Hey guys! It’s been a long while ago since I last posted (not counting my 2015 blog stats). Sorry about that.
But I have an excuse! I went to Vietnam and Hong Kong in December, which, of course demanded all my time as I wanted to enjoy my vacation fully. Then, when the new year arrived, I was swept up in stuff to do, so didn’t have time to do pretty much anything with this blog.
But it’s Saturday! Which means I have full day with nothing to do! You do not know how relaxed I feel right now.
So I decided to write about my vacation. (Didn’t have time to make food, so, yeah, vacation post it is!)
When I first saw Vietnam through my real eyes, I was taken back by how deep the cultural roots went. Although the effect that tourism has on Vietnam was clearly visible in the bigger towns, like Hoi An, you could still see the locals go around their daily lives, selling fish, meat, and, I think, the strangest of all, still wearing the conical hats! But the hats actually do work. ( I know because I had the chance to try one on myself!) Just a quick note: In most places you can buy stuff using the Vietnamese dong or US cash.
In Vietnam it rained for two days straight, and I was totally unprepared for it so I only wore a sweater, but thankfully, also used an umbrella.
I, of course, caught a cold.
Which is very annoying when you’re following this tour guide around who keeps talking about how the rain helps you experience Vietnam while I’m there blowing my nose using a tissue from my tissue stash that I salvaged from the bathroom earlier on in the day. And it really doesn’t help that it’s raining, so to avoid getting wet when I use my two hands to blow my nose, I try to hold the umbrella over me by clenching the handle between the side of my head and my shoulder.
In short, I looked like a total lunatic dancing around with a handful of tissues and an umbrella.
But except for that, it was pretty nice, seeing all the tombs, experiencing a boat trip, visiting the citadel and the oldest pagoda in Hue, Vietnam.
We also visited Da Nang, and the hotel, called Green House Hotel, was superb! I loved the breakfast and they even hired a private driver for 65$ CAD to visit Marble Mountain, Hoi An, and then My Son ( a UNESCO heritage site). My Son has structures built out of bricks, but without mortar! Da Nang is also much cheaper than Hoi An because it is not that touristy, so we ate at a seafod restaurant, called Quan Be Man, for less than 70$ CAD for 4 people in total.
But if you ever go to Vietnam, do not rent a car! There are motorcycles all over the place, even on the wrong side of the road, and they just zip in and out of traffic. The cars too were pretty crazy! They would take over another car, when, usually, you would not even think about doing it becasue its too tight. SO I repeat, unless you can handle the stress, do not rent a car.
These Keens were so comfortable.
On the last day, I took a cooking class in Hoi An. It’s was probably the best thing I did in Vietnam! You can look at the reviews here. It was only the four of us in the class because Mo just started her class and not everyone knew about it. I met Mo, the teacher, in Hoi An and she showed us the market and told us the stories behind everything as she bought the ingredients for the class.
Then we took a pleasant boat trip to her grandparents’ village which was located on an island. We made spring rolls, Vietnamese tacos, fish, and Pho noodles. It tasted so good!
And the fresh passion fruit juice that kept on coming? Really delicious!
After Vietnam, we went to Hong Kong, and most of it was visiting relatives from my mom’s side, but we still managed to visit a few places.
Hong Kong is super busy, but the efficient transportation service makes it so easy to travel around. Only thing you need is an octopus card (your refillable transportation ticket) which you buzz when getting on a bus, the MTR, or when you get off the tram. No need to scramble for change to pay.
I think I ate bread from the bakery literally every single day I was in Hong Kong. It tasted so good, especially the pineapple bun (does not literally have pineapple inside it, the top just looks like a pineapple.)
The restaurants in Hong Kong have so much variety, I think I was in heaven!
Japanese food! And buffets! And noodles! And delicious milk tea! And desserts!
And I even went camping!
I also visited Tai O, a very quaint fishing village with old restaurants.
I don’t know what you did on Christmas, but I went on a 5 hour hike! then I got a headache because I didn’t drink enough water. Whoopee.
How was your December break?