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 …
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…
With 5 nights, 6 days in Luang Prabang, we had a great opportunity to deeply explore the city. It reminded me of the SE Asian version of Cheers - you will see people you know almost every day (“Oh! There’s that guy who sat next to me on the plane!” “Look! The people we did the elephant trip with!” “Hey! There’s that family we met in Hanoi at the tailor.”). It was fun to people watch, make new friends, and learn about a new place and its people. EAT: Bamboo Tree - Offering both a restaurant and cooking school, Bamboo Tree has great local food. They use fresh ingredients, and prices aren't too expensive! We stopped in for a late lunch one day, and dinner another. Didn't go to their cooking school, but it has great reviews!
Tamarind Tree Restaurant - Down at the side of the peninsula near the Mekong is Tamarind Tree. Cheap eats, great vegetarian options. The restaurant is simply a few easy ups and tables, but we ate there three times. It was great!