Delicious Chocolate You Have To Taste

Vietnamese Marou Chocolate

In an article published in the New York Times, reporter Laurence Obsborne described the world’s most exquisite chocolate bars which are made in a factory on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City called Marou as “The best chocolate you have never tasted” with beans that were hand-picked on a skinny strip of an island called Tan Phu Dong in the Mekong Delta, making Vietnamese chocolate unlike any other.

Maison Marou- Hanoi

Marou’s chocolate has a particular complexity and variability, because unlike most chocolate makers, they can create theirs from beans they select carefully at the source. This means they have control of everything, from farm to bar. Therefore, their handmade chocolate products are more expensive than industrial ones, but the quality and flavour meet the needs of high-end markets in Vietnam and compete with international products.

Because of their culture history, I had basic knowledge of their coffee and cocoa seeds, however I was not aware of Marou chocolate. I started reading and searching for more information couple days before traveling of how pure and natural these chocolates were. Since I’m a chocolate lover and sweet tooth for pastries, I wrote down the location of Maison Marou shop and promised myself not to missed this place.

If you’re a chocolate lover or just looking for a place to relax, read while having a cup of coffee or tea at Ho Chi Minh city, this place is for you. Mind you, the chocolates are yes, quite expensive but the quality is totally worth it. Each chocolate has the percentage and it cost approximately $10.00 each, they also have cute gift boxes with a variety of chocolates, also individual mini bar chocolates and an exquisite variety of delicious pastry.

Delicious desserts at Maison Marou, Hanoi.

The staffs are very friendly, they introduce their chocolates, give you cocoa seed for taste as well as chocolate samples. The atmosphere is very relaxing, perfect to seat and take a nice cup of a hot creamy chocolate. The decor brings a charming environment that you’ll enjoy the shop from the moment you step in.

Me, wondering chocolates at Maison Marou.

 

My Taste…

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Discover Hanoi

Vietnam has always been in my bucket list and still is. There’s so many places to visit and things to do that a week is not enough. At least you need 2 weeks to visit some main attractions, sightseeing and tours. Most places are far away depending on where you’re staying, for instance Hoa Lu and Tam Coc which are in the country side of Vietnam. In addition, also Sa Pa and its spectacular landscaping sightseeings and rice fields, Ha Long Bay by boat or the beautiful Ban Gioc and Datanla waterfalls, I can keep going all day. However, you can always enjoy Hanoi if you don’t have time to visit all other places, after all, Vietnam is big!

Trấn Quốc Pagoda

I met with 2 friends in Hanoi at the hotel that we booked that by the way, very cheap. Vietnam is very, very cheap! The hotel was (Splendid Holiday Hotel) not fancy, just nice location with breakfast included, just what we needed. I downloaded an app called Grab for transportation which works like Uber or even better. Once I arrived to the almost location, the driver was trying to explain me for about 7 minutes that the hotel was located inside these narrow streets that obviously cars can’t go through. But, I didn’t knew Vietnamese! I tried body language, pointing things with my hand, fingers, facial expressions… ugh! We just couldn’t communicate. Until I asked him like this: “Hotel-Map-Phone” while I was pointing him to the phone. He understood and searched on google maps the hotel, I took a photo with my phone and went walking with my luggage to the hotel which it wasn’t that far. Later, right after I arrived and meet with the girls, we went out to explore. We only took transportation when we really needed, despite the super hot weather, we walked to everywhere and enjoyed Vietnamese culture.

Our first stop was visiting the West lake where the One Pillar Pagoda is, which is regarded as one of Vietnam’s two most iconic temples. We also visit Trấn Quốc Pagoda, the oldest Buddhist temple in Hanoi and The Vietnam Military History Museum.

One Pillar Pagoda

 

Today, this pagoda is like a temple for people to visit and pray if they want to have children. I did not, of course 😀  haha. But is a beautiful landscape to take photos, built on a single pillar to represent a lotus flower which is a symbol of purity in Buddhist culture.

 

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Doha express

Visiting Qatar was unexpected, I was initially stopping as transit in Russia but I didn’t knew their policy changed; for transits American citizens passengers need a visa to enter the country -or- airport. If I knew this, I wouldn’t book it in the first place. We didn’t need visa before, but due to politics issues from the President of the USA with Russia, as I was informed from Aeroflot staff, our agreement has changed. Long story short, I rebooked my flight to Hanoi stopping in……Qatar!

Now, I used to love working this flight back when I was cabin crew because from Dubai to Doha is like 48 mins, easy pease flight. But, it was not a layover and never got the chance to visit, until now. This came up because a friend invited me to travel with her and her friend, I skipped some countries in which I already been couple of times and decided to meet them in Hanoi. And yes, I was traveling alone. I left my baby taking care from my mom and husband and went flying solo on a mommy time off week.

On that flight (New York to Doha), when we were doing the first descending, I noticed that the blouse I was wearing had really thin sleeves but not reviling anything though. My next flight was next day and didn’t want to sleep at the airport, I wanted to go out and take a shower… I grabbed my carry-on and searched for any other blouse or shirt. I always packed extra clothing except for this darn time I didn’t. A woman seating behind me saw me struggling and asked me if I was okay. I explained to her my matter as she replied “You’re good hun, there’s no problem what you are wearing at the airport..” I then smiled and told her my plans was not staying at the airport. Her face turned serious and ‘shocked’ as she was asking me very surprised Why would you explore Doha, and alone?  I, on the other hand, was curious of how she assumed I was specifically doing a layover in Doha… She also mentioned she never travels alone, she was to scared of getting lost and that exploring an Arab country such as Qatar, is even more scary for her. She was going to stay the whole day at the airport, kill me. I couldn’t do that.

I was actually really excited to walk through the airport, I read so many things from the Hamad airport and let me tell you, I didn’t get the time to explore all their facilities, but it the airport’s architecture is really modern, beautiful hallways, full of technology, big TV screen, lounges that you can rest, sleep, take a shower, have a spa treatment, jacuzzi, they also have an indoor train to speed you faster to the gate (I did it!), big swimming pool, full range of workout equipment, fancy hotel…and I can go on all day. This is by far, the most luxurious airport in the Middle East. Continue reading “Doha express”

Amazing Phuket

Hello everyone! I would like first to apologize for the lack of post, as I promised I was going to even write about my first leave back at home but unfortunately some situations came by and I was unable to write often as I was doing. I promise to keep you update of what’s going to happen now in my new journey, yes, I might leave my wonderful ‘Emirates’ experience soon. Some details will be posted very shortly, for now let’s enjoy my Phuket gallery!

PHUKET_______________

My very last layover in which I bid for it and got it twice, was Phuket. I was indeed very excited to work this flight, although I was pretty down and sad. Phuket flight was right after my first leave, therefore I was (or I think I was) a little depressed of leaving home, again. I thought of resigning, I started to search for a new job, I was constantly crying over night. I asked a friend who’s been working for Emirates some years as Cabin Crew Supervisor “When this feeling will go away?” he replied- “It would never go away..” I decided to put a side the ‘feelings’ and just work and enjoy my job on these following layovers. Phuket helped me Continue reading “Amazing Phuket”

The City of a Hundred Spires

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague; one of the most beautiful cities of the world and I had the pleasure of finally visiting it, twice! Before I commence sharing my journey, I would like to dedicate this post to Renata from Czech Republic, Thank you so much for having the initiative of inviting me to walk around your city, it was more than a pleasure.  Your wings will be spread soon, I’ll see you in the sky!

The flight was extremely exhausting. Prague peeps like to drink and a lot, thus the entire flight was very busy. We arrived at almost 1pm of the afternoon really tired. I arrived at the hotel with my eyes rolling back. Yet, I managed to text back to this wonderful girl who follows me on my blog. She wrote me, inviting me to walk around the city and to meet me. I don’t tend to do this, in both ways it could be dangerous. I mean, I could be ‘someone else’ or she could have been some ‘guy with bad intentions’ however, she gave me a trust feeling and also we were going to meet at the same hotel I was staying, so It was pretty safe. I told my mom and boyfriend and went down straight to the lobby. She was already waiting for me, she was very lovely and beautiful. We start with a laugh realizing I forgot to bring boots, it was winter already and I had sandals! Jesus Christ! We took the subway and arrived to the city where all the shops where at. It took me more than 2 hours to find a pair of boots, not to expensive and that I really liked it. Thank You Renata for being so patient.

While we’re walking, we talked about my experiences in Emirates, good and bad, she asked me about how’s living in Dubai, my new roommate, and more about the dislikes (pros and cons). She told me she wanted to join Emirates after finishing her MA, which I think is a Continue reading “The City of a Hundred Spires”

When in Rome…

When I saw Rome in my roster I thought swapping it, then again, I haven’t been in Rome for a year ago so, Why not again? My first time was actually with my lovely boyfriend ❤ (That’s why I didn’t want to do it… to many memories of us in this city) It was my dream since I studied Ancient History and Rome History while I was doing my BA degree. I felt in love with their education, architectures, arts, culture, everything! I remember seating in a Human studies class and saying to my professor -‘Someday, I will visit Rome, and I’ll touch the Colosseum walls with my bare hands..’- It came true. First thing I saw was the Colosseum, my eyes almost cried, I couldn’t believe I was actually there. While I was standing doing the line for the entrance, I was literally touching its walls, I had goose pumps, I grabbed my boyfriends hand -‘I finally made it!’- saying to him while I was admiring and imagining me hundreds, thousands of years ago in that place.  Most people have their travel destinations to explore, to gain knowledge, to see someplace new. But, we all have that certain destination in which is more than just exploring or visiting. It’s something we most do before we die! We all have a list, let’s admit it. But we also have that special ONE that we keep in our hearts,  too cliché? I know but; Rome will always be Rome, ancient city that never gets old, city full of history, a city with memories of me and my boyfriend… a city that after a year it still gave me goose pumps, Mamma mia!

my love and I, in rome
My love and I in Rome, Feb 2014

Rome has so many, many, and many things to do. Thank God I visited and enjoyed the fullest before, as for a cabin crew you definitely have no time to explore. I mean you can visit the Colosseum, the line takes you ages. Then, you can walk around but you won’t have time to visit other point of interest, rather than just admiring from outside view. For instance the Vatican, (I cried too when I visit the Vatican for the first time by the way 😀 ) the line is normally outrages. I remember on my Holidays, I did an schedule with my boyfriend, we took a whole day just for the Vatican. So, as for a cabin crew you can just explore walking around but if it’s your forever dream as it was like mine: visiting Rome and enjoy its History by fullest in a layover, It’s a no-no. You need like at least a full week with no break to enjoy Rome. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed Rome. I must admit, It still gave me goose pumps when I saw the Colosseum. I loved visiting again the Vatican city, The Trevi Fountain was closed 😦 I was planning to have a snack and coffee right in front of it. Memories of me and boyfriend bloomed everywhere, in every each corner. I went walking with Continue reading “When in Rome…”