The Best Pho in Hanoi, Vietnam

Everyday we eat food to satisfy our hunger and maintain our energy levels. Taste is one of the 5 senses that I treasure and am grateful for each and every day.

Today I felt like eating Vietnamese pho and fortunately, I have a Vietnamese restaurant that is only a 5 minutes walk from my Toronto home. Coincidentally, world renown chefs are known to frequent this little family-run restaurant. So they concur that this little gem in my neighborhood does bring back sweet memories to all who have visited or once lived in Vietnam.

For $10 CAD (plus tip), I can enjoy this delicious pho with duck, bamboo shoot and congealed pig’s blood.

Pho with Duck and bamboo shoots in Toronto at Pho Tien Thanh

Pho with Duck and bamboo shoots in Toronto at Pho Tien Thanh

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Celebrate May 1, Labour Day

Celebrate May 1 - Take the day off - cycling through Vietnam

Take the day off – cycling through Vietnam

While traveling between Ho Chi Minh City and Da Lat, I spotted this person riding his/her bicycle with a load on their back. Vietnam has come a long way since the 60’s. Communist or not – Enjoy the holiday that recognize your hard work.

Market life in Ubud, Bali

If the kitchen is the heart of the house, then perhaps the market is the heart of the town or community.

I love walking through fresh markets and supermarkets – looking at local ingredients and supplies. Find out what gets shipped across continents and become a necessity in a foreign land. Mostly finding out what is locally available and locally made.

When in Ubud, make sure to visit the main market. It is at the South-East corner of Jalan Raya Ubud and Jalan Wenara Wana, with the Ubud Palace across the street. It is very busy in the morning with a mixture of regular store owners and mobile hawkers. All happy to help with a smile.

Aerial view of outdoor Ubud market, Bali, Indonesia

Aerial view of outdoor Ubud market, Bali, Indonesia

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Daily Life in Ubud, Bali

Sometimes when I’m busy as a tourist in a different country, different city, different area – I forget that all the locals are carrying on with their daily life, as with my friends and family. If I temporarily forget my bucket list and try to connect and observe the normalcy that is occurring in front of my eyes, perhaps I can be a part of it too.

While visiting in Ubud, Bali – I wandered and doddled without a plan and just observed…

One of many rice paddy in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

One of many rice paddy

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My first time… Contracting Dengue Fever!

Casa Dom Inacio - Home of John of God

Casa Dom Inacio – Home of John of God

During the spiritual portion of my 2013 Epic Journey, I traveled to the small town of Abadiânia, in the province of Goiás, Brazil. It is there where one can be in the presence of João Teixeira de Faria – John of God (João de Deus). He is known to be a medium and a psychic surgeon by channeling Entities.

I had no idea who he was 6 months prior, however when I mentioned to my Usui Reiki instructor of my intent to visit Brazil in 2013 – she insisted that I must pay him a visit. Of course I googled him and found out Oprah had interviewed him. So I decided to include it as part of my journey if time allowed. Continue reading

HAPPY Songkran Day!!

สุขสันต์วันสงกรานต์ (pronounced: suk san wan songkran) means “Happy Songkran Day”

A year ago, I arrived in Bangkok, Thailand on the last night of Songkran. When my taxi driver dropped me off at the round about in front of Swenson’s ice cream shop (steps from the famous Khao San Road), almost every person had a water gun, bucket or Super Soaker in hand. The streets resembled the aftermath of a big rainstorm. Puddles everywhere. People walked up and down the streets, soaked from head-to-toe. Everyone was happy, big smiles on their faces. Luggage in hand, I could not retaliate until I dropped off my luggage. Continue reading

Fashion and Beauties of Vietnam

Long sleeved camera assistant in HCMC, Vietnam

Long sleeved camera assistant in HCMC, Vietnam

On the first full day of my 20-day visit in Vietnam, I noticed something very obvious and conflicting, with my eyes while in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC).

Everywhere I go. Everywhere I look. The thermometer read +35C (95F). The heat. The humidity – oh the humidity – it was about 95%. Luckily by this time, I had started to acclimatize to the crazy hot heat of Asia – this took 1.5 months. However, it still felt like a ginormous sauna / steam room to me, every time I leave the comfort of air conditioning. Continue reading

Money, Money, Money… Travel warnings!

Picture of foreign currency

Foreign currencies

Over years of travel, I have noticed one thing, regardless of the rising popularity with credit cards and debit cards – Cash is KING.

Majority of small businesses around the world will only accept cash in exchange for services or goods. If credit cards are accepted, sometimes a 3% transaction fee would be added to cost of the item to help pay for the fees charged by banking institutions. Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life (San Telmo)

Spending a sun shining Sunday at the Feria de San Pedro Telmo is a must when visiting Buenos Aires, Argentina.

San Telmo Sunday Market Banner

San Telmo Sunday Market Banner

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How to find Normalcy while Traveling!

Sifting through my receipts and ticket stubs from my 2013 Epic Journey, I came across my movie ticket for “Life of Pi”. This little piece of paper triggered a landslide of memories and emotions…

It was February 5, 2013 – I had just arrived in the city of Valdivia from Puerto Varas in Chile. The last time I was in a town or city with a McDonald’s restaurant was Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 25, 2012. Within that time I had been to Ushuaia, Falklands, South Georgia Islands, Antarctic Peninsula, Ushuaia, El Calafate, El Chalten, Puerto Natales, Navimag, Puerto Montt, Chiloe islands, Puertos Varas, Frutillar and Ralun – they are all local and authentic to their location. However, that is at least 43 days without “city life” experiences, exposure to traditional North American style fast food, shopping malls or a movie on a big screen inside a movie theatre.

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