I have now been in Vietnam for a total of 26 hours and it’s starting to feel real. The journey was super easy, quick connection in Singapore meant no faffing around and I was super pleased to keep my sugars below 10 for the whole journey which I felt was quite an achievement!
On arrival at Hanoi, I was greeted by a very enthusiastic man waving a board with my name on and I was quickly to learn that this was Li who would be our guide whilst in Vietnam before passing us on to someone new for the Cambodian leg of the adventure. Two other people were arriving at similar times to me so we all met at the airport and got in our car towards the hotel. The itinerary was that we would have a few hours to settle in/wash/nap, before being thrown in to a street food tour of Hanoi which would also double as our first Vietnamese dining experience.
There are 4 of us on the tour and our guide, Li, so we met in the hotel lobby and after a quick briefing, set off into the centre of Hanoi. My first impression was ‘wow, look at all the traffic!!’ I am sure my family are already fed up of the numerous videos I have sent them depicting the chaos. Amazingly though, it just seems to work. Li expertly navigated us through the streets, giving us little snippets of information about Hanoi and Vietnam as a whole. The first street food stop was at a little vendor offering bread rolls filled with pork, chilli and crispy onions – it was at this point I told Li that I was a low carb, diabetic, vegetarian who was allergic to egg therefore not to worry about my ridiculous dietary requirements and I would eat what I could and supplement with the many snacks I had packed from home! I tried the filling of the roll (minus the pork) which was spicy and tasty and then we moved on.
The second stop was for Vietnamese rice paper pancakes with crispy onions (and beef for the meat eaters). I knew that these were fairly low carb so I had a couple which were lovely – I also knew we were doing quite a bit of walking therefore I could get away with indulging a little. I was so glad that we were being guided through the experience as I would have had no idea which places were the best ones to stop at without the local expertise!
The next stop was a BBQ where you select your own items and cook them on a make shift bbq in the centre of the table. I had aubergine, tofu and pak choi which was delicious.
The next two stops involved a lot of condensed milk which I decided to give a miss however I enjoyed seeing what the others had – fresh dragon and jack fruit with condensed milk and coconut milk and egg coffee which is whipped up egg yolk with coffee and condensed milk.
So far a surreal but awesome experience – we will be spending all day tomorrow in Hanoi as well so plenty more to follow!