The “Dietary-Preferences​”​ Component in Vietnam

Bun Rieu Chay – vegetarian soup with a sweeter tomato base and vermicelli rice noodles

Vietnam is world-wide known for its delicious and fresh food. The signature dish of the country is Pho, to which Joel already has dedicated an extensive post. A soup being the most famous dish of a country says a lot about the overall healthiness of the cuisine. Of course, western influences have resulted in sugary foods and drinks making their way onto the market but overall, you won’t find massive amounts of sugar in your daily food. But what about fish sauce and animal products? Is it hard to find good food to eat if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet?

In general I … Read More

Women’s museum and just walking around

In our last two full days in Hanoi, we were both just a tiny bit knackered but felt that we had to do some stuff and not only waste our time. One day, we basically just walked around trying different restaurants our student guides had recommended to us and seeing sights as we passed by them, including St. Joseph’s Cathedral. The second day we had the option of visiting the Vietnamese women’s museum and the infamous war-time prison dubbed “Hanoi Hilton” by American soldiers. Elly rightly pointed out that we had seen many things related to war and misery already (Toul Sleng, War remnants museum and Reunification Palace) and it might be nice to see something different instead. I agreed … Read More

Guest blogging in Swedish

I’ve written an article in my native language, Swedish, in the hopes of reaching a bigger audience for my blog. It’s on the site called Swedish backpackers, which is also a pretty good resource for travellers that need advice in Swedish, I would specially recommend the facebook group for advice on many different topics regarding travel in Asia. If your language is not Swedish, I suggest skipping this, but if you are a Swede or perhaps Scandinavian, by all means, check it out.

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Student tour

Our guides Kai and Suri

One thing that is very common in Vietnam is free guided tours in the cities with locals. The basic premise is that various different organisations arrange free tours with individuals that are either training their language skills or to work within the tourism industry, and us tourists get a free tour with knowledgeable locals. At least that’s the theory, but you really should provide a small sum for their time and expenses (such as the scooter they drive you around on) and expenses such as entrances to sights and so on. As far as I’ve seen this is quite common in most bigger Vietnamese cities and tourist destinations. We decided to try this out quite … Read More

Vietnamese Coffe Part 4: Matcha Madness

INDULGENCE

We have finally made it to the 4th and last post about drinks in Vietnam and the main hero is matcha. Matcha originates from Japan is one of the most popular and important green teas there. Due to its taste and health benefits it has gained enormous popularity world wide and can be found in cakes, candy, drinks and what have you.

There are two different kinds of matcha: ceremonial matcha and food matcha. The second one is the one used in creations such as matcha latte, matcha ice cream or matcha soft cheese. The ceremonial matcha is extremely expensive. It is made from the most tender green tea leaves and is brighter in color. Flavourwise it is sweeter … Read More

Hanoi

Our next stop after Ninh Binh was Hanoi, our last stop in Vietnam. Originally I had wanted to go further north and west past the more touristy trekking mecca Sapa into the lesser known (by tourists) parts of rural Vietnam. But that was not to be on this trip, we simply did not have that much time and thought it best to stick to places along our planned South-North route between Saigon and Hanoi. More for the next time I visit I guess? I find myself saying that a lot lately actually. This travelling thing is pretty nice, I wonder why I waited almost ten years since last time? Anyway, enough about that and let’s talk about Hanoi. Unlike Saigon, … Read More

Vietnamese Coffee Part 3: Egg Coffee and Co

Did you say eggs? Yes. Did you say coffee? Yes! Did you say EGG COFFEE? Hell yeah!

There are two types of coffee creations that are being mentioned in various blogs and articles about coffee in Vietnam online: the Hanoian speciality (and original) egg coffee and coconut coffee. It is being said that the streets of Saigon are paved with cafes (true) and that coffee culture really has taken off during the last couple of years. I have read several times that coffee creations are wilder and cheaper in Vietnam’s southern major city. One thing I can assure you is that coffee is indeed cheaper in the south but I wouldn’t go as far as claiming that the creations are … Read More

Ninh Binh day 3 (Trang An)

During our last day in Ninh Binh I had really started to learn this scooter thing somewhat, so we decided to have a real full day where we decided to go to as many attractions as we could. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, this ended up being only 2 places but I will explain why in a moment. We also decided to travel farther away since I got more comfortable driving. Our first stop was Trang An, arguably the most famous destination in Ninh Binh; a watery landscape of caves, karsts and small island pagodas. The drive there was quite nice and reasonably easy, although Elly didn’t like the stalls along the road where they sold whole roasted and strung … Read More

Ninh Binh Day 2

The second day in Ninh Binh/Tam Coc was when we were supposed to start riding the scooter around and taking in the local sights. The weather gods decided otherwise. From early morning to around 3-4pm it was raining heavily with some thunder thrown in for good measure. Elly and I decided to stay in and do some work instead. But once the weather started to clear up I was actually eager to see some more of the surroundings and build upon my driving skills. As it was pretty late I just decided to show Elly the places where I had been practice driving before, just to get her used to the idea of riding with me. Since we actually were … Read More

Vietnamese Coffee Part 2: Poop Coffee

Poop coffee, you say? Is that even a thing? Well, guess what. Yes, it is! Normally you would call it weasel coffee but it literally is made from the fermented coffee beans that a weasel (Asian palm civet) has pooped, ergo poop coffee. In the following text, I will not tell you anything about the history of this kind of coffee or go too much into detail regarding the controversy surrounding it. I will simply tell you about what it is that makes it so special and expensive and about its delicious not-at-all poopy flavour.

Weasels have the ability to find the ripest of coffee beans, a delicacy for them. In their stomaches, the beans … Read More