In Love With Coffee, Food and Hanoi


Sometimes you land in a city and feel an instant love or hatred for the place. Hanoi is a place that wraps you up in its craziness - it's scary and busy but wonderfully amazing and beautiful. I spent 3-4 days here, meeting two lovely girls I'd first met in the Philippines and exploring with them. Over the few days that we were here we did some of the cultural sights, like the Hoa Lo Prison Museum which was used for detaining POWs and the Vietnamese Women's Museum. Most of the time spent here was soaking up the culture and eating like the locals do. The food is delicious and so cheap. Chicken noodle soup, which is called Pho, costs about 80p and is really filling. They usually give you a small dish of lime and slices of chilli which you add to the soup. A lot of local eateries have small plastic chairs and tables, like what toddlers would use, crammed outside and it's usually hard to grab a space. The coffee is to die for. It's almost like a liquid dessert. Served in a small glass filtering through a metal pot that's placed on top with sweet condensed milk stirred in. Coffee costs about 50p. Bia Hoi is a freshly made beer that is drank within hours and so contains no preservatives. It's really tasty and costs - can you believe it - 15p per glass!

On one of the nights we went to a really nice restaurant, at the expensive price of £3! There was a coconut on another table and we asked the waiter what it was. He told us it was rice wine added into a coconut to infuse with it. He called it happy water and said we could have it for free! A lot of giggling and silliness followed.

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