One Fine Day in Ho Chi Minh City

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Ho Chi Minh, where you can see a coffee shop in almost every corner. Ho Chi Minh, where there are more motorcycles and bicycles than cars. Ho Chi Minh, the city where half of the people you meet are foreigners. Then again, that’s probably because we stayed in the backpacker’s district.

For our first day in the city, we decided to roam the city by ourselves. We wanted to book a tour with Saigon Hotpot, a student organization who offers city tours for free, but they didn’t have a free time for the dates we booked. It’s really too bad since my friends who’ve tried touring with them recommend it a lot!

Good thing our hostel host gave us a map of the city with all the routes to the landmarks marked. We weren’t sure if they’re all within walking distance, but we decided to try anyway. Continue reading

Korean BBQ at Go! Kizip in Malate

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Instead of going to our usual choice of Korean restaurant, we tried Go! Kizip in Malate for our impromptu family dinner last week.

There seems to be a new Korean restaurant in Malate every month, and Go! Kizip is relatively new. My sister tried it before and highly recommended so we tried it last week. And I love it!

I don’t think I’m a reliable food critic because just give me grilled pork or beef and I’ll instantly love it. It’s either really good, good, or meh for me. Never bad because I’m a big fan of meat. This is also the main reason why I gained a lot of weight after college. Hehe. Anyway.

In my book, Go! Kizip excels in service. Seriously. I’ll give them 20 out of 10 starts for such an amazing service and generosity in banchan (side dishes!). As for the bulgogi and samgyupsal, I really loved those as well!

It’s cute how it’s written in Korean as 고기집, which directly translates to “Meat House” but can also mean a restaurant that specializes in meat. Then they named it Go! Kizip which sounds a bit like 고기집. I don’t think I’m making sense, lol. Continue reading

September Book Haul

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September is the happiest month for bookworms.

First, the Manila International Book Fair is held annually in the first Ber month. And second, bookstores tend to have sales during this period as well. For example, Powerbooks had a sale a week before the MIBF, and National Bookstore offered discounts on the same week of MIBF.

You guess it right, I went on a book shopping spree last month. Heh heh. This is the second time this year that I splurged on books! I try to only hoard books once a year and saved all the splurging on September for the book fair period. But the unprecedented National Bookstore Warehouse Sale caught me off guard and there I was hoarding more books than I could read in a lifetime.

Anyhoo, I went to a lot of book sales last month. I am a happy banana. Continue reading

Ho Chi Minh Accomodation: Luan Vu Hotel

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As much as I want to jump straight into blogging about our days in Vietnam, this post is long overdue.

Hostels in Vietnam are amazing, because of the two I’ve tried, both delivered top-notch service. I think you won’t go wrong with the hostels in Vietnam, because no matter how cheap it gets you can be assured of amazing service. And pretty rooms!

Luan Vu Hotel is located at the backpacker district Pham Ngu Lao in Ho Chi Minh City. So yes, it’s the perfect location for travelers because it’s in the middle of cheap restaurants and within walking distance of pretty much everything you need to see in Saigon.

We arrived in our hostel quite late, at around 2AM, I think? We coordinated through email before coming, so they knew we’d arrive late. We got a room in the second floor, and there’s no elevator! But I think it’s common for hostels to not have elevators so it’s not something to complain about.

I really can’t think of anything to hate about our hostel, because it’s always a welcoming sight whenever we went back after a long, tiring day touring around the city. We only spent three nights in Luan Vu but we already experienced their best service. Continue reading

Saigon Loves Me Not

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My love for Vietnam is no secret.

When I first visited Hanoi in 2013, I instantly fell in love with the chaotic streets filled with hundreds of motorcycles and the cheap Vietnamese coffee you can buy anywhere. Aside from the fact that I obsessed over the food, I met quite a lot of nice people in Hanoi.

I recently went back to Vietnam, but this time I visited Ho Chi Minh City. I had a great time roaming the city and nearby provinces with Aika and Mariel. But we can’t possibly expect everything to always turn in our favor, right?

Luckily, I don’t encounter much misfortune when going on trips. Well, there’s that one time I had to climb Pico De Loro with broken shoes. Then another time I got sick while camping in the beach. Then there’s my recent Vietnam trip. Continue reading