Archive | November, 2012

Here Are Some Big Ass Dragon Fruits

29 Nov

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The Oldest Train in Vietnam

29 Nov

Whilst in Dalat, we also checked out the oldest train in Vietnam, better known as the Cremaillere Railway. Home to an ancient steam engine, we chugged a monstrous 8km in a super fast 45 mins – speedy or what?

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On board the train it was a heady mix of passengers (about 12 of us) and newly weds and photographers (an almost uncountable amount of them), it was really surreal. In fact, our trip was delayed thanks to several of these couples, at least they’re happy though:

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…and trendy!

Anyhow, after hitting the 8km mark we disembarked at the “station” in Trai Mat, a tiny village but home to the stunning Linh Phuoc Pagoda, a beautiful and obscenely ornate ceramic covered pagoda that towers over ostentatious word carvings.

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Here’s a dragon/dog…/monkey…?

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cool right? We only had 45 mins on the ground before our train set back off on its arduous journey, but we did manage to climb to the top of the pagoda, the view wasn’t great but it was insanely steep, so a decent work out – made all the more slippy and dangerous by the weird shoe-socks covering our feet.

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Crazy House, Dalat

29 Nov

where better to start this backlog than in the epicentre of Phone-gate? Of course I mean Dalat, Vietnam (just in case you didn’t know!)

The crazy house is, well, a crazy house. It been in the process of being continually built for the past 20 years, being started in 1992 as a fusion between nature and architecture by some crazy (it’s my WORD OF THE DAY!!) architecht.

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Looking like an unused set from Jim Henson’s ‘The Dark Crystal’, the Crazy house is part attraction and art hotel, as you can actually pay an extortionate amount of money to stay in the bizarre rooms. There are skybridges that cross from building to building, offering not only a great view of Dalat (itself not that great) and a free heart attack.

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The strangest bit about the crazy house is the fact that, even though it is only half built, every bloody path ends up at a different gift shop. Seriously. We counted about five different shops. Here’s Hannah playing a stone xylophone kind of like Tom Hanks did in Big…

ImageIn fact the craziest bit about the crazy house is the crazy communist room that we stumbled upon. It’s literally filled with news articles praising communist leaders…also, I think it was someone’s living room…?!

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Street Food, Phnom Penh

24 Nov

I was walking down a street and saw a street stall barbecuing a Stringray. Naturally, I immediately had to eat it, so I did!

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It might look like a giant mushroom but it is actually quite tasty. There’s not do many bones, and the ones that are there are pretty big. Stingray doesn’t have an overpowering taste but it is…mellow…(does that make sense?!)

Anyway it was pleasant enough and the novelty factor helped justify its $3 price!

Good shit.

Street Massage, Saigon

21 Nov

I’ve been under a lot of stress since phone-gate, so I got a well deserved street massage.

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Yeah, it was similar to the one I got on Cat Ba, except that my shoulders got pummelled; seriously. If I was a beef steak if have melted your mouth after such a tenderising.

That wasn’t the end though. Oh no. He then cracked these out and did this:

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Yep, I underwent the ancient art of Cupping, which is supposed to help blood flow and suck disease out of you…! Personally it felt like (and looked like) I’d been intimate with a squid.

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Btw it’s three days later and I’m still rocking live bites Kevin & Perry would be proud of!

Kangaroo Beefsteak, Saigon

17 Nov

I don’t remember the name of the nice little restaurant we visited today, but it was busy with customers do that’s always a good sign!

I had the Kangaroo beefsteak with potato (aka fries…)

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Although smallish (disappointingly small tbh) it was tender and perfectly seasoned. For those who have never tasted kangaroo, it tasted like a pork escalope but a bit chicken-y… So not as tough as pork, but not chicken tender…right…

Very good shit.

PCK, Saigon

17 Nov

Found a nice little restaurant in Saigon whilst waiting for the Reunification Palace to open up. PCK can be found just up the road from the palace; I had beef congee (rice porridge).

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We served congee to athletes all summer at the Olympics and it seemed I high time I tried the real thing!

Good shit.