My Travels

Visiting Starbucks’s world first concept store in Hong Kong

During my trip in Kong Kong, my sister brought me to a Starbucks cafe along Duddell Street saying that this is a place we must visit. Initially, I didn’t think much of it because I thought it was just any other Starbucks. From the outside, the cafe looks just like any other Starbucks but as we walked further into the cafe, did we see the difference. Starbucks collaborated with Goods of Desire (G.O.D), a local lifestyle brand to transform the corner of the Duddell Street Starbucks into a Bing Sutt (冰室 lit. “ice chamber”) with decorations and traits to blend the Hong Kong style from the ‘50s through the ‘70s with today’s Starbucks look and feel. Stepping into the Duddell Street Starbucks, I felt as though I was revisiting Hong Kong in the 70s. This is also probably the only place in Hong Kong where you can enjoy a piping hot Starbucks.
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Being arty-farty at the Singapore Biennale 2013

Started in 2006, the Singapore Biennale is a platform that allows local and international artists to showcase their creations to the public. This year, the event is organised by the Singapore Arts Museum which makes the event more interesting because most of the exhibits will be showcased in several national museums in Singapore. Personally, I haven’t visited many of the national museums even though I am based in Singapore. If the world changed This title for this year’s Singapore Biennale, “If The World Changed” invites artists to think about the world we live in today, and the world we want to live in the future. I’m not an artist or anything but here are some of the exhibits I really like. Singapore Biennale 2013 venues You can visit the following venues to check out the exhibits. Singapore Art Museum SAM at 8Q National Museum of Singapore Peranakan Museum Singapore Management University.
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The best Pho Bo in Ho Chi Minh

During my short backpacking trip in Ho Chi Minh, I had the opportunity of eating one of the best Pho Bo, Vietnamese beef noodle soup in Ho Chi Minh. Pho is a common staple dish in the country with decades of history. Along the streets of Ho Chi Minh, you can easily find street vendors and restaurants selling Pho at almost every street corner. What makes a good Pho Bo? The dish may seem easy to make to some. I mean, it’s pretty difficult to overcook the flat rice noodles used to make Pho Bo unless you intentionally leave it in a pot of boiling water for a very long period of time. The skill in making an awesome Pho Bo, is in the broth and the beef. The broth has to be clear and flavourful. Made by simmering beef bones, onion, ginger and many other spices over long hours on.
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Banh Cuon (Steamed Rice Rolls)

As I was eating my Banh Cuon Thanh Tri, I noticed that the wife of the stallholder was making something else with the freshly made Banh Cuon. Banh Cuon (steamed rice rolls) is made from wide sheets of fermented rice batter made by pouring the batter over a piece of cloth which is stretched over a pot of boiling water and steamed to form. Once cooked, the delicate rice sheet is then transferred to a metal plate where it is cut into four pieces. Beside the metal plate is a big pot of filling consisting of seasoned ground pork, minced mushroom and minced shallots. A generous amount of filling is laid on the rice sheet and rolled into rice rolls. It looks a lot like Chee Cheong Fun, a Cantonese dish from Hong Kong. When finished, more beans sprouts and vegetables are added to the dish. Although the presentation looks similar to.
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Banh Cuon Thanh Tri (Vietnamese Rice Sheet Noodles)

After staying in Ho Chi Minh for the first few days, I realised that Vietnamese can eat rice noodles all day long. That means rice noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even on a hot day, they created a cold rice sheet noodle dish called Banh Cuon Thanh Tri (Vietnamese rice sheet noodles) that’s much easier to eat under the hot sun. Along the road before the junction of Ton That Tung and Bui Vien is this little stall that sells cheap Banh Cuon Thanh Tri. Stalls along the street usually don’t have signboards so you will have to do a little searching in order to find this stall. Look for the man with the blue cap and his wife with a traditional Vietnamese hat in the photo below. Banh Cuon Thanh Tri can be prepared within minutes upon ordering because all the ingredients have already been cooked beforehand and just needs.
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