Enjoy the Vietnamese kitchen: Hanoi Delights and Discover old temples: Hue Impressions

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mekong Delta Impressions

My Tho and the islands
in the Mekong

See the locations on My Tho Google Map

My Tho lies on the northern bank of the Mekong River and offers boat tours to islands as Dragon Island (Con Tan Long), Phoenix Island (Con Phung), Tortoise (Con Quy) and Unicorn (Con Thoi Son), where you find fruit orchards, bee farms or coconut candy production. Unicorn has small canals, where your boat guide rowes you through the palms on both sides.

The Cao Dai Temple Thanh That:

Picture © marhas1

Picture © marhas1

Picture © Charles Fred

Picture © Charles Fred

Vinh Trang Pagoda:

Picture © Kate

Picture © vicguinda

Picture © Chin

Rach Mieu Ferry:

Picture © hung


Vendor relaxing on the fruit market, picture © oliverlaumann

Picture © onopko

Picture © onopko

Boat trip to the islands:

View from the boat pier, with Tan Long Island in the background, picture © marhas1

Opened in 2009: the Cau Rach Bridge from My Tho to Ben Tre, picture © marhas1

Flower on Phoenix Island (Con Phung), picture © marhas1

More flowers, picture © marhas1

And what the bees produced from the flowers on Phoenix Island: honey. Picture © marhas1

A small shopping lane, picture © marhas1

What grows in orchards in the Mekong Delta: fruits. Picture © marhas1

Whar's inside? Honey in the yellow one. Picture © marhas1

Coconuts up there. Picture © marhas1

Riding on a horse carriage. Picture © marhas1

This crocodile we would not like to meet in a canal. Picture © marhas1

Crocodiles escaping from crocodile farms are worrying people in the Mekong Delta, as VietNamNet reported. But we don't worry and decide for a ride on one of these sampans.

Picture © marhas1

Picture © marhas1

Picture © marhas1

A very special open-air sanctuary on Phoenix Island. Picture © marhas1

The sanctuary on Phoenix Island reminds of a community led by the Coconut Monk (Ong Dao Dua), even a Apollo Rocket among Buddhist statues is part of the sanctuary. His religion, Tinh Do Cu Si, was a mix of Buddhism and Christianity. He claimed to have the key for peace during the Vietnam war. He died in 1990. Read an article in Vietnam Magazine from 1974.

Read also the blog about the Thoi Son Island Walk by Dan Friesen and a story of VietNamNet Bridge about the development of tourism on Thoi Son.

Hotels in My Tho

Cong Doan Hotel: Poorer rooms than other hotels, notes travelfish.org

Huong Duong Hotel: Great views over the river, good review on travelfish.org

Minh Quan Hotel: 69 30/4 Street. On the river, "definitely the nicest" in My Tho, comments chisana on tripadvisor.com

Minh Tai Hotel: Good reviews on tripadvisor.com.

Rang Dong Mini Hotel: Mixed review on travelfish.org.See picture by joshuaphoto.

Song Tien Hotel: "Go for a higher room to escape some of the traffic noise", advises travelfish.org.

Song Tien Hotel. Picture © KatLesh

Thoi Son Raas Resort: Read more on Facebook. The Miss World contest for 2010 will be held here.

More impressions from My Tho: Nice blog by ex-students. And see pictures from My Tho Market. More information about Tien Giang Province.

More destinations in the Mekong Delta:

Vinh Long and the orchards of An Binh
Cai Be and its floating market
Can Tho and its floating market
Sa Dec and Marguerite Duras

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hanoi delights

Discover the restaurants through the eyes of people, who have been there, read their comments and find your way with the help of Hanoi Google Map


Tamarind Café: 80 Pho Ma May. "Soups like vegetarian wonton and two-color soup (spinach and sweet potato) take the chill off Hanoi winter nights", notes frommers.com. "Expensive but it is worth it for the quality and choice", comments happycow.net. Good reviews on tripadvisor.com. Also a friendly spot for a cup of quality tea, adds Lonely Planet.

Tamarind Cafe


Bun Bo Nam Bo: 67 Hang Deur Street. Beef noodles from the South in a extended streetfood stall. It is "bun noodles with beef, done southern style. It's basically a layered dish of lettuce, coriander and vietnamese basil leaves at the bottom, topped by bun noodles, some beansprouts, small tender slices of beef, crushed peanuts, and sweet sauce over the top of the lot", describes this Hanoi blog and stickyrice shows the noodles. Good reviews on tripadvisor.com

Bun Bo Nam Bo, picture by Hanoi Mark

This is Bun Bo Nam Bo, picture by Hanoi Mark

Cay Cau: 17A Tran Hung Dao. In a colonial villa, live traditional music everyday from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm. "A bit pricey, but great food", judges YeinJee, who shows pictures of the food. "The chicken with banana flower and big juicy crab in tamarind are so smartly done, that we don’t mind the musicians playing odd stringed instruments", means Gael Greene.

Cha Ca La Vong: 14 Cha Ca. Cha Ca is a fish and noodle dish, prepared in this famous restaurant until now by five generations, the street is named after the restaurant. The meal is prepared in front of you, as Vietnam-beauty.com describes. "The guests endure the heat of the coal fire", notes Ramblings form a Gipsy Soul. "The hordes stampede up the narrow, creaking stairs of number 14", comments Noodlepie, he suggests to go to Cha Ca La Vong in Saigon, because "the food is better, the service comes without the northern snarl". "Delicious and intriguing", is the comment of Graham Simmons. Mixed reviews on tripadvisor.com.

Cha Ca La Vong, picture by Mr & Mrs Stickyfingers

Fish, grilled on hot coal, picture by Mr & Mrs Stickyfingers

Dinh Lang Thuy Ta: 1 Le Thai To. With great view of Hoan Kiem Lake. Vietnamese live music. Good reviews on tripadvisor.com

Thuy Ta Café on Hoan Kiem, picture marhas1

Highway 4: 3 and 5 Hang Tre and 54 Mai Hac De. Vietnamese food with many Hanoi favourites as well as selected specialties from the northern, central, and southern provinces. And Son Tinh traditional Vietnamese liquor (herbal, fruit, and plain). It's Markus Madeja, a Swiss Man who makes Vietnamese Wines and als the New York Times wrote about him and his vietnamese wife.

Crickets - a traditional dish at Highway 4, picture by Michelle, Or see Tuey's picture of pig stomach sauteed with mushrooms.

Koto: 61 Pho Van Mieu. Near the temple of literature. Koto means "Know One Teach One" and is part of an grass-roots "humanitarian program to train Hanoi kids in the service industry", describes frommers.com, not only good soups and sandwiches are prepared by former street children, but many other delicious meals, good reviews on tripadvisor.com and on concierge.com.

Koto, picture by ishmael78

Lau (Hot Pot): You cook meat, seafood and vegetables in a steamy broth at your table. Phung Hung Street behind Hang Da market has many Lau-Restaurants. Read how Hanoians beat the winter chill by wolfing down the hot pot

Litte Hanoi 1: 14 Ta Hien Street. Read review by Noodle Pie and on tripadvisor.com and on virtualtourist.com and by kuanfoodfetish.com and see picture by Adrian Tan

Picture martywindle

Litte Hanoi 2: 21 Hang Gai. Better food than in Litte Hanoi 1 according to travelfish.org

Fresh spring rolls in Little Hanoi, picture threeSLRstravel

Pho 24: 31 Hang Khay. Read more on Destination Eats, the reviews on frommers.com and by noodlepie and on indochinalegend.com and by CYeat

Noodle soup at Pho 24, picture by Cmicblog

Pho Gia Truyen: 49 Bat Dan. "Hanois most revered" pho shop according to ReinonTravel with a reviews on frommers.com

Picture of Pho by Curry Puffy

Quan An Ngan: 18 Phan Boi Chau. "Around the courtyard are chefs cooking up local dishes, write emmaandpaul on travelpod.com. "Street-styled food in a relaxed and hygienic environment", notes virtualtourist.com for the same kind of restaurant in Saigon, noodles, rice dishes and finger food. Good review by Gene and Deanna.

Quan An Ngan, picture by jevs

Seasons of Hanoi: 95B Quan Thanh, in a French colonial villa, "restored to its full glory" according to Chris Mitchell. "They serve great fish", recommends frommers.com, "amazing food" is the comment of Godknows. Lonelyplanet.com points out, that tour groups flood the restaurant sometimes.

Seasons of Hanoi, picture by Tom. See also the gallery of blog.roodo.com

Stop Café L'Escapade: 11B Ngo Bao Khanh. Excellent Cha Ca - you fry fillets of fish on a hot plate and roll i, with vegetables, citrus and steamed noodles in rice sheets.

Picture marhas 1


Au Lac House: 13 Tran Hung Dao, near the intersection of Tran Hung Dao and Han Thuyen.. From chicken to river turtle. An upscale restaurant in a French building, notes noodlepie. See pictures on New Hanoian. Read review by stickyrice.

Picture keiko

Green Tangerine: 48 Hang Be. In a colonial house from 1928, "a sanctuary for a luxurious meal", frommers.com praises the restaurant. "Modern french dishes with very creative twists", adds myeggnoodles.com. Go there before the dinner rush, advises Chris Mitchell. "You will feel like a character in – and in fact Catherine Deneuve has dined here", knows gus and charlie’s guide to hanoi

Green Tangerine, picture by trippinlarry

Icecream on pineapples, picture by CurryPuffy

Door from the courtyard, picture by wwhite1968

Hoa Sua: 28A Ha Hoi. A training restaurant by Hoa Sua School for children in difficulty (living on the streets) in an old French villa across from the Opera. Asian and European cuisine (especially French dishes). Classical music on Saturday evenings. "The food is great, the atmosphere in the courtyard or on one of the patios in this sprawling faux colonial is very laid-back, and the price is right", wrote the New York Times. "Some of the best baked goods in Hanoi" have been discovered here by travelmuse.com. Thingsasian.com has more background and recommends a reservation.

Hoa Sua Restaurant, picture by Benjamin Lee

La Badiane: 10 Nam Ngu Street. In a white art deco villa. "A promising newcomer", notes the New York Times. "Fabulous setting, great service, and delicious food", add Craig & Jeane. Good reviews on tripadvisor.com.

Picture by La Badiane, where you see more photos.

La Verticale: 19 Ngo Van So. A French and Vietnamese fusion. In a villa built during the 1930s in French and Indochina style. It belonged to a mandarin from Hue under Bao Dai. On the top there is a terrace, where you overlook Hanoi. Mostly good reviews on tripadvisor.com, higher prices.

La Verticale, picture by Robby

Le Malraux: 2 Hang Bong. French Cafe, offering crepes and other french dishes. Rooftop terrasse. Read the review on igougo.com

Picture marhas1


Luna d'Autunno: 11B Dien Bien Phu. "The best Italien food in Hanoi", means Brooke Lewy, "the restaurant’s courtyard mimics an Italian piazza, with a red tile floor and a trellised ceiling". See their pictures.

Mediterraneo: 23 Nha Tho. Read reviews von virtualtourist.com. Good reviews on tripadvisor.com

Picture marhas1


Café Pho Co: 11 Hang Gai, take what you like downstairs and walk up metal staircases to the 4th floor, where you have a gorgeous view of Hoan Kiem Lake. "A hidden refuge", comments Hanoi Scratchpad. You may try a Weasel Café, but first read, what Amy Ma writes about it. See a video of the café on youtube.com.

View of Hoan Kiem Lake from Café Pho Co, picture by blog.goo.ne.jp/chocolaterie

Café Quynh: 46B Bat Dan. Mentioned by the New York Times. "Famous", according to vietnam-beauty.com. Is named after the famous actress Nhu Quynh, star of Cyclo, who owns the café. "Displays the work of local photographer Nguyen Huu Bao, who is often to be found in the cafe", notes The Vietnam News.

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