Even back in Manila and while working in China Town for a few years, I have had my share of dragon dance during the celebration of the Lunar New Year. Even street children join in the festivities.
When we moved here in Vietnam which is largely influenced by the Chinese culture and traditions, well, dragon dances are not only the norm during the Lunar New Year, but also during store openings.
With their festive colors, you can’t help but stop at your tracks and just watch the group of men dancing in perfect synchronicity.
The thundering drums is the perfect accompaniment for such an event.
While this long dragon is the usual —-
Additional shows are included like these kids performing some fight moves —
This is not usual. So it was nice to watch this.
But of course the usual dragon will always be present.
But then you have this!
Dragon pole dance!!! Can you imagine? There were two kids up there!
How? I have no idea!
And then another evolution of the dragon dance is —-
Photo by Oliver Reyes
I guess you have to change the program sometimes, eh?
Photo by Nix Juban
Seen any interesting dragon dance over the new year?
I forgot how much I love Thai food until I set foot inside Tuk Tuk. Been hearing lots of good feedback about it a few months ago but seriously, Saigon has many terrific restaurant choices that you just can’t choose!
So during Tet Eve, I browsed through the list of open restaurants and luckily, Tuk Tuk was open till 9 PM. I called them up and reserved a table for our small family.
We ordered the Yam Pla Duk Foo (Fluffy fried catfish with spicy mango salad), Peek Gai Thord Ta Krai (deep fried chicken wings with lemongrass), Khao Pad Tom Yam (Tom yam fried rice with prawns & mushroom), Pad Thai, and the Tom Yam.
Peek Gai Thord Ta Krai
Khao Pad Tom Yam
Yam Pla Duk Foo
The verdict? The food is really, really good. Tastes like authentic Thai cuisine and not pricey. This is my new favorite Thai restaurant in Saigon! :)
Tuk Tuk Thai Bistro
17/11 Le Thanh Ton St., D1
Ho Chi Minh City
What to do on the last day of the Tet one week holiday? Grab the chance to bike a bit. And I mean a bit. We set lofty goals this morning and it got us back to Phu My Bridge. We did make it up the bridge last month, so before we head back to the grind, hubby and I decided to visit it again.
But this time though, we didn’t care much about going anywhere else. May be we’ll do this our monthly thing until we overcome the weary muscles taking us up.
While resting at the top, must have some evidence I went up right? So I took this shot. :P
Before we went down, a lady on a road bike said hi as she pumped her way up effortlessly. Ugh. So envious. A few moments later, a young Vietnamese guy on a no-gear bike was biking his way up too. WTH?
So we went back down to D7 from where we came from and lo and behold, no 10 minutes later, the same lady on the road bike came riding back up! WHOA! That’s her on the left making her way back up the bridge. ARGH!
While I on the other hand couldn’t even go down the bridge because I fear about going up again on the other side. SIGH.
How did your Tet holiday go?
On Tet Eve, we brought our family to District 1 to watch the fireworks display. All we wanted was a high perch to view the night skies unencumbered. We tried watching a couple of years ago along Ham Nghi but my youngest son fell asleep and it was such a hassle carrying him while watching the fireworks on the street.
Luckily we scored a corner room at Pullman Saigon Hotel. Even without the fireworks, the room was worth it. Waking up to a view of Saigon is such a treat.
Since Tet Eve is also Ash Wednesday, we attended the Holy Mass at the Pastoral Centre and got back to the hotel by 9 PM. Traffic was light in some areas but when you get to the city center along Ben Thanh Market, there were so much motorbikes and people on the street.
By 10 pm, Tran Hung Dao street from Pullman did not allow four wheels anymore. Only motorbikes were allowed into the city center. We saw some groups get down from their cabs to walk a kilometer to Ham Nghi were the fireworks can be clearly viewed.
Then starting at midnight, the sky lit up for 15 minutes to welcome the Year of the Goat or Sheep or Ram. :P We could actually see 2 fireworks display from our room but the nearest was of course from the Saigon River.
We saw lots of sunflowers. There were hearts and smileys but I was unable to capture it on camera.
Below are some more shots I took. Don’t expect too much!
My eldest son loved the fireworks so much that he is now incorporating fireworks into his Minecraft.
Welcome 2015! Be nice!
Can’t believe we’re celebrating our 6th Lunar New Year already in Saigon!
Happy Year of the Goat or Sheep!
So a few weeks back, we had a short trip ’round the city and we ended up over Thu Thiem Tunnel.
These days we have perfectly cool morning weather that you don’t realize you’re frying already under the hot sun.
From across, you have an unencumbered view of Nguyen Tat Thanh and Ton Duc Thang streets.
The floating restaurant, Elisa is a beautiful ship!
And of course, the Bitexco Financial Tower —
The only thing that marred the view is the building to the left of Bitexco. I just wish they’d finish it already. It has been YEARS!
This spot on Thu Thiem is a park as well. And people can mill around freely. There are no establishments around so this is a terrific place to chill.
I would love to come back in the evening to see the lights. Am sure the Lunar New Year fireworks from this view will be picture perfect!