Hello hello! It’s me – Thuy! OMG it’s been forever since my last post!!! I just got back from Vietnam and have been busy adjusting to the life in Vancouver. I mean, once you’re back home and are used to the comfort of having your mom doing everything for you (guilty!!!), it’s kind of troublesome for you to do everything on your own again in a country far away from home. I literally did not want to eat for the first few days in Vancouver just because I did not know how to go grocery shopping and cook! And they were the things that I was so good at before I left for Vietnam!
I have also been so stressed out with the whole looking for an internship thing. Yeah… Towards the end of your degree, you’ll realize that staying in school is actually much easier than leaving it and finding a job, a real job. Urghhh I’m honestly just so jealous of those still in their first or second year, the world is so much of a shiny oyster for them.
Anyway, let’s not dwell further into my life problems, because now I’m going to show you a whole lot of pictures from my trip back home. You might be disappointed because there’s actually not that many pictures, mainly because of the fact that I stayed at home with my family most of the time. LOL. Three years of not being close to the people who have been there for you since you were born made it feel compelling to spend as much time as possible with them.
Yahh no more yapping, let’s get to the picturessss!!!
Cơm tấm (broken rice): One of the best Saigon foods in my opinion. The dish is made from rice with fractured rice grains, and is usually served with grilled pork, bì (thinly shredded pork mixed with cooked and thinly shredded pork skin), an omelette or fried egg, various greens and pickled vegetables, some egg meatloaf (chả trứng), and of course, a small bowl of nước mắm. My family used to rent out our front yard to a family who sold cơm tấm so I pretty much grew up with the dish. No restaurant in Vancouver can really do a perfect cơm tấm dish so this is always something that I miss the most.
Nhà thờ Đức Bà Sài Gòn (Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon): Constructed between 1863 and 1880, the cathedral was built to serve the religious needs of French colonialists. These days, it is an exquisite landmark and a must-come to those who loveeee a good photo-op.
The whole view of Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon from afar.
Nguyen Hue Walking Street, Ho Chi Minh City
The Municipal Theatre of Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon Opera House (Nhà hát lớn Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh).
Phuong Nam Book City: A new bookstore at Van Hanh Mall with a European vibe. As a book-lover, I did not want to leave this place one bit. But I had to, eventually…
Will definitely come to this bookstore again next time that I go back home.
We’re in Hanoi!!! Woo hoo!!! This is the beautiful Sword Lake (Hồ Hoàn Kiếm) at the pedestrian zones transformed from the Sword Lake and its adjacent areas.
The pedestrian areas are open from Friday nights to Sunday nights to create a common cultural space for all Hanoian residents as well as visitors to experience traditional cultural activities and promote Vietnamese culture in foreigners’ eyes. Since there is usually a lot of English-speaking visitors in this area, many young Vietnamese people take this as an opportunity for them to practice speaking English.
The Welcoming Morning Sunlight Bridge (Cầu Thê Húc) that leads to the Temple of the Jade Mountain
Đền Ngọc Sơn – Temple of the Jade Mountain
St. Joseph’s Cathedral – Nhà thờ Lớn Hà Nội
Just a cool-vintage-looking house that looked interesting to me while I was taking a walk along the Truc Bach Lake with my Dad.
Walking along the Truc Bach Lake (Hồ Trúc Bạch)…
A view of the Truc Bach Lake from atop.
Many people I know argue that the best Pho is always the Northern kind. I don’t know, though…? I mean it really depends on each person’s taste. Anyway, I had this bowl of Pho at Pho Oanh on Nguyen Truong To. It was really good so I recommend you try it if you have a chance. The fragrant broth was the right combination of sweet and salty. The beef was tender. And the noodles were perfect. One setback I must point out is that the price was kind of up there so bring a good amount of money with you.
Banh cuon – Rice noodle roll: A thin, wide sheet of steamed fermented rice batter filled with a mixture of cooked seasoned ground pork, minced wood ear mushroom, and minced shallots. This dish is usually served with chả lụa (Vietnamese pork sausage), sliced cucumber, and bean sprouts, with the dipping sauce which is fish sauce called nước mắm.
Bun cha – a Vietnamese dish of grilled pork and noodle. Probably my most favorite dish from Hanoi. The dipping sauce (nước mắm), to me, is the main thing that makes this dish so extraordinary. (Can we see a pattern here with the most favorite dishes from the two regions? Grilled pork and dipping sauce (nước mắm)? I certainly have a predictable taste!)
Ahhh. I left the most special picture till the very last. This is the view from the front of my Grandma’s house in Hanoi. The corner of Phố Châu Long. I never grew up here, but it will always be a part of me. Always my fave corner in the whole world.
Woaa. You can’t see me right now, but I teared up just writing this blog post and reminiscing all my good times. Guess I just miss my hometown a little more than I ever thought (okay a lotttttt!!!!!). Well, gotta suck it up and live my best life in Vancouver now because my family did not spend a lot of money on me just so that I would crawl up in my room and cry all day. I got a good vacation, and now it’s time to continue with everything!
Thanks for reading this post! I know it was not that interesting but I still hope it was a good read. I’ll make sure to make more posts from now on.