Aroi Dessert Cafe, Hanoi

This dessert cafe was a great find. Wifi, right in the thick of a restaurant alley, just off from one of the main streets in Hanoi Old Quarter. It has an extensive bev list and everything is reasonably priced so it’s easy to just kick your feet up and chill out. We shared a lava cake and a Teddy bear chocolate mousse and both desserts were a perfect sweet treat. My friend was satisfied with her iced matcha latte and I really enjoyed my iced honey and kumquat drink. It’s not the height of luxury, but honestly, in Hanoi it’s just a real treat to find aircon, comfy sofa, delicious treats and wifi. Would recommend.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

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Goldfish Street, HONG KONG

Goldfish Street in Hong Kong is one of the oddities that makes Mongkok a tourist destination. It gives the city a distinct flavour of traditional customs mixed with modern convenience. It’s not much, the traveler on foot could cover it in about ten minutes. Frogs, snapping turtles, giant tortoises, fish fish fish and more- the variety is great. 

 To the Western eye, the conditions that the animals are kept in are disheartening.  One must consider whether the value of seeing a tourist attraction is worth the heart break of witnessing their living conditions in person. However, it’s a quintessential element of Hong Kong- the frantic energy, the buying and selling, the small pets to a dorm tiny apartments. 
It’s on the way to Sneaker street and the Women’s  markets, so it’s easy to swing by.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Chu Chocolate Bar & Café, Asoke, Bangkok

Tucked away in the Exchange Centre in Asoke, Bangkok, is a little chocolate café. They serve decadent treats and rich delights- a haven for any sweet tooth. Their desserts don’t hold back, they ooze, pop and melt in your mouth. Their Nutella waffles are thick and their affogatos are strong. Be sure to go on an empty stomach, their desserts Andre not for the faint hearted. There’s ample space to sit by yourself or bring friends, and the air con is welcome respite for sweaty travelers. The drinks are reasonably priced and all things considered, this is a satisfying café. 

Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

TeaWood Taiwanese Restaurant, Hong Kong

This restaurant isn’t exactly on the main drag. Go up a few escalators, then an elevator and you’ll find yourself at this schmick Taiwanese restaurant. They offer good value combos and their soups have depth of flavour. It’s a quiet little establishment with (what seemed to be) a substantial following of patrons. The noodle soup is delicious, the sweet tea is a bit too saccharine, but the dumplings really hit the spot. 

Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Botanical Gardens, Singapore

The Botanic Gardens are impressive and extensive. After seeing Gardens by the Bay, all artificially implanted with random varieties mixed together, it’s rather refreshing to see a natural progression of acclimated plants I’m their element. The orchid section is stunning and the grounds are huge. It’s not immediately in the city, so plan how you get there and back. We’ll worth it for the old, traditional collection of botanical specimens.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Lotte Observation Deck and Top of Hanoi

When in Hanoi, visiting the Lotte Tower is an absolute must. It’s a short drive from the Old Quarter (where most tourists stay) and for someone unaccustomed to Vietnam see public transport, such as myself, get yourself a driver. 

Side note, the taxi fare out of the gridlocked Old Quarter is guaranteed to skyrocket so we picked up an Uber and it cost us next to nothing.

The Lotte Observation Deck sits over sixty floors above Hanoi and boasts breathtaking panoramic views. It’s open day and night. We went at night and thoroughly recommend it. For a modest entrance fee, the observation deck offers interactive experiences for people young and old. The highlight for me was the glass skywalk, where you take your shoes off and walk right out into the night sky- not for anyone with vertigo! 

The Lotte tower also offers a range of eating options, so I recommend making an evening out of the experience. At the skydeck there’s a fast food eatery or two, but if you delve a little deeper, you’ll find award winning restaurants and bars within the Lotte tower. 

Top of Hanoi is literally the top of the city. This open-air restaurant sits you up in the clouds, overlooking all of Hanoi, the twinkling traffic, the city glow. You can secure yourself a table through reservation, but we were able to walk right in. The cocktail bar is exciting and innovative, and their mains are reasonably priced given the location. We were shocked that we were sat on top of Hanoi and didn’t have to pay an arm and a leg! My friends chose pasta dishes and I had a pan-seared salmon dish- the food was to die for. The service personnel here were very attentive, friendly and ready for a chat. This venue is worth it for the food, and the magnificent views.

Afterwards, we weren’t ready to go home. We headed down about thirty floors to the lounge where we were greeted by live piano, sleek aesthetic and deep sofas. The dessert and cocktails there make for the perfect ending to a wonderful night. 

Traveler’s note; I compared this experience to a similar one I had at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. For me, this evening was much more relaxed, affordable and all-inclusive as the stunning view was paired with fine food and great service. It was honestly the perfect way to unwind and celebrate the end of our trip to Vietnam.

Pasticceria Papa, Bondi, Australia 

I had the most wonderful afternoon tea here. A long black with honey on the side for me, a tall mocha for my friend, and we shared a tirimisu and a Nutella ricotta cheesecake between us. The coffees were strong and rich, just like the cakes. Both cakes were fluffy and melt-in-your mouth. They tasted like guilty delights and authentic Italian decadence. They have displays of cakes for birthdays and seem to be part of a larger complex, with a grocery and delicatessen. 

Perfect afternoon tea. 

Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.