I am just back to Bangkok from holiday. It’s the New Year celebration for countries like Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia if I am not wrong. I visited my hometown in the North of Vietnam with my children. It was by far the most interesting trip we had in Vietnam. The children had a chance to met many of their cousins, discover natural and cultural sites but the most important thing was for them to feel the value of family bond and tradition.
In this fast moving world and global integration, it’s essential for children to know where they come from and have an identity so that when they grow up they will not have the feeling of “belonging to nowhere” even if later on they will be globe trotters and can live anywhere in this world. Strong roots nourish big trees.
Our first stop was Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. Needless to say, on the gourmet side, we were like in the heaven of healthy and yummy meals.
We started with healthy snacks, cold-pressed juice and nut milk in the newly opened organic juicery Naturaw at 55 Phan Chu Trinh Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam.
A must-try Phở – Vietnamese beef noodles, the emblem of Vietnamese cuisine, if not the country! We had this smoking hot bowl of pho at 10 Ly Quoc Su street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi.
Chả cá Lã Vọng – Vietnamese fish with turmeric, ginger and dill. If you have been to Hanoi and haven’t tried this, you have to go back soon because you definitely missed out something delicious!
taking a rest in Ngọc Sơn temple
Ngọc Sơn temple, typical architecture of Vietnamese temples.
waiting for our calligraphy scrolls to dry in the Temple of Literature – Văn Miếu Quốc Tử Giám
Next stop, we visited our family in Hưng Yên where we were welcomed with scrumptious homemade lunch and heart warming conversations.
our first home cooked meal with local vegetables and specialties
little wild flower hanging on the wall
Bái Đính Pagoda – the biggest pagoda in South East Asia
rowing through 8 caves and waterscape in Tràng An, an interesting experience for children and adults alike
romantic and magnificient waterscape in Tràng An, one of the location shootings for Kong – Skull Island movie released earlier this year. It is an American monster film directed by Jordan Vogt- Roberts and written by Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly, from a story by John Gatins.
Last but not least, I had the pleasure to be back to Hải Phòng, the city where I was born. My family spoilt me with my favourite snacks, home grown fruits, vegetables and home cooked meals. I feel so blessed!
My breakfast: xôi khúc – sticky rice ball with mung beans and cudweed paste topped with fried shallot slices
More of my breakfast: Bánh cuốn – steamed rice sheets with roasted cinnamon pork paste and meat balls
And how can I forget bánh mì que – thin baguette stuffed with pork pate
My lunch in Kiến Thuỵ
My lunch in Đa Phúc
My lunch in Hoà Nghĩa
My favourite grilled otterclams topped with sheared minced spring onions and crushed peanuts
A kind of tiny melon that I don’t know its name but they are cute, aren’t they?
A cucumber flower in the garden of my grandmom’s cousin
A papaya flower and growing fruits in my grandmom’s garden
The gate of Trạng Trình temple in Vĩnh Bảo
Trạng Trình temple
Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm (阮秉謙; 1491 – 1585) was a Vietnamese administrator, educator, poet, sage and later a saint of the Cao Daireligion. He is referred to by several names: tên huý Nguyễn Văn Đạt, Hanh Phủ (亨甫), Bạch Vân cư sĩ (白雲居士, White Cloud Hermit) and Trạng Trình.
This is the Vietnamese equivalent of the Nostradamus quatrains. It is suggestive, believed to predict future events, and very mysterious. This poem includes the line, “Vietnam is being created” (Vietnamese: Việt Nam khởi tổ xây nền), an early use of the word “Vietnam“. (Source: Wikipedia)
My little girl is resting under the shadow of this beautiful tree in Trạng Trình temple, just like the local old lady
cruising into Lan Hạ bay on our chartered boat
breath-taking view from the beach of Monkey Island in Lan Hạ bay
a little bit of Lan Hạ bay from Cannon Fort in a foggy morning
my new hair colour 🙂
Love and sunshine,