The Holiday Season…

It’s been a busy past few weeks. Although I traveled to Macau in early December after the recent Hong Kong trip, sad to say I have no time to write due to the holiday season. In our country, Christmas is a big thing. When the “ber” months kicked in, it’s already Christmas time!๐Ÿ˜„ I’ve been busy preparing for the parties, last minute shopping for godchildren and packing for our next trip in two days time. 

Anyway, I want to greet my dear readers/visitors a very Merry Christmas! ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿผ๐Ÿพ I hope you enjoy the festivities and the food!

I will definitely post something about the Macau trip soon. For now, let me get some sleep first. ๐Ÿ˜‚ We just finished our Noche Buena meal and my tummy is so full. My waistline is getting bigger & bigger everyday. ๐Ÿ˜ฐ

2016 Travel Photos


Lastly, I hope this season will bring us peace, love and harmony. I also want to thank my readers for dropping by. I hope I was able to help you. 

xoxo,

the traveling KANGaroo

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Hello Hong Kong…

It’s been five long years since I’ve been to Hong Kong. It was one of my favorite destination for food and shopping in the past. When shopping there is still cheap. When the exchange rate is still 1 HKD = Php 3. ๐Ÿ˜„ Although it still has it’s charm, I think the decision to skip a visit to the city / country for a long time was a good decision. Mind you, I love the weather. I love how cosmopolitan it is. I love the city view and the neon lights at night (what’s left of it in Nathan Road). 

View of Hong Kong Island


But, what I don’t particularly appreciate or love which I “purposely” tried to forget when we booked our tickets for this quick weekend get away is the rudeness of some of the residents to tourists! ๐Ÿ˜ฐ They totally should learn politeness from the Japanese, welcoming and friendly smiles from the Philippines and probably they should practice patience for it is a virtue after all. ๐Ÿ˜… The snotty attitude should definitely go. I guess, going back to Hong Kong in the future will only be to transit from one destination to another via Cathay Pacific (www.cathaypacific.com)

Talking about Cathay Pacific, their service for short flights is a bit disappointing. You pay a bit more but the service is at par with budget airlines or low cost carrier. Not in league anymore with their contemporaries like Singapore Airlines (www.singaporeair.com) or even Philippine Airlines (www.philippineairlines.com) Is the airline deteriorating to that of a low cost carrier? Were they cost cutting so much that serving food is through a paper bag? ๐Ÿ˜ฑ Even the way they treated the passengers like ensuring immigration cards or health forms are given were not done. And I just booked a flight to Europe next year prior to this one without thinking or checking if the service is still at par with other airlines like Qatar and Etihad which offered great savings too. Let’s just hope that for long haul flights even if in economy class their service will improve. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

Anyway, let’s set aside my angst about the rudeness, the airline and just focus with my quick trip. We arrived late at night and we were supposed to take the taxi for HKD 250 to our AirBnB accommodations in Tsim Sha Tsui but we found out that going by bus was cheaper at HKD 33 per person. We still had our Octopus cards from our previous visit so we just loaded funds at a counter after we exited the arrival area. Kids fare for the bus ride to the city is 50% or HKD 16.50 which made our total bus fare go down further. Airport Express is expensive and we decided to use it on the way back to the airport for the flight home. It’s convenient especially if the airline have an in town check in at either the Kowloon or Hong Kong Station. We availed of the group of 4 train tickets at HKD 250 and added a child’s ticket at HKD 45. Our flight was at 10 pm but we checked in early around 12 noon so that we can still have time to explore the city for the rest of the day.

Airport Express Station in town check in



Airport Express train tickets


We were already familiar with Hong Kong as we’ve visited before but it’s still better to have google maps or waze to help us with our journey. So upon arrival at the airport we bought a SIM card with data good for 3 days at HKD 48. Good thing they have alternatives depending on how long you will stay in the city. Of course, the longer days you choose, the higher the cost!๐Ÿ˜„

Our weekend was whirlwind. It was raining on our first day and didn’t get to visit Mongkok for some cheap shopping. I don’t know if it’s still cheap though because I think everything in Hong Kong is expensive!๐Ÿ˜‚ We opted to eat and just did our cardio exercise through walking. ๐Ÿ˜„

We heard about Delicious Kitchen from a friend and decided to try it out. The pork rib was delicious! And surprisingly the restaurant’s attendants were kind and polite. I highly recommend trying this restaurant when in the city.

Delicious Kitchen


Delicious Kitchen menu


Pork Rib rice topping


Walking is good for the heart and so this trip was all about walking around the city with some MRT rides in between and eating. The weather was nice except when it rained. One food stop was Pizza Express which is not yet franchised in our country as of this writing. And because we were so hungry, I only had one photo of the pasta and no photos of the pizza! ๐Ÿ˜… But, the food was really good. There’s one in the airport so if you missed it in the city, try it there! 

Pizza Express


Pizza Express’ Carbonara


Although the trip was very short, we were still able to bond together as a family. Discovered some places we’ve never been to before and took pictures like the usual tourists. ๐Ÿ˜„ Eventhough our feet were tired after all the walking, we still managed to smile for the camera!๐Ÿ˜œ

Til next my post…

xoxo,

the traveling KANGaroo

A Short Trip to Vietnam…

I got lucky and was sent for a very quick business trip to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam a few weeks ago. I was excited because I’ve never been there before. A new place to visit will get anyone excited or afraid. ๐Ÿ˜„ Good thing, I was born with an itchy feet and so I cannot wait to explore the place.. after work, of course! ๐Ÿ˜… Forgive me but the photos were mostly taken at night. 

Vietnam is a developing country and I know I shouldn’t expect too much. But, Ho Chi Minh City has it’s own charm. I was lucky to stay in Caravelle Hotel located in District 1. It’s just a few steps from their Opera House and walking distance to places I wanted to see. 

The Opera House


The Opera House with a Lamborghini Huracรกn parked in the side street


I was a bit afraid though because my Vietnamese colleagues warned me to be extra careful as there are petty criminals on the street. I was advised to take off my necklace and not to use my phone outside. Just to be safe I guess since I saw policemen around the area. Seeing them around calmed my nerves. And besides, there were a lot of tourists walking around too!๐Ÿ˜Š 

A short walk from the hotel brought me to one of their famous landmark which is the Notre Dame Cathedral. Too bad I wasn’t able to go inside the cathedral to light a candle or say a little prayer. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ It would have been nice to see the inside of the church but was there on a weekday and it was closed.

Notre Dame Cathedral at night

Notre Dame Cathedral with the Statue of the Virgin Mary

Beside the church is the Saigon Post Office. FYI, I also collect stamps among the other things I collect (ha!ha!) so a post office definitely interested me. But it was already closed when I got there so the quest to buy a souvenir mint stamp did not materialize. ๐Ÿ˜„

Saigon Post Office


The busiest area at night was probably the Ho Chi Minh City Hall square where the statue of Uncle Ho stand tall. A lot of people were at the square. Tourists mingling with the locals. The city hall building as with most of the buildings around was French Colonial architecture and beautiful.

Ho Chi Minh Statue with the City Hall at the background


What scared me most while walking around though were the motorbikes! I haven’t seen so many on the streets before. Bangkok, Thailand have their share but I think nothing beats Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam in my opinion. Crossing the street was a big challenge for me. And I thought we had a lot of motorcycles / motorbikes in the Philippines. The Vietnamese were simply natural in that transportation. ๐Ÿ˜ฐ I pity those driving a car. The taxi drivers were honking like crazy but the motorbikes just went cruising without a care in the world. Criss crossing streets, turning without an ounce of fear for incoming traffic! I’ll probably die of a heart attack or stress related disease if I have to drive a car in the streets of Vietnam. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Ho Chi Minh City Hall Square at night

I wasn’t able to go to their famous Ben Thanh Market although it’s only about 10 minutes walk from the hotel. I got lazy already and a little bit afraid to venture out there on my own. Maybe, next time. โ˜บ๏ธ

What made me happy on the way to the office and back to the hotel was to see in different locations our good ol’ Jollibee! ๐Ÿ˜‹ We exported the “jolly bee”. ๐Ÿ

Jollibee in Ho Chi Minh City

I liked Vietnam. Reminds me of some of my country’s cities before modernization came in. They still have a long way to go but the trains and highways are in the works already. I just hope they will preserve their buildings to mingle the old with the new. 

I have more stories to tell and some tips but it will have to be for next time… ๐Ÿ˜‰

xoxo,

the traveling KANGaroo


A Taste of Singapore…

Even before my recent trip to Singapore, I already heard of a new craze. Oh well, of the potato chips kind of craze. With limited time I wasn’t sure I’ll be able to buy a pack since the store is located in Vivo City. But, I didn’t realize I have a great colleague and friend who went all the way downtown to buy me some and it was waiting for me when I arrived. ๐Ÿ˜„ And so, the famous Irvins Salted Egg Potato Chips and Salted Egg Fish Skin were successfully imported back to the Philippines. 

Irvins Salted Egg Potato Chips & Fish Skin


Irvins Salted Egg Potato Chips & Fish Skin in Vivo City


They don’t come cheap though at S$16 or approximately PHP 550. Their website www.irvinsaltedegg.com said that it is “Dangerously Addictive”. Yes, they can rightfully say so. It is good but frankly speaking I only appreciated it when it’s almost gone. The family didn’t like the taste so we didn’t immediately finish the pack. Unlike when eating Lays or Doritos which is literally gone in 15 minutes. Maybe the salted egg didn’t sit well on their tongue. Ha!ha!ha! Anyway, I finished it all by myself. And with no rivals or no one to share it with,  I did it in 3 days. Yes, days and not 15 minutes. ๐Ÿ˜„ The taste kind of grow on you. I guess you can say it’s an acquired taste to the product. Some people were really raving about the goodness and so if you would like to try it, go ahead! I liked the potato chips better than the fish skin though. 

I also liked the Pineapple Tart from Mirana Cake House that I received from a colleague. I did not pay attention to it upon arriving home but once I tasted it I couldn’t stop munching. This one I literally got addicted to. ๐Ÿ˜… It was so good that I am craving for it until now. After finishing this one, I had to research for their website www.mirana.com.sg and location so I can ask a cousin to buy me a tub or a couple of tubs to bring back to the Philippines. This is a bit pricey at around S$ 15 but I can say it’s okay to spend some money for such yummy goodness. ๐Ÿ˜‹

Mirana Pineapple Tart



I can’t wait to go back to Singapore and taste all the other Pineapple Tarts sold there. My colleague said that the one from Bengawan Solo is to die for. Oh well, probably okay to die with a happy tummy than a sad one. ๐Ÿ˜„

I should plan a “gastronomic” vacation in Singapore with the family soon. Just eat and relax. Let the kids try the food from the Hawkers market unlike in the previous trip where fastfood and pizza places were selected. The chicken rice, char kway teow, black pepper crab, fried oyster cake, katong laksa are waiting. ๐Ÿ˜„

Til then…

xoxo, 

the traveling KANGaroo

Hello Singapore…

It’s been a long time and I didn’t realize until now how much I’ve missed Singapore! My last visit was 5 years ago for a vacation. This time it’s for a very short business trip. There are changes near the work place. More places to eat and even a little mall beside the hotel.

Sad to say, I was so tired to venture into the city. Thinking about the train ride back & forth made me decide to just explore the outlet shops in Changi City Point which is just beside the Capri by Fraser hotel that I stayed in. 

Changi City Point

Changi City Point


Although the mall is not big, there are shops worth looking at and dropping by. Many outlet shops are located here. But because of limited time, I actually wasn’t able to go in as much stores as I would have liked. A sad event for a bargain hunter like me!๐Ÿ˜„ Maybe it’s something to look forward to next time. Besides, the luggage I brought was small for the sole purpose of discouraging shopping. ๐Ÿ˜œ 

However, I did go for a little while with a colleague to Tampines mall to shop in Smiggle. 

Smiggle


Smiggle (www.smiggle.com) is a store that is not yet franchised or opened in my home country and the kids love their products. Specifically requested me to go and buy them cute little things. A bit expensive but so cute and I can say worth the money. The pencil cases are proven sturdy. My son still uses a gift he received 3 yrs ago!๐Ÿ˜Š 

Commuting in Singapore is really very easy. Their means of transportation is I think one of the best too. 

MRT


Expo Train Station

Singapore is also a very safe place. Even if it’s late at night, I don’t feel afraid to venture out. I wish I could have stayed longer. I have friends living here that I didn’t bother to contact because I have no time to meet up with them. Maybe, next time…

xoxo, 

the traveling KANGaroo

Food Trips in Bangkok…

There’s probably no better way to experience a place than being with a local. Aside from the places to see, it’s always the food trips that will probably leave a lasting image in your mind. ๐Ÿ˜„

Most tourists eat in food places that they know of or if popular in the city. There are people who are adventurous and will try anything. But, there are more people who are cautious when it comes to food. 

I was with a colleague and was introduced to some local food places in Bangkok. Most if not all of them I really liked.

Thai Crispy Omelette


It was my first time to try Crispy Omelette and it cost THB 140 total with Thai Iced Tea. So delightfully cheap and a must try. ๐Ÿ˜‹

Thai Iced Tea

Thai Iced Tea


Crispy Omelette

Midway to finishing the Crispy Omelette


Just like any other country, Thailand have local dishes from the North & South. Some have the influence from their neighbors like Laos or Cambodia. There are popular local restaurants that visitors will not be able to go unless you have a Thai friend. ๐Ÿ˜„ Getting there itself is probably mind boggling since the name of the restaurant is in Thai and I’m sorry to say but I didn’t get the address!๐Ÿ˜ If you can decipher the Thai script then you can probably go and visit. The places are usually in a neighborhood. Some are old houses converted to restaurants or cafes. Some have authentic taste than others but all are definitely good!

Thai Restaurant

Thai Restaurant serving Northern food

Thai Salad

Delicious Thai Salad

Som Tam

Som Tam

Fried Chicken Wings & Soup

Fried Chicken Wings & Soup


Spicy from the soup to the salad but very good. Southeast Asia does have some of the best food on earth. Cheap, healthy and delicious! ๐Ÿ˜„

Butterfly Pea Drink

Butterfly Pea Drink

Butterfly Pea Drink

A must try.. Butterfly Pea Drink


I’m not an adventurous human being when it comes to food. Most of the time I am hesitant to try something new for my taste buds. I’m afraid it won’t sit still in my tummy. Afraid if I ate something out of the ordinary, I will get a stomach ache and get sick. But sometimes I also think YOLO (you only live once) and will try something new. 

I’ve never eaten goose in my whole life until a Bangkok trip came. We went to a restaurant near the office that my colleague said existed for 40 years or more. The stewed goose is a must try according to them. ๐Ÿ˜…

Chua Kim Heng Goose Stewed

Chua Kim Heng Goose Stewed


Cold Tea

Unlimited Cold Tea for free


Stewed Goose & Hainanese Chicken

Stewed Goose (brown one to the left) & Hainanese Chicken


The goose was surprisingly good. Although I’d rather have the Hainanese chicken anytime of the day. Ha!ha!ha! The food is cheap at THB 325 for the goose & chicken with rice. There was free soup and unlimited cold tea. 

Thai Snacks

Thai Snacks Food Stall


If you see this food stall selling Thai snacks, don’t hesitate to get some yummy goodness for only THB 10. 

Thai people love their desserts. After You Cafe is popular as well as Coffee Bean by Dao. But I like Bangwan Sweet Station too. 

Bangwan Sweet Station

Bangwan Sweet Station


Pandan Kaya Toast

Pandan Kaya Toast is a must have!

Iced Tea

Just an Iced Tea

I loved the Pandan Kaya Toast so much that I brought a couple of bottles of Pandan Kaya home. One for me and one to give away. They sell it for THB 40 but have to be consumed within 5 days. 

Most food courts have delicious offerings at an affordable price. Don’t hesitate to try. From Phad Thai to Tom Yum to Som Tam, they have it there. 

Food Stall

Stall in a Food Court


Thai Food

Eat your veggies in Thailand!



They have some good noodles in Bangkok too. I had flat noodles and it was very good and so cheap at around THB 50. They have a name for it but I forgot. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Thai Noodles

Thai Noodles with Beef


Thai Menu Board

Thai Menu Board

Delicious Pandan Coconut Sweets

Delicious Pandan Coconut Sweets


What I learned with my food trips in Bangkok was to just go with the flow, trust my colleague and enjoy the food.๐Ÿ˜„ There are definitely more dishes to taste and places to discover. Those will be for another time. 

xoxo,

the traveling KANGaroo

Back in Bangkok…

I’m back in Bangkok! ๐Ÿ˜„

And as usual it’s not for pleasure but for work. I’m back to my daily train rides that surprisingly I really liked.ย 

Train Station

I noticed this time that Bangkok probably have the most brilliant way of moving people around. We all know they have their water taxi or canal taxi boats. They have the car taxi, uber, trains, buses and tuktuk. I never noticed in my previous trips but they also have a Motorcycle Taxi! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

The motorcycle drivers have helmets but the passengers don’t have any. I was told there’s an available helmet but the commuters refused to use one because of sanitation issues. Oh well, imagine using one with other people’s sweat on it. The smell alone will probably scare you and you’ll opt to just pray to God that you will not meet an accident to/fro your destination. ๐Ÿ˜œ

I finally had a Thai Foot Massage just beside the hotel on this trip. The name of the massage parlor is Lek and the staff are good. You’ll know from the number of customers inside having a foot massage.ย 

Lek Foot Massage


ย The price is not that bad at THB 300 for an hour of foot massage. A little pampering after walking will be appreciated by your feet!ย 

Although there are signs that it’s the Great Bangkok Sale, I couldn’t find anything worth splurging. Although I did spend money on my Neobun and Salonpas analgesic plasters. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Went around the Siam area and visited the posh and newly renovated Siam Discovery mall. I am however disappointed why there wasn’t a Philippines from their lobby display when I saw most of the ASEAN countries plus Japan & Korea!ย 

Siam Discovery

And for food, my tummy was happy with MK Restaurant. A shabu-shabu style restaurant that is probably best with a large group of people. ๐Ÿ˜Šย 

MK’s Ordering Machine

Overflowing Cold Tea


Shabu Shabu

Yum!


My tummy probably enjoyed this trip more than any part of my body. After You Cafe had this new product Mango Sticky Rice and it was soooo good! I’m not easily impressed with desserts but this one is really good!ย 


Mango Sticky Rice

Mango Sticky Rice


I had more food trips in the non-touristy area of Bangkok but it’s for another post. This will do for now! ๐Ÿ˜„

Apologies if my photos aren’t that great. It’s taken only from my iPhone 6 ย with a camera that isn’t good anymore since the phone gets dropped sometimes. ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜…ย 
Til next time…ย 

xoxo,ย 

the traveling KANGaroo