14 June 2017
Here we got to our last day – or actually the last half-day – in Vietnam. We didn’t have much to do today, and the only plans we had were to walk around and possibly buy something.
So we had a really slow breakfast, yet still managed to leave the hotel before 9am. Therefore, many clothing stores were still closed – and actually, we were pretty interested in local brands. A lot of other shops were open though: those selling household goods with buckets and mops; repair shops, littered with all sorts of junk; shops selling faxes or coils for electric stoves etc.
That is why, we decided to walk to the lake again and try something we hadn’t tried yet: the famous egg coffee. This is a typical Hanoi invention and we headed straight to the Giang cafe, owned by a family which invented this drink back when cow’s milk was in short supply – so a certain Giang came up with the idea of replacing it with egg yolk. The drink is very interesting, has a dense consistency and tastes like egg-flip, consisting of egg yolk, whipped with sugar, robusta coffee and condensed milk.
Since we really liked the coffee in Vietnam in general – it’s so fragrant, not sure whether it’s because the Vietnamese drink mostly Robusta rather than Arabica or for some other reason – on our way we went to a coffee shop and bought coffee beans to take home with us.
We walked back along the same shopping street as before, and the clothing stores were already open, but on closer examination somehow didn’t impress us too much: it felt like the clothes were better in Saigon, where unfortunately, we didn’t have time to walk around shops.
But we did get to buy fruits to take home! We were looking for a street market, which we saw on the first day near our hotel, but didn’t find it – apparently they are off today – so we popped into an ordinary fruit shop and got pitahayas (dragon fruit), litchis, mangosteens and rambutans there.
Now we only had to have lunch, and we walked into a Japanese barbecue restaurant, where you could pay 300,000 VND (about 13-14 US dollars) and get an unlimited amount of meat and seafood, which you had to grill right in the centre of the table. Unfortunately, our stomachs have limited capacity, so pretty soon we had to ask to stop bringing food and just serve the dessert (which, along with bottomless beer, was also included in the price).
Then we returned to the hotel, took a quick shower and went to check out. The staff of the hotel were very nice to us: we were seen off by pretty much all of the reception staff, who even gave us hanging decorations with rag birds as gifts! At half past two in the afternoon the travel agency car picked us up and took us to the airport.
Goodbye, beautiful country of delicious food, fragrant coffee, wonderful massage, rich history and culture, stunning nature, crazy traffic and lovely people!