Vietnam 2016: tasting Hanoi

After the snafu with our hotel, I was ready to get out and about and try some local beers (that potentially weren’t yellow). Thankfully, I had read up on a place that had a variety of brews available and we were not disappointed. Even better, Caps n’ Taps had a great second-level balcony that afforded an entertaining people watching experience from above. On our first visit I had the Shade Tree (dark) lager on draft while Eric tried the Big Ken Beer. On future visits, Eric really enjoyed the Lindemann Gold which resembled a lemonade shandy in appearance and taste. I stuck with my dark lager. :)

Caps  draft list @ Caps n' Taps

For dinner the first night, we chose the Gourmet Corner Restaurant, which was easily one of the best meals we had in Vietnam. We started with the Hanoi fried spring rolls (the simple dipping sauce was great) and followed it up with the Bun Cha (and extra noodles) for Eric and I had a small portion of the beef pho. We also split a bottle of rose bubbly and left completely full and happy. Everything from the service to the atmosphere was excellent.

Hanoi crispy spring rolls @ Gourmet Corner Restaurant  Pho @ Gourmet Corner Restaurant

The following night we went to Gia Ngu Restaurant, near Caps n’ Taps. The service was beyond attentive and we had several people stopping by to chat with us, ask where we were from and even help us out with the ingredients in what we were eating so we could recreate the meal at home! The Hanoi spring rolls were a little better at Gourmet Corner the night before, but these were still quite good. The waitress looked at me a bit funny when I ordered the beef papaya salad as my main course, but I told her I wanted that to be my last meal in Vietnam because it was my favorite. Eric, once again, managed to order something he had to assemble himself, this time Nemnuong (minced pork with herbs) that you wrap in spring roll wrappers with herbs and noodles. We shared the same rose bubbly we ordered the night before as it was still a good deal and once again, left happy and full.

Gia Ngu Restaurant  beef papaya salad @ Gia Ngu Restaurant

For our last lunch in Hanoi we went a little outside our comfort zones and ate upstairs at Bun Cha Dac Kim. They only serve bun cha and crispy spring rolls so we ordered one of each to split. The food was fine — although the meat was pretty fatty and the noodles and herbs were just sitting out so it didn’t inspire a freshness quality about the place. I am also certain we paid the “tourist price” for our meal as there were no prices listed anywhere and it seemed expensive for other meals we’d had. But it was an experience and we didn’t get sick as I am sure those red chilis killed anything harmful. :)


Vietnam 2016: shopping in Hanoi


Hanoi is a bustling city, and things are for sale wherever you look. Friday night our path from dinner to the hotel took us right past the Night Market. The crowds were fairly sizable, but not as tight or jostling as Taipei. Clothing was the dominant … [Continue reading]

Vietnam 2016: sights with Hanoi Kids


The last three days of our trip were spent in bustling Hanoi, so we had time to see quite a few sights. While researching the trip I came across Hanoi Kids, a college club that pairs students wanting to practice English with tourists. That sounded … [Continue reading]

Vietnam 2016: Hanoi hotels


For the second half of our Vietnam trip we were in Hanoi twice, first for a single night, then for two nights. We carefully chose places based on quietness and breakfast options; unfortunately for us, we didn't get to stay at either of our … [Continue reading]

Vietnam 2016: Bai Tu Long Bay with Indochina Junk

Ha Long Bay is one of the most famous sights in Vietnam and there are hundreds of trip options available out of Hanoi - daytrips, overnights, large boats, small boats, routings, etc. Given our research we discovered that most companies crowded … [Continue reading]

Vietnam 2016: living cheap in Hue


The Vedana Resort graciously allowed us to take their free shuttle into Hue, which was appreciated, but for some reason we stopped at a different hotel. It seemed like our driver wanted us to drop our luggage with this hotel while we went to the … [Continue reading]

Vietnam 2016: overwater villa at the Vedana Lagoon Resort


Between Hoi An and Hue we spent two nights at the Vedana Lagoon Resort. Quiet and peaceful, it was a nice change from the hustle and bustle of the towns. Upon arrival our bags were whisked away and we were invited to sit on the couches in the open … [Continue reading]