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Archive for the ‘Cuisine Tour’ Category

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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Colorful Bangkok

Colorful Bangkok

Great food, superb shopping and a vibrant culture make the Thai capital an ideal gateway for a journey to South-East Asia. Bangkok is a huge hub for Southeast Asia and is also an excellent place to kick off a trip. It’s a big bustling city and it’s best to see.

You could spend a lot more time exploring the city but I visited this capital many times before so 3 days in Bangkok is a good length of time for my visit. Each time I come  back I fall deeper and deeper in love with this amazing city.

For more information, you can click: Indochina tours Thailand

Beneath the dust and chaos, Bangkok is packed with things to do and places to see. From street-side restaurants with plastic chairs and road-side amulet stalls to top-notch restaurants and the world’s hippest rooftop bars. From exploring ancient temples to taking a  tuk-tuk tour through the Bangkok night. Bangkok has it all and there is never a dull moment when you hit the streets of this city.

Tuk Tuk is popular transportation in Bangkok

Tuk Tuk is popular transportation in Bangkok

Here is my sharing for 48 hours itinerary with the highlights of what to do in Bangkok.

Saturday: Temples and Historic Sites

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) – Wat Pho (Gigantic reclining Buddha) and Wat Arun – Temple of the Dawn.

Buddhism is the national religion and is practised by nine out of 10 Thais, who pay their respects at shrines at all times of day. The former home of the monarch, the Grand Palace is located right beside the architectural wonder that is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. You must be properly dressed before being allowed entry to the temple. Wear shirts with sleeves, long pants or skirts and shoes. So no tank tops! If you’re wearing sandals or flip-flops you must wear socks, so no bare feet. If you show up at the front gate improperly dressed, there is a booth near the entry that provides clothes to cover you up properly. You must leave your passport or credit card as security. Shoes should be removed before entering the main chapel. Also, when sitting in front of a Buddha image, remember to tuck your feet behind you to avoid the very offensive pose of pointing your feet towards Buddha.

From Grand Palace, walk about 10 minutes to Wat Pho, the gigantic reclining Buddha is amazingly beautiful covered in gold leaf and mother-of-pearl ornaments inlaid in his feet. Wat Pho is also Thailand’s headquarter for the teaching of traditional Thai medicine and Thai massage. After this walk around Grand Palace and Wat Pho, nothing beats a relaxing head or foot massage.

Then it is time to cross the river, so jump on a cross-river ferry from No. 8 Tha Tien to Wat Arun pier. On your way to the Grand Palace and Wat PhraKaew you passed this temple with the ferry, so you already know that it is spectacular and atmospheric with its steep piers reaching up in the sky. It is at its most impressive after dark when it is lit up and looks a bit magical and like a fairytale. Unfortunately, it closes before nightfall. This is my favourite temple in Bangkok.

In the late afternoon, take a ride to the Asiatique-The Riverfront, a new shopping and entertainment venue on the Chao Phraya River. I love this place very much. You can go shopping, enjoy a cocktail to see sunset on the river bank or have a great dinner with live music.

Grand Palace in Bangkok

Grand Palace in Bangkok

Wat Pho

Wat Pho

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Wat Arun

Wat Arun

Sunset on the riverbank

Sunset on the riverbank

Asiatique Market & Shopping Mall

Asiatique Market & Shopping Mall

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  1. Sunday: Modern Bangkok and Weekend Shopping

After this delicious breakfast and it’s time to head on to the famous and vibrant China Town that is located by the river. Go for a walk through the narrow streets and beautiful buildings in China Town, shop Chinese green tea and other Chinese souvenirs, and just watch the life on the streets. (How to get there: It is best to take a taxi or tuk-tuk to China Town – Estimated time: 1-2 hour)

Next stop is Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok. It has reached a landmark status as a must-see place for my visit all the time. Chatuchak Weekend market is probably the biggest weekend market in the world. Here you will find just about anything you can imagine, both useful and not so useful stuff.

If you are not in Bangkok a Saturday or Sunday, it is time to experience the modern side of Bangkok and visit the Siam area to go shopping. Take the sky train to Siam station or Chit Lom station. Siam is a shopping bonanza and we love it. You can spend hours and hours exploring the four big shopping centers that are located next to each other in the Siam area: Central World (has an ice skating rink at ground floor), Siam Paragon (has South East Asia’s biggest aquarium, Siam Ocean World at base level and the Exotic Thai store on 4th floor – perfect for gifts and souvenirs), Siam Center, Siam Discovery (has Bangkok’s Madame Tussauds on 6th floor), MBK.

China Town in Bangkok

China Town in Bangkok

Siam Shopping Center

Siam Shopping Center

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Modern Bangkok

Modern Bangkok

Modern Bangkok

Modern Bangkok

Chatuchak Weekend Market

Chatuchak Weekend Market

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There you go, this itinerary packed with what we consider it the “heart” of Bangkok. Two days is in our opinion not enough time to spend in this magnificent city. Four or five days are what I would recommend, then you have time to really enjoy yourself and your time in Bangkok and also have some time to relax.

Hope you enjoy this city as much as I do!

Photos credit by Lucas.

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