This is a tour diary report that we want tourists to have a further view towards how a particular food tour is conducted.
Our time set was 5:30 pm on June 23, 2016 at Hanoi Old Town Hotel, 95 Hang Chieu. Things didn’t happen fluently at the beginning. We tour guides approached the hotel receptionist to check for the booking, but she told the guests had already been outside and not come back yet. We couldn’t do anything but wait. Luckily, the receptionist found out that the guest couple were waiting downstairs for a while, so we finally could meet up after 10 minutes of confusing.
Pre – food tour excercise
After self-introduction of both sides, we decided to take a look around some historical relics in the Old Quarter before the food tour since the guests had just been to Hanoi and got no chance to check around yet. We considered that as stomach warm-up by the way.
We started at Hang Chieu street where their hotel is located, so Quan Chuong Gate was an indispensable destination. Across the road, opposing the thousand year old gate, our guests were impressed by the longest mosaic wall, Hanoi Ceramic Mosaic Mural where numerous stories about Hanoi are told.
We totally couldn’t skip the oldest bridge Long Bien which connects Hanoi with outskirts. It was also where we had chance to talk about the French.
After walking for a while, our stomach, then, had already been ready for conquering all types of Hanoi street food. Our starter of the food tour is Banh Cuon (Vietnamese Steamed Rice Rolls)
Though the traditional Banh Cuon is served with pork, we tried a set of Banh Cuon with chicken (the guest man couldn’t eat pork for his religion is Muslim). In this restaurant, we can directly watch how Banh Cuon is made.
This 2$ Pho restaurant was where we chose to be the next destination of our food tour. Besides the traditional soup Pho which were enjoyed, we also tried the fried yellow breadstick called Quẩy whose meaning is devil. The couple seemed to be interested in the story of its name and also the way Vietnamese make cheers.
When being told about the shortest street with the traditional salad, the couple wanted to try right away. Therefore, papaya salad with beef was our next additional dish served in Ho Hoan Kiem street, where we met this excited puppy (picture below) and shared our hobbies of pets and others.
We wandered around the lake gossiping. It turned out the man in black shirt is a guitar player but he was so shy at the time to sing for us.
Right next to the lake, an traditional coffee shop at the second floor in an old building lying on Dinh Tien Hoang street was our last point of the food tour.
The cafe is famous for its egg coffee but we were afraid of losing sleep at night, chocolate powder was an alternative for coffee.
The egg part was really special and the cup of egg choco looked quite eye-catching. It was relatively sweet though since we cut off the bitterness of coffee.
Afterwards, it was time to say goodbye. The food tour was finished with lovely smiles and pictures of memories.