Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Breakfast at Calypso Grand Hotel, Hanoi VN

I'm a morning person whereas DB loves to sleep in late. So whenever we travel, I always have a hard time waking him up for breakfast that I end up sleeping in as well. But our recent trip to Hanoi changed the way he looks to waking up early and actually getting out of bed -- I say blame it (aka thankful) to the delicious food served in Calypso's breakfast spread.

Daily buffet breakfast was part of the package we got and I'm glad that they change the hot meals menu everyday to go with freshly-baked breads, fruits in season and cereals.

Guests can also choose any of the offerings off their breakfast menu, one order per guest.

All Day Breakfast

Bacon, Sausage, Ham, Potato Wedge and Baked Tomato

Chicken Club Sandwich

Stir Fried Noodles with Beef and Vegetables

Any meal (even breakfast) will not be complete without Vietnamese Spring Rolls on the table. I can't remember exactly how many rolls DB and I were able to consume in one sitting but it was A LOT.

It only took one bite of this chocolate-filled bread roll and I was addicted! The manager even had to send someone to buy this when we came late looking for this -- talk about going the extra mile!

Fresh Avocado Juice to end the perfect meal.

You may be wondering now, was the food worth waking up early and leaving our big and comfortable bed at least for an hour or two? Absolutely!


Calypso Grand Hotel
27A Cua Dong Street, Hoan Kiem District
Hanoi City, Vietnam
Tel.: (844) 3923-4070
Fax: (844) 3923-4073

Healthy Lifestyle

Being a meat lover all my life, DB have been bugging me to add more vegetables and fruits to my diet ever since I met him. I've been obedient for the first few years but now that he can't see what I'm eating on a daily basis, he constantly reminds me about it every chance he gets.

So in my attempt to please him, I grabbed a bag of Terra Sweet Potato Chips during one of my supermarket trips and proudly sent this photo to him.

A full serving of vegetables in every ounce*

This counts right? *wink*

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Water Puppet Show, Hanoi VN

One of the activities that kept popping up during our research on the things to do in Hanoi is a visit to the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater located near Hoan Kiem Lake. The theater was built in 1969 and have been showing the unique Vietnam traditional art of water puppetry since 1990 by the talented and internationally-acclaimed Thang Long theater artists.

The one and a half hour show starts from 1530H to 2000H everyday and with an additional performance at 0930H on Sundays. I suggest buying tickets in advance (you can ask your hotel concierge to reserve for you) especially if you want to watch in the evening since tickets sold out pretty fast with the influx of tourists in Hanoi.

The theme of the show recounts the day-to-day living in rural Vietnam, festival celebrations, legends and folk tales and stories of harvest and fishing with humorous twists.


Thang Long Water Puppet Theater
57B Dinh Tien Hoang St.
Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel.: (84-04) 3 824-9494 / 825-5450
Fax: (84-04) 3 824-5117

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Treats No. 23

Choco Banana Peanut Butter Waffle Sandwich - Php45.00


Bahay TinaPie
Centennial Road, Kawit
Cavite, Philippines
Tel.: (6346) 402-3759

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton), Hanoi VN

Fiery Furnace.
Hell's Hole.

The name Hoa Lo was derived from the street where it was located -- Pho Hoa Lo due to the stores selling wood stoves and coal-fire stoves in the area during the pre-colonial times. The prison was built from 1886 to 1901 to hold Vietnamese prisoners, particularly political prisoners, when Vietnam was still part of the French Indochina. It was initially intended for 450 prisoners but a renovation in 1913 expanded the capacity of the prison to hold more than 2,000 people. The nickname "Hanoi Hilton" was given by the Americans during the Second Indochina War.

Prisoners were starved, beaten and tortured for countless hours and paraded in Anti-American propaganda for everyone to see, hence the nickname "Hell on Earth". Tourists visiting Hoa Lo Prison can see the original cells, life-sized detainees with leg-iron casts and other displays illustrating the horrors of life in the prison. Pitiful condition of the prisoners was heartbreaking added to the fact that they only have watery soup and bread for the rest of their lives.

Entrance Fee: Vnd20, 000 (Php40.00)


Hoa Lo Prison
Hoa Lo, Tran Hung Dao
Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel.: (84) 4 38246358

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Treats No. 22

Crabs with Ginger and Spring Onion

Steamed Suahe


Hongkong Master Chef
Hobbies of Asia Complex, Macapagal Avenue
Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Friday, October 11, 2013

Walking Tour at Old Quarter, Hanoi VN

Any visit in Vietnam's capital Hanoi would not be complete if you haven't been to the Old Quarter, a maze of streets famous for its merchants selling anything from silk, jewelry, clothes, shoes, delicious Vietnamese cuisine and other local products.

Part of the Luxury Package we availed through Calypso Grand Hotel is a four-hour tour of the Old Quarter. So from Halong Bay Cruise, the wonderful staff of the hotel arranged for DB & I to explore every corner of the Old Quarter with a tour guide, of course.

The Dong Xuan market located in the center district of Hanoi is considered to be the largest covered market in the city where you could buy gifts, souvenirs and local handicrafts at low prices.

Since properties are taxed by the width in Vietnam, most buildings and establishments in Hanoi are narrow and tall. European architecture is also very evident having been colonized by France in the 19th century.

One of the most scenic spots in Hanoi is the Hoan Kiem Lake or Lake of the Returned Sword. According to the legend, then Emperor Le Loi was boating on the lake when his magic sword was grabbed by a turtle which was never found. The emperor believed that the Golden Turtle God had came to reclaim the sword that it had given to him during his revolt against the Ming Dynasty.

Locals say that the best way to travel in Vietnam is by motorbike. DB wanted to rent one but it was raining when we were there and so taking cabs deemed to be more convenient. I remember our guide telling us that 3/4 of Hanoi's population owns a motorbike and you'll see lots of them in the city. Remember to be extra careful when crossing the streets because they come from different directions and doesn't give way to pedestrians.

I now know why most people who come home from Vietnam carry a North Face bag or two -- because they just grow on trees!

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