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Eating my way out of Vietnam, Part Deux

Caught the Hanh Cafe bus (US$3 from STA office on De Tham) to Da Lat to attend a wedding. What supposed to be a 6 hour ride turned into an 10 hr adventure due to a traffic accident that clogged the highway and also our bus had a flat. Surprisingly, most of the backpacker passengers were good sport. I didn't hear any whining about delay at all. I'm happy to see people sacrifice their usual comfort for the joy and understanding of travel.

Besides the catered meals I had at the wedding receptions, which were neither good or bad, I did manage to get away and snack on some street-food yumminies. There's a "banh xeo" stall near Da Lat market that makes tasty crepe, albeit a little greasy. It's a quaint family-run operation with dad making the crepes on a coalfired oven, mom plays the cashier, teenage daughter's task of making all tables get basketful of herby vegetables and refilling the teapots complete the operation. The banh xeo's filling consists of tiny shrimps and octupus instead of the traditional pork. At 2000 dong (US$0.15) each, these banh xeo are a perfect treat for an afternoon snack rather than the full size version usually served at other restaurants. You can find these guys on a side alley on the left of the central bus terminal on the main road that lead to Da Lat market. Let your nose and tastebuds lead you to this gem.

My short stay in Da Lat ended with a refreshing cocktail at Pho Nui, a popular rooftop cafe with a great view of the city. There was even a live band that play traditional heritage music that night. Check them out on a clear night for a visual treat but I recommend bringing a light jacket or sweater as Dalat's cool air can be chilly to some.

The rest of my short trip to Vietnam was spent in Nha Trang for lots of sun soaking and scuba diving. I visited Lac Canh, with its smoky BBQs and delicious beef as well as other seafood dishes. It's a popular joint so no doubt you've heard of it or been there. I'm probably not the first or the last to recommend this place so check it out if you're ever in Nha Trang. Other places that I dined at include Com Viet Nam, a nononsense restaurant that served the usual Vietnamese fare at a reasonable price.

Enough drooling on food porn? Here's a few photos of Nha Trang from my window at Yasaka hotel. Hehe, I'm usually not the type that would stay at a fancy hotel but luckily, this stay was comped so I'm not complaining.

The rest of the pics can be found here. Bon appetite and bon voyage.

Backpackers are great, aren't they? They are such a travelling community, and most of the time they can make even a four hour delay enjoyable. Although the street food probably would have made me happy as well!

NSU - 4efer, 5210 - rulez

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