Monday, September 5, 2011

Halong Bay/Last Night in Hanoi

We LOVED Halong Bay! We've been running around so much the past few weeks, it was so great to kick back on a boat for 3 days. The water in the bay is really warm and super calm. We had a blast exploring the bay and hangin out on the boat. We just got back to Hanoi this afternoon and are eating everything in sight till our flight to Laos tomorrow morning.

Our boat!

The first day we explored a floating village. Over 500 people live in this village of tiny houses on stilts. It was amazing to see.

Our main boat would anchor from time to time so we could swim and kayak. It didn't take Mo long to jump off the boat.

We also biked around one of the islands one day and ran into lots of goats.

The last day before heading back to shore we hiked through the Surprise Cave. It was so cool and huge and straight outta Indiana Jones.

View from the top of the cave.
It is a 3 1/2 hour drive from Halong Bay back to Hanoi, so we had plenty of time to ask John where else we needed to eat before we left Hanoi. Here's where we went:
Soooo, there is an entire street in Hanoi that is dedicated to sticky rice and pork. Yes, you heard me correctly, a street of entirely sticky rice and pork. We obviously went to the busiest place with no white people. We got sticky rice with braised pork and our favorite, shredded fried pork strands on top. (It kind of looks like pork hair, but is probably the saltiest most delicious thing on the planet.)

Sticky rice with two kinds of pork and a side of spicy pickles. Oh yeah.
We went to this next place above for vermicelli noodles with deep fried eel. Sounds kinda crazy, but was surprisingly delicious. Not that surprising I guess.
The brown stuff in the clear bins are fried eels. Yum.
Last but certainly not least, we went for bun cuon (rice noodle dumplings stuffed with pork and topped with fried onions and fried pork shreds.) We went to the most famous place, Bun Cuon Gia Truyen and it is famous for a reason. This little Vietnamese grandmother sits out front making fresh rice noodles while a younger girl fills them with pork right as she takes them off the griddle. It is a thing of beauty. These rice noodles literally melt in your mouth. They were so good, we took another order to go to eat in the room later.
bun cuon
Making the rice noodles.
The food in Hanoi has absolutely spoiled us. We can safely say that we have successfully eaten Hanoi!