Joe's first mango sticky rice
We are back from Myanmar and had a lovely time. But first things first - it's time to catch you up on our trip to Bangkok.
Our trip to Bangkok happened thanks in part to Joe's job. He had a business trip in the city, so I excitedly tagged along to turn it into a mini vacation for the two of us. Although Joe had already been to Bangkok once before for work, it was my first time there.
My first impressions of the city were that there are a lot of people in Bangkok (locals and tourists), the traffic is horrible, and the Thai's like to display very large photos of their royal family all around the city (seriously, their faces were on billboards, random signs along the freeway and streets, and on buildings). Joe and I hired what I'll call loosely, a car service, from the airport to take us to our hotel. Our car turned out to be a hearse-like car that I guess is supposed to be a replica of black cabs in London (according to signage in the car). I felt that the car's design was well intended, just not carried out very well. While we had a ton of leg room, the cab was very old and extremely hot thanks to the poor circulation of the air conditioning. Thus, our journey into the city was a comical one as Joe and I sweated profusely and I tried not to get carsick from the constant weaving between traffic and stop-and-go driving.
We got to our hotel with just enough time for lunch before Joe had to go to his first business meeting of the day. Our hotel was in the Sukhumvit section of Bangkok, a bustling economic center with many modern and new buildings. Joe and I had our first meal in Bangkok at a cute little Thai restaurant in the basement of a mall (unfortunately I didn't remember to record the name of the restaurant). We ate some of the best pad thai either of us have ever had, and Joe tasted mango sticky rice for the first time. For those of you who are unfamiliar with mango sticky rice, it's a very popular dessert in Thailand. Glutinous rice is cooked with coconut milk and is slightly sweet. The rice is served with mango and comes with a little coconut sauce drizzled on top. It is delicious and you feel slightly less guilty indulging in this than in a chocolatey dish.
Our cab to the hotel from the airport
First meal in Bangkok
Delicious pad thai
The inside of Terminal 21
After Joe went off to work, I indulged in a day of beauty and pampering since services in Bangkok are really cheap. My experience was wonderful, to say the least.
I accomplished my entire day of indulgence at the mall next door to our hotel, Terminal 21. Luckily and conveniently for me, most of the spas that came highly recommended online all happened to be at Terminal 21 (I didn't feel like facing the crowds and traffic of Bangkok on what was supposed to be a relaxing day).
Terminal 21 is a very cute concept. The seven-storey mall is themed as an airport terminal with each floor representing a different location. As you can see in the photo above, one of the floors is San Francisco with a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge. Other floors include the Caribbean, Tokyo, London, and Hollywood. The mall has a wide mix of stores, restaurants, and a movie theater.
My day of pampering started with my first ever massage... and perhaps, the last one I'll ever have. I went to a spa called Let's Relax for a traditional Thai massage. My masseuse was a little old lady who was so small I wondered if she'd have enough strength to administer a massage. She showed me. Thai massages are full-body massages that include some stretching. The masseuse dug into my muscles, making me squirm at some points because it was either slightly painful or extremely ticklish. Since the masseuse was so small, she had to stand on my back at one point to twist my body to stretch my back. I'm not one for people touching me because I'm extremely ticklish, so the experience took a little bit of a mental toll on me as I tried not to kick or flinch lest I hurt the masseuse! I do, however, see the merits of massages because I did feel very relaxed at some points... enough so to fall asleep. I think the best part of the experience was the smell of the linens which was extremely aromatic and relaxing. The one hour massage only cost about US$16.
Next, I headed to the Take Care salon to get a quick haircut and manicure. My hairdresser, a Thai man, understood English well and executed a great trim for me. He and his assistant teamed up to blow dry my hair, going over it again and again to make sure my hair set in perfect waves. It was a great experience and only cost US$16! Then, I headed to the manicurist's table for a relaxing manicure that included lots of great smelling scrubs, skins masks, and lotions. The manicurist really had an eye for detail and did a great job. Again, I got a pretty good deal... only US$16 for the 45-minute manicure.
I can't believe I only spent US$48 for a full day of pampering. This would have cost far more in Singapore or the US. I can see why people love visiting Bangkok!
Shortly after this, I met up with Joe and two of his colleagues from BASF for dinner. We ate at Terminal 21 at a restaurant called MK Restaurant, which is a chain in Southeast Asia that's famous for its Thai-style "suki" (also known as hotpot). Each table has a burner in the middle with a pot full of some sort of broth. Diners order different types of raw meat, vegetables, and noodles. All of this is dumped into the hotpot and cooked, then everyone ladles what they want into their own bowl. This wasn't one of my favorite meal experiences in Asia, but it was interesting and I felt very healthy. There is very little fat or oil in suki and I didn't feel stuffed after eating a ton.
Cooking several ingredients
"Hollywood" level of Terminal 21 where we saw a movie
To end the night, Joe and I did something we don't normally do on trips. We saw a movie. Yes, a movie. I had read that seeing a movie in Thailand is quite an event... and it was. Combine this with the fact that the last Twilight movie had just come out and that we don't see movies in Singapore because they are censored (we don't want to miss the good parts)... and I'd say we had good reasons for visiting a movie theater.
Going to the movies is pretty cheap in Thailand. It was about US$12 combined for Joe and I to buy tickets. And, the nice part about Thai movie theaters is that you purchase an actual seat as if you were going to a concert. This way, you don't have to worry about getting to a popular movie early to snag a good seat.
The movie theaters in Thailand are really nice with big, plush comfortable chairs. I would have liked to have taken a photo, but cameras are not allowed in theaters. I suppose this is because many people illegally film movies to sell on the black market. Theater staff make you check your camera battery with them before you can enter the theater.
Before the movies begin, all of the theaters play a tribute video honoring the Thai king and the audience must stand for this. It was kind of odd starting a movie this way, but the locals love the royal family and really get into the montage. At the end, they even salute the king, muttering some sort of phrase.
While the theater experience was interesting, Twilight was terrible. Good thing we didn't spend a fortune to see it!
As some of you know, Myanmar's military dictatorship recently began opening the country up to the rest of the world. Joe's project at work focuses on new market entry to Myanmar for BASF's crop protection products. He has a business trip this week and I have the opportunity to tag along! I'm excited to see
This means that my blog postings on Bangkok will be a bit delayed. See you later this week!
Celebrating Thanksgiving with Nina
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone back home!
While we didn't have a traditional holiday, we improvised with a Thanksgiving buffet at Brewerkz restaurant. We were surrounded by more Americans than I've seen in one place in a long time, and our German friend, Nina, joined us for the special occasion. We pigged out on a good spread of food... I think Joe literally ate about five pounds of mashed sweet potatoes!
Joe, ready to fill a big plate with food
The buffet line
Joe is satisfied!
The photos from our latest trip to Vietnam are now published. Hover over the photos tab and click on Vietnam to see them!
Central gate of Hoa Lo
Our final day in Hanoi was spent doing a historical sites tour of the city. Our first stop was the Hoa Lo prison, also known as the Hanoi Hilton.
Hoa Lo was originally built by the French to imprison Communist Vietnamese political prisoners. At one time, the prison was a sprawling complex. Today, only part of the building has been preserved as a museum and the rest of it was torn down following the Vietnam War.
The prison has many different chambers that served different purposes. One was a large room with raised concrete platforms on two sides. There were ankle shackles at the end of the platforms. Prisoners would be lined up next to one another with their legs shackled, sitting or laying down on the concrete slab. There is an exposed toilet at one end of the room on a raised platform. Prisoners had absolutely no privacy here.
The death row and women's chambers were a bit different. These rooms were very small in very tight corridors. Some of the cells had ankle shackles while others were open rooms. Several prisoners would be squeezed into these tight spaces, with little room to move and stale air to breathe. Solitary cells were the creepiest of all. They were built in dark corners of the prison and had very little light. Prisoners in these cells would have no human contact.
I can only imagine how disgusting and filthy the prison was at one time. The historical posters informed us that many prisoners ended up dying of disease because of the lack of clean water and healthy food. Prisoners were also killed via guillotine and tortured with electrical shock devices.
Cell with ankle shackles
Narrow death row corridor
John McCain's flight suit and parachute
During the Vietnam War, the Vietnamese army used Hoa Lo to house American POWs. This is when the prison got its famous nickname, the Hanoi Hilton. During the war, the Vietnamese army used propaganda to claim that the American soldiers were treated nicely at the prison as if they were staying at the Hilton. Throughout the museum, we saw video footage and posters of American soldiers who, I'm going to guess, were threatened to participate in various advertising campaigns. I've read online that former prisoners have actually recounted the torture that happened at Hoa Lo.
One of the most famous American POWs to grace the Hanoi Hilton was Senator John McCain. The museum has his flight suit and parachute on display.
Following our trip to Hoa Lo, we went to a more positive historical site called the Temple of Literature. The Temple of Literature is Vietnam's first national university and was built in 1070. The site is really well preserved considering how old it is. The grounds are quite beautiful with several garden courtyards and impressive architecture. Although the temple isn't a university today, it seemed to be a popular spot for students because we saw many groups of them dressed up in traditional costume and taking photos.
Main gate of the Temple of Literature
Cooks at Quan An Ngon
We ended our time in Hanoi with a great lunch at a restaurant called Quan An Ngon. This restaurant was similar to a restaurant we ate at in Ho Chi Minh City called Nha Hang Ngon. Quan An Ngon has a large dining area that is sort of like a food court filled with short tables and benches (which were a little uncomfortable because they were meant for small people... Joe was slightly cramped). Cooks line up around the inside perimeter of the restaurant with what looked like outdoor food stands. This experience gives you a taste of Vietnamese street food in a more upscale setting. It is a really popular spot for locals.
The language barrier at the restaurant was rough as most of the staff didn't speak English. So, Joe and I made guess orders on the menu and hoped for the best. The food didn't disappoint. We had fresh spring rolls with beef, fried spring rolls with crab, vermicilli with some sort of warm sauce and pork, and vietnamese fried rice. Another wonderful meal to end our time in Vietnam. :)
Joe at our table
Busy day at the restaurant
Vermicilli with pork and sauce
Geared up for our biking adventure!
The third day of our trip was my favorite day because we had a chance to see authentic village life, both on land and on water. I am amazed at the varieties of lifestyles around the world!
Joe and I kicked off the day with a biking adventure on Cat Ba Island. We had to take a ferry to the island, and were all safetied up with life vests and helmets :)
According to our cruise director, Cat Ba Island is the largest island in Halong Bay and was a significant land mass during the Vietnam War. The island was a strategic look-out and transfer point as well as a safe hideout for Vietnamese generals. We were told that the Vietnamese army filled the island with women and children during the war to dissuade the American army from bombing it to take over.
Today, Cat Ba is a popular stop for tourists. We rode our bikes along a winding and hilly path about three kilometers into the island until we came across the Viet Hai village. The scenery along the way was lush and peaceful, and extremely untouched. It was really nice to see a "not-so-touristy" area.
Start of the bike path on Cat Ba Island
Joe and his bike
Farmland along the trail
Gate to Viet Hai village
Cat Ba island is inhabited by only about 68 families with 400 people in total. Villagers live in very basic houses and tend to the fields for a living. Although the homes are basic (I don't think they have bathrooms and modern plumbing) some of them did have satellite dishes and televisions, which I found amusing.
The families of Viet Hai were very friendly and greeted us with hellos as we rode past their homes. We were told they like to see outsiders, especially so their children can see what different people look like. Speaking of children, there were many cuties on the island. There were also a lot of dogs and puppies!
Our tour guide told us that the government helps support the inhabitants of the island. They pay the expenses for any child who wants to go to mainland Vietnam to study. I'm also guessing the government has a hand in the way fresh water and goods are shipped over to the island. Some of the staff from our cruise ship are from Cat Ba, and they got to visit with their families during our stop.
A local home
Cute kids who stopped to say hello
A young boy (I'm guessing about 10 years old) working in the fields
A wobbly footbridge on our hike
While on the island, our guide took us on a hike through one of the forests to see a cave that was used as a hideout during the Vietnam War. The hike was rough... it was muddy, the brush was thick, there were lots of mosquitos, and some parts of the path were challenging to get across (such as the wobbly footbridge pictured to the left). Parts of the path are really narrow with low-hanging branches, so we found ourselves crouching around.
I was relieved when we finally reached the cave. The cave was really dark, and at first, really creepy. Luckily, some people had flashlights with them so we were able to see the formations inside the cave, which were really neat. We also saw an inscription on the cave that was written in 1966.
Joe crouching on the path to the cave
A message written in 1966
The inside of the cave
Houses in the floating village
Our second excursion of the day was to a floating village called Vung Vieng. This was one of the most interesting experiences I've had in Southeast Asia.
We were ferried from our boat to a central meeting place in the village that served as a rowboat "taxi" stand. Guides in rowboats were gathered to shuttle us through the village. Since the villagers live on the water, they are very skilled at maneuvering boats. In fact, we saw a young boy, probably about eight years old, swiftly rowing a boat with his feet! Some of the rower guides that met our tour group were little old women that surprised me with their strength and agility. After rowing a kayak a few times in my life, I know that paddling is strenuous, hard work.
Once in our boat, we were shuttled past the many homes of the floating village. As you can see in the photo above, the homes are literally floating in the water. Many of them are made of basic materials, with little more than a bed and TV inside. It appeared that they were anchored down in some fashion, and many homes had floating barrels connected to them. Because of the thin walls and sometimes non-existent doors, the homes seemed to offer little privacy for the families. I imagine neighbors can hear everything going on next door. What really surprised me, is that almost every family had at least one dog on their floating residence. I can't imagine how the dogs get enough exercise since they don't have a lot of room to run around.
After seeing this, a barrage of questions went through my head. How did the people build these homes on the water? Where do they go to the bathroom? Where do the dogs go to the bathroom? What happens if they have a medical emergency, or if they need to birth a child? Where do they put their garbage? Unfortunately for me, our guide didn't speak English, so my questions weren't answered (and unfortunately for Joe, he got an earful of questions as I wondered about this stuff out loud).
One thing we did learn, was how the villagers got things like fresh water and groceries. Everyday, grocery store boats go around to all of the homes in the village. They stop right at every door and the villagers can purchase what they need.
Other cruise guests on a rowboat "taxi"
Children in front of their home
One of the village's many dogs
The Vung Vieng school
After passing several homes, we came to another complex type area that we learned was the village's school as well as one of the village's many fish farms. The boat docked here and we were able to get out and walk around.
The first thing we examined were the fish farms. Many of the villagers make money by farming fish. The school complex as well as many of the homes have small netted "tanks" built into Halong Bay. Inside these tanks are many different types of fish. Some are meant for food while others are exotic fish that are meant to be pets. We saw some beautiful fish, including ones that looked like Dory from the movie Finding Nemo. Other fish were ugly and huge, and frankly scary looking. Some of the big, ugly fish in one of the tanks swam up to the surface as if they would jump out and attack us.
The next thing we saw was the village school. Lucky for us, there was a class in session so we got to see the children in their classroom. The school is a very basic one-room school house. It was recently renovated thanks to a generous donation from a school in Sydney, Australia. We were told that the village children have their own small rowboats which they use to transport themselves to school. They liked the little break they got thanks to our visit, and graciously posed for photos.
Fish farm tank built into the school grounds
The ugly, scary fish that wanted to eat us
Students at school
Our last stop was at Vung Vieng's pearl farm, another source of income for the village. The farm consists of a wide area of nets within the bay. The process for farming pearls is quite intricate. Villagers first collect baby pearls that are apparently pieces of tissue from a larger donor shell. Then, they take a smaller recipient oyster, pry it open, and implant the baby pearl. This process is surprisingly bloody... I had no idea oysters could bleed so much.
The recipient oysters are then placed in cages and put into the pearl farm netted area. The oysters stay in the water for two years, allowing the baby pearls to develop into bigger pearls, which are then harvested for material goods. The mature pearls we saw were beautiful - they come in many different colors and sizes.
As we ferried back to the Au Co, I couldn't stop thinking about how unreal life on a floating village seems to someone like me who comes from a far more cushy lifestyle. I'm amazed by the survival tactics the Vung Vieng villagers have used to maintain their way of living!
A villager implanting baby pearls into the recipient oysters
Grocery store boat making its rounds
Workers sewing artwork at rest stop
On our second day in Vietnam, we headed to Halong Bay for a two day/one night cruise aboard the Au Co. We took a shuttle from Hanoi about three and a half hours northwest to Halong City, the site of the cruise port.
Along the way to Halong City, we made a rest stop at a big arts center. We had a chance to see workers sewing tapestries and clothing. The center showcased many different types of artwork, including beautiful lacquered woodwork, silk garments such as ties and scarves, and jewelry. It was sensory overload!
We then hopped back in the van and after the long journey, we finally arrived at Halong City port and waited to board our ship. While we waited, Joe and I had a comical experience in the bathroom. The public restrooms were pitch black and some people told us that the power was out. People used flashlights and cell phones to see what they were doing. Joe had to come into a stall with me and use his iPad to provide light. As we left the bathroom, an employee at the port looked at everyone with a confused expression on his face. He reached into the bathroom and flipped the light switch on! It turns out that the powers wasn't out after all... someone just failed to turn on the lights!
An artist sewing
Port waiting area
Halong Bay port
Our cruise ship, the Au Co
We boarded a ferry that took us to the Au Co, our cruise ship. I highly recommend the five-star ship. It was extremely comfortable and modern, with four decks and adorable cabins. Immediately after boarding, we had lunch in the dining room. Meals on the ship were five-course culinary delights... a fusion of Vietnamese and western cuisine. Our first meal included shrimp and pomelo salad, fried spring rolls, miso and mussel soup, fish and beef, and a custard.
After lunch, Joe and I enjoyed the scenery of Halong Bay from the sun deck. There are about 2,000 limestone islets in the bay and they were an amazing sight to see as we cruised in between them. All of the islets have lush greenery and some of them have small beaches. Joe and I marveled at the fact that each one is the tip of a mountain range covered by the ocean. The only downfall of the experience is that the weather was dreary throughout our trip... I could have used a little more sunlight!
The ship's dining room
View from the sun deck
Joe and I on our kayak
Our first excursion aboard the Au Co was ocean kayaking (no worries... the water was very calm so Joe didn't get seasick this time!). We followed a tour guide as he led us around the bay. We visited a part of the bay that is uninhabited, which was an incredible and serene experience. We were surrounded by the limestone giants and the sounds of nature. I could have laid back and taken a nap on the kayak... that's how relaxing it was!
Our tour guide took us to Dark and Bright Cave, a small cave through which we kayaked to reach a little cove. The cave was narrow and we had to paddle through it one by one. Luckily, we didn't encounter any bats! Once in the cove, Joe and I skimmed the edges to look for wildlife and saw fish as well as crabs. Kayaking for about an hour and a half provided some great exploration as well as exercise.
PS - We took our kayaking photos with a disposable waterproof camera, so they look a bit 70's-ish! And unfortunately, most of the photos turned out really really dark.
A peaceful cove
Heading under an overpass
Our view at dusk
After kayaking, we relaxed on one of the ship's balconies before dinner. The weather was nice and cool... a great break from Singapore's hot and steamy "winter." It felt nice to cozy up in a sweater for the first time in months. And as the sun set, it was neat to watch the limestone giants become shadows at dusk and then disappear into the night.
Before dinner, we had the chance to participate in a Vietnamese tea tasting. We sampled lot of exotic and expensive teas, which turned out to be really strong and quite bitter. Our first sample was of lotus green tea. The way this is grown is quite interesting. Workers grow the tea leaves and then wake up in the middle of the night to catch the opening of lotus flowers... it turns out they only open up at 3 a.m. Once opened, workers place the tea leaves in the flower, which then closes up. The tea stays in for 24 hours, soaking up the flower's taste and fragrance. Then, the next day at 3 a.m., workers go back to the flowers to collect the leaves. Thanks to this process, I believe our cruise manager said the lotus tea is about $200 per kilogram. We also got to sample pomelo green tea, which, if I remember correctly, is a little more expensive than the lotus variety. Although this was a neat experience, Joe and I didn't really like the teas we sampled. I guess we'll stick to Twinings and Lipton!
Next came dinner, which was a gluttonous affair. The menu included vermicelli noodles and pork, deconstructed spring rolls which we got to wrap ourselves, pumpkin soup, fried shrimp and chicken with white and black rice, and mango tiramisu. Yum!
Deconstructed spring rolls
Fried shrimp and chicken with white and black rice... I forgot to take a photo before I dug in so the presentation isn't pretty!
Local women carting goods via bike in Hanoi
Joe and I are back from Bangkok, Thailand... what a crazy city! We encountered lots of traffic and lots of crowds. It was certainly another eye-opening experience in Asia. More to come on this trip later, because I need to catch you up on our experience in Hanoi, Vietnam.
My first impression of Hanoi as we drove through the city is that it is really different from Ho Chi Minh City. There is far less development in terms of office buildings and nice shops. Instead, it has a local, nitty gritty feel to it and I thought we got a good sense of how the locals live.
Our first day in the city was cut a little short thanks to a two-hour delay at the airport (boo on Tiger Airways), so we didn't have time to explore the historical sites we had originally planned to see that day (we had to squeeze these in on our last day in Hanoi). Instead, Joe and I decided to do our own little walking tour... we literally walked for hours and must have covered almost every city street! First on our agenda was a late lunch at Pho 24. After loving this little fast food joint in Ho Chi Minh City, we couldn't resist the tasty pho bo (beef noodle soup).
Enjoying Pho 24
Mini pagoda in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake
Pho 24 is right across the street from Hoan Kiem Lake, a serene body of water with a nice park area. We admired the greenery and the many random displays around the lake, including a statue of earth, topiaries in the shapes of different animals, and mini temples (I think they were strictly artistic pieces rather than religious shrines). As we strolled around, we saw many wedding parties taking photos by the lake.
On one end of the lake, we came across Ngoc Son, a temple dedicated to Confucian philosophers. Although we didn't actually go into the temple, we enjoyed seeing the many gates that lead to the entrance.
Joe poses with an edifice on the sidewalk
Earth statue with dragon topiaries
One of the gates of Ngoc Son
The peacefulness of the lake was a stark contrast to the busy streets and shops of Hanoi. One of the main shopping drags was right across the street from the lake, which is where our trekking adventure began... but crossing the street was an adventure of its own. Traffic is nuts in Hanoi and we had to dodge the many motorcycles and cars that seemed to disregard any traffic laws that might exist in Vietnam. The video below gives you a taste of our experience.
How the locals in Hanoi eat their meals
The shops in Hanoi sell every type of cheap, touristy trinket you can imagine as well as knockoff goods. Joe struck gold when he found his new favorite travel accessory... a mini Northface backpack that is perfect for exploring the world. He got it at a bargain, only five US dollars! I'm not sure if the bag is real or not (it had a very convincing Northface tag on it that looked original) but it looks authentic. I love great finds!
Not only are the streets in Hanoi crazy, but the sidewalks are also difficult to navigate. As you can see in the photo to the left, there is little room to walk on the sidewalks. Aside from motorcycles using the space as a parking lot, many local restaurants set up shop. Locals eat on little plastic chairs and stools that look like Fisher Price children's furniture. Although everyone in Hanoi seemed to be comfortable in a squatting position (they are also tiny people, which I'm sure helps), I don't think I could enjoy a meal this way!
The smells of the local restaurants were quite delicious. I use the term "restaurant" loosely in this case, because most of these spots were more like holes in the wall where cooks would literally cook in pots or on grills on the sidewalk. I drooled over the smells of fried spring rolls and grilled meat. I'm not sure how sanitary the food was, but it sure looked good!
Joe's new backpack
Lady cooking springrolls on the sidewalk
Joe the laborer
Ca Fe Pho Co
We took a break from our trek to hit up a local coffee shop called Ca Fe Pho Co, which came highly recommended by many people online. The coffee shop was definitely not like the cute little coffee shops I'm used to. In fact, it was the exact opposite of a Starbucks... a grungy setup in what looked like an old garage, a dirty floor, and liquor cabinets full of booze. But I'll give it to the reviewers who recommended the place... I thought the coffee was good. Vietnamese coffee is thick and sweet, almost syrupy, which I love. Joe, however, isn't a fan and didn't finish his drink.
The highlight of our pitstop may have been the awesome, mangy cat that lives in the store. He was sleeping in the funniest position on a chair near our table when we first sat down. And when he woke up, he paced back and forth, meowing at the top of his lungs.
Crazy cat pose
The inside of Ca Fe Pho Co
Enjoying our coffee break
We ended the night at Newday Restaurant, another establishment that came highly recommended on the web. At first glance, the restaurant looked really small and it was packed. I assumed we'd have to wait a while for a table. However, I was wrong. When we walked up to the door, we were whisked up several flights of stairs and seated right away on the third floor. It turns out that the restaurant is way bigger than it looks.
We had a feast that included mango and avocado salad, vermicelli with pork patties and spring rolls, and vietnamese fried rice. It was a delicious meal and a satisfying way to end the day!
The Newday Restaurant kitchen, which we passed on our way up to the third floor
Enjoying our dinner
Vermicilli with pork patty and spring roll
We got back from Hanoi late last night and head off to Bangkok early tomorrow morning. Joe has some business meetings in Thailand, so I decided to tag along to make a weekend trip out of the opportunity. Due to this quick turnaround, I'll probably wait until we get back from Bangkok to write about Hanoi and Halong Bay (along with Bangkok). I'm going to be a busy blogger next week!
Joe and I are heading back to Vietnam this weekend to visit Hanoi and Ha Long Bay. Thanks to the Indian New Year, Deepavali, Joe has a four-day weekend! See you when we get back!