MangoVine
Adventures in East Asia

Entries in Vietnam

Mini Vietnamese Altar on Dessert Market Stall
Conveniently just around the corner from where we stayed in District 5 of Ho Chi Minh, is a local market selling typical produce such as fruit, fresh meat, packaged foods, a few cafés etc. This old woman is selling her home-made desserts that Linh was keen on trying out.

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The desserts are hot so I think there are some hot coals in the tins underneath each pan. For taking away, the most basic of packaging, small plastic bags, are used to transport the desserts, but you can also have them served in bowls and eaten there and then sitting on the red plastic, tiny stools.

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Crunchy West Lake Shrimp Cakes
Our last stop on our tour of Hanoi and north Vietnam and before we headed to the airport for our flight back to Ho Chi Minh, was to a specialist restaurant to try out some West Lake Shrimp Cakes. The restaurant was right next to the lake (entrance on the other side of the road to the Tran Quoc Pagoda) and we were seated close to the edge. Magnificent spot on a hot, sunny day, but today was a little too cloudy and cool.

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Shrimp Cake is apparently a speciality here and so we wanted to try some, even though we'd just had our grilled fish lunch an hour previously. We stressed that we only wanted a small dish to sample, but a large plate full of the cakes arrived, together with some lettuce to wrap them in and a light sauce containing some cut vegetables.

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Crazy Hanoi Roads
Traffic in Ho Chi Minh is pretty intense as described previously. Hanoi traffic seems to be a little lighter but not much! There's still the same "disorganised organisation". Check out this video below which we shot whilst waiting for our driver today.



We're at a busy road junction, which is pretty spacious but still harbours multi-directional traffic! There are the signature, loaded motorbikes, bikes and cars crossing each other nonchalantly at all angles, non-stop beeping and the death-defying pedestrians who calmly stroll through the lot!
Intense Product Displays in Hanoi’s Dong Xuan Market
Dong Xuan Market is the oldest and largest market in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is located at Dong Xuan Street, at the end of Hang Dao Street (where the night market sits), in the northern part of the Old Quarters.

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The current building was only opened in 1996 after the original one, constructed in 1889, was destroyed in a fire. However, it already looks quite dated and reminds me of the shopping malls of Hong Kong from when I visited a decade ago.

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Cha Ca - Grilled Fish Lunch in Hanoi
For our lunch today, our guide took us to Cha Ca La Vong, a restaurant in Hanoi that's famous for grilled fish (cha ca). Knowing nothing, we go with the flow as he tells us its a really nice place.

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Once at the restaurant, we are directed up to the second floor and seated in a basic dining room amongst local Vietnamese business men and groups of friends out to lunch. Looking at the decor, we hope by "nice place" our guide means the food!

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