NEWS: In 2017, we will not be available to conduct tours at the following times:

July 1-3, August 20-23, October 20-23, December 2-10

The food available in Hanoi's narrow alleys and tree-lined boulevards is just as much a part of the city as its lakes and old world architecture. In fact, all of these elements combine with the indomitable spirit of the Vietnamese people to produce a lively culinary scene that is both diverse and confronting.

Over the past twelve years, 'the god' (Van Cong Tu, author of the blog 'Vietnamese God') and 'Sticky' (Mark Lowerson, author of the blog Stickyrice) have been traversing the streets of Vietnam's capital, as well as cutting a wider arc through other regions of Vietnam and beyond, wolfing down between us virtually everything on offer.

Tu is an accredited tour guide with more than 17 years experience in the tourism and hospitality industry. He is an expert on the cuisine of the south-central coast, having grown up in Nha Trang and frequent visits to Ho Chi Minh City and Phu Quoc Island make him very well-versed in what people are feeding their faces with in the south, too. But Hanoi is where he dwells and its chaotic web of lanes and alleys are where he eats most. Tu knows the market vendors and they like him.

Mark has been resident in Hanoi since January 2002, eating on the streets here from day one. The blog 'Stickyrice' is one of the longest running foodblogs, with the first post dated May 2005. Named in The Times Online's 50 Best Foodblogs in 2009 (at #22), 'Stickyrice' has been featured on 'Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie' and as part of SBS's Featured Foodie series.

We specialise in Vietnam's streetfood and wet markets and have recently designed a series of itineraries for travellers and food enthusiaists. These tours have been carefully planned to give visitors to Vietnam an authentic taste of a country very attuned to the rhythms of food through the day and through the seasons. Together, we visit the street stalls and markets, sampling the produce and eating from their dishes and bowls, as well as cooking with the ingredients at home.
Our tours range from three hour morning, afternoon or evening walks to a full-day eat-a-thon. The most popular tour is the 3 hour (8.30am-11.30pm) morning tour which typically includes a street market walk (with ongoing explanations of food practices, strange food items, some delicacies), a visit to ceremonial cake stalls, a special French dessert, the food sections of Hanoi's main Dong Xuan market, a streetfood alley for a noodle lunch, fruit stalls and coffee at an historic old quarter cafe.

A full day (9am-3pm) itinerary for foodie tragics (including more market visits and more street snacks and drinks) is also available. It encompasses a deeper look at ingredients and is ideal for those in the food industry, whether they be chefs, food writers, indeed anyone with an enthusiasm for food, whether it be in the eating or the cooking! All tours are inclusive of all food/drinks and are conducted entirely on foot after Tu meets and greets at the hotel.

Tu and Mark can also customise tours for particular interests if given sufficient advance notice. For more information and/or to book a tour, email both Tu: tuvancong2003@gmail.com and Mark: lowiemark@yahoo.com.au


Saturday, 19 November 2011

Eat Walk Drink

Adam James

British actor Adam James joined our morning street food today.
Together, we hit some of Hanoi's main eating stages and Adam was up for the challenge. Our three hours started with Bun Ca - deep fried fish with noodles and herbs. This was perhaps his biggest challenge of the day as he indicated that seafood was not something he was all that fond of. With some apprehension, Adam tasted the fish and was surprised that it wasn't that fishy. Who knows, it may be that the experience will add another dimenion to his diet in future.

Fish noodle soup

A lakeside coffee followed before we continued our route into one of Hanoi's wet markets. Adam noted the differences between markets here and markets back in the UK and was impressed with the freshness of the produce and the fact that there were no flies.

Banh Gung

We made our way back into the Old Quarter for a dessert dish typical of Northern Vietnam, consisting of fermented wild rice with yoghurt. Other sweets we enjoyed during the morning included banh com, a traditional rice made from pounded rice, mung beans and sugar and che chuoi, dried banana with coconut cream.

Bun Cha Hanoi

As lunch time neared, the bun cha experience loomed. This Hanoi barbeque of pork belly and pork patties is a must for all visitors to the capital. Adam was particularly interested in the range of herbs that accompany Vietnamese cuisine and, of course, they are not in short supply when bun cha is for lunch.

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An after lunch coffee was our last stop on the tour. Adam departed the tour with a full stomach and a kind word. And we thank him for choosing us to guide him through Hanoi's street food scene.

5 comments:

  1. Will be in Hanoi on 18th Feb for 4 days would like to book a tour if you are doing them then.

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  2. Great pictures. This looks like a really great experience.

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  3. Tu- Thank you so much for showing us around the food stalls of Hanoi. We certainly never would have located any of those great spots without you. It was the highlight of our trip to Vietnam.

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  4. Nice Post in your blog.Thanks for the information.

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