LOCATION: HANOI, VIETNAM
Xin Chao! Landing back in my home city of Manila on Sunday after being in the beautiful, characteristic and bustling city of Hanoi for five days, I look back with fondness on my newly gained memories and experiences of my short yet fun trip to Vietnam…
LOCATION: HANOI, VIETNAM
Zara Coat, Sweater & Skirt / Kate Spade Bag / S’ferra Necklace
Xin Chao! Landing back in my home city of Manila on Sunday after being in the beautiful, characteristic and bustling city of Hanoi for five days, I look back with fondness on my newly gained memories and experiences of my short yet fun trip to Vietnam.
The idea for the trip came up over dinner with my good friends as we chatted about the places we’d like to visit in 2015. Hanoi came up briefly with a collective nod of heads. The catalyst however, was taking advantage of a budget fare to Hanoi which, as if by fate, became available earlier that same day.
In the few weeks leading up to our trip, there was a resounding tone from others that the weather in Vietnam was very similar to that in Philippines. Feeling optimistic about the expected “tropical” climate in Hanoi we flew to Hanoi with minimal luggage consisting of shorts and skirts. Boy, did we have a shock as we exited the airport late at night as the cold, foggy air shook us awake. Luckily, I had packed stockings and a coat – since I’m usually very sensitive to even the mildest cold. Despite constant cold feet in ballet flats we spent minimal time inside hotel rooms and instead spent the majority of our trip walking around and experiencing the food, culture and city as a local on foot.
On the first morning in Hanoi, our first mission was to experience the popular vietnamese coffee. We sought out a small corner store that was filled with locals. Not being an avid coffee drinker, I really enjoyed the taste of the local brew (we even hauled a few kgs of the coffee to enjoy at home). There is a few different ways you can order your coffee; with fresh or condensed milk, with egg or with yogurt. The coffee below is a coconut milk coffee combination.
Of course the next issue on our agenda after bracing ourselves against the cold was to fill our already rumbling tummies with the best local food we could find. Since we were staying in the Old Quarter, we found a eatery called Number One that wasn’t the cleanest looking place with an open kitchen. However it was busy with locals and a few tourists so we decided to try it out. The job of ordering was made easy as there was only three items on the menu. We ordered the ‘Bun Cha Va Nem Cua Be” each and it was delicious!
The meal consisted of cold, fresh rice vermicelli noodles; a plate heaped with fresh herbs such as basil, mint, lettuce and coriander; fresh garlic and chilli; meat balls and barbecued pork in broth and crab meat spring rolls. You combine all the ingredients yourself and chow down! It was my favourite meal in Hanoi.
And that was our first day in Hanoi. As a first timer to the city, I really enjoyed the city’s scenery, the buildings are uniquely narrow and tall and there is no restraint of colour in the streets.
Photography: Mita Gray and Catriona Gray