Posts Tagged With: Hanoi

Hanoi – A day in the streets & the market by night!

I found that when I was walking the streets of Hanoi, the energy from the locals was constantly sending me mixed signals. Food venders on the street might greet you when you smile into their bowl of mystery items and others pretend as if you don’t exist. Many tuk tuk drivers will offer you a kind ride, while others won’t hesitate to nip your heels along a cross walk. Maybe it’s because I was spoiled in Cambodia or that I’m usually staying with locals, but I was taken back by the overall “you’re just a tourist” vibe that dampened this city. I suppose thats what I get for visiting the second largest city in Vietnam. With that said, lets see what it has to offer!

Welcome to the streets of Hanoi, Vietnam!

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Of course there’s a Pub… Haven’t found a country yet that doesn’t support an Irish drinking place!

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These sweet girls welcomed me into their creative shop in which mostly everything was handmade by them right here in the store. What a beautiful group of ambitious ladies!

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A breath of fresh air in this busy city can be found with a walk around the lake (the one seen from the balcony of the egg coffee cafe.

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Like in most cities, as the sun goes down… the energy goes up!

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The famous night market draws in a crowd looking for clothes, trinkets, food, drinks and pretty much anything else you can imagine that’s sellable to a willing customer.

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This friendly couple from Sweden made dinner a treat by splitting a massive feast with me. Each table gets their own grill and a plate of raw food. You add the oil and seasonings, then stir-fry it up! I included the first photo just to show off my favorite mini table settings that the locals dine on.

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If you’re not strolling the night market, just hitting the main streets will keep your eyes on the move!

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Safety tips of the day:
1. Assuming pedestrians have the right away will get you hit by a speeding motorbike.

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2. Once you commit to walking… Keep going! They’ll maneuver around you (That’s my noggin to the left of the photo).

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3. If you can’t beat them, join em!

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Time for a double connection! Egg coffee friends… meet barbecue night-market friends! On this evening, we chose to stay low key with the locals and take a tea on some mini stools.

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Well thank you Hanoi for your introduction to Vietnam. Travelers, if you’re reading this for personal advice, here’s my quick thought:
If you’re coming for a personal “local” experience… get out of the city. If you’re coming for souvenirs and egg coffee… You’ve come to the right place.

For me, it’s time to get out of town! A spicy and extremely sweet local girl offered me a ride to the station so I wouldn’t have to deal with a cab or cranky tuk tuk driver. Thank you dear!

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Not only did she drive me all the way there, she parked her bike, checked me in and then proceeded to walk me all the way to the bed I would be sleeping on during this 13 hour train

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Dear mystery motorbike angel, your kind smile and sassy energy was not only appreciated, but adored!

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Next stop, Hoi An!

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Categories: Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Last of Cambodia and a rice wine welcome to Vietnam!

Once we returned from Angkor Wat, I had just a short time before I was to depart for my next stop.

He are some random shots I took as I walked the streets of Phnom Penh. I wasn’t looking for anything specific, just moving about with my eyes open (and realizing… You just don’t see these things every day).

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Last edible surprise dishes turn out to be sweet treats. The first is what looks like pomegranate seeds (they were squishy, not crunchy) with jelly noodles, a soft grain in coconut milk with ice. As refreshing as it sounds, it was fairly tasteless. The following is some type of sea noodle-like items with pumpkin and coconut milk. I prefer the darker noodle bowl as it was warm, savory and sweet!

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I return to work on my last night with all of the lovely ladies that have made home away from home. Popcorn toss, a party hat and great conversation was the perfect way to end my time here.

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What’s this? An adorable detailed list of suggestions from Mel in regards to my next destination… Vietnam! Thank you sweet girl, the time and effort that went into this puts the lonely planet book to shame!

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With that said, here is me, Mel and Semhal on the day of my departure. Miss you already girls!

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No way! It’s our buddy in the pink tuk tuk again! “Lady lady!” He says. I smile like a little school girl (and probably squealed like one too). Off I go to the airport… In style.

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A quick flight and hour drive sends me to Hanoi, Vietnam. The hostel of choice was Tony’s Hotel due to its prime location and quirky description of the hospitality. Sure enough, I arrive to be greeted into a game of cards complemented with the local beverage of choice, rice wine. Side note, it has no similarities to wine… at all.

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What do you get when you mix rice wine and a group of backpackers? A Japanese guy arm wrestling a local Vietnamese, refereed by a German while being viewed by the Spanish and captured on camera by an American girl. Gotta love the hostel life!

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With only a few days here, tomorrow will bring a day on foot getting lost through the city!

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Categories: Accommodations, Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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