[Hanoi, Vietnam] Day 2: #RelationshipstrugGOALS

I like aimless walk in Colon Street; Mark likes Colon Street but Haji Lane (SG) or Mong Kok kind of Colon Street. I love public transpo jeepney kind of rides: Mark likes public transpo like bus/trains or more preferrably Uber. I like streetfoods; he likes streetfood but Hawker kind of setup. I ask directions from random peole; he can go through messy roads just by looking at GPS.

Mark and I can be this extreme opposite (extreme for drama effect.). So when we landed in Hanoi, it was like “Oh, this is so I!!!” I was giddy! But Mark thinks he feels like he is always walking in Inayawan, Cebu every where. 

Probably what makes Philippines kinda “cool” is you can have the messy part and manicured part in 1 place; like you can have downtown / Colon, but then you can also escape to uptown / IT Park-ish. Or maybe, you can have Divisoria / Chinatown kinda feels, but then you can also find the 1st-world comfort feels by going Makati or BGC.

So I guess back in Philippines (or other cities we’d been to), Mark and I can just balance it out by going downtown then uptown.  But in Hanoi, it’s like pre-BPO Cebu; most area always has this downtown mode (or maybe we just did not look enough.).  It kind of throws Mark off; I mean he’s like an autistic kid who got too much sensory stimulation he can no longer control.

What a partypooper!

So how to work around it? 

No more of those search of the ultimate streetfood experience… We’re just gonna be like us in Cebu who eats Thai streetfood at a restaurant. 😂

Most blogs about Hanoi are from 1st-world people, and so they can really claim that food here is cheap. For me, it is cheap but it’s really not overly cheap when you have PhP money. A bahn mi on street usually starts at 15000VND; Pho at 20K+ VND. When you get inside a decent looking eatery, Pho can then start 50K VND; when you get inside a “fancier” resto, it can then be in the 80K+ VND (around Php180). So basically, you won’t really get broke when you just fine-dine (starve in between) your whole stay here.Cognitive dissonance. I think streetfood is popular here because there’s really not much difference in taste between a streetfood & fancy resto except that fancy resto’s have aircons, comfy chairs, and their menu has subtitles, and a staff who can speak English. So somehow there’s that struggle in myself that we should just “be trying hard local” but then we cannot because Mark’s cray-cray at the experience of eating at yet another carenderia in Inayawan (Cebu).

Bun Cha at May Taste

Uptown-ing! I searched for “business area” of Hanoi, and google pointed me to Tay Ho area, which has a lake on the center and mention of fancy restos around it. I’m imagining like we’re in IT Park with a lake in the center, cool!

So the lake at Tay Ho is beautiful. It was romantic gazing at the tall buildings on the other side of Hanoi.

I honestly do not know where’s the “business” part of it. But it seems like it’s a popular place for foreighners, where there are a lot of them lounging in few corners.

But Mark only saw the dog sh!t and trash (it’s like duh as if we’re not from Nangka, Consolacion, Cebu), and that it was so humid! ARGH!!! I screamed and snapped at him, but first #bloggerpose!!!

And another #bloggerpose, the only “sunset aura” I could get because we both hated each other already.

(Sunset on my face…?!?)

Gaaahhh!!! I miss a beautiful sunset #bloggerpose just because it was not uptown enough for him! 😡😡😡

[Hanoi, Vietnam] Day 1: Top Things You’d Do in Another City But Not in Your Own City

You know you landed in Vietnam when the airport smells like coriander — all the pho I could think of! Kidding, that was an exaggeration. We landed around 1am, which I think is 12am here (PH is advanced 1hour.) so we basically started here as the new day started. 🙂

First impression was that Hanoi is definitely I, and it’s NOT for Mark. Being in Hanoi makes me think that this is how probably a 1st-world foreigner feels like when he landed in a 3rd world country, like Philippines. There are locals peddling rides when you arrived in the airport. Though, you can read Vietnamese words but majority has no “subtitles.” I become this foreigner whose English sounds “superior” but may still be useless. And, it’s my first time that our Philippines money has bigger value so it’s like you feel “rich.”

We’re getting “gors” / old for this #travelblogger thingy that we get too lazy about creating itinerary. So we just kind of wing it on our first day, and probably for the rest of our stay.

So things we do in Hanoi which we or more Mark will NOT DO back in Cebu, Philippines.

1. Ho Hoan Kiem Lake aka Plaza Independencia or malls or Philippines.

It’s in every top things to do blogpost about Vietnam. And, Hanoi has no big malls so it seems like locals go to their parks to chill so the place was jampacked. I tried asking a Vietnamese (but not Hanoi-an) what’s the event but he cannot give an answer so it’s probably just a Hanoi thing like Filipinos cannot explain why malls are packed.

But definitely, it was fun to people-watch. Hanoi People love to just lounge on the streetsides.

Outdoor boardgames, anyone?!?
2. Cafe Dinh or line for the most popular lechon / BBQ spot

Of course, we still do but probably when we only have guests from other cities or on rare special occassions. 

Coffee or more of coffee concoction is quite popular in Hanoi. I picked the top most rated in the Ho Hoan Kiem Lake area according to foursquare (my lazy secret to itinerary making 😂), Cafe Dinh. 

It was up in a “ghettoish” building (sorry for the description but I can’t find a better term, and just so you would know it’s very legit local place), it was small, and filled with people that I felt like backing out at first.

But totally no regrets. Definitely the epitome definition of “hole-in-the-wall.”

One striking thing we noticed in Hanoi is that majority of locals are iPhone users. Mark felt out-of-place with his selfie expert phone, Oppo.

But I definitely do this in Cebu… I’d like to think though.

3. Carnival aka Sinulog

There was a carnival show in the lake area, which probably attracted more people to the area. It was like we were in Sinulog. Definitely, I’m not doing this in Cebu. The last time I remember I took part in Sinulog was like 4th year high school, 1998?!? 

The weird thing about their carnival show is that the performers are Caucasian, probably Russians (it’s the closest to the Vietnam.)?!? 

4. Roaming the Old Quarter area of Hanoi aka Colon Street

Though, I love just aimlessly walking around Colon Street but definitely not Mark. After the lake area, we just went around, and I think we were going around what they call the “Old Quarter” area. You’ll pass by hardware stores, clothing stores, souvenir shops, restaurants, street food, and etc. In between, you’ll find many backpacker’s alley where “affordable” hostels are lining. 

And I felt like 70% of the people walking around were foreigners. It’s like walking along the Boracay beach from Station 1 to 3.  I honestly want to get far away from it. @.@ chos!

The best part though was I found a yarn shop!

5. Cathedral aka Cathedral

Our feet brought us to a famous tourist spot, St. Joseph Cathedral. I’m not sure if it was being used because it was close and it was Sunday.

I’m sorry but we have too many Cathedrals back in Cebu. Seriously, what we’re doing there?!? Well, we’re tourist. 🙂

6. Posing with a street lamp / sign.

As much as I love #bloggerpose but definitely not with a street sign, right?

There goes my list of things we will not do back in Cebu, Philippines. 😂

More Day 1 ramblings:

They say that motorists here are notorious. Yes, if you’re from an orderly first world country. But if you’re from Consolacion, Cebu where habal-habal is the king, what notorious motorists?!?

This auntie though… Other motorists shouted at her, and they had a mini catfight! 😂

Wedding them Photo shoots. At first I thought someone had a pre-nuptial photo shoot but then I saw more of them in different corner. So it’s wedding cosplay photo shoot is a thing here.

Mark’s so “picky” with food so the most “streetfood” eating we had done was at the back of the place we stayed.

This was somewhere near our place we’re staying. Finding for the best pho, etc food is too tiring especially with too many people crowding a popular place and the no subtitles menu so we just drag ourselves to a place with no people. 😂

So there…

Day 1: San Miguel Street, Pasig

Nakarating na po ako ng Pasig! 🙂

I’d been only able to stay overnight in Makati or Taguig when in Manila. So it’s something new to be in Ortigas / Pasig. It’s not as manicured as Makati or BGC but the place we stayed has this quaint charm, (or maybe I’m just not in the right place). We’re near Pearl Street which is some sort of food strip, I think.

Below are Some photos for documentation processes. As Mark would say, “there you go again with your Day 1, Day 2, Day xx blog posts. Why can’t you make deeper thoughts?!?” 😂😂😂

Always 1st must do when in new place: coffee!

At Where’s Marcial(sp?). It’s blahhh. Sorry 🙁
At Gantsilyo Guru yarn studio. It was near where we stay.

Estancia Mall(?!) We had lunch at Wholesome Table. It’s hard to appreciate this kind of resto when you have ABACA resto chain in Cebu (it’s not like the holy grail but a good benchmark).  I mean when you wanted to get that new experience in new place, but then you feel like there’s just something like this (maybe better) back in Cebu minus all the frivolous labels like organic, pro-farmer, farm to table churva.  Sorry, I’m whining.

I went alone to SM Megamall. That mall is huge. Hopefully, there’s no important reason for me to go back there.

So proud to see my friend’s face, Karla, on display at SM Megamall.

Near the place we’re staying is a building complex, Pearl Drive, with some restos, which kinda give a hole-in-the-wall vibes (though most of the restos are actually from a chain, but they’re like all new to me). I think this was what made the place we’re staying interesting(?).

At Mister Kabab.


The only photo I managed to get from Migi’s birthday today is with his signature awkward facial expression.

Birthday cake from @keihlasmom

And now I am officially a mother to a teenager.

I don’t know if he still did the candle blowing. But Meg had demanded to get over the candle-blowing as she wanted to eat the cake already. 

It’s like they’re officially over the phase in which candle-blowing is like the main event of a birthday.

Anyhow, thankful for these babies and family and friends. 🙂 

So what’s your purpose?

My dressmaking class in TESDA is nearing end. I think we’re only up to August. The classmates I get to be closer are these 3 young girls who are also from Consolacion. I mostly go home with them. 

One time they were discussing about getting a endorsement from TESDA, after graduating for, for work in MEPZA. So I asked them how does it work blah blah? 

After back and forth discussion, one of the girls asked me, “ikaw, ate, unsa diay imo purpose sa pagskuyla?”

I was dumbfounded, and was not able to reply. I enrolled back in February, but the class only started in June as it was slow to get filled up. In between, I forgot what was really the reason why I enrolled in the first place. 

They then gave me a confused look. And, I gave them back a more confused look.

“Rich kid diay ka.” One of them blurted out to answer the other girl’s answer.

“O. Rich kid bitaw ko.” I second the motion for lack of a better answer, and to end the discussion.

There are times that I underestimated them as they are 10 years younger than me. I felt like I know life better. But here they are making me feel intimidated for not knowing “purpose.”

On the other hand, I felt vindicated when I told one of the girls that the real reason why she enrolled to dressmaking is because she was just looking for a way to move on from her missing-in-action boyfriend. And, she said how did I know? Then the discussion was then switched to her struggle with her lovelife. Anyhow, I applauded her for making something productive instead of making “mokmok.”

Yaknow, I may not know about “life’s purpose” but I always have this hidden talent of seeing something from someone’s face especialy when it comes to boys and love and chismis. Kidding! I actually just bluff, and somehow it was spot on. 😂

Our classmate’s car broke down in Mandaue. This was one of the enforcer who helped usz I was trying to play cupid between these two. (I gave her a cropped version of this photo but no high hopes because enforcer’s in a relationship.)

SG 2017 Day 4

Yes, I’m not yet done. 😂

I wanted to see the crochet installation in Marina Bay, but we got lazy. I kinda loathe myself why I did not put a bit of effort to see it. 

Anyhow, this is probably the first time that I did not got to do a lot of eating at hawker station. When in SG, it’s always hawker over restaurant. Well, because cheap. 

But first, let me #bloggerpose.

I love the place we’re staying that we always airbnb here. But I hate that it has no nearby train station, and most of all no nearby hawker station. And the nearest one to it is a blahhh. Though, it has stalls with “awards” but it does not have the usual hawker favorites of mine: biryani, laksa, parata, chicken rice (or maybe i did not see it). The popular ones here in this hawker station is Nasi Lemak, which is an SG favorite dish that I could never get why they like it. You have all sorts of “salty” in one plate from peanut to the dried fish. 

Another bestseller here is this soup. Sorry, I forgot the name but it’s an Indian dish. 

But lychee drink & Kopi C were always there to save the day! 
The hawker station is Adam Road Hawker Station (and I’m sure I did not get the name right). Most of the nearby residents here are probably of Indian descent that most of the stalls here are of Indian food but disappointed that no one serves Biryani. (Gahhh, I sound so whine-y!)

Now let me take another #travelbloggerpose.

Our flight was still as midnight. We went to the airport, and drop our stuff at a luggage station for a fee. We got out, and went to Anana’s in Kembangan (long story but it’s in my must-do when in SG). It’s like a fastfood for chicken rice with many outlets. But sad and surprised that Anana’s no longer exist in the Kembangan station. But it’s renamed or rebranded. I was so sad to even take note of its new name. 

There’s nothing extraordinary with Anana’s except that it’s so ordinary that it feels like I’d eat there I’m like doing a legit be-local. This is what I always look forward to when landing in SG.

We went to Changi Expo after. It’s my first time in this place. And, the gem I found was this “dollar” store of chocolates which are staple of balikbayan boxes. I so wanna buy lots of them but Mark kept yapping I’d be bringing diabetes. Duh! @.@

Then we ate at Jollibee because I just want to taste our own Nasi Lemak version minus the dried fish and peanuts.

Yes. Beautiful women go for Jollibee.

I had my ezlink card refunded when we got back at the airport, and felt like a boss when I got SG$0.03 more than what’s in my tap card. But then lose them all on Bee Cheng Hiang.

Do you notice how their bills don’t get crinkled? 

SG 2017 Day 3

What having NO MONEY did to me in Singapore? Surprisingly, it’s not bad!

As I mentioned in my Day 2 post, a yarn warehouse gobbled up all my chicken rice money. With that, I deleted my long itinerary list. I decided to just stay at our airbnb-ed place, and crochet the dress which needed to be done by Friday. Anyhow, there’s no bad day with crochet.

In the middle of crochet, I thought of visiting a public library to finish my crocheting there, and also check if they have crochet or knitting books. But a friend messaged to meet for the best chicken curry. Who can say NO?!? 😍

This was at Queensway Shopping Centre.

I then tagged along with her to her office. She works for Seinnheiser. She definitely has an interesting workplace!

After that, there was a park and a bridge nearby which connects to the Henderson wave. I was thinking of trekking the bridge all through the Henderson wave which would end up in Mt Faber but thought of doing it another day with Mark.

I then proceeded to going to a public library as I originally planned in the morning!

I was so happy that I did go to their library! They have quite a lot of books about crochet and knitting, and so many other kind of books. Books that look good, updated, and not delapitated.  It was kind of surreal that this kind of thing exists for free (of course, not really free because SG taxes paying for it but not to overthink about it; it’s free!) For the 1st time, I got envious of this 1st world living.

SG 2017 Day 2

My Default top 1 thing to do in Singapore: MacRitchie Trail.

Encountered this baby crocodile. Sometimes, it would be a snake or a monkey. It kind of feel weird to see them when you know you’re in the middle of a city.

Singaporean is so OC, even their “kalibunan” (trail) is ISO 9001 certified. 😂 Signages every where! With that said, no one will ever get lost in this city because it’s like a failure in their design, and of course, OC people cannot take that. 
I was advised by a friend to check ONDORI, a yarn shop. I thought it was some local yarn shop located in the HDB. 

But it’s actually a YARN WAREHOUSE! And, it gobbled all my chicken rice and kopi-c money! 😭😭😭 (Gonna blog more about this in my craftynanay.com blogsite.)

I just rationalized that hey I don’t really buy bags, shoes, clothes, and other girl stuff. So I’m making it up with these yarns and gizmos! 😂

We went to Jurong East to meet up Pio-san and Cindy-san (coz they look like Japanese) who are expecting a baby!!! We’re all excited because finally!!! I pray for this baby! Thank, God!

I made a quick crochet crown. And, no photos of the final output! How bad of me! 😂

I love Jurong East. It’s my 1st time to be on that side of SG. Jurong East can be best described with this veggie bowl! The place is so green, with lots of spaces, and a pretty public library!

No photo of Preggers Cindy because “tinoohan” like that.

SG Day 1

First day in SG, I visited a friend in Telor Ayek ON MY OWN. And, as expected, I missed bus stops and got lost a bit. But it no longer scared me. SG people is too OC in their designing and labelling their mass transit for any one to get lost. 😂

After lunch, she walked me to Chinatown so we had no luxury designer brands as backdrop for our selfie.

My friend’s work here is to make Google richer. 😂
Chinatown for me is Golden Dragon Store.

I can just spent all my time here in SG. 

Then I walk to Plaza Singapura from Chinatown because according to google maps it’s the shortest route. It was only 1.8km though friend said it’s too far. 

Anyhow, google maps did not disappoint me. It brought me to Clark Quay area.

To Fort Caning area, which was a first time for me.

And finally to Plaza Singapura for more yarns… 

It’s kinda interesting how one’s interest will take us. The 1st time we’re here, it was all about running then we probably run all the running areas. Then, there was startup, and went to all startup hubs, then there was coffee, and went to all coffee places, etc. And this time, it’s yarns for me! 😂 

I wonder how each people’s interest will “shape” their travels or work or life. 

#titasofcebu: Pastry Shops

The last 2 weeks, I was able to catch up with friends. So I got to tag along with them to the new cafe / restos, which I was also curious to try out since seeing them a lot on my social network feed. The IG posts pressure was so high; though gut feelings said it’s going to be a disappointment. 

And, gut feelings did not disappoint.

1st cafe tasted

2nd resto tasted

The cakes / pastry are all the same generic as what are offered in all other pastry / cafe / resto of Cebu. So much investment in making the resto pretty but the serving is unimaginative boring. It’s like a pretty boy with nothing in between his ears. #chos

Not posting the names of the resto just in case they’ll get me as their celebrity blogger. 😂 And, hey they’re providing employment. 🙂