Sunday, July 20, 2014

Travelogue: Hanoi, Vietnam (City Tour 2)

Hanoi offers so many different sights and sounds. Remains of French colonization is evident in their architecture but given a more authentic flavor by incorporating Vietnamese aesthetics. Hanoi is a perfect blend of East-meets-West allowing tourists to go home with unique memories.

The Old Quarter is the hub of most tourist attractions. Just a few minutes walk or cab ride and you will reach famous landmarks. Also, one need not worry about spending too much money for entrance fees as most of these are free. Or if not, it is very affordable. 
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Friday, July 18, 2014

Hallyu Corner: Girl Groups

Long gone are the days when KPop girl groups are cute, bubbly, sweet and innocent. If you are a follower of KPop or simply an occasional and casual listener, you may have noticed that body and sex appeal have become their selling point these days. When Girls' Generation first debuted, I found them to be really cute and fun. Gee was a very colorful and innocent video. But as years went by, they tried experimenting with their style and I found them trying to be sexy and fierce. I am not saying that it is a bad thing. I mean, sexiness really sell. And other than that, I found their music to be more of my taste with the sexier and fiercer image. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Travelogue: Hanoi, Vietnam (City Tour)

Traveling in Hanoi can be fun and galling at the same time. Though I mostly relished my vacation, I can't say that everything we experienced were good memories. There were also bad ones. But, just like traveling in any other country, I do believe that not all of the incidents you will encounter will leave a pleasant impression. We may have had a few mishaps, but I still highly recommend a visit to this city - if only to experience a different side of the world.

I have a few notes I would like to impart for any of you interested in visiting this city one day. These are just a few tips and observations about Hanoi:
  • Shopping and everything in general is very affordable in Hanoi. 92.5 silver bracelets costs about $25-35 US. That is actually very inexpensive considering the price of silver per gram has been drastically increasing over the past few years. You can also have a complete meal in under $2 US. Shopping is also not a problem. You can buy branded clothes for more than half the price in stores e.g. Stradivarius, Forever 21, Zara, and The North Face. These brands have factories in Hanoi and there are so many shops there that carry overruns (though in my opinion most of them are still pretty good quality). In Hanoi, I was never worried whether I have enough money left to spend because everything is so affordable. I was only able to spend half of my budget. We were all very surprised considering the amount of food that we ate and the amount of shopping that we did.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Travelogue: Hanoi, Vietnam (Halong Bay 2)

We spent our first day in Halong Bay. It was about 4 hours bus ride from Hanoi. It was quite a long ride probably because I am not used to 60-80km/h speed limit. Though I am not sure if the bus was really running on that speed but it sure felt like it. In the Philippines, buses can run up to more than 100 km/h - yep, that is how reckless our drivers here are. Nevertheless, the long bus ride was pretty exciting. Most of the sights are very similar to the Philippines - rice paddies, lots of electrical wires, stores in the town proper - but there were religious establishments along the way and other icons unique to Vietnam. My friends and I would often compare Manila to Hanoi as both places share a lot of similarities but there are also so many noticeable differences. 

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Hallyu Corner: Why I Like KPop

The reason why I got so hooked into Kpop is because of the group Big Bang. Before I never bothered listening to any Asian - more so, Korean music. I hated all songs that I don't understand. I mean why bother listening when you don't understand what they are saying anyway, right? But that all changed when I heard GDragon's version of "This Love" by Maroon 5. My initial reaction was I thought it was okay. But the more hit the replay button on YouTube, the more the song grew in me. And before I knew it, I was googling who the hell GDragon is and then I discovered Big Bang. I started watching their music videos and watching interviews/variety shows they participated in. I was so hooked that I vividly remember spending the entire day on YouTube watching anything related to Big Bang. That was how addicted I was to them. Until now, they remain to be my favorite Kpop group even if so many other groups have emerged.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Beauty Essentials

I'm not they type of girl who brings almost her entire makeup collection with her when she goes out. I've been watching a ton of this kind of video on YouTube over the past years and it is unbelievable the amount of makeup people bring with them. I find it impractical and unnecessary as it will add more weigh to your bag. I keep a simple and practical but efficient items in my make up bag. I want a fuss free but effective items I can use everyday.

Here's what's inside my makeup bag: 
 Makeup bag: Forever 21 | Toothbrush: Dentiste | Toothpaste: Colgate | Random hair comb
Lipstick: Chanel | Pressed powder: MAC | Blotting sheets: Too Cool for School 
Mirror: gifted | Handibac: gifted from Bath and Body Works | Hand lotion: Philosophy
Vera Bradley and Random band aids | Medications: paracetamol and ranitidine | Halls candy

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Travelogue: Hanoi, Vietnam (Halong Bay 1)

It's been more than a month since we visited Hanoi and I can still remember every moment of it. It may not be as organised and clean but Hanoi definitely left memories that I will treasure forever. It has a charm that no other city exudes. Though not all of our experiences were good (because we were scammed by a taxi driver), it is still an experience that I will remember. For the lessons that we learned, for the friendly people we met, for the good food that filled our hungry stomachs, and the shopping that made us all bankrupt - Hanoi, I will definitely see you again!

Hanoi is not a place that I really intended to visit this year. I wanted to go to Ho Chi Minh City but one of my friends insisted on Hanoi (for Halong Bay) and I must say, I thank her for doing so. This is my first out of the country trip with my friends and I can't wait to do more out of the country travels with them! This is an experience that I surely enjoyed. 

 Top, Sunglasses and Necklaces: Forever 21 | Shorts: Clothes for the Goddess | 
Shoes: Sperry Top-Sider| Watch: Swatch | Bag: LAMB for Le Sportsac