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I got the chance to back to Da Nang and Hoi An early this month and as usual, the taste of central food never disappoints me. For somebody who never been to Da Nang and Hoi An before, I hope you can try these dishes when having chance to visit the lovely destinations. Those who had the chance to tase these dishes, I hope my photos reminds you a bit about not about the food, but also about the beautiful memories during your Vietnam tour packages.

No. 1: My Quang – Vietnamese Turmeric Noodles

This dish is actually named after the Quang Nam province. Before 1996, Da Nang is the the provincial

city of Quang Nam province, but then the government decided to separate the province to Quang Nam province and Da Nang became the municipality (the highest – ranked

cities in Vietnam, centrally-controlled and have the advantages about infrastructure, science and technology development, higher education, large population and convenient transportation). Fortunately, the taste of the special dish never changes and now we can enjoy the authentic My Quang in many local restaurants in Da Nang.

The main ingredient of My Quang is the noodles. It is made from rice – fresh and smooth, similar to the Pho in Hanoi but the structure of the noodle is thicker. The original meat toppings have river shrimp, boiled eggs, pork, adding fresh herbs (spring onion, corianders and basil) and roasted peanuts. Some restaurants have the menu with fish or chicken instead of pork. It is deserted with the special broth, but not like the other type of noodles with all the ingredients in the broth, just a bit of broth that suitable for the hot weather in Da Nang. The bowl is served with a dish of fresh vegetables from lettuce, sliced banana flowers, baby chrysanthemum greens and cress. A sesame rice cracker also served as a snack, or you can break to small pieces and mix it with the noodles. Optional to add chili or the special fish sauce for more flavor. Try a bite and it feels like a smooth dance of flavors in your mouth.

There are many restaurants in town you can order this dish, but for me I tried it in Ba Mua restaurant near the Da Nang airport – Add:  95 Nguyen Tri Phuong street. Highly recommended with fast services, Good flavor and the many options on the menu, though the beverages is not really excellent (Sugar cane or passion fruit juice are suggested). The price is reasonable 30.000 VND per a bowl of My Quang.

My Quang Ba Mua

My Quang Ba Mua

No. 2: Banh trang cuon thit heo (Fresh spring rolls with pork)

This dish brings to you the fresh and cool feeling in the summer. You probably know about the boiled spring rolls in many restaurants in Hanoi or Saigon, but here in Da Nang I bet you can have a truly different feeling about the spring rolls.

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This dish simply the boiled pork served with vegetables, rolled in the fresh rice paper and dip into the sauce. But the local chef knows how to turns the simple ingredients into a beautiful dish. The pork must be the belly with three parts: the lean meat, a bit of fat and the skin. It is boiled in water just in the right time, not overcooked cause it needs to be moist and tender. The boiled pork then cooled down and sliced, served on the plate. The vegetables that are served in this dish includes cucumber, pineapples, plantain – all julienned, along with the other herbs – corianders, mint, basils, etc. and lettuce.

The most special thing of this dish is the sauce. It is made from the special fish sauce paste that can be found in Da Nang – Quang Nam, mixed with crushed chili, garlic and pineapple and lime juice. The smell might be quite strong at first, but the interesting part is waiting.

When eating this dish, first step is put the dry rice paper on the plate, then spread a wet fresh rice paper, a slice of boiled pork, the other vegetables, roll them tight then dip in to the sauce. What a great combination and the fresh and cool feeling will help to blow away the heat in the summer.

One tips for those who doesn’t like the pork skin and fat – you can special require the lean meat only, and replace the strong smell sauce by the normal fish sauce, but it is highly recommended to taste the authentic one like a local.

The dish can be found in many restaurants in Da Nang and Hoi An. The address that is highly rated by the locals is the Quynh Dai Loc – 176 Nguyen Hoang, Nam Duong, Hai Chau, Da Nang.

the fresh Banh trang cuon thit heo Da Nang

the fresh Banh trang cuon thit heo Da Nang

No. 3: Banh Dap (The “Hit” Cake)

The dish named after the action people have to do before eating. Don’t worry because you don’t have to hit somebody to get the cake ;). It is the delicate combination between the fresh rice paper and the grilled rice paper, added onion oil (sliced onion fired in oil until yellow/brown and has special fragrance) in between.

Before eating, you simply “hit” the cake vertically and slightly so the two type of rice paper stick together, then dip it in to the sauce made by the special fish sauce mixed with chili oil and roasted crashed peanuts.

This is a simply dish and the local people eat it as a light snack. In a more luxurious version, it can be served with the BBQ pork or shrimp floss. Lucky me my friend took me to a very local restaurant (actually it is not a restaurant but just a family shop that sell one and only dish – Banh Dap) but it taste really good. Enjoy the peaceful view to the Ly Ly river, chatting with the friendly local aunt and take a short nap on the hammock, it must be one of the best moments during my trip.

Bánh Đập – the simple and homely dish

Bánh Đập – the simple and homely dish

What are your favorite dishes? It would be great to hear your sharing.

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Hanoi is full of iconic foods, and of all the wide range of street side dishes, Banh Mi is still the tastiest and a must-not-miss one.  Choosing the best Banh Mi to try while you are in Hanoi can be overwhelming, scrolling through all those recommendations and mouthwatering pictures would take years. And seriously, you are passing by as a visitor, the best experience is what you are looking for. You can always enjoy this dish when doing a full day trip around Hanoi city with Indochina tour our tour guides are the local resident and they know best where to go and the following are some examples.

  1. Banh Mi Dinh Ngang

DinhNgang

(The perfect mix of Dinh Ngang bread and ice tea. Source: internet)

Situated at the corner of small Dinh Ngang and Cua Nam street, the bread shop looks simple but has been around for more than 20 years.  Its specialty is Banh Mi Thap Cam (mixed bread), with a bunch of ingredients stuffed inside: a slice of pâté, a fried egg, Vietnamese ham and pork skin sausage, and cucumber all slathered with the store’s signature sauce.

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(Want to try a bite? Source: internet)

Having all the ingredients handmade is exactly the way that makes Banh Mi Dinh Ngang unique.

  1. Banh Mi Pho Hue

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(The legendary Banh Mi reported on BBC. Source: BBC)

Geoffrey Deetz – a chef and Vietnamese food expert who’s been living in the country for nearly 15 years – is the owner of this baguette shop. The article “Is the banh mi the world’s best sandwich?” by David Farley on BBC described this loaf of bread as follows: “The banh mi sandwiches in Hanoi are much more one dimensional than other parts of the country […] But so many things in here have a function: the pork floss soaks up the sauce, the pate adds moisture and the fact that the baguette is lightly toasted keeps it from getting soggy in this immense humidity”. David also commented the “banh mi” has always been the one kind of food he liked better outside its home turf.

  1. Banh Mi Ba Dan (Ms. Dan)

Established in 1979, Banh Mi Ba Dan is one of the oldest bread stores in Hanoi. Ms Dan’s son – Mr Binh – is now the owner of the store, and he has managed to maintain its reputation among locals as well as travelers. According to him, back to the old time when Ms. Dan still operated the store, it was a norm that a thousand of bread sold out each day. Nowadays, with the rise of bread stores all over Hanoi, thought the sale went down, still the true Hanoian enjoy its original taste of Ms. Dan’s bread.

Ms.Dan2(The ingredients. Source: internet)

Beside the traditional paté, the uniqueness of Banh Mi Ba Dan is also the freshness of the baguette. New loaves arrive from the bakery every three hours, this means the baguettes in the store are always crunchy and fresh.

Ms.Dan

(The new loaves. Source: internet)

In Vietnam, Banh Mi is actually an everyday ordinary dish, banh mi stalls and carts are everywhere on the streets, providing simple and delicious energy for breakfast and midday meal. From the familiar food for Vietnamese people, it is now, proudly, an obsession for foreign travelers and appear in almost street food tour in Hanoi.

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To the major foreign tourists coming to Vietnam scenery, people and culture are not the sole charms; food, or in particular, street food is another aspect that makes the country stand out. Perhaps street food is simple as it looks but no one can deny its attractive flavors. Sweet-roll or Bo Bia Ngot is one of those and it is especially well-known among young students. When it comes to Bo Bia, it reminds Vietnamese people of their childhood every time school finished, the hungry stomachs would rush out to the school gate looking for the old men or women selling this special gift on their bicycles. As time passes by, Bo Bia becomes a popular street food that is not only sold for students but it appears in many other places as well.

Bo-bia-is-only-made-after-your-order

One of very unique street-food in Vietnam. With fresh and simple ingredients, you can have a delicious roll. Sweet-roll is just made by sellers right after you order. Very unique, fresh and delicious

Sweet roll has its root in Fujian and Teochew (Guangdong) China. Nowadays, this food can be seen in Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia and Vietnam. In Guangdong, it was originally eaten in Grave Visiting Festival in spring. However, hardly anyone knows exactly when the food was brought into Vietnam. The South part is the very first place for Sweet Roll, especially Ho Chi Minh City. It is told that around more than ten years ago, there was a man from Vinh Phuc Province (a province near Hanoi capital) came to Ho Chi Minh city to earn a living, somehow he could learn how to make the roll. Then, he moved back to Hanoi and started selling this type of food and spread the recipe to many other people.

Main ingredients of Bo Bia Ngot are very easy to find anywhere including rice paper, shredded coconut, pulled sugar and black sesame seeds. The rice paper or crepe wrapper in Bo Bia is made from wheat flour and a little sugar but it is different from one in normal Fresh Spring roll. The crepe must be absolutely thin and a little tough at the same time so that it can wrap all the things inside. As for pulled sugar, it is candy bar made from malt and is really crispy. Coconut must be shaved from mature coconuts so that it can be crispy as well and more buttery. Just a small sweet roll with few ingredients inside is a perfect combination: sweetness and crumbliness from candy bars, buttery taste from coconut and black sesame seeds. It takes less than one minute to make a small lovely sweet roll but when eating, we should have one bite at a time in order to feel every flavor. Normally, Bo bia ngot sellers can customize according to buyers’ preference. For me, I am always keen on putting more coconut and black sesame seeds. If you are a sweet tooth, you should have more of candy bars.

bo-bia-ngot

Find sellers on bicycle or motor-bike with white box, you can order a sweet-roll (source: Internet)

Until now, Bo Bia is still one of the most favorite street foods for every younger or students, for that reason, we can find plenty of Bo Bia sellers in primary or secondary schools or even near some universities. Moreover, in big cities like in Hanoi, Bo Bia can be found around Hoan Kiem lake area or Thanh Nien Steet near West Lake. A special thing about Sweet Roll is that you cannot look for them in a proper shops or restaurants with tables and chairs but on the streets outside. Sweet Roll sellers usually ride their bicycles with hand-made white cupboards writing Bo Bia Ngot on these. For only 10.000vnd, you already have one big or 2 small pieces of Swett Roll.

nho-thuc-qua-tuoi-tho-voi-cach-lam-bo-bia-ngot-2568e2a28aea70496db69daf9478124f

Look inside a small sweet-roll. You just have to spend VND 5.000 (20 cent) for this small piece.

Every day after school or work, on the way back home, stopping by a Bo Bia Ngot vendor is such a peaceful feeling. For the foreign tourists, trying Bo bia ngot on a beautiful day walking around the city will certainly make the journey less tiring. If you ever come to Vietnam, try this cheap yet wonderful street food, and you will not regret.

If you interest this post, please click: Indochina tour to get more information

 

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I decided to book air tickets to return Hoian for the 3rd time on a day of mid-October. However, this is the first time of mine to visit the enchanting town during its rainy season and especially when reading the weather forecast news warning that if central Vietnam would be anyone’s travel plans over the next few days, they may want to consider delaying the travel — or, at least, keep updated to the latest information pertaining to the weather due to the effects from Typhoon Khanun.” (Boarding Area).

Please click indochina tours Vietnam to get more information

Having been kept updated by the local weather forecast channel about the weak influence of this storm and believing that the daily rain will not dilute the beauty of this region, I still started my trip as planned and was so lucky to enjoy Hoian without rain or storm but with a pleasantly sunny and cool weather throughout my chilling days.

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After strolling around the old streets of Hoi An, I thought of doing something else near the town for more fun experiences. My great day was to rent a bike and ride around on two wheels to visit Thanh Ha Pottery Village, Bay Mau Palm Forest and relax by An Bang Beach.

  1. Thanh Ha Pottery Village

Finishing a nice breakfast with Mi Quang (Quang Noodle with shrimp and pork), I headed 3 kilometers out of Hoian town to Thanh Ha Terracotta Park and Pottery Village to see the historical village and made a pottery on my own as a souvernir.

The Thanh Ha village was famous for its pottery, bricks and tiles. You will be amazed to know the unique Yin – Yang tiles which can still be seen on many roofs in the old city of Hoi An were made from this old village. Coming to the terracotta museum, you will have a chance to see the whole building of red bricks and clay in the region.

I must admit that I was lost in the World Square garden of miniature of iconic monuments from all over the world. This was really a great way to learn new places and to check my memory. Besides world famousTaj Mahal, Statue of Liberty, Stonehenge, Sydney Opera House, Pyramids, the Whitehouse, the Angkor Wat, I figured out the little  replica of Hoi An Old Town with lovely old houses which were all made by clay and by the artisans in village.

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Though the indoor exhibition was quite attractive with objects and images about the long history development of 500 year history at Thanh Ha, I could not stand going down to the outdoor area where I can see the nice hand-made pottery products and made one by myself. Needless to say, this is an ideal site for both adults and children where you can create any masterpieces of your imagination.

Having made the pottery without previous knowledge and experience but thanks to the great help of the nice artisan, the vase/pot came out surprisingly nice and it cost only 30,000 VND for this worth.

  1. Bay Mau Nipa Palm Forest:

Leaving the Thanh Ha village, I continued my day trip to Bay Mau Nipa Palm Forest where is regarded as the Little Mekong inside Hoian.

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Located 5 km from Hoian and surrounded by water of 3 major rivers in Hoian: Thu Bon River, Truong Giang River and De Vong River, the hidden coconut forest is really a wonderful destination for tourists to sit in the basket boat and go through the natural coconut waterway. In the past, the forest was an important historical where the guerrilla force relied on coconut forests to cause more damage to the enemy in wars and became a place of shelter, refuge to many officials. Nowadays, it is really nice place for people to explore the tranquil coconut palm while seeing the sunset at Thu Bon River.

Welcomed me on boat, the friendly boat lady gave me an amazing gift made of the coconut leave, that is the ring with shape of a grasshopper! The rowing boat went through the forest and along the river for around 30 minutes. At the end of the ride, I was astonished again by the unique performance of a boat man right in his basket boat while enjoying a great round by my boat’s old lady that was a little dizzy but so much fun.

  1. Relax at An Bang Beach

The end of my day trip today was An Bang Beach, a lovely beach that is only 3 kilometers from the town and it is where you will find less vendors, more peace with clean water, smooth sand, gentel waves and pure atmosphere.

While the Hoian ancient town is peaceful, the beach is somehow vibrant by the pace of life showing on a huge number of bamboo basket boats along the beach. Like in Bay Mau forest, these boats are still used as a mafor means of fishing for daily life.

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As the ideal time for swimming at Hoian beach is from April to September during the summer of Central, I just stopped at An Bang Beach to have a big fresh seafood dinner that definitely satisfied a hungry soul like me.

Though the trip was taken during the rainy season, I enjoyed myself very much in a great weather. So my best advice for anyone who is planning to Hoian these days would be to get updates from local weather channels, book accommodation through any channels that allows for late cancellations or for last-minute delay until the weather is better and take advice from locals where living right at place. It is certain that you can even still had good days while during rainy time. Therefore, I believe you may also have a lot of fun experience to Hoian and do not hesitate to share with me your great time there!

Happy traveling!

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Autumn is the most beautiful season and is the best time to visit Hanoi. When you visit Hanoi at this period (from August to October), the weather is not so hot in the morning and a little cool at night, light rain sometimes. In this season, you will feel Hanoi as a beauty of a young and vunerable girl. It is very difficult to use any words to describe the fragile beauty of autumn in Hanoi. Because of this beauty, the Emperor decided to give this “beautiful girl” as a natural “gift” – Com (Green Sticky Rice or Green young rice) for Viet people. With its green color and small size, it is the most fresh and beautiful food you have ever try during your life.

Com raw

Green young rice in raw is one of must-try food if you travel to Hanoi in autumn (from August to October)

Cốm (in English, green young rice), a popular traditional food especially in the Northern of Vietnam, is made from glutinous rice after a complex cooking process including roasting, sieving and drying. The place considered a Cradle of this food is Vong Village (Cirle Village) in Hanoi. This area used to own abundant rice fields and making Cốm is passed from one generation to another. Cốm gives out a sweet and fresh scent, reminding people who eating of hard-working farmers as well as light breezes in autumn. Besides, a lasting impression is created once you have tried this speciality thanks to its buttery as well as soft taste. It is better to eat Cốm by hand, slowly, one pinch at a time which is similar to the old elegant Hanoian. In order to preserve the color, scent and flavor, this food is wrapped by lotus leaves. Besides, Hanoi people enjoy Green Young Rice in various ways; a few examples are combining Cốm with ripe bananas or red persimmons. However, in my personal, the best way to enjoy this tiny fresh “gift” is eating it with banana and enjoy a cup of Vietnamese green tea. If you have any chance to try this, you will never forget this flavour mixed of sweetness from ripe bananas, bitterness from green tea and aroma of fresh green rice. Let’s travel Hanoi to enjoy Com with: Vietnam tour packages

Chuoi com

The best way to enjoy Com is used it with ripe bananas. Believe me! you will not forget this mixed flavour.

Nowadays, this refined food is usually sold by vendors, who day by day walk through small streets or sit on the sidewalks with their shoulder pole and hangers. Moreover, Cốm is used by houseworkers as an ingredient in daily meals. Some dishes that can be made from Green Sticky Rice are: chicken stewed with herbs and Green Sticky Rice, fried shrimp coated in Green Sticky Rice, Green Sticky Rice sweet soup (Chè Cốm) or even Green Sticky Rice ice cream. Cốm is also an essential ingredient in making Green Rice Cake, a must have present in engagement ceremony of Vietnamese people. Before each wedding, a man’s family have to bring offerings to the woman’s one in order to ask for permission for their wedding.

ban com

You can find Com and buy it from vendor inside the Old Quarter. However, now there is not much vendor sell this natural “gift”, so you need luckiness to catch them who has two baskets full of green

Com cake

However, if you do not have much time or can not find them, you can go straight to Hang Than street in Old Quarter of Hanoi and buy some products made from fresh Com as Com Cake

Along with Green Rice Cake, Xu Xe Cake and betel nut are presents that used to hope for a bright and happy future of the brides and grooms. Green Sticky Rice is so special that it makes every person living far away misses their hometown. In addition, Cốm definitely can satisfy and pamper the most fastidious travelers who ever came to Hanoi. You can not bring the fresh green young rice back to home but you can buy some products made from it as speical souvenir. However, most of real cake/candy made from Com should be used in 4 days to keep their real flavour.

I hope that after reading my post, com will be on your must-try food list in Vietnam. Then, you will at least one time try this special food and enjoy it in the best way.

 

 

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Hanoi in September, the weather seems to be more comfortable. Temperature is down and it is less sudden heavy rain with the thunderstorm as in August. It’s also time the Hanoians enjoy the speciality that only available in Autumn. If you have the chance to be in Hanoi in September, we highly recommend giving these dishes a try. Let’s explore Hanoi to enjoy special dishes with: Indochina tours Vietnam

Hat sen – Lotus Seeds

Lotus seeds are harvested when the seed head of the lotus is ripe or nearly ripe and the latter is harvested when the seed head is still fully green but with almost fully developed seeds. At harvest, the bitter-tasting germ of most seeds is removed using a needle.  It is a healthy ingredient with low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and are a good source of protein. The Hanoians have many ways to use the lotus seeds in cooking.

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Rich & tasty pumpkin & lotus seeds soup for starters

Pumpkin and lotus seeds soup is a perfect starter for your dinner. For the main course, you can order the lotus rice. Rice mixing with lotus seeds, wrapped in the fresh lotus leaves then steamed to be well-done. The fragrance from the lotus leaves that brings comfy feelings. It is also sure going into the favourite list of vegetarians.

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Healthy steam rice and lotus seeds for vegetarians

Chicken, mushroom and lotus seeds slow cooked is a high nutrient receipt that is considered good for the recovering patients and helps to have a beauty sleep.

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It will be a mistake if the desert from the lotus seeds does not come to this list. Fresh lotus seeds stuffed inside the fresh, peel-off longan, that makes the dish looks like the real fruit but with eatable seeds. Added with ice, sugar syrup and a bit fragrance from jasmine flowers, you feel like you’re eating not a dessert, but the spirit of Hanoi.

Com – Green young rice

Though Hanoi is a busy city, it is surrounded by beautiful green fields of rice. Immature rice kernel is harvested and roasted over very low heat then pounded in a mortar and pestle until flattened, then to be served with coconut. In a more rustic way, people eat cốm with ripe banana. Cốm is also used to make other dishes such as xôi cốm (steam sticky rice), chè cốm (sweet soup), chả cốm (the green young rice mix with pork paste, flatten shaped then fried).

Image result for cốm hà nội

Cốm Hanoi

Hanoi is very famous with bánh cốm ( the green rice cake). Steamed, mashed green beans mix with fresh shredded coconut, sugar and covered by the rice flour. It tastes sweet but not too much, quite sticky and will be a perfect match with a cup of Vietnamese hot tea in the afternoon.

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Bánh cốm – the green young rice cake

Moon Cakes

The Mid-Autumn Festival is coming, and Moon Cakes is essential. The cake has round shape looks like the full moon with many options of filling flavours inside. There are two types of the pastry: baked or non-baked

The traditionally baked moon cake has about 10 ingredients inside: cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds or almond, chicken floss, Chinese sausages, lime leaves, lotus seeds, winter melon dried jam, etc. The non-baked version is usually going with vegetarian ingredients, such as taro, lotus seeds, green beans, young rice cake, coconut, etc.

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Many ingredients for the baked moon cake fillings

The moon cake nowadays has been upgraded to a more luxurious version with salted eggs inside. Is has been not only for eating, people are using the moon cake as a gift for their family and friends.

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Favourite modern style moon cake with salted eggs inside

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In previous chapters, I have mentioned many tasty dishes made of 2 special noodles, bun and pho. Today, let’s me be your foodie tour guide again for another 8 minutes. I bet this time, you will not regret, for sure. Many of my friends are sweet teeth, so we can gather together and find new places offering wonderful dessert. Here is our best list.

Traditional sweeties

Hanoi has many sweet foods, so it is a big mistake if you have not tried one when visiting this beautiful city. Basically, like many Asian countries, most of Vietnamese sweeties are made of sticky rice or its powder.

Floating Cake

Floating Cake- source: internet

Han Thuc (Cold Food) festival was few days ago. On that day, people often eat Troi Cake and Chay Cake. Troi cake is a ball of sticky rice powder with palm sugar inside. Many cute white balls will be boiled and served cold. When they are well cooked, they will be floating on the water so it also has other name which is Floating Cake.  Chay Cake is similar to Troi cake, but instead of palm sugar, it is filled with mung bean or green bean paste. Chay Cake also has a second name, Lean Cake. Both of them will be sprinkled with some sesame on the top. They are sooooooo delicious as all the ingredients blend into each other well.  The sweetness from sugar, the stickiness of glutinous dough, and the rich, nutty flavor of sesame can make you eat the dish unstoppably.

Banh Chay

Banh Chay- source: internet

You can find those foods in many street vendors appearing in almost every corner in Hanoi. However, if you want to sit down, there are 2 shops offering those foods in high quality, according to may experience. The first one is right at the corner of Luong Van Can and Hang Bo Street. It is small but always crowded. The price range is from 15000 VND to 30000 VND per dish. I think you might not be able to eat over 30000 VND as this shop’s products are quite too sweet for some people. My friends love it but I think they have too much of sugar. The second one is located near Ham Long Church. It takes quite a bit of time to walk from the centre to there, but if you have scooter, your iron horse will bring you there in just 10 minutes. The price in this shop is similar to the one on Luong Van Can Street.

New emerging sweet foods

Dark Brown rice (Black Rice)

Dark Brown rice (Black Rice)- source: internet

Hanoian loves food, generation after generation, so it is easy to understand why there are always new sweeties in this ancient city. The thing I like most is Sua Chua Nep Cam (Yoghurt with Black Sticky Rice). It is sweet but not too sweet; it also has a light flavor of yoghurt blending perfectly with Black Sticky Rice. Can you imagine it? It is super good for someone like me, who loves sweetie but hate obesity, love sweetness but hate being sweat when doing work out, like eating wonderful food but want to have a strong heart. Since this food provides a lot of fiber and many nutrients from dark brown (black) rice and yoghurt, I can happily and peacefully enjoy it without feeling deeply regret later.

You can find Sua Chua Nep Cam in mostly café and dessert shops, especially the ones for teenagers. In Giang Café, which is famous for egg coffee also offers this lovely food.

Giang Café

Giang Café- source: interent

I hope after reading this article, you will have a few ideas about where to eat in Hanoi. I know it is hard to choose as Hanoi has too many wonderful foods to discover, so maybe my friends who run some interesting tours for foodie can help you. You can contact at Indochina tours Vietnam. Last but not least, don’t forget to read the next chapters, I hope you will have a colorful time in Vietnam. See you soon!

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After visiting all of famous destinations inside/outside Hanoi and still having some free days, what will you do? Staying at your hotel or taking a walk around Old Quarter and seeing our local life. I think it is enough for you to see. Let’s go and have unique experiences on our local daily life!

You will see these activities in Hanoi every day and I make sure that real Hanoi people will have to do one of them at least one time during their lifetime. With these below activities, you can arrange a full day trip to enjoy a local life by yourself easily.

Waking up at 5:30 am, go to a local market in early morning

Normally, Hanoi starts its new day very early at 6:00am. You can see a road with some transportation from 6:00am. But the high time of traffic jam in morning is from 7:15 am to 8:30 am. Most of foreigner cannot understand why we have to start our days earlier than some other country. There are some reasons as below:

  • Most of working places will start at 8:00 am
  • All of primary student and secondary student will be transferred to their schools by parents. Parents will bring their kids to schools safely before moving to office. Because of this culture, all of primary and secondary school will start at 7:15 am. This will help parents can bring their kids to schools safely then going to workplaces on time.

When you wake-up at 5:30 am, you can take a walk around your Hotel and find some vendor at the local market to buy fresh fruit, vegetables, flower, and raw meat with very low price. Most of these vendors go to market at the early morning is farmer who just collect their agriculture products in the very early morning and bring from their garden to big cities like Hanoi to sell. However, if they just sell till around 6:30 am then come back home in countryside area. If you go to market late, you have to buy from retailers who just go to market earlier than you and buy with a good price then trying to earn some profit from people going to market late. A smart Vietnamese housewife will go to market very early to buy fresh foods with the best price.

Flower-Market-in-the-early-morning-in-Hanoi

Flower Market in the early morning in Hanoi- source: internet

In case you do not like local market, you can do some morning exercise around Great Lake, Sowrd Lake or any Park near your hotel. However, you will meet many older walking or running slowly in the early morning. As I said, most people at working age will have to go office very early, so they did not have time to do some morning exercise because it make them be late for working. The younger usually do their work-out in the afternoon after they finish their working day.

Having a breakfast with street Vendor Food and Drink (6:30 am – 7:00am)

In Vietnam, most of hotel will offer you buffet breakfast as a complimentary service. You may enjoy both of Western foods and Vietnamese foods in your breakfast at hotel but I have to say that the taste of Vietnamese foods at hotel sometimes is not traditional and is modified to be familiar with Western dishes. Please to forget one complimentary breakfast at hotel and wake-up then find some local places to enjoy “Pho”, “Bun” or “Banh mi”. They are top three the most popular foods for breakfast in Vietnam. What are they?

Have you tried Pho like this? This is a very local way to enjoy a Pho in early morning in  Hanoi

Have you tried Pho like this? This is a very local way to enjoy a Pho in early morning in  Hanoi- source: internet

  • Pho: a type of Vietnamese soup typically made from beef stock and spices to which noodles and thinly sliced beef or chicken are added. This one is very famous in all over the world.
  • Bun: This is one is nearly the same with Pho but its fibers will be smaller than Pho. You can have use Bun with beef, chickens, snails, duck, pork. You will have more option than Pho which is used with beef and chicken only.
  • Banh mi: a Vietnamese snack consisting of a baguette (traditionally baked with both rice and wheat flour) filled with a variety of ingredients, typically including meat, pickled vegetables, and chili peppers.

Enjoy a Vietnamese black coffee and green tea after break-fast:

ice-milk-cafe

Ice mile cafe – source: internet

I guess that most of you will drink coffee right after wake up and use it during with your breakfast. However, in Vietnam, our breakfast will have a lot of smells and taste (I am talking about real local foods not about modified foods at hotels), so if you drink coffee and green tea, you can enjoy the taste of food fully. If you did not try any Vietnamese coffee before, please do not try to order a black coffee because it will be very strong and not easy for drinking at the first time. You can call a green tea or coffee with milk and ice. Most of coffee shop in Vietnam open early, so you can find some good places around Old Quarter and enjoy your cup of coffee or green tea. Vietnamese people usually have a strong coffee cup with condensed milk in the morning to start a new day.

For more detail information about Hanoi, you can access Hanoi walking tours

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To Vietnamese people, Da Nang is considered as Singapore of the country. People believe it’s the well worth living city in Vietnam.  This city is also an attractive destination to both foreigners and local people. Once in Da Nang, you shouldn’t miss visiting the lovely ancient Hoi An Town which is 30 mins drive from the airport, the Marble Mountain. My Son Holy Land and spend a few days relaxing by the crystal clear beach.

If you have chance of visiting Da Nang city, beside visiting these above sites, don’t forget to visit Con market – the Foodie Paradise to taste the most yummy and cheap street food of the city.

Con Market - the Foodie Paradise of Da Nang

Con Market – the Foodie Paradise of Da Nang- source: internet

I am certain you will be overwhelmed once you arrive to this market because there are hundreds of food stalls that you can hardly see at any markets in Vietnam. It seems that most of the well-known specialties are around you.

If you interest, you can access:  centre Vietnam tours to get more information

Various dishes sold at Con market

Various dishes sold at Con market- source: internet

Con Market has all kind of noodle, pancake, fruit salad, steam rice, snails, fresh fruit juice, fruit/milky jelly … If you don’t know to begin at first, then I highly recommend you to try Mi Quang – a flavor mix of meat, prawns, turmeric noodle and vegetables infused in thick broth and sprinkled with tasty toppings.

Bun Cha Ca - Fish Cake Noodle Soup

Bun Cha Ca – Fish Cake Noodle Soup- source: internet

Next one is Banh Xeo (meaning sizzling pancake), a savory pancake made using rice flour and turmeric powder stuffed with pork, beansprouts, shrimp and herbs accompanied by special Da Nang dipping sauce; or Da Nang’s version of Northern favorite – Bun Cha Ca (Fish Cake Noddle Soup), fish cake, herbs and noodle in a fruity fragant broth. Absolutely not to be missed is a taste of the unique sweet soups of Da nang which include ingredients such as lotus seed and peas, mixed together. I know it sounds strange, but actually it’s more like a desert than a soup and believe me, it tastes so good!

If you get full but you are only at half of the way, don’t get back because there are many yummy food are still ahead. Just walk around to visit the market and then moving to the end of the market where sold the famous spring rolls, Banh Trang, Banh Cuon …

street food

street food- source: internet

The price of the food sold here are also very reasonable. It’s only about 5.000 VND – 20.000 VND per dish (about 2 cents – 1USD per dishes)

For 50.000 – 100.000VND, (3 – 5USD) you will be full until you go to bed.

Con Market

Con market- source: internet

A good point of Con market is all the food served here are very hygiene. Every food stalls even food vendors have clean tables and chairs for customers. Food are kept inside the glass showcase and the sellers will cook it once customers make an order therefore food is always fresh and hot.

The address of Con Market is Con Market 318 Ông Ích Khiêm, Hải Châu 2, Hải Châu Dist. You can take a taxi to this place or from Da nang airport, go to Duy Tan road, turn right to Nguyen Van Linh then go ahead until you see the Ong Ich Khiem Road board then turn left following the traffic circle to reach to Ong Ich Khiem Road. Go ahead until you see the Hung Vuong Crossroad – Con Market is about 100m ahead.

Happy traveling!

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Da Nang – Hai Van pass – Hue – dreaming road for road – trippers

Hue with ancient beauty, Da Nang hiring the winding passes, blue sea and long sandy beaches are destinations that everyone wants to come and experience.

Da Nang is reagarded as the most liveable city in Vietnam

Da Nang is reagarded as the most liveable city in Vietnam – source: internet

Da Nang, regarded as the most liveable city in Vietnam”, has the big gift from mother Nature. It is the cool weather, beautiful and charming scenery, long white beaches and gentle, friendly people and rich cuisine, which are reasons you want to come back again. The city embracing Han river inside makes up the romantic and peaceful landscape along the river. Besides, the unique architectures adorn the attracting scenery. Coming to Da Nang, enjoying the local life, trying special food, etc. is worthy to become one of “bucket list” of travellers in the world when coming to Travel Vietnam and Indochina.

Renowned as the most royal city in Vietnam, Hue has enough charm to keep you staying as long as you can afford the time to visit. It hire the dreamy, poetic and romantic beauty of the ancient city with citadels, palaces, temples and majestic tombs and the values of intangible cultures inside, which is symbol of intellect and soul of Vietnamese people. Many of Hue’s attractions are found along the banks of the romantically named Perfume River with 11km length. This valuable construction includes more than 100 architectural works, which are the reflection of the life of Emperors and mandarins under Nguyen’s reign.

Hue famous for rich cuisine with many simple foods

Hue famous for rich cuisine with many simple foods – source: Sam Nguyen

However, when visiting all the famous landmarks, you will miss when not exploring a simple and peaceful Hue city. Renting a bike or motorcycle, going around Hue to meet and talk to warm and friendly locals is the best way to enjoy the atmosphere here and many special local foods, take photos of young and charming Hue women in “Ao Dai”.

But if you just focus on two city, it is probably not enough for your trip to Da Nang – Hue.Two beautiful cities hide something special as the gift from nature, which is for travellers who are adventurous and love to discover.

There is a majestic pass as a line connecting Da Nang and Hue. In this road through the pass, you can admire Lang Co Bay – known as one of the world’s most beautiful bays or small fishing villages, peaceful blue sky. All is on nearly 30km long passageway (including Pass Phu Gia and Phuoc Tuong), which you can only enjoy if travelling on pass road instead of tunnels.

Things you will miss if taking Hai Van pass by tunnel

Stretching along the slopes of Hai Van mountains is Hai Van pass with the length of about 20km, connecting Hue and Da Nang city. Hai Van pass is like a strim silk ribbon stretching along the majestic mountains.  For centuries, this mountain pass area formed a wall dividing between the ancient Cham culture in the south and the Vietnamese people’s civilization in Red River Delta.

The name of “Hai Van” Pass is very special. “Hải” means the ocean, “Vân” means clouds, “Hải Vân” describes the majestic natural scenery, a colorful picture with sea, mountains, clouds and sun.  In the past, it is called intimatedly “Clouds Pass” because one side of pass is mountains, another side is sea, cloudy all time of the year. The pass is covered by clouds so that you can feel as being lost in the magical paradise. It is said that King Le Thanh Tong had taken the pass and given it the name “Thiên hạ đệ nhất hùng quan” (Means: the most majestic and beautiful pass in the country). And later, this name is inscribed on the stone gateway.

Taking the Hai Van pass is the adventuring experience with the clouds to admire the beauty of colorful pictures: green, turquoise, jade, dark blue and blue, etc.

There is feelings you just get when travelling by motorbike

There is feelings you just get when travelling by motorbike

On the top of Hai Van Pass, travellers can see the Lang Co fishing village in the north and Danang city in the South. Standing on the top, you can see totally the impressive landscape of long coastline.

When driving through Hai Van Pass, you can conquer the winding mountain pass roads, dangerous turns. After going through many winding pass roads, you can stand on the top of Hai Van pass to see panoramic view of Danang city in the sunshine. At the foot of the pass, the trail is as a line separate the space into mountain and lagoon. There are some fishing villages around the lagoon making the view more peaceful and lively. Hai Van Pass has its own beauty in every season attracts many travellers from all over the world to come and explore. In summer,  it is covered with bright colors, blue sky and white clouds. When winter comes, it is such cloudy that you can feel like in the paradise. That is the reasons why many couples have chosen this place to record the best moments of their life.

From the surviving historic  monument on top of Hai Van Pass

From the surviving historic  monument on top of Hai Van Pass

From the monuments on the top of Hai Van Pass, where many people stop to relax and take photos, you can see nice Da Nang city beside Han river, Son Tra peak covered with cloudy in the South and Hue city with Lap An lagoon, Lang Co Bay with many yellow sandy beaches beside blue sea. If you stand here at night, you can be impressed by the image of Danang City like the big glistening silk ribbon beside colorful river. The best time for you to take the pass is in the morning or evening when you can breathe the fresh and cool air and enjoy the spectacular sightseeing. Moreover, walking along the path and stopping at some small shop on the pass – side to try cool and sweet drinks such as coconut and sugar – cane juice. The price is so reasonable for you.

Through Hai Van Pass, Lang Co Bay is so wonderful destination you have never forgotten. This is one of the most ten beautiful bays in the world. Local people here are friendly and hospitable, so do not hesitate to talk and ask them for way to sandy beaches under the Lang Co bridge. Taking a dip in cool water, playing and taking photos are your list – must – to – do here.

Sunrise in Lang Co Bay - one of the most ten wonderful bays in the world

Sunrise in Lang Co Bay – one of the most ten wonderful bays in the world – source: internet

After Lang Co, going ahead to Lap An lagoon where locals breed and catch fishing. Enjoy sunset on Lap An lagoon is your best experience.

Then, you can drive along the 1A high way to visit the food court of the Lang Co to enjoy hundreds of fresh seafood dishes before ending of your road trip. I am sure that it is worthy to try here. Before eating, do not forget to ask the price and then feel free to enjoy.

Tips for travelling through Hai Van Pass by motorbike

Hai Van pass is the extremely dangerous one because of many winding road with cliff on oneside and abyss on another side. So careful preparation before making a roadtrip is so important.

Choose a good companion

Motorcycle is your companion during your trip. Therefore, choosing a good one is indispensable. It is so easy for you to rent a bike in Da Nang city. You can study more about MOTORBIKE RENTAL DA NANG, which own many shops to be convienient for you.

Do serious preparartion

Besides motorcycles, a full backpack with repair supplies, gloves, flashlights, lighters, foods, maps is the indispensable items. Before departure, it should be better to check seriously bike’s safety, prepare masks, long cloths, hats and do not forget cameras.

Keep playing attention to your safety

When Hai Van tunnel is brought into effect, the traffic is not really heavy. That means the road is more desert, you should join in the group, avoid travelling alone. On the way, keep a safe distance with other vehicles, drive with slow speed to be safe and sound.

When you go down the pass, you should check your motorcycle again to ensure safety. Remember to keep the slow speed and use the low number and use wins carefully.

So far, the density of the vehicle through the Hai Van Pass has been less frequent. But Hai Van Pass with its spectacular beauty, it has become the destination attracting travellers from all over the world. So, plan to taking a road trip through Hai Van Pass, why not?

If you interest, please click  Classic adventure Vietnam , it includes all informatins of this post

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