It’s been a while since we’ve blogged on our travels, and, due to popular demand (read: peer pressure from a few friends), we’re back. I’m not committing to a post everyday, but one round-up of highlights from each city we visit seems very do-able to me! Hope you enjoy reading them!
The locals here call it Saigon, and you'll see both names used interchangeably. We think it's a traditional identity thing, similar to Leningrad/St. Petersburg. EAT:
Bông Súng - Vegetarian restaurant near Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral. We ate pho (that had some great tofu) and spring rolls (which were so-so). Tons of options, and a menu with images, so you can see what you’re ordering! Decent WiFi, too!
My Bahn Mi - The Banh Mi is a classic Vietnamese sandwich, traditionally served with pork, pickled veggies, herbs, and mayo on a baguette (gotta love that French colonial influence). Tofu and egg banh mis are also common vegetarian options. My Banh Mi was started by two notable chefs wor…
It was easy for us to see, while in Hoi An, why many travelers forego their plans and decided to spend more time in the city. The relaxed atmosphere, beaches, and cheap drinks make for an incredibly relaxing stay.
EAT: Local foods you should know about, and try: Cao lau - A regional dish made with noodles, greens, and pork that can only be found in Hoi An. White rose dumplings - Reportedly made by one family for all of the restaurants in the town, these are typically a shrimp dumpling in rice paper wrapper, steamed, and covered with crispy garlic. The French gave them the “white rose” moniker based on their looks. We had veggie ones, and they were great!
Mi quang noodles - A variety of pho, local to Hoi An made with rice flour noodles, veggies, and meat. It’s topped with broth, but not as much as you’d find in a soup. Fresh beer - Local beer made in Hoi An that will cost you between 17 and 21 centsper glassdepending upon where you get it. Light and refreshing in the heat, low alcohol …
We both agreed that Hanoi was the most livable city we visited in Vietnam--lots to see, do, and eat, beautiful buildings, lots of green space. We were lucky to visit on a weekend, because many of the main streets were closed to cars and bikes, allowing pedestrians to have more space to move around and socialize.
EAT: Bahn Mi 25 - A bit out of the Old Quarter, this Banh Mi spot is popular with tourists and locals alike. Cheap sandwich, great bread, quick service.
Giang Cafe - Egg coffee is a uniquely Hanoi specialty, which Giang Cafe claims to have invented. An egg white foam is added to a hot or cold coffee, making for a creamy (and very filling) dessert-like drink. Mine had cinnamon, while Rick opted for regular. It reminded me of liquid tiramisu! We met a wonderful couple from Singapore in the cafe, who kindly took our picture and shared with us a bit about their country. Looking forward to visiting in a few weeks!
Pizza 4Ps - I told Rick when we arrived in Hanoi that sometimes, I jus…