Monday, November 10, 2014

Breakfast truly like a local..

It is a Monday. And to start the busy week off.. I decided to go and hunt down a coffee shop (or in my local terms: kopitiam) for the infamous coffee with butter (kopi guyou). 

I don't really drink coffee at the local kopitiam simply because I don't like the taste of robusta coffee. The aftertaste on the tongue lingers too long for my liking. So what did I order instead? Tea (teh)!

A simple kopitiam under the void deck at 10 North Bridge Road. I walked a whole round before finding it and true to its words. Heap Seng Leong opens from 4am to 8pm daily and serves no fancy fare. Beware: for those like me who are used to our current state of kopitiams. The initial 'smell' of the place may turn you off. But that's what a genuine old place feels and smells like. =)

My teh.. See the amount of condensed milk beneath? =) 

And the only food they serve. Kaya butter toast. 

With the traditional generous slice of butter in between. 

No doubt a simple meal. But when you're surrounded by the usual suspects at a kopitiam (read: uncles) and you're the only female adult and in office wear. It does make you stand out.. No? =P

Here's to an awesome week ahead!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

To the diamond of the far east and back..

Although it started out as a work trip to Ho Chi Minh City. I had 3 free days after and decided to visit some of the more famous landmarks and dabble a little in the cafe scene and the local morning scene. =) 

Ho Chi Minh City. Also known as Saigon. Is named after the leader of Vietminh. Ho Chi Minh. What was once a small fishing village grew and became a metropolitan hub. A lot of historical sites are still around with a good mix of cityscapes. (read more at:

In the 3 free days I had. Besides the daily drinks I had. The cafe hopping I did. 2 things stood out among the rest: catching the AO show in the Saigon Opera House and having breakfast in the park with the locals amidst the chirping and songs of the birds. Photo blog to ensue. =)

First up. Saigon Opera House. 'One of Ho Chi Minh City's most prominent landmarks, the Saigon Opera House was custom built in 1897 by French architect Eugene Ferret. In 1955 it was transformed into South Vietnam's Assembly House and has undergone several refurbishments since. It is only open to the public during events.' (read:

The only way to see the interior of the House was to go for a show. Which was what I did with 3 other friends! =D

An old school chandelier.

The art student captured this shot of me 'coz I want the chandelier by the pillar..'

And here we are in a row: second row seats for USD$50!

The interior of the hall. I was telling the art friend that it would be simply awesome if it was a Shakespeare play instead. Old Victorian style of building with an old English play.. Le sigh.

Night view of the Opera House.

Before I went on this trip. I was planning to catch the birds in song at the local park: Tao Dan Park. It was something interesting that I picked up as I was reading my Lonely Planet guide. (read: So instead of sleeping in after late night out. I crawled out of bed and met a friend and off we went in search of the birds (and of course breakfast)!

The pushcart for drinks. Limited drinks.

And food. I only saw eggs. Bread. Vege.

This was the scene in the park. Retirees and people on the way to work grabbing a drink.

Actually I wanted hot tea. But it came as tea + ice + sugar + calamasi = iced lemon tea. But my friend got her iced coffee right. =)

A simple breakfast.

And the activities in the park.

A scene where bird owners were 'sunning' their birds in the morning sunshine. Only from 7am to 9am daily. After 9am. Most of the birds are brought away.

Finally my hot tea and friend's iced coffee (again). =)

Sometimes all I want during my travels is to indulge myself in what the locals do. That's how I learn and get to know their culture better. =)