Archive for ‘Asia’

September 30, 2021

The battlefields in France of WWI or Great War.

Here is something I gave credit in my blog a while back, and its time to update text and links and carry it on in my black and white series, no pictures. This is one of those posts that pictures are not needed me think. I like to pay tribute to all those who gave it all for me and my children and freedom in our world. This is my humble hommage to them with some of the battlefields in France of WWI or the Great War as its call here in my belle France. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Dates come and go and come and we sometimes find no time to write about certain dear things to us. This is the case of the efffort of many for a free Europe/World. I am particularly thankful to the Americans ,which I am and French. I like to pay tribute to those who fought and or died for our freedom from all Nations in this humble post. I have visited these places one time or another.

I married a patriotic French women from the Battlefields of the Marne, Monument Americain or American Monument on the Route de Varennes near Meaux, today , there is a wonderful WWI museum there that you all should visit.  Museum of the Great War,see post, Webpage :

The Battle of the Somme in WWI was a huge battlefront of 750 kms (about 465 miles) including two periods. Since September 1914 the course to the sea around the monuments of Ovilliers, Guillemont, and Flers. And then a north south line along the villages of Beaumont-Hamel, Thiepval, La Boisselle, Fricourt, Maricourt, Curlu, Dompierre, Fay, Chaulnes, and Maucourt. It then , came again in June 1916 in the second Battle of the Somme, from Beaumont-Hamel and Bapaume to the north to Chilly,Chaulnes to the south; here the British and French fought side by side until a line at Maricourt. The battle involves about a million men and 200 000 horses as the official encounter began on June 24.  By July 2nd the losses were big already 58K men of which 22K killed especially by the British, their biggest losses up to that point in any war. Total by the December 1916 the losses were big, 1,2Million men out of combat for a total of 3M; the British advance only 12 kms the French 5-8kms alone the line.  Here too it talks about the great British offensive of Yprés from June to October 1917, the battle of Cambrai in November (first using tanks), and the tragic offensive of the French at Chemin des Dames.  1918, mark the commandement unique of the allied army to Marichal Foch March 26 at Doullens, the offensive by the Australians at Villers-Bretonneux, the American monument at Cantigny, monument to the 2nd division Australians at Peronne and the Canadian memorial at Le Quesnel, all evoke the counteroffensive that led to the armistice of November 11 at Compiegne. You should visit the Historial de la Grande Guerre in Peronne see posts, webpage :

You can see the Cross to the 16st Irish division at Guillemont and Ginchy with Irish Treffles  for heroic action on September 3 and 9, 1916. Also, remembering all the Irish who lost their lives in WWI.  At Longueval,  and the taking of Bois Delville by the South Africans  on July 15-20 1916. At Longueval, we ,also, honor the New Zealanders that took bravery here on September 15 1916 taking objective near Flers the wood of Fourcaux, or high wood done by the 47th London division of New Zealand! You can see the South African memorial of Bois Delville with 63 hectares land of South Africa from 1920. Behind you will find a museum too with a replica of Fort du Cap. The New Zealanders have their memorial with a cross of the 12th battalion of Gloucestershire and the cemetary of Caterpillar Valley, Scottish monument of the 1th Cameron Highlanders, 1st Black Watch, and the 47th division with a Cairn of 192 stones coming from Scotland to honor the 192 who felled here from the 9th battalion Highland light Infantry (Glasgow highlanders) and the London cemetary out in about 2 km from Longueval.

The Canadians are here too, Memorial Canadien on the road D929 to the right hand side in granite stone toward the village of Courcelette, took part here September 3 to November 18 1916. Losing 24K of their sons. You have the memorial to Newfoundlanders  with 16 hectares done in 1925, you can see while getting there on the road a statue of a Caribou ,their mascot in bronce.  You can see at La Boiselle the Lochnagar Crater of 100 meters in diameter around here you saw the 34th Division of Scottish and Irish, there is a monument with a bas-relief in bronce of Saint George attacking a dragon, cross of Saint Andrew (Scottish), and a large celtic harp (Irish) with inscription engrave in the stone relating to this battle of July 1,1916.

The great battles around Albert,  with great efforts by the British , the town was destroyed 90% and the town reconstructed with the help of the city of Birmingham in England. You can see the wonderful Basilique Notre Dame de Brebiéres, and not to miss the museum ,see post, Musée Somme 1916 in Albert webpage:

You drive around the area and can visit the Monument to the American and French nurses at Chaulnes, a gift from the USA and France Red Cross; at Lihons on August 21 1916 died in combat after volunteering to fight the nephew of Napoléon Ier Marshal Murat, a prince, you can see it on the road entering Lihons coming from Vermandovillers there is a small route on the left after the town cemetery. See the wonderful Arc de Triomphe at Proyart , a huge memorial for a small town donated by a rich Champagne men who lost his only son in the war.  You can see the old train line that supplies the front lines, the P’tit Train de la Haute-Somme; and now its a tourist attraction at Eclusier-Vaux for the little train ride and a trains museum. The Little train of the Haute Somme, webpage :

On May 28 1918 ,just when the French retreat from the Chemin des Dames and losing Soissons, the Americans land and engage for the first time in the front of Cantigny, and they take the town on May 31.  The American who lost their lives here are buried at the huge American cementary of the Somme in Bony, not far from the imposing memorial of Bellicourt on the road N44, it has a chapel, secretary office, and welcome center. It is honoring of the Big Red One Division on the borders of the town in the road D26 direction Montdidier, not far from the A16 direction Amiens.

At  Villers-Bretonneux, you have the Australian Memorial on the road D23 direction  Fouilloy/Corbie, two huge white towers with an even bigger one in the middle and the names of the dead written on it. It opened in 1938 and here it is held every year the ANZAC Day celebration. They were 331K volunteers from a population of 4,9M and casualties of  58500 men including 16000 dead. See ,also at the Le Hamel the Parc Memorial Australien built by Australia in August 7,1998; free to all with trenches intact.  It is here too in July 4 1918 Australian and American troops fought alongside with infantry, artillery, aviation, tanks, and paratroopers to begin the modern war tactics…The Australian museum webpage :

Do visit the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, where over 72,000 men with no known grave are remembered. Climb to the top of the  Newfoundland Caribou Memorial at Beaumont-Hamel for a moving view of the former battlefield.  See the enormous Lochnagar mine crater at La Boisselle, created at the beginning of the Battle of the Somme, on 1 July at 7h28 (7:28 am). Explore Delville Wood and the South African Memorial at Longueval, a former battleground today at peace. Take part in the moving ANZAC Day Dawn Service on 25 April at Villers-Bretonneux.  Participate with the commemorations of the Battle of the Somme at various sites of remembrance on 1 July.

Today, you can pay tribute to these great men in various cemetaries all over France,these are: The French are care by the Ministry of Defense and in the Somme there are 20 national cementaries webpage:

For those seeking a love one, this place can help, French Defense Ministry webpage :

Picardie 14-18 in French for those seeking battlefields etc mostly British but others too,webpage:

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission takes care of the dead from the areas known as the Commonwealth UK, it takes care of 410 cementaries in the Somme alone, webpage :

From the USA, it is the American Battles Monuments Commission, who handles and maintain them, webpage :

Towns in general of WWI or Great War history and conflict are Doullens, hall of the sole command, Froissy, petit train de la haute somme, Thiepval, memorial Franco-Britanique, La Boiselle, Beaumont-Hamel, Rancourt, Longueval, Albert, Chaulnes,Cantigny,Lihons, Aveluy, Soyécourt, Frisé, Eclusier-Vaux, Maricourt, Feuilléres, Bouchavesnes-Bergen, Flaucourt, Courcelette, Martinpuich, Mametz,Fay,Moislans, Corbie, and Montauban-de-Picardie.

And of course, there are many others like Vimy, the Indian Memorial at Neuve-Chapelle, Notre-Dame de Lorette monument in Ablain-St-Nazaire, National Museum of Franco-American cooperation at Blérancourt, the Clairiére de l’Armistice at Compiegne, the Memory of Walls Museum at Verneuil-en-Halate, Caverne de Dragons and Chemin des Dames near Laon, Second battle of the Marne Memorial and Dormans Ossuary at Dormans, Navarin Ossuary at Souain, The First battle of the Marne memorial at Mondement, Vauquois Hill near Fleury, The world peace center at Verdun, as well as the Verdun Memorial, Douaumont Ossuary and Vaux fort.In addition footnote information, for the Australians the most memorable places other than Villers-Bretonneux are Amiens, Corbie Plateau, Le Hamel, Albert, Poziéres, Sailly-le-Sec and Peronne.

For me including those of WWII as well is the American Cementary of Suresnes (dept 92 Hauts de Seine just outside Paris), And , also, the Lafayette Escadrile located inside the gates of Domaine National de Sainte-Cloud, (dept 92 Hauts de Seine as well)  of where I have been the most and event took visiting friends there. The  ABMC above webpage has more info.

Rememberance is to honor them, never forget. As I see many who likes to come to cemeteries for the rich and famous, why not come to these ones, the feeling is much better and the experience unique! Hope you have enjoy the post as I.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

July 18, 2021

The War Remnants Museum , Ho Chi Minh City!

I am glad got this one out of the hat to update this educational old post on the War Remnants Museum of Ho Chi Minh City! Let me tell you a bit more about it and hope you enjoy it as I.

I have come to Vietnam several times in the last few years, and always a nice welcome. The impressive country knowing of all the wars there is amazing the recuperation of its landscapes. I have touch briefly on it but believe need to expand a bit more on this museum in Ho Chi Minh City, the the War Remnants Museum .


I visited the War Remnants Museum , this is a must to understand the war from French colonial and especially from the American intervention, with portraits, maps, weapons ,and real remnants of airplanes, helicopters, tanks, machine guns like the 107 mm huge; tracing the history of cooperation and support for the Vietnam liberation.  You take it as you know it. It is well worth the visit. 


The War Remnants Museum ,first opened to the public in 1975. Once known as the Museum of American War Crimes, it’s a shocking reminder of the long Vietnam War.  Graphic photographs and American military equipment are on display. There’s a helicopter with rocket launchers, a tank, a fighter plane, a single-seater attack aircraft. You can also see a conventional bomb that weighs at 6,800kg. American troops had used these weapons against the Vietnamese between 1965 and 1975.


Operated by the Vietnamese government, an earlier version of this museum opened on September 4, 1975, as the Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes. It was located in the former United States Information Agency building. In 1990, the name was changed to Exhibition House for Crimes of War and Aggression, dropping both U.S. and Puppet. In 1995, following the normalization of diplomatic relations with the United States and end of the US embargo a year before (the war dead were forgotten), the references to war crimes and aggression were dropped from the museum’s title as well, and it became the War Remnants Museum as of today.


The most talked-about exhibits at the War Remnants Museum are the tiger cages. The South Vietnamese government kept their political prisoners in these confinements.  Locals believe the cages imprisoned up to 14 people at a time. The museum also has a guillotine brought in by the French government. Both the French and South Vietnamese used it to execute their prisoners until 1960. The museum comprises a series of themed rooms in several buildings, with period military equipment placed within a walled yard.  Other exhibits include graphic photography, accompanied by a short text in English, Vietnamese and Japanese, covering the effects of Agent Orange and other chemical defoliant sprays, the use of napalm and phosphorus bombs, and war atrocities such as the My Lai massacre.


The War Remnants Museum is currently one of the most popular museums in Vietnam. The War Remnants Museum is a war museum at 28 Vo Van Tan, corner with Le Quy Don Streets, in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City (old Saigon).

The official webpage of the War Remnants Museum is here:

The Vietnam tourist office on must things to see in HCMC including this museum

There you go folks, something that needs to be told and visit and you make your own conclusion. Its part of the historically politically correct traveller in me. The War Remnants Museum is all that and more. Hope you enjoy the post!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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July 10, 2021

Nha Trang, Vietnam!

Another set of wonderful memories of my several visits to Vietnam. This one was unexpected we were going elsewhere north but settle here with some friends and it was a blast. Really nice beach and awesome nightlife!! Let me tell you a bit about Nha Trang in Vietnam! Hope you enjoy it as I.

I have come to Vietnam several times in the last few years, last was in Dec’18. Plenty written in my blog on it. However, there is one spot that brings about great souvenirs and fun times and many things typical of my youth as well.  So let me bring you back to Nha Trang, a delightful coastal beach town in central Vietnam. I considered myself lucky to be able to come to these far places and to enrich my knowledge of the world.  Nha Trang is in the top places with the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam. There are long beaches of white sand and a turquoise and transparent sea. Nha Trang is the capital of the province of Khanh Hoa. It is a seaside town, located in 434 km, north of Ho Chi Minh City (aprox 1h flight).

A bit of history I like:  The city of Nha Trang belonged to the kingdom of Champa, founded in 240 inhabited by the Chams. There were about 200 kings in the Viet Nam Center (Annam) before their disappearance. In 748, construction of the group of temples of Po Nagar (Hindu) where the adoration of the Lingam and the Yoni is still being practised (symbols of male and female energy, Yang/Yin, and the main love engine of life). The city was looted by the Khmers in 950.  In 1640 ,aprox., the town was invaded by Northerners, the Giao-Chi, later called Kinh or Viets. This leads to the disappearance of the Cham. And there is more modern history but most know that.

A bit more on things to see here per moi!

With an area of approximately 507 sq km , Nha Trang Bay comprises 19 islands and islets, and is one of the few natural models of the bay system in the world, which brings together most of the rare and tropical ecosystems such as coral reefs, mangroves, herbaria… With a diverse ecosystem, Nha Trang Bay becomes the ideal shelter for rare and precious animal species such as swiftlet, caret, red coral, pearl oyster, and oval abalone.



The main central beach in town is a beautiful 7 km beach, and runs along the road of Trần Phú, the most lively axis of Nha Trang.  The beach is clean and shallow, with white sand and turquoise waters. In the afternoon, it is often populated by tourists. It is in this area where you can find all types of hotels, restaurants, bars and shops. This is awesome, and I walk it all 6 kms of it lol! plenty to do for all tastes! You can see the rest below interesting, but the main action here is the beach and clubs!



Other things to see here of interest according to me are the Đầm market; built in 1908, it is the largest market in Nha Trang. You can find seafood, clothing, souvenirs, fruits, etc. Visit Po Nagar a Cham temple founded before 781, dedicated to the goddess Yan Po Nagar, legendary founder of the Kingdom of Champa, later identified with the Hindu goddesses Bhagavati and Mahishasuramardini, and which is called in Vietnamese Thiên Y Thánh Mâu. See the Long Son Pagoda, built in 1886, Long Son is one of the oldest pagodas in the region. It is located 3 km from the city center and has a reclining Buddha, at 17 meters, surrounded by 49 stone monks. The pagoda offers breathtaking views of Nha Trang.  Discover the Nha Trang Oceanographic Institute. The Institute includes an oceanographic museum. Many ponds and aquariums are home to a multitude of animal species in their reconstituted ecosystems. Visitors are immersed in a colorful world of rare and delicate marine creatures such as anemones, starfish, holothurians, snakes, turtles, fish…etc. And why not visit the Museum of Alexander Yersin ; the discoverer of the plague bacillus. The panels retracing his life are written in French and the curator is Francophone. In the Institut Pasteur, at 10 rue Tran Phu.

The Hotels guide to Vietnam on Nha Trang

A private webpage Cap Vietnam on Nha Trang in French:

The govt tourist information webpage on Khanh Hoa province (Nha Trang) in Vietnamese:

There you go folks, another nice spot to visit, Nha Trang, plenty of visitors already there and you must visit.  It is a jewel in exotic Vietnam. Hope you have enjoy the introduction tour by yours truly!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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July 9, 2021

Cernuschi museum of Asian Arts of Paris!

And this is another odd one, visited by chance many years ago, I guess in my blog for the memories as need to revisit. It is in a wonderful area of my eternal Paris and love the walks around there. You will be glad you stop by here and of course, take a look at the Cernuschi museum of Paris! It is also, known as the Museum of Asian Arts of Paris.

I updating my older post on a little known museum in my eternal Paris and  I feel it merits mentioning in my blog and eventually I will get to see it up close and personal later on promise.  For now, will tell you a bit on the Musée Cernuschi, by Parc Monceau (see post). The weirdness in it is that on this park I have walk and walk and even did my first Vélib bike ride in it when it all started way back. Walked in front of the museum as can be seen by the picture, but darn it ,need to see it. 


 The musée Cernuschi is a museum dedicated to Asian arts, and more specifically to those in the Far East: China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. It is the second museum devoted to Asian arts in France and the fifth devoted to Chinese art in Europe.  This museum is originally created thanks to the bequest of the collections made in 1896 to the city of Paris by the financier Henri Cernuschi. Inaugurated in 1898, it is one of the oldest museums in the city. The museum is located in the former private mansion of the donor, Henri Cernuschi, near the Parc Monceau, at 7, Avenue Velasquez (8éme arrondissement). Built in a neoclassical style between 1873-1874. It is reach best on metro Villiers lines 2 and 3.

From 2001 to 2005, the museum was completely renovated. It retains more than 12 000 works and is one of the five major collections of Chinese art in Europe. Rich in more than a thousand works, the Cernuschi Museum’s bronze collection is one of the most important in the world. It has a unique collection in Europe of painters representative of Imperial China under the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing dynasties (1644-1911), but also a beautiful set of modern Chinese paintings, from the first half of the 20C.  More than 900 works are part of the permanent exhibition, devoted to Chinese art. But the most imposing piece visible in the museum is the Buddha of Meguro, an 18C Japanese bronze which is the monumental piece, in the center of the Museum, Room 54.

The museum also has Korean and Vietnamese collections of very high quality. The collections held in the museum’s reserves, mainly Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese but also Chinese, are presented in the context of temporary exhibitions. After my many trips to Asia it will be worth it for me to come back to see it up close and personal, soon.

The Official Cernuschi museum webpage:

The Paris tourist office on the museum

There you go folks another dandy in Paris and I need to see it, especially since going more often lately to Asia. For now enjoy the post on the Cernuschi museum of Paris, worth a detour indeed.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 26, 2021

Ho Chi Minh City! We have met!!!

In my history we got to know Vietnam well and one of the cities we listen often was Saigon. After the war and the country coming out as a whole, the city was name after their heroe Ho Chi Minh. And then , I finally arrived. It has been many trips lost count, visiting north to south and even further by plane, by car all over. Many friends and some still in touch. We will see when our roads crossed again. For now, enjoy this introduction to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam!


I updating the text and links on this older post, hope you enjoy it as much as I. Again thanks for reading me since Nov 2010 in my blog.  This one was a surprise, never expected to visit this city nor this country but business always prevail. After so many trips to Vietnam ,north and south, it has been a pleasant experience full of friendly people and good times.  Let me give you this time something on the history of this old and new city of the East.

Ho Chi Minh City, commonly called Saigon, which was the official name until 1975, or formerly Prey Nokor when it belonged to the Khmer Empire. Ho Chi Minh City, whose status corresponds to that of a Vietnamese province, is divided in 19 boroughs and 5 districts,and  it is located on the banks of the Saigon River. Located near the Mekong Delta, this city is the southern metropolis of the country. It was originally a Khmer fishing village and in the 17C became a Vietnamese (and Chinese) settlement city under the impetus of the imperial Court of Nguyên in Hue. During the French colonization, it was first the capital of the colony of Cochinchina, then that of French Indochina from 1887 to 1901. After the partition of the country at the end of the Indochina War, Saigon became the capital of the Republic of Việt Nam (from 1954). Its capture by the Communists on April 30, 1975 (Fall of Saigon) after the Americans left them, marked the end of the conflict, and the winners rename the city in favor of their historical leader, Hồ Chí Minh, who died more than five years earlier.

The name Saigon refers to the district of Cholon (Big Market), while the mandarins use various appellations, Dong Nai, Phan Yen, Gia Dinh and, by local traders, Ben Nghe and Ben Thanh. The French, for their part, perpetuate the name Sài Gòn,  it is the French pronunciation, until the 1920’s. From 1931 to 1956, this name will be officially associated with that of Cholon, the city bordering on a strong Chinese community, with which it will be merged, Saigon-Cholon, before resuming the name of Saigon alone.

More on the history trail I like. During the Lê Kings dynasty the period from 1428 to 1789 in Vietnam, the spice Route attracted the first European missionaries and traders around the 16C. The country was divided and competed by two seigneurial forces, the Trinh in the north of the country and the Nguyen in the south. The Westerners called the lower Cochinchina the part governed by the Nguyen, of which Saigon became the capital the first Vietnamese presence in the city of Ho Chi Minh date in the early 17C when Lord Nguyen established a tax station in 1623 and an officer of the Lords Nguyen establishes a military post at Tan My, in the current region of Saigon in 1679.

Before becoming Vietnamese, Saigon was the most important port in Cambodia, under the name of Prey Kor. Occupied by Vietnamese from the 17C, the site was then called Saigon, then surrounded by walls in the 18C, before being conquered by the French in 1859. Saigon will then be known for years as the Paris of the Far East , however, Ho Chi Minh City has lost most of its colonial heritage outside of the monuments and completely lost its French character.

Tan Son Nhat International Airport, located inside the city, and the one I have used in and out and several others in trips to other cities in Vietnam.  There is a new airport which was to be completed in 2020, but long delays now has it due for 2025; this is Long Thành International Airport, which will then receive international flights, Tan Son Nhat retaining the service of the national lines. Ho Chi Minh City has two major bus stations: Ben XE Mien Tay which connects it to the south of Vietnam, and Ben Xe Mien Dong which connects it to the north there are many taxi companies in this city, more or less reliable in terms of prices; very cheap but stick to a price. I have been given rides by locals there so other than a couple times on taxis all has been by locals in addition to flying out with them.

Someof the things to see there in my opinion of course are:

The Notre-Dame Cathedral, in red brick imported from Toulouse, on the model of the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris but of inferior dimensions. It was built by the French from 1877 to 1880. It is located in the Paris square , formerly Place Pigneau de Behaine.  On the side the large central train station whose metal frame was designed by Gustave Eiffel are two colonial maps preserved at the entrance. The Hotel Continental, built in 1880, the writer André Malraux (later prime minister of culture of France)  and his wife lived there between 1924 and 1925.The Hotel Majestic, built in 1925 in the colonial French style.  The opera or  Municipal Theater  built on the model of the Petit Palais of Paris, in 1900. Ä very nice City/ town hall of Ho Chi Minh City built between 1902-1908.  The Palace of Reunification (former presidential palace built at the site of the Palace of Norodom). The Jade Emperor Pagoda, the Pagoda of Giac Làm, the Vinh Nghîem Pagoda. The Hindu temple of Mariamman at Trương Định street (ex-Lareynière Street). The Indian mosque at Đông Du street (ex- Admiral-Dupré street).



The Church of Cha Tàm in the Chinatown of Cholon whose interior is a mixture of Gothic and Chinese.  The Temple dedicated to the goddess Thien Hau, protector of navigators, also located in Cholon ( Nguyen Trai street ) and built in the Chinese style. The Ben Thanh Market (very popular)  ,and Binh Tay Market in the Chinatown of Cholon .. Museum of the revolution where many  planes, helicopters and other vehicles are exposed in the gardens mostly from the American time. Museum of Ho Chi Minh City, located in the former premises of the Maritime company , a brick building and the oldest French vestige in town. In fact, Saigon was the Asian head of the maritime passenger and freight transport, between Marseille and the Far East during the colonial period.



Some of my earlier souvenir of visiting HCMC was staying at the wonderfully historically and gorgeous Grand Silverland Hotel & Spa, on District I, a very nice old world hotel with all amenities and right in the buzzle of the city, close to many attractions. webpage:

I guess not landing hard on local cuisine I was taken to the Hogs Breath Cafe,  for an apero introduction with a nice tiger beer in the terrace outside, with the world passing by, and good friends. As good is hard to be kept the resto has closed I am told back in 2018. However, great moments here so keep it just for the memories!  We move on for dinner at the colonial very nice and friendly (they serve all for us on the plate) at Qua nhà hàng ngon restaurant, with an array of noodle dishes very hard to remember their names lol!!! webpage:

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The Vietnam tourist board on Ho Chi Minh City

The Vietnam Guide webpage unofficial on Ho Chi Minh City

The city of Ho Chi Minh City in English:

There you go folks, another dandy spot in my world map. This is worth the detour to visit Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam ,even if  very crowded but interesting nightlife.

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 26, 2021

What about those transit airports!

Well I have to update the links on this older post talking about my transfer airports in my travels around the world.It was intended as a memorable post to remind me of the places I have gone thru especially going to Asia. Hope you enjoy this post on the transit airports!

Often in my travels I have to go thru some exotic airports never been there, not planned to be there , but need to go thru on our crazy airline scheduling of today’s air transportation schèmes.  I usually buried them in some of my blog posts going to more steady places in our world ,and that is it. However, it has become so common to use them lately that I thought of mentioning in my blog on a permanent basis. It anything as a souvenir of me passing by them. Happy travels includes these airports. Therefore here they are briefly with some airport pictures taken in the past. Enjoy it,and do comment your experiences corresponding, transfering thru these please.

Dubai International Airport  is an airport in the United Arab Emirates, serving the city of Dubai and the largest in the country.  The airport has three terminals:  Terminal 1 (also known as Rashid Terminal Sheikh) . Hall C measures approximately 800 meters long and is connected to Terminal 1 (check-in area) by a 300-meters long underground tunnel (shuttle).  At present, nearly 100 airlines operate from this terminal. Terminal 1a the capacity to handle 40 million of passengers annually (Concourse C + D).  Terminal 2 is intended for charter flights and serves regional destinations.  Currently, some 50 airlines operate from this terminal.  Terminal 3 aspires to become the personified opulence. With its 1 500 000 m2 of floor space, it is one of the largest buildings in the world. Architecturally, it adopts the shape of an airplane wing and is a kilometer long. Terminal A, consisting of twenty boarding gates, is intended to accommodate only the A380s of Emirates Air. Its 15 000 m2 of commercial surface allowed to double the merchant space of the airport of Dubaï. It will have to adjust as the A380 are a phasing out breed! 

The webpage for the Dubai international airport

dubai UAE airport T3 arrivals

Dubai UAE airport T3 to gate C5 home

Hamad International Airport is the airport of Doha, capital city of Qatar. It has a Terminal 1 with  Concourse A has 10 passenger gates connected to jet bridges and is located west of the check-in area and Main Terminal. Two of the gates are designed to accommodate the  Airbus A380. Maybe will need adjustment as the A380 are a dying breed.  Concourse B has 10 passenger gates connected to jet bridges and is located east of the check-in area.  Two of the gates are built to accommodate the Airbus A380. There is a small coffee shop located at the end of Concourse B, as well as smoking rooms, family areas, and an express duty-free store.  Concourse C has 13 passenger gates connected to jet bridges, two of them built specifically for the Airbus A380. There are 10 remote gates without a fixed jet bridge link connected to Concourse C.  Concourse D Is fully operational. Gates 1–4 are on the first floor and Gates 20–24 on the ground floor.  Concourse E Is fully operational. Gates 1–4 are on the first floor and Gates 20–24 on the ground floor.  Concourse D & Concourse E are due to be extended with a possible Concourse F although plans are still to be finalised. Terminal 1 features First and Business Class lounges which were opened by Qatar Airways. Some articles say that terminal 2 is a confirmed project due to the anticipated passenger load from the  2022 FIFA World Cup of football/soccer.

The Doha international airport webpage:



Kuala Lumpur International airport  with head office in the Malaysia Airports Corporate Office in the Persiaran Korporat KLIA in the airport complex.  The airport KLIA is the result of a visionary strategy to meet the needs of new large aircraft and the traffic demand of the 21C.  It is located in the Sepang district of Selangor , approximately 45 km (28 mi) south of Kuala Lumpur city center and serves the Greater Klang Valley metro area.  The airport’s site spans 100 square kilometres (39 sq mi)  The airport is part of the KLIA Aeropolis, and is made up of two main terminals; the original Main Terminal Building and the new terminal 2, or also known as KLIA2. The KLIA Main Terminal Building (MTB) is located in between the two runways satellite building accommodates international flights departing and arriving at KLIA. Passengers have to travel to the satellite building via the Aerotrain. It is the largest purpose built terminal optimised for low cost carriers in response to the exponential growth of low cost travel in the region. It was built to replace the previous Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT).

The Kuala Lumpur international airport webpage:


Hong Kong International Airport is the regional airport (Special Administrative Region) of Hong Kong, now China near the island of Lantau, about 30 km from the city center. The international Airport is located on an artificial island born from the meeting of the two natural islands of Chep Lap Kok and Lam Chau, located just north of the island of Lantau the airport has two parallel tracks, each of a length of 3 800 meters and a width of 60 meters, which should allow them to host the next generation of aircraft. The South runway belongs to the “category II precision Approach”, while the north runway belongs to the upper category (“Category IIIA”), allowing pilots to land with only 200 meters of visibility.

The Hong Kong international airport webpage:

hong kong airport T1 departures jan18

Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, is the name of the international airport of the City of Canton (Guangzhou, in the province of Guangdong) , China. This is a new airport, located 28 km from the city center  with only one runway in the city, in the District of Baiyun Mountain (white Cloud) and have a larger platform, able to accommodate greater traffic. It keeps the same name and codes as the old one. The airport is served by the Guangzhou Metro Line 3, airport South station which is the terminus.  There are 5 Airport Express bus lines and 6 Airport Non-stop lines to round-trip between airport and downtown. The terminal 1 has three components, Main Terminal, Area A and Area B. All check-in counters and most retail stores are placed at the Main Terminal. The two concourses controlled by individual security checkpoints, named Area A and Area B, are the boarding gates, security checkpoints, border control, custom & quarantine, baggage reclaim and relative facilities. Terminal 2, recently opened  with an area measuring over 600,000 square meters. When Terminal 2 officially operates, it will be typically home to China Southern Airlines. In addition, most of  SkyTeam member airlines will also typically operate in Terminal 2.

The Guangzhou international airport unofficial but better shown webpage:



There you go brief I say, I have come to all of them on transfering to other countries or even within China.  I look forward to be back in the future or new ones to try, the quest for cheaper lines of air travel is on and not just families.

Hope you enjoy this brief encounter of the fourth kind and know the long journeys these changes entails. And remember , happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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May 28, 2021

Yogyakarta , Indonesia!!!

I have said having a great time updating older posts in my blog and for sure bringing back many nice memories of my travels in our wonderful world. I have, also, told you that I have been 8 times out of the last 10 years to Indonesia. Most of these trips were to the more popular cities but once I went to Yogyakarta! I have briefs in some posts but I feel it deserves a post of its own in my black and white series, no pictures.

I have pictures in my other posts on it but now let me give a brief on the history and things to see there if you were to visit , which you should. Hope you enjoy my introduction to Yogyakarta.

Yogyakarta is the capital of the special territory of the same name, in the center of the island of Java, Indonesia.  Its name, which means “the work of Ayodhya”, comes from that of a city in the kingdom of Koshala of which Rāma was the monarch in the epic of Ramayana. The Special Region of Yogyakarta, one of Indonesia’s two autonomous regions (the other being Aceh), owes its special status to the Sultanate of Hamengkubuwono, which has ruled the region since 1749 and led it through the difficult times of the occupation and the struggle for independence

The city is known as the center of classical Javanese art and traditional culture including wayang kulit shadow theater, batik, ballet, theater, music, poetry. Yogyakarta is also known for its silver craftsmen, gathered in the money district, Kota Gede.

The German painter and musician Walter Spies , who was one of the first Western artists to make Bali known to the world, was conductor of the European music troupe of the Sultan of Yogyakarta.

Some things to see here are: The Beringharjo market is a huge covered market in Yogyakarta where you can find everything: a huge choice of batik (clothes and printed fabrics), spices, fruits and vegetables, wicker baskets, trinkets… It is open in the morning only from 8h. The Sultan’s Palace! Yes a sultant still resides in Yogyakarta. He is the governor of Central Java and has a large palace in the city center, which is open for tours every morning. The Taman Sari Formerly, the Water castle of Yogyakarta was the place where the Sultan and his Court came to bathe.  The famous temples of Borobudur and Prambanan are located near Yogyakarta. Take advantage of your stay to visit them!

Oh yes I came here by air. The Yogyakarta Adisutjipto International Airport is the airport of the city of Yogyakarta. The new airport Yogyakarta International Airport or Kulon Progo International Airport, is in the district of Temon, kabupaten of Kulon Progo, which serves the special territory of Yogyakarta in Java, The airport was inaugurated on May 6, 2019. This one I have not try yet.

The Adisutjipto airport webpage is here in English :

The new Yogyakarta airport webpage in English here:

I have great memories of this restaurant and good friends still in touch. The Restaurant Taman Pringsewu Km. 9 Mulungan Jln. Magelang, Yogyakarta.   The restaurant is a pride of the family every time there is an event that definitely has to eat its food here. webpage:

Another nice spot on my world map, and plenty of good memories which I am sure will last forever. Thanks wordpress for allowing me to keep the memories alive, and thank you for reading me these years since November 26, 2010. Hope you enjoy Yogyakarta as I.

The city of Yogyakarta in Indonesian:

The Indonesia tourism webpage on Yogyakarta:

The yogyes webpage on Yogyakarta:

And there you go folks another dandy spot in my world map. As said hope you enjoy my trivia places of our wonderful world. And looking forward to seeing you again Indonesia.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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May 27, 2021

Museum Purna Bhakti Pertiwi of Jakarta!

And going back to an older post of my travels thru Indonesia. A far away land that have come to visit about 10 times in the last 9 years until 2018. I usually went around Jakarta and then spread out with domestic flights and couple times by car! However, on one of my earliest visit was in a hotel just across this wonderful museum Purna Bhakti Pertiwi and love it. Let me tell you a bit again on it, and hope you enjoy as I.

Ok so let me take you along my ways all the way east to the exotic wonderful Jakarta in Indonesia.  I have written several posts on Indonesia in my blog fyi.  However, have written about another important group of museums in TMII but left the very first one I went to without credit and it is a pity not to mention it, the area and museum are very nice indeed. Therefore, here is my credit to the Museum Purna Bhakti Pertiwi in Jakarta, Indonesia.

My historical cultural knowledge was by going briefly to this museum right outside my hotel Santika in Jakarta, Museum Purna Bhakti Pertiwi , the  museum specialized on the life of Suharto, former second president of Indonesia and a powerful political figure in modern Indonesia.  The museum houses and displays the large amount of Suharto’s collections; mostly valuable objects, artworks and souvenirs, received from various world leaders and Indonesian people, accumulated during the 32 years of his administration in Indonesia. The museum is a modern building with design took shape of tumpeng , a traditional Javanes cone-shaped rice, symbolized gratitude.  


The Purna Bhakti Pertiwi Museum was built on the initiative of Madame Tien Suharto, as an expression of gratitude to God Almighty and high appreciation in honor of Indonesian and international community for their attention and support for President Suharto. It was built by Purna Bhakti Pertiwi Foundation for 5 years between 1987—1992 on an area of 19.73 ha. On August 23, 1993 the museum was inaugurated by President Suharto.

The complex of Purna Bhakti Pertiwi Museum consists of main building, supporting buildings, landscape, and house of painting. The main room stores various souvenirs given by the Soeharto’s state visitors, friends and acquaintances. The gifts collections also presented by Indonesian bureaucrats, political figures and businessman. The special hall stores the military decorations and medal of honors once granted to Suharto. The Asthabrata hall displays the philosophy of the leadership of Suharto. It is chronologically visualized in form of wayang. The hall also displays the story of Wahyu Makutha Rama, as well as literatures from different disciplines.

Jakarta museum of purna bhakti pertiwi entrance feb13

The cone-shaped form of the main building is derived from the shape of the tumpeng, a traditional Javanese cone-shaped rice particularly important during slametan or syukuran thanks-giving ceremony, symbolized gratitude to God. The conical shape also symbolized the kalpataru three of life, other symbolic patterns such as Jayakusuma flower, Cakra Manggilingan batik pattern, reflected in the museum design. What can I say different and translated from the museum site.

The official webpage of the Purna Bhakti Pertiwi Museum of Jakarta:

While finding this jewel in Jakarta was very easy. I was put in the Santika Taman Mini Hotel just walking across the street! Trying to be curious as always and walking the beat came upon it right away. The hotel is super and will put the webpage here for future reference and convenience to visitors. webpage:


Hope you enjoy the cultural tour of exotic Jakarta ,Indonesia and really should make time to see this museum of Purna Bhakti Pertiwi! 

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 19, 2021

A long trip to the Philippines!!!

Ok so I went down to my vault of older posts and found this one. It brings lots of good memories so will update/revise links for you and me now. However, for memories sake will keep the old pictures with the post. Again, what a thrill to do these older posts and come to beautiful moments in my life. Thank you for following along with me and hope you enjoy as much as I. Let me tell you about a long trip to the Philippines!!!

Let me tell you about the airports on one of my many trips to the Philippines which was full of anecdotes on a trouble strike times in my belle France. I decided to do this trip in my blog by sections rather than the whole story. Bear with me trying to be creative lol!

My airport for the last few years have been the Nantes Atlantique normally call the Nantes airport even if it is in the city limits of Bouguenais in the department 44 of Loire Atlantique in the region of Pays de la Loire. Yes old Brittany and the closest major airport from me.

I needed to go earlier than usual due to the strike of the yellow jackets or gilets jaunes going on in France nowdays blocking the roads to ask the government to bring back the taxes on fuel/gasolines that are very high even by French standard ! The fight will be long and planning many days of demonstration road snail traffic and block of main roads. I left home by 4h to avoid the blocking which knew from social media was to begin at 6h, done deal easy in to my covered parking at Nantes!



The airport has a terminal consisting of three main parts called Hall 1, 2, 3. A fourth part, Hall 4, was added with a lighter architecture, initially dedicated to the regional subsidiary of Air France, before hosting more generally regional flights with small modules. A gradual optimization of airport facilities starting from 2020, with a three-stage phase of work up to 2035, including the extension of the tramway to the airport. As a consequence of the abandon of the airport project of Notre Dames des Landes. Due to the virus this has been slow down. This webpage will you and me an advance notice of the renovations which will last to 2025.

Is growing but still a wonderful small airport easy in and out and great parking facilities. From here most of the time fly out with Air France, sometimes HOP and less Vueling , Air Europa or Iberia. The official webpage for the Nantes Atlantique airport:

And as I got earlier than usual here, had time to enjoyed a wonderful lunch at the nice le Grand Comptoir restaurant at second level by security entrance and gates. I had the menu du jour filet mignon in mushroom sauce with a glass of Cheverny red wine, and coffee just nice for 22€. This has been closed due to the renovations do not know if reopen, here for the memories.


From Nantes, I flew all over even north to Amsterdam or south to Madrid for connections but most of the times to Paris CDG.  The landing here is always on Terminal 2 F from Nantes and going but this time needed to go to Terminal 2 A by bus, easy. As had used it before and plenty in my blog just you tell you is very easy but huge and can be overwhelming for new visitors or not used to big airports.  From Orly done flights out of the  Paris region. I have a post explaining it all.   And of course, had to have my Starbucks coffee in T2A before the passerelle to my gate A37 and HKG. (Hong Kong airport).




Then, have a previous post on those connecting airports of mine for the last few years.  This time went by Hong Kong again and very tight needed to ask assistance with Cathay Pacific airline which were wonderful to take me to the gate lol!  It is a nice airport mind you but as always in these tight budget travels the connection are very tight and no time to see much in them. The HKG airport webpage:



I ,then continue into Cebu Mactan International airport, Philippines. Here I have been a couple times already so it was easy in addition to always been waited for, the trip back to the hotels is always by car and pleasant company. The Cebu Mactan airport webpage:



Well, this is not over as was needed to see other parts of the Philippines; so went back to Manila Nino Aquino International airport of which have previosly visited and it is a rather big nice airport with all facilities as well. the official Manila airport webpage:


Again, traveling in the island nation of the Philippines, went this time to a new airport that of Cauayan in the province of Isabela north of Manila. They tell me by bus or car is about 12-14 hrs from Manila but by plane was only 2! Again flying internally on Cebu Pacific airline which as routine was always late! The airport is very small and limited facilities just a big runway to accommodate island travel and visit the caves which are famous here and attract some tourists from abroad. The airport was recently reopen (nov 2nd) after suffering heavy damage from storm Rosita.  A bit of info on the Cauayan airport (CYZ) on flightconnections webpage:


And the trip back was very loong and even more delays at Cauayan airport , the flight with Cebu Pacific was delayed 3 hours (the longest delay ever for me, there is always a first), been lucky in the past but….I needed to go thru Manila airport and from there Philippines airlines to Cebu airport ,where just stayed at the airport for the connection domestic to international and my flight back home!



So the return home was from Cebu airport passing again by Hong Kong airport this time with a bit more time no assistance needed but not enough time to look around yikes! and from HKG to Paris CDG T2A all using Cathay Pacific again, rather nice service and on time. At Paris CDG took again my Air France from T2F to Nantes arriving on time.

However, the gilets jaunes were still on strike. The leaving the airport was easy but just at the junction with the N165 roundabout the barriers were beginning to be put up for a block, just barely past them. Arriving by Vannes, the snail traffic blocks were going on by the city center exit ,however, took the direction Rennes N166 to go around my job and cut back into the smaller departamental roads and towns to avoid all blocks. The blocks were there in Vannes all over and on the N165! Got home safe and sound and quick, you just need to know your alternative routes always!

Hope you enjoy my latest round of airports and my latest on the Philippines.  Always memorable trips looking forward to repeat when possible.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

March 1, 2021

Let us go to Jakarta!

Indeed updating on one of my last trips to Jakarta with new links and text on this old post from 2018. Jakarta is a go!  As written plenty with pictures this will be minimal on them. 

I had another find ,this one in Asia, far from home. Originally, never thought would reach here as too far from me. However, business had its way that I found myself going to Jakarta, Indonesia. It has been  a wonderful experience and many new friends! I have visited the country and in and out of Jakarta eight times in the last nine years to date, and each experience have been gratifying indeed. The friendly people and the ambiance of a big city of the East are tops. Already looking forward to one day return again when possible.

Let me tell you this time about the history I like.

Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia. It constitutes a 1st level subdivision of the same rank as the provinces under the special territory of the capital Jakarta, in Indonesian Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta. Anglophones colloquially dubbed her “the Big Durian”.

A bit of history as it goes , Jakarta is located at the northwestern end of the island of Java, it is crossed by the Ciliwung River which flows into the Bay of Jakarta. An important Center of the Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms of Sunda and then of Pajajaran under the name of Kalapa, it became Jayakarta in 1527 after its conquest by the Sultanate of Banten. The Dutch renamed it Batavia in 1619 and made it the de facto capital of the Dutch East Indies. On August 17, 1945, Soekarno and Mohammad Hatta proclaim the independence of Indonesia, the city then resumes the name Jakarta-which in colonial times had remained as indicated by the name of a road, Jacatraweg, and became the Capital at the end of the War of Independence in 1949. The oldest written vestige found in Jakarta is the so-called “de Tugu” inscription found in the neighborhood of the same name in North Jakarta. This inscription, written in Sanskrit and in writing of Pallava, mentions a kingdom named Tarumanagara and his King Purnawarman who, in this place, had a canal of 10 km to the sea built. It’s the 5C ,this was once the location of an active port named Kalapa (“Coconut” in Malay and Sundanese). Kalapa was the main maritime outlet for the Hindu kingdom of Pajajaran, whose capital, Kuan, was upstream of the Ciliwung river on the site of the current city of Bogor (visited!!) , 60 km south of Jakarta. In 1513, a Portuguese embassy came to Kalapa. A treaty was signed in 1522 with Pajajaran, which allowed the Portuguese to build a warehouse and a fort at the mouth of the Ciliwung river. In 1596, a Dutch flotilla commissioned made a stopover at Jayakarta. Prince Jayawikarta, a vassal of Banten, allowed them to build a fort and two warehouses. He does the same with the English, which leads to clashes between the two communities. Banten, who disapproves of the action of his vassal, was dismissed.  In 1619, Jan Pieterszoon Coen, Governor General of the VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische Company or Dutch East India Company), installed since 1605 in Ambon in the Moluccas, in turn conquered Jayakarta. On his ruins he founded Batavia. In 1799, the VOC was declared bankrupt. The Dutch government confiscated its assets and Batavia became the capital of the Dutch Indies. Independent Indonesia gives the city its original name from Jakarta.

Jakarta has a bus network and especially minibuses, such as the Kopaja, MetroMini or Angkot (group taxis). There is a high-level service bus network, the TransJakarta.  There are many taxis, the prices are low and the vehicles in general in good condition. Jakarta also has a Regional express network, the KRL Jabotabek with major railway stations  Gambir and Kota. Jakarta has two peripheral toll belt roads: An interior, the Lingkar Dalam Kota (“Inner Circular”), an exterior, the Jalan Lingkar Luar Jakarta (“Jakarta Outer Circular Road”) or in English Jakarta outer Ring Road . The city is the heart of a network of highways in the three directions: westward and the Port of Merak, south and Bogor, towards the east and Bandung.  I have taken the car here only and with a driver but oh my God , it is really a challenge and I have done some major city driving myself; the city is inundated with scooters and bikes that surround you as you are standing on a red light; and one time we walk faster to our hotel than waiting in a car line of traffic lol!! The nice and easy airport always taken is the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.


Some of the interesting cultural, historical and customs things to see here are:

Monas (National Monument) enthroned in the center of Merdeka Square, the largest public square of the world with 1 square kilometer. The museum Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (very nice indeed on the customs of the islands); National Museum of Indonesia , and the  Ragunan Zoo. see posts.

Also, with time see  Setu Bakan (South Jakarta): The government encouraged the local people to renovate their home or decorate it with traditional elements like the roof sculptures Gigi Lang ( “Teeth Or the Langkan, i.e. the front porch. Traditional cultural shows take place on weekends. Tugu (Jakarta North): In the 17C, a population from Malacca settled in the countryside east of what was then called Batavia. Malacca had been conquered by the Portuguese in 1511 and this population spoke Portuguese. The Dutch East India Company had brought them as slaves to Batavia and then had them freed. Their descendants inhabit the village of Tugu. Tugu strives to preserve his tradition of keroncong, a musical genre with melancholic accents. Every June 22nd, date decreed as the anniversary of Jakarta, which besides the Keroncong, offers culinary specialties Betawi.

Kampung Batik (South Jakarta): Kampung Batik (“The Batik Village”) is home to batik artisans. The Sanggar Batik Cantingku is a workshop where children are taken on weekends. Jakarta has the largest mosque in Southeast Asia, the Istiqlal mosque. The city is the seat of the Archdiocese of Jakarta whose cathedral is the Cathedral of St. Mary of Jakarta.

Now you got it, a bit of history and some tourist sights to see as well those in my posts ;hope it helps. Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The Jakarta tourist office:

The Indonesia tourist board on Jakarta:

A good un official tourist information on Jakarta:

A very nice city, just get help in transports moving about and the rest is easy. Let’s go to Jakarta indeed!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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