VIETNAM FOOD IN REAL EXPERIENCES

Vietnam is considered one of the most attractive culinary destinations in the world. Tourists coming to Vietnam will have many opportunities to enjoy Vietnam food throughout this S-shaped country.

Hanoi – The destination for traditional food

As you know, Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and the most vibrant city of the Northern Vietnam. The culinary tour starts by a walk in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Tourists will taste all local traditional food specialties like Banh Cuon (Steam rice pancake rolled with cooked pork, ear mushroom, and minced shallots), Bun Cha (Rice Noodle with grilled pork), Pho (Rice Noodle soup with beef or chicken),… some dishes you can take while walking around Hanoi’s Old Quarter – also call as street food. As well as, you should spend time to enjoy some coffee in a local coffee shop followed by the dinner at Cha Ca La Vong – the most famous traditional food in Hanoi made with rice noodles and grilled fish on the charcoal stove. Moreover, tourists can also learn how to prepare Northern Vietnamese dishes by enjoying a private Vietnamese cooking class with a professional chef.

Banh cuon

Halong Bay – Full of fresh delicious seafood

Halong Bay is famous for its green islands – the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We start with an outdoor market, where vendors sell all kinds of fish and seafood straight from water. You can also communicate with the Vietnamese boat people (who live and work in floating homes) to understand more about the life of local fisherman. Visit Dau Go cave, the largest cave in Halong Bay with its majestic and ancient beauty. Especially, during taking in the brilliant views of the Bay on a luxury ship, you can order all seafood for your meals such asfresh clams, prawns, sea snails and other delicacies which you want to taste.

Sea snails

Hue – Combination of royal culinary and folk dishes

Hue used to be the capital city of Vietnam. That’s why Hue people have many extremely delicate ways of royal cuisines which only offered on the King’s table such as nem công, chả phượng, thấu thỏ, xôi vò, nham bò,…. Beside, Hue is also famous for folk dishes like Nem Lui Hue, the dish no one can forget if have a chance to taste. Its main ingredient is spring roll of meatball grilled on the charcoal stove. Moreover, the deliciousness of this dish is in the accompanying vegetables and sauces made from plenty of different materials. When eating, take a meatball wrapped with vegetables, pineapple, caramel, prices, sliced green banana slices, pieces of life, chili color…  then dips in a special sauce called nước lèo. Nước lèo is also made from many different ingredients such as vegetable oil, pig liver, swordfish, sugar, fish sauce, cinnamon, flowers mixed with coconut milk. Its taste is worthy to become one of the most delicious local specialties in Vietnam.

Nem Lui Hue

By the way, you can visit Dong Ba Market in early morning. This is the biggest whole sales market in Hue for food, vegetable, herb, spices and fruit. In the morning, everything is so fresh. This is the best time and best way to experience and learn about local food ingredients as well as the daily life activities in Hue. We also have a chance to enjoy a vegetarian lunch at a Buddhist pagoda.

Dong Ba Market

Hoi An – The culinary of Ancient Town

Hoi An ancient Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We have many Vietnam must-eat dishes here such as chicken rice, bread, cao lầu noodles… Especially, you cannot miss cao lầu – the most famous local specialties in Hoi An. A delicious cao lau bowl includes noodles past boiling water, some bean sprouts and essential vegetable of Tra Que village. It’s covered by plates of xá xíu meats as well as fried crispy pork skin above. Visitors can also enjoy a private cooking class focusing on regional specialties such as fresh spring rolls or cao lầu noodles. In the evening, visit Dong Thien Pagoda to enjoy a vegetarian lunch prepared by the nuns.

Cao Lau noodles

Sai Gon – A haven for street food lovers

It’s Ho Chi Minh City – the most modern city in Vietnam, but locals still use “Saigon” to name this place. Street food is one of the things that make Saigon different from other regions. You have many chances to taste Vietnam street food in evening at all Saigon districts. Grilled meatballs, noodles mix roast duck meat, rice handles, bun mix grilled meat, bánh tráng nước, bánh tráng trộn, bún mắm… are extremely popular on Saigon’s sidewalk which you cannot miss during your Vietnam culinary tour. In addition, you can also take opportunities to stop for tasting iced coffee, iced tea, snack or banh mi – typical Vietnamese street foods while walking around Saigon to discover the culture of this place.

Grilled meatballs

There are differences of characteristic in each region, but Vietnam cuisines are distinctive and leave an unforgettable impression on tourists.

Westerners share 10 things you must try when coming to Hanoi (Chapter 3)

Walking on the Long Bien Bridge or join the flag raising and lowering ceremony at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, which are also the things you cannot miss in Hanoi.

Walking on the Long Bien Bridge

Long Bien Bridge is like a historical witness throughout the ups and downs of Hanoi. The bridge is more than a hundred years old is also the connection between the present and the old memory of Hanoians.

Long Bien Bridge late afternoon

The bridge was built in 1898, and now still operates with three lanes, middle lane was separated for only train crossing. Westerners often share about the experience of walking or cycling through the Long Bien Bridge early morning, late afternoon or at night, and don’t miss bring each camera together to preserve the beautiful images of this ancient construction.

Walking on the Long Bien Bridge

Join the flag lowering ceremony at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

If you miss the flag raising ceremony at Ho Chi Minh mausoleum in morning, visitors can take a comfortable walk around the city and come back here to attend the flag raising ceremony at 9pm daily. The solemn atmosphere covers throughout Ba Dinh Square when the loudspeaker sounded alarm the flag lowering ceremony upcoming. People line up neatly and watch the bodyguard pull the national flag down gravely with the song “You are still marching with us, Uncle Ho”.

The flag raising ceremony at 9pm daily

Walking at night

When the whole city was asleep, Hanoi streets suddenly dressed the calm cover, contrasted with the bustle of the day. Doors are immobile, stores turn of the lights to close, vehicles in the streets are sparse … will leave a very different impression in the hearts of travelers.

Big Church at night

Winter’s memories

What do you think the winter will be in Vietnam?

Full of snow and severely cold like in Western countries or still sunny?

It is the combination of two, it is warm but still cold enough for people to get closer together.

The winter, it is….

Drizzling rain

Hot cups of tea

two cups of hot tea

Friend gathering

Deserted streets

Grilled and boiled stuffs

And specially

It is Tet

 

 

Westerners share 10 things you must try when coming to Hanoi (Chapter 1)

Going to market early, walk around Hoan Kiem Lake or sitting on the sidewalk for street food is the list of “certain to do” in Hanoi by Westerners.

Go to market

Either Dong Xuan, Quang Ba flower market or Long Bien wholesale market is the destination where Westerners advise you should go once you have a chance to visit the capital. Those markets have mainly flower and fruit, but require visitors must stay up late, get up early to see the alternately crowded, bustle atmosphere of Hanoi when the night comes down.

Located right at the foot of Long Bien bridge, Long Bien wholesale market is almost bustle with seafood, food for cattle and poultry, vegetables… but the most famous is the fruit wholesale market, which locals call “flea market area”. The market start at 8 pm and being more bustle at night.

The fruit wholesale market near Long Bien bridge

Quang Ba Flower Market is open all night but most crowded is around 3 to 4 am, both buyers and sellers are quite busy. Small bouquets of flowers is put on the vehicles come out briskly. The lights on the street illuminated shimmering, fanciful, spread over the tens of thousands of color flowers, the scene that made many people must fall in love. There are people who are not traders or shopkeepers, also spend all night wandering in the market. Do not be drunk with someone, do not love flowers, but they are addicted to the atmosphere at midnight of this land.

Quang Ba flower market
The image of flower market

Walk around Hoan Kiem Lake early in the morning

Someone said that Hoan Kiem Lake is the best place to start a new day. Regardless of spring, autumn or winter, the Hanoians keep their exercise habits early in the morning. Visitors can take a walk, watch the natural scenery at dawn, enjoy the fresh air when the road is not packed with vehicles, or try to join the group of fitness, aerobics, kickball,…

Hoan Kiem Lake
Yoga group near the Lake

Arrive at Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

One of the destinations cannot be ignored by Westerners when visiting any city is the museum and historical monuments. One of the most popular cultural and historical sites visited by foreigners is the Ethnological Museum.

Ethnographic Museum currently holds 15,000 artifacts, 42,000 documentaries, pictures and thousands of other documents on 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam. The objects are classified and displayed according to different contents in the building, where visitors can learn about the ethnic life through their everyday objects. The outdoor area has 10 unique folk architectures such as Bana communal house, Dao house on stilts, Giarai collective tomb,…

Besides, visitors also come to the Museum of Vietnamese Women, Hanoi Museum or Hoa Lo Prison, the Hanoi flag tower, to see the culture and history of the city.

Some objects of Ethnic lifestyle
Bana communal house

Sitting on the sidewalk for street food

It would be a mistake if visitors come to Hanoi without trying to sit on the sidewalk and try the dishes of street food. From “phở”, “miến”, “bún chả”, “bánh cuốn”,…. for breakfast, lunch, or afternoon snacks such as tea, sugarcane juice, “nem chua rán”,… ; even late night with pots. You can find any delicious dishes for yourself on the sidewalk. Let’s get a small plastic chair, sit down and place your order!

Street food at night

<to be continued>

Hanoi, Autumn and Coffee

It is now Fall in Hanoi, a season that is not like any autumn in the world. The weather is not too cold but still people wear sweaters and scarf. Imagine that you are walking along the Hoan Kiem lake, under your step is a carpet made from autumn leaves, surrounding by a forest of flowers from street hawkers and listening to music of street artists. Amazing experience!

And…

It is even more awesome to nest somewhere in the old quarter in a small coffee shop, sipping Hanoian’s authorized coffee. Relaxing!

Cafe Giảng
Egg Coffee
Cafe Lâm
Cafe Nhĩ
Cafe Nhân
Cafe Năng

And many more!

VIETNAMESE BANH CUON

It is probaly that you heard of Banh Mi as an internationally famous food of Vietnam but do you know Banh Cuon?

Banh Cuon is favorite breakfast of Vietnamese people that made from a thin, wide sheet of steamed rice. The cake is batter filled with a mixture of cooked seasoned ground pork, ear mushroom, and minced shallots.

The dish is usually served with Cha lua (port sausage) dipped in to fish sauce and eaten with some herbs. Making Banh Cuon sauce is such an art and the sauce makers are great artists.  The sauce is a perfect mix of fish sauce, water, sugar, chilly, lime juice, seasoning powder and sometimes, a drop of Ca Cuong as a secret ingredient.

The cookers of Banh Cuon always try to make the rice sheet thin and delicate by steaming a rice batter on a cloth that is stretched over a pot of boiling water. The thick of Banh Cuon will tell you how master the cookers are. People can find the best Banh Cuon in Thanh Tri, Hanoi.

Where to go and What to do for 1 day in Hanoi?

In a sunny day with some wind and some friends, you come to Hanoi by chance. Where will you go if you don’t know much about this millennium city!?

A big problem for you, don’t worry. Let’s me recommend some for you.

Waking up in the morning, let’s have some food with Pho, a famous dish to charge your body full of energy. Then, holding your bag and going to the Ho’s mausoleum first. You have a chance to contemplate the great president who is deeply in forever sleeping Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam 👍. In addition, the environment here is so fresh; this will bring you a peaceful feeling and comfortable time with nature and nice scene.

The next destination is Temple of literature. It is easy for you to catch a cab or bus (if you want to save money). This is the first university of Vietnam. It has an important role in Vietnam’s history. What a pity, if you forget it. The name of first doctors of philosophy was carved on the stone turtle to express admiration and gratitude of people and country for them. The landscape around the temple of literature is also wonderful and attractive. People will not feel regret if they visit and explore some legends or stories about history of Vietnamese heroes.

Along this street, there are a lot of food store for us to deal with our lunch. To continue the trip, exactly we have to find the food first! You can eat hot Banh cuon or steamed rolled rice pancake.

Hanoi old quarter, Dong Xuan market, and walking street round Guom lake will be the perfect place the rest of day. Ancient air, noisy street, various foods, all appears there for you to feel and enjoy.

So, what are you waiting for??? See you some days in Hanoi.