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Arrived in Hanoi

It was great to get to our hotel after so long traveling. After a shower and a long nap, we headed toward the Opera House on foot. There was a symphony performance about to start so we checked it out. It was an East meets West experience with an orchestra of over 50 Vietnamese musicians played 4 Aaron Copland pieces and more.

After the performance we wandered around looking for a place for dinner. We stopped at hole in the wall hot pot place, which was very busy.

They gave us loads of food. The hot pot came on a little stove and it bubbled away as we added in the various elements of the dinner. There was a huge amount of shaved beef, mushrooms, various greens and herbs, with chopped up chilis on the side and very small limes to squeeze in. Amazing dinner, enjoyed with tea and beer. 

A couple next to us helped us out, showing us how to go about enjoying the hot pot. 

Tomorrow we have the day free to wander around Hanoi, then we’re off to Halong Bay.


  1. Salvelinas Fontinalis

    ok ok I know you are posting this from a cell phone probably using illegal Russian wi-fi. But we want more detail if you can. Especially for those of us who will likely never even eat in a vietnamese restaurant in Toronto so we (ie I) can get a sense of the country. The couple who helped you out with the hot pot did they speak English? Is it easy to find locals who speak english or do you wish you took vietnajmese in school instead of French? I see noodles and an immense pile of beef ready to go into the hotpot but what is the stuff already floating around in the pot? Geez that is a lot of beef for 2 people. How much in Canadian dollars would a meal like that cost? It looks pretty tasty. Are forks an option there or do you need to actually master the chopsticks if you want to eat?

    • Dinner was 215,000 Dong including a beer and tea. That’s maybe 12 canadianos. The beef was sitting on a bed of what our new friend called the bread. It was like fried wanton. There was a separate plate heaped with several different greens and herbs and crispy fried shallots and mushrooms. You put a little of whatever you like in the hot pot, which is filled with an amazing broth. Then you scoop some broth and whatever into a little bowl, squeeze one of the mini limes on it, add as many chopped up raw chilis as you like and enjoy.

      They brought Tuffy P a spoon. The guy in the restaurant spoke no English. He showed us the word Hot Pot on his phone and we said yes. Our new friends spoke a little English, enough we could communicate. In general, the hotel people speak good English and people who run restaurants and such seem to know a bit.

      Most of the street food joints offer tiny bit plastic furniture. There are places with nice furniture and moe touristy food.

  2. Salvelinas Fontinalis

    Tàu cánh ngầm của tôi đầy lươn

    My God, they are sitting on plastic milk crates in that restaurant! Hoping you didnt eat there because it was an upgrade from your hotel.

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