Category Archives: Food & Beverage

Everything related to the food and drinks. Typical meals, special dishes…

10 days in Vietnam {part1}

Duration : 10 days
Budget : ~1300 sgd / pers (flights/hotel/activities and food included)

10 days in vietnam is a good duration to be able to visit a bit and enjoy the country from north to south. We most of the time stayed 2 days is each cities.

Overall trip : Hanoi –> Halong Bay –> Hanoi –> Sapa –>Hanoi –> Hue –> Hoi An –> Da Nang –> Ho Chi Minh

Day 1 – Hanoi

Arriving to Hanoi from Singapore after 3 hours flight we took a cab to reach the city center (~40 min drive, it should cost around 400,000) and our hotel Rosa Bella Hotel. Nice and welcoming people took us to our rooms. Very clean hotel, maybe the breakfast is a bit small but still okay.

Hotel bella Rosa : 21 Cầu Gỗ, Hàng Bạc, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

To start our visit, we looked for a nice place to grab something for lunch.  We ate at the Artisan Buon Dua Le Cafe. Very nice place, nothing fancy but just great.

Buon Dua Cafe : 20 Hàng Hành Hàng Trống Hoàn Kiếm Hàng Trống Hoàn Kiếm Hà Nội Vietnam

Day 2 – Hanoi

We did the lonely planet walking tour which is just perfect to enjoy Hanoi and all the small streets.

Highlights :  Ngoc Son temple, The Huc, The monument of the martyrs, Pho Hang Be and the market on Pho Gia Ngu, Pho Ma May, to discover, at n ° 87, the delightful commemorative house, Pho Ta Hien, to the famous bars, the Bach Ma Temple, Cua O Quan Chuong  Pho Thanh Ha, where a street market, the Dong Xuan Market, Pho Hang Ma, where the fake notes are sold during the Buddhist ceremonies, the tinsmiths and the mirror makers, Buddhist altars, St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Ho Lo Jail.

For our afternoon, we took a cab to go at the west lake and enjoy a nice walk next to it with the visit of a temple.

For dinner, we ate at la Porte d’annam. Absolutely amazing. Careful, there might be lots of people, it’s better to book.

Porte d'Annam : 22 Nha Tho street, Hoan KiemHanoi 00000001, Vietnam

Day 3 – HON GAI HARBOUR – BAI TU LONG BAY – THIEN CANH SON CAVE

Direction : halong bay. 4 hours drive to reach the area.

http://www.indochina-junk.com/ No 58, Au Trieu street Hoan Kiem district Hanoi- Joining PRINCE junk

7.30 – 8.00: Pick up at your hotel in Hanoi’s Old Quarter area. We booked through indochina junk a small boat for max 8 people. It’s more expensive than the big boats but worth it as the trip is not the same and they are going through smaller path where you’re getting more privacy.

12.00 – 12.30: Embark at Hon Gai International harbor.

12.30 – 13.00: Check-in, we enjoyed a welcome drink and add a cruise briefing.

13.30 – 15.00: Have lunch while cruising to magnificent Bai Tu Long bay; admire the fascinating formations on the way.

15.15 – 15.40: Explore the well- hidden Thien Canh Son cave.

15.45 – 18:00: Enjoy relaxing on a white sandy beach at Hon Co island, swimming or kayaking.

18:00 – 19.00: Back to junk for refreshing before having dinner on board.

20.00 – 21.00: Relax, enjoy fresh air & overnight on board.

 

Day 4 – VUNG VIENG FISHING VILLAGE – HON GAI HARBOUR

07.30 – 08.00: Morning view of Bay’s landscape with a cup of tea or coffee. Have breakfast in the fresh air.

08.30 – 09.30: Visit Vung Vieng fishing village by a rustic row-boat.

10.00: Check out of the cabin. Start cruising towards the harbor while an A la carte lunch is served.

 

11.45 – 12.00: Disembark. Drive to Yen Duc village in Dong Trieu province.

14.00 – 14.30: Enjoy water puppet show performed by local artists which is good for kids not really interesting for adult.

14.45 – 17.30: Arrive in Hanoi.

Once in Hanoi, we moved to the railway station to get our train to Sapa. We booked one bedroom with 4 beds with the Orient Express. Small but clean, let’s go for 6 hours night train to Lao Cai.

Day 5 – Sapa

6am, we arrived at Lao Cai station. We took a taxi (you can have cheaper if your take the local bus which is correct, but we were too tired !). 1hour later we finally reached Sapa. Next objective, find 4 scooters. We found some in the street next to the bus stop, for 60 $ 4 scooters for 3 days.

Sapa is changing a lot currently with constructions everywhere. They are also lots of ethni that try to sell you many handmade braclette, neckless… They also try to sell you hotel rooms, or visits of small villages. Be strong ! you can say no sometimes.

With our scooter, we drove to our guesthouse (1h by scooter). Beautiful road for the view, but not great for the road itself with lots of hole.

Ta Van Ecologic Homestay --> super nice homestay with a magnificient view on the rice field.

 

4 days in Cambodia

Duration : 4 days
Budget : ∼600 $ / pax (flight; hotel;activities and meals)

Day 1

We left Singapore on Thursday evening plane took off around 7pm we arrived in Phnom Penh at 9pm. We took a cab to reach the city center (11$, not really negociable as all of the cab where saying the same price).

We check in at our hotel (nice a quiet hotel, near everything restaurant, museum, coast, activities), the employees were nice and the room was cosy and clean. Sufficient for us.

Address : Diamon Palace Hotel, #29EO, St. 178, Preah Ang Makhak Vann St. (178), Phnom Penh 12206, Cambodge

We went out in the famous street to grab something to eat. Stop at where we enjoyed really strong cocktail (bit too strong for me through) and good food.

Day 2

Starting the day with a nice breakfast (included in the room) toast; egg and orange juice or coffee. We then walk to What Phnom (north of bd Norodom). Nice pagoda, small but with decorations and well maintain 5 (only 1$ the entrance).

 

 

Then we walk back in the direction of the hotel. Originally we wanted to visit the Silver pagoda and the royal palace but they are closed between 12 till 14h. We had to change our plan to the National Museum (5$). I recommend it if you want to learn and understand a bit the culture of Cambodia. Allow around 1h30 for the visit.

After the visit we went eating in a very nice place called “Friend“, close to the museum. Awesome place, incredible plates and really affordable prices. Totally recommend it.

To end our day, we decided to go and visit the Tuol Sleng. Old prisons like we used to have in France or Germany during the war. Hard, difficult, sad, but worth it. It’s unfortunately part of the history of this country.

Dinner at the Romdeng; also perfect like his brother “Friend”.

Day 3

Direction the airport for Siem Rep. After 40 min flight we landed and reach our nice hotel  ( Borei Angkor Resort and Spa).

Address : Borei Angkor Resort and Spa, #0369 National Highway 6, Slokram, Banteay Chas, Krong Siem Reap 17252, Cambodge

We relaxed the morning at the pool area.

For our afternoon, we decided to visit a floating village. we choose Kâmpóng Khleang less touristic than his brother Kampong Phluk but a bit farthest but worth it. We were the only foreigners there. Our tuk-tuk driver was really nice and show us around.

Day 4

For our last day we choose one tour that the hotel offer for the Angkor Wat temple. Our driver and guide took us during the whole day to all the touristic but outstanding place of Angkor Wat.

For me one day at the temples area is sufficient if you’re not a huge fan of temples. However, you could spend 3 to 4 days visiting the area.

We ended our day around 3 pm so we enjoyed the swimming pool and could go at the city center to enjoy a nice meal.

Day 5 

Our last day was the travel back to singapore around 11 am.

 

3 days in Chicago

Day 1 – Travel and The loop

Woke up early to take our flight from Dallas to Chicago, we arrived around 8am in Chicago. We took the subway to downtown and meet a friend. We started our visit with the Millenium park and Grant Park with the Bean.

The bean
The bean

We went then to rent bikes near Monore harbour. We biked to the Navy Pier and had lunch then.

View from the shore
View from the shore

We biked up north to Lincoln Park Zoo and enjoyed the Michigan Lake. Lincoln Park Zoo is a really nice small zoo, one of the oldest in the country.

Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo

We biked back to the hotel Hyatt and had a dinner and drink near our hotel.

Downtown Chicago
Downtown Chicago

Day 2 – Near North and North Side

We started our day by a long walk around downtown to enjoy as much as we could the heart of Chicago. You definitely need to lose yourself in those streets.

Chicago
Heart of Chicago
Chicago Downtown
Chicago Downtown

Then we had a wonderful lunch with the specialty of Chicago deep dish pizza at pizzeria uno near magnificent mile. Then we did the famous magnificent mile.

Pizzeria Due
Pizzeria Due
Chicago Water Works Pumping station
Chicago Water Works Pumping station

Ending our day with a wonderful sunset on one of the highest tower the John Hancock Center. Tips, better than the willis tower because you dont need to pay entrance, you need to have a drink instead but believe me it’s worth it.

View from the tower
View from the tower

To end our day we went enjoying some live music in one of the many bars on Hubbard St. Good streets to go out !

Day 3 – Far south

To finish our wonderful long weekend, we walk a bit alongside the canals near the Trump Tower. We then took the subway to Chicago University up South. Amazing campus, beautiful buildings a must to do to enjoy more about the student life.

Chicago University
Chicago University
Chicago University
Chicago University

One week in Mexico

Day 1 – Teotihuacan & Mexico City

Departure: 10 am
Return: 6pm

Teotihuacan was an ancient Mesoamerican city located in a sub valley of the Valley of Mexico, 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Mexico City, known today as the site of many of the most architecturally significant Mesoamerican pyramids built in the pre-Columbian Americas.pyramidsTo do the whole visit plan around 2h, bring lots of water with you as the weather is really dry and hot. Bring also a good hat and sunscreen. Take some tennis shoes and enjoy the view of the pyramids.

Pyramid

The site doesn’t only include the pyramids but also a small museum about the history of the civilizations.

After a long walk under the sun, let’s go to the city centre of Mexico.

Mexico City – City Centre

First thing to know there is no free parking in Mexico. We parked next to the Bella Del Arte monument.

Our favourite and national Mexican friend took us to a nice and typical café to enjoy some Mexican dishes such as tacos and Chile relleno with of course a good beer. We were lucky at that time there were a birthday celebration and we got some music from the mariachi.

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Address of the restaurant: Calle de Tacuba 28, Cuauhtémoc, Centro, 06010 Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico

Price: $$

Then back to Toluca.


Day 2 – The Grutas de Cacahuamilpa & Taxco

Departure: 9 am
Return: 7 pm

Address: 2h30 south west from Mexico City

Located in the National Park of Guerrero, the caves are one of the largest cave systems in the world. It is also home to the Grutas of Carlos Pacheco, a smaller system, as well as two subterranean rivers which have carved out tunnels in the rock. The park has extreme sports attractions such as rappelling, and rock climbing in Limontitla Canyon as well as the two underground rivers to explore. It also has a small botanical garden, a pool and places to camp.

on our way to the caves
on our way to the caves

We went on the guided visit of the caves that are definitely amazing and incredibly big. Everything is well maintain. The only bad thing was the guided guy was only speaking Spanish and really fast. Hopefully you do not really need him to enjoy the visit.

the caves
the caves

Price: around 60 pesos

Duration: around 1h30

After that beautiful escapade, we drove to an amazing place called Taxco. Wonderful village around the mountain.

Address: 3h south west from Mexico City.

The city is alongside the mountain and has paved streets with for local taxi the famous coccinelle cars. The city is also known for silver carriers so if you’re looking for cheap but good silver present you can buy it there. The small city centre looks like an old village in France with the place in the middle and the church and small habitation around it.

View from the restaurant; Taxco Hotel
View from the restaurant; Taxco Hotel

We hate at the Monte Taxco Hotel, where you can enjoy the view on all the city.

Tips: to avoid costly and time consuming finding a parking lot, park at the opposite side of the city centre, to the Monte Taxco Hotel (Calle Alfredo Checa Curi s/n, Fraccionamiento Lomas de Taxco, 40210 Taxco), then take the cable car to join the other side.

Taxco streets
Taxco streets
Taxco cathedral
Taxco cathedral

Day 3 & Day 4 – Tolantogo Hidalgo

Located 4hours north from Mexico, in the middle of the country side where there is nothing else than small villages and farmers, there is a paradise place.

Tolantogo walk path
Tolantogo walk path

You can enjoy bath and hot springs with the nature as a place and the mountain as view. The place is beautiful and peaceful. Come over there for a weekend to relax and swim in the hot springs.

Tolantogo - hot springs bath
Tolantogo – hot springs bath
Tolantogo - River bath
Tolantogo – River bath

Hotel price per night for one person: 270 pesos.

The food: small restaurant, with typical Mexican dishes for around 20 pesos.

The entrance to the park: 120 pesos per day per person

Tips: bring water shoes to be able to walk and swim in the different places without issues.


Day 5 – Mexico City

Departure: 10 am
Return: 6 pm

To start our day we went to the museum of anthropology. Really good museum about the history of Mexico and all the civilisations. There are several parts to visit inside de museum. To visit the essential it takes around 2hours, more if you spend time to read and visit everything.

Price: 70 pesos.

Tips: there is a nice shop if you’re looking for souvenirs!! :p

On our way to Mexico City - Fabelas
On our way to Mexico City – Fabelas

For Lunch we went in a restaurant whose speciality are the tacos, and they were really good. No doubt you will find one for you!

Address: El Califa, Altata 22, Col. Condesa, Mexico City

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Then direction the Chapultepec Castle, the only castle in North America. Built during the colonial time, the castle has an amazing 360° view on Mexico City. The inside of the castle is well maintained. Nice. The total visit around 1h30.

Address:  Bosque de Chapultepec I, 11100 Ciudad de México

Price: 65 pesos

view from the castle
view from the castle

Day 6 – Culhuacán

For our last day in Mexico, Edgar took us to the district of Pueblo Culhuacán. It doesn’t feel like you’re still in Mexico City so different! It’s more typical and more like a village inside a big city where you have Small Street, restaurant, outside terrace… Walk around get lost in those street and enjoy!

City center of Culhuacán
City center of Culhuacán

We picked one restaurant with terrace, sat outside and had a beer.

We went after that to the museum of Frida Kahlo. The house is colorful from the outside and also inside. You can see many of her painting and learn about her story. It was not my favorite museum but if you’re interested in her story go ahead.

Frida Kahlo House
Frida Kahlo House

One week in Bali

3 days at Tulamben

We start our trip by three days of scuber diving for the level 1 at Tulamben. There are several place were you can do your level one and scuber dive. We choose Dive Concepts.

Tulamben 2  Tulamben 3  Tulamben 4

Great place, nice people and rooms are totally fine and clean. You can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at the club. Price for diving are affortable and a service is provided if you need private taxi from/to the airport. If I need to go again I would choose it !

The different spot for diving are great (for my little experience of diving it was really good).

Tulamben is a typical village from bali, along the road and poor. All the village is working for the different clubs of diving.

Tulamben 1

2 days in Ubud

On our way to Ubud from Tulamben we stopped at Padangbai.

Padangbai, nice small village, there is a nice place to relax at the blue lagoon were you can also eat nice curry.

Padangbai 2  Padangbai 1

Padangbai 3  Pandangbai 2

Padangbai 4

Then we reach ou hotel in Ubud ( Villa Sarna).

Really nice hotel with nice rooms and a beautiful view on the forest.

The only bad thing is the service provided by the hotel for the price of the room are not great. Issue with the shuttle and to eat lunch or dinner you need to reach the restaurant of the hotel which is not inside the hotel.

Visit of Ubud

Ubud 3

Starting with our visit of the rice field, after the museum of ubud take a right, when you see the road with a way done just before turn right on a small street follow the path “walking path”. After few minutes of walking you’re in a middle of the rice field. Beautiful !

Ubud 4 Ubud 1

Ubud 2

You can stop at few shops of hand made sculpture and painting. We ate at the Organic Restaurant good food and nice view.

We spend the afternoon between massage and shopping and getting lost in the narrow streets and markets.

Ubud 8  Ubud 7

Ubud 6  Ubud 5

We then had a wonderful dinner at The view restaurant

http://www.kupubarongubud.com/restaurant.php

Last day in Bali

Starting with a cooking class booked the day before at the information center of Ubud. Awesome group of 6 people and very good instructor.

IMG_2315  IMG_2330 IMG_2345 IMG_2318

To our way back to the airport we stopped at Sanur, but after-all it wasn’t the best choice we’ve made. Very touristic …

Louisiana in 3 days

03 July 2015, 

For this 3 days weekend lets drive us to Louisiana over the bayous, plantation and New Orleans.

We drove during the night until Lafayette (around   6 hours) where we slept in a hotel.

La Quinta Inn Lafayette North, 2100 Northeast Evangeline Thruway, Lafayette, LA 70501

Day 1

LeBlanc Swamp Tours, 

We woke up around 9am to drive to our meeting point with Norbert. Norbert was our guide to visit the bayous. Nice person and great bayou. He is really passionate by his work and explain everything about the wildlife in the bayou. He speaks french (argot).

How to get there ? 

Address: 4939 Main Highway, Saint Martinville, LA70582
Phone Number: 337-654-1215

How much does it cost ? 

20$ per person

Bayous 1 Bayous 2

Plantation Oak Alley

Oak Alley 1

Oak Alley was built, the River Region sugar industry was flourishing, and a chain of stately plantations and their homes that lined the banks of the Mississippi.

This is a really nice plantation to visit, nice houses and there is still the slaves home. During the visit you can learn more about the slaves way of living and what were their duties.

There is a visit for the house.

How to get there ? 

3645 Highway 18
(Great River Road)
Vacherie, Louisiana USA
70090

How much does it cost ? 

$20 per person

Oak Alley 2 Oak Alley 3

New Orleans first night

After the visit of the plantation, we drove 2 hours south to New Orleans. We found a nice hotel not so far from the city center. For our first night in the New Orleans we went on the quay of the Mississippi river, we had a nice cajun food (sea food with red beans and rice).

Hotel

St. Vincent’s Guest House, 1507 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Day 2

New Orleans visit

For our first day in the New Orleans we started with the French Quarter. Nice quarter where you can enjoy small street and colorful houses. We could feel the french atmosphere and the jazz. There were lot of people playing music across several streets.

French Quarter DSC03278

Then we headed to the Tremee District, the black district. Very typical from new Orleans. There are lot of colorful houses and nice streets. Be careful, this district is dangerous during the night and can be during the day if you do not pay attention to your belongings.

P1090473 P1090478

After a long walk we finally ate in a nice restaurant far from the french quarter.

We walked back to our car and went to the Mississippi quay to enjoy some jazz music.

Mississippi

New Orleans second night

After our long day, we went out in the famous bourbon street. It’s the place to be if you want to go out and enjoy the night life of New Orleans. 🙂

Day 3

Plantation Laura

For our last day in Louisiana, we went to Laura plantation an other famous plantation. Less sophisticated but also interested. The two plantations are complementary. Oak Alley is more on the life of the slaves than Laura which is more on the owner of the plantation and the sugar canned.

Laura Plantation 1 Laura Plantation Laura Plantation 3

After our visit, we drove back to Dallas (around 7 hours of drive).

Night life in Singapore

November 2014,

What you need to know about the night life in Singapore ?

There is the “ladies night” every wednesday evening, which means that you can enjoy free drinks in lots of pub and clubs for ladies. We went to The Exchange  in the financial center and we could get free martini ! Have a look at this webpage : Lifesyleasia

Address:
8 Marina View, Asia Square Tower 1,
Singapour

Food-Nov (10)

Night club and one rooftop in Singapore :

– Kudeta (night club) ($$) at the top of Marina Bay Sand ! I don’t remember paying an entrance fee… But not sure. Nice night club, you must go there, awesome view of singapore.

Address:
SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands, Tower 3
1 Bayfront Avenue Singapore 018971

Koudeta (15) Koudeta (16)

– Altitude 1 ($$$$) : as the world’s highest al fresco bar. Very nice rooftop but expensive ! You must pay 40SGD to enter and then the drinks are around 16 to 25 SGD. Free entrance during ladies night for ladies

Address:
1 Raffles Place, Singapour 048616

OneAltitude (8) OneAltitude (11)

– The fullerton Bay Hotel, Lantern rooftop ($$) : amazing view of marina bay sand by night. Don’t be affraid, enter the beautiful hotel and then take the lift to the roof.

Address: 80 Collyer Quay
Singapour 049326
http://www.fullertonbayhotel.com/dining/lantern

Koudeta (2)
Fullerton Bay Hotel

Östermalms Saluhall

28th May,

Since 1888, Östermalms Saluhall in Stockholm inspires people and tourists with high quality food.

High quality ingredients are found there and ready meals from the Swedish and international cuisine. There are also restaurants.

How to get there?

Address: Östermalmstorg, 114 42 Stockholm, Suède

1 / metro

2 / bus

3 / walk

How much does it cost?
The price of food or meals is quite expensive. It takes an average of € 15 for a dish. Food is expensive but I would say the price varies depending on what you purchased.

The “+”
It is filled with Swedish typical dish of good quality.

Full of colors, it really blows away!

The “-“
There are many people and not just tourists. We also find that the rich Swedish who is doing his market.

My opinion
There prevails a nice atmosphere, a place that I recommend.

DSC03483 DSC03484

DSC03489 ostermalmshallen450

 

Fabric & Tea Market

Fabric Market

In Shanghai there is a market for almost everything.

For foreigners like us, these markets are very attractive, cheap price and very practical.
So I would not leave China without buy something custom and handymade!

Direction Fabric Market, there are several in Shanghai of course we went to the nearest from Yuyan Garden.

168 Dongmen Lu,
near Zhongshan Dong Er Lu
东门路168号,
近中山东二路

It is indeed very “profitable” for us European. We may have my jacket cashmere tailor made for € 70. Pierre two custom shirts for € 25 and € 50 for a suit. 🙂

The procedure is as follows:
1. The model is chosen
2. Prices are negotiated
3. Measures are taken
4. You pay a deposit (half of the total price)
5. you wait 1 week
6. We just get our order!

isn’t it magic ? 🙂

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Tea Market
We also went to the tea market!
520 Zhongshan Xi Lu,
near Wuyi Lu
中山 西路 520 号,
近 武夷 路
Although less people has square corners or in tourism. Tea is good and above can enjoy the leisurely quiet.There are also all the utensils to become a pro in the tea ceremony. Finally, there are services has magnificent tea and really cheap.
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Xishanzhen Island

Sunday, August 11,

Start: 9:00 am
Return: 5:00 pm

On this sunny day, towards an island (Xishanzhen) not far from Suzhou.
We accessed it by bus from the stop 58 Peoples Hospital. Around 1hr bus to the terminal!

Arrived at the terminal, we are a bit lost, nothing, it feels like an abandoned village. A bit like Tonopath California. 😉

We walked back along the path of the bus Because We had seen signs. Garden, old town 10 km …

Heck, we are not going to walk for 10 km by 40 ° C in the sun. There is a stop and go on the first bus hoping that goes to the garden I would say from memory bus 196.

ob_b633bdbcdb3cdbf02d81931a0c254062_travel-route

 

After a few stops, we arrived at a sign “garden and temple.” Let’s go to the garden and the temple!

The entrance fee per person is 50Y.

Hayashiya Cave
Wuzhong District, Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province, Kim Chambers Road

林 屋 洞 风景区

江苏 省 苏州 市 吴中 区 金 庭 路

0512 6521 7360

And there was the surprise of the day. We landed in a beautiful and wide garden. After some minutes walk in the garden, a new surprise we arrived at the entrance of a cave.

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After this good refreshing visit towards the pagoda overlooking the whole island. A sweat does not hurt (yeah except when it’s 40 ° C and there is not a damn tree for shade).

Once at the top, beautiful view of the lake (well it should not be nearly as large as a small sea I think …).

As they say after exercise the comfort except it would have been great to find a bus to take us back to what is the “center of the city.”

Finally, a bus came. Great, we will be able to quench their thirst with a beer and a nice meal … Woe took me, there are only chinese restaurants ! Well we’re going to choose and pray not to fall on the legs of the chicken or duck tongue.

Ouf what came on is soft vegetables, tofu, pork in brown sauce and tiny fish (squid style) with vegetables. We even managed to order a beer !!

Back in Suzhou, direction the pool. Ah that feels good.

If you have the chance to go through it, must stop. Well worth the cost!

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