Tag Archive: central market


Hue

Got on a bus from Hoi An for 4 (turned 3) hours to Hue stopping at a lookout point called Thua Thien Hue but didn’t get enough time to go to the top (so I didn’t see the point in stopping at all). Yes, nice views, but if there is a hike why not give us time to do it? The sells were very pushy and touched me twice L we also saw a truck full of dogs three times which smelt terrible. The last time we saw them they were getting sprayed down.

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Upon arriving in Hue, we went to lunch at Ushi where I got vegetable soup that ended up being just morning glory in water…only 15,000 though. Walked to central market (went over Truong Tien Bridge which is an ugly color and has construction) which was a lot like Goje market in Busan with souvenirs because it had vegetables and cooking things and housework items. We then walked through a park next to Perfume river and I told a guy I was Korean just for him to go away. On to the Imperial Citadel (palace) which cost 105,000 (which is much more than 55,000 as advertised in lonely planet). It’s pretty much the only thing to see in the city.

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It was mostly construction and trash which makes me question Vietnamese people–why not take care of your history? This was not the first thing we had seen like this. We’re not even sure what we saw because there were no signs. Their map and the lonely planet map didn’t add up either.

The pagoda/rest area-gondola was really nice as were the bushes made like turtles which were both inside the Purple Forbidden City. There was a nice dragon statue just beyond the main gate too, but we could not get over the trash. Closed at 5:30 and one in our group was very concerned we would not get out. Just then, matt found the temples and Hien Lam Pavilion which all looked beautiful. We then walked back to the Ngo Mon gate to find it was closed…so we went around to the next gate (Hien Hhom) to leave. I tried to go in that one at first but it is only an exit. The palace is a lot smaller than it seems. Back to the hotel for 6:30 for dinner at 7:30.

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Dinner at Le’s was good food with good drinks (but really standard drink deals) but the staff were too ‘helpful’. I don’t need someone behind me the whole time or chatting to me about my water bottle and such. They gave us jenga after dinner and asked if we were too tired because we didn’t want to play. Weird. 39,000 for fried rice with vegetables but really good. They were very on top of clearing plates too. Walked to Brown Eyes for free shots after but I went home because I was tired.

In the morning, some of us decided to go to Thin Mu. It was supposed to be 3km from a bridge that was 1 km away but it turned out to be 6.4km total so someone messed up on the map.

The walk was interesting because there was no sidewalk and lots of rundown temples and trash. Another sign of the Vietnamese not taking care of their country and history. Eventually found the pagoda at 11:40 meaning we had to go straight back so 4 of the group could check out and we all could eat. Got some good pics and saw the car a monk rode in before he burned himself because of abuses the government took on monks.

Haggled from 40,000 each to 22,000 each for a boat and then she dropped us at a different spot than she said she would (1 bridge early) because of police (?)

Back to the hotel to find a good restaurant and it turned out DMZ was supposed to be good, based on Trip Advisor. Service had no idea what was going on and food was okay. #5 on trip advisor? Not anymore…Our server could hardly take our orders but she understood when I said their ranking was about to go down. Most got pizza or pasta to bulk up for a 14 hour train ride.

Kuala Lumpur Overview

I had a terrible flight into KL. But that’s not about KL, it’s a whole different story. There is a longggg walk to airport from the airplane, and really lax immigration (my guy was on the phone the whole time). I would suggest booking your tickets into KL in advance, as buying them there is a bit strange. I booked my ticket though AirAsia going to KL Sentral but my boyfriend went before me and said to just get off the bus at Purdyura Bus Terminal. I asked if my bus stopped at both, they said no. I had to go in though domestic arrivals to buy a ticket (past police!, but they seemed to think it was standard) which cost 8 ringgits (2.5 USD). You might hear that Star Shuttle leaves every 30 minutes, and maybe they do during the day, but from 11:00 to 12:00 (midnight) there aren’t any. I bought my ticket at 11:03. Sad days. At least the airport has free wifi. You need to connect then open a web browser and click ‘search’ or something like that.

In the morning we went to the Batu Caves.

After visiting the Batu Caves we went to KLCC (KL City Center) which is where the Petronas Towers are.

After KLCC we walked about half an hour to Times Square, which is a mall/hotel/amusement park (they have Borders which I thought was out of business) that currently has a raffle going on until September 29th, 2013 to celebrate 10 years of being open. I thought by the name ‘Times Square’ it would be outside, like a park inside of a building and the building have the mall, but nope. To enter the contest you have to spend 50 ringgits in one receipt and then you can get a capsule from the world’s largest capsule vending machine! It was on break when we got there. They allow 80 people to try from 12pm and 70 people to try from 5pm. Oh well. It’s always fun to explore a city on foot even if they don’t really want you to–half the walk ways have no sidewalks.

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From here we got food in the Bukit Bintang area (the heart of the Golden Triangle), which is mostly Chinese. This area has a lot going on at night. My asparagus with prawns had surprise mystery meat in it (I think some sort of pig), which for a vegetarian is sad, but for someone who lives in Asia, not surprising. We came back to this area for dinner the next day and everyone’s food was great–we shared a large ‘de-boned’ fish cooked in salt and pepper sauce (surprise! it was fried, and had two bones) and I also got asparagus again because we don’t have it in Korea! This time no surprise mystery meat, just cooked in garlic.

On our way back from Bukit Bintang in the afternoon we went to Central Market and Chinatown.

In the morning we went to a Chinese Temple called Guan Di Temple which was built in 1888. Guan Di is the God of War, however the temple also has the Goddess of Mercy, God of Prosperity and God of Education and Learning inside. There are many dragons, 2 protective warriors, and 4 protective creatures outside the temple. If you’re not a fan of incense you won’t last inside too long (like myself).

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Across the street is an Indian Temple called Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, built in 1873. It was made public in the 1920s. Many gods are celebrated here. It is much more popular to go to than Guan Di Temple. I could hear prayers and chants from Sri Maham Mariamman from my hostel roof, 2 buildings away. Intense.

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After this we walked across the river going to another touristy area of Merdeka Square, where Malaysia claimed their independence in 1957. Coming from the south east, you will go past the textile house which is a very beautiful building, done in red and white in Islamic style. To the east is the Sultan Abdul Samad Building which has housed many things, but most importantly houses the most photographed clock tower in Malaysia. That was a big enough deal on the sign for them to write it. It is nice. We tried to walk to Masjid Jamek, a working Mosque but were turned away because we were wearing shorts. It seemed very beautiful.

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Walking back towards the square, we stopped at the fountain sculptures which have a lot of homeless people around them. Going back towards the square, we walked past The Royal Selangor Club which is a traditional British building; it has a Long Bar inside which only allows men. From here we reached the Flag Pole which is 100 meters high. Continuing along we came to the I ❤ KL sign which is outside the City Gallery. They had some great new photos, which I think you could vote for using your phone, and a 50 ft wide model of what the city will look like by 2015, when they plan on finishing a taller building than the Petronas towers. The model did night and day and had a tourism video playing in the background. I wasn’t listening too much as I was just trying to get photos of the model before the lights changed. Other than that, the City Gallery sells souvenirs. I got a free phone key-chain for liking the facebook page.

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This was when we really started to have problems. We thought to walk to the National Monument. This is a popular bike route, and we could see why after we started it. There is no where to buy water or snacks and it is HOT in KL. Not humid though, so it felt better than Korea. According to GoogleMaps, the walk is 1.9km, and should take 25 minutes. When you only have warm water and have already been walking all day, this is a lot and feels a lot longer. Now I feel like we were just complaining. The walk is surrounded by park, so at least it is not bad scenery, if you don’t look into the stagnant pond. We ran into this same problem of no water or food shops again when we walked though the Perdana Botanical Gardens, Parks, and Museums and around the KTMB HQ. There could just be guys selling water or other drinks from stands and this problem would be solved.

The National Monument is interesting….Men celebrating on a pile of dead bodies. The area around it is beautiful with other statues and 3 domes.

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From here we walked though the Perdana Botanic Gardens,Parks, and Museums–which is just a large park with many different areas. Waterfalls are not all as they appear on signs (small and man-made). The Amphitheater is huge, as is the Bird Park but we didn’t want to go into the Bird Park and nothing was on in the Amphitheater. The Orchid Garden is beautiful and free. They have many different kinds from all over Malaysia, which has over 200 different species of orchids. I guess they don’t have (or I didn’t see) my favorite which is a spider orchid (and which my parents also found randomly growing in the backyard in Florida).

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Continuing in the park, we went past the Planatarium which had at least 3 mini traditional and famous time keeping devices/buildings/structures from China (not sure), England (Stonehendge) and India (Jantar Mantar). We got to touch them! Finally!

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After more walking, getting lost looking for food, realizing where we were, getting food, and going back to the National Mosque it was 2:45 which was prefect for going in at 3:00. There was a bit of a line but we still made it in the first group in–they did run out of covers for men and women. Covers are necessary if a woman shows her legs (they have different covers which are just head scarves for little girls) or if a man’s shorts are above his knees. There was a lot of information inside and the man telling people about the temple seemed so happy to be doing so. From the roof, there are 16 funnels for water, which lead to one in the main prayer room which cleans water for the washing before and after prayer. Woman are not allowed into the main prayer room. The building can hold 1,500 people for prayer time. There was also a few informative posters, including one showing that Mohammed is basically Jesus’ cousin, which included the Muslim names for the same people that Christians believe in (Adam was still Adam but Eve had another time). There are some tombs in the back, with 3 empty spots.

KL 587Overall, KL has some steps to take in cleanliness and homelessness, but the touristy areas are pretty clean and taken care of. Walking is not suggested (but I’d do it again because that is the best way to explore!) as some places don’t have sidewalks and there are no posted maps or tourism signs to help you find your way.

Markets

On our way back from Bukit Bintang in the afternoon we went to Central Market, which is a market where you can hopefully work the prices down. It was opened in 1888, and saved in the 1970s. We didn’t buy anything there, but there is also a lot of food in the area (some good–Restournt Youssif, if you don’t count the weird things we found in our food, which might have been for flavor but we had no idea what they were–and some bad–the gelato with a panda on the logo had frezer-burn on the gelato and she wanted to put it into a sandwich??) Most of the items for sale are knock-offs, made of wood, souvenirs, or Indian clothing.

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Before dinner we went to Chinatown and go some great knock-offs–I’m starting to think they are real but just had a minor defect so the companies cannot sell them i.e. sunglasses with paint chips or T shirts with the logo on the inside but the design on the outside. The sellers don’t try to tell you that the items are real like in China, nor do they try to make you feel bad by saying that their family will starve, again, like my experiences in China. We met some friends at their hostel and walked back to Petaling Street which has a beautiful gate to start the market. This area also has amazing food, and I think the best I ate in KL. I got bok choy and noodles and both were fantastic (and totaled 15 ringgits). Everyone was stuffed, I think with me being the only one who finished.

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