OK, this is going to be a big one. I just got back from six days in Hanoi, Vietnam and have a lot to share. I've been to Vietnam before, but never Hanoi, and found it to be one of the craziest and most intense, but also most photogenic places I've ever been. The food scene was definately interesting, but I think Graham at Noodlepie would probably agree with me if I said it wasn't as diverse or delicious as Saigon's. Nonetheless, it's still Vietnam, which invariably means good eats.
Probably the most famous Vietnamese dish of all is in fact a Hanoi dish:
Yes, pho. This beef noodle soup is available almost everywhere, from shops:
to the streets:
It's popular for breakfast, but I prefered this dish, which here in Thailand is known as khao kriap paak maw:
The dish is made by spreading rice flour and water mixture over a hot surface:
and the fresh "noodle" that results is then filled with pork and served with the dipping sauce and veggies seen above. Utterly delicious.
Other than pho, undoubtedly the most common dish in Hanoi is bun cha, grilled pork served with sides of rice noodles, fresh herbs and a sweet/sour dipping sauce. This dish can be found at virtually every corner in the city:
as well as at proper restaurants, this one in the Old Quarter:
A similar dish is made with chim, pigeon, this on Ta Hien street, which Graham refers to as "Pigeon Street"!
I love morning markets, and a unusual one could be found on Pho Hang Be in the Old Quarter. The weird thing about this market is that at exactly 7 AM, all of the vendors suddenly got up and ran away! Where they went and why I'm still not sure, but it made for some great photos:
Other things seen at this morning market were silkworm worms:
A more or less stationary market is the Dong Xuan market, north of the Old Quarter:
Or if you chose, the market simply comes to you:
If you're thirsty after all this, then have a glass of freshly squeezed sugarcane juice:
Or a glass of beer at one of the many, many, many bia hoi ("draught beer") joints:
Or if you're hungry, have a dish of deep-fried eels:
or maybe some other seafood: