Thursday, April 21, 2011

Vietnam for adrenaline junkies

This is the article from BBC & Lonely Planet to introduce different way for adrenaline junkies traveling to Vietnam. Hope you enjoy the hiden charms of Vietnam when trying one of these adventures.
Photo from my trip to Halong
Dense jungles, brooding mountains, endless waterways, towering cliffs, hairpin bends: the potential for adrenaline-fuelled adventure is limitless in Vietnam.
Whether you prefer to scale the heights of jagged peaks or plumb the depths of coral reefs, Vietnam will deliver something special. Heck, just being here is one long adventure, but these experiences will take it to a whole new level.
Kayak Halong Bay
Use paddle power to explore this incredible forest of karsts that jut out of the South China Sea like stone sentinels. Kayaks go where other boats cannot, such as into hidden caves and secret lagoons, and will reveal to you the very best of the bay.
Conquer Mount Fansipan
OK, so it is not Mt Everest, but at 3,143m, it is the highest peak in the country. Meet some of the people on the trek before tackling the elements to arrive on the roof of Vietnam.
Motorbike through the deep north
Saddle up for the ride of a lifetime in the mountains of Vietnam's deep north. The roads are absolute rollercoasters, the scenery is simply stunning.
Cycle the Mekong Delta
Forget about those newfangled engines and pedal through the back roads of the Mekong Delta - a patchwork of emerald greens. Stick to the roads less travelled or jump on the odd boat or two for the full Mekong experience.
Dive beneath
See Vietnam from a different angle by scuba diving off its curvaceous coast. Tank up, buddy down and explore the reefs off Nha Trang. Other options are Phu Quoc Island or, the final frontier, Con Dao.
Kitesurf above
If all that underwater stuff sounds too deep, then float above it all with something more carefree like kitesurfing. Mui Ne is the unashamed kitesurfing capital, but the sport is (literally) taking off, up and down the coast.
Explore Vietnam's national parks
Vietnam's jungle is massive - well at least in some of the protected areas. Track shy wildlife, hike to hidden waterfalls or mountain-bike down paths less travelled in one of the country's remote national parks, such as magnificent Cat Tien.

Source: BBC

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My day

I hope everyone is having a great week! I have been quite busy at work recently. Many figures to estimate and make annual projection for the cinema. Can you believe I even dream of them too? ;-( So this morning, in order to refresh myself, I went to local market nearby for buying some groceries. It was fun walking around to see how fresh the vegetables, flowers and other stuffs are in early morning. I got some roses, fruits and veggies. And the woman who sells sticky rice said hi to me by her beautiful smile when I passed by. Quickly I got my refrigerator full of stuffs, which made me happy and then could be ready to go work. I realize that just waking up earlier than usual and doing something different from your routine, that's enough to make you feel merry. Well, as for me, it is : ) Ok, this is just a quick post since I need to be back to project's financial planning work now. Just want to share with you another thing make me feel good. When I arrived to office, my colleague had brought me her lovely pot in my desk. What a wonderful gift to brighten up my day.

Friday, April 15, 2011

In Taipei, where to visit?

Taipei is the capital of Taiwan. In Chinese, the word "taipei" means northern of Taiwan and Vietnamese name of this city is Đài Bắc. I had visited Taipei during 2006 to 2008, some for traveling, some for working in international conferences or business trip with Vietnamese professors. This evening, after checking in my mobile disk, I found some pictures which bring me good memories of Taipei. So I want to share with you story of my visits in Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall , Taipei 101 tower and the Taiwan National Palace Museum during my stay in this beautiful Formosa.

1. Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall 
The Memorial Hall locates in downtown of Taipei. This hall was built to memorize the late president of Taiwan and to express the honor and esteem of Taiwanese to their president Chiang Kai Shek, who inherited Sun Yan Sen's idealism. The architecture is based on Chinese majestic beauty in old times, representing through the gates and palace roofs. Let's enjoy the beauty of the Memorial Hall in my trips.
The 30-meter high Gate on the gateway. "Shang zhi  zhong ta" (大) means great centrality and perfect uprightness. 

I came to CKS in both winter and summer. Every time of my visits, the Memorial Hall holds its unique beauty. 
  Its summer beauties
 And its winter beauties
Even though being located in Taipei downtown, CKS is really Taiwanese national tranquility, a peaceful area out from the bustle of a modern city. This Hall occupies an area of 250 000 m2 of various gardens, majestic Chinese-style houses, walks and long hallways. In afternoon, many local Taiwanese come to walk, watch the changing guard at 6h30pm or feed the pigeons.
Walking through the broad yard of CKS Memorial Hall, you are heading to the upper floor of the Hall, where CKS statue locates. Inside the upper floor of the hall situates a bronze statue of Chiang Kai Shek. The ceiling of the Hall is unique because of typical Taiwanese national flat symbol, but sorry in my picture, it's not clear to see the symbol in center.
Anyway, later you have great impression to see the sunset out there.
How to get to CKS Memorial Hall:
By MRT, stop by exit no 5 & a short walk of 2-3 mins to reach the Hall. By bus, there are many local Taipei buses which can bring you to CKS Hall. Check it out the itinerary of any bus in your nearest bus station to choose your most convenient bus to be there. No 15, 18, 20, 22, 37, 204...are some of them.
2. Taipei 101
Taipei 101 landmark skyscraper is the pride of Taiwanese, Taipei city and Taiwan.

Now let's check it out view of Taipei in the Observatory floor.
It took me only 31 seconds to go up to 373m in height without dizziness when I was in elevator. I came to Taipei 101 Observatory in both day and evening time, which brought me different feelings to come. Taipei city was so beautiful from this height to see.
View of Taipei in day time

View of Taipei city at night

The mass damper keeps the tower balanced from strong wind

Interior of shopping area in other floors

3. National Palace Museum
Originally founded in Beijing in 1925, in order to avoid the ravages in Japanese war later on, the goverment shipped hundreds thousands of treasured works of art from Beijing to Taiwan, where now the collection was stored and displayed in their home in Waishuangxi area of Shilin, Taipei, where NPM is located now.
There's also another museum in Taibao, Chiayi opened this year as the NPM's southern branch.

The admission fee is 160 NT. For exhibition area, it's open from 9am to 5pm daily, except Saturday later to 8h30pm. There are free daily tours guided in Mandarin and in English but you need to register in group.
Over here, a huge pieces of more than 600 0000 treasured art works like painting and caligraphy, historical books, gems, antiquities, historical statues...are exhibited, making it the finest collection of Chinese art and culture in the world.
How to get there:
 Site for bus stop to NPM
By MRT, take the Dansui Line to Shilin Station. From there take the bus 255, 304 or minibus 18/19
To and from Dazhi or Neihu, take busess 213, 620 and 645
Even though visiting Taipei some times, I still wish to come back in future to see my friends there again. If you have chance to visit this city, let's explore Taipei & share me how Taipei touch your heart. Then these 3 places are highly recommended for your visit.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Red madonna lily - Hoa loa kèn đỏ

I took photo of red madonna lily (Loa kèn đỏ) in front yard some days ago. The flower bud had sprouted thanks to my parents' care to water the lily every day.
Today, it is sunny and windy, what a perfect Thursday. I got messy with my dog - Bin when moving motorbike to go work. Bin wanted to play with me, but not in the right time. And what a surprise when I realized the flower have been blossomed so beautifully there. It's worth my parent's care to it. The spring has brought a wonderful gift in our yard. I hope you have a good beginning to brighten up your day like me too.