Exploring Hanoi Area (2)

From the prison, we went north to visit Tran Quoc pagoda which is a Buddhist temple and has no entrance fee. The main gate was yellow, its pagoda was bright red, this area is located on the shores of Red River; many people came here to pray and burn incense.

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After visiting the pagoda, we looked for something to eat: Bun Cha Dac Kim. We did not know what else to order and the waiter offered 1 Bun Cha and 1 Spring Roll (total 125k VND). So big the portion was that we could hardly finish our meal. Bun Cha was combination of rice noodles with grilled pork, which was very tasty. The spring roll was very crispy, too.

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We then walked back to Hoan Kiem Lake but we then stopped by St Joseph Cathedral. It looked so old and burnt!

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Back at Hoan Kiem Lake, this time we walked one lap from one side to the other side. We first visited Thang Long Water Puppet Theater to buy ticket for that night but the ticket was sold out. Finally we bought ticket for the next two days, after our return back to Hanoi from Ninh Binh. We predict that we would be late for 20minutes but we still wanted to watch it so just be it. At the end of our walk, we bought avocado smoothies (55k VND) from Fruity Fact but the avocado was still unripe so the juice tasted a little bitter.

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We then returned back to hotel to wash ourselves and asked our hotel staff where to get boiled half-developed bird egg (10k VND). He kindly asked us to walk around while he ordered the eggs for us. He did not promise but he said he would try to get it for us.

So, we continued our culinary trip: try xoi at Xoi Yen for 22k: steamed sticky rice/yellow rice with green bean paste and lots of fried onion enjoyed with another condiment you could choose from the menu. At Xoi Yen, first choose your rice type then choose the meat condiment. It tasted good, mixture of sweetness and savory.

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On our way home, we saw a lady steamed something looked like thin crepes and we decided to try: Banh Cuon (50k VND). It was very similar to Chi Cong Fan (HongKong Dimsum), which was wide sheet of steamed rice batter filled with a mixture of cooked seasoned ground pork, minced wood ear mushroom, and minced shallots. On top of it lots of fried onion and it should be eaten with the dipping sauce. A very nice tasty street food.

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We finally returned to hotel and our friendly hotel staff had found trung vit lon for us. By the time we ate the egg, it had already been cold. It tasted very similar to the ordinary egg, but with scary outer appearance. It was already half-shaped creature, and I could feel that I was eating something round and juicy, probably the eyeball. When we passed the street next day, we noticed quite many vendors had the sign trung vit lon, but I did not buy again, like once is enough.

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The next day: trip to Ninh Binh

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