Posts tagged ‘Asia’

July 17, 2019

Restaurant: Indonesia!

So going into exotic lands for me was a thrill back in 2012 when started visiting Asia, and Indonesia. Over the years since, I had my share of good cheers with friendly locals and many good souvenirs, now I like to tell you about a couple of great places of different tunes.

Let me tell you a bit more on Mad Dog Jakarta and Taman Pringsewu Yogyakarta.

I had a blast off my culinary exits in Jakarta with Mad Dogs, well this one came twice ::) Great place and a hanging out of the expats community here; friendly place, with good, affordable food, pool table, beer garden and sports on TV.  A good place to meet expat since it is a very popular hangout place, especially for American, Australian and British older expats .  Here, I had fish and chip and steaks with Bintang beers of course.

jakarta

South Jakarta sports bar and restaurant Mad Dogs is located in the Cilandak Commercial Estate which is a popular area for bars in south Jakarta. Opened from 2004. It has lots of flat screen TVs scattered around the walls, makes Mad Dogs the perfect place and great bar to watch live sports showing all types of sports including soccer, AFL, NRL, international cricket, F1, golf, and tennis on its large screens. Drinking beers and watching favorite matches in an exciting atmosphere are what people love to do at Mad Dogs. Good prices for food and drinks, delicious food and strong cocktails with fast and friendly service.  The restaurant is full at lunch time. Great ambience during lunch time when good ambient music picks up the mood.  The VIP room is non smoking while everywhere else is open.  Great food, cool atmosphere and friendly service.

More info here: Zomato reviews on Mad Dog Jakarta

jakarta

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. The tastes never disappoint and the variants are very much so you can choose, the price is worth it, the place is clean and the service is fast  Friendly children. Super menu.  Super nice,very affordable price & the dining experience is extremely relax with nice ambience. Definitely will come again. The food and service is awesome. First time there and can come back again hopefully.

yogyakarta

I had lunch at the restaurant Taman Pringsewu (T. pre wedding garden ) in a magnificent setting with all exotic local foods some are even hard to remember or spell ! The grill fish is to kill for it thus. A wonderful coconut and orange drink as well.

More info here: Taman Pringsewu restaurant in Indonesian

And they do have a Facebook page for more info here: Facebook page of Taman Pringsewu restaurant

yogyakarta

And there you go , a couple of distinct choices and places both very good memories of my trips to Indonesia. Already looking forward to be back! Enjoy Mad Dog and Pringsewu!

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

June 8, 2019

The Municipal Opera of Ho Chi Minh City!

SO now lets move east again. I have come to Asia quite recently in my life actually from 2012 and it has been very educational. For an amateur lover of history and architecture this is a must for a different look than Europe. However, history tells us that there are ramification of the world mobility all over for one reason or another vestiges of Europe and France are in Vietnam.

Let me tell you about a place not been in it, but did walk by and was inspired by something familiar! The Municipal Opera of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam looks like the the Petit Palais of Paris!

ho chi minh city

I started here and finish here in Ho Chi Minh City , the old Saigon. After going around the country up to close to Hanoi. Another wonderful experience of a vibrant, cosmopolitan city on the move, plenty of moves always busy and exciting day or night.

The theater of Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon Opera House was nice and another French inspired building.  Inspired by the architecture of Petit Palais de Paris, it was built in 1898-1900. During the Vietnam War, this theater was the seat of the parliament of the Republic of South Vietnam. Located on the main axis of the city center, the building is a cultural landmark of Lam Son Square and Dong Khoi Street or the former Catinat Street, between the famous Caravelle and Continental hotels. Exactly at No. 7, Lam Son Square, Ben Nghe, District 1.  With its white columns and elegant arcades, the Ho Chi Minh City City Theater makes one imagine for a moment that one is in a small romantic Paris, away from the busy downtown.

ho chi minh city

Saigon’s Opera House has its specific characteristics. Its architectural style is influenced by the flamboyant style of the Third French Republic. The facade is inspired by the Petit Palais built the same year in Paris. The interior is well equipped, with perfect acoustics and lighting. The building includes a parterre and two balconies, capable of offering up to 800 seats but the oval auditorium has 468 seats.

However, the facade decor has suffered some criticism. Following the Gothic style, the facade of the building was decorated with inscriptions and reliefs , which was worth describing as complicated. In 1943, some of this decoration was removed. In 1998, on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of Saigon, the city government reconstructed part of the decoration of the facade.

The Saigon Opera House is a must-see place to go for a high-end show that must satisfy contemporary and traditional art lovers; in addition to concerts and ballets, it offers a whole range of activities promoting the local culture by adopting innovative and original approaches.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Ho Chi Minh City on things to see

Tourist office of Vietnam on the opera house

Lune Production site on info and ticketing for the Opera House

There you go another architecture and historical landmark in old Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City. For the opera/theater lovers is a must to see inside. For me well just happy to see it and admire its French architecture in new Vietnam! Hope you enjoy the post on the Opera House of Ho Chi Minh City.

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

 

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April 12, 2019

Wines of the world!

So in continuing with the good news on the wine world, my world maybe your world too, let me tell you some numbers. Even with the pressure to reduce comsumption the trend is up because wine is an integral part of our cultures and cannot be eliminated. It is like taken down Notre Dame Cathedral ,etc etc. En vino veritas!

According to the International Vine and Wine Organization (OIV). Italy confirms its rank as the first producer in front of France. World production reached a record level of 292.3 million hectoliters, up 14.5% !!, according to the OIV . It needs to  go back fifteen years to regain a comparable volume. This situation is all the more remarkable as the vineyard has not ceased to decline since 2004. It stabilized last year.

Some numbers: A world vineyard area of 7.4 million hectares in 2018. A strong increase in production, with 292.3 million hectoliters, representing a growth of 42.5 Million hectoliters compared to 2017. A quasi-stabilized consumption of 246 million hectoliters.  World trade in wine rising with 108 million hectoliters and an increase in value of 1.2% to reach the 31.3 billion Euros!!! Thank you world!!!

In Europe, the area would grow most in Italy between 2017 and 2018, of about 5000 hectares to reach 706 millions ha, unlike other European countries that show a stabilization of the vineyard areas. Nevertheless, Spain remains in the lead in the world ranking with 969 million ha. In Asia, after more than 10 years of strong progression, the growth of the Chinese vineyard  with 875 million ha slows, while that of Turkey 448 mil ha  sees its size stabilize in 2018 after a steady decline since 2003. In the American continent, the vineyard is increasing in Mexico, which is 34 mil ha. The vineyard of South Africa continues to shrink slowly since 2012, to reach 125 mil ha in 2018. In Oceania, the Australian vineyard of 145 mil ha) would see its recent decline slow, while the New Zealand vineyard remains almost stable, with an area around 39 mil ha.

Italy confirm its place of the premier global producer with 54.8 Mil hl, followed by France with 49.1 Mil hl and Spain which registers 44.4 Mil hl. On the other hand, weather conditions have been less favorable for some European countries. In Portugal  6.1 Mil hl, attacks of mildew and powdery mildew have had an impact on the production in 2017, which remains even all with a higher production than the average of the last years.

The United States would record in 2018, with 23.9 Mil hl, a production of wines excluding juice and musts greater than + 0.5 Mil hl compared to 2017. Argentina, with 14.5 Mil hl, grew by + 2.7 Mil hl. Chile recorded a strong progression: + 3.4 Mil hl, with 12.9 Mil hl, opposite Brazil, whose production declined with 3.1 Mil hl in 2018. South Africa sees a drop of-1.4 Mil hl per compared to 2017, explained the impact of drought and reached 9.5 Mil hl. In Oceania,  Australian production with 12, 9 Mil hl  in 2018 remains stable. The New Zealand production is 3.0 Mil hl, registering + 0.2 Mil hl increase compared to 2017

In 2018, World wine consumption, estimated at 246 million hectoliters, would seem to pause in its progression, mainly influenced by a decline in consumption in China and the United Kingdom.  The United States is still the world’s largest consumer since 2011 and reached  33. Mil hl, a slight increase from the previous year  + 1.1%. In South America, there is a slight setback, except in Brazil where consumption 2018 remained almost unchanged from 2017 and amounted to 3.6 Mil hl. In Europe , wine consumption stabilizes in the majority of countries, with the exception of Spain,  increase for the third consecutive year with 10.7 Mil hl in 2018, Portugal , 5.5 Mil hl in 2018, Romania 4, 5 Mil hl, and Hungary  2.4 Mil hl.  In China, the consumption by  in 2018 would drop by 6.6% compared to 2017, and would reached  18 Mil hl.  South Africa also registers a slight setback to reach 4.3 Mil hl. In Oceania, however, Australia increased by 6.1% compared to 2017 and reached 6.3 Mil hl. New Zealand remains almost stable at 0.9 Mil hl.

Spain continues to be the largest exporter in volume with 20.9 Mil hl, representing 19.4% of the the world market. France is still the world’s largest exporter in value with 9.3 billion Euros exported in 2018. Exports of  wines are still largely dominated by Spain, Italy and France, which account the three, more than 50% of the world market volume in 2018, or 54.8 Mil hl the first five importing countries are Germany, United Kingdom, USA, France and China-represent more than half of total imports.

First 2019 harvest estimates in the southern hemisphere  the harvest show a decline in most of the southern hemisphere countries (notably Argentina, Brazil and Chile).  In light of  high temperatures recorded were reportedly impacted by the harvest and South Africa would still be severely affected by drought. The only country that will harvest upwards from the previous year is New Zealand.

OIV entire article on World Wine Production here in English

The next OIV Congress will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, July 15-19 2019. This will be the  42nd World Congress of Vine and Wine. Who is the OIV well a brief description follows.

The International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) is an intergovernmental organization established in 1924. It works in the scientific and technical fields of the whole wine sector. The organization is comprised of 46 States that account for 85% of world wine production and almost 80% of world consumption.  In addition, ten international non-governmental organizations also participate as observers.  The International Organization of Vine and Wine was created on April 3, 2001. It replaces the international vine and wine office of 1958, replacing it with the international wine board of 29 November 1924.

There you go , wine is nice, good health, and helps provide millions of jobs for families of traditional values all over the World. Enjoy it wisely, consume smart, and share it. And remember, happy travels, (to vineyards is awesome) ,good health, (wine is an anti oxydant good for you), and many cheers to all (with wine the cheering will be better) !!!

 

March 17, 2019

Ben Thanh Market at Ho Chi Minh City!

So here I am taking you back east all the way to Vietnam. I have visited the country several times in the last few years and always impressive with its recovery after the wars. My main city was Ho Chi Minh City or old Saigon; even if some locals still call it Saigon!

On the several posts done on the country , I like to tell you about one particular spot that I got in by surprise walking from my hotel once, and then on another occassion came back to see it fully inside. This is the Ben Thanh Market, a must to visit.

The Ben Thanh market or Ho Chi Minh Market,  or Saigon market , whose Vietnamese name is Cho Ben Thanh is the best tourist shopping destination in Ho Chi Minh City. This tourist spot is located in the heart of the city, in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City, more precisely the Ben Thanh market  is located at the end of a commercial street call Le Loi, and at the beginning of the Le Lai street.

Ho Chi minh city

This building, which covers an area of more than 13 000 m 2, is made of cream-painted concrete with red roofs. Rectangular in shape, has 4 entrance doors or access inside the building, each door is equipped with an animal as a symbol of this entry, for example at the door of the animal is a cow. The highlight of the main façade is the huge clock housed in the middle of the front door turret.

ho chi minh city

Cho Ben Thanh Market was built in 1914 by the French in Ho Chi Minh. Although the building is relatively modern market, the inhabitants of the city and traded near the river since the 17C.

On the market you can find clothes, shoes, accessories, jewelry, equipment, pet shops, crafts, flowers, spices, nuts, food and restaurants . If you can’t find what you want inside the Ben Thanh market, you won’t be able to find it in Ho Chi Minh city!,so is the claim.

ho chi minh city

As a rule, prices are not fixed and will need to be haggle, or as traders say, apply a discount (except for restaurants). During the day, traders and stands  inside the market building, but in the evening , after 18h, the market closes to make room for the so-called Ben Thanh Night Market. A part of the traders mounted their stalls and shelves outside the Ben Thanh Market and all the restaurants and food stalls, without exception, continue its activity at the gates of Cho Ben Thanh Market.

The market opens its doors in the early hours of the morning and closes in the evening at 18h.  It is open every day of the week ,Monday to Sunday, whether it is a holiday, only during the Lunar New Year (Tết) and holidays, some stores can be closed. From 18h until midnight, outside the market, it continues the night market as above mentioned.

ho chi minh city

Hope you enjoy the tour, and see some webpages to help you plan your trip here

Official Ben Thanh Market HCMC

Vietnam Guide hotels.com on Ben Thanh Market

A nice Youtube video on Ben Thank Market:

There you go always busy but so many wonders inside to bring home as souvenirs from Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon. Enjoy Ben Thanh Market!

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

 

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March 7, 2019

Real Madrid, the greatest club in football/soccer history!

I will be talking about something personal, it is my club since many years, and never updated since my first entry in 2011! until now in my blog. I think at this moment it would be very opportune to re tell you about it. I lived in Madrid for four years between 1970 to 1974, and played for the Real Madrid in baseball,volleyball ,and football/soccer in the alavin division. Once a Madridista, always a Madridista to the grave. There is no other team club alike in the history of the game of football/soccer. Hala Madrid!!!!

Madrid santiago bernabeu sta 07avr10

Madrid

A bit of my life’s story goes like this:  I was just a young kid that was introduced to the organisation by a baseball umpire to play for their junior baseball team (sponsored by the Real Madrid in league of 8 teams which included the old US air base at Torrejon de Ardoz) at the parque de la Elipa, from my home at Calle Alcala, Quintana neighborhood or barrio (district Ciudad Lineal) it was just a bus P13 to it (now EMT bus 113). While there, friends used to go to see the team different sports  played, Ciudad Deportiva (the old one by the paseo de la Castellana now has four skyrises call towers as torre Espacio, torre Repsol, torre de la Mutua and torre Sacyr).

While going to these games, some kids who were already on the different sports organisations and had played football with me in parks like parque Calero and Retiro ,asked me to come to the Ciudad Deportiva installations for a tryout that was open. With the help of my baseball contacts that included member “socios” of the Real Madrid football team I got my first tryouts. Before long, I too, was wearing the white shirt of the football team, and move up from benjamin to alavin status. Those were wonderful memories even if just what is left is memories. Never forget that day in 1972 when I first enter the Real Madrid CF .

Madrid

From then on it has been a love affair whenever I may be living, trying for all means to obtain news of the team, and enjoying every second of my visits to the city from 1977 on to today. I am active in several forums that talks about the team, and go to the stadium often in season to see football and basketball games from Vistalegre to Caja Magica ,Ciudad Deportiva, WiZink Center, Valdebebas to Santiago Bernabeu.

The team , a bit of history. The team was born out of educators who sat around and found a club in 1897 around the Vallecas barrio or neighborhood. Quickly it became more organised by several of the members of the team in 1901 and eventually  Julian Palacios as first President officially  registered the club in 1902 as the Madrid Foot-Ball Club in 1902. By 1920 the king Alfonso XIII give it the royal rank of Real or royal as he was a follower too ::) ,and honorary member =socio. From June 1920 it became the Real Madrid CF that we know today. The team participated in the first Spanish league organised in 1929 finishing in second place.  The first league came on this period in the 1931-32 season, the first title !

The greatest period came after the war when on September 15 , 1943 when ex player and ex coach ,Santiago Bernabeu was named President of the club. After organising an international tournament in Colombia in 1952, they saw what was in 1953 their greatest signing that of Alfredo Di Stefano( Argentina) , considered by many the world’s greatest player , as well as the Spanish Francisco “paco” Gento from Santander and the league championship came back to the Real Madrid in the 1953-54 season.  Also, little refugee Ferenc Puskas of Hungary having left his country after the Soviet invation and took refuge in Spain where he signed for the club. They were the start of an amazing run of Five European Cups in a row (record) .  With player like Amancio and Velazquez the club again wins the European Cup in 1966 while continuing to pile up Ligas and Cups at home, these were the Ye-Ye years . The sad news came in June 2nd 1978 with the passing of Don Santiago Bernabeu, the greatest president ever, and today the stadium bears his name as well as the metro stop to it on line 10.

The team follow with the 80’s “la Quinta del Buitre” nickname given to Emilio Butragueño as well as Mexican Hugo Sanchez (Hugol), and many more Ligas however no European Cup. The team from the farm system delighed many and remains one of the most popular periods in the club history even without winning an European championship.  The team continue to wins Ligas in the 90’s with the incorporation of perennial and crowd favorite Raul Gonzalez Blanco, probably the best player ever from the farm system. Finally in 1998  the team came back to win again its trophy , the European Cup now call Champions league. In 1999 the great coach and former player Vicente del Bosque arrive promoting to the first team the legendary goalkeeper Iker Casillas ,and with it winning again the Champions league in 2000.

With the election of 2000, a new president came into being the entrepreneur Florentino Perez, (those who follow me know he is not of my liking possibly guilty of the lack of titles of the club in the last few years) ;this was the so call Galactic era, where millionaires dotting shorts and representing the Real Madrid razzle dazzle the world without any title in Europe but huge paychecks from uncle Florentino. Ligas were won but not sufficient due to the expenditures made and another Champions league was won in 2002 with player like Figo, Zidane,Ronaldo, and Beckham. The chosen succesor made it look like an election was Ramon Calderon who created many administrative problems for the club,and was made to resigned in 2009. Ironically , it was Florentino Perez who replaced him single handily without opposition due to no changes in the club by laws where the rich wins, and the second Galactic era began with signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, the signing from England of Spaniard Xabi Alonso and from France Karim Benzema all very expensive contracts and no titles as I write. Me think, time for president Florentino Perez to open elections and retire, too many years there is beginning to look like a dictatorship!

The story continues with the coming of Cristiano Ronaldo already the club all time goal scorer with 451 goals. Also, the signing of former player Zinedine Zidane was awesome. The French coach and the Portuguese player team up to bring us the amazing record of 3 Champions league in a row, never before seen or done!!!  And we are en route to name again the Greatest Club of the 21C having won more league and champions title than any, regardless of the crybabies out there; we won FIFA Best Club of the 20C and the IFHHS European Best club of the 20C as well!!!

Nevertheless, the club is the most winning club in the history of the sport in Spain and abroad regardless of the so call media frenzy of popular teams with a lot less history due to ever increasing publicity and media manipulation.  The Santiago Bernabeu stadium was built in 1947, with a capacity of  80 354 spectators today. The new sport city or  Ciudad Deportiva is today at Valdebebas just outside Madrid and the basketball arena  is now at the WiZink Center in Madrid.

The club has participated in all seasons of Spanish first division football, and has won 33 Ligas, by far the most. The player who has obtained the most titles with the club are Francisco Gento and Manuel Sanchis with 21 titles, and the player with most games is Raul Gonzalez Blanco with 741 games.

Madrid

These are the domestic club titles:

Spanish Liga (33): 1931/32, 1932/33, 1953/54, 1954/55,1956/57, 1957/58, 1960/61, 1961/62, 1962/63, 1963/64, 1964/65, 1966/67, 1967/68, 1968/69, 1971/72, 1974/75, 1975/76, 1977/78, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1985/86, 1986/87, 1987/88, 1988/89, 1989/90, 1994/95, 1996/97, 2000/01, 2002/03, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2011-2012, and 2016-2017.

Copa del Rey or Kings Cup  (19): 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1917, 1934, 1936, 1946, 1947, 1962, 1970, 1974, 1975, 1980, 1982, 1989, 1993, 2010-2011, and 2013-2014

Super Cup of Spain (10): 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2012, 2017. League Cup (1): 1985. Eva Duarte Cup (1):1947. Regional Championships and Community trophies (28) 1904/05, 1905/06, 1906/07, 1907/08, 1909/10, 1912/13, 1915/16, 1916/17, 1917/18, 1919/20, 1921/22,1922/23,1923/24, 1926/26, 1927/28 ,1929/30,1930/31, 1932/33, 1933/34, 1934/35, 1935/36, and 1943. vice Champion of the Liga  (23): 1928/29, 1933/34, 1934/35, 1935/36, 1941/42, 1944/45, 1958/59, 1959/60, 1965/66, 1980/81, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1991/92, 1992/93, 1998/99, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2012-2013, 2014-2015, 2015-2016.  vice Champions of the Kings Cup (20): 1903, 1916, 1918, 1924, 1929,1930,1933,1940,1943,1958, 1959/60, 1960/61,1967/68,1978/79 ,1982/83,1989/90, 1991/92,2001/02,2003/04.2012/13. vice Champion Super Cup of Spain (3): 1982, 1995, 2007. vice Champion League Cup  (1): 1983

International done just the same as good thank you;

Champions League  (13): 1955-56, 1956-57, 1957-58, 1958-59, 1959-60, 1965-66, 1997-98, 1999-00, 2001-02. 2013-2014, 2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-18.

madrid

UEFA Cup (2): 1984/85, 1985/86.

Super Cup of Europe (4): 2002, 2014, 2016, 2017.

Intercontinental Cup , later World Club Cup (7): 1960,1998,2002, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018.

Ibero American Cup  (1): 1994. Latin Cup(2): 1955, 1957. Club Small World Cup  (2): 1952, 1956.  vice Champion Champions league UEFA  (3): 1961-62, 1963-64, 1980-81. vice Champion European Cup of Cups  (2): 1971,1983. vice Champion Intercontinental Cup  (2): 1966,2000. vice Champion Super Cup of Europe  (2): 1998, 2000.

Madrid

The team has an inmense farm system or Cantera, that allows to maintain teams in many divisions and with excellent championship records as well such as Real Madrid-Castilla, and Real Madrid C team. It ,also has an excellent basketball section with 9 times champions of Europe.

some links of interest below:

The official club webpage  Real Madrid CF

if you want to be part of the family, then become a Madridista here  : Real Madrid fan Club Madridistas

if you want to shop online or find the store in Madrid webpage :  Real Madrid boutiques , for on site stores there is the stadium store on avenida Concha Espina puerta or door 55 or the calle Carmen 3 near Sol in city center,metro sol.

Madrid

if you want to buy ticket onlines ahead of games and pick up yours at the stadium, very easy then see this  : Ticketmaster

madrid

if you want to discuss in Spanish the latest trends in Spanish football and especially the Real Madrid join me in this forum Foro Real Madrid at webpage: Foro del Real Madrid fans forum

For the best sport journal ,in Spain in my opinion, and extensive coverage of football see AS at  Sport journal AS in English with various language and country version , I have it in English.

As the song says, nobody does it better!! Of course, we are human we lose too but overall we are simply the best! We will be back!! Always do always will. Just stay tune! Real Madrid CF forever Hala Madrid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Madrid

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

March 2, 2019

The War Remnants Museum , HCMC, Vietnam!

So lets come back to Asia shall we! 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. 

ho chi minh city

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 and brutal 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 1945 and 1975.

ho chi minh city

ho chi minh city

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.

ho chi minh city

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.

ho chi minh city

ho chi minh city

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 museum is here: Official War Remnants Museum in English

Official Vietnam Tourism on Ho Chi Minh City and museum

There you something that needs to be told and visit and you make your own conclusion. Its part of the historically politically correct traveler. The War Remnants Museum is all that and more.

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

 

March 2, 2019

Museum Purna Bhakti Pertiwi , Jakarta!

Ok so let me take you along my ways all the way east to the exotic wonderful Jakarta in Indonesia. I have been lucky to visit the country about 8 times in the last 8 years and the experiences and friends have been wonderful. I have written several posts on Indonesia in my blog.

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.

jakarta

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 andn 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 museum webpage is in Indonesian but can be translated with google or other language tools.

Museum of Purna Bhakti Pertiwi, Jakarta

jakarta

A bit more on it from my best creative writings lol!

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

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.

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.

Hotel Santika Taman Mini Jakarta

Jakarta

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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February 22, 2019

Nha Trang, Vietnam of course!

Therefore, lets go east far east to exotic Vietnam. Let’s go East!!! ,I have come here 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 240AD 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.

A bit more on things to see here

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.

nha trang

nha trang

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!

nha trang

nha trang beach 1 mar16

nha trang

nha trang sailing club entrance mar16

nha trang

As in my previous posts and some more 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.

Visit 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.

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.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Vietnam Guide by Hotels.com

Cap Vietnam on Nha Trang

Official govt tourist board on activities in Nha Trang

Tourist site on things to do in Nha Trang

There you go another nice spot to visit, Nha Trang, plenty of visitors already from Vietnam and Russia and of course France! 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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December 16, 2018

Buon Ma Thuot ,Dak Lak province ,Vietnam, of course!

So back with my latest trip abroad, this one a short week but pack plenty in it. This time out of HCMC went out to a new area in my 4th trip to Vietnam in the last 8 years. I went to visit Buon Ma Thout  in the Dak Lak province and the major area of coffee plantation in Vietnam.

buon ma thuot

A bit on the place first: or a bit of history I like!

Buôn Ma Thuột is the capital city of Dak Lak province in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. The city is famous as the regional “capital of coffee ,which they show as the world. Buôn Ma Thuột is served by the small but practical Buon Ma Thuot airport. If you care by car it is 350 km from Ho Chi Minh city. However, by airplane is about 40 minutes and by car can be 10 hrs! so I am told by locals. We left late pm and arrived by night direct into eating and hotel.

buon Ma Thuot

buon ma thuot

ho chi minh city

In 1904 Dak Lak Province was established by the French and Buôn Ma Thuột was selected as the provincial administrative center. Buôn Ma Thuột was originally settled by the E De, but due to the incoming Viet settlement after the Vietnam war and the active acculturation policy, less than 15% are still mountain people. The place is historically relevant because it was the site of the last major confrontation between the North Vietnamese and South Vietnamese armies back in March 1975.

There is a wonderful Lak Lake with much potential for walks, bikes, fishing, and water activities. On the shore of the lake there is June Village, where people live in thatched-roof houses on stilts.

Coffee is sold everywhere in town and you can buy whole coffee beans, ground coffee, even the ready-to-drink variety. The best place to buy coffee beans is at the intersection of Hoang Dieu and Phan Chu Trinh Streets. Trung Nguyen is considered as the ‘Coca-Cola’ of Vietnamese coffee and is sold in many places, but its main store is on Nguyen Tat Thanh Street. And the world museum is here and I drank traditional coffee and it is wonderful…

buon ma thuot

buon ma thuot

buon ma thuot

buon ma thuot

buon ma thuot

The Buon Ma Thuot , 7th annual Coffee Festival will be held on March 9 – 16, 2019. Vietnam is the second-largest coffee producer in the world, following Brazil. More here: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/top-coffee-producing-countries.html

OF course, we came here by Vietnam Airline, from HCMC taking only 40 minutes on time. I was picked up by driver upon arriving and went on a tour of the place. I had the opportunity to eat local dishes many done with ginseng as ingredient but as usual me forgot the name of the place just a photo to remember later maybe…

buon ma thuot

buon ma thuot

I did stayed at the nice 3 start Damsan Hotel. An old fashion house still in good condition and not far from the city center. We had an all you eat breakfast with traditional faire. This is in country Vietnam so you see it as it is no foreigners seen while there. The hotel has some info in English here: Damsan Hotel

buon ma thuot damsan hotel ent dec18

buon ma thuot damsan hotel lobby dec18

buon ma thuot damsan hotel pool deck dec18

Over to Dak Lak, on the lake there are breathtaking views and the lake is like a sea huge with depth in rainy season as of as much as 50 meters (165 feet). Temp was a nice 22C or about 72F. The best time to visit is now or November to February.

dak lak

dak lak

dak lak

dak lak

Just a layback ambiance in country with some nice folks made it all worthwhile and another spot of the world I can say was there. Those spots hard to remember them all, but I know it has been 81 countries so far !

A bit more to help you visit this area is here with Vietnam Online: Vietnam Online on Buon Ma Thout

Thank you for reading my blog and remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

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December 15, 2018

Another wonderful stay in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam of course!

So this is the take on my latest visit to Vietnam, an amazing recovery story of this war torn country ,wonderful sights and great friendly people. Always a pleasure to return and see old friends as well. The only sad part, it was another trip coming back empty without my dear late wife Martine...she would stayed very late waiting for me to return home.

I came back to Ho Chi Minh City (previously Saigon and still a district is call like it today). it was a short visit of five days as always here a business trip with some time to see other things in the city. It has been my 4th time to HCMC and Vietnam. Many souvenirs and good friends to last a lifetime; do not know when back but the memories will lingered as in all my travels.

As usual I landed in Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City and was waited by a driver to take me to the office , work, and then to the hotel. The trip was flawless from home by car to Nantes Atlantique airport, then Paris CDG T2F transfer to T2E M direct to HCMC. Vietnam airline has won several awards recently and it shows, very good.

ho chi minh city

ho chi minh city

paris

paris

After the usual greetings with the now friends, I was taken to my hotel in district 1 , the main city center district. As usual , I came back to the Grand Saigon Hotel, very nice roofstop terrace bar ,swimming pool, and fitness center as well as walkable to many shops and restos in a nice area of which you can see the City Hall building nearby. The hotel webpage in English is here: Grand Saigon Hotel

ho chi minh city

ho chi minh city

ho chi minh city

ho chi minh city

ho chi minh city

As I came during the southeast Asia Suzuki Cup football.soccer competition and Vietnam was playing first the Philippines (was there last month) then advance to the final vs Malaysia, the away game ended 2X2 with many good plays by Vietnam, the crowds in the area were huge with many congregating near the hotel on an endless rows of motos and scooters and even cars flag waving.

ho chi minh city

ho chi minh city

ho chi minh city

 

While this was going on downstairs, I was upstairs at a nice bar with some friends from Hanoi staying there about. We saw the game and the celebration from the Gartenstadt Restaurant 34 Dong Khoi Street,  drinking my favorite Krombacher pilsner German beer I drink at home!!! We had not only the beers but an assortment of sausages and meat dishes as usual there too numerous to recall lol! The resto webpage is here in English: Gartenstadt Restaurant

ho chi minh city

ho chi minh city

Even after finishing late at the above resto I came back to the hotel passing some nice areas and still the celebration was continuing as Vietnam did a good job holding on to a tie. The resto is just around the corner from the hotel!

ho chi minh city

As I walked and drove in the city , I like to give some shots of this passing, including the still in renovation Cathedral and from my office there!

ho chi minh city

ho chi minh city

ho chi minh city

ho chi minh city

ho chi minh city

I left the city to visit another area and came back the last night to stayed at the Grand Saigon hotel. While here had my outing to Wayne’s Coffee shop near our office which is always a gathering point for us there. The Swedish chain is a bit behind posting on their site as this was open already right lol! More here: Waynes coffee in Ho Chi Minh City

ho chi minh city

Again before a private driver taken me back to the airport at HCMC, flight again on Air France direct to Paris CDG T2E K then transfer to T2F for the last flight home to Nantes Atlantique where my car was waiting. However, at Paris , there was a controller’s strike (did I said we are the champions!) and the flight was delayed from leaving at 21h30 we finally did it at 23h30! Finally ,by car ,reaching home by 02h (2am Sat).

ho chi minh city

In all, was a short pleasant visit full of memories that would not like to post or put photos here but it was memorable. Do not when will be the next time, but HCMC will be forever in my mind. Thank you all folks there.

Further anecdote, when arriving our plane was included the 7th million foreign visitor to the city this year!!! The webpage for the Tourist office of Vietnam is at Tourist office of Vietnam

Popular unofficial page on travel info in Vietnam and of course HCMC, Vietnam onlineVietnam Online on HCMC

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

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