Feasting on Central Vietnam

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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.

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Flower covered streets of Hoi An.

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This may have been my favorite dish in Vietnam. Shredded tofu with greens, basil, peanuts and lime along with a crispy rice cake.

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These curious spiral pieces were hanging in every pagoda we visited.

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And on closer inspection, realized they were all burning incense sticks.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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On our first full day in Hue, we rented a motorbike and visited the Thien Mu Pagoda.

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The garden of the pagoda had some of the largest and magnificent bonsai I’ve seen.

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The grounds of the pagoda kept going further back.

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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.

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