Pagoda Projects Watchlist
Are you getting everything ready for your Pagoda Projects programme and counting down the days until you jump on the plane? Are your friends and family asking you loads of questions about your upcoming experience and even you aren’t sure what to expect?
We hope that our watchlist will get you excited to explore the sights and sounds of what is going to be your new home for a months. Why not download a couple of our suggestions to pass the time on your flight out…
Netflix // IMDb
A 10-part documentary series chronicling the Vietnam war featuring the soldiers, protesters, politicians and families who lived it.Amazon Prime // IMDb
An in-depth documentary about on refugee family’s attempts to face its divided past and heal the motional wounds of the Vietnam War.IMDb
Separated at the end of the Vietnam war, an “Americanized” woman and her Vietnamese mother are reunited after 22 years.Amazon Prime // IMDb
Anthony returns to one of his favourite places on Earth, journeying to the centre of the country, near the coast and to a city he has never been to, Hue.Netflix // IMDb
Snail and broken rice are staples of Ho Chi Minh City’s Outdoorsy street food culture which has been shaped by both history and family memory.YouTube // IMDb
Luke Nguyen, acclaimed owner and chef of the Sydney restaurant ‘The Red Lantern’, returns to the country of his heritage to take a culinary journey through the northern regions of Vietnam.Amazon Prime // IMDb
An old British reporter vies with a young U.S. doctor for the affections of a beautiful Vietnamese woman.IMDb
Two plain clothed U.S. military policemen on duty in war-time Saigon investigating serial killings when their job becomes even harder.Amazon Prime // IMDb
In the mid 1960s, President Lyndon B. Johnson and his foreign-policy team debate the decision to withdraw from or escalate the war in Vietnam.BBC // IMDb
Sue Perkins embarks on a life-changing, 3,000-mile journey up the Mekong, South East Asia’s greatest river, exploring lives and landscapes on the point of dramatic change.Amazon Prime // IMDb
A vicarious thrill ride as Tony discovers Vietnam from the buzzing streets of Hanoi to the rural beauty of the Montagnards, and the mysterious Island of Mr. Sang. This episode shows exactly why Tony has been completely seduced by Vietnam and its people.
Amazon Prime // IMDb
An American finds refuge during the 1937 Japanese invasion of Nanking in a church with a group of women. Posing as a priest, he attempts to lead the women to safety.Netflix // IMDb
A boy and his mother move to California for a new job. He struggles to fit in, as a group of karate students starts to bully him for dating a rich girl from their clique. It’s up to the Japanese landlord, Miyagi, to teach him karate.Netflix // IMDb
Renowned warrior Yu Shu-Lien comes out of retirement to keep the legendary Green Destiny sword away from villainous warlord Hades DaiAmazon Prime // IMDb
Anthony travels to Shanghai. Forget all the antiquated views your might hold about a communist-run, creativity-devoid bunch of state-controlled androids. The modern China is a vibrant, dynamic monument to capitalism. And nowhere is that more glaringly obvious than in Shanghai, a city housing 116,000 billionaires and multimillionaires who modestly call themselves the ‘bao fa hu’ or ‘explosive rich’.Netflix // IMDb
Tofu pudding. Fish head soup. Goat stew. The family-owned street stalls of Chiayi are bastions of Taiwan’s culinary traditions.Amazon Prime // IMDb
Pull up a stool and get your chopsticks ready – A Bite of China is the quintessential TV series on all things Chinese cuisine – from its rich history to the rarest dishes and wildest ingredients. Shot in more than 60 locations and featuring top chefs of the culinary world – it will surprise even the most jaded foodies around.Amazon Prime // IMDb
A couple embarks on a journey home for Chinese new year along with 130 million other migrant workers, to reunite with their children and struggle for a future. Their unseen story plays out as China soars towards being a world superpower.BBC // IMDb
Dan Snow, Anita Rani and Ade Adepitan go behind the scenes to reveal the hidden systems and armies of people running some of the greatest cities on earth.Channel 4
With unique access to the Forbidden City, this documentary reveals the spectacular history of the world’s largest palace, and the secrets of its astonishing design.Amazon Prime // IMDb
A Chinese family discovers their grandmother has only a short while left to live and decide to keep her in the dark, scheduling a wedding to gather before she dies.Amazon Prime // IMDb
The story of two men, who met as apprentices in the Peking Opera, and stayed friends for over 50 years.Amazon Prime // IMDb
This Oscar-winning biopic traces the life of Pu Yi, the last of the great emperors of China, from his ascent to the throne at the age of three, in 1908, to the time he was imprisoned in the Forbidden City, witnessing decased of cultural and political upheaval.Amazon Prime // IMDb
True story of Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountain climber who became friends with the Dalai Lama at the time of China’s takeover of Tibet.YouTube
Reggie discovers contemporary China, diving deep into four megacities in search of the new generations transforming their future.BBC // IMDb
A cookery show focusing on Chinese food, with demonstrations of how to make various Chinese dishes.Channel 4 // IMDb
Guy martin’s love of industry and endeavour leads him to china, where he reveals the unseen side of its innovation, technological development and gigantic manufacturing.Netflix // IMDb
In post-industrial Ohio, a Chinese billionaire opens a factory in an abandoned General Motors plant, hiring two thousand Americans. Early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America.
Netflix // IMDb
At the forefront of transforming Mexican cuisine, Enrique Olvera champions traditional ingredients under a haute perspective as he delves into the roots of Mexico to create award-winning dishes at his restaurant, Pujol.Netflix // IMDb
A look at the life of notorious drug kingpin, El Chapo, from his early days in the 1980s working for the Guadalajara Cartel, to his rise to power of during the ’90s and his ultimate downfall in 2016.Amazon Prime // IMDb
A horrific car accident connects three stories, each involving characters dealing with loss, regret, and life’s harsh realities, all in the name of love.Amazon Prime // IMDb
Bourdain travels to Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Cuernavaca to commune with local residents who express their passion through food, art, and the struggle for an improved quality of life. Bourdain talks with journalist Anabel Hernández on the impact of the area’s drug trade-related violence and how it affects local quality of life.Amazon Prime // IMDb
A documentary on some of contemporary Mexico’s most iconic artists and performers.IMDb
A documentary feature about the life of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.Amazon Prime // IMDb
Tomas is too much for his lone mother so she sends him to live with his older brother Federico, aka Sombra, in Mexico City.BBC // IMDb
Dan Snow, Anita Rani and Ade Adepitan go behind the scenes to reveal the hidden systems and armies of people running some of the greatest cities on earth.Netflix // IMDb
A journey through the colorful and varied world of Tacos.BBC // IMDb
In 1968 the young Rick travelled down the Pacific Coast Highway to the Mexican border and beyond. 50 years later he retraces his steps from San Francisco to Mexico enjoying unique dishes and meeting chefs. Amazon Prime // IMDb
Tony heads to Mexico with Carlos,who took over Tony’s old job.IMDb
Two young Mexican attorneys attempt to exonerate a wrongly convicted man by making a documentary. In the process, they expose the contradictions of a judicial system that presumes suspects guilty until proven innocent.
As a Mexican that has experienced culture and life in China, it was really hard to come back to my own country and forget about life over there, and their amazing food, culture, traditions and people. When I came back to Mexico City, the first thing on my list was to find the best Chinese food in town. Due to business, cultural interest and technology, Mexico City has become a multicultural city in the past few years, and luckily it has a few good options!
This city is known for its diverse choices in food, traditions, people and places and in the last few years Chinese culture has become one of many new cultures in Mexico. With nearly 25 million people living in Mexico City we can find something for everyone, so I am going to show you the top 6 most delicious Chinese restaurants in this enormous and fascinating city.
6. Restaurant Tong Fung.
Located in ChinaTown, Mexico City, this place has a unique vibe that will transport you back to a local restaurant in China during Chinese New Year. Full of decor and Chinese flavor we mark Tong Fung as our option number 6.
5. Oriental Bar Restaurant
If you ever want to experience Chinese food the way Mexicans do, then this is the place for you. Oriental Bar bring out the best of the Chinese cuisines and adds some Mexican flavour to it. Definitely a place you want to try if you stay in Mexico City long enough.
4. Hong King
Just a few blocks away from the Pagoda Projects Mexico offices we find Hong King. If you want to experience a more cantonese flavour from Hong Kong, don’t hesitate to try out Hong King. Served in a traditional Chinese way, with the best flavors of canton, we rank Hong King as our number 4 favorite place.
3. Ka Won Seng
If you want tradicional, accessible and delicious Chinese food, then Ka Won Seng is the place for you. With accessible prices and delicious food, Ka Wong Seng will give you a full experience of what is like to eat in a local restaurant in China.
2. Asian Bay
If you want to experience a glamorous evening, then Asian Bay is the place for you. You will experience the true flavors of Asia, focusing on Chinese cuisine most of all. During the day you can have a relaxing and delicious meal, and during the night this place will transport you back to China, with spectacular shows that will blow your mind. This is a perfect place to have a fun evening.
1. YI Ping You
We have been talking mostly about traditional Chinese food, but there is nothing like a good touch of spicy Sichuan flavor in your food. This place is known for being traditional and authentic, and some even say it is the best place for Sichuan food in all of Mexico. Yi Ping You places as our favorite and number 1 Chinese restaurant in Mexico City.
Enjoy your Meal!
Get in touch:
I have just returned from a two and a half month stay in the great metropolis of Mexico City. It’s an incredibly vibrant place, every district has something new and exciting to offer. From delicious smelling Tacos, Churros and fruit stalls everywhere, to an endless selection of museums and cafes. There are also green parks throughout the city full of dog walkers and pop-up handicraft stands. But how safe is it?
Mexico does still have a bit of a scary reputation abroad. How well deserved is that reputation? Is safety something that you need to worry about when travelling there?
The answer is, sure. Every major metropolitan city in the world has its own risks and of course, all travellers should be aware of possible problems. BUT DON’T LET IT STOP YOU!
Before running our first InternMexico programme we did a lot of research on the topic, with the help of our partners Fortress Risk Management and IBERO University:
Risk Assessing Mexico City from Pagoda Projects on Vimeo.
As part of Orientation Week with our participants, we sat down and had a long discussion about any potential dangers or concerns and recommended precautions.
Here are a few top tips we’ve put together. I’ve also asked our InternMexico participants to reflect back on their experiences in the city:
We had a full day safety orientation day with a third party company who have talked us through potential situations. Luckily, I personally had not have to use any of those measures.
TOP TIP NO.1
Uber is highly recommended as the safest form of transport for getting around the city, especially at night (on average between 29 MXN to 130 MXN/£1.20 – £5.40/$1.48 – $6.65*).
The Metrobus system is also great during the day (single journey costs 5 MXN/£0.21 GBP/$0.26*).
I felt very safe throughout my time in Mexico, however the safety briefing in the very first week was helpful as it made me aware of potential dangers in the city.
Sam, Scotland, UK
TOP TIP NO.2
Try not to carry ALL your bank cards, mountains of cash and favourite jewellery in your bag. Why not separate things out into a second wallet or purse?
Even better still leave your actual bank card behind and transfer small amounts of money onto a cash card (like Monzo or Starling) for daily use. Foreign cards are widely accepted everywhere in Mexico City (apart from some of the market stalls).
Mexico City is a safe city if you pay attention to everything and don’t do the things you are told not to do at the orientation week.
TOP TIP NO.3
Dumb down the bling. If you don’t stand out then you have nothing to fear! Be sociable, make friends and ask them for local advice.
Mexico city is safer than I thought. People there are friendly and outstanding.
TOP TIP NO.4
There’s actually a ton of advice out here on the internet. If you are thinking of heading anywhere off the beaten track, a good place to start is your government’s foreign office advice online.
It’s safe in Mexico City, but still need to be careful.
I’ll leave you with my final thoughts, so long as you are aware of your surroundings, watch out for your fellow friends and travellers, you’ll be fine.
If you have any questions about personal safety during an InternMexico programme don’t hesitate to get in touch!
*currency conversions on this blog were last updated on 6th September 2019.
Get in touch:
So you want to come to Mexico City for an internship? Perhaps you are wondering, “How much money should I budget for daily life in Mexico?”
The good news is, your money can go a long way in Mexico City. You can get street food for about 30 – 75 Pesos (MXN) for a few tacos, and spend 200 – 350 MXN in a restaurant when you want to splurge! Even drinks can be cheap, with beers generally from 50-80 MXN and cocktails in the region of 170 MXN. Some bars even sell beer for as low as 20 MXN.
For travel, we recommend the Metrobús as the most convenient public transport. A single journey costs 6 MXN. You can also sign up to ecobici, a system of public bicycles which you can use to get around the city and are well maintained. You can buy a ecobici membership card for 496 MXN, which gives you unlimited 45 minute rides for the whole duration of your stay.
For the current exchange rates, please see here.
1 GBP = 28.45 MXN
1 EURO = 23.98 MXN
1 USD = 21.32 MXN
1 AUD = 15.34 MXN
1 NZD = 14.67 MXN
**Exchange rates as of 24/11/2021
Your individual lifestyle is the main factor that will determine your budget. It will vary depending on what transportation you decide to take, personal dining preferences, nightlife and more.
Below, we have put together some budget estimates of your expenses in daily life during your time with us. In general, you can live on a low budget and still be able to live quite well. For those looking to spend a little more, there are also medium and high budget estimates. See which budget is right for you!
All apartments will have kitchens, so you will have the option to cook your own meals. Making your own meals and packed lunches is a great way to save money.
For those looking to save money while still having fun and trying new things.
|Expense Type||Cost per week||Description|
|Transport||60-100MXN/week||Metro (5MXN), Metrobus (6MXN), ecobici (free w/membership)|
|Food||1000MXN/week||2 lunches out (90MXN); Dinner out (150MXN); Snacks (60MXN)|
Packed lunches & eating in most days (700MXN/basic weekly shop)
|Treats||400MXN/week||One night out per week including a few drinks/taxi|
|Events/Activities||400MXN/week||Attending an event, tourist site or fun activity every weekend|
For those who go to the gym, eat more western food or spend more in other ways:
|Expense Type||Cost per week||Description|
|Transport||240MXN/week||Taxi (60MXN) 3x/week; Metro (5MXN); Metrobus (6MXN)|
|Food||1000MXN/week||Lunch (50MXN); Dinner (120MXN); Breakfast/snacks (30MXN)|
Eating in 4x /week
|Treats||600MXN/week||gym, nights out with reasonable priced drinks, travelling to places within the region|
|Events/Activities||1200MXN/week||Attending an event, tourist site or fun activity every weekend|
For those who would like to spend more on cocktail bars, taxis or foreign imports:
|Expense Type||Cost per week||Description|
|Transport||840MXN/week||Taxis (60MXN) 2x/day; Metro (5MXN); Metrobus (6MXN)|
|Food||2,000MXN/week||Lunch (80MXN); Dinner (150MXN); Breakfast/snacks (60MXN)|
|Treats||1,500MXN/week||Nights out at classy clubs and cocktail bars; Shopping for foreign imports; Gym; Individual travel|
|Events/Activities||1,500MXN/week||Attending an event, tourist site or fun activity every weekend|
As you can see, you don’t need too much money in Mexico City to have a good time. Be careful when you have a craving to buy a cup of coffee or give into the temptation to use cheap Ubers to get to work instead of taking the bus, as not everything is cheaper in Mexico, and all the little costs can quite quickly add up. All in all, however, you should find that your monthly budget in Mexico is significantly less than it is back at home!
For international payments, we always recommend using TransferWise. They’re cheaper than the banks, because they always use the real exchange rate – which you can see on Google – and charge a very small fee. They’re also safe and trusted by over 2 million people around the world. You can sign up here.