Hanoi Street Food Tour – What to Eat in Hanoi

Hanoi Street Food Tour – What to Eat in Hanoi

For a long time, we considered ourselves Vietnam travel experts. We’ve traveled to Vietnam more than a half dozen times. And, we’ve seen parts of Vietnam that many travelers never see (Dong Ha, Quang Tri Province anyone?). We’ve done more than just travel to Hoi An. After all of these trips to Hanoi, I thought I was a Hanoi street food expert. But, when we took a Hanoi street food tour, we were surprised to learn how much more there was to learn about Hanoi food. We share details on our Vietnam street food tour in this Hanoi food blog. Book one of the Top Hanoi Food Tours – Updated 2018  We’ve spent a lot of time exploring the Hanoi restaurant scene. Some of our favorite restaurants are well known, like Cha Ca La Vong, in the Old Quarter. Others are definitely off the Hanoi tourism trail. Chim Sao is not near any of the Hanoi attractions and is probably not rated as the best restaurant in Hanoi, but we visit there every time we travel to Hanoi. It’s one of the best places to eat in Hanoi. There’s a Vietnamese beer garden near there that we also love. They don’t even have English menus. The problem was we found ourselves going back to the same places, the same street food corners, and eating the same foods that top every top 10 list of foods to eat in Hanoi. We’ve eaten our share of pho and bun cha, and I love them both dearly.  I just wanted to know a little more.  After all of our visits to Hanoi, we’ve...
Best Foods to Eat in Asia in 2016

Best Foods to Eat in Asia in 2016

We ate a lot of amazing food in 2015. I wish I could share photos of all of them, and encourage people to search for those dishes during their upcoming travels. Instead, I’ve come up with a list of the absolute BEST foods to eat in Asia in 2016. Okay, so maybe we didn’t eat all the food in Asia during 2015, but we ate a good many fabulous meals. Enough that I can put together a pretty good roadmap of what to eat in Asia. These dishes tend to focus on Hong Kong, India, Osaka, Seoul, Thailand, and Vietnam, because that is where we spent most of our time in 2015. Some of the best foods to eat in Asia can be found at luxury dining establishments, but even those tend to be higher end versions of dishes that can be found at street side stalls as well. These dishes can be found at every price point. And, instead of just sharing my photos of the dishes to eat in Asia, I am actually sharing links to the With Husband In Tow Instagram account. I am doing this not only to encourage you to check out all our food photos on Instagram (there’s a lot, and they are yummy), but also because the Instagram photos include links to the restaurants and locations where we actually ate these meals, making them easier to track down during your travels in Asia in 2016. Check out the With Husband In Tow Podcast, where we talk about some of our best meals in Asia in 2015! Best Foods to Eat in Asia – Hong Kong...
Touring Chau Long Market Hanoi

Touring Chau Long Market Hanoi

Normally, in our digital nomad lives, I would never wander into a Vietnamese wet market a few days before Tet, the Vietnamese lunar new year celebration.  But, after joining our cooking class at the Hanoi Cooking Centre, we toured the nearby Chau Long market.  Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed myself. Chau Long Market is a “wet market,” or a traditional food market, where people shop for their everyday foods.  A wet market is the opposite of a market that sells clothes or toys or other products.  The term wet market can also refer to the fact that I have yet to walk through one where the floor was not wet, from constant rinsing of food remnants.  It is often, not a pretty sight. I love food markets in Europe, and markets like Santa Catarina Market in Barcelona or the Mercato Albinelli in Modena are simply stunning to walk through, to experience.  Everything all clean, and orderly, with lovely lighting, and foods often in a ready to eat form. But wet markets in Southeast Asia are totally different. They are an assault on the senses.  Chau Long Market in Hanoi was no different. Low ceilings, narrow walk ways, poor lighting, it was just like so many other wet markets in Southeast Asia. Being Intimidated by Chau Long Market Chau Long Market is located just north of the Old Quarter in Hanoi, just off of Truc Bac Lake.  We had spent a few days in the neighborhood at a friend’s apartment and had walked passed the market several times.  Our pho shop and cafe were just a stone’s throw away, at the edge...
Is It So Bad Traveling With Big Breasts?

Is It So Bad Traveling With Big Breasts?

A few years ago I wrote a guest post about being a big chested woman traveler.  A recent incident happened to me in Danang, though, which made me realize it is time to revisit the topic of traveling with big breasts. The issue came up when I became the subject of some unusual attention at a seafood restaurant in Danang.  We were out with some friends, just before Tet, drinking beers and having a fun time.  The restaurant was packed, with revelers celebrating the upcoming Tet holiday.  It is customary for there to be work parties, similar to holiday parties in the West.  There was one table in particular that caught my eye, and it was the table that got me into trouble that night. Is It So Bad Traveling With Big Breasts? Sometimes it is just plain brutal having big boobs.  I know, it is a grass is always greener sort of thing.  Many of my small chested friends would love a little more heft.  But traveling in certain parts of the world it is just plain tough being a big chested woman traveler.  At least I am not alone.  There are other women, traveling with certain assets, or traveling with ginormous boobs, just like me.  But, I do think we are in the minority.  There seems to be a perception that female travel bloggers, and long term perpetual nomads are in their twenties, and stick thin, making one blogger counter about traveling with curves.  I am definitely in good company, but we all can commiserate about traveling with big breasts, or minimally, with big curves.  I try...
Learning How to Make Pho

Learning How to Make Pho

I can’t really remember when I first tasted pho in Vietnam.  I imagine it was some time in 2009, during our first trip, and most likely in Saigon.  Since that time, though, I have been infatuated with the concept of pho, most notably in eating as much pho as possible while in Vietnam.  But, I have always been curious how to make pho. Pho bo, or beef noodle soup, is one of the most iconic Vietnamese dishes, and the dish most often associated with Vietnam.  Although pho can be served with chicken, or fish, the beef version is my favorite, and something I crave.  Pho is perfect on a cold day in northern Vietnam, when the hot soup warms you from the inside out.  It is just as perfect on a hot day.  Some of my best pho memories are sitting on a tiny stool, street side, with drips of sweat running down my back, and spicy chili sweat gathering on my eyebrows. Ordering and eating pho generally take about 3 minutes, combined.  It is street food, and street simple.  Point to a bowl and order.  Add some herbs and chilis, and eat.  Although it is a quick item to eat, pho is something that takes time and energy to make, which is why most pho sellers only sell one thing, and one thing only.  It takes time to perfect a perfect pho.  Learning How to Make Pho, the Speedy Way While at the Hanoi Cooking Centre just before Tet, we had the opportunity to learn how to make pho.  Well, at least we learned a shorter way to...
Eating Snake in Vietnam

Eating Snake in Vietnam

Not many people can say that Dong Ha, Vietnam, is their second home.  Nor can many people say that they have traveled to a city like Dong Ha five times.  It is one of the most unique places that we have been to so many times.  It is no surprise then that when were greeted back to Dong Ha we were invited to eat snake in Vietnam for the first time.  Welcome to Dong Ha. We rode with our friend, Tam, up from Danang that afternoon, a long and dusty almost five hour ride.  We arrived in Dong Ha after dark, and later than planned.  Although we knew that the plan was a dinner of snake in Vietnam, Eric was not really in the mood to be all that adventurous.  Tam, had other plans. There was a group of travelers and expats in Dong Ha that night, an increasingly more common occurrence as Dong Ha is certainly off the beaten path.   We met at Tam’s Cafe, and caravanned over to the snake restaurant, a little out of town, and down a darkened path.  Unfortunately (or fortunately in Eric’s mind), the snake restaurant was closed, and it was only 8pm. I am not sure what happened, but the taxi driver made a phone call. Next thing we knew the family that owned the restaurant opened up the place for our little group, and escorted us back to a cozy private dining room. Private Dining for Snake in Vietnam Tam took care of ordering, and a case of Huda beer quickly arrived at the table.  We were invited up to...