It’s been an epic few days since the last time I blogged. I think this post will be short on details. After the holiday I’ll probably write some thoughts on bits and pieces I’ve learnt and share some thoughts on the hotels we stayed at and some of the restaurants we ate at. These on the fly posts will mainly be about photographs of food and some sights.
If you missed the first post here it is under our holiday adventure.
I’m writing this on Friday morning (2013-07-05) from an hotel room in Hue.
The last image I left you with was my discard bowl of snail shells and pig trotter foot bones that I’d gnawed all the meat and skin from.
Monday 2013-07-01 our first full day in Hanoi
The Essence Hanoi Hotel is really a very nice
The Essence Hanoi
It contains the Essence Café which serves a complimentary breakfast every day. Here you will find a combination of local and other delights to satisfy the taste buds of any traveller. We noticed many Australians, some Europeans and some Americans staying at the hotel as well as a good number of Chinese.
Given the French influence why not start with a croissant 🙂
These were light and not at all buttery or greasy. They were delightful.
I should mention almost all the images are from my Instagram feed. Please click on the images to see the comments.
The tropical fruits were so refreshing and delicious for breakfast.
The Dragon fruit is so distinctive.
They also had Crème Caramel 🙂
I’m a sucker for a crème caramel even for breakfast 🙂
After breakfast we went for a big walk. We walked a little over 12 km. Check out my RunKeeper activity here It shows a map of our walk.
We visited the French Quarter and walked through a wet market.
It was incredibly interesting to see all the fresh meat and produce. There were chickens trussed up in amazing ways. Live turtles and fish and crustacea everywhere the eye could see. The remarkable thing was the lack of smell. There were no unpleasant odours. Everything looked and smelt fresh.
I’m not sure if the Instagram video will work in WordPress, if it doesn’t please click on the image and it should show a a long necked turtle in a cage.
We also enjoyed some pastry from the French Quarter.
I’m not sure exactly what this is but it looked cute and tasted light but not overly sweet.
This is where we were situated in relation to Lake Hoan Kiem
This is where we had lunch on Monday. It was well rated in TripAdvisor and the Lonely Planet guide.
Bun Cha Nem Cua Be Dac Kim for Bun Cha
Bron captured me with my noodles waiting for my Bun Cha
Bron takes a great photograph. Notice my National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre cap 🙂
A mountain of herbs
This was to share between two people. It was a very large plate.
The server came and cut it into quarters with a pair of scissors to make it easier to manage.
Grilled pork and grilled pork patties
These were delicious.
Sea crab spring rolls
These are eaten with the Bun Cha.
The local public water closet
I had to pay for the pleasure and paper costs more. It’s not good if you have bad knees and weak thigh muscles.
The Temple of Literature
Stelae of Doctors | The Holy Tortoises
Sorry about the glare but this explains the tortoises and the engravings
More Holy Tortoises (Stelae of Doctors)
Where the shrine was for the Temple
Inside there were many people praying and there were fruit offerings on the altar.
The walk was exhausting. Hanoi was between 35 and 40 °C with high humidity. Yes, I know, just what I like, but walking in the warmth and humidity can be draining. We went back to the hotel room shortly after the Temple visit for a break.
Dinner was at Highway4 in Hanoi
Check out the menu
I had butter-fried frogs’ legs
These were light and not greasy at all. The meat just fell off the bones. It was like eating chicken wings.
I wanted crickets but they ran out so I ate locusts cooked in pig fat with lemon leaves
These really did taste very nice. The plate was full of locusts. At least 100 of them. After the meal I had bits of locust leg or wing between every tooth in my mouth I think.
Bron asked for Mountain Pork with Galangal
This had a very strong flavour. It’s difficult to describe. It was very nice.
I started the day with East meeting West
Dumplings with potato lasagna, bacon, sausage and baked beans
I also created a chocolate jaffa breakfast treat by combining Pain au Chocolat with Orange marmalade. I also needed tropical fruit.
We took a four hour drive to Ha Long Bay
On the way we stopped at a workshop that employs disabled people to make arts and crafts. While we were there we saw Premier Campbell Newman from the greatest state, viz., Queensland. He appeared to be there with his family.
We stopped at some rice fields to see how hard the farmers work to grow rice
On arriving and boarding our boat (the Huong Hai Sealife) we ate lunch
Pawpaw and dried beef salad
This was really nice. I’d eat bowls of this if it was available.
Steamed tiger prawns and coconut cream
I love the weather. It was warm, humid and raining. The rain was warm.
We were also on the edge of a typhoon
One of 1700 limestone islands
There are lots of cruise boats on the bay
We visited Surprise Island and explored the caves. All I could think of was spelunking and Histoplasmosis.
This was called big finger. Bron and I thought it was something else.
A short Instagram video of Ha Long Bay (I hope it works, if not click on it and it should work in the Instagram website)
That evening we were treated to a Vietnamese spring roll making class
Then we enjoyed a small buffet dinner
With profiteroles, chocolate cake and a jelly shot
The next morning we took Tai Chi class to this view
Bron and I then kayaked to the Soi Sim beach
That’s the boat we stayed on, viz., The Huong Hai Sealife
On the return drive we stopped at another workshop for disabled people. I saw this bottle with a cobra and scorpion in it in the alcohol section.
We got up close with more rice farmers again
Our guide Mr Loi knew a lot about rice farming and how important it is to the economy
On the way back Mr Loi also explained that in the north, cats and dogs are eaten in specialty restaurants
We did not try cat or dog
After returning from Ha Long Bay we went to the Water Puppet Theatre and then ate at the Hanoi Soul Café
Bron asked for fried tofu and salty egg sauce
I asked for brittle fried chicken
We both finished with Pho Bo
The Water Puppet Theatre is one of those must do things in Hanoi. It was very clever and explained some Vietnamese history to the audience. I’d recommend it to anyone visiting.
I woke up with abdominal cramps and a couple of loose bowel movements.
I needed something simple to eat
Brown bread and marmalade
Plus an old favourite from my fat days
Coffee made with condensed milk
We went for a walk around Lake Hoan Kiem and watched so many people exercising. There was Tai Chi, jazzercise, aerobics, weight training (like Venice Beach) and all manner of other exercise. We saw lines of people chopping and massaging each other. It was great.
The streets of Hanoi in the Old Quarter at 6 am
The quietest we saw it
To be continued from Hue
Be good. Eat well. Stay happy.
Ha Noi at EveryTrail
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