Friday, November 22, 2013

2013 Hanoi Trip - Sketch Coffee (Sketch Cà Phê)

Location: Hanoi, Vietnam

Full experience of my visit to Hanoi can be accessed through the list below:

More about Hanoi can be read through the list below:
Vietnamese Dong

Sometimes stumbling blindly around during a backpack trip can be a bad idea, but there lies an equal chance of being pleasantly surprised as well. In the hours before our session of water puppet show began on the first day of our trip, we were tired from a day long walk around the Old Quarter. A cursory glance above our heads revealed a cafe in one of the neighboring buildings of Thang Long Water Puppet, except that we couldn't find the way to go up.

Sketch Coffee, a cafe located on the second floor on a neighboring building around Thang Long Water Puppet

Monday, November 18, 2013

Headline Places - Deadly Russian plane crash in Kazan

Location: Kazan, Russia

The unfortunate accident of plane crash today (Nov 18, 2013) in Kazan, Russia raised fresh alarm over the aviation safety of the country. The plane involved was a Boeing 737-500, operated by regional carrier of Tatarstan region in central Russia, Tatarstan Airlines. 44 passengers and 6 crews on board were killed when the pilot tried a second landing in the Volga city after departing from Moscow's Domodedovo airport.

A criminal investigation had been launched to determine the exact causes as well events leading up to the point of the crash, a scene which could only be described as apocalyptic images taken of the fiery and debris strewn runway. The plane exploded upon impact at about 19:20 local time (15:20 GMT).

Question: Where is Kazan in Russia?

Video taken from Yahoo News (original source from Reuters Videos) elaborating the plane crash in Kazan, Russia.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

2013 Hanoi Trip - New Day Restaurant (một ngày mới)

Location: Hanoi, Vietnam

Vietnamese: một ngày mới

Full experience of my visit to Hanoi can be accessed through the list below:

More about Hanoi can be read through the list below:
Vietnamese Dong

The trouble with traveling to a new location where the culture is vastly different and alien to you is the choice of dining spot. Choices were abundant when it came to lunch time in Hanoi, but therein lied the problem. Too many choices created an inability to choose from, and as if anticipating our thoughts, our hostel reception recommended New Day Restaurant as a possible choice. With the location marked on our map, off we went to explore our first Vietnamese fare. And not a bad recommendation it was.

A rainy lunch day in Hanoi. For foreigners unfamiliar with Vietnamese fare, especially their way of sitting on very low stool for food, dining at New Day Restaurant would be a good choice.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Travel through Philately - Cocos (Keeling) Islands Australia - 50 Years of Stamps

Cocos Islands has as interesting a geography as Christmas Island - they are both part of Australia yet they are nearer to the Indonesian archipelago than the mainland, the latter more so than the former, and larger. Although the island inhabitants, mainly Cocos Malay, maintained a western culture, there are extensive influences from Malaysia and Indonesia due to their proximity. Historically, their geographical location had them placed under the administration of Straits Settlements, which included Penang, Singapore and Malacca, after their annexation by the British Empire in 1857. The islands' control transferred to Australia on 23 November 1955.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

2013 Hanoi Trip - St Joseph's Cathedral (Nhà thờ Lớn Hà Nội)

Location: Hanoi, Northern Vietnam.

Vietnamese: Nhà thờ Lớn Hà Nội (Nhà thờ is Vietnamese for 'church')

Full experience of my visit to Hanoi can be accessed through the list below:

More about Hanoi can be read through the list below:
Vietnamese Dong

It was hard to not be captivated by the neo-Gothic facade which greeted us after we stumbled out of the maze of crowded streets into the expanse of a small plaza. If not for the ever busy street filled with endless motorcycles and dark complexions, we would have thought we arrived in France instead of Vietnam. Digging up the name of the building from my memories of local attractions was relatively easy, for there are no Catholic church in Hanoi more famous or enduring than St Joseph Cathedral.

St Joseph Cathedral in an afternoon, with schoolkids enjoying themselves in the small plaza in front of the church.

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