Freebird Adventure Tour
I needed a visa run from Thailand, so I decided to spend a few weeks in Vietnam. I started in Hanoi, where I booked a motorbike adventure tour with Minh of Freebird Adventure Tours. The tour was an amazing experience. We rode through the countryside and stayed at some homestays while stopping at small villages, temples, and eateries along the way.
I was impressed by how much Vietnam has changed since the Vietnam War era. The country is now rapidly developing, thanks to an influx of investment money from South Korea, China, Japan, and Singapore. However, I was also happy to see that the old culture and traditions are still alive and well.
Shot of Rice Whiskey
I was riding my motorbike through the countryside outside of Hanoi, Vietnam when I came across a group of men sitting in a circle. They were having a picnic, drinking rice whiskey, and eating lunch. As I drove around them, my motorbike almost went into the stream. I was rewarded with a shot of rice whiskey for not hitting anyone. "Hoan Hô!" (Cheers!)
Phở / Bánh Mì
I have tried Vietnamese food in the United States, and it is good. However, eating Vietnamese food in Vietnam is on a whole other level. I was recommended to try beef pho at Phở Cường, and I now recommend it to anyone reading this. The beef was tender and delicious, and the rest of the dish was what you would expect in Hanoi: simple, straightforward, and tasty.
Minh introduced me to my first bánh mì sandwich. It is very common in Vietnam, but I had never had this exact taste. The bread was fresh and crispy, the omelet was made with fresh eggs and ham, and the herbs were fresh and local. Notice how I am typing "fresh" a lot!
The food in Vietnam is simply amazing. I had some of the best pho of my life in Hanoi. The broth is clear but still has a rich flavor, and the herbs are all grown locally and fresh. I can't wait to go back to Vietnam and explore more of this fascinating country.
I witnessed the entire process of preparing a chicken for consumption for the first time in my life. It may have been a rooster, so the meat was a bit tough, but the food was delicious. I find it sad that as an adult, I have never seen a chicken prepared from start to finish. However, as an American, I am used to seeing chicken as a finished product between two buns. I have no complaints, just observations on this farm-to-table cooking experience.
This video was an "oh shit" moment going over a Bamboo Bridge in the middle of nowhere on a 250cc Honda (about 250 lbs.)
Pig Farms and Waterfalls
I found a pig farm with mountains and waterfalls in the background. I am talking with Minh about retiring there, but he thinks I am crazy. I am looking into buying this place!