Cattle Depot Artist Village, To Kwa Wan, Hong Kong

One weekend I got spontaneous and hopped on the North Point / Kowloon City ferry. The pier is actually in To Kwa Wan and as I was making my way over to Kowloon City for some food, I stopped by the Cattle Depot Artist Village.

As I said, this was super spontaneous. I was in my hobo clothes with no makeup since I thought I was only going for a quick lunch but ended up across the harbor, AND that’s why my face is not in the video.

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Things To Do in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam

 

I spent a long weekend in this city without much planned, but managed to stumble across some pretty cool places. Here’s what I got up to, and things to do in Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon):

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ChinChin Bar, Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam

Apothecary speakeasy, ChinChin cocktail bar in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam

On the last night of my weekend trip to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, I was walking around District 1, close to the Bitexco Tower looking for a place to have some local dinner. It was one of those nights where you’ve run out of things to do, and you’re still full from the previous meal, but you’re also too tired to keep walking around, so dinner it is.

For no particular reason, I looked up and saw this logo that says “Chin Chin” on the side of a narrow building. Frankly, it reminded me of a fusion bar & restaurant called “Fang Fang” in Lan Kwai Fong in Hong Kong. Its oriental look and dark windows have me convinced it’s a pretentious bar I can afford (because we’re in Vietnam), which was perfect because it really was too early for dinner.

We crossed the street and checked out the menu. Turns out, it’s a three-story building with two bars and two restaurants in it, probably from the same group. We headed up to ChinChin which was a tad fancier than I thought it would be. Thanks to language barriers, we were invited into the bar even though the staff was still on their break. No problem, they’re super nice and hopped up: the music came on, the lights dimmed a little, and the place came to life even though our small party was the only customers there. The menu came and man, was I confused. First, I was sitting in front of one out of two windows in the whole place, where the only light streaming in was from a huge bubble tea sign from across the street. Defeated, I got my phone out for the flashlight, and after confirming with another human being, I came to accept that what turned out to be a very strong and over-the-top cocktail was indeed only less than US$4 during happy hour.

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Nara, Japan

Nara is only about 40 minutes away from Osaka by train, and is definitely worth the trip.

Famous for their free-roaming deers, Nara Park is only about 10 minutes walk from the station. It is a straight shot and you know you’ve made it when you see the stalls selling deer crackers.

Nara Park is a very peaceful spot: grass, open air, and gentle deers; only ruined by annoying tourists just like myself. For some reason the deers bow so that you would give them the crackers, which I found a bit unsettling. While some say they were trained, I prefer to think that they’re just following the crackers in the humans’ hands as they bow. The deers are mostly very gentle, but they can get pretty aggressive, or impatient with people taking so long with the food. Two of them went for the crackers in my hand at the same time, and one even bit Jon’s coat to get him to hurry up.

On a nicer day, it would have been great to stroll through the park and maybe even have a picnic (not sure how doable that is with all the deers around, maybe it’s not even allowed), but with the rain getting heavier, we happily agreed to visit the nearby sake brewery to stay warm.

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Narita

 

 

I had a full day to spend in Narita, and after catching up on some sleep for half of the day – I went to Aeon Mall with a friend of mine. 

Tokyo, and like most places for me is all about eating three meals in an afternoon to make up for all the energy I’ve so faithfully exerted on window shopping (sometimes actual shopping).

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First up, sashimi don!

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This might be a nicer picture to look at.

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Toasted Almond Caramel Latte

 

To counter the oncoming of the mighty Japanese food coma, we headed down to Starbucks (I know, don’t judge me) for a coffee, what I always forget about flavored coffee is that they are such warm and cosy drinks that they always make me want to sleep.

We walked around to look at the supermarket and even more food – so just get prepared for the food porn section of this post.  Continue reading