Monday, May 29, 2006

When in Vietnam, do as the Vietnamese do?

We were in Vietnam last month around Hanoi, Sapa, Nah Trang and Saigon or Ho Chi Min City. The country is fabulous, safe and best of all cheap. Vietnam is also blessed with a diverse geography and is rich with culture. This makes it a great destination to visit.

When we travel, we do our best to try new things and in Hanoi it was drinking the cheapest beer in the world, Bia Hoi, which costs 10 cents for a large cup. (Think about it, with $3 and you can have a party with friends)

What’s even more interesting is that in the west you get peanuts to munch on with your beer, in Hanoi you have spicy squid! It was a great experience sitting in an ally way and drinking Bia Hoi with hundreds of people. These 'bars' pop around 4 p.m. everyday and most close around 8p.m. to 9 p.m. if I recall correctly. There are a few that stayed open till much later.

The other Vietnamese memorable thing I did in Saigon was having a fried scorpion and a stewed snake. The snake tasted fine but it was very bony, the scorpion dish on the other hand, tasted like shrimps, but did not look as appealing.

There was a dish that I could not bring myself to eat, a field rat, (as oppose to street or urban rat). Other items on the menu were crickets, turtles and pigeons.

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