After touching down in Nha Trang and catching a dizzying bus ride up to Central Vietnam, Ankur and I decided to enjoy the simple things in life. Our first city in the region was Hoi An, an old trading port that is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The old architecture influenced by Chinese and Japanese settlers were a visual feast. We also discovered some edible feasts as the region was the culinary capitol of Vietnam.
Flower covered streets of Hoi An.
This may have been my favorite dish in Vietnam. Shredded tofu with greens, basil, peanuts and lime along with a crispy rice cake.
These curious spiral pieces were hanging in every pagoda we visited.
And on closer inspection, realized they were all burning incense sticks.
While walking down the street, I noticed an older woman smoking and asked if I could take a picture. She fervently accepted and started puffing away while I snapped some photos.
An appetizer of Bahn Bao Vac (white rose).
Our next stop, about 4 hours north, was Hue (pronounced like hway). Here we stayed at a hostel which was recommended to us by a couchsurfer we met in Hoi An. The hostel itself had just opened and we practically had the entire place to ourselves.
Luckily we found out that Hue was also a culinary capitol that specifically catered towards vegetarians. Walking half a block from our hostel, we stumbled upon a vegetarian place with unbelievably cheap prices. The meal above was only 50 cents.
On our first full day in Hue, we rented a motorbike and visited the Thien Mu Pagoda.
The garden of the pagoda had some of the largest and magnificent bonsai I’ve seen.
The grounds of the pagoda kept going further back.
The setting of Thien Mu added to its grandness. Perched on a hill by the Perfume river and surrounded by mountains, the pagoda was a feast on the eyes and soul. Vietnam was continuing to unravel its beauty.