Hello Vietnam

Travelling

Hi Everyone!

I’m in Vietnam y’all!!!  I’m staying in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) and will be staying here for 19 days. We renting a serviced apartment for 14 days. The place called Sunflower Boutique Studio, located at District 4. Its a very nice place to stay – an apartment with modern interior and equipment in it and thus far we’re satisfied with the service offered. This is the best place to stay for a long period I must say. On top of that, I saw quite number of expats who stay(ed) here. Its a safe and nice place to stay I could guarantee 🙂

What I like about Sunflower Boutique Studio ?

  1. The wifi. The wifi speed that will make you happy and smile throughout the day. LOL! I really mean it.
  2. The room. 1st time I entered into this room I know I will like it. Its modern, neat and clean room with modern equipment! I like modern interior.
  3. The host. Her name is Le. She’s very nice lady and her English is perfectly understandable. She’s very helpful too. She will recommend you an interesting-must-visit place to go with an affordable price and will assist you to deal with the travel agency. Easy peasy!
  4. Expat. Expats live here. LOL!

 

What I like about Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City?

  1. The best place for shopping! As you may aware, there are a lot of Malaysians here and easy to find halal food restaurant especially in District 1 (Ben Thanh). Unfortunately, its a bit pricey and sometimes I cant relate it. Vietnam is a very cheap country and the HALAL food here is expensive. I don’t mind to spend on good food especially its HALAL but I think its being ridiculous.
  2. Ben Thanh market. The famous market for Malaysian as a whole. When first I came here 3 yrs ago, I was surprised that most of the seller here could speak Bahasa (Malay language) flawlessly. Hence, easy for negotiation; I meant bargain  😛 and indirectly become close like sister/brother.
  3. Coffee shop. There are A LOT like a lot coffee shops here. From the street one to high end one. Most of coffee shops and even restaurants have wifi. I’m quite surprise with the wifi here. The speed is undoubted. Even better than Malaysia. Sorry to say this but it’s a fact. Malaysia need (MUST) to improve on this.
  4. Startup. Again, it really surprised me when the startup community here is blooming, expanding and they’re successful compared to Malaysia. Ehem…. something to ponder upon.

 

I reckon there’s many more fun facts about Saigon or Vietnam entirely. I will update time to time with a good reviews, recommendations and tips for you.

Until we meet again!

Tu biet!

 

xoxo,

S-Tee

 

 

 

Songkran Festival

Travelling

The Songkran festival is the traditional Thai New Year’s Day and is celebrated from 13 April to 15 April.

History behind the festival

The word Songkran is from the Sanskrit language and means the passage of the sun from one sign of the Zodiac to another. That means there are twelve Songkrans each year, but the significance of the this Songkran (sometimes called Major Songkran to distinguish it from the others) is when the sun enters the sign of Aries the Ram. The particular event was also closely related to the Vernal Equinox.

Celebrating New Year at the time of the Vernal Equinox was very common in the past. The Songkran celebration is similar to those of the Indian Holi Festival, the Chinese Ching Ming, and the Christian Festival of Easter. Indeed April Fool’s Day probably originated as mocking those who didn’t accept the switch of New Year from April to January in France in the Sixteenth Century.

The date was originally set by astrological calculations, but it is now fixed on 13 April. The festival may be extended if some of the celebrations fall over a weekend.

In Thailand, New Year is now officially celebrated on January 1, in line with almost all other countries. Songkran was the official New Year until 1888, when it was switched to a fixed date of 1 April. It wasn’t until 1940, that this date was then shifted to 1 January.

What is Songkran?

Songkran is the occasion for family re-unions, temple visits and annual house cleaning. Many Thais observe the holidays by spending time with families and friends. Traditionally, Thais perform the Rod Nam Dum Hua ritual on the first day of Songkran, which is officially the National Elderly Day.

During the ritual, young people would pour fragrant water into the elders’ palms as a gesture of humility and to ask for their blessings.

images (6)

The second day of Songkran is officially the National Family Day. Families would wake up early and give alms to the monks, then ideally the rest of the day would be spent sharing quality family time together.

59972_1.jpeg

 

Water as Symbolism –

Contradictory to what you may have witnessed throughout Songkran, fun-loving Thais don’t just throw water at each other for no good reason (besides having a kick out of seeing other people soaking wet). The real meaning behind the splashes is to symbolically wash off all misfortunes in the past year, thus welcoming the new year with a fresh new start.

Songkran_2015_Dates

Traditionally, Thais would politely pour a bowl of water on members of the family, their close friends and neighbours. As Songkran has taken a more festive note, a bowl becomes a bucket, garden hose and water guns, and the spirit of holiday merriment is shared amongst all town residents and tourists alike.

Thai Water Fest 1

An important religious ritual on Songkran is ‘Bathing the Buddha image’, in which devout Buddhists pour fragrant water over Buddha statues both at the temple and at home.

k.png

More religious Thais would engage themselves in Buddhist ceremonies and merit-making activities throughout the holidays.

PHO-09Sep09-176991.jpg

.

.

.

Apart of that…Songkran is for….

Songkran_Chiang-Mai.jpg

Enjoice!

 

xoxo,

S-Tee

 

Konnichiwa Nippon

Travelling

Japan has always been one of those countries high on my places to visit and I knew it was a place I couldn’t miss.  Just thinking about the food, I’d have enough to get my mouth watering.

We will be leaving for Japan in May and it’s Spring! I wish I can live in Japan for good! Oh no how I wish I could. To be honest, I can’t wait for Japan. I lie if I say I don’t. I heard/read how amazing Japan as a country. How people amaze with the technology, scenery, culture, food, people, fashion, etc…

Some says it is an experience. It surrounds you. Every moment of every day is filled with new discoveries and cultural difference and utter delights. I can’t describe it beyond that, but everyone who has been knows exactly what I’m talking about.

If there were a word to describe Japan as a whole, it would be reverent. This is a nation where every action displays a culture of deference, respect and obedience. It encompasses daily life.

Reverence of food – The food here is prepared and delivered with such deep respect and meticulous care, even in fast food joints. Anything else would be anti-Japanese. I didn’t have a single bad meal in Japan.

Reverence of manners – Japan has a longstanding reputation of politeness. One place where this was most evident was on trains. Whenever a conductor entered a car, he would enter and exit the car with an energetic yet crisp bow before attending to passengers.

Reverence of nature – Nature receives the utmost respect here, and you’ll often find that everything from architecture to food plays into an overall respect of the natural environment of Japan.

Reverence of rules – Japan is a rules-based culture. There are lots of written and unwritten rules – the Japanese wouldn’t dream of throwing recyclables in the trash, or acting rude to a stranger, or dressing like a slob. The list of taboos here is extensive. Really? I bet every countries have that, no?

Enough for now I think. Will be continue with my little journal afterwards. Check it out!

Here are some photos. Enjoice!

9df02b2781b5a149a591cc73884d2b79

a2f0b457c55ace183fcf6713a790031f (1)

41315bc77bcf3b3c21701e9146301804

  f522ca16f70752c454f485c483381b4e

c67b9c1ed6edbad715e212ab90c528c9 e711d454cc9fce1e546c5cad7bdc567c

xoxo,

S-Tee