Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sunday Afternoon in HCMC

We went for lunch at apparently, the best local restaurant in HCMC. It is really a nice restaurant with good and very reasonably priced food. We had a very enjoyable spread with spring rolls, minced pork meatballs with fresh herbs and salad wrapped in rice paper, beef cubes with chips and a salad for under R100.

Food is prepared at work stations all around the restaurant

The restaurant is opposite the re-unification building in the center of HCMC

These parks are always filled with people. In the morning there are big groups of ladies doing some form of dance/aerobics, other people doing exercises on their own, wedding couples being photographed. And at night it is very cute how lovers sit and cuddle on their motorbikes "one next to the other".

Another trip to Vung Tao

Some more photo's of Vung Tao...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Mekong Delta Trip

We did a One-Day Mekong Delta Trip on Sunday. It was a 3 hour bus trip to Cai be where we started our motorised boat ride on the Mekong.

This is a floating market where they sell, buy, exchange goods from their boats. The hang what ever they are selling from the bamboo sticks, which is how they "advertise" what they sell e.g. watermelons, pumpkins etc. etc.

We stopped to see how they make rice crispies and other sweet products. The rice is basically "popped" like popcorn in this big bowl full of HOT sand. The sand then gets sieved back into the bowl.

The rice crispies then gets sieved and separated from the raw rice

The rice crispies then gets mixed into this bowl full of butter, sugar and flavoring e.g. banana, caramel etc. After that it gets flattened into a huge tray, cut up into cubes and put into plastic packets. The outcome...a delicious rice crispie treat!

This is how the dry rice paper

There are some really funny sights and scenes on the Mekong. To mention one (didn't manage to photograph :-( We saw a guy standing, steering his small boat with his legs while eating his lunch out of a bowl using chop sticks.

Passing this boat, all we saw were their hats sticking out.

All the boats have eyes painted on the bows.

We stopped for a Vietnamese lunch.

Well, the dog enjoyed our vietnamese lunch! Marc ate some of it but I decided to fill up on the fruit rather.

After lunch they entertained us with their "Now that's what I call music "Mekong Hits"...

Boat trip to Vinh Long

The Vinh Long Market. I don't think I'll be doing my grocery shopping there but interesting to see never the less...

Just some of the tropical fruit that they sell such as Dragon fruit, Rambutan, Longan, Duriun, Jackfruit etc.

Something else that we didn't photograph because we didn't want to incourage it was a half starved, crazed big brown bear in a cage. Not a nice thing to see and the smell was terrible. One has to almost "look the other way" when it comes to animals in most of Asia I suppose. Especially seeing that the humans don't live in much better conditions.

While waiting on the side of the pier we also watched a fishing boat catch fish by electicuting them. They used a car batery with some sort of steel net attached to a marks for ingenuity.

Dinner at The Sushi Bar

Marc found out that an old school friend of his Andrew (that he hasn't seen in 13 years) worked for PWC in HCMC and got in touch with him. Andrew and Ericka has an interesting story about how they decided to stay in Vietnam while backpacking through Asia, stayed for almost 5 years... Got married, had a baby and now moving on to their next expat assignment in Jakarta.

We had dinner at a great Sushi Bar before they left Vietnam on Saturday. Good Luck, guys!

Lorato, Ericka and Ronnie

Ronnie (UK), Ryan (SA), Marc, Adele(SA), Ericka, Andrew (SA), Clark (USA), Lorato (SA)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Dinner at a Local Restaurant

There are so many local restaurants like this in Ho Chi Minh City. Marc and I were very happy when Leah invited us with for dinner last week Saturday as I don't think we would have tried it on our own. What a great evening...Good food and just such a lovely vibe...we will definitely go back there!!

Curried Goat, anyone? Thes are just two of the menus on the wall...they also serve eel, scorpion and a lot of other dishes that I'll pass on, thank you.

We had a mini braai at our table. It's a bit like having a fondue but on hot coals, what a great idea!!

We had beef with garlic rice, curried fish with dill and rice noodles and salad...Yummy, It was delicious!!

Jenny, Leah and David inside a lovely little pub where a local band performed a variety of music from Louis Armstrong to Enrique Iglesias and even a couple of French songs.

Its nights like these when we really wish our friend and family were here to experience it with us.