of the year, went by the wind. The irony about final year of med school- the least classes but the most work. It kinda drives me bonkers every once in a while, when I know that I am deemed fit to treat a patient in 9 months time (provided I pass all subs). And here I am, still ransacking my brain during a viva on what muscle inserts on the anterior part of the distal radius (We learnt that 4 years ago).
Nevertheless, I try to maintain my i̶n̶s̶a̶n̶i̶t̶y̶ sanity by other means.
Here’s my quote of the month from a book I’m currently reading:
Greatness is always built on this foundation:
the ability to appear, speak, and act as the most common man.
– Shams-ud-din Muhammed Hafiz
1. Huong Mai Cafe
Best weasle coffee in Hanoi, as recommended by locals and seasoned travellers.
You’ll get used to how cheap things are here.
Get yourself a cup with VND25,000 (RM5).
2. Thang Long Water Puppet Show
Worth going for VND100,000 (RM20). Basically a folklore show, though you’ll have to bear with not understanding any narrations.
3. Tran Quoc Pagoda
Located on West Lake, FOC.
You can also drop by the Highlands Coffee on the lake, 5 mins walk from the pagoda.
4. Temple of Literature
Aged a thousand years, lies diplomas of past people, of the size of tombstones.
20-30 mins walk from Old Quarters.
5. Giang Cafe
For the infamous egg coffee!
Green beans with egg
6. Awesome street food
Bo Bia, like the Malaysian popiah, with brown sugar sticks, shredded coconut and black fungus (I think). Costs VND10,000 (RM2) for one, but a must try.
Vietnamese paper rolls
I tried them in the food court, Quang Ang Ngon.
Banh Mi, pork baguette sandwiches
7. Old Quarter
New Day Restaurant (No. 72, Ma May Street), as recommended by locals.
You can get cheapest souvenirs along Hang Bac street- Lowest prices in town.
In Dong Xuan market, you have to bargain to at least half.
Embarked on a weekend trip, 8 hours away from Karad.
Where the Buddhist, Hindu and Jain caves are together.
A purely Buddhist cave, with paintings
Lonar Crater Lake
Formed by a meteorite hit 50,000 years ago, it’s the 3rd largest crater lake in the world.
Water is alkaline (pH10.5), as the meteorite was alkaline.
Now regarded as a holy lake by many Hindu devotees.
1. Lazienki Park
2. Old Market Square
3. Pod Barbakanem (Bar Mleczny aka Milk Bar)
One of my favourite local experiences.
Not your conventional Polish cooks. We read online that they only know Polish and can get rather irritated with non-Polish speaking tourists, but the lady in blue was particularly nice to us, which made the already home-cooked food feel, a little extra warmer =)
A must try if you are around in Poland. Although there are others, I would highly recommend this particular one, for its more traditional feel and reasonable prices, which is located within the market square (convenient as well).
4. Warsaw University Library
The rooftop garden is free, and is accessible from the stairs located outside the building. You can enter the building via the main entrance, and then exit at the other end, that will lead you to the stairs.
There was an orange juice vending machine inside, that squeezes the orange right in front of you. I know I am rather jakun, but I did find it pretty fascinating =) (although it costs 5zl for a cup).
The show will project the screening to face the grass hilly area by the market square. Hence, do get a spot there for a good view.
The best money exchange is located in the underground alley (credit to a Tripadvisor reviewer), below the Marriot Hotel, located near Warsaw Centralna. The alley is accessible directly via the mall. It is closed on Sundays, and opens from 12pm-4pm on Saturdays. Rest of the days are normal opening hours.
5. Chopin Museum is free for students on Thursdays.
6. Kabaty Forest
I would recommend getting the day pass, as Warsaw is a big city, hence it will be worth your money.
You can take the train to Kabaty (the last stop). As you exit, you will see Tesco. The forest is just right behind it. It is where the locals go as well.
7. Poniatowska Beach
A small beach by the river, near to the Stadium. Beach is on the other side of the river from the city. A place where locals go to barbeque and hang out.
Local soups to try:
Sour soup with sausage and egg
Beetroot soup with ravioli/dumplings
Beef tripes soup
Main Square, with Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) with a parade on Constitution Day
St. Mary’s Basilica and Cloth Hall
There is a trumpeter that plays hourly from the gothic watchtower of the Basilica.
2. Wieliczka Salt Mine
To get there, Bus 304 departs from Galleria Krakowska Mall, near Krakow Glowny station.
There are many bus stops in front of the mall, but this bus departs from the bus stop at the street perpendicular to the mall (to the main street with the trams).
Bus ride costs 2zl (students), and tickets are bought on the bus. To return to the city, take the same bus from bus stop on the opposite side of the road. It is on the right, after coming out of the mine onto the main road.
I would recommend the multimedia show in the mine.
3. Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum
Bus departs from Glowny, bay G1. Tickets can be bought at the ticket counter in the station, or on the bus; costs 14 zlotys/person.
You have to store your bags before entering, costs 3zl. It is advisable to bring water and some food to munch during the 15 minutes break, before going to Birkenau (2nd part of the Museum) by bus. You are allowed to take some things from your bag stored, during that time. Tour is about 4-5 hours.
You can take the same bus to return to the city, which departs from the same spot it dropped you off (same spot where the black Birkenau bus stops).
3. Heroes Square at Bohaterow Getta
You will see it on the way to the Schlinder Factory, if you walk from the city, before getting on to Lipowa Street.
It is a memorial square (plac in Polish) with tall chairs. I have been told that the apartments around the square (Jewish Ghetto) were where the Nazi’s packed the Jews.
4. Wawel Castle
You are supposed to leave your bags in the storage room before entering the Castle. But before going to the Dragon’s Den, you should take your bags with you (they’re allowed in the “Den”), as it takes you down the castle, and exits at the streets.
One of the cheap good places to eat, that serves 3 choices of salad with a choice of fish (salmon/trout) for 24 zl.
Definitely worth it.