Viet Nam Travel Stories: Halong Bay Before The Lockdown

I don’t feel like writing up anything today since I have posted 2 articles yesterday. But I will just end up cheating myself if I consider the travel write up as my day 9 blog. So just to have something to write today, I will to share my previous travel.

My Halong Bay Cruise Experience February 29 – March 1, 2020

I and a colleague went for a walk and talk at Hoàn Kiem last Feb 25 thinking of making an enquiry on Viet Nam travel packages but we ended up booking a 2D/1N tour package to Halong Bay by a 4.5 star cruise ship LA Pandora at that same day and the travel would be on that same week Feb 29 to go back March 1.

It was a 3 hour drive from Ha Noi, we went there on a private bus by the way and on our way, there was this one remarkable observation that I cannot forget (because he always mention that to me everytime we’re passing an expressway), there is a pedestrian crossing in an expressway 🙄, brrfff.

Our tour guide, Phoebe (I am not sure if I remember it right 🙄), just keeps on talking (the usual thing for tour guides) during that 3-hr travel, which not a single thing I remember just the Banana Island (I don’t believe it’s the official name of that place she just came up with a name because there’s a lot of Banana trees in that area 🙄, but not bad I did adopt that name already because everytime we pass that area, on my mind I would say “Banana Island”).

On our way to Hai Phong – The White House of Viet Nam

We were about 14 people then going to Hai Phong but the other 4 joined another group when we arrived at the port. So we’re basically just 10 on the same tour, we’re the only Fils on that tour, the other tourists were from Europe.

Entrance to the boat ride
We’re about to board
Seacraft to transfer to the Cruise Ship

From the port to the cruise ship, it took us about half an hour boat ride. The Cruise ship looks very ordinary but upon reaching the dining area, I was simply in awe (for a first timer like me, it was just stunning).

Arrival to the Cruise Ship LA Pandora
Dining Area of LA Pandora

To be carried forward…

Brought Forward: Viet Nam Travel Stories – Halong Bay

Continuation of the “Lazy Day (Vietnam Travel Stories Continued)”

First set of Menu..

We were introduced to our designated room upon arrival to the Cruise ship and if the dining area was stunning, the room that was assigned to us was simply exceptional, extravaganza, eleganza (got these expressions from RuPaul 🤭).

Halong Bay boasts this natural beauty – – the Awesome Rock Formation…

After lunch, we’ve had our free time to explore the entirety of this wonderful thing afloat the Halong Bay.

la la la.. La Pandora
Stunning View from the Top Deck (the rock formation not the extra 😆)
And I get to have my own photo with that superb Natural Wonder as the background

While cruising, I couldn’t help myself but to deeply admire how Nature had brought together such beautiful pieces of little mountains in this body of water and pave those ways for people to explore and see this Natural wonder, it is truly exceptional and amazing.

More in the next write up…

Guanajuato Mexico

Photo taken during my last visit at Guanajuato, Mexico.

A photo that can be featured in the Art and Architecture Gallery.

The Mango Mousse and Cheese Cake Baker: The Pastry Chef in the Making — Đỗ Thanh Thủy

The Best Mango Mousse Cake I Ever Tasted

It was a typical work day at the office, start the day with the morning meeting, after that, take the morning coffee routine. At the pantry, some officemates gathered checking out something, so my curiosity told me, snoop around, and these sumptuous, delectable and freshly baked cake came up to feed my eyes. I didn’t notice at first that it was a mousse cake, I thought it’s an ordinary Mango Cheesecake—I can tell by the color and the toppings that it’s a mango flavored cake.

I heard that it’s a birthday surprise for one of our colleagues at the Purchasing Department, they usually buy cakes for birthday celebrants but this time, it was personally prepared and baked by Thuy1, as I called her because there are at least 4 Thuys in our department.

Without much ado, they brought out the cake and present to the birthday celebrant. There’s not much tradition on how they celebrate birthdays or make greetings as far as I know, so it’s just the typical “cut the cake” thing and that’s it, everybody gets to enjoy this heavenly creation by Thuy1.

After the taste test, I am calling it a taste test because we were so many in the office that time and you could imagine how much of a little portion one can get when the cake was equally divided. The Mousse cake is so smooth, soft yet solid, the taste of the Mango is dominating, sweetness is so subtle, that I think I can finish a 12 inch cake in one sitting, simply, this Mousse cake is so good, the best Mango Flavored Mousse I have tried so far. So I asked her, “Do you have a Cake Shop or a Bakery of your own?”, and she said “No, no chance”, and I said, “Let’s go partner and put up one.”–even if I am not sure if i have enough dinero to invest. But I couldn’t make her say “Yes”–frown–.

All the people who get to taste this Mousse cake was really delighted and craving for more–though I am not sure if I will be able to make her share the secret recipe. Or maybe she could share in the upcoming articles to showcase her talent as a Pâtissier in The Making.

To compliment the talent, that she doesn’t want to publicize, here comes the write up and some of the photos of her previous baking skills display.

And Presenting, the very timid yet talented and the best Pâtissier in the Making…

Đỗ Thanh Thủy – One of the Best Pastry Chef in the Making

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