Monika became my enabler of all things Vietnam. Especially food, glorious food! We traveled for two weeks in March 2013 following her suggestions and had a fabulous time. The culinary tradition of Vietnam is a fusion of Vietnamese, Chinese and French cuisine and the meals were of excellent quality in the hustle and bustle of Hanoi,the markets in northern Sapa or the waterfront of ancient Hoi An.
We partook in a street food tour at her suggestion and that got us sampling the real food at streetside eateries, Pho Bo noodle carts and Bun Cho, BBQ pork on rice vermicelli accompany looks from the locals as we used chopsticks, and slurped, chewed our way to bliss.
Next was an awesome Vietnamese cooking class so we could try to duplicate all that goodness at home. YUM.
She also suggested and help arrange our hotel bookings at midpriced hotels with superior service and English speaking staff to further guide us in our exploration of Vietnamese contemporary life and culture close to attractions.
In lovely Hoi An we took another cooking class that started at the market and a short boat ride to the cooking class on a thatch patio surrounded by the garden. The chef had a fabulous sense of humour and it was encouraging to see a Vietnamese lady chef with meat on her bones. I don’t trust no skinny chefs.
Also on Monika’s recommendation we took an eco tour that explored the life of the Vietnamese fisherman from ocean to table with an awesome lunch of the morning’s catch.
As for activities to burn up all that food our top experiences were trekking in the tiered rice paddies in Sapa, swimming in one of Vietnam most spectacular beaches with golden sand and clear blue water by Hoi An, biking around the fishing village of Can Nam Island or kayaking around the island studded waters of Halong Bay.
Now is the only question is: When can I go back to Vietnam?