heritage, and visitors can enjoy a quick immersion of Chinoy culture by walking along these crowded urban streets, a combination of high-end stores, vintage establishments and iconic institutions.

Here are some recommended Binondo activities:

Eng Bee Tin

Shop for Sweets in Eng Bee Tin. Eng Bee Tin is a famous Chinese pastry shop that sells red bean paste pastries, glutinous rice cakes, moon cakes and other tempting delights. There are several branches in Binondo and throughout Metro Manila. The owners of Eng Bee Tin paid homage to their Binondo roots by donating a purple fire truck to the local fire department, in reference to their popular purple yam (ube) pastry.

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Manila City at NightFrom bustling markets, to monstrous mega malls and buzzing nightlife, Manila will have your heart racing for more! With its blend of American and Spanish influences, and well spoken English, the Filipino locals will surely not disappoint with their accommodating and friendly nature. It takes a while to get used to Manila but those who persevere will find that it’s a unique city with a lot of personality and character. Let this magical city inspire you with its own sense of charm and energy. Bellhop Picks: High-end: InterContinental Manila Mid-range: Somerset Olympia Makati Low-range: Garden Plaza Hotel & Suites Manila Read more about other attractions in our Philippines guide. See what fellow travellers have to say in the Philippines tales section.
  • Polls

    Top 5 Romantic Spots in Asia

    • Palawan, Philippines (39%, 182 Votes)
    • Boracay, Philippines (36%, 168 Votes)
    • Bali, Indonesia (31%, 143 Votes)
    • Agra, India (18%, 84 Votes)
    • Batangas, Philippines (17%, 79 Votes)
    • Male, Maldives (16%, 77 Votes)
    • Jeju Island, South Korea (16%, 75 Votes)
    • Sentosa Island, Singapore (15%, 72 Votes)
    • Krabi, Thailand (13%, 60 Votes)
    • Macau, China (10%, 49 Votes)
    • Halong Bay, Vietnam (7%, 34 Votes)

    Total Voters: 467

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