Bustling Hanoi

How would you like to take a photo of a local rock star having a meal on the streets of your city? Well, that was one of the things that Mel did when he was in Hanoi. You see, it was part of a business trip and when there was free time to roam the city, he took up the challenge. But then we also came by the city on the way to the countryside too in a separate journey.

So here’s the thing. Hanoi is a city that is transforming fast.

But it still have a lot of the old mixed in with the new. Which can sometimes make for a confusing melange. You know it is all amazing with the traffic in the sense it is both chaotic while yet flowing endlessly it seems. Which makes it a challenge to get around on your own, on foot that is when you have to cross roads…

Despite all of this, we are determined that we come back again. Because aside from having quite a few unchecked items on the list, we also found the food to be extremely attractive. For not only did we have Vietnamese, but we also had French – yes French! So much has been retained when it comes to culinary influence that you have to come to savor it for yourselves.

Find out what we did in Hanoi here and why we want to come back. What did you like about Hanoi?

I always feel like… somebody’s watching me…

Did you know that the title of this post is a song too? Heheh. Yeah, what a blast from the past. But today we are talking about Istanbul. Again? you ask. Well, yes. Because the last post referred you to our story of exploring the city for sights. This one’s about looking for something to shop – be it eating it or keeping it.

The one thing that fascinates us in the mideast and north Africa is its markets.

Grand Bazaar6
This’s a smooth operator

Now in Arab countries they are called “souks”. But in Turkish and Persian they are called Bazaar or Pazar. Even as far east here in the little red dot we call them “巴刹” (basha in Hanyu pinyin). Simply because the Malay word for market is pasar. Fascinating isn’t it how languages can be shaped by trade and linkages of people across the oceans? Btw this is legacy of the Persian traders who stopped by on their way to Canton for the China trade.

Word of warning

When you are in Turkish bazaars, you have to be wary of suave and handsome Turkish men.

Grand Bazaar5
Friends, after price battle royale

Even as Mel drafted this post, he is reminded of the experience he had bargaining with a most persuasive salesman owner of a shop.

For Suan had already fallen for the charms of this smooth operator, mesmerized and unable to negotiate. So it was all up to Mel now who remains unhypnotized, to obtain the best deal. Now you have to know that Mel had to feigh disinterest, being upset and finally eagerness to strike a deal with such an “adversary”. And we got for 80 Turkish liras what was originally offered at a “bargain” price of 300…

We’d tell you there is more to see and shop, but of course you also need to stop for the beautiful snacks along the way too. Wanna go shopping and eating in Istanbul now?

Culinary delights of Korea

Just some months back, we spent a really fantastic time in Korea. Ok, 6 months back. Has it been that long already? Wow.

Food. If there is one thing that we cannot miss trying – it is the cuisine of the destination we touched. You would have (hopefully) read our journalog that detailed what we saw and did in the city. But you should have noticed that we left out most of the stuff about the eating from the journalog…

Why? You ask.

For one thing, we wanted to make sure you were not distracted by all the delicious food over the exciting activities that you can experience in what we consider to be the second city of Korea. And we mean this in a good way. Mixing in the culinary aspects of our journey is more than likely to sidetrack you…

And we don’t want that!

We also know that there are many many blog posts out there that share what and where you can eat in Korea. So, our story is not just about food, the run of the mill etc. Rather, our spin of yarn will let you into some secrets. Who doesn’t like secrets? This story is about how we survived eating poisonous fish, devoured aggressive sea eels. Washed down with lots of beer, cakes and ice cream…

Let us show you the unique dining experiences (read here) we had in Busan.