Being stuck in Singapore during the Chinese New Year holidays can either be a bore or an adventure, depending on how you look at it and how you spend your time. Me, I chose to go out and explore the city which I have called […]
Halong Bay in Hanoi, Vietnam has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Annually, tourists travel to Halong Bay to marvel at its beauty and swim in its waters. However, very few really know the mystery that lie in its calm waters.
The word “halong” literally means descending dragon. According to legend, during the old times when the country of Vietnam was just formed, there were fierce invaders from the north. The Jade Emperor felt sorry for the country and the people so he sent the Mother Dragon and her children down to earth to help the ancient Vietnamese people.
For me, one of the biggest attractions of traveling is being able to sample foods from different parts of the globe. Each nation, even each city, has its own way of cooking and use their own ingredients to lend uniqueness and a distinct flavor to a certain dish. Even the same dish will taste different when cooked and eaten in different cities.
A foodophile like me watches countless culinary travel shows so that I, myself, can try the best gastronomic dishes a city has to offer. So, long before my trip to Hanoi, Vietnam, I watched two episodes of “No Reservations” hosted by the suave and funny Anthony Bourdain, as well as a the show “Street Food Around the World”, hosted by the lesser known and not as entertaining, Ishai Golan. Pardon me but I am quite partial to Anthony, he is my ultimate travel god.
One of the most valuable ruins left by the Portuguese in Malacca is A ‘Famosa, which means famous in the Portuguese language. If you are ever in Malacca, you should definitely visit it. Known also as Porta de Santiago, the structure is one of the four main gates of the famous Portuguese fortress.
Built by Alfonso de Albuquerque in 1512, A ‘Famosa was intended to help secure the place from an attack by Sultan Mahmud, as well as the continuous attack from the Johor and Acheh empires. The fortress is 3 meters thick and its 40-meter watchtower has played a pivotal role in the protection of the Portuguese from their enemies. Out of all the structure that the Portuguese have built, it is the most famous and most popular.