Vienglish is a term used by many of my friends to show the mix between languages, and perhaps cultures. This new meld between English and Vietnamese represents my life in Ho Chi Minh City where my culture and beliefs effect how I see and understand the new world around me. Vienglish, my travel blog is an outlet for me to share with others my experiences here in Vietnam and my passion for great food!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Hoi An Restaurants

For those traveling to Hoi An here is a small list of top stops.

As we toured we tried the top three Hoi An specialties:

Cao Lau - Thick yellow noodles

Fried Wontons - Thin crispy filo pastry wrapped around a small pocket of meat. This fried delectable is topped with a variety of items such as stewed tomatos, chopped greens, cucumbers, etc.

White Rose - Soft, paper thin, white, rice noodles wrapped around a pocket of meat and accompanied with a sauce.

Miss Ly's

Miss Ly's special grilled pork is a must. Picture making your own spring rolls with spiced up slices of pork, fresh greens and bean sprouts, small hot pickle slices, and rice paper to roll it all up. Also accompanied with dipping sauce.

Van Lu

The best fried wontons in Hoi An! Most restaurants make their wontons taste like tacos, but Van Lu's has a unique taste.
Papaya Salad with shrimps and sliced pork topped with crunchy peanuts.

Mermaid Restaurant

Something about the Mermaids white rose got me. They came out pipin' hot and the sauce was extra flavorful.

The Cargo Club

It's hot sandwiches are great but don't try the Vietnamese food. This place is best for a sweet dessert and coffee or just some beer and complimentary nachos.

This website has some pictures of Vietnamese food including white rose and fried wontons from Hoi An.

Banh Xeo

Banh Xeo - Hoi An

The difference between the banh xeo made in hoi an and ho chi minh city is the size and toppings. Hoi ans are bite size and can easily be made into a springroll, while in Ho Chi Minh City, they are twice the size of a plate folded over. Also, Banh Xeo in Hoi An are wrapped up in rice paper and stuffed with greens, while the Ho Chi Minh City Banh Xeo are torn into bits and wrapped in lettuce leaves. The sauces also differ with Saigons being a light clear fish like sauce and Hoi An's being a peanut like hot sauce.

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Floods

After eating the scrumpdillyumcious Banh Xeo, we headed to the outermost street, which lies right next to the river, which cuts part of the city off. As we walked along the street, it became apparent that the sewer system in place was unsuccessful in warding off the high tide. Each night like clockwork, the road would be completely flooded and the shops along the street were hard to get to, atleast without getting a soaker!

The girl in the picture seems to be waiting for a boat, and doesn't mind the water at all!

Hotel Indochine - Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam

Over Christmas break my father and I took a Vietnam Airline flight (with a delicious nut pack) to Hoi An, the ancient town. Our hotel, the Indochine, was situated right on the river and only 300m from the beach. Even though the weather insisted on raining the entire time we were there it was still a great place to be. The sounds of the surf could be heard from our windows and the busy honks of horns so common in the center of town were far from our ears. The first night we decided to take the hotel shuttle bus in to town and walk around.

The old town is beautiful but I believe will soon be the next Sharm el Sheikh. Yet, oddly enough, even with the booming growth of tourism, the Vietnamese go about their daily business living the the city as they have for years. The market was bustling with everyday items like fish, vegetables and tiger balm (good for headaches) and trinkets though abundant, seem to peacefuly coexist with the ancient peoples lifestyle. Lets just hope this doesn't change.

Threading our way through the market, stooping under the low tarps that sheltered the stall owners from the rain, the dark continued to descend, excentuating the brillance of an unknown fire to our right. Being hunger and cold my dad and I walked over to the fire, discovering with our great delight the women was making Banh xeo. For those who do not know what banh xeo is, it is a thin pancake studded with a few shrimp and a mound of beansprouts. When they are finished the outside is crispy and oily and are transfered to a piece of rice paper. The pancake is then layered with some greens and a few slices of pickles, wrapped up tight to create a delicious spring roll. The finishing touch is a light peanut like hot sauce. Yum Yum. This marked the beginning of a great vacation.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! Santa has chosen a new mode of transportation. Forget that sleigh, he's a moped man.