Friday, March 20, 2015

Tràng An - the UNESCO World's Heritage Site in Ninh Bình

Before Tết, I got a suggestion to accompany some friends to travel along Vietnam by car, during Tết, starting from Sài Gòn up to Quảng Ninh (North Vietnam). I was very excited, surely, a big "Yes" from me! My friend's purpose was to climb up the Yên Tử mountain, but to me - just to see Vietnam along its beautiful coasts.
When the departure date approached, most of them quietly disappeared. The only one guy left and I called him "the leader" because he was a key person behind the trip, even if no one goes, he had to go anyway, due to his inner religious commitment - to climb up to some famous "Chùa Đồng" (Copper Pagoda) on the top of the Yên Tử mountain. And he kept doing this for almost 10 years.

                        Tràng An - one of my destinations in the North during this Tết.

Friday, March 13, 2015

My first trip to Sapa (2nd part)

I was born in Sài Gòn, so I simply thought Sapa could be, by some how, similar to Đà Lạt - a famous highland town in South of Vietnam. Đà Lạt renowned for its flowers, water falls, hills with pine trees, foggy lakes. It was a favourite romantic honeymoon place for many people in South for many years but not now. Anyway, I was totally wrong! Sapa was much more impressive. Sapa probably didn't have those "romantic factors" like Đà Lạt but, instead, I found Sapa majestic, haughty Kingdom in cloud.

                     Sapa in my eyes was much more majestic, haughty...Kingdom 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

My first trip to Sapa (1st part)

Sapa - to me the name itself more than enough to attract the attention from the travellers. The only place in Vietnam where we could experience the snow, the real snow! I first heard of this town when Victoria Hotel launched their luxury Oriental Express connecting Hanoi with Sapa. At that time I'd love to try but due to different reasons, my plan to escape to this mountain-town in cloud, like in fairytale always failed...until few days ago. After visiting Halong Bay (I will review later!) we went back to Hà Nội and I made a quick decision this time with a friend, we both booked a 2-night tour to Sapa - one night in train, one night at the Sapa Summit Hotel and back to Hanoi by bus-bed, saving another night in train.

                     Sapa in March always in a thick fog from morning till late afternoon...

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Rice noodles with snails in Hà Nội (Bún ốc cô Thêm)

It's surely one of the most famous places for this popular traditional rice noodles with snails in Hà Nội, it's simply called "Bún ốc cô Thêm" in Hàng Chai, located in small, short alley between hàng Rưoi and Hàng Cót. Living in Sài Gòn, I'm quite familiar with this kind of dish, but I would love to taste it in Hà Nội where the cuisine is way famous for their delicate authenticity.

            "Bún ốc Cô Thêm" - Thêm is a name of this lady-owner, inherited this business from her mother.

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