Our holiday adventure to Vietnam | Happy #Birthday Bron :-)

So we’re off to Vietnam. I’m writing this blog post as we go so if the tenses are a little mixed up I apologise to all the grammar experts out there.

Saturday 2013/06/29

After packing bags, Bron came and picked me up to have a last lunch in Canberra. We went to Ricardo’s Cafe in the Jamison Plaza.

We shared a salt and pepper squid dish for lunch.

#lunch with Bron. Calamari

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This was delicately cooked and had a lovely subtle flavour. I’d eat this again and again.

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I washed down my squid with a caramel thick shake.

#lunch with Bron. Caramel thick shake

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Ricardo’s makes a great thick shake. This was delicious.

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As a sweet treat we shared a Red Velvet Mousse Delight

#lunch with Bron. Red velvet mousse delight

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This had a very distinctive red velvet taste. Our lips and tongue were bright red afterwards.

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Our flight from Canberra to Melbourne (QF819) took off at 1710 AEST so we had time for a snack in the Qantas lounge.

#holiday time No official passport this time πŸ˜ƒ

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I love liquorice. Note this is my personal passport and not my “Official Passport” that I have to use for work travel.

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The snack on QF819 CBR to MEL was some fig paste and cheese

#snack on QF819

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It was okay

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Even though we’re flying with Malaysian Airlines we were able to enter the Qantas lounge.

#snack waiting for MH128

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Cake anyone?

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I’m not sure if I’ll get 3G working on my iPhone so just in case I posted this for my social media friends.

#holiday #message

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This image was not what I intended to post. I had all the smarties neatly placed in the little bowl. Bron wanted to photo bomb but instead she thought she’d mess with my need for order.

This mess was created by Bron who objected to my OCD induced placement of smarties

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This is Bron trying to learn Vietnamese phrases from her Lonely Planet guidebook. After my food poisoning in the UK, I really need to know “where is the closest toilet?”

Bron is learning how to ask where the toilet is for my small bladder. Thank you Lonely Planet.

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After the Qantas lounge closed we walked around for a bit and waited for the Malaysian Airlines lounge to open.

I snacked on some vegetable pastries

#snack vegetable pastry

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Then I dined on some really nice chicken and beef curries with rice

#dinner Really nice chicken and beef curries with rice. My mouth feels alive and tingly.

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Sunday 2013/06/29 Bron’s birthday | Happy Birthday Bron πŸ™‚Β 

We boarded MH128 MEL to KUL shortly before midnight on Saturday. We were in row 20 in the economy cabin. We had the two middle seats with passengers either side of us. This is a little concerning for me because I do need to empty my bladder frequently.

On board MH128 πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ MEL to KUL There are a heap of toddlers behind us

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Soon after taking off we were served refreshments. I received a chicken pie. Yes, that’s how it was described. It looked more like a sausage roll. It tasted nice. I also asked for a ginger ale and then with a touch of turbulence it slid off the tray and the lady on my right and I had wet bottoms for a while into the flight.

Malaysian chicken pie MH128 MEL to KUL

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The flight itself was uneventful. I know I snored. I slept on and off and tossed and turned a bit in my seat. The cabin was quite cold through the evening and I ended up with the blanket as a scarf and head covering because my bald scalp was quite cold.

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A couple of hours before descent we were served breakfast. I’ve not had a prawn and egg curry for breakfast before.

#breakfast on MH128 MEL to KUL. Curried prawns, egg and rice.

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Landing was pretty uneventful. It turns out in Kuala Lumpur International Airport because I’m a Qantas frequent flier I can also get entry into the Malaysian Airlines lounge. It’s all part of the Oneworld experience. We enjoyed a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs and rendang chicken.

#breakfast scrambled eggs and rendang chicken

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The first coffee in >24 hours πŸ™‚

Good morning #coffee πŸ˜ƒβ˜•

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At about 8 am the outside temperature was about 27Β Β°C and it was lovely and humid. I was feeling pretty good.

It's a lovely 27 Β°C out there. It's nearly 8 am here. #warmandmoist #holidays

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After catching the train to the terminal we needed to catch our flight (MH752 KUL to HAN) we sat in another lounge and just chatted.

Boarding soon. It's lovely and warm. #holidays #warmandmoist

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We enjoyed a nice lunch on MH752 KUL to HAN. It was a chicken curry with roti bread.

#lunch on MH752. Curry chicken with roti. #chocolate

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The chocolate wasn’t too bad either.

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On arriving in Hanoi we took more than an hour to get through immigration, customs and baggage claiming. Once out of the airport we found our hotel driver and took a scenic drive from the airport to the Essence Hanoi in the Old Quarter in Hanoi. The drive was a really good idea. We saw quite a bit of Hanoi life on the streets and the amount of construction that is currently going on. It’s impressive. Flying in it was lovely to see how lush the countryside is and the dependance on flood plains. It reminded me of flying over parts of the Northern Territory of Australia. On getting outside of the airport the one big change we noticed after being in a Canberra winter is the heat and humidity. It was around 38Β Β°C and the humidity must have been >90%. I felt pretty good (and I felt pretty happy).

On reaching the hotel we were greeted very warmly and asked to sit down and enjoy a drink of mango juice. We were then taken through map of Hanoi and shown various attractions and sights we could see while we’re here. It was a really great reception experience. We were shown things connected with the hotel and its chain but that’s to be expected.

Our reception at the Essence Hanoi was really good. Mango juice πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

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We booked this hotel on TripAdvisor advice. Many of the comments suggested asking for a junior suite. For a very reasonable cost, the junior suite is very nice. It’s not too small and it’s high enough to not be too noisy from all the beeping of horns from scooters, cars and trucks. The drive from the airport to the hotel was really an eye opener in terms of driving. At one stage I thought we were going to collide with a truck and then I thought our driver was getting pretty intimate with some scooter riders.

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In the early afternoon after a quick nap we ventured out into the Old Quarter and took a walk around Lake Hoan Kiem

Take a look at the route we took on Runkeeper It shows a map of our walking around. [Any WP pros out there who know how to embed RunKeeper activities into WP please let me know…Thanks]

We crossed the bridge on Lake Hoan Kiem to the Ngoc Son Temple.

HUC Bridge Ngoc Son Temple

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Around the lake we saw the statue to the Emperor LΓ½ ThΓ‘i Tα»•Β  It had been converted into a temporary skate park πŸ™‚

Ly Thai To

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It got dark pretty quickly (being so close to the equator) so our hungry bellies were in need of food. Well when I say need, there was a desire even though we had eaten pretty well on the journey so far. We came across a place called the Kangaroo Cafe which sold hamburgers and things. I suppose if you travel to see things and not experience local food, such a place is ideal. A big part of why Bron and I wanted to visit Vietnam is to experience the local cuisine (even though I’d recently suffered severe food poisoning in the UK).

We ventured to a local place called Thuc Don. Bron was keen on a clear broth with noodles and I was interested in anything a little bit out there.

#dinner mixed noodle soup with Bron #holidays #vietnam

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Bron’s mixed noodle soup was delicious. I love the way peanuts are added.

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#dinner steamed pigs trotters #yummy #vietnam #holidays

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These are steamed pig trotters. I remember Mum making pig trotters when I was a child. She would make them all different ways. Just having the smell in my nose and taste in my mouth transported me back home.

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#dinner simmering snails #yummy #vietnam #holidays

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These are simmering snails. I’ve eaten snails in many restaurants and I was hoping for an Asian French influence. I wasn’t disappointed. Well I was a little. The flavour was rich and full of garlic and butter. The snail meat though was a little tough and in some of them I couldn’t get the meat out.

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#dinner Fried dumplings #yummy #vietnam #holidays

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These were fried dumplings. These were delightful.

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Snail shells and pig trotter bones anyone? #vietnam #holidays

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My empty shells and chewed bones πŸ™‚

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That’s our first day in Vietnam. It’s been great so far.

Be good. I’ll keep blogging our adventures.

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15 thoughts on “Our holiday adventure to Vietnam | Happy #Birthday Bron :-)

  1. Pingback: The #Vietnam #Holiday summary post | Yummy Lummy

  2. Pingback: Happy Hue :-) #Vietnam #Holiday | Yummy Lummy

  3. Pingback: Our stay in Hanoi and Ha Long Bay | Yummy Lummy

  4. day before my wife’s birthday. We went up the Shard (tallest building in proper Europe) I could eat anything here except the snails. man that’s a step too far for me

  5. A belated birthday wish to Bron. Your trip sounds like it is going to be a memorable adventure. Have fun and stay healthy. πŸ™‚

  6. Terrific post – you will love the food everywhere in Vietnam! It’s worth checking for regional specialties. We did skip the cooked small dogs we saw in a night market in Hanoi… They were stacked on a table and looked lacquered like Peking duck. —Jadi

  7. Sounds like you are intent on quite the gastronomic journey! The food looks amazing so far. I must say,I HATE being wedged in the two inner seats in the row of four on an overseas flight. My friend and I had that happen to us on the way to the USA one time so you can imagine how long that bloody journey was!!! Sounds very dismal having ginger ale to sit in for half the trip! Was the lady next to you okay about it? It’s nice to see (half) a picture of Bron finally! Only her food manages to feature in most of your blog posts. πŸ™‚ Happy travels!

    • The lady was quite young and pleasant. She didn’t seem perturbed.
      We’re having a great time. We’re walking around the French quarter and some museums today.

      • Sounds great! French quarter, eh? Is it particularly French? Like… are the signs in French and can you buy croissants on every corner?

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