Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Vietnam: Arriving Ho Chi Minh City and Plane Views

We pretty much had luck and managed to duck the typhoon in the Philippines (complete story soon!) and arrived on time in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in Vietnam.

Here are a few plane views of the city that I was able to shoot before touching down.

Saigon view

Song Sai Gon. Saigon River.

Saigon view
saigon

Just before touchdown here.

A few more as well before reaching the Saigon River:


Ho Chi Minh Airport (Tan Son Nhat International Airport):

Vietnam Airport
Airport

The airport is not too far away from the city center.


The parents and sisterJ.


Outside of the airport is full of people waiting for their relatives.


SisterJ with all our luggage =). We flew with PAL (Philippine Airlines) and their minimum baggage allowance per person is 30 kilos.


The parents just landed in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. We always get priority when we travel with them, those walking sticks can really do wonders. 


If you need a taxi just walk outside the airport and go here. Prices to the city centre range between 140,000 - 180,000 VND. There will be taxi hawkers who will try to give you a special price, say no and speak directly to the taxi chauffeur and say meter please.


My sister and moi.

More soon of Vietnam!

Travel Period: December 2016
Destination: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Greetings from Cebu, Philippines!


Christmas is big in the Philippines. The country celebrates the longest Christmas season in the whole world.

This picture of a Christmas tree with 3 ballet dancers was taken at SM Seaside mall, one of the newest super malls in the city. It is so new that it is not that busy (love it) and many shops are yet to open.

Trivia: Did you know that the largest malls in the world are in China and the Philippines? Go here: Largest shopping malls

Out of the 98 largest shopping malls listed, 36 are from the Philippines and 14 from China. There is even a SM (largest Philippine shopping mall brand) in Xiamen, China. Shopping malls are serious business in the Philippines =)

Travel Period: December 2016
Destination: Cebu (Visayas), Philippines

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Postcards from Gulangyu Island, China

When I was in Xiamen, I visited this historical island called Gulangyu which is just a 10-15 minute ferry ride from Xiamen. Gulangyu island is an only pedestrian zone island. There are no motorised vehicles allowed here except for a few buggy carts for the weak, tired and elderly.

Here are a few teaser pictures for now. More about Gulangyu island soon!


The view of Xiamen from the entrance gate of the Sunlight Rock Temple in Gulangyu island.


Moi in front of the gate.


One of the 4 temples in Gulangyu's Sunlight Rock.


Chinese carvings on the walls.


This is how you eat, the Chinese way, a passion fruit.


There are many couples coming here with their photography crew for their pre-nuptial picture taking.


Not sure what this gentleman is selling but he sure looks cool.


Another view of Xiamen from the island, with its Twin Towers.


Beach area near Shuzhuang Garden.


From the top of the Sunlight Rock with Xiamen in my background.


They are also tourists you know!


Gulangyu island street food.


The Sunlight Rock in the distance from the beach shore near Shuzhuang Gardens.


At the Shuzhuang Gardens.


My noodles dinner with clam, shrimp and tofu. The broth tasted like peanut. 


Xiamen at night from Gulangyu Island.

Travel Period: December 2016
Destination: Gulangyu, Xiamen (Fujian), China

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

Friday, December 16, 2016

Postcards from Xiamen, China

Ni hao ma =)

Well hello, welcome to China! I will post my travel posts and more pictures soon but for the meantime, let me give you a few of the pictures I took during my stay in Xiamen.

Stay tuned!


At the corner of Siming and Zongshang Lu.


Waiting for traffic under the BRT.


At Zencuoan once fishing village, now a village with a streetfood network of streets.


My favourite Xiamen eat: Fried tofu/beancurd with delicious sauces and vegie toppings.


Crustacean seafood is Xiamen's special delicacy.


At the Yundang Lake.


Xiamen has so many parks. 


A traditional restaurant where I ate at one evening.


My bedroom at a 200-year old traditional Chinese mansion.


200 year old traditional Chinese mansion.


Pre-nuptial picture taking is a very popular tradition in China. It is big and serious business there.


Scallops with noodles. Glass noodles are a specialty in Xiamen as well. 


Zongshan Lu (Zongshan Road) is a popular and busy pedestrian road in Xiamen.


Moi at the entrance of the Nanputo Temple.


Roof details of one of the houses in Nanputo Temple.


Having tea, the Chinese traditional way.


The 2 new tall building additions of Xiamen.


Student cafeteria in Xiamen University.

Travel Period: December 2016
Destination: Xiamen (Fujian), China

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Meganisi Island, Greece: Al Fresco Lunch at Porto Vathi “Errikos” Taverna

Last summer, the Dutchman, Dutch mother and I sailed with our rental car on the public ferry from our summer holiday base in Nydri, Lefkada Island to a smaller island not too far away – Meganisi.

You can read our voyage here: Ferry ride from Nidri to Meganisi - Road trip itinerary and scenes - Photo essay of Vathi


For our late lunch, we settled at the charming fish taverna on Vathi harbour called Porto-Vathi “Errikos” Taverna. It is right beside the water and has wonderful views of the surroundings. No one can miss this lovely of a restaurant. I made sure that we have a table at the water’s edge. Because it is already after lunch hours, it wasn’t that busy. Perfect.

While waiting for our food to arrive, we were entertained by schools of fishes swimming past. A young kid a few tables from ours was having a go and was feeding the fishes with bread. It gave us the idea as well so we followed suit. A nice little entertainment I guess as we wait for the food.

Our starter arrived which was a simple and typical Greek dish. Fried vegetables (courgette and aubergine) coated lightly in flour. This was really nice and not heavy at all. We enjoyed this a lot, especially the Dutch mother.

Then our lunch arrived. The Dutchman ordered a souvlaki (Greek BBQ on a stick), the Dutch mother settled for some keftedes (Greek meatballs), while I had a serving of fried scampi with thousand island sauce. We could not wait to dig in. The food were all wiped clean from the plates and I heard no one complaining, so this was I guess a successful late lunch.

And oh, a cat had our company as well. The Dutchman loves these sweet fluffy animals and could not stop pampering the pussy with little morsels of food. In Greece, you will find so many cats!

As for me, I cannot get enough of the view and just the ambience of dining al fresco beside the water. There is some sort of therapy in it that is unexplainable. It is just so relaxing. It makes you forget all the worries you have in the world. Which is why I always look forward to our summer holidays in the Greek islands.

This has been a lovely lunch, now it’s time to laze on the beach and sit back. We are off to Spilia Beach next!


Porto-Vathi Errikos Taverna in Vathi, Meganisi.


Hungry (rather, spoiled perhaps?) fishes. Oi fish, do not get too close or else you might end up on my plate!


Dining al fresco on the water's edge here in Vathi, Meganisi.


Our shared starter, fried courgette and aubergine coated in flour.


I love this shot. It makes me smile.


Dutchman's souvlaki (Greek BBQ on a stick).


Dutch mother's keftedes (Greek meatballs).


And my fried scampi lunch with thousand island sauce which we used to dip our fries with. I prefer my seafood garnished with citron.


Travel Period: July 2016
Destination: Meganisi Island (Lefkada – Ionian Islands), Greece

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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