Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower

Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower
The view from Amsterdam Tower

Monday, April 30, 2012

Phuket Beach

It was a challenge going to Phuket during the Chinese New Year holiday, even though the room reservation was done in mid of December. Finally we decided to go to Mai Khao beach. We had never been there but were sure that it was an ideal place during the peak season.  Less crowded.

Late afternoon at Mai Khao beach, Phuket

Phuket is only one hour flying from Bangkok. However, it was like the whole day for us. We arrived early at Suvarnabhumi Airport Bangkok for 12.15 flight (TG211) on 21/01/12. Unfortunately, the flight was delayed to 13.15 (boarding time) and 13.45 (departure time). The actual departure time was 15.15! Arrival time in Phuket was around 16.15, after waiting for luggage, car, etc., we arrived at the hotel around 17.00. Well…

Sunset at Mai Khao beach, Phuket


Watching sunset on the beach is always my favorite. One of the romantic moments!

Sunset at Mai Khao beach, Phuket
Honestly, Phuket reminds me of Bali and how much I miss that beautiful island.

Nice corner to enjoy the sunset

Special Guests

We met a 15 month old baby elephant at the beach. She was walking around with her guard. Definitely she likes to swim. There was one small girl fed him with banana, her mom peeled the skin and gave it to the small girl so she could feed the baby elephant. Her younger brother tried to feed her too. His peeled banana dropped in the sand, he wanted to wash it first with sea water and the baby elephant followed him! So cute.

15 month old baby elephant

In the afternoon, the 3 year old elephant walked around the beach. I could not remember it is a he or she. Anyway this elephant likes to play at the sea. His/her guard was thrown to the water, a part of the attraction.

Everyone wants to pet the baby elephant. Hi cutey!

Those elephants remind me of Bona. In my childhood, Bona was famous character in Indonesian kids magazine. Bona gajah kecil berbelalai panjang! Matanya besar, telinganya lebar....Bona is a little elephant with long nose. He has big eyes and big ears…

Mai Khao beach

Thai Language

Among the hotel activities, I chose to attend the Thai language class!  During one hour session, we learned the basic words and sentences.

Hello or greeting; “Sawadee-ka” (woman says “ka”). “Sawadee-krab” (man says “krab”)

Thank you; “Kob Khun Ka” (woman says ‘ka’).  Kob Khun Krab” (man says “krab”).

Pineapple fried rice is always yummy

Culinary Experience

The best way to enjoy the Thai food is of course in Thailand…

Seafood soup with coconut milk

Mixed mushroom
There are also restaurants and shops in Turtle Village. It is very convenient as it is only five minute way by hotel shuttle bus.

Shuttle bus to Turtle Village

A part of Turtle Village

Next posting: Phuket Town

Friday, April 6, 2012


That's me in 2008 @Lumpini Stadium

My first visit to Bangkok was in 2008. That 3 day trip was only going around Bangkok city center including shopping at Chatuchak weekend market and watching the Thai boxing!

I still remember the wisata kuliner or culinary trip. When I visited the food court of Siam Paragon mall, I saw many stalls selling local food.  

I bought a set of snacks goreng-gorengan (fried snacks) and found out that they were sweet potato, banana and taro.  I was laughing at myself:  ini sama aja ama jajan gorengan di pinggir jalan di Jakarta, beli ubi, pisang and talas goreng, hehehe... 
Mango & Sticky Rice (Baan Khanita)
Karena belum puas, saya pesan jajanan manis lainnya yaitu mangga dan ketan (As I had not satisfied with the snack, I ordered another sweet snack which was the yummy mango with sticky rice).

As another culinary experience: there is a rooftop level open-air restaurant at the 64th floor of one of the tower in Bangkok.  The sky open bar at the edge of the glass fence is very cool.  I was already tired after shopping that day, but once I arrived at this restaurant, all of the tiredness was gone!  That place was so happening.  Sitting in the cliff of that high rise building before or after dinner, looking at the city light.... Gorgeous!  After having a few glasses of cocktail, looking down the street from that high rise building was a bit challenging…

Top L: condiments, R: spring roll - both @BaanKhanita. Below L: fish sauce lemon @BaanKhanita, R: grilled beef @Food Court Siam Paragon

My second visit in 2011 was to check on Bangkok shopping malls, and of course the sights and attractions.

Siam Paragon Mall

Doing culinary trip was also a goal. As @Mir my girlfriend in Saigon was (is) craving for delicious cakes especially cupcakes, I was influenced by her passion.  A few times I went to shopping malls, I looked around for yummy cakes.  
Here are what I found in Siam Paragon Mall.  Miam – yummy – enak – sedap - ngon.

F&B @ Coffee Bean by Dao, Siam Paragon Mall

I contacted @Jen my Thai friend who now works and lives in Bangkok.  We were introduced one to another in HCMC where she used to be based.  I was so happy that she could have lunch with me.  Not only that, she took me to the latest mall!  Terminal 21 is cool.  Different floor has different theme: Europe, Japan, etc etc.  We chit chat a lot, ate a lot, then I forgot to take pics with her -:)

Thai Resto @ Terminal 21 Mall
Interior part of a Thai Resto @ Terminal 21 Mall

I also met with my Indonesia friend who has been working in Bangkok.  I have known him since kindergarten and we are now in high school only!  LoL.  Thanks for all of the Thai snacks!

Look at the food!

I love Thai food: mostly everything from the appetizer, main course and dessert.  I like curries; green, yellow or red ones.  I could not take the very spicy curry but I am always eager to try till I feel the burning tongue and my stomach heat.

Phad Thai
I like Thai ice tea and desserts too.  At a glance, Thai ice tea looks like cà phê sữa đá (Vietnamese iced coffee with milk).  Thai desserts, especially the ice or sweet ones, some of them is similar to Indonesian desserts but they use more coconut milk. Mirip es campur tapi pakai santan.

Sweet ice dessert @ BaanKhanita (mirip es campur pakai santan)

Bangkok sights and attractions were amazing….   

I was @ Grand Palace, Bangkok

Related story on Bangkok sights and attractions is in this link: Thailand - visit the most popular highlights of Bangkok in one day

I was @ Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The ball is round

The ball is round and anything can happen before the whistle is blown.

Tân Bình Stadium
The Mascot, he can dance!

It was a nice surprise that ten countrymen got together to watch ABL basketball game.  In day to day activities, we are just too busy with our own things, but we spend time and effort to watch this game and support our team.

Vietnam Flag (left) and Indonesian Flag (right)

The brotherhood becomes stronger.

Saigon Heat Supporters

I was too excited to gather Indonesian supporters for the previous game of INA (Indonesia) Warriors vs Saigon Heat (Vietnam) on 17 March. It ended up by having seven Indonesians and two French shouting and cheering INA Warriors.  Thanks to Coffee Bean, all of us entered the stadium by using the Fan Voucher.

After the good game, the Warriors won the game against the Heat (72-68), we decided to have a little celebration (as everyone was hungry) at Hard Rock Cafe.  Supporters could be as tired as the sportsmen.  

Again, my girl friend and I tried to gather some crowd for 4 April match.  At first, we thought there would be only four people, it turned out to be ten of us!  

The Heat supporters & cheerleaders

One is doing the split and one is back bending
Cheering, shouting and giving applause for INA Warriors in Saigon Heat headquarter?  Come along with us, "Merah Putih" our national flag.  "Red and White" - the red symbolizes human blood and the white represents the human spirit.

Critical moment when it was draw - 3.7 seconds to go

It was another good game.  Honorable defeat (Warriors 86 - Heat 88).  Still we are proud of you - our Warriors!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Food for Fun: 1) Crepes and 2) Teppanyaki

Ever since I started this blog, I have been planning to write about food.  Should I create a special blog for that?   

I had collected many pics of almost whatever food I had… In some occasions, it might upset people with whom I dined with.  They might want to eat their food right away, but they had to wait until I am done taking pics.   

My baked caramelized apple crepe
Once, by blackberry fell on top of the hummus!  A few time, I had to look around inside the restaurant if there were any “food police” prohibiting me taking pics.  However, I behave well and am aware of table manners while eating in Michelin star restaurant -:)

Until few weeks ago, I made up my mind to write whatever I want to write in my blog, including food and beverage.  The section is made as reference only.  It is for fun reading without any commercial intention.

Be prepared reading the first circular of “Triple F (Food for Fun)” - read it with full of imagination and you will be drooling… 

1) The Crepes

Interior decoration, ground floor
Why I like Saigon?  It is partly because the French culture is still strong.  Why I like the French culture?  It is because I have been learning French on and off since college until now in Vietnam.  Anyway, discreetly, my ‘you know who’ is a French guy.

I know partly Le Thanh Ton Street District 1 quite well, especially the area that is near to IDECAF (Institut d’Échanges Culturels avec la France)While passing this street on Sunday afternoon, I noticed that there is a new place with outdoor blue tent called “La Creperie”.

Cidre de Bretagne
Entering this restaurant feels like I go to Brittany, West of France.  Decoration is showing lighthouses and coast shore of Brittany.  The local songs played including La Jument de Michao which is almost the Brittany anthem.   Some of these songs are similar to the Corrs’ songs, typical Irish band with traditional Celtic folk music.

The interior part of the restaurant is very nice.  Decoration is showing lighthouse and coast shore of Brittany, France.  The plates, cups and bowls are cutely customized with the logo of the lighthouse too.

Crepe with egg & mushroom
There, I discovered “Cidre de Bretagne”!  The Cidre (or Cider) is fermented alcoholic beverage made from apple juice.  It is served in a bowl which I thought it is a ceramic bowl for soup.  Chúa ơi.  There are two types of Cidre.  It is sweet - and it fits to be consumed with the crepes.

There are variety of crepes; savory and sweet.  The crepe is thin, soft and delicious!  I had a set menu of savory crepe for main course and sweet one for dessert.  Baked caramelized apple crepe -:)

Dessert crepe: banana flambe w/rum
The second visit to La Creperie was two weeks later…  On Sunday evening, invited by my man’s colleague whose father was visiting from Brittany, France, we went to this restaurant again.  Mmm… I was warned that I had to speak French during dinner-:(

It was nice dinner.  We sat in a long table upstairs, chatted friendly and intentionally I sat at the corner of English speaking people!

La Crêpe Suzette as dessert was a nice way to end the dinner.  

See the blue flambe - la crepe suzette

Reference links:

2) Halal Japanese Teppanyaki

Mr Chef who cooked our crabs
The first time I went to Singaporean food restaurant in HCMC, it was Lion City at Le Anh Xuan Street District 1.  I like Singapore dishes; fried kwee tiau, roti canai, nasi padang, kaya toast, carrot cake, etc. 

Later on I noticed a new branch in Kumho Link District 1, and this one is with a big Teppanyaki table.  On my first visit, I had the chicken set menu which includes veggie and fried rice.  Teppanyaki could be quite fun especially when the chefs are entertaining.  While waiting for the food being prepared, we chatted and had some jokes. 

Black pepper crabs
Another occasion, I had yummy crabs for ladies lunch.  I emailed Harry the owner to specifically ask for female crabs.  Once he mentioned that for such request, it is better to let him know a day before, so they could check on their stock.  So I did.  It was well prepared when we arrived.  We had both black pepper and chili sauce crabs as requested, they were female crabs. Thanks Harry!

Eating crab is so fun, no table manner is required.  In fact, using hands are much easier.  Without hesitation, I took the crab shell and dig out the egg, with the spoon I was able to scoop the chili sauce too and put them in my mouth.  The taste of the egg mixed with the chili sauce, incredible…

Chili sauce crabs

The extra chili sauce on the plate is intentionally served.  Normally chili crab is served together with bread, in this restaurant it is with sliced baguette.  I grabbed smaller piece of bread and dipped it to the chili sauce.

One day, on Monday evening, invited by my blogger mate Kevin- who has been invited by Harry the owner – Kevin, John, Thuy and I tasted the food at halal Japanese Teppanyaki at Vicki’s. 

Yummy squid
Vicki’s Teppanyaki & BBQ is the sister of Lion City. ‘She’ is occupying a new building and situated at the opposite of Lion City’s main branch in Le Anh Xuan Street.  In the fifth floor, there are two Teppanyaki tables.  We sat at the half round one that fits seven people. 

A series of food was prepared and served in front of our eyes: chili crab, squid, prawn, chicken teriyaki…

Two Chefs at Vicki's

Chefs were entertaining.  One played with the cooking tools, the other played the eggs and threw them upwards to her chef hat.

Cooking and eating continued.  Nasi Goreng (fried rice) and Mee Goreng (fried noodle) Malaysia came next.

As for fun, the chef threw a small slice of omelette to guest mouth and I requested to do the same in return.  He took my challenge!  So I threw a tiny omelette to him.  It went successfully well on the second attempt.  Cool… everyone clapped their hands.  

Soft, tender, delicious chicken teriyaki
Nasi (rice) goreng (fried)
Reference links: