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May 2018 Archive

Must Try Experiences in Hồ Chí Minh City

Must Try Experiences in Hồ Chí Minh City

Image Credit: Independent


Hồ Chí Minh City is a beautiful and dynamic city in south Vietnam. It's the largest city in the country and has become infamous for its French colonial architecture, remnants of the Vietnam War (known as the American War in Vietnam) and food stalls that line the busy city streets. Here are the top things that you must experience when you visit this lively city.


Bến Thành Market

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Image Credit: Independent


Hồ Chí Minh City is a beautiful and dynamic city in south Vietnam. It's the largest city in the country and has become infamous for its French colonial architecture, remnants of the Vietnam War (known as the American War in Vietnam) and food stalls that line the busy city streets. Here are the top things that you must experience when you visit this lively city.


Bến Thành Market

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Image Credit: Hura Cars


Exploring the Củ Chi tunnels is worth the excursion to experience first-hand how the Viet Cong used the immense network of connecting underground tunnels as hiding spots during the war. Take the opportunity to go into the tunnels to fully understand the Viet Cong's creativity and endurance. The tunnels can be quite small and narrow but it's a great way to dive into the history of the Vietnam War from the Viet Cong's perspective. The best way to visit the Củ Chi tunnels is by speedboat down the Mekong Delta river.


War Remnants Museum

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Image Credit: Tatiana Belova Shutterstock


An important and eye-opening place to visit is the War Remnants Museum. The memorial museum exhibits emotional and powerful photographs showing the atrocities that happened during the Vietnam and Indochina wars. Although some of the exhibits can be overwhelming, it's a deeply moving and insightful place to visit to understand more about the impacts that the war had on Vietnam and its people.

 

Notre Dame Cathedral


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Image Credit: Viet Fun Travel


Officially known as Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception, this breathtaking landmark is located in downtown Hồ Chí Minh City. The cathedral consists of French Gothic architecture, where it holds stunning stained-glass windows, ornate ceilings and 58 metre tall Romanesque bell towers. After exploring the interior of the cathedral, buy an ice-cream or a cold Vietnamese coffee and sit outside to gaze at the church whilst surrounded by the busy streets.


Jade Emperor Pagoda 

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Image Credit: Digital Vision Getty Images


The kaleidoscopic pagoda built in honour of the supreme Taoist god (the Jade Emperor or King of Heaven, Ngoc Hoang), is regarded as the city's most spectacular temple. It's full of statues of divinities and heroes, and beautiful woodcarvings that line the ceilings and walls. The roof is covered with exquisite and colourful tile work that helps to make the red temple look enchanted.

If you aren't planning to visit Hồ Chí Minh City or Vietnam any time soon you can still experience the excitement of Vietnamese cooking from your own kitchen. Cook authentic Vietnamese food with our Asian Home Gourmet spice pastes and sauces. For a colourful explosion on your taste buds, more ideas on dishes and ingredients, check out our Vietnamese products available here.

 


How to Eat Like a Foodie in Jakarta

How to Eat Like a Foodie in Jakarta

(Image: Flickr)

Being the largest and the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta has become a beacon for foodies around the world. There is no doubt that the western world has had a major influence in the flare of cooking, but nothing is better than tasting authentic Indonesian food. We have compiled a list of dishes we think every food lover should try, ranging from contemporary dishes to street-food must haves.

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(Image: AnakJajan.com)

Bebek Goreng

Eat like a local and try a traditional Bebek Goreng, also known as 'Nasi bebek' or 'Duck rice'. It is fried duck marinated in a variety of spices, usually served with rice, sambal and vegetables. This dish can be found in both street vendors and high-class restaurants. Typically, locals eat this dish with their hands, to be able to consume every morsel of duck and rice on the plate. Eating like a local is one of the best ways to try out authentic Indonesian food!


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(Image: Loving Hut)

Loving Hut

Finding a vegetarian or vegan restaurant is quite easy in Jakarta, but the best place to try classic Indonesian dishes like Nasi Goreng or Nasi Lemak is at Loving Hut. The menu holds a variety of dishes and even if you aren't vegan, this is one of the best places to try traditional dishes. Good vegan food, at a reasonable price, without the harm of any animals, what more could you ask for? 


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(Image: Nusa Gastronomy)

Nusa Gastronomy

For those wishing to be more adventurous with their consumption of Indonesian food, Nusa Gastronomy is the place for you. Nusa is derived from Nusantara, which means The Archipelago. There are over 1,700 islands that make up the country of Indonesia, and with its immense diversity, Nusa captures each culture and characteristic through each bite, through selected ingredients, modern technique and incredible presentation. 


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(Image: Eat Food. Live Food)

Gorengan (Fried foods)

If you are a true foodie, you must try the food carts that are scattered throughout the busy streets of Jakarta. Gorengan means anything that is fried, and it is a popular amongst the locals, providing workers on the go with a quick and easy snack on the go. Usually vendors will sell desserts like Pisang Goreng (Banana Fritters) and Tape Goreng (Fermented and Fried Cassava), but also sell savoury options like Bakwan Sayur (Vegetable Fritter) and Mendoan (Soy Cake). They are often not the healthiest option but they are delicious. 


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(Image: Pinterest)

Durian Pancake

We of course had to add at least one dessert, for all our sweet-tooths. Durian pancake is made with flour and a durian cream puree. It has a sweet outer layer which is usually flavoured with pandan or even strawberry. It typically looks like a square pouch although it can be served on a thin crepe.

We hope this list provides you with a variety of food to try for when you visit Jakarta. But if you're not planning to visit Indonesia any time soon, you can still experience the authentic flavours from your own kitchen with Asian Home Gourmet. To find more recipes and inspiration about Indonesian cuisine feel free to check out our page.

Breaking the Fast - How Ramadan is Celebrated in Asia

Breaking the Fast - How Ramadan is Celebrated in Asia

(Image: CNN)

Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims around the world and usually starts on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. This year it will begin on the evening of May 15th and ends on June 14th. This blessed month acknowledges the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad, and is commemorated by a fast between sunrise and sunset. Children, pregnant women and the sick are exempt from participating from the fast. During this time Muslims are encouraged to spend their time in prayer, meditation, reflection, strengthening their connection with God and serving the community.

With 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, Asia is home to 65% of the world's Muslim population. The practice of Ramadan's abstinence and worship remains unchanged but with the religion spreading vastly across different regions, many aspects have blended in with local cultures and traditions.


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 (Image: Jakarta Post)

Indonesia

Indonesia has the world's largest Muslim population, with 227 million people identifying as Muslim. Ramadan is a time for introspection and signifies the end of one life cycle and the beginning of another. The start of one's fast in Indonesia, begins with paying respects to their elders who have passed. Visiting them at their grave with flowers and prayers.  Another tradition in Indonesia, is called 'Padusan,' it is when Muslims immerse themselves in water believed to be holy to cleanse themselves spiritually and physically prior to the holy month. 

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(Image: Ramadan Kareen Mubarak)

India

The end of Ramadan is well known within the country of India, the culmination of each fast is celebrated with picnics on mosque terraces and treats from street carts. At the end of the day, hundreds of Muslims gather together to break their fast at sunset, by laying large sheets of cloth on the floor on which they sit and eat 'Iftar' dishes prepared at home. Some will also wake up before sunrise to eat 'Sihoor' an early morning breakfast to prepare one for the fast of the day ahead.


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(Image: Rojak Daily)

Malaysia

Ramadan in Malaysia usually begins during the warmer months of the year, which can be challenging but it has its own merits and spiritual benefits. The first day of Ramadan is a public holiday, and most offices during the month close an hour early, to cater for this holy time. At sunset, where the breaking of one's fast begins, Malaysian Muslims typically seek out Ramadan Bazaars which can be found in various streets and corners of the country. These open-air markets and stalls offer a sensory explosion, from the intoxicating smells and mouth-watering local delicacies. Also during this holy month, many restaurants provide 'Buka Puasu,' meaning breaking of fast buffets, which serve an incredible spread of traditional Malaysian dishes.

If you are unable to visit these Asian countries during the holy month of Ramadan, you can still recreate the tastes and joys of 'Iftar' at home with the help of our wide range of products available here

5 Things to do in Korea this Spring

5 Things to do in Korea this Spring

Image credit: Trazy Travel Blog

Spring is one of the most beloved seasons in Korea, and for good reason. The flowers and trees start to bloom, and there are so many fun and interesting things to do outdoors in the sunshine. If you're heading to Korea this spring, here are just a few suggestions which are ideal for the warmer weather!


Cherry blossoms

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Image: Travelog

Between April and May, the cherry blossoms in Korea are a must-see during the spring season. One of the most popular destinations includes Yeouido Park located in Seoul, which attracts tourist from around the world! If you're in the south, Jinhae is another stunning destination which offers three different places to witness the cherry blossoms in full bloom.


Hiking

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Image: CNN

Korea is packed with mountains and hiking trails which is another great way to take advantage of the spring weather, and sightsee in the great outdoors. Not only are the hiking trails full of friendly locals, but it's the best way to de-stress and get away from the busy city life. Bukhansan National Park in Seoul is the best place to start since it's easily accessible by public transport, and provides beautiful views of Gyeonggi-do and surrounding areas.


Bamboo garden

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Image: Tamara Menees

If you're up for a leisurely walk, then the bamboo gardens of Damyang are an ideal way to relax and unwind. The pathways are lined with tall bamboo and lead to beautiful artificial waterfalls, a pavilion, and an eco-exhibition centre. Lights are also turned on in the evenings for a magical night walk!


Parks

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Image: Trazy Travel Blog

Korea is filled with parks which are the best way to relax and unwind during a trip. The Garden of Morning Calm is simply beautiful during the springtime, since all the flowers are in bloom! After talking a walk through the park, grab some lunch at the dak galbi restaurant and don't forget to take some snaps.


Tulip festival

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Image: Bobo and Chichi

During the spring, Everland hosts the annual tulip festival which is Korea's largest theme park. The Four Seasons Garden is filled with 1.2 million spring flowers which include daffodils, hyacinths and most of all, tulips!

If you aren't planning a trip to Korea this spring, you can still easily enjoy the taste of Korean cuisine from your own kitchen. Enjoy classic Korean dishes by using Asian Home Gourmet spice paste for Kimchi Soup and Marinade for Korean Barbecue Meat.

For a colourful explosion on your taste buds, more ideas on dishes and ingredients, check out Asian Home Gourmet's wide range of products here.

 


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Must Try Experiences in Hồ Chí Minh City

Must Try Experiences in Hồ Chí Minh City

Image Credit: Independent Hồ Chí Minh City is a beautiful and dynamic city in south Vietnam. It's the largest city in the country and has become infamous for its French colonial architecture, remnants of the Vietnam War (known as the...

» Read more

How to Eat Like a Foodie in Jakarta

How to Eat Like a Foodie in Jakarta

(Image: Flickr) Being the largest and the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta has become a beacon for foodies around the world. There is no doubt that the western world has had a major influence in the flare of cooking, but...

» Read more

Breaking the Fast - How Ramadan is Celebrated in Asia

Breaking the Fast - How Ramadan is Celebrated in Asia

(Image: CNN) Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims around the world and usually starts on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. This year it will begin on the evening of May 15th and ends on June 14th. This...

» Read more

5 Things to do in Korea this Spring

5 Things to do in Korea this Spring

Image credit: Trazy Travel Blog Spring is one of the most beloved seasons in Korea, and for good reason. The flowers and trees start to bloom, and there are so many fun and interesting things to do outdoors in the...

» Read more