Sunday, September 22, 2013

Arrival, Hanoi 2013

Vietnam is a country that I have been wanting to visit for awhile but I could never find a travel partner for it. I finally found one in YQ, an old friend of mine, who happened to be free at the same time as me. So off we headed off to Hanoi for 5 days, 4 night. It was a really packed itinerary because we really wanted to go for a Halong Bay overnight cruise and a day trip to the Perfume Pagoda (more on that later).

We stayed at the Art Trendy Hotel for all the days that we were in Hanoi. They provided excellent service even before we checked-in, patiently answering all our questions especially when we asked them for cruise operator recommendations. (Tip: Sometimes hotel recommendations come with a discount so be sure to ask!) Immediately after checking in to our room (code for exclaiming over the huge bathroom, an in-room laptop, and flower petals on our bed), we hot-footed it out into the streets of Hanoi, ready to explore the Old Quarter.

Our first target on the "Vietnamese-Food-We-Must-Eat" list was Cha Ca La Vong (grilled fish). We headed to the original 100-year old restaurant at 14 Cha Ca Street (yes, there is an entire street named after the dish!) Because we were there at the odd hour of after lunch and before dinner, we had the place to ourselves. The fish is cooked at the table in a pool of fragrant oil, with vegetables mixed in for a bit of a crunch. You then eat it with the rice noodles, nuts and some fish sauce. Absolutely delicious! (Tip: Each portion is priced at 170,000VND (10SGD) which is pretty pricey for budget-friendly Vietnam.)

With one food item scratched off the list, we headed outwards of the Qld Quarter.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Afternoon Sun(ray)

Blue skies, sunny (and humid) days are here again. Which means I feel that it is now appropriate to post these photos up unlike the timing for the previous post. These photos came from an afternoon spent at Sunray Cafe, a cozy, neighbourhood cafe with exceptional coffee (yes, such a phenomenon exists). The cafe is located just behind my grandparents' house, which our family has since sold after their deaths, which makes the trip there familiar and nostalgic.

Film Notes
It occurs to me as I post these photographs up, I used the Lomography Sunset Strip film at a cafe called Sunray. How much of a coincidence is that? (laughs). About the film itself, I am not entirely convinced about the Sunset Strip film, so far it has not performed up to expectation. I also hate the grain that comes with it, much like the Lomography XPro 200 film.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Rainy Day

The past week has been cold and rainy, all I wanted to do was snuggle up in bed with copious bowls of soup (mushroom, corn, tomato!) and magazines that I really need to read. Luckily I managed not to get caught in any rains, and always arrived home dry as a bone. I guess there is something to be said for working late.

So, rather than posting about a sunny cafe visit as planned, here are some pictures from another rainy day a few months ago. I have been wanting to capture this spot for as long as I have been taking the bus that drives past it. When it started to rain on my way there, I was really disappointed. No one likes dragging their camera to a place they want very much to photograph only to have it rain on them. The first (or last) two shots with the roll of film in my camera came out terrible. After finishing that, I popped in my favourite Kodak Elitechrome 100 (also packaged as Lomography Chrome 100), and then magic happened. Needless to say, I love them.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Small & Able

One of the regular reads on my long list of blogs is HEY KUMO. A blog run by a duo of young Singaporeans, who in their own words 'write, eat good food, make things, sell things, daydream, come up with horribly long travel guides, take many photos'. A pretty good life motto, don't you think?

When they began popping up at the local markets, I made it a point to visit their store every few months to buy their goods. And when I heard they were taking the plunge and following their dreams to set up a physical shop, I eagerly followed their instagram feeds for news. (Is it just me who loves behind-the-scenes stuff?)

When they finally opened the space. I was immediately there on their opening weekend with my camera! I know, how much more of a stalker can you get, right? But hey, you could just turn the coin and call me an ardent supporter. While the space was still a little bare, as most shops are at the beginning, I managed to bag a few little things for myself. Is that even surprising? :)

All the best to you, Siew and Sarah, may Small & Able prosper for a long, long time!

Small & Able is located at 3 Coleman Street, Peninsular Shopping Centnre, #03-22.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Just A Minute, August 2013

August went by in a flash of late nights at work and exhaustion. I had originally meant to sneak in a few minutes here and there to begin posting about my Hanoi adventures but time has been hard to come by! I am taking heart that by the end of this week, work should be slowing down from the crazed frenzy of the last three weeks to its usual state of simply being busy.

Watching | Top Chef 10. I caught up on the rest of the episodes last weekend, in between naps to recover my sleep dept.

Reading | Nothing really. See above.

Enjoying | An afternoon nap, and grocery shopping with my Mum.

Craving | Soups, salads, sushi, ramen.
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