Vietnam - Hanoi

by - 15:11

I'm going to put it out there that Hanoi is a bustling, vibrant and charming city which is clouded by smog. The people are warm and welcoming and it's quite surprising the effort and amount of English they know. It is not a rich city by any stretch of the imagination with poverty all around you but everyone has a smile on their face and gets on with it. There is no begging and their work ethic to be commended. You don't see a fat Vietnamese.

We arrived at our hotel very early in the morning and crashed after our long journey. The favourite part is the breakfast and La Siesta Trendy did not disappoint.

A mixture of meats, pastries, eggs, fruit and juices were on offer but the specialty here is the egg coffee. This is amazing. It is coffee with whipped up egg yolk which is sweetened topped off with chocolate sprinkles. It shouldn't sound nice but it is simply fantastic. And this is coming from someone who rarely drinks coffee. 

The morning was spent wandering around the city before we head back to the hotel for our cookery class.
It was just the two of us booked in so we had an exclusive tour of the market from one of the senior chefs where we bought ingredients for what we were about to cook later. The market was huge however, you could barely move as it was busy and the walkways extremely narrow. And motorbikes everywhere. Things are done differently when it comes to selecting fish. At home, we are used to seeing the fish laying on a bed of ice and you ask for what you want over the counter. Over here, the fish are alive in a bowl, picked up and beheaded before our eyes. No nonsense.

Back at the hotel it was cooking time! Our demonstration chef was this tiny lady but she clearly has a passion for her job. We were told she arrives for work at 5am and leaves at 7pm which shows true dedication. We were shown knife skills as ours were severely lacking however, we managed to prepare some truly awesome food as you can see.

After our big meal, we went down to the bar where we had cocktails. Two were free courtesy of the hotel as part of our Honeymoon gift. The Vietnamese, unlike the British, do not seem to care for measures so our cocktails were very very strong!

The next part of our trip is to Halong Bay which will be covered in the next chapter.

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