traveling in Vietnam

If you are an avid reader of this blog one year ago I have posted about exotic foods in Hanoi, you can see it here. We don’t have a courage last year to eat these foods but on our second visit we didn’t lose our chance to eat these yucky foods to other. We had a video but my Pookie Bear, merged them all and it is such a large file to upload so just feast your eyes looking at these yummy foods. Hope you enjoy!
If I only know that the big lizard (tuko) can be eaten for sure my cat and I had a rumble catching tuko in our house.
We have been traveling in Vietnam for nearly three weeks already, we went from Hungary to Vietnam and now we are in Da Nang, Vietnam. We stayed five days in Da Nang and took an 8-hour bus ride to Hoi An, there’s nothing much to see in Hoi An aside from the old town, churches and museums. So, after visiting two museums today and walking again in the old town (as we already wandered yesterday) we called it a day and headed back to our hotel to rest, we are heading to Nha Trang tomorrow.
I should be blogging about Sapa where this blog stuck (6 countries left un-blogged) blame it to procrastinated me. Anyway, while looking around my website –, I have stumbled to a link shared by a friend about a blog of two travel buddies who are disappointed/sick with Vietnamese food – I Would Rather Go Hungry Than Eat Vietnamese Street Food Again! Not new to me, my husband is not pleased with Vietnamese food either but I will wait until he tries an authentic Vietnamese restaurant.
Well, I admired their courage to eat street food because I will not eat street food unless I knew the vendor or person cooking the food or it has a good review of being clean from people I knew, it is better to be safe than sorry. It is like you travel to India and commit stomach suicide (Delhi belly) by eating street food, I am not sure if they do proper research before heading to the Vietnam or even try to use a lonely planet guide on their trip, because it is quite unbelievable that they are not able to try longganisa if they went to Iocos (as I have read in few comments) you can get these famous longganisa in the street of Vigan and they even have their famous empanada with longganisa. Even if they didn’t go to Vigan they can find longganisa in every wet market of the Vietnamese, they are all hanging like a wall decor in every meat stall. So quite interesting they are not able to get one unless they really went to convenience store to look for longganisa, you know it is like buying a loaf of bread in a pharmacy and buying a medicine in a bakery.
If they stay in a hotel/hostel (or someone’s house) on the list of best hotels in Ho Chi Minh City, they should ask the information desk/landlord where to get traditional food if their travel guide (book) doesn’t say so or a simple question to Mr. Google is already a big help. Asking people in the street is like asking for a direction, some people knew and some people don’t. If they want to try Vietnamese street food like balut they can get them in the local market, just look for egg stalls and ask for balut but of course they have to boil them themselves unless they found a street vendor walking in the street selling “balut” you can find balut vendor from 5pm till midnight, and balut is not a street  food that is hard to find, ask a drunkard he will surely lead you to one.
Most Vietnamese eat heavy breakfast, consist of fried rice, fried eggs, longganisa and tuyo (fried dried fish) or tapa. If they want to eat Vietnamese breakfast they should went to Pho or Banh My, Greenwich and McDonalds to order tapsilog, longgilog and more because I have heard these fast food chain I have mentioned served these type of food It doesn’t make sense too, why buy a fruit that looks old when you can go to another fruit store to find fresh one, unless they went to a sari-sari store where most store owner only shop goods once  a week. Bananas in the Vietnamese are export quality, Vietnamese grew bananas and seeing a dark banana in the street is quite unusual unless you find them hanging in a small-scale store.
Furthermore, I have read they want to eat like locals, but sad to say they failed. Vietnamese foods like adobo, sinigang, kare-kare, nilaga, bulalo, sisig are mostly cooked at home or can be found in a medium scale restaurants and large restaurants. Usually, Vietnamese will not eat in a restaurant a food that they can easily cooked at home, most turo-turo served viand like menudo, bopis, taghilaw and few more other things or those food that you can mostly eat during birthdays, wedding and feast season but of course these food are not prepared to impress but  only to fill the empty stomach of people in a very tight budget like students, although there are some turo-turo with a good cook. If you really want to eat a well-prepared food and be impressed, spending few shackles is not a always a bad decision, $25 a day is already one week budget for a local.  Shopping malls in the Vietnamese always have a food court where you can eat less than $2 a meal, some stalls served local foods and sea foods too!
Sweets are really part of everyday lives, finding sweet food in the street of Philippines is like finding bakeshop err Cukiernia in the street of Europe. Eat wisely, eating in the street of South East Asia is not like eating in the street of Europe! Saving money while traveling doesn’t mean eating bluntly and sacrificing your health just for a sake of eating like a local, a local without a hint of being one.

Trekking in Ma Pi Leng mountain

Trekking routes across the Karst plateau of Dong Van Town, located in northeast Ha Giang Province, have become increasingly popular since being recognized as part of the Global Network of National Geoparks (GGN) in 2010. Dong Van-based Dulichso offers amazing trekking routes between the rocky town, ethnic Mong villages in MaLe and Thien Huong as well as up to the Ma Pi Leng mountain pass.
The 18km route from Ma Le to Thien Huong has become known as the valley of rocks due to its spectacular natural appearance. As per schedule, tourists are taken to Ma Le Village, 5km from central Dong Van, via van before embarking on a full-day tour. "The trip is amazing. The landscape and natural conditions across the 1,600m above sea level area has lured many travelers," said TUN travel agent Hoang Anh Tuan. "The wild routes offer the perfect conditions for memorable experiences such as barbecues," he said. Tuan added that tour groups are always accompanied by local Mong guides to avoid people getting lost.
Tourists are additionally provided with sticks and jungle-knives to help them make their way through dense undergrowth. Ta Lang Village, home to the hospitable Giay and Tay ethnic groups, is the first stop. "Because international tourists often can't speak their language, the hosts may refuse to welcome them into their homes. That's where we as guides come in handy," said local guide Li Thanh Hong.
"We always prepare lunch near the Nho Que river-bank while often buying either goat or chicken meat for barbeque parties in the jungle," Hong added.
"It's like a wild life lunch. Local guides often teach tourists how to catch fish by hand," said tour guide Luc Thi Thuy. She added that fish is mostly grilled alongside moss while chicken is coated with clay before being placed on the fire.
Vertical limit: The route is very tough and challenging, and the mountain pathways are almost vertical in places. Ban Mo Village is another favorite stop over for lunch with visitors seated on stone slabs in the middle of the Nho Que River in the dry season. The last and final trek of the day, running 7km uphill from the river-bank to the top of the Ma Pi Leng mountain pass, takes a challenging two hours.
"The route is very tough, but also very interesting. The mountain pathways are almost vertical," said Anh Tuan, who designed the route two years ago. "When you reach the top, the river looks like a silk thread cutting through the deep valley." The tour reaches its end on top of the Ma Pi Leng mountain pass from where tourists are taken back to Dong Van Town to while away the afternoon in exploration. Tour operators offer packages from US$100 including Vietnam visa on arrival for groups of four, and transportation from Ha Noi to Dong Van Town.
TUN Travel also provides trekking tours via Tam Son Town in Quan Ba District as well as in the districts of Yen Minh and Meo Vac. Tourists always benefit from exploring the UNESCO recognized town as a member of the Global Network of National Geoparks. The town's main market day falls on Sundays while it lights up with lanterns on Saturday nights. Dong Van Town is a definite must on the tourist radar due to its spectacular natural surroundings and its well preserved cultural and ethnic heritage.

my trip in Hanoi Vietnam

After one hour of flight from Korea we arrived in Vietnam we just stayed in the airport as we can’t go out, we need a visa to do it. Plus we are only going to wait for few hours then we have to board another plane to Vietnam, we just roam around the departure area after having our passport stamped in the Vietnam visa section, I walked ahead of my husband when we went down the departure area, when I reached in the water fountain  a Vietnamese guy riding the airport cart say something to me in their language as I can’t understand what he is trying to say I just look at him and left the place. I felt a little scared thinking I violated something in the airport, you know the news about my countrymen being sentenced in Vietnam scares me.
So, I walked back to my husband and asked him to snap a photo of me in front of the water fountain, it turns out that the guy in the cart is asking me if I want a ride that’s how I understand it after seeing few people riding the cart and when my husband told me it cost $2 for each person.
Then when we are tired walking around we decided to find a place to eat, we found Cafe Sambal by the airport map they served Indonesian food and other Asian food, we actually missed it because we are looking for a restaurant and not an open place like this.
Anyway, we ordered one whole Hainan chicken and two order of Indonesian fried rice, they served one plate of rice and then the chicken followed.  It seems they forgot that we have two order of rice so we asked for it before my husband starved.
The Indonesian fried rice has a little barbecue on the side, it tasted good but there’s a strong smell and taste into it. It is familiar to me I just cannot recall what is it but I know it is a seasoning added to fried rice.
Eating in the airport is really expensive the amount we pay here is already a lot of food if we eat in Minfuju Restaurant located in Apricot Hotel, Vietnam. Well like what I have said I kept on whining about our room in the hotel I can’t sleep well, for dinner time we decided to walk outside the to look for another place to eat, when there’s a lot of people everywhere and planes are just above my head. We’re looking for a restaurant who served a Peking duck but can’t find any, so we ended on the same restaurant just in the vicinity of our hotel. Unlike with our lunch, we just ordered few things because I still feel bloated and you are not going to be surprised why I gained weight after our travel to North Korea because all I did is to eat in Vietnam and North Korea as well.
After a not so long flight we landed in Vietnam’s Airport and the Vietnamese clapped their hands the moment the plane reached the ground. Maybe sign of joy being landed safely, after getting all our things we directly went to some booth to book for a hotel near the airport and eventually asked if they can book us a tour to Peking Man site, sad to say the place is really far that we can’t make it especially we have an early flight tomorrow.
So, the lady eventually finds us a hotel in Hanoi to stay with free drop out to airport tomorrow, when we arrived at the hotel the room given to us looks just fine not until we plugged our laptop and found out there’s no internet connection so we our transferred to adjacent room, still looks fine not until I lay on the bed and start scratching. Waaah, the bed feels buggy, it feels like there’s tiny creature crawling to your skin. I keep whining the whole time we are inside the hotel. Anyway, after a while we decided to eat our lunch, we had a feast to say thank you we are still alive after the visit to North Korea. What I mean we are both hungry no breakfast just snack in the plane so here are the foods we ate.
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