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Follow her as she prepares and partakes the "bread for the stomach" in http://beforesixdiet.blogspot.com/ . And while you are full at it, she offers you the "bread for the soul" in her travels by foot and by thoughts in http://footandfire.blogspot.com/ Happy Reading!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Playtime at the Fairy Stream, Mui Ne, Vietnam

We were enchanted by the aptly named stream, The Fairy Stream.

Mui Ne, Pan Thiet is a worth visit from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). As one website describes it,Phan Thiet is the largest town in Binh Thuan province, 200 km east of Saigon. With the clear sky, the blue sea and abundant sand, Phan Thiet is a beautiful landscape. Though today tourism plays a very important role in the local economy, Phan Thiet is traditionally known for its fish sauce. As a fact, most travelers come to Phan Thiet for heading to Mui Ne Beach, 11km away. Mui Ne is along a 22 km stretch of white sands from Phan Thiet to a fishing village at the tip of the Mui Ne peninsula and 220km away from Ho Chi Minh City. It is a popular destination worldwide thanks to lovely scenery of swaying palm trees, clean and blue sea as well as the amazing enormous Sand Hill.. More Here

We headed to a magical place of red and white sand dunes which colors the stream beside it and flanked on the other side by the lush green color of the coconut trees.

Fish sauce kept inside the earthen jar to ferment.

Various earthen jars carrying fermented fish...

One of these is my "retired" sandal...

The girls were having a lavish fun...

Photograph of two playful ladies...

She's the eager tiger model of the sand dunes...

And she is the excited one to go up but does not know how to go down...LOL

She's all smiles while going up...

And Scene 1

And Scene 2

And Scene 3

And scene 4

And Scene 5

And Scene 6, she's thinking how to dismount...

And Scene 7, she's giving a nervous look...
She does not know how to go down...

And Scene 8, a sigh of relief...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Carried a snake and drunk rice wine in Mekong Delta, Vietnam

This day tour is a refreshing one compared to the cu chi tunnel tour so we chose this one. In this tour, we navigated the Mekong river via a motorized boat and when we reached an island, we used the small boat with many village folks manning the boat.

We had lunch in a restaurant where we ordered fish (we splurged 350,000 dong as I can recall because it was our last day) and the lady made a spring roll in our midst using the fish and some greens. In this tour, I sampled the coconut candy and the vietnamese rice wine aside from the tropical fruits like pineapple, watermelon and longgan as well as dragonfruit.

We passed by a bridge consisting of coconut trunk and some bamboos tied with nylon strings which they call "monkey bridge" as one looks like a monkey while slowly traversing the bridge. Below the bridge is a pack of hungry crocodiles...

And lastly, while I don't like it... I carried a big snake on my shoulder...

I recall, it was for 10$ day tour and the village is groomed to cater the tourist. No wonder, a template of the tour can be found in the internet. Here's one of the tour offer that described it..

Day 6: Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta – My Tho – Ben Tre – Ho Chi Minh City (B/L/)
Our tour guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel at 08:00 in Ho Chi Minh City and depart for My Tho, enjoy the scenic journey along the National Highway bordered by green rice fields, stopping to see how the rice is cultivated an take pictures of the rice farms in the Mekong River Delta. On arrival at My Tho, take a leisurely boat trip to Tortoise Island. Then disembark and go for a gentle stroll through the picturesque orchards and fruit garden.
Enjoy lunch on the island, followed by a traditional cock fighting display. Enjoy a boat ride through Tan Thach natural canal in Ben Tre, Return to the water for a relaxing rowing boat ride along a small canal, cruising in the shade of the water coconut trees. Learn about bee-keeping in the delta and sip a refreshing cup of honey tea to the accompaniment of traditional Vietnamese folk music. Then travel the narrow rural road by horse and cart to visit the coconut candy mill to find out how this delicious confectionery is made and sample the finished product. Return by boat to My Tho and drive back to Saigon. Diner by your own and overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

The motorized boat that brought us to an island village...

The boats and the rowers...

She had her rice wine here...

Colorful door mats that can be used as wall decor...

He is the "Lito Lapid" or "Rey Malonzo"
of Vietnam;
 He sang some Vietnamese songs for us.

While listening to the singers, we had tea and these fruits...

This is the main village.. we had a horse cart ride...

The so-called monkey bridge...

The luxurious 350,000 dong fish...

We have the same vegetable produce...

We chanced upon the colorfully robed monks...

Monday, September 17, 2012

The beauty of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

Motorcycle-infested city is Ho Chi Minh
and the riders respect no footwalk...
 Saigon is the old name of Vietnam's capital city now called Ho Chi Minh, a name of the country's national hero who was instrumental to their independence from France. Thus, there is no wonder that most structures in HCMC is European-inspired just like their post office and the  cathedral. Their palace called The Reunification Hall where they once hold governmental functions is so modern that it will not surprise you. There are tourist police who can help one navigate the streets of HCMC which is motorcycle-infested and their parks as well as streets are clean. Here are my random photos of HCMC.

The Reunification Hall

The children following their teacher dressed
 in their national costume called ao dai.

Photo souvenir with the tank...

Resting in a clean park.

The Notre Dame Cathedral

"A French-built Catholic cathedral located in the city centre 
(Dong Khoi, District 1)
next to the Post Office. The cathedral is officially known
as the Basilica of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception.
It was constructed between 1863 and 1880,
with all original materials imported directly from France.
The structure features two bell towers,
 reaching a height of 190 feet," says Asia Tour Magazine

Plants I loved.

Maya abounds.

The Post Office.

Yummy bananas sold by a petite woman.

The city hall in the morning...
see The People's Committee hall at night below.

Yes, they have Sampaguita too.

Chancing the Miss Earth 2010 pictorial..

They say thank you. Merci. Muchas Gracias, Salamat
Some inscription inside the Cathedral thanking God for the blessings.

Cooking Class at Saigon Culinary Center

The  People’s Committee Hall at night.
Asia Tour Magazine described this as "
Originally called Hotel de Ville
and now formally re-branded as the People’s Committee Hall,
the structure is a striking cream and yellow French colonial building
that is magnificently floodlit at night.
The statue of Uncle Ho in front is a very popular spot for souvenir photos."

Tasted up to gusto the Dragonfruit...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I was in the Great Wall of China

Yes, I was able to climb that tower on top! The see the grandeur of the Great Wall of China up close has always been a dream. But it did not come true of course when I get to get closer to the famed wall. First, anyone cannot just be in all entries of the wall at a time and second, the climb was such a challenge for those who have fear of heights. And oh, the third thing is, it was near the end of winter. This point of entry to the Great Wall is Juyungguan, a less known entry than Badaling and Mutianyu. See other entries here. It was in February this year when we went there so the weather which approaches the end of winter limited our mobility bun not the fun and the opportunity to meditate as to the beauty of the historic landmark which can be seen from the moon.

They are going down already...

A portrait on top of The Wall.

The winter beauty of The Great Wall.

Just can't believe it that I was there!

The beauty and the grandeur.

Here I am!!!!

Locks of Love. There are lots of these in The Wall
and the keys to these padlocks were thrown away by the lovers in the belief
that their love will be locked forever. 

Some Locks up close and personal.

Behind me is the scenic beauty of another tower
and I was resting here on this wall before I climb any farther
and up to the tower like that one...

Im nearing the tower...
Look at the tower on the upper right side of this photo.

A photo taken while I was going down.
My companions are obviously gone.

A photo me... Look at the mountain ranges on my background. 

Our guide was talking to the guard.

My height-fearing companion...

Just happy to be here...

Conquered The Great Wall but can't break it.

The handsome guard of the Great wall.

Capturing one of the nooks found along the way up the tower.

Forever smiling me...

Photo me in China...