Erin's Asian Adventure
Part two - Hanoi
When traveling with us, it's all about the food! Our first stop with Erin was our favorite little hole in the wall.... REALLY! Here is the kitchen:
Where the specialty is .... pigeon!
Erin gave it a try. Tastes like chicken : )
Chop sticks and little chairs - just like a local!
This guy stood up to get out of the photo for us. We told him no, don't leave, just give us a big smile... and he did!
Another one of our favorites and a Hanoi specialty... Bun Cha.
It is basically a noodle soup with pork. You are served a bowl of broth with grilled pork along with rice noodles and fresh herbs. Rice noodles and fresh herbs are common in Vietnamese foods. The side dish with the carrots is the yummy vinegar, fish-sauce sauce to add for flavoring.
Another one of our favorites and also a Hanoi specialty, egg coffee. Does it really have egg in it? Yes. A raw egg yolk is mixed with sweetened condensed milk, whisked into a froth, and added to the specially brewed coffee.
A pile of chickens next to our table. Welcome to Asian dining!
We hired Hanoi Kids who we highly recommend as tour guides. It is an English speaking club for college students. The tour is free, you just pay for any entrance fees and food/drinks for the students/guides. It was a great tour and the two girls we had as guides were fun and spoke really good English.
They took us to the restaurant Xoi Yen, which would have been very difficult for us to navigate as nothing was in English. The dish does not look appetizing - but we all loved it! It is basically sticky rice (often called sweet rice or glutinous rice), topped with things like boiled chicken, pate, egg, sausage, pork, corn, fried shallots or seafood.
Oh and a new find... soft frozen yogurt chunks. I wish I wrote down the name to share... sorry!
Another photo with our guides from Hanoi Kids.
The Morning market
We are used to the markets in Asia but for Erin it was a new (and eye opening) experience.
We didn't only show Erin food! We visited the Temple of Literature, Vietnam's first and oldest university. The temple was built in 1070 and is dedicated to Confucius, scholars, and sages (those having wisdom).
I have visited here many times as I find it to be a very peaceful place. Every time I have been, there are students in their graduation gowns. Kids from all over go to take photos at the temple - it is said that it will bring them good luck in their future studies.
It is a tradition and omen of good luck, to touch the head of all turtles at the temple.
We also did a little shopping. Erin had an Ao Dai (traditional dress of Vietnam) custom made.
It turned out beautifully!
D was extra excited about having two women to shop with!
Erin needing more money to shop!
And I can't do a post on Hanoi without a few crazy motorcycle/traffic shots. Check out her side pose, so relaxed.
This is a great - a designer cover up. The Vietnamese women cover to protect themselves from the sun.
We ran into a a funeral procession. A family will hire extra mourners to walk in the procession to indicate that the deceased was well thought of. They hire a band and people carry banners with statements written about the deceased, for all to read.
The city at night
It was interesting to see that they had Christmas decorations up and lit in October! Like Singapore, they have extravagant lights for a country that does not celebrate Christmas.
Here's to Hanoi!
We were happy to show Erin one of our favorite cities.