days one hundred and forty-two thru one hundred and forty-five: february 18 - 21, 2016
We spent our last few days in Vietnam in a beachy town called Nha Trang so I could get scuba certified. Yes, I finally decided to jump on the Jung Family Scuba Diving wagon. It only took me 10 years...hahaha! I joined another group of 3 people and spent 3 days doing a confined water dive (in a pool) and four open water dives (in the ocean). I'm glad I finally got over my fear and will be able to dive on our upcoming trip in Raja Ampat with Jonathan's parents. Here is a picture with my buddy, Danielle -- another fellow American from South Carolina and our dive instructor, Flo from France. We had a lot of fun together and quickly became real buddies over the 3 days!
Aside from doing my scuba coursework, we took it pretty easy in Nha Trang. I was gone all the mornings then met up with Jonathan around lunchtime. Even though we got to try and eat a lot of good Vietnamese food during our trip, I was excited when we were able to check out a street food tour, hosted by a local restaurant called Lanterns (which also has delicious food). We started at 3pm and finished at about 5:30pm, visiting a total of 7 different local eateries. It would be an understatement to say that we were stuffed --- so much good food!!!
Banh trong tron - This is a refreshing salad made with spicy mixed rice paper, small bites of beef liver, quail egg, and some greens (can't remember what it was!). But, all I know is that we enjoyed it!
Banh tai vac - These are tapioca shrimp dumplings -- they were good, nothing to write home about though.. :X
Banh xeo - We had this dish before, but this one was by far our favorite version. It's a small seafood pancake...totally looks like an omelet but it's not! It's just made with rice and flour...and delicious squid and shrimp. Before you eat it, you dunk it in a special fish sauce then take a bite! It was also cool to see how the lady cooked them in individual little griddles!
Banh canh - This is a rice noodle soup with fishcake. Our guide told us that it's local to Nha Trang and Vietnamese tourists who visit Nha Trang always make time to eat these dish. At first, the soup is somewhat bland...but the vendor, like every other restaurant, had a bunch of fixings to add to the soup so you can alter the taste to your liking.
Banh can - These are small egg and rice cakes with a quail egg that you soak in fish sauce before devouring. So good! We watched the lady while she was cooking...which looked so easy but went she let me try, I totally failed and left remnants of the rice cake stuck to the pan.
Banh trang nuong - This was another light, scrumptious snack -- grilled rice paper with egg. We also were treated to some corn mixed with baby shrimp...also good!
Che chuoi nuong - last but not least, dessert! We walked over to stall that was just set up on the curb and tried the vendor's banana and sticky rice pudding. To me, it was very reminiscent of Filipino desserts because of the sticky rice and coconut milk glaze. We thought we weren't going to make it to dessert but it was surprisingly light and delicious!