This is the continuation of Day 1 of my Indochina trip. If you want to read the previous part, click here.
It was around 3 in the afternoon when I decided to go out. I went to see Dinh Độc Lập or the Independence/Reunification Palace. It was the headquarters of the former South Vietnam Republic. Now, they turned it into a museum showcasing the different rooms and receiving areas of the former leaders of the defunct republic.
I didn’t join a tour guide but I tagged along with some English-speaking guides to learn a little history here and there. I spent less than an hour touring the building before I went to the HCMC Hall to take some pictures.
It was 6 in the evening when Truc from Back of the Bike Tours picked me up. Earlier, she told me not to eat as we would be having so much food. And boy was she right! We were devouring food faster that I can say Saigon Street Food.
The first stop is at the park where we were served Papaya Salad. It was made by an old lady pushing a cart. Truc said that if you were a foreigner and you were to ask a local where is the best papaya salad in the city is, they would point you to her. Obviously the recipe is a secret but from what I can tell, she mixed it with fermented liver which was very tasty.
So we travelled to the next point via motorbike and I must say that riding the motorbike at night was so much exciting and fun. Aside from the rush hour traffic which made the ride more exhilarating, the breeze is so much cooler and the lights in the surrounding were beautiful.
The next stop is a skewers place where I got to pose as the barbecue guy fanning the skewers.
The next stop is at a famous seafood restaurant where they served the best crab soup I’ve tasted.
Then we went to another stop where we tried to make the famous Vietnamese rice flour crepe. When I said crepe, I didn’t mean dessert yet. (It will come next) Their crepe is composed of savory ingredients and lots of vegetables!
And finally, the desserts! Sticky Mango Rice and Black Rice!
If there is anything I learned about Vietnam on my first day, it is that the country is a foodie’s paradise. The dishes are an explosion of flavor for your sense of taste.
The next day, I would be cruising the Mekong Delta.