All posts tagged: Must Do’s

Must Do’s: Oxford, England

I traveled to Oxford for work several times over the past few years and fell completely in love with this English city.  Oxford is full of picturesque historical buildings that have been perfectly preserved.  You feel like you are walking through history along the cobble stone pathways.  The local myth is that Hitler wanted to make Oxford his new headquarter and therefore ordered for it to be “left alone” during WWII.  We are fortunate enough to have this city  preserved for our enjoyment. It’s also favorite location for the film industry.  You might feel a sense of familiarity with the buildings as Harry Potter was filmed at Christ Church, Bodleian Library and New College.  Downtown Abbey also used Oxfordshire (the suburbs of Oxford) for their filming locations. For more information on locations used by the film industry, click on Film locations. Here are my recommendations for Oxford. Getting to Oxford: Oxford is a close day trip for those staying in London.  I normally fly into London and stay a day or two to visit friends before heading to Oxford.  My …

Must Do’s: Holidays in NYC

The holiday season is a popular time to visit NYC and it is not hard to see why. The festive holiday spirit is in full force and there are many activities suitable for everyone. Whether you are a visitor or a local, the holiday season in the city is something everyone is excited about. We compiled a list of must do’s holiday activities for New York City. Bryant Park Winter Village –(41 W 40th St between Sixth and Fifth Avenues) The Bank of America Winter Village opens on October 29 and stays open through March 5, 2017. During the holiday, the skating rink is surrounded by a winter village filled with food and gift vendors. The 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink is also free to the public and you can bring your own or rent the skates. Weekends are particularly popular and the line can go around the block. Come early if you plan on ice skating at this rink. There is also a big Christmas tree overlooking the rink and makes for some wonderful photo opportunity. Radio …

Must Do’s: 7 Days in NYC with Children

I was asked to put together a 7 days itinerary for a friend visiting NYC from France for the first time with her husband and two boys (elementary school age). This was a challenge as they also did not speak fluent English. I am used to taking friends and family around NYC but I have never taken children around, especially at night. The feedback from my itinerary have been very positive so I am sharing it for visitors to NYC on this site. The visiting family was able to pick and choose the activities each day depending on their timing. Day 1 (Saturday):  Explore Midtown West Start at 2pm after checking into the hotel. Start the day at 53rd Street and 7th Avenue, the beginning of Times Square area. Area of interest are: Broadway District and Time Square Rockefeller Center and  Radio City Music Hall Saint Patrick’s Cathedral Afterward, walk toward Bryant Park and get a drink/coffee at the following options: Southwest Porch and Bryant Park Café There are activities in the park such as ping pong, mini …

Must Do’s: My Virginia Beach Experience

I remember going to Virginia Beach for the first time when I was in elementary school. Back then, the oceanfront boardwalk did not even reach its current length and there were only a handful of upscale hotels. The city has invested heavily to make VA Beach a family beach destination. I have fond memories of my parents giving us a few dollars to take the trolley up and down Beach Street USA, to window shop along the main street stores and to watch the free entertainment on the other side of the beachfront properties. The boardwalk expanded to its current 28-feet wide and 3 mile long pathway with a separate bike lane over the years. Each night, one could hear live music from the various venues along this pathway. It has become a tradition to have our family reunion in VA Beach for the last 20 plus years. There are a few things that my family love to do and this is my list of the Must Do’s in VA Beach. Activity: Wake up early in the …

Must Do’s – Local Favorite Eateries in Hue, Vietnam

Every year and a half, I will travel to Hue, Vietnam to visit orphanages as part of Orphans’ Futures Alliance due diligence trip. I am always excited to visit the kids and also to sample my family’s favorite restaurants in the city. Hue is known to have the best authentic traditional cuisine stemming from its imperial history. My family is originally from Hue so I grew up eating many of the local specialties. Locals take great pride in the food culture and I am excited to share with you some of my family’s must eats when we are in Hue. Huyen Anh (52 Kim Long Street, Hue, Vietnam) This place specializes in fresh rice rolls (bánh ướt thịt nướng) and bbq pork (thịt nướng). This is a local favorite and the people there do not speak English. Don’t be intimidated as there are only 3 items that you can order. You can always just show them a picture. I would advise bringing your own wet naps as the place can be a little grungy like …

Must Do’s: Select Local Eateries in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)

Ho Chi Minh City (“HCMC”) is the center of a diverse food and modern culture in Vietnam. HCMC is also the largest city in Vietnam and home to approximately 9 million people and growing. The city has gone through many iterations from an important Khmer seaport up to the 17th century to a romantic city under French colonization and now a vibrant metropolis in 2016. With its diverse history, it is no wonder that the variety of food is present in HCMC. I asked a good friend of mine to scout her favorite places to eat in HCMC and the following places are her recommendations. Ốc Đào (Seafood Restaurant) Address: 214/C84 Nguyễn Trãi St, Nguyễn Cư Trinh Ward, District 1 Hồ Chí Minh, Việt Nam Open: noon – 9:00 pm This is a quintessential local hangout for friends and co-workers. This restaurant serves many different types of snails and seafood at reasonable prices and has good quality. Don’t be afraid to check this restaurant out as they have pictures for non-Vietnamese speakers. Banh Mi Huynh Hoa (Vietnamese Sandwiches) Address: …

Must Do’s: Must Eats in Hanoi

Hanoi is the northern gastronomy capital of Vietnam that puts its own stamp on popular dishes such as pho.  Our contributor, Amy Dao, compiled a list of Hanoi specialties and local favorites. You will notice a variety of soups as Hanoi is colder than the hot and wet weather in the central and southern regions that people associate with in Vietnam. I hope you get to venture out of your comfort zone and try these delicacies. 1. Hanoi Tumeric Fish with Dill / Chả Cá Lã Vọng) Restaurant:  Thănh Long Resturant (31 Dường Thành Street, Old Quarter / +84 (04) 3824 5115) This is Amy’s favorite dish. It is especially delicious with a mixture of dill, vegetables and spiced fish. 2. Hanoi Style BBQ Pork with Rice Vermicelli / Bún Chả Restaurants 1: 47C Mai Hac Đé Street, Hanoi Restaurant 2:  Nem Restaurant (123 Biù Thi Xuân Street, Hanoi) 3. Hanoi Style Fried Crab Spring Rolls with Rice Vermicelli (Bún Nem Cua Bễ) Resturant 1:  47C Mai Hac Đế Street, Hanoi Restaurant 2: Nem Restaurant (123 Biù Thi Xuân …