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I finally get down to editing the Vietnam trip last November (oh wow it’s been a year) with the partner and I thought it will be nice to document this culture-rich yet underrated country that I put close to my heart.

If you tell me to visit Vietnam 5 years ago, I would have probably turn down the idea without hesitation. But pursuing photography made me changed — to be more adventurous, brave and always having a curious heart. I was deciding where to head for a short holiday in year 2014 and Alison introduced me to Hanoi. She then gave me a whole list of locations/cafes to visit, and December the same year I went with my good friend Reyna. I fell instantly in love with the place, and basically got out of my comfort zone to immerse myself fully into this country. The Vietnamese are kind and courteous, even though there may be some who wanted to earn a little more money from the tourists, but generally all is good.

And this is how our adventure for Vietnam begins..

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Xôi Yến
Address: 35B Nguyễn Hữu Huân, Lý Thái Tổ,
Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

Cộng Cà phê Nguyễn Hữu Huân
Address: 35A Nguyễn Hữu Huân, Hàng Bạc,
Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
congcaphe.com

Alison introduced me Iced Coconut Coffee and I highly recommend Cong Caphe. I did not manage to find other cafes selling Iced Coconut Coffee as time was short, so I am unable to make a judgement if Cong Caphe serves the best in town. However, it was good for me that I always crave for it despite not being a coffee-drinker. Try their Condensed Milk Ice-blended Coconut Coffee!

I usually visit Cong Caphe (there’s many branches all over Hanoi city) after having a light lunch at Xoi Yen, which sells sticky sweet potato economical rice. Each serving is about $2-$4, depending on what you order/add. Don’t forget to add their fish sauce that is available on the tables, it’s Vietnamese practice to add fish sauce into their food.

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Maison Sens Restaurant Chain
Sen Ha Thanh (177 Bui Thi Xuan street), Sen Nam Thanh ( 84B Nguyen Du street),
Westlake Sen ( 514 Lac Long Quan street) and Maison Sens (61 Tran Hung Dao street)

Sens Restaurant is one of the most extensive buffet chains in Hanoi, offering a variety of traditional Vietnamese food and international selects. Although I didn’t quite enjoy the food on my second visit with my partner there, but Reyna and I had a really good time eating previously. Oh, try their passion fruit pudding, I love it!

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The next day we took a day trip to Ninh Binh, a province 3 hours away from Hanoi city, where we learnt about Vietnam’s early history of fighting for independence from China. The entire area was filled with limestones formation on land. (if you have heard of Ha Long bay, it’s limestones on sea) We sailed along the river with a sampan, and also cycled around the town.

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Pho Suong
Address:
24B Ngõ Trung Yên, Hoan Kiem Hang Bac, Hàng Bạc,
Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

We had my favourite Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Rice Noodles) from Pho Suong while waiting for the night train to Sapa. It was recommended to me by the Hanoikids tour guide, a voluntary student guide group in Hanoi for the kids to practise and learn English better when I was there with Reyna. I love their broth the most out of the few places I tried as theirs is the thickest and most flavourful one.

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The KAfē
http://kafefood.com.vn/?lang=en

Fast forward to day 6, we went to The KAfē after washing up at our previous hotel (yup they were very nice to let us clean up for free) for breakfast while waiting for the time to take our flight back Singapore. It’s my second time at this place and they did not disappoint. We also witness a wedding ceremony while in the hotel waiting for the cab.

(More on day 3 – 5 at Sapa on my next update)