Monday, January 28, 2013

MGM at Ho Tram, Vietnam

We were lucky enough to be invited to a simulation at MGM's resort in Ho Tram. Considering we hadn't left Ho Chi Minh yet... I was excited to see what else Vietnam had to offer. At the time we went to visit... the resort was still not open to the public... so we got to have a preview of sorts...First step... get a ferry at the riverside in HCMC to Vung Tau


I was quite impressed by the ferry..not chaotic like I was expecting... everyone lines up... you board the ferry... and its not free seating.. your ticket will have a number on it to guide you to your coinciding seat number. We were just unlucky to have boarded a ferry that had propeller issues.. and so not long after we were out in the Mekong Delta.. but before we hit the open sea... our ferry finally gave out.. and we had to wait for another ferry to come rescue us... luckily sustenance was on board


well atleast chips and drinks are available... to help take the edge off while waiting for another ferry to arrive..which took about 30 mins


It was such a relief to see the other boat pull up beside us and before long we were on our way... 20 mins later we finally arrived at Vung Tau...about an hour and a half later than scheduled... but we were there!

I was surprised by how clean the streets were... at least from where the ferries land up to where we had to go...


The road leading to Ho Tram reminded me almost of my capital city of Islamabad, Pakistan.... and then finally we arrived ...


I have to say... from the moment we arrived I was impressed. The staff are warm, friendly and engage with the guests. Anytime we passed one of the staff members they always made it a point to look us in the eyes... smile... ask how we were doing or some such pleasantry... 



which is a novelty in Vietnam... guess MGM has done some extensive training with their staff...





Once we had safely checked ourselves in.. time to check out the rooms....If you don't get a sea facing room don't fret because the views of the sunset are spectacular.. all my pics are taken from a simple Iphone btw... no fancy photography


And the beds in the resort... made me want to kidnap the mattress, duvet and pillows...



and if you want to take a break from indoors... ...


 and of course ...at night.. the scene is on..


we met Matt the Mixologist from Las Vegas who gives you magic in a glass... regardless of whether you drink alcohol or not... he will have a potion for you... I asked him for something non alcoholic and figured I would have him stumped... but in the flash of an eye.. and shake of a hand... I had a passion fruit drink that we instantly named Dvine.. for obvious reasons


next it was time to get changed for dinner where we bumped into the fine gentlemen who own this club in Saigon.. LUSH and were very good at making sure our loved ones who went there were well looked after :) thank you guys! Did I mention there was a buffet? of the most delectable dishes you can imagine... the gushing over the food was unanimous...


time to hit the casino and check it out...Naturally no photography is allowed inside the casino... but there are plenty of games to choose from depending on what you enjoy.. Craps, Black Jack, Poker, slot machines, Baccarat... whatever you like to play...its all there...and afterwards... the club downstairs


Yep we hit the pool table to warm up ....but if you are more into music and dance...


well there was a bar right there with a DJ playing music for you to rock the night away... all in all a very relaxing weekend.. we had a blast .. We loved our weekend down at the MGM resort and can't wait for the grand opening and have it buzzing away ... we will definitely go back some day...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Welcome to 2013

Last year my new year celebration was a very quiet one with a friend who was visiting from Singapore. We were in Lahore then and my husband was in Karachi. I was very sad as that was our first New Year apart... I knew he had to be there as work had him there but it was a hard time. I was very grateful to have my friend over for company


This year... was completely insane... though both my husband and I are not particularly fond of crowds...we decided to celebrate New Year's Eve Saigon style .. and we were not prepared for the onslaught... you already know how the city gets decked out in lights for Christmas ...which are then simply added to for TET which is the Chinese New Year in February.. and the crowds go CRAZY on New Year's eve


What you are looking at is a sea of people... roads are blocked ..... and all you can hope to do is to squeeze your way through to get to where you need to go... we were lucky to have a friend who had reserved a table at a nearby bar..where we could escape the maddening crowd...so outside we had this going on....


while indoors.......




So as you can see... madness was everywhere and we finally managed to get home by about 3:00 am... was a fun night...not sure if we would do it again next year... but had to experience it atleast once... 


MGM is opening up a grand resort in Ho Tram, which is a 40 minute ferry ride outside Ho Chi Minh City... and we have been invited up there this weekend to come check it out. We are excited as its the first time I will be venturing out of Saigon and look forward to seeing what else Vietnam has to offer... will take lots of pics and post them here next time :)

Now I promised you the recipe for this... 


so here it is....I have taken it from DeliaOnline and apparently one of last year's most successful desserts. It is supremely easy to do... and tastes divine...happy baking... will keep you posted on Ho Tram.... pronounced as Ho Cham...






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