Travel Blog

Hotels in San Francisco Chinatown

June 4, 2019
Chinatown in San Francisco is incredible with so many dim sum restaurants, Chinese shops and a lot of snacks to choose from!

Luckily, there are also a lot of hotels in chinatown in San Francisco. Here are the options:

Royal Pacific Motor Inn

Just down the street from Dim Sum Bistro, a bakery, Chinese supermarket and pretty much never needing to repark your car is Royal Pacific Motor Inn! Their rates are more afforable than the rest and the plus side is they offer free parking with your stay! One thing you'll learn quickly when you go to San Francisco is that parking can cost a lot of money.

Address: 661 Broadway St., San Francisco, CA 94133

SW Hotel 
Located at the intersection of two of San Francisco's most exciting neighborhoods, Chinatown and North Beach, the SW hotel is just a short walk from some of the city's finest dining, shopping, and attractions. You can park in their parking structure of the hotel building. Downstairs from the hotel are businesses making this so convenient. The decor of the hotel inside is of Chinese flair. You'll have to check it out. Address: 615 Broadway Street San Francisco, CA 94133

Hilton San Francisco Financial District
Stay in the heart of San Francisco, California, steps from the city’s thriving neighborhoods. Just steps from the hotel you’ll find many of the city’s renowned attractions including the Financial District, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Union Square. They offer complimentary shuttle to the airport! Literally across the street from amazing Chinese family style restaurants, boba shops and noodle house! Address: 750 Kearny Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

Stay You'll Stay by Kai Song reminds me of AOL era

May 19, 2019
I'm going to take you back, way back. Today I was reminiscing R & B songs from the 90s and thinking back to my early teenage years. I suddenly looked up Kai "Say You'll Stay" song by an Asian-American group and played it over and over again. I almost wanted to cry. There were so many people on the internet in early AOL days who loved that song. It was burned on CD's, dedicated to girls on pager intros (before cell phones were big) and used as the theme songs for many relationships. So here it is, a dedication from me to all you OG internet people.


May you have good luck for 2019

February 1, 2019
Well, here it comes; my animal year! 2019 will be the year of the pig starting on Tues, February 5th, 2019. It only comes every 12 years. 

I've been feeling a bit under the weather lately. I've got a bit of a medical problem that I pray will work itself out. I've also been going through a big transition in my life. I just moved, like 8 states from where I was at. Sometimes when life has been going so well, you forget the other sad elements that can come too. It's just how life is, and never perfect all the time. 

So I pray that we all get what we deserve in the new lunar year. Work hard, play hard and live smart. << That's my motto. Everything needs to have a balance. 

See a List of Upcoming Lunar New Year Festivals in San Diego


AIM is no more and old users are saddened

November 11, 2018
At the end of 2017, AIM (America Online Instant Messenger) was discontinued. Synonymous with the beginning usage of the internet by my generation as teenagers, it was the start of many people's interest of using a computer, every single day. This was over 20 years ago for me when I started using AIM. 

The abbreviation ASL was understood by everyone in the chatroom. Random strangers would start conversations with you without knowing anything about you except for your screen name. And then they hope that judging by your screen name, they could guess your gender. Sometimes, I'd get it wrong. Now, thinking about it makes me laugh! 

Filled with young people who couldn't drive, had strict parents or didn't know how to socialize well in person, AIM and the AOL chatrooms were their haven to express themselves without fear of being judged. This was where I learned how to talk 'ghetto', even though my English was proper and I knew my grammar. It started an interesting culture of people that carried on to outside the chat box too. 

People could meet other people from different countries without having to use a phone! This was huge back then. Today we use a phone for everything!  People would end up sitting down on their computers just to chat for hours. I know I did it. I created my very first website as a teenager (using a template, of course) because I wanted to have a way to share my pictures to people I would meet in the AOL chat room. Doesn't that sound pathetic? Of course I don't do that any more! It's been decades but to think what started it all; I could only think of AOL. 

AOL and AIM were the prequel to Facebook and Facebook messenger, by decades. In some ways they are so different but similar at the same time. It's funny to me how every once in awhile I'll think about AOL and try to remember what my screen name was. It was so long ago and I've forgotten. Do you remember yours? 

I know many of my friends also ended up meeting people they met in the chat room in person! Most of the time, the girl gets disappointed and ended up not talking to that person any more after meeting them. There have been a few success stories but they are really rare. 

I found out that they started AIM Phoenix and that if you want, you can sign up and create an account using the same screen name that you used for the old AIM, if it hasn't been claimed yet. Who knows, maybe this AIM Phoenix will replace Facebook. The world may never know.

And for you younglings, the ASL abbreviation I mentioned about stood for Age, Sex, Location. There, you have it. 

Asian Corner in Charlotte for Pho and Banh Mi

September 9, 2018
For Labor Day weekend, we were in Charlotte, North Carolina to visit the Carowinds and also made a stop to our favorite banh mi restaurant called Le's Sandwiches and tried a pho restaurant nearby. They were both located at the Asian Corner shopping center.

I have never seen a Vietnamese sandwich this small and see it be so incredibly successful. The owner, who is always the cashier, only takes cash but charges tax on all of his transactions. I've never been handed a receipt from this place and as much as I don't like being robbed of my money, I still shell out my cash for their delicious and well-made Vietnamese banh mi (sandwiches). I always get the #1 (banh mi thit nguoi, also known as the combination).

In the same shopping center, we went to Truc's Restaurant. The pho did not seem fresh to me but the flavor was all there. They also had bun bo hue, bun rieu and other popular Vietnamese dishes. 

Around Vietnamese New Year, this Asian Corner shopping center usually hosts a tet celebration with lion dances and firecrackers.

This shopping center also has a supermarket. Although the building is a bit run down, there is real potential for this place to grow.
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