A taste of Vietnam

We've been here for almost a week now. Both my wife and me are are sick, we happened to show up right in the middle of monsoon season so it rains everyday, and not the Southern California sprinkle but the soak-you-to-the-bone-in-three-seconds rain. The soaking happens even sooner on a motor bike, and we happened to be on the way to auntie's house (on a motorbike) when the big stuff hit. Then we sat and visited for 2 hours in soaking wet clothing and then got sick. But it's been fun.
I've had a ton on my mind as far as things to blog, but it will all have to wait. For now, I'll just give you a taste of some of the food we've eaten.

Our first meal in Vietnam - bánh mì from a road-side stand.

This is not from War of the Worlds, this is dried squid. Some people love it. Most people don't.

Here's our dim sum, half-way consumed, as a primer for fish noodle soup.

Here's some pho we had at a little place called Pho 24 in Quan 3. The interesting thing was that this place was quite fancy (they even plucked the basil for you!) and most of the logo stuff was in English only, even though it was far from the tourist center.

And this was lunch today, pad thai at a place called Highlands Coffee on the top of Tax Plaza downtown. Looks beautiful but left my tongue with much to be desired. But I met an old friend there who was on a volunteer trip to the Mekong Delta. Small world!


Triet said...

How remiss was I not to give you good places to eat before you left! So you're starting in Saigon, eh? Well, I will dig up some things and let you know.

In particular, there is a good Thai restaurant in the expat zone of Quan 1, the best Hu Tieu you will ever eat out in Quan 11, and the best Bun Bo Hue outside of Hue in Quan 3. I'll get the addresses and let you know.

Good luck getting better. Pepto bismol!!!

Linh said...

Oh,Good.Coi bo hay Triet ranh hon Linh nua.Linh dau biet nhung cho nay.
Chuc cho anh Phuong va chi Vy thuong thuc duoc het nhung "mon ngon vat la" o Viet Nam

Triet said...

Restaurants in HUẾ

Bún Cá

Ah, so you did start in Hanoi. I'm glad Chu Dat and company are doing great.

Since you're in Huế, it's good to know that the place we had Bún bò Huế at last time, mentioned in Lonely Planet or something, isn't the best place.

Try heading south on Lý Thường Kiệt, cross over the river, and there are some great bún cá joints (the small family-run kind) that you must try. You can ONLY get bún cá in Huế, and although I wasn't able to try it, all my family in Huế highly recommend it.

It's also close to 3 lăng that probably make me cry more than any other – they are filled by squatters, living inside them and destroying them (Dục Đức, Thành Thái, Duy Tân). But that's another story

Bánh Bèo Ba Cu

47 Nguyễn Huệ

Right next to a big cathedral (take pics), this is a great place for true Huế cuisine. Try one of everthing.

Mandarin Café

24 Trần Cao Vân (new location)

This cafe is a hotspot for backpackers and people involved with NGOs. Mr Cu, the owner, is probably the best photographer in all of Vietnam's history, but he's also the most humble person you'll ever meet. The walls of his restaurant are filled with his work, which he sells for FAR less than they're worth. You can also find his work online when you look for pictures of Vietnam – he doesn't use the internet; they are all stolen – I have some on my computer as backgrounds that I downloaded before I met him. I met him through my friend and fellow blogger Doug, of virtualdoug.typepad.com, a great blog to read, and Cu's best friend. You MUST go here and meet the man (oh yeah, the food's good too).

travel log
  • 02.13.08 - to the temple with Luan and his mom, good to be back
  • 02.14.08 - Mẫu's alive! and staying for the weekend
  • 02.15.08 - floor hockey and Thái food makes for some strange dreams
  • 02.17.08 - frisbee and swamp monster at the park: fun but I'm pooped!
  • 02.19.08 - just read Triết's response to my last post - game on!
  • 02.20.08 - raining and expected to continue through Sunday - thank goodness!
  • 02.21.08 - 3-hour nap is a bad idea right before bed
  • 02.23.08 - to the beach to watch kites, a baptism @ 5pm, and homemade bulgogi - what a day!
  • 02.25.08 - just gave myself a haircut - woo, cold head!
  • 02.26.08 - 75° and spring cleaning - couldn't feel better
  • 02.27.08 - fed the elders bún đậu tonight - think it's their first time
  • 03.01.08 - working on new background...
  • 03.02.08 - finalized javascript to change background without muffing up my other scripts
  • 03.03.08 - fhe: "In his strength I can do all things" (Alma 26:12)
  • 03.07.08 - some decisions are harder than others, but some are downright excruciating
  • 03.08.08 - there is life after work... i almost forgot
  • 03.11.08 - the distance between good and bad is much shorter than between better and best
  • 03.12.08 - conversion is sometimes a gradual process, so much so that we don't even notice
  • 03.14.08 - for some reason everything was a little harder today, looking forward for bed!
  • 03.15.08 - last night after blog reading, I missed OnlyBlue, today I find she's back
  • 03.16.08 - best day of my life!
  • 03.19.08 - "Pray for the answer that they've been looking for"
release notes v1.0 - FINALLY DONE!
  • 12.07 - first thought of starting a new blog
  • 01.08 - busy with election stuff but blog design still on back burner
  • 01.13.08 - first idea to imitate jk rowling with the "desk" theme
  • 01.28.08 - start sketching current design, breaking down development into phases
  • 02.02.08 - election only days away but still drafting final plans
  • 02.04.08 - v0.6 LAUNCH
    • main components (blog body, sidebar, header, etc) designed and implemented
    • styling for font, links, drop caps, etc. finished
  • 02.07.08 - v0.8 LAUNCH
    • image style to imitate polariod
    • moveability - post-it notes and static clings can be repositioned by drag and drop
    • release notes styled and written
  • 02.16.08 - travel log (beta) added in hopes of catching the mundane
  • 02.22.08 - lightbox 2.03 reinstalled and working fine (hopefully - let me know otherwise)
  • 02.26.08 - v0.9 LAUNCH
    • travel log seems to be working, so I'll keep it
    • lightbox also seems to have passed the test, so it's a keeper
    • some credits/info added to bottom (will expand)
    • keeping old Viet terms in archive for future viewing
  • 03.18.08 - v1.0 LAUNCH
    • installation and testing of time-sensitive background completed (for now)