22 March 2011

Asian (food) tour final part

There is so much to show and tell about our 5 weeks tour through Asia, but I have to end it somewhere. After all I’ve been back to work for almost 3 weeks now and I have so many recipes I still want to share. So lets wrap it up.
After staying in Vietnam for 2 weeks we headed out for Singapore. We found really cheap tickets on Tiger Air; can’t beat 321 euro for 4 people from Ho Chi Minh to Singapore. Upon arrival we bought a 3day pass for unlimited travel by metro and bus. Needless to say we made the maximum use of it. 

We stayed in a budget hotel (210 euro for 2 rooms for 2 nights) in Little India area and although the room was small and didn’t have any windows, it was clean. And the location was very convenient, close by subways and Bugis Street which hold the largest covered market in the area.

Singapore has a lot of restaurants, but we love to eat where the locals eat. Anywhere with lots of people we would have a look and eventually sit down for a meal. Singapore has lots of open air food courts (only covered by a roof) with lots of different vendors and food selection. It’s like a giant canteen where you go and get your own food and then sit down on whatever table is available. 
Some vendors have great pictures of the food they’re selling and thank god they have an English menu also. Not all of them speak English, but you can always point to what you want and they will make it.
I especially loved the rice with peking duck or fatty pork. They always serve it with some boiled veggies and a bit a gravy. Sooo good and very cheap also.
One of the vendors had a “pick what you want me to cook” concept. He had all kinds of vegies, meat, fish, tofu etc. My mom gave it a try and pick all the stuff she wanted to eat. He would then cook them in a broth and served them with noodles.
Everything in “little China” area was so good, we ate there twice during our 2 days in Singapore.
I can go on and on about the food but the pictures will tell it all. Just a little note then. These are some of the snacks they were selling. They had lots of stuff on a stick. Basically whatever they could put on a stick was available on a stick.
I especially enjoyed the curry puff. I didn’t know what an oyster cracker was so I asked the vendor. It was just fried dough with an oyster in the middle. Didn’t rock my boat so didn’t try it. The prawn cracker on the other hand had 2 big shrimps and were more appealing to the eye.

We also went to Orchard Road which is one of the most famous streets in Singapore. It is flanked by pedestrian malls and contains numerous upmarket restaurants, coffee chains, cafés, nightclubs and hotels. There was so much to see!
My hubby was so lucky as we accidently found Singapore’s Hard Rock Café. Wherever we go we always try to find a Hard Rock Café so he can have his t-shirts. So far he as them from Singapore, Vietnam, San Francisco, New Orleans, Moscow and Pattaya (Thailand).
At one of the shopping malls we run into a nice surprise. They had live music and Hazrul Nizam was singing. He sang some great songs and we listened till he had a break. Mom manage to get a pics of him. He was very nice and TALL! At least 2 heads taller then mom.
We didn’t know who he was until we saw this poster outside the mall.
At one of the food courts I had this delicious dessert. The vender was an old man and I felt really sorry for him for still need to work instead of enjoying his retirement. His English wasn’t very good so I had to point to the pictures to let hem know what I wanted. Since I love durian I gave this one a try. He scooped all kinds of beans, jelly, fruits on the bottom of the bowl (which I didn’t see him doing it) and covered them with lots of shaved ice. Then he poured 4 kinds of different syrups on it and topped it off with some durian past.

I started with tasting all the different colors and the durian past first. It wasn’t as sweet as I thought it would be, which is good, cuz I don’t like my desserts to be overly sweet. When I ate everything together I was surprised how good it tasted. Everything went so well together. One scoop of heaven!

Singapore is a great place for food and shopping. It is very easy to find your way around and there is plenty of cheap food to eat your way through. And very important…most people speak English. We’ll be back for a longer visit.

Up to the next destination: Macau.
What to more to say about Macau then: we stayed in a really nice 5* hotel!

I am sorry but Macau was quite a disappointment. It started at the airport where it took us ages to get through customs. Not a good way to welcome first time visitors. Then the cab driver who took us to the hotel didn’t speak any English. That was actually not the worse part. The worse part was that he tried to rip me off with the cab fare. Thank god for the hotel doorman and bell boy who came to the rescue.

We arrived late that day and after freshen up we head out for buffet dinner at the Sands casino, where we ate so much we couldn’t even walk home.

The next morning we found a noodle vendor on a small market close by the hotel. He didn’t speak any English so again there was a lot of hand gestures. But the noodles tasted good enough.
There are a lot of casinos in Macau. Some people even consider it to be the Las Vegas of Asia. Surely those people have never been to Las Vegas. Las Vegas is much more lively and vibrant, Macau can’t measure up to. 
We booked a day tour with English speaking guide to discover Macau. We visited:
* A-Ma Temple, which honors the Goddess Matsu
* The Historic Centre of Macau, which includes some twenty-five historic monuments and public squares
* The Ruins of St. Paul's, which refers to the ruins of a 16th century complex including of what was originally St. Paul's College and the Cathedral of St. Paul
* Macau Tower

We had a Portugese lunch which contains potato soup, salade with fried cod, rice and chicken curry and probably some dessert. The whole meal was so bad, not well seasoned and totally ruin my appetite fore Portugese food.
Food was very difficult to find. There were no food courts (at least we couldn’t find any) and everything was either in Chinese or in Portuguese. Unfortunately non of us master any of these languages. That night mom and dad ate noodle soup in a can. My hubby and I went out and found this hole in the wall packed with people and they had an English menu! Finally good food!   

We were very glad to leave Macau. Unfortunately Macau has nothing to pull us back again. No offense towards Macau people.

We bought tickets for the ferry to Hong Kong Island for the last leg of our trip. Mom didn’t want go for the cheapest fare (13 euro) cuz she tried it already and really regretted it. So we went for upper class (25 euro). No regrets there. It was on the upper deck of the ferry and the chairs were huge! And they also served you food and drinks. One hour ferry ride went by like noting.  
Our hotel was on Hennessy Road and very central located. There was plenty of shopping and food in the neighborhood. We found a market (I love markets!) with fresh fish, meat and vegies. The also sold these lobsters. Four different kinds, but no doubt all very jummie. To bad we didn’t had a kitchen so these lobsters live to see another customer.

We bought an octopus card for riding the underground, trams and busses. We used them for riding up and down the road and to go to Kowloon. Mom and dad stayed there years before and wanted to go back to memories lane. We found the one restaurant they ate at all the time and had lunch there.
We did some shopping, visited the lady’s market and did lots of snacking. There were fried fish/meat balls, fried and grilled octopus legs, crispy fatty pork, sticky rice with sausages and lots of slow cooked intestines (which we didn’t try).
As a the last meal in Hong Kong my hubby ordered lamb chop curry with mash potatoes and naan bread. Dad had Japanese grilled beef and mom ordered the Hainanese chicken rice. Somehow I didn’t feel like eating (must been sick) so I just had some boiled water. The lamb chops was one of the best dishes the hubby had.

Conclusion: we had a great time in Hong Kong and need to come back for a longer holiday for some more food and shopping. 
We took the ferry back to Macau and flew back to Singapore. From Singapore back to Vietnam where we had 2 days to recover before our Cambodia tour. 
The tour bus took a total of 35 people to Siem Reap. The ride took from 5 am to somewhere in the afternoon before we stopped at our hotel. First impression of Cambodia, very hot and dusty and still lots of room for development and growth.
We visited Angkor Wat, which was very impressive. It’s still a big mystery how people in these days could make something like that. And without using any cement mortar. All the rocks are just pilled on top of each other.

Angkor Wat was also the scenery for the movie Tomb Raider. 
During on of our stops mom bought these mini cup cakes made of coconut and wrapped in banana leaves. They were a good snack for on the way.
We saw a lot of these typical Cambodia houses along the road. 
After spending 2 days in Siem Reap the bus took us to Phnom-Penh. This city was more simelar to Vietnam. Lots of houses close to each other and lots of people on motor bikes. Here we vistit the Royal palace.

We went to Central Market for shopping. They sold everything you could possible need including some typical Combodja snacks I did't want to keep for myself.
All kinds of insects fried or stire fried.
They had crickets, spiders, frogs, silk worms and all other insects. I am very adventures, but this time I passed.
I did try these steamed buns filled with meat. They are similar to the Vietnamese banh bao, but these had a yellow top made with I think some kind of shrimp paste.

During the tour we were fed 3 times a day and the food was very similar to Vietnamese food. We and 4 other people occupied one table and the food kept on coming. With every meal there was rice, several kinds of stire fried veggies, fried or steamed fish, meat, soup and fruit to clean our palets.

I don't think we'll be back to Cambodja anytime soon. The country is still developing and needs to upgrade a little bit more to be atractive for tourists. But we saw what we needed to see and can cross this of our list.

After 4 days of eating we returned to Vietnam where we stayed for 3 more days before we had to go back home. It was a lot of traveling, but it was totally worth it. We could cross everything from our to-do list. We spend lots of time with the familie, ate everything we were craving and did all the traveling we could in limited time.


  1. Seeing all those asian street food, brought back so much great memories we had when we traveled to Vietnam Hanoi - love their beef noodles, Cambodia Ang Kor Wat - love the crispy pork we had there. Arghh... you made me hungry ....

  2. Yin I'm a big fan of street food, just my stomach sometimes isn't. And since we're no frequent visitor of Asia we have a bit a little bit more careful.


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