The Vietnam Project: Hanoi Free Tour Guides

One big tip of knowing a particular place?

Converse with the locals, and from them, you’ll learn something quite different.

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Old Quarter

Anyway, are you familiar of this kind of program in which there are some organizations in Hanoi that gives free tours to its foreign visitors?

But the tour is not technically free. For you will be the one who will pay for its transportation, snacks/lunch/dinner, entrance fees, and other gratuities. All you have to do is book online, inform them of the list of places/sites that you wanted to see, and wait for some confirmation from them if there’s a vacant schedule for you.

My first choice was the Hanoi Kids Organization, but upon booking, I wasn’t able to have a slot for our requested schedule which was on the 3rd day.

So I’ve decided to change our bookings to the Hanoi Free Tour Guides. A similar organization from my first choice, but this time, these are being handled by some college students who wants to do this kind of thing in order for them to practice their English language.

The organization had assigned us to someone who majors in economics named Bui Duy Khanh. He’s very friendly, and his English is really good. And as our private tour, he’s also very informative of its background and history on every major site that we’ve visited.

But I only did have one major concern, and that is in all of our tours, we’ve mostly used a taxi as our mode of transportation. So it had taken a big part of our budget. Luckily, we’ve only consumed for about 80% of what I’ve already set aside for that day.

Well if you are the very thrifty type of traveler, I would definitely suggest the Hanoi Free Walking Tours.

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Maison Centrale/Hoa Lo Prison

So what is the advantage of doing this?

Well aside from the fact that we will able to help these younger generations to practice their English. The good thing about availing for this free tour is that each traveler will have the chance to learn from a local’s perspective about the history, the culture and the people of Vietnam. Which is something that you won’t get to experience if you’ll just decide to do the tour on your own now that the Google Map is very handy nowadays in terms of traveling or exploring an unfamiliar place.

 

For our first tour, it was the Maison Centrale, or mostly known as the Hoa Lo Prison. It’s the place where the Vietnamese that went against the government were imprisoned, and tortured during the French Occupation. While exploring, I almost vomited inside, and I ‘am so not joking when I tell you that I was feeling nauseated while going to every cell, and see in person the kind of place that for sure would really disturb its every visitors. It’s just that, the thought of how they were tortured in some ways beyond your imagination was so insanely hard to grasp, and to think of all the pain that these people had gone through during those tough times. It’s just so sad and at the same time insanely creepy.

We were there for almost two hours before we’ve headed off to our next destination which was the Temple of Literature.

 

The Temple of Literature is an ancient temple and the very first university that was built in Vietnam. A thousand years old building which was dedicated to Confucius, sages, and scholars.

It was a very hot and humid late morning, and as much as we were trying our best to really listen to our tour guides’ insights about the place. My sister and I were really beyond exhausted to keep up and felt so bad for him. But then at the same time, we felt so grateful towards him because he was entirely patient to wait for us to rest, before we continue exploring.

 

After that, we had a short break by taking our lunch somewhere near the temple, (a place that was recommended by Mr. Khanh). But before our very short journey to the restaurant, I would like to share an experience in which we were actually scammed by our taxi driver. What happened was that, the driver acted out like he was not familiar of the place (it’s kind of hard to believe since his vehicle has a GPS), so he was driving off from one block onto another, and then go back as to where we were picked up at the main entrance of the temple; and from there, that’s when he had finally went straight ahead to the restaurant. And instead of paying the usual fare of 30,000 dong (P68 or $1.32); we were charged for about 60,000 dong (P135 or $2.64).

I know it’s not much compared to what we’ve heard from some Filipino travelers that we met on Halong Bay. Sharing that experience to its fellow travelers on how they were scammed from 100,000 dong (P225 or $4.50) all the way to 500,000 dong (P1,126 or $23) in just a matter of seconds. So I would definitely advice for you to be very careful in terms of booking a taxi especially from the airport to the city proper.

And at that time, I was kind of disappointed in our tour guide for not saying anything since he should know the exact direction of the place. But as already mentioned, we were so tired and hungry that we just sort of let it slip away and forgave the driver for doing something like that.

So moving forward at the restaurant, each one of us in our very small group had ordered such heavy meals for our lunch and it was very delicious.

 

We were there for about an hour, and during that time, we’ve had a sort of an open forum. In which Mr. Khanh was very generous to share with us about his experiences as a personal tour guide, and also enlightening with us the modern day culture of Vietnam, and how the war had molded them to aim a life in peace and tranquility. Also, in our part, my sister and I had pointed out some important information about the Philippines. Our history, our culture, the food, the day to day living of the Filipinos, and so many other things.

Then after eating our sumptuous meal, we went to visit the monument as to where Ho Chi Minh’s body was laid out and preserved for all the people to see. However, the place is only open for public viewing in the late morning. And in our case, we went there in the afternoon so we weren’t able to have the chance to go inside but had decided to take a picture of the monument.

 

Furthermore, who was Ho Chi Minh? And why is it that up to this day, he’s considered to be a very important figure in Vietnam history?

According to our tour guide, this man came from a very poor family background who leads a simple life, but because he love his country so much, and wants to help its people gain their freedom against the French government. He has decided to travel the world, working from one odd job to another, to learn about each country, and get some insights about its style of leadership, and from there, did some writing; for he’s also a journalist. And when he came back, he has done everything that he could to help his fellow countrymen in attaining their independence, and later on, was voted as the new leader of Vietnam.

 

Our next tour was the Presidential Vestige, the residential area of Ho Chi Minh during his leadership. Not the glamorous and French palace as you’ve surely seen in one of our pictures. Although at present, it is being used as a guest house to all of its very important foreign visitors.

His first house was located at the main entrance, in which he stayed there for about four years before moving into a simple bamboo structured type of residence. At first glance, the massive area kind of looks like that you’re in the French or English countryside. It is because the president loves to be with nature that he has requested to put up a variety of plants and a certain number of animals in which today still remains. I remember our tour guide sharing with us a story that when an Australian journalist had asked the president about his favorite working spot. He said that it was being outside in the garden that he tends to have the concentration that he needed the most in order to work.

An overview from a very inspiring leader who has dedicated his life to save and serve the people of Vietnam.

 

Anyway, my sister and I had both agreed that in our third day of exploring, this is definitely our most favorite place that we’ve visited. I mean, the place looks so picturesque that how we wish that we could live in that kind of peaceful environment. Then, for the last site to visit with Mr. Khanh, we head off to the One Pillar Pagoda. Which was a short walking distance from the Presidential Vestige. Legend has it that when a married man had prayed for a son, it was in that very same spot that he’d prayed wholeheartedly, and where his wish was granted.

That ends our day tour with Mr. Khanh, and after that, he guided us back to our hotel in the Hoan Kiem District. For our token of appreciation (cause giving cash is not allowed), Fatimah and I were actually not prepared as to what would be our gift for him. So we’ve decided to give him my sister’s “Privacy Glass Protectors for iPhones” in which she just bought before our trip to Vietnam. The reason was that we’ve both noticed in one of our discussions with him that he seems to enjoy talking about gadgets specifically about some iPhone accessories. So upon arrival at the hotel, my sister went back to our room to get it and give it to him. Then before saying our goodbyes, we took some photos together as a group.

 

Mr. Khan, if there’s an opportunity that you will be able to read this blog of mine. I just want to say that, Fatimah and I are so grateful that you’ve been our assigned tour guide on that day. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much for all the things that you’ve shared to us. We wish you all the best, and hopefully, after attaining your college degree, you will be able to pursue your plans of traveling to Singapore and Australia, and also to so many other places. Hope to keep in touch with you via email or Facebook. Again, Maraming Salamat (Thank You) and God Bless.

The tour ended at around four in the afternoon, so we still had time. And since it’s the last day of the night market, we had to make sure that we will be able to finish buying the souvenirs that we wanted to give for our friends and family back home. So after staying at the hotel to rest and freshen up. We went out again to start exploring the night market for the second time around.

 

Just a little thought before we continue, I would like to point out that our trip to Vietnam was not just about visiting some of the best spots that the country could offer. But we also took the chance to explore one of the most authentic parts of its main capital.

So wanna see the real Hanoi?

Wander around to every nook and corner of its old alleyways like the old quarter, and you will see the culture and day to day living of the Vietnamese people. Well, it was truly a mind-boggling experience, but it was something that we will never ever forget.

An insight that made me so grateful because I have gained something new in my quest to learn more about each place that I would visit and explore.

 

So on our last chance to experience the night market in Hanoi, I would definitely say that it was truly an evening to remember because the crowd had gotten way bigger than the other night. Plus, we really had a great time walking from one corner to another, trying to blend in with everyone around us.

Another advice, try to make sure that your visit to Vietnam falls on the weekend. For you will have so much fun experiencing the night life there; almost to the point that you’ll lost track of the time, and the next thing you’ll know, it’s already way past midnight.

 

As for buying some souvenirs, I’ve already mentioned that shopping in there can be very cheap. That for about P 2,000 ($40 or 1M Dong), you can insanely buy tons of items not just for yourself, but also for also for your friends and family. Just don’t forget to bargain at a very big discount.

So that’s how our third day have turned out to be, and I’m so looking forward to share with you our fourth day in Vietnam. Which was a side trip to the Ninh Binh Province to visit its Hoa Lu Temples, and enjoy a river cruise in Tam Coc.

Thank you so much for reading.

 

 

DAY 1: The Vietnam Project: First Day in Hanoi

DAY 2: The Vietnam Project: Halong Bay Tour

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The Vietnam Project: Halong Bay Tour

“Search the globe, and you will never find a place that looks remotely like this.”

-Anthony Bourdain

Our second day in Vietnam is a full day trip to the 2,000 islets of Halong Bay, a very popular destination, and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Well I remember on that early morning when I was kind of worried about the weather since it was raining on our first day in Hanoi, but luckily it had slowly turned into a sunny day.

It was expected that it’s going to be a long trip, so my sister and I had to wake up way too early in order to prepare for it, and also because we don’t want to keep our travel agent waiting for us. By 8:30 in the morning, we were picked up by our tour guide at the hotel lobby, and assisted us to the bus that was already waiting outside.

Along with some fellow Asian travelers on board, the shuttle bus was kind of full packed. So it’s a good thing that we were still able to get such comfortable seats since the trip will take for about four hours to travel, and while we were halfway through our journey, we’ve had a short stop over at a souvenir shop in order to take a break for about 15 minutes.

I think it was around lunch time when we had finally arrived at the port, and from there, head off straight as to where our assigned boat was located. Then upon boarding and at the start of our cruising around the bay, all of its travelers were given a sumptuous and delicious seafood with Vietnamese dishes for lunch. Of course, we all ate right away due to the fact that all of us were so hungry from that road trip; and while eating, we were utterly enjoying the wonderful view outside.

After that, we were given the free time to relax at the sun deck, to explore around the boat, to take it all in the amazing views around us, and as usual, to take some photos.

In our tour, we were also given the option to Kayak in the emerald-green waters of the bay, or go for a bamboo boat ride. But all of us in our group had decided to go for the latter option.

By the time it was our turn, my sister and I were paired with a young Indian woman and her mother.

So while our designated local guide was rowing the boat for all of us, we both take turns in taking some pictures to one another, and for that, I will always remember them for being so nice and so kind towards me and Fatimah.

Moving forward, the Bamboo boat ride was such a fun experience especially when we get to see some islets of the bay in a much closer look, including some local families who actually live in a boat. But I was kind of disturbed because I’ve noticed that there are some scattered pieces of a Styrofoam floating around near the small caves. I just hope that the locals would do something about it, because it’s such a pity to see a marvelous place slowly turning into a garbage area.

I almost forgot, by the way, in case that you will have the opportunity to encounter a local seller in Halong Bay that sells some souvenir items for a price of 15,000 dong (P34) or below. I truly suggest that you will buy it right away because it’s such a bargain, and those products back in Hanoi would cost for about 20,000 – 40,000 dong per item.

For our next stop, it was the Thien Cung Cave (Heavenly Palace Cave). I think this part in our tour was definitely the most exhausting thing that we all did. Probably it was due to the fact that we had to climb quite a number of stairs just to get there. Moreover, it was so crowded. Tons of foreign visitors. So it’s either you’ll enjoy it there, or you won’t. Well in our case, we’ve had a wonderful time wandering in that area.

Well anyway, the Cave was enchanting and colorful to look at; but instead of taking photos, I’ve used my time there to just walk around, observing the place, and just letting my sister Fatimah take most of the pictures. After that, we were back once again to our boat in preparation for our trip back to the mainland, and while on cruise, we’ve had the rare opportunity to witness the beautiful sunset around Halong Bay. Which is truly a magnificent sight to see.

The thing is, for years I’ve been wanting to see Halong Bay in person, and never mind that it was such a long road trip because from the moment that our boat had started cruising around the bay, I’ve tried to grasp everything right before my very eyes. Already getting an idea of what my idol Anthony Bourdain had felt back then when he went to visit there for two days. Furthermore, it looks so beautifully majestic that made the journey all worth it. And because we really had a great time conversing with our fellow travelers on board, my sister and I are also grateful to the them for making that day a very memorable one; like our tour guide, two travelers from Thailand, one Singaporean, and a group of Filipino travelers from Manila (who are also our fellow passengers on our flight going to Hanoi), and so many more.

Then at around eight in the evening, we were officially back to Hanoi, and all of us were dropped off back to our respective hotels.

It was still an early evening, so my sister and I had decided to go out again after taking a short break; and since it was also the weekend, we had the chance to experience the night market in Hanoi; an awesome evening with a big crowd and lots of stalls that sells so many affordable products (in which Hanoi is already getting known for). From food, clothes, shoes, souvenir items, bags, toys. There are just so many things to buy!

Even for a budget of 500,000 dong (P 1,000 or $20), there are tons of items that you can purchase in that kind of amount.

Some tips, bargain all the way and go for the reasonable price that you are aiming for. So how can you do it? Be a good negotiator, and don’t just buy right away, because not all stalls sell the same price for a certain product and it actually differs from one corner to another. So be very meticulous in terms of purchasing an item that you wanted to buy.

Plus, we also had the chance to try the Vietnamese edition of KFC. And I’m so sorry that I’m going to say this but, I think our Filipino version is so much better and tastier.

Overall, it was a very unforgettable night and we really had so much fun blending in with such a massive crowd, which also made us look forward to the next night market.

And that’s the story of our second day of exploring.

Thank you so much for reading, and will keep you posted to the next part of our story.

 

DAY 1: The Vietnam Project: First Day in Hanoi

DAY 3: The Vietnam Project: Hanoi Free Tour Guides

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen (Book Review)

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GOODREADS SUMMARY:

The women of the Waverley family — whether they like it or not — are heirs to an unusual legacy, one that grows in a fenced plot behind their Queen Anne home on Pendland Street in Bascom, North Carolina. There, an apple tree bearing fruit of magical properties looms over a garden filled with herbs and edible flowers that possess the power to affect in curious ways anyone who eats them.

For nearly a decade, 34-year-old Claire Waverley, at peace with her family inheritance, has lived in the house alone, embracing the spirit of the grandmother who raised her, ruing her mother’s unfortunate destiny and seemingly unconcerned about the fate of her rebellious sister, Sydney, who freed herself long ago from their small town’s constraints. Using her grandmother’s mystical culinary traditions, Claire has built a successful catering business — and a carefully controlled, utterly predictable life — upon the family’s peculiar gift for making life-altering delicacies: lilac jelly to engender humility, for instance, or rose geranium wine to call up fond memories.

Garden Spells reveals what happens when Sydney returns to Bascom with her young daughter, turning Claire’s routine existence upside down. With Sydney’s homecoming, the magic that the quiet caterer has measured into recipes to shape the thoughts and moods of others begins to influence Claire’s own emotions in terrifying and delightful ways.

As the sisters reconnect and learn to support one another, each finds romance where she least expects it, while Sydney’s child, Bay, discovers both the safe home she has longed for and her own surprising gifts. With the help of their elderly cousin Evanelle, endowed with her own uncanny skills, the Waverley women redeem the past, embrace the present, and take a joyful leap into the future.

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MY BOOK REVIEW:

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen was the first novel that I’ve read by her and it was such a wonderful and magical story. Kind of reminds me of that old movie entitled “Practical Magic” starring Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock. Well it’s not the same story but the whole concept of old magical spells, and a small town community was somewhat a bit similar. Anyway, I’m usually not keen on reading novels in which its genre is all about magical realism. But I must say, the book was definitely amazing.

Furthermore, it’s the kind of tale that emphasizes the importance of having one’s family to support you through thick and thin. And that’s what the characters of Claire and Sydney have shown its readers – the value of being supportive and loving to one another, and even though that their childhood days was a bit tough, and as sisters, there was some kind of strain into their relationship. But time has shown them the importance of sisterhood, and giving love a chance to be a part of their lives.

Well speaking of romance, which was more like a secondary theme into story, was such a giddy and additional treat in the novel especially when it gets to the part about Claire and Tyler’s not so unusual love story.

Moreover, the author has written it in a style that’s entirely simple and catchy for its readers.

Then as I’ve already written, it’s a story that deals with something in the world of fantasy and magical realism; like the moving apple tree, and what would happen to that person when he/she would try to take a bite of the apple from that particular tree. Plus including its strange community!
Another thing that I’ve also observed as a reader was that the story seems so real that things like that could happen. However, after reading the whole the book, it just got me thinking, “Hey, it’s just a story but how nice it would be if it can happen in real life!”

And I tell you guys, this novel will truly make you fall in love of its author Sarah Addison Allen, and would entice you to read the rest of her books!

 

Well that’s it for now. Till me next book review.

Thank you so much for reading! 🙂

 

 

 

Unplugging During My Road Trips to the Beach

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“Disconnecting in order to reconnect.”

A realization that came over me during those short road trips to the beach.

The thing is I think it’s best to disconnect and unplugged from technology every now and then, because one of the most authentic moments happens when we really connect ourselves to those people around us. However, I’ am so NOT talking about connecting via social media, chatting, texting, or calling. It’s about spending quality time with them without being stuck into our gadgets. Just leave it somewhere, and capture the actual experience yourself.

Furthermore, when it comes to taking photos of every mundane things that are happening into our lives; no camera could ever really capture the beauty and wonder to all the things that are happening right in front of you. So be in the moment, and take it all in. Which is by the way, more special than any photo in our gadgets, or albums. For the unforgettable memories stored into our minds and hearts are the ones that we should truly treasure.

And lastly, this thing called “Technology” is there to help us ease our day to day living. But, it is not something that we should depend on especially when its slowly disconnecting us to what is REAL.

Thank you so much for reading! 🙂

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover (Book Review)

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GOODREADS SUMMARY:

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

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MY BOOK REVIEW:

The whole intense love story of Miles and Tate just blew me away.
Cause from the first moment Ms.Colleen Hoover had made a post about her upcoming novel in all of her social media accounts, I just knew that I’m going to love this book, and according to her, of all the male characters that she has ever written, Miles Archer is the only one that made her so emotional that it truly made her cry while writing the novel.

However, it wasn’t actually in my plan to read it right away after it was published. But a few weeks after it was released, I’ve been seeing tons of top reviews about the book in Goodreads and in Facebook, stating that the story is just simply amazing. So it was a major influence for me to buy a copy. And as expected, it didn’t disappoint me at all. For it was so addictive to read.

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As for the story, it’s definitely your typical kind of love story. There’s this guy who is so emotionally shattered and damaged; who is so afraid of love because of his past. And then there’s this girl who could wake up him from his nightmare, and show him the beauty of falling in love all over again. But what I like about the story of Miles and Tate was their intense and passionate emotions (which were described in such detail in the novel).

So how would I describe it?

I would say that Colleen Hoover had truly given each character the source of their emotions, so that as a reader, we can truly understand as to why they seem to be that way. Like Tate Collins, she seems to be an extraordinary type of person- smart, beautiful, and kind. But when it comes to love, she just tends to feel that like she’s still looking for the biggest spark and momentous moment. Little did she know that on her first day into living temporarily in her brother’s apartment, her life will never be the same. As for Miles Archer, he’s someone who has a haunting past; a young pilot who’s been living a meaningless life for the past six years, and being entirely and only committed to his work like there’s no tomorrow; it’s like living a life without any substance at all. Then everything started to change when he’d finally met Tate. For she was the shining beacon of his life who never gave up on him, even though she already knows that in the long run it might either shatter her, or give her the thing that she truly desire.
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Moreover, Ms. Colleen Hoover did a marvelous job in writing such a passionate love story, because she made a typical story into something that is so unforgettable to all of its readers. And the song that was composed for this book is truly amazing. For it describes what Miles truly feels for Tate; a beautiful story for all the romantics out there.

That’s it for now, and till my next book review.

Thank you so much for reading. 🙂

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (Book Review)

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GOODREADS REVIEW:

January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

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MY BOOK REVIEW:

 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a heartwarming and delightful novel to read. The kind of book that you will certainly recommend to every readers out there, and would love to read all over again.

The thing is that I’ am so not into historical fictions (especially when you’re talking about the “German Occupation”). But unexpectedly, I really enjoyed my time getting into the world of Juliet Ashton and the residents of Guernsey. A story that I was looking out into my Goodreads account from time to time – including its ratings and reviews. However, it really took me awhile to give this one a try (years actually). So a few weeks ago, I’ve decided to buy a second hand copy of the 1st edition on eBay for a very good price, and I’m just glad that I took the risk of buying the novel because it was totally worth it.

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For the story wasn’t just unforgettable, but also a very well written historical and epistolary novel. Plus, the way the book was written by its two authors, Mary Ann Shafer and Annie, Barrows, was somewhat easy on the eye, and affable to its readers. Making them feel like they were being transported in a different era of bookworms and writers. A world in which the simple pleasures of reading gives comfort and solace to those people who were unfortunate to experience such hard and difficult times.

And I must say, as a reader of this wonderful tale of a young authoress who’ve found such new friends, family, and home in a small island, I find the story entirely charming, witty, smart, and sweet. Honestly, there a lot of words to describe it. Well apart from that, I would also like to point out that it was a very insightful one to read because it gave me an idea on how each individual (including its society) were changed during and after the war. Moreover, some knowledge of the famous books and authors in the early 1900’s. Hmm, I guess every generation has its own taste of books and genre.
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Then another thing that made me so happy about the book is that the film adaptation is officially on its way starring Lily James (Downton Abbey), Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones), Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey), and Matthew Goode (Downton Abbey). For more updates on the upcoming movie you can just check it out on IMDb.com, and at present the current status is filming.

So the excitement was really there when I’ve first heard the news, and I just hope that it’s going to be a well-made film adaptation.

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Well, that’s it for now. Till my next book review.

Thank you so much for reading.

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch (Book Review) 

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Oh what a beautiful story about a young adult who went halfway across the world to fulfill a promise, and along the way it had made her discover a lot of things about her mother, and especially about herself.

Plus, I was officially hooked, and after reading it, I knew that there was just something fishy and mysterious about Lina’s identity especially about her parents.

Anyway, as a reader of the story, you could totally feel like you were actually there in Florence, Italy. Taking it all in the beauty of the place, imagining yourself walking along the Piazza Signoria while eating your gelato.

Then another thing is that it is such a surprise to know that only a few weeks ago, I’ve just finished reading a book written by Richard Paul Evans. Who is actually the father of Jenna Evans Welch, the author of this very heartwarming novel. I mean, what a coincidence!

And if you’re such a fan of Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat Pray Love” then this book is definitely a must read for you especially if you’re totally into traveling. Cause reading this tends to feel like you’re actually exploring Italy even if you’re only within the walls of your bedroom, or laying in your couch. It’s like traveling using your book.