Ao Dai – The Echo of the Country – Vietnamese Show

Local veteran Vietnamese fashion designer Si Hoang has created his latest ao dai (Vietnamese long dress) show at Ao Dai Exhibition in HCMC’s District 1, and last night I had the pleasure to attend.

The designer has regularly held ao dai performances for ten years now and these shows have made his reputation and stirred up local people’s interest.

The latest show is named “Am vang dat nuoc” (the echo of the country) with an aim to bring the special influence of ao dai for the audience understanding.

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The show is made up of several parades of ao dai. One parade covers the history of ao dai and the influences on the long dress from French, War Time and contemporary design.  While another parade showcases the ao dai from the mountains and its differences.

In between these parades are various pieces showcasing Vietnamese traditional musical instruments and songs.

The following video is an old stone xylophone…was amazing to see him work his way up and down these pieces of stone.


The following video is the k’ni, which is a fiddle like instrument used by the Jarai people in Vietnam. It is a bowed chordophone which uses the musician’s mouth as a resonator which enables the instrument to imitate certain qualities found in vocal music.


However my favorite was watching this woman play the t’rung (đàn T’rưng), which is a traditional bamboo xylophone used by the Jarai people and Bahnar people in Vietnam’s Central Highlands – it is pictured on the left below.

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Vinasun Taxi’s–the only Taxi to get in Ho Chi Minh City

Just a quick note to my followers that when in Ho Chi Ming City (Saigon) make sure you only use Vinasun Taxis.  They are easily recognizable as a predominately white taxi with red and green branding.

Especially when arriving at the HCMC Airport (International Terminal), walk past all the taxi’s lined up at the taxi rank as these are all small companies associated with the people working at the terminal and so will overcharge – I have spoken to many people who have had bad experiences with Taxi’s from the airport. 

So walk past all these and you will see at the end of the taxi line the Vinasun Taxi’s and generally a lovely man who will arrange a Vinasun Taxi.  This will definitely be metered and will cost 110,000 to 150,000 dong to District 1 and the City Centre.

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Obligatory First Day of School Photo

OK, here they are, the obligatory first day of school photos!!! 

Emily starts Year 11 VCE with a focus on Physics, Chemistry, Geography, PE, Math and English.  Workload cannot be that hard as she appears to have most of Thursday off with free periods Winking smile

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Gold for MLC Reds – Division 3 Rowing–Ballarat Regatta

Em’s second Rowing Regatta was last Saturday on Lake Wendouree, Ballarat. The workload was upped as this was a full 2km course with more clubs in attendance and heavy cross winds causing all boats difficulties.  But despite all this the MLC Reds still took out Gold once again in Division 3.


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The setting on Lake Wendouree was beautiful as we got to see them cross the finish line and then come back down, right in front of us, to get their boats out of the water.

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I watch the finish of the Schoolgirls Division 3 to see MLC Red get Gold. Then later in afternoon for the U19’s Women I put on my running gear to take in the 5km run around the lake and watch them at start, half way into my run.

With the wind the start was chaos as many boats struggled to turn and line up being pushed by the wind.

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Bruce Springsteen Live at AAMI Park Melbourne

Dragged Emily along to a classic rock concert last night as we took to the mosh pit for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s first Summer ‘17 Melbourne Concert at AAMI Park.

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The house was packed and I think Emily was amazed to see him play non-stop for two and a half hours…switching guitars to start the next song while the band was playing out the previous.

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A highlight was definitely as he roamed the mosh pit and stopped just meters from us to push out “Glory Days.”

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Plus the legendary ballads with a serene setting of just The Boss and his Voice.

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Twenty Nine songs in all with a dynamic Encore where he came out, lights went up and we all danced to classics such as Born to Run and Dancing in the Dark and a great adaptation of Shout and then Twist and Shout to finish.

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South Melbourne Market

Melbourne has a number of great Markets many of which I have written about – Prahan, Queen Victoria, Camberwell etc. Each has their own characteristics that makes them an experience to visit.  For the South Melbourne Market the experience is definitely the oyster shucking and some of the little cafes it has dotted around the outside.

There are two places that sell oysters freshly shucked for eating there and then. My favorite is Aptus Seafoods which is in the middle of the seafood lane.

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When Kerrie and I were there last month we also stumbled on the Happy Place. This little gem of a café had a range of healthy and wellness drinks and snacks.  Having had several doses of caffeine for the day and with a full stomach of oysters, it was a change to go for a Turmeric Warmer which was a hot drink of Turmeric, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Black Pepper and Coconut Milk.

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There are many other great cafes.  My advice is stay away from their food court as it is nothing special and make sure you explore the cafes around the outside of the Market facing the streets.

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Pudu Market – Kuala Lumpur

A trip to Pudu Market is always an adventure and a must for anyone new to or visiting Kuala Lumpur.  Chow Kit used to be our go to Market to shock visitors but with all the construction going on it is no longer what it was.  Pudu Market however is still in fine form!!!

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Fish Heads and Chicken Feet…yum yum!!!

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A Pet Store had some beautiful fish…

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If I am in Kuala Lumpur for a weekend then I will often, on a Saturday morning, get a Taxi to Pudu Market and then afterwards spend the day walking back via Berjaya Times Square on to Low Yat Plaza and then through the many other malls on Jalan Bukit Bintang. 

This is an easy walk of a few kilometers that will show you the real Kuala Lumpur. You cannot really get lost because you can always see the city as you walk the streets around Pudu and towards Berjay Times Square,

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