Bacolod: A Balaring afternoon

Balaring Twilight Bamboo Ties

Balaring Twilight Bamboo Ties

Second day mid-morning found us in transit from Bacolod City proper to Silay City which is about 45minutes to an hour away from each other. After a hearty breakfast at Bacolod Pensione Plaza, we checked out not before asking for directions on where to find a ride. Though there were couple of directions given, they all end up on the main Lacson St highway. There were many jeeps plying the route costing us only 15 Pesos for the ride to Silay Town Proper.

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Vietnam: Hopping through Cat Cat and Ta Van villages

Hmong traversing the Terraces

Hmong traversing the Terraces

Driving around the Sapa Valley slopes at the back of a motorcycle is exhilarating as we cut through the cool mountain air. Aside from that, the view of the cloud shrouded mountains and the impressive terraces of the valley is astounding. We were headed to one of the first ethnic hill side villages in the valley, the Cat Cat Village.

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China: Chengdu Street Foods

Rice Dumpling Vendor

Rice Dumpling Vendor

I have been getting interesting emails on the food China Olympics 2008 Patrons were able to sample lately. It’s an amusing to see as it reminded me of our last day in Chengdu, China. After having visited the Panda Adventure, we decided to go around the city since our train ride going down south of China will be in the evening. Riding a bus, our eyes caught this highly ornamented looking street that we just decided to go down and check it out.

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Vietnam: Cha Ca La Vong

Cha Ca (Grilled Fish)

Cha Ca (Grilled Fish) at Vietnam’s oldest restaurant, Cha Ca La Vong

We arrived late in the afternoon in Hanoi, coming back from Ha Long Bay. We stayed for a while at the Handspan office to rest and confirm our train tickets for the night. We are set to take the night train to Sapa that evening as well. Since we had some time to kill, we decided to do a brief walk around the Old Quarters. Pretty busy street, mostly of low rise houses with old French facades. Would have been great to take a lot of photos but it was sun down already and the way the things those motos drive by, it’s kinda hard to take out your cameras in the streets. For dinner that night we decided to eat at Vietnam’s oldest restaurant which opened in 1871, Cha Ca La Vong Restaurant.

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China: Chen’s Mapo Tofu

Chen's Famous Mapo Tofu

Chen’s Famous Mapo Tofu

Tofu has been one of my favorite dishes and whenever I had a chance to eat at a local Chinese Restaurant, I would sometimes order a Mapo Tofu. It’s one of my favorite Chinese dish with tofu, minced beef swimming in the red sea of chili and spicy sauce. This fiery dish has also been popular around the world. When we were in Chengdu, China we made sure not to miss eating Mapo Tofu on where the dish was actually created – at Chen’s Mapo Tofu Restaurant.

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Transit: Longing for Ha Long Bay

The Dragon at Ha Long Bay

The Dragon at Ha Long Bay

I’ve been eying Ha Long Bay for some time now. In fact, I was supposed to go here on my first visit to Vietnam but ended up in the central area instead. But that place didn’t disappoint as well since it has 3 World Heritage sites that each yielded a unique experience: from the elaborate citadels and tomb raiding at Hue, warping back in time at the French Colonial streets of Hoi An and exploring the Ancient Kingdom of the Champas at My Son. But the natural wonder of a karst-filled bay has quite an appeal that I went fidgety with delight when my buddy Oggie informed me he was going to northern Vietnam. After much convincing and being accompanied by a clown good friend, I just couldn’t pass this up and joined the trip.

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Tea tasting with tummy treats

Lemon Torte

Lemon Torte

You know what I else I like aside from shooting travel photos? It’s Food! Those baked goodies just melt in your eyes. I was recently able to try some cakes at Classic Confections in Greenbelt 5. Pastries is one of my food weaknesses, especially those colorful and mouth watering ones like from this cake shop. I try to stay away eating much of these, if fact I’m already contented eating bits of one of each since some I found really sweet. So let me just indulge a bit with some yummy photos instead. I really like the colors of these goodies.

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