Ho Chi Minh City – Gateway to Fab Holidays

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People’s Committee Building, photo by Armi Deticio

Done with the Ho Chi Minh City tour? Visited the Cu Chi Tunnels already? Posed in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral? Cried in the War Remnants Museum? Rode the cyclo? Already immersed yourself in the street culture of Saigon?

Time to step out of Saigon and drive a bit further out the city to explore new sights!

Saigon with all its charm and chaos is a perfect gateway to neighboring tourist sites. Some takes you two hours or may be half a day but compared to other places in Asia, traveling won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Mekong Delta River Tour

Explore the towns of Cai Be, Vinh Long, Ben Tre and, Can Tho. Take a morning river ride and see the floating market come to life. We tried the Cai Be and Vinh Long route before and it was a wonderful opportunity to see the countryside and indulge in some local delicacies. You will never go hungry if you take this tour, I tell you. And while you’re at it, try the snake wine too!

Ho Tram

Another of my favorite destinations outside Saigon is Ho Tram which is just 2.5 hours by bus. And if you’ve been staying in Saigon for a while, you’d know that vehicles here travel from 40-60 kph only so 2.5 hours travel is quite short.  The more popular resort in this area is The Grand Ho Tram Strip.  It’s the nearest beach you can go to from Saigon.

Phan Thiet

If you can have half a day devoted to travel, Phan Thiet is a terrific option for beach bums. There’s a long strip along Nguyen Dinh Chieu in the town of Mui Ne, where you can laze your day away by the beach or visit the awe-inspiring Yellow Sand Dunes or the White Sand Dunes. And while you’re there, make sure to try the seafood! We always drop by Hoa Vien or Cay Bang.

Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc is an island destination in Ken Giang Province found at the South West of Saigon. It’s roughly a 30-minute plane ride. Yup! You aren’t done with your snack yet and you’re already landing. We’ve tried Air Mekong on our holiday there and we had a smooth trip. What I loved most about Phu Quoc is the pristine white Sao Beach and of course the food! Phu Quoc is also home to a national park including land and sea areas.


Yup, from Ho Chi Minh City, it’s just a 4-hour ride to Phnom Penh. If you’re holding an ASEAN passport, you don’t have to worry about getting a Visa once you get to the border. Explore the city’s capital and visit interesting spots like the National Museum, Royal Throne Hall, Silver Pagoda, Wat Phnom, and Victory Monument. Take a plunge in Cambodia’s history by visiting the Killing Fields and Toul Sleng Museum. But of course remember to cap off your stay with a visit to the Russian Market. If you want to take a longer visit to Cambodia, Siem Reap is worth the trip!

Those are 5 fantastic ways to take full advantage of your stay in Ho Chi Minh City!

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Thanks for helping us help HOW!

Thank you everyone to those who dropped by our booth, Loom Creations in last Sunday’s Saigon Flea Market. Thank you also to those who helped spread the word and those who expressed their interest in volunteering their talent and time to Helping Orphans Worldwide.
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Thank you to our families and friends who helped set-up and sell from 11 am till 6 pm!

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It was our first time to join the Saigon Flea Market and I laud all those people who work in the selling industry. It’s not easy selling! LOL

 photo viberimage_zps9b50c9b2.jpgGood thing by the afternoon, our friend’s son, Ben, started doing a demo. :D

 photo 20140824_170605_zps8d43b553.jpgThat helped engage customers. Again, thank you so much to all those who bought our items!

 photo 20140824_154028_zps43c82ab4.jpgWe would like to also thank Kerri from HOW for dropping by and buying as well!

 photo 20140824_173607_zps9976abb1.jpgSpecial thanks to our supplier Thun Cau Vong and Ms. Thu. I urge you to check out their website and buy from them if you’re looking for ORIGINAL Rainbow Loom products. They offer free delivery in HCMC!

If you have time to volunteer or donate, do read up on Helping Orphans Worldwide and help save lives!

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The Cake Factory Vietnam

Finally got to try ordering from The Cake Factory Vietnam for my son’s 6th birthday. We didn’t plan anything grand, just cupcakes and juice for my sons’ Kinder class.
 photo 20140822_101743_zpsde2b145e.jpgIt was just so easy to order. Just email the design you like at least a week before and voila, you get what you ordered.

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Sam is still in his Lego/blocks stage. And we see no end to his interest. HIs younger brother, Rafa is following suit. So it looks like this will be a recurring theme.
 photo 20140822_101807_zps89e61fb0.jpgWe had the same theme for Rafa’s 1st birthday.

 photo 20140822_101821_zpse8cf12bb.jpgA couple of blocks fell off the cupcakes but it was no problem, the delivery guy helped fix it. The kids were actually wary about the blocks, thinking they were toys! They didn’t want to eat ‘em!

 photo 20140823_132129_zpsbe97a019.jpgWe also gave out some souvenirs with the help of a kraft paper, washi tape, and cut-outs by PaperKraftVNhttps://www.facebook.com/paperkraftVN. :D

 photo 20140822_131154_zps321e9adf.jpgI know, I know shameless plugging! :P

 photo 20140822_131308_zps2283ac14.jpgBack to The Cake Factory, I highly recommend them with the ease of communication and delicious goodies. We got the chocolate and red velvet by the way and they were yummy! Not too sweet!


The Cake Factory Vietnam
0903 193 350 – 0913 737 013


Posted in Gastronomic Delights, Sharing Saigon, Spills | 1 Comment

Help us help HOW!

 photo 1381884584_zps4fcdfd88.pngIn my previous post, I’ve announced that we’re joining the upcoming Saigon Flea Market. 50% of the sales will go to Helping Orphans Worldwide.

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This is also an opportunity to raise awareness on Epidermolysis Bullosa and that yes, there are Vietnamese children who are afflicted with this disease and require daily wound care.

 photo IMG_5798_zps036900a4.jpgIf you wish to reserve the product you want, you can check the Loom Creations Collection in PaperKraftVN’s Facebook page.
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See you on the 24th of August at Boomarang, Crescent, D7 from 11 am to 7pm! Please help us help HOW!

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Loom Creations at the Saigon Flea Market

Remember my post on Rainbow Loom a few months ago? Well, it kinda got out of hand and we’ve started making bracelets for nobody in particular. So my friend, Armi and I decided to team up for the upcoming Saigon Flea Market this Sunday, August 24 from 11 am to 7 pm at Boomarang, Crescent, D7.
 photo 10403756_828478800530278_7089487367960378638_o_zpsc8b28cee.jpgPlease drop by our humble booth which we called:

 photo viberimage_zps599af64d.jpgWe shall be selling loom bracelets, key chains, and original Rainbow Loom products.

 photo IMG_5787_zps2a24562a.jpgWe have lovely pieces so please check our products.

 photo IMG_5797_zps659833ff.jpgColorful bracelets —

 photo IMG_5802_zps8f930745.jpgSome with charms —

 photo IMG_5794_zps6a54252f.jpg50% of our sales will go to our chosen charity, Helping Orphans Worldwide (HOW).

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If you remember, I interviewed, HOW‘s co-founder, Hillary Brown in 2012. HOW is active in Vietnam especially helping kids with the rare genetic disease Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) – “wherein slightest friction can cause the skin to peel”. The kids suffer from sores inside and outside their bodies and are in constant pain. Apart from that HOW supports several programs in Vietnam to help the children and the poor.

So please, drop by our booth Loom Creations on Sunday and help us help HOW.

See you there!

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Paper Kraft

Shameless plugging of my new offering — Paper Kraft. A friend from the Philippines (Hi sis Ai!) introduced me to this and would like to offer the same here in Vietnam.

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Paper cut outs for family trees, cards, labels, calling cards, and more…

 photo IMG_2223_zpse4a36e23.jpgI personally like the Family Trees —

 photo IMG_2209_zps51d7d4cc.jpgThey’re nice decors for the home.

 photo 20140709_164255_zps623e19c3.jpgAnother is the significant dates where you can put in family members’ birth dates and mom & dad’s wedding anniversary.

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These are one-of-a-kind thoughtful gift ideas for family and friends.

  photo IMG_2220_zps599cd496.jpgAnd if you have a family motto you want your kids to always remember, why not place it somewhere where all in the household can see? This one is vinyl on canvas.

To order email hellopaperkraft@gmail.com. Please like PaperKraft on Facebook.


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Food Trip: Ciao Bella

Before there was Saffron, there was Ciao Bella.
 photo 20140812_122533_zpsa5ae9781.jpgSaffron, Ciao Bella, and the new restaurant, Aura are from the same group of restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City. Well, I have yet to try Aura which is currently undergoing renovations.  photo 20140812_122517_zps629bf696.jpg

The appetizers in Saffron and Ciao Bella are the same so definitely gratifying! We had their Caesar’s Salad which is exceptional as always! Bacon in your salad? How can you dislike, right?

 photo 20140812_124327_zps50a36a78.jpgKat, who introduced me to Ciao Bella, ordered the Sea Bass — which literally melts in your mouth.

 photo 20140812_124344_zps734f8cda.jpgI ordered the Goat Cheese Ravioli. I love this! Although the plating could definitely be better, the taste is awesome! Kat doesn’t like goat cheese so I had this all to myself. :P

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Similar to Saffron, their lunch meal ends with dessert and tea/coffee. 

Looking for affordable Italian food to satisfy your cravings?  Ciao Bella is the place to be.


Ciao Bella
11 Dong Du, District 1
Ho Chi Minh City

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