Absolutely PHO-bulous!

Vietnam is a great place to arrive starving.

We left our hotel in Singapore around 6:30 am and with nothing but a small McChicken Egg sandwich from the airport McDonald’s many hours before, our stomachs were growling by the time we arrived in Hanoi.

First things first- FOOD! We left our bags and set out into the city, trying to navigate our way through the swarms of motorbikes to find something to fill our angry stomachs. With the scent of charcoal BBQ wafting through the air making us drool, we settled at one of the first places that we came to.  A beer to celebrate making it here, and then we devoured our noodle dishes so quickly that  I forgot to take a picture of the deliciousness.  Did we stop there? Absolutely not. In the course of 6 hours we ate: a pork BBQ baguette sandwich, 4 noodle dishes, 4 spring rolls, 3 beers, a fresh pineapple juice, 2 chocolate croissants, 2 sesame timbits, and a pint of ice cream.

And then today we decided to go to the gym… We did CrossFit regularly for the last 9 months before heading out on our trip, and we are currently in pretty decent shape. Trying to maintain that while we’re gone (with our current eating pattern) is proving to be a little challenging. So today, we found a gym and put together our own CrossFit workout. It remains to be seen how sore we will be tomorrow.

Of course, after our big workout we needed nourishment! More food! If you are a fan of Anthony Bourdain and his show “Parts Unknown” in which where he travels the world  meeting people and eating food, then you may have seen the episode in Hanoi where he sits on a little plastic stool in a small restaurant in Hanoi with none other than Barack Obama. Well, if it’s good enough for them, it’s definitely good enough for us. Bun Cha is a Hanoian specialty, made with grilled pork, white rice noodle, fresh herbs, and served in a fish sauce based dipping sauce.  It served as a kind of “do it yourself” model, so you can adjust all of ingredients to your liking. It. Was. So. Good.  With photos of Obama lining the walls, and his stool and table now protected in plexiglass, it’s taste is good enough that they don’t need to advertise that Obama ate there ( but they heavily do).

Although the title is PHO-nomenal, we haven’t actually eaten Pho yet, a Vietnamese soup similar to Bun Cha. Our Vietnamese food bucket list is long, but we’re definitely up for the challenge.


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