The Smile Foundation is an organization geared towards the empowerment and betterment of those struck with diseases, sickness, and other kinds of hardships. Their main vision is to provide those who are unprivileged, and who are struggling to simply cope with their ever-changing surroundings with a better lifestyle, whether it be providing them with medicine, or any other goods such as pillows and food.

On February 9, 2013, the Smile Foundation will be hosting a non-profit bazaar dedicated to all Children inflicted with Leukemia. They will be funding the National Children’s Hospital, providing financial aid in-order to purchase provisions and equipment to match their needs. From water, clothing, food and even technological advancement within the NCH.

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            The bazaar is entitled: Cupid’s Bazaar, a Valentines based bazaar steered towards the likes of both couple’s, and families. They will be hosting this in the Main Hall of the Rockwell Tent, a premiere location for bazaars due to its location, and positioning, right beside Powerplant Mall.

The Smile Foundation bazaar seeks to advocate genuine concern for the needy by empowering the sick with amenities to help them cope with their situation. Supporting this event would help us go the extra mile, as proceeds are given to our less-fortunate brothers/sisters afflicted with diseases. 100% of ticket revenues will go to the National Children’s Hospital.

In addition, the event is a pre-Valentine’s bazaar showcasing sumptuous food, up-to-date fashion and unique gifts to cater to your every need. They will also have a CANDY BUFFET, LIVE PERFORMANCES and GOODY BAGS for everybody who goes!

Please support them on Sunday, February 9, 2014 from 10:00am until 10:00pm at Rockwell Tent

For more information, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/thesmilefoundation

https://www.facebook.com/events/207999889383993/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

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Money Changer. Your first concern when you land in Vietnam is where you would exchange your money to their local currency. We had our USD exchanged to VND at the airport. The rates at the airport is lower. So exchange a little, just enough for your first day.

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Vietnam Dong

Then, if you still lack VND, I recommend you to have your money exchange at EXIMBANK – 135 Bong Khoi Q1 TP Ho Chi Minh City, they offer good exchange rate.

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Money Changer – 135 Bong Khoi Q1 TP Ho Chi Minh City

Whenever travelling to Vietnam, people would often buy North Face backpacks because it is cheaper there and of course souvenirs as remembrance of their trip.

North Face Bags. The first thing you should know is how to spot whether it is authentic or not. Check for the presence of the whistle and the hologram inside the bag.

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Here’s to give you an idea how much more or less you should spend when buying stuffs. The prices displayed here are the amount we paid when purchasing the products. If you can bargain for a lower price the better. 🙂 We bought the bags at Saigon Square. 

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We only explored the city of Ho Chi Minh in our 4th day because we opt to cover the further places first. Also, since our 4th day falls on a Sunday, we wanted to include in our itinerary hearing mass at Notre Dame Cathedral.  Originally, cyclo tour was part of our 2nd day itinerary, however, it was already late when we arrived Ho Chi Minh City and our tour guide told us that it is better to have the cyclo tour during early morning.

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We just sat there and enjoyed cyclo tour for 45 mins exploring the city. While having this trip, I noted down some of the shops that caught my attention and decided to go back there during my free time.

 TIP: Remember to put sunblock if you are going to do this activity.

Vietnam Buildings

L-R (1st row) Temple, School, (2nd row) Department of Transportation, Library

Our trip ended at the Notre Dame Cathedral just in time for us to hear mass.

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We arrived at the cathedral, past 9 in the morning. The English mass starts at 9:30.

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For our dinner, we decided to take a walk to Pasteur Restaurant while waiting for the AO show to start. As we walked towards the restaurant, I can see that a lot of people were dining here already. I kind of expected that we need to wait to be seated but to my surprise, we were accommodated at once.

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I love their interiors. They have a cool pond inside their restaurant.

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They have a very spacious place and has 2nd floor to accommodate more people. We were directed to our table at the 2nd floor to be seated.

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The tour guide brought us here at Thu Thao Restaurant to eat our lunch. I think the reason he brought us here is because it is already past noon and this is the nearest “clean” restaurant from the temple.

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Early morning after having breakfast, our first stop for the day is Cu Chi Tunnel.

Tunnel

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The residents of Cu Chi then took their war underground, literally, developing a network of tunnels that, at its height, stretched as far as Cambodia and included meeting rooms, kitchens, and triage areas.

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We stayed at Thien Tung hotel until our last day in Vietnam. Basically, they serve the same breakfast everyday with a little variation on the menu but no major change.

Their breakfast buffet is located at the top most [13th floor] of the hotel. The elevator is only up to the 12th floor so you need to use the stairs to reach the top.  As I mentioned in my previous blog post, the elevator is so slow. It is better (and healthier) to use the stairs than to waste your time waiting for the elevator.

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Just beside the entrance, the noodles and bread section is situated. You can toast your bread in the toaster before eating.


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At the opposite side beside the entrance you can see the rice and noodles.

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Across the room, they have a huge aquarium with a huge fish inside swimming back and forth.

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We had our dinner at the Ben Thanh Night Market. Night market starts from 7:30 PM until midnight. Not only you can find restaurant here, but you can also find souvenirs and other street food. We ate at Quan Loc Thanh.

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A huge menu board is displayed so that passersby would have an idea what food they serve. While waiting to be seated, you can choose here what you would like to order.

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Menu Board

Basically, the chairs and tables are set up under a huge tent.

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You can also see the chef preparing your dishes.

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