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For the next two days we are doing a tour of Ha Long Bay, so here we are aboard our
ship. Our lovely home at sea. So we're going to give you a tour of the place.
Lounging on the deck. How are you enjoying the view? Ah, they're okay.
So we've been doing lots of activities while we've been at Ha Long Bay. There has been
kayaking and exploring caves and this morning we are spending a bit of time at a private
beach.
Okay, so Sam you are revisiting Ha Long Bay for the second time, yes? Indeed, I am. Okay,
so tell us what has been your favorite part this time around and how has it changed? Well,
it actually hasn't changed too much. This tour is quite similar to the one I did before.
Previously, I did a three day tour. This time we're doing only two days. Two days I think
is plenty. We've done a lot of different fun activities. I've just enjoyed being on the
boat with all of the gorgeous scenery and the karst mountains.
Well, this has been my first time to Ha Long Bay so obviously what has impressed the most
has been the scenery because it just looks out of this world. It is unlike anything I've
ever seen before. I've really enjoyed just hanging out on the top deck reading a book,
checking out the views and also the food aboard has been really nice.
And next we're going to show you our room on the boat.
Hello. Cabin fever. Okay, we've been here maybe half an hour and it is already messy.
I blame it on this person. No, this person.
Here we are just biking through the streets of Hoi An.
Here we have our little ticket for sightseeing around Hoi An. The way it works is that you
pay six dollars and you get a ticket that grants you access into five different historic
sites around town and you just show up at the entrance. They snip off one of these little
tabs and you're good to go.
Here we are at the Japanese covered bridge. It was built in 1593. Construction on this
bridge began on the year of the monkey and finished on the year of the dog and for that
reason one side of the bridge is guarded by a monkey and the other by a dog.
Here we are at the most popular pedestrian bridge in town.
I'm standing here at a small square and this is where a lot of fabulous performances take
place - especially at night time.
We are at Quang Dong Assembly hall. It's a place of worship for the Cantonese community.
Up next we are visiting the Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese. This place now acts
as a temple to the Goddess Tian Hao who is from the Fujian province in China.
Today we are doing something that I've been wanting to do ever since we got to Hoi An
and that is shopping.
There are said to be over two hundred different tailors just in Hoi An alone.
This is a city where you come to have your clothes custom made. You can get dresses,
shirts, suits, shoes, pursues made and they can copy the latest designs. You just have
to show them the magazine with what you want and they'll recreate it for you.
Shopping for clothes - especially dresses - is not my realm of expertise.
We're going shopping.
Having fun changing over there. I'm having trouble getting into my dress.
Oh, it looks nice. Do you like it? It feels like the right size.
This is dress number two. How do you like this one? It's got flowers. It is nice. I
can do a little smaller. Maybe a little smaller in the back.
It's a good size for you. Do you like it? I do. Yes, you like all three of them?
We are staying here two more days. Two more days? What are we having done right now? I'm
getting my dresses made, so that they fit me properly.
Where are you going now? After here, we go to Hanoi. It is very far away.
So we are just waiting here for Audrey's dresses to get some minor alterations done on them.
Were they too big or too small? They were a little too big on me but I am so excited
for them to be ready.
I'm quite pleased with my purchases. I ended up getting three dresses and I probably could
have gotten more because the lady just kept pushing me to try this one, try that one.
She really wanted you to get that forth dress. Oh yeah, but we had to cut it off at three.
Overall, we paid eighteen dollars per dress plus a slight discount and that included alterations
and everything.
So a little tip for anyone who is think of going shopping in Hoi An. I would say just
walk around the different streets and see what the shops have to offer. See what kinds
of styles you like and then go into a store and don't be afraid to bargain a little and
ask for different patterns and different fabrics. They can make anything you want.
Today we are biking out to Tra Que which is a little village. We're going for a special
organic meal at a restaurant that grows its own vegetables and herbs.
Oh, wow! Can you hear the sound of the water.
This is Sam on the Waterwheel. You're a natural. If this isn't fun I don't know what is. You
should move out here and take up farming.
So this place is amazing. It's like a little organic oasis where they just grow different
herbs and vegetables. Everyone is farming and it is so peaceful and quiet and it is
beautiful. Look at all of the flowers around this.
We have a very special drink here. It is called the water wheel drink. It's made with lemon
basil seed and ginger. Let's take a sip of that. It tastes very healthy. In a good way
or a bad way? In a pretty good way. Okay.
Tra Que is a small farming community village located two kilometers northeast of the Ancient
Hoi An town area.
We just came here for dinner but if you decide to visit this village you can also work with
the farmers for the day, you can take a rice paper making class or you can take a cooking
class.
If you've been following along with our recent food videos you probably have noticed we've
been having these pancakes a lot and they are delicious. I have to say that the presentation
of these ones down here looks the best.
So these here are the best country pancakes we've had. What I really like about them is
that they are not as oily or greasy as the other ones. They have a little bit of a fluffier
texture.
So this lovely presented dish is called three friends and there are three friends right
in my hand. We have shrimp, pork and vegetables wrapped around. Pop that in your mouth. Friendly?
I've got some good pals in my mouth.
These tres amigos are almost too pretty to eat.
Thank you. Easy.
So here we have our colorful papaya salad and I didn't realize it was going to be this
big. I started to think we ordered way too much food. Are you kidding me? With me here?
Too much food? I'll take care of that.
Well to sum up this meal I can honestly say this is the best dinner I've had since I've
been in Vietnam. I absolutely loved the dishes. You could just taste the freshness in every
single dish we had. The prices were really affordable. The portions were generous and
it was cooked really healthy. Nothing was greasy or too oily. It was just absolute delight
to come here and eat.
I definitely agree. I think the long bike ride out here was definitely worth it and
it is nice eating in such a quiet and peaceful setting just being surrounded by the farm.
So we highly recommend it if you're in Hoi An.
Hello! We are on a little raft and just cruising down the Mekong Delta.
I'm loving the conical hat.
How do you like your hat? I need a hat of my own. We should be wearing this back in
Canada. What is wrong with people?
There is a little traffic jam over here.
Hello. Tip Tip?
We're doing a three day tour of the Mekong Delta and this is day number one and we just
started off by sampling some tea with honey and few little snacks. Now we're doing a little
paddle boat adventure down the Mekong.
Today we're in Saigon one of the most hectic and chaotic cities in SE Asia and we're going
to show you the main attractions.
The best souvenir to take back home - weasel coffee. That is coffee that has been pooped
out of a weasel in case you were wondering.
It looks a little bit like an O'Henry bar.
There is a lot of exotic things you can buy in Vietnam. Nothing more so than snake wine.
We also have some very cool chocolates over here in the shape of conical hats or you can
get your own durian chocolate.
Our first stop today is the War Remnants Museum in Saigon. This museum chronicles the war
from the perspective of the North side.
We just finished visiting the War Remnants Museum and inside it is divided into several
different galleries. I would say that the most impacting gallery is the one that focuses
on the results of Agent Orange. Agent Orange was a defoliant used to get rid of the leaves
in the jungle, so that it would make warfare easier but the thing is that the toxins effected
people decades later, so someone who had been exposed to the toxins when they were twelve
years old when they had children at twenty five most of those kids were born with deformities.
Thousands of people in Vietnam are effected by this.
We're here at Thien Hau temple dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea. Many years ago this
is where people would have come to pray for protection for a long sea journey.
Over here they are burning the used incense.
So the spiral coils that you see burning up there are actually incense sticks and they
burn for three months, so if a family wants to have good luck they come to the temple
they write their name and date of birth on a little ribbon that is attached to the incense
stick and it just burns there for a few months and you're lucky the whole time.
Next up it is time to go shopping at the Binh Tay Market. Let's go see what we can find.
The market is a bustling hive of activity and you can buy just about anything here.
I wait for you.
We have some very forceful saleswomen over here. One lady grabbed onto my arm and was
pulling and she would not leg go of me because I wouldn't buy a silk scarf.
We are now visiting the Reunification Palace. This used to be the Presidential Palace for
South Vietnam and it is stuck in a time warp. It has been left to look exactly the way it
did when the North stormed through on April, 1975.
This is the Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon and it is a very easy landmark to notice because
it is made out of red brick.
And if you happen to be here at the right time you can even join Mass.
Our last stop of the day we are visiting the General Post Office in Saigon and normally
a post office wouldn't be a main attraction but this one was designed by Gustav Eiffel,
the same guy who built the Eiffel Tower.
The old phone booths have been turned into ATM machine stations.
Although it is a main tourist attraction it still does function as a post office.
And that concludes our grand tour of Saigon and we hope you enjoyed it.
Well, our time in Saigon is over and we're now taking a train to Nha Trang for some beach
time. Yes. And that is going to make one of us very happy. Who would that be? Oh yeah,
I just love the beaches. You'll get lots more freckles. I do. I need more. I don't have
enough.
We have been eating local foods the whole time we have been here. Check that out. That
is so Vietnamese. What is that? I think they may call that pizza. Iced cafe?
I've got my favorite treat here - Vietnamese iced coffee. I paid 15,000 Dong for that which
is about seventy five cents. Is it ever good. It is made with condensed milk and it has
copious amounts of sugar. Take a big sip.
Better than an Iced Cap from Tim Hortons back home. Okay, aside from the ice cap I think
we need to discuss Sam's new look over here. A pretty obvious change. What is that? What
do you mean what is that? That's my mustache. It is awesome. You love it.
I'm a throwback from the seventies.
There are two different classes in this train. We are traveling in the soft seat section
which has AC and really cushiony chairs. Then you also have hard benches with fans. Yeah,
what a big difference. I'm glad we got the ones here. It is a lot more comfortable.
Chicken. We be having chicken for breakfast.
One of my favorite snacks of all - fried spring rolls and I get to eat them on
a train.
We are going kayaking around the bay...woo!
We are paddling down the Ha Long Bay. Oh yeah! Look at you paddle. I know. I'm doing all
the work and Sam is just there for the ride. Exactly!
You paddle girl, you go.
One of the coolest things out here by far are the floating villages.
We survived our kayaking experience in Ha Long Bay. We almost crashed into the cliff.
Yes. It was kind of scary. It is a bit stressful especially because whenever the big boats
(the junks) go past they create these little waves and the kayaking is turning. And you
have to get out the way of the junk too. That is stressful. Yeah, but it was fun. It was
a fun way to see the bay.
Today we are eating lunch at the Bale Well in Hoi An. This is a very small local restaurant.
They have a fixed menu. Actually there is no menu. They just bring you food and you
pay a fixed price and you eat as much as you want. There focus is on country pancakes and
spring rolls. Which we both love!
You take the salad, cucumber, kimchi and a spring roll. It is going to be crunchy. Now
that is a special roll. That has got meat. Thank you very much. So I dip it here? Give
it a try Audrey. Here we go. How is that? Wow, hard to bite huh?
So you are going to what? Well, Sam here wasn't paying attention to whole assembly process,
so I will have to demonstrate how to roll a spring roll. Okay, so we add a little bit
of greens including some lettuce. A bit of fumbling with the chopsticks there. Hey, don't
be hating. Then she said this is our kimchi which looks a bit different from the kimchi
we ate in Korea. This is Vietnamese style Kimchi. It must be pickled vegetables. Then
she added a spring roll. Don't forget the meat. Let's try this one. Yeah, try a smaller
one. I don't know if it is chicken or beef but it looks good and smells good. Now that
is a super loaded roll. Ok, now to roll it tightly. Viola! This is it. Now you add just
a little bit of chilly to the sauce. It is kind of a peanut based sauce I think. And
we dip and enjoy!
Oh, there comes more food. Oh wow, here is the country pancakes. Yum.
So this delectable roll. This time instead of the spring roll it has the country pancake
inside of it. So we're going to give it a try. Is that better? These rolls are amazing!
You've got pancakes, springs rolls, the greens, the skewered satay all in this. Happy boy!
And if that feast wasn't enough we've got a little sweet treat to end off with. What
flavor did you get? I got cherry.
And the dessert just keeps on coming. Now we have fresh pineapples. Do you have any
room for that? No, but I'll eat it.
Okay, seriously that was the feast of feasts. Normally country pancakes or spring rolls
or satay taste great on their own but all wrapped up together in one big roll dipped
into a peanut sauce. WOW!
Our lunch came to one hundred and eighty thousand Dong which is about nine dollars. I think
that is a great price because they just kept bringing out plates and plates of food and
we were stuffed and then they were offering us dessert and it was like 'oh, I don't want
to turn it down I guess I'll eat it anyway' so yeah it was a great selection there.
The service there is really friendly almost in a very unique kind of way. There was one
time when the lady was coming over and she looked like it appeared she was going to be
wrapping up a roll for us but instead she just grabbed a satay and plopped it right
in Audrey's mouth and at the very end of the meal she came over and noticed I was looking
hot and she undid a napkin for me. I thought she was going to put it in my hands. Oh, no.
She just came and rubbed my whole face right down. Oh yeah.
Today we setting out on a two day hike in Sapa and we are just walking through the town.
We've picked up a few more people who are joining us and we've already picked up some
local buddies who will be walking with us it seems.
Today's hike is
going to be divided into three sections and the first village that we will be visiting
is called Lao Chai. It's about eight kilometers from where we started out and we're two kilometers
into the trek so far. It is getting really hot and I'm sweaty so let's keep going.
Tell us about the scenery? Unbelievable. Everywhere we walk.
So as you can see over here there is a bit of a landslide that is blocking the road into
the town.
I thought I heard a waterfall down there. It turns out it is just a river. It is still
impressive.
So after several kilometers of hiking we're finally approaching the village of Lao Chai
down below.
So we are about to cross this bridge into town and it is not for those who have vertigo
because there are railings on this bridge.
After two hours of hiking we've reached our first destination point Lao Chai Village.
It is time for lunch and I'm pretty hungry. How about you? I'm starving. I can't wait
to get there fast enough. It is just over there where the bridge is. That is Lao Chai.
Now we're going to show you a little bit of a Vietnamese musical performance.
Vietnamese singing and music.
It was quite impressive. Oh yeah.
This is the second day of our Mekong Delta tour. We're going to visit some traditional
floating markets out here and we're rocking the conical hats.
Pineapple.
Pineapple. One. 10,000 Dong. Who wants a pineapple?
We just finished a very hot and sweaty ride through a floating market. There were small
little vessels selling things like fresh fruit and ice cold coffee. We sat there and enjoyed
the scenery and ate some food.
They literally had the perfect strategy down. They just had us sitting there for fifteen
to twenty minutes. We were sweating profusely and they were selling us cold drinks. They
must have made a fortune.
Today we are visiting the central market in Hoi An. It is about seven thirty in the morning
and the place is just full of activity. People are selling fresh vegetables and fruits, so
let's go see what we can find.
Waking up this morning has been one of the best ideas we've done since we've come to
Hoi An. We've been treated to this market almost entirely to ourselves. We actually
haven't noticed another foreigner here yet. Wow.
One of the quirks of this market is that they sell live chickens and ducks. That is not
something you see in the supermarket everyday. In tiny little cages.
Here at the market you can find all kinds of exotic fruits that are associated with
SE Asia such as papaya, mangosteen, rambutan, dragon fruit. It is all here.
From a birds eye view perspective it is just a sea of conical hats. It is too bad we forgot
to bring ours today.
Today we are having lunch at the
Green Moss in Hoi An and this happens to be a cooking school but it has more of a casual
feel. Basically, you choose two dishes from the menu and then you pay an additional two
dollars and you get to go into the kitchen and cook it yourself. That is what we'll be
doing.
Believe me when I say this "If I can do it. Anyone can."
We are entering into the kitchen and we're making a cooking video. Audrey is up first.
First like this? You roll one time. So you cover it up? So then we get the sides tucked
in? And then we finish as tight as possible. There you go. Not so bad.
It is great. It is like we're an exclusive peak into the kitchen. This is how we're making
Pho. Can I try? Two tablespoons.
Here are the first few dishes we've prepared. We have the Pho and the fresh spring rolls.
Let's go eat it. Take them to the table and devour them.
Here is the spring roll that Audrey personally rolled herself. No, I didn't. You rolled it.
Do you remember? Let's see how it turned out. This is one of my favorite dishes at this
restaurant. It is just such a nice fat spring roll.
How is that Pho? Delicious, and prior to learning how to make this I didn't realize how many
different ingredients went into this dish. You can really taste the flavors.
Next up we will be making a vegetable Cao Lau. So the Cao Lau noodles are made from
the water used an ancient well and apparently it is quite secret. Not only in Hoi An. Unique
noodles to Hoi An. It is harder. It's a crispy noodle.
Now we're making our very last dish the vegetable pancake and it happens to be my favorite one.
We've got a lot of multitasking going on. We've got the tofu simmering, we've got the
noodles being steamed over here and we've got the pancake mixture ready to be spread
on the frying pan.
So that is when we know it is done? Okay. Take fermented soy bean sauce.
Here is the finished product and this is round two of our feast. It was a fascinating experience
getting to see how all of this food was made in the kitchen.
We're going to show you how to roll the country pancake in a rice paper, so that it is easy
for dipping into the sauce.
And a big bite. Oh, yeah. The pancake is nice and crispy and the sauce is kind of sweet.
It has a bit of a tomato ketchup base I believe but it is also spicy because we added all
of the chilies. It is a nice combination of flavors.
How is the Cao Lau? I love it. What really stands out with the Cao lau is the taste of
the noodles. They are just really unique to this area and I love them.
So the texture of the noodles are a little bit crispy and it almost tastes a little bit
like they are under-cooked but that is what makes them quite unique.
We just finished our cooking class at Green Moss and it was a little bit different from
previous cooking classes we've taken. This one was a little bit less hands on and more
watch and learn, which is great because we got to watch a professional make it and the
dishes turned out great. Everything was tasty.
That is the first kind of cooking class where it has been more of a just a demonstration
only that I've taken before. And I really enjoyed it partly because I'm really slow
at preparing food but the other reason was it was so hot in that kitchen. I don't think
I've ever sweated that much, so I could barely handle being in there as long as I was. Had
I been preparing the food I may have passed out on the ground.
Well our time in Vietnam has almost come to an end. We came to Sapa and all we really
wanted was a room with a view but you know how things are...you don't always get what
you want. Some come take a look at our room. It is just you know, nothing special. I really
wanted to have a nicer view but this is just kind of ordinary. Meh. Blah.
And how is it over there? It is not any better. Come see. Meh. Meh.
What is your office like these days? I'm enjoying it. Not so bad.
No, who is kidding who. This is just absolutely stunning. This room here costs only twenty
dollars and we get free breakfast. I have to say, I've been traveling for a very long
time. I've probably been backpacking almost three or four years and I have never had a
room with a view like this.
Off in the distance you can see the rice terraces where locals grown their crops. This view
is kind of similar to Boseong Tea Plantation we visited in Korea and also the Cameron Highlands
in Malaysia where we visited more tea plantations. The only difference is that we didn't have
a room overlooking this. It's a much better view this time around.
Well our time in Vietnam has almost officially come to an end and I can't think of a better
way to spend it than here in Sapa. What do you think? Vietnam has been our favorite country
to travel through in the past three months and Sapa is just a great relaxing destination
to end off the trip.
We are taking our first sleeper bus in Vietnam. We are traveling from Nha Trang all the way
to Hoi An which should be about 12 hours and the bus basically looks like they stuffed
a whole bunch of bunk beds in it. We're on the top one.
I love the look on Audrey's face when she first saw this bed. I've taken these sleeper
buses before but they are quite unusual buses. This is the tiniest bunkbed I've ever been
on. I could fall off the side.
Oh come bunny you're going to love it. It is like a sleepover party on a bus.
One of the many perks of traveling on the night bus is that you save a night's accommodation.
We won't be paying for a hotel or a guest house tonight. This is our hotel. We're styling.
We paid about eleven US dollars for this journey and that comes to less than one dollar per
hour of travel. Bargain!
Are you getting a good night's rest? Very liberal use of the horn.
It has been over twelve hours and we are still on the bus. We didn't really get a good night's
sleep because they were just honking all night, so as soon as we get to Hoi An I'm getting
my nap.
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Things to do in Vietnam | Top Attractions Travel Guide

8992 Folder Collection
Jane published on September 6, 2015
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