Latest news about Silk Path Boutique Hanoi

SAPA'S CHARMING "MUSE" AT THE END OF AUTUMN

(Photo credit: Lang cung thoi gian)

When the slanting sunlight slowly fades away, the breezing November autumn wind slowly takes place, leaking itself through every corner of the golden rice paddies, and brings along the breathtaking cloud inversion that will treat your senses to an assortment of captivating experiences.

(Photo credit: Nutthavood Punpeng)

Every sensation shall be more intimate and turn into a lingering feeling when you meet Sapa’s “muse”. Nestled on its own picturesque hills, Silk Path Grand Resort & Spa Sapa offers amazing panoramic views of the marvelous Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range and unparalleled experiences in a unique, secluded destination. Walking along the surrounding landscape of the resort, you will be pampered in the fairy-like garden. More than a hundred rare species of plants and ancient roots and flowers create a unique garden at the resort. Be sure to take as many photos as you can to preserve these unforgettable moments.

When every day passes by with unrivalled experiences, you will be more deeply in love with Sapa and will crave for a return. With its indoor heated swimming pool with 180 view, luxury and elegant spa, restaurant and café lounge with large terrace which opens up to the astonishing mountain and clouds, thoughtful design and décor guest rooms, the friendly staff, all those features will blend in together with the dreamy and mysterious beauty of Sapa to create uniquely sophisticated experiences.

Are you looking for a one-of-a-kind travelling experience for the year-end holiday? Visit Sapa and meet the “muse”!

Silk Path Grand Resort & Spa Sapa

Doi Quan 6, Group 10, Sapa Town, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam

Certificate of Excellence by Holiday Check 2017

Silk Path Boutique Hotel Hanoi is delighted to announce that we have obtained Certificate of Excellence from the Europe’s leading review platform, Holiday Check 2017.

It is such an honor to be awarded by Holiday Check as we always do our utmost to create an unforgettable and enjoyable experience for our guests with our friendly and helpful staff and the beautiful settings, rich textures and sophisticated elegance design.

“Providing an impeccable service to our guest is our priority and this accolade which is based on the customer reviews from Holiday Check represents our hard work, and we must continue on our path for excellence and professionalism.” Mrs. Thuy Nguyen – General Manager said.

 

Hanoi Walking Street

Recently, Hanoi has officially opened the Old Quarter Walking Street, making it into the most enormous walking area in the capital city. The aim of this walking streets is to promote the Vietnamese culture. It is an extraordinary place for both the local and tourists to chill out and enjoy their relaxing time after a stressful workweek.

The walking streets consist of the route surrounding Hoan Kiem Lake - the heart of Hanoi. Pedestrian-only hours start from Friday 6 p.m until Sunday 12 p.m.

Unlike the formerly walking street (Hang Dao, Hang Duong and Dong Xuan or Dong Xuan Night Market) where the vendors are located in the middle of the streets, the roadbeds of these new sixteen pedestrian is available for the citizens to stroll and participate in some traditional games with the local such as the game of dragon-snake, throwing a sacred ball through the ring, the game of squares. However, numerous stalls are also available in some corners for the visitors to taste the food, try on or buy the clothes, accessories, souvenirs and handicrafts.

Peple playing the game of squares

If you want to have a portrait of yourself, it is very easy to find the sketching artists along the streets. All you need to do is wait for a few minutes and you will have an incredible sketch with a reasonable price.

The pedestrian can also enjoy the performance of Vietnamese traditional music like Ca Tru, Cheo, Hat Xam… This is a fantastic way for both the local and foreigners to discover and experience the traditional folk music of Vietnam without spending money. You can also find some foreigners singing Vietnamese songs in the walking street.

Vietnamese traditional music sung by professional artists

The walking street definitely create a golden chance for its visitors to adore not only the beauty of the architecture of Hanoi but also experience the Vietnamese cultural activities and traditional lifestyle.

Silk Path Boutique Hanoi is located right in the walking street; therefore, you can easily get access and experience the wonderful atmosphere of this pedestrian zone.

Nón village

In the past, Nón – the conical hat was familiar to all Vietnamese women across many generations either they were poor or rich, in big cities or rural areas. Thus, it has become a unique feature of Vietnamese culture. However Vietnamese young generation todays do not usually wear Nón in their daily life, but it is still made in some villages and the famous one is Chuong village, Hanoi.

Chuong village is in Hanoi’s outlying district of Thanh Oai, about 30 km from Hanoi’s center. It is said that the Nón has been made through generations in this village for hundreds of years.

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 All generations in family are making the conical hats - Photo: Google Image

To make a conical hat, the best green leaves should buy from Phu Tho or Quang Binh and left to dry in the sunshine until they turn white. The craftsmen then iron the leaves under a heated ploughshare to make them flatten and harden. Next, the leaves are assembled in a wooden frame and sewn with 16 rounds of needling, using silk thread. Specially, Chuong village conical hat can easily be recognized at first sight because only they sew their hats with 16 rounds of needling to keep the layers tighten. Finally, the hat is lightly coated with oil of turpentine to avoid becoming mouldy in humid weather like Vietnam.

On the 4th, 10th, 14th, 20th, 24th and 30th of every lunar month, people from neighbor provinces gather in the village’s market for trading activity. The market day starts at 6 am and lasts around two hours. Only conical hats and their materials are sold at the market.

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The market in the "Nón" village - Photo: google image

If you would like to buy some as souvenirs or witness the villagers create them in front of your eyes, you should take a day trip to Chuong Village – It is sure to be a lovely day to discover our Vietnamese culture.

Sources: Vietnam Online

Vietnamese Tea Culture

The Vietnamese tea drinking habits has been started since the period of 13th to 15th century. In the past, it was believed that tea could help improve one’s character, polish one’s manner, and assess one’s personality. Thus, reading book and drinking tea had been chosen by most of Vietnamese scholars back then since it was thought that the habits could achieve enlightenment and peace of mind. Through times, tea gradually has its own place in everyday life of Vietnamese living either in the city or in the countryside.

Not only at home but also on the street, Vietnamese do drink tea. Tea is sold commonly in “quán cóc” - the street vendors - which can easily be found in many Hanoi corners. “Quán cóc” with hot or iced green tea is an interesting piece of Vietnamese street culture, where people, especially workers and students, often come to have some rest in short breaks of utterly exhausted working time, waiting for friends or for picking up children after school. “Quán cóc” connects people, from strangers they become friends, sharing stories and hearing latest news happening while smoking cigarettes or having some peanut candy.

Recently, young Hanoian have had a new trend: gathering around and drinking fresh lime tea – “trà chanh”. A few plastic short-legged stools, a small dish of roasted sunflower seed, and certainly, a glass of “trà chanh” for each; those are enough to have a great time with friends at a very low price. The most boisterous and exciting place to drink “trà chanh” is at the area around Saint Joseph Cathedral or in Dao Duy Tu street (an Old Quarter’s corner), where you will get a chance to have a close approach to daily life of young Hanoian life style.

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Trà Chanh - Fresh Lime Tea and roasted sunflower seed. Photo: google

It takes about 7 minutes to walk from Silk Path Boutique Hanoi and 10 minutes from Silk Path Hotel Hanoi to the Saint Joseph Cathedral then you can enjoy a cup of “trendy” Trà Chanh.

S'Patisserie - A French corner in Hanoi for organic sweet treats.

Silk Path Group is delighted to announce the recent opening of S’Patisserie, a hi-end coffee & bakery shop in the ancient Hang Khay street of Hanoi Old Quarter.

Designed based on the concept of an elegant French boutique bakery, S’Patisserie provides approximately 25 indoor and outdoor seats, accommodating either local residents or walk-in travelers whom looking for charming ambience, exquisite delicacies yet affordable.

S'Patisserie (2)

Specializing in fine coffee and tea, nutritious drinks, artisan breads, pastries and cakes, we are proud to support and use organic ingredients as much as possible. Whether it is a glass of detox juice, a cup of hot cappuccino or a piece of New York cheese cake, all ingredients used are purified and naturally-based to bring gourmets the healthiest yet delicious product.

With a wide range of house-signature and classic drinks and more than 20 varieties of gourmet pastries and cakes, S’Patisserie offers an array of sweet selections and treats that could tantalize the taste bud of any gourmand or simply satisfy the appetite of any sweet-lover.

Come to enjoy many attractive promotions awaiting during this opening season. You won’t be regret.

S 'Patisserie - 17-19 Hang Khay, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

04 3938 5555 (ext: 1303) - hotline: 094 8585 000

BANH CUON – THE DISH THAT YOU SHOULD NOT BE MISSED

Banh cuon is a dish that can be found in many Vietnamese Northern provinces such as Lang Son or Cao Bang. Therefore Banh Cuon is also a popular dish in Hanoi which is considered as a choice for favorite breakfast dishes.

Bánh in Vietnamese means Cake and Cuốn means Rolled, Banh Cuon is a steamed rolled cake which is made from a thin, wide sheet of steam rice batter rolled and filled with seasoned ground pork, minced wood ear mushroom, and minced shallots. To further distinguish itself from the former, it is served with a separate bowl of clear amber dipping sauce and traditionally, this sauce is added “cà cuống” (Lethocerus indicus) essence for a better flavor. “Chả Lụa” (Vietnamese pork sausage) and fresh herb is served on the side.

Besides the Pork filling in Banh Cuon, you can also find 2 other paste as chicken or shrimp, however Pork Banh Cuon is more popular which can be easily found in many Hanoi’s corner.

Banh Cuon can be found in many streets of Hanoi Old Quarter, yet Banh Cuon Gia Truyen (Banh Cuon Thanh Van) 14 Hang Ga is one of the famous Banh Cuon restaurant that you can add to your Hanoi food tour list.

BÚN RIÊU – A MUST TRY DISH IN HANOI

It seems that nowhere in Vietnam is more famous for gastronomy than Hanoi. Each street or village in Hanoi has a well-known dish that no Hanoians could forget specially those who live away from the homeland for ages.

Hanoi’s dishes are delicate and refined. A dish does not require too many ingredients, but each has its own spices and garnishes. And Bun Rieu Cua (vermicelli and sour crab soup) is an example.

When northern Vietnam’s lush rice paddies are flooded, there are the source of gray - shelled crabs roughly the size of a silver dollar. At Hanoi wet markets, vendors pry off the crustacean’s top shell, scoop out its fat and pound the rest of the body to bits in large mortars or electric grinders. When boiled with water and strained, the resulting slurry becomes a flavorful base for Bun Rieu.

This noodle soup is composed of a tomato-based broth filled with plenty of freshwater crab and topped with pounded crabmeat and deep-fried tofu. An odoriferous purple shrimp paste is offered on the side. Like most Vietnamese noodle soups, it’s also accompanied by a basket of greens herbs as leaf lettuce, perilla leaves, cilantro and shredded morning glory stem - to soften in the hot broth to complete the dish.

You could fine Bun Rieu in many corners of Hanoi’s old quarter, however for your hygiene safety Quan an Ngon – 18 Phan Boi Chau, Hanoi is one recommendation for you. It takes only 5 minutes by walk from Silk Path Hotel Hanoi.

Hanoi Traffic

The traffic in Hanoi is truly mesmerizing: one of the wonders of the world. That is because it flows in the most extraordinary way.

For the most part, traffic moves along at about 15-miles-per-hour; sometimes a little faster and sometimes slower, depending on the time of day. Looking at the traffic is like watching a column of ants, going hither and thither in a courteously chaotic way. The only absolute rule on the roads is to keep to the right. Everything else is improvisation.

hanoi traffic

Source: Internet

Central to the Hanoi traffic triumph are scooters and very light motorcycles (some of them electric), and even bicycles -- although compared to 20 years ago, the bicycle has nearly disappeared.

To the more than three million scooters, most of which take to the streets daily; skill, courtesy and physical courage of the riders are needed. They weave, dodge, brake, swerve, swoop, accelerate and slow down in what, to foreigners’ eyes, is an unscripted ballet

There are cars too, but they're the minority. You must not only have patience, but also enough boldness to know that the river of motorcycles - a river that ebbs and rises, but never ceases - will accommodate you.

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Source: Internet

Everything happens on the darting, rushing motor scooters and mopeds of Hanoi. Families of three are transported; young men and young women ride abreast and meet on wheels.

If you want to cross the street, pluck up you courage and step into the maelstrom of motorized wonder, believing, as you must, that the mass of riders in Hanoi have extrasensory perception and will part, like the Red Sea, for you.

Who would believe that traffic could be so recreational?

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com

Dracontomelon Juice

Dracontomelon juice, “nước sấu” in Vietnamese, is a common drink in Hanoi during the hot summer.

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Source: Internet

Dracontomelon tree, which produces an edible fruit, is a common kind of tree in Cambodia, Vietnam and China. In Vietnamese, the plant is called “cây sấu” and is a familiar urban tree in Hanoi. The fruit is used in Vietnamese cuisine both as a souring agent and a candied treat.

To make dracontomelon juice, first the dracontomelon fruits need to be pickled. The fruits picked are big, not too young but not too ripe, and have no bruises. They are cleaned and peeled off. Then, the fruits are carved with circles in order to make them pickle faster and look nicer. Next, dracontomelon fruits are put in a jar together with cooked sugar water and chopped ginger. After a day or two, the pickled

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Source: Internet

When drink, just take out a few teaspoons of the fruits and its juice, mix with water, more sugar and add some ice. Dracontomelon juice will bring you a refreshing taste and make the Hanoi heat go away almost immediately!

Dracontomelon tree is planted on many streets and alley of the capital city because of its big shade. It bears fruit in the summer, which is why its juice is so popular as a way to cool off the heat. In addition to that, the price of a glass of dracontomelon juice is also very cheap, and it is sold in most cafes during the summer, especially in the Old Quarter where Silk Path Hotel Hanoi is located.

Hanoi Street Food

Vietnam’s capital city, Hanoi, has plenty of sights to appeal to visitors – Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One-Pillar Pagoda, the old quarter with it’s bustling streets – but if you really want to understand the Vietnamese people and their culture, you’ll need to delve deep into its street food.

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Source: Internet

The food available in Hanoi's narrow alleys and tree-lined boulevards is just as much a part of the city as its lakes and old world architecture. In fact, all of these elements combine with the indomitable spirit of the Vietnamese people to produce a lively culinary scene that is both diverse and confronting.

There are no doubt visitors to Hanoi - especially the food-centric ones - notice the constant presence of edible stuff on their strolls around the Old Quarter and further afield. Street-side meat, bicycles laden with fruit and vegetables, simmering pots of stock on doorsteps, boiling kettles, tipping teapots, sacks overflowing with rice - the streets are where the food action is at, not hidden indoors in gigantic supermarket halls nor protected behind glass windows or cabinetry. One can reach out and touch food up and down the length of any Hanoi street.

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Source: Internet

But where there is food there are people. Hanoi is definitely not a western supermarket aisle, where even shouting blue murder is unlikely to bring customer service assistance. Butchers here constantly cast a tending eye over their cuts of meat, keeping up their appeal, shooing the odd fly, ready and poised with a sharp blade at hand. Fruit vendors spend their days pushing bikes and re-arranging their specimens into perfectly conical formation, meticulously examining longans or lychees for flaws. The watermelon vendor, with baskets bending from her shoulder-poles, is weightlifting - all day!

Hanoi’s food scene can be overwhelming with its mix of smells and tastes but it’s well worth exploring since it’s one of the freshest, healthiest and most flavorful cuisines in the world. Must try dishes are different kinds of noodles (bún, phở, miến), pastries (bánh gối, bánh mỳ, bánh rán) and anything that smell good passing by your nose.

Conveniently located in the Old Quarter, Silk Path Hotel Hanoi is the perfect base to explore the unique culture of street food and experience the art of Hanoi cuisine.

Source: streetfoodtourshanoi.blogspot.com

Pho Cuon – Rolled Rice Pancake

Originated from the worldly famous “Phở” – Vietnamese rice noodle soup, “Phở Cuốn” is a fresh and tasty dish that has become a part of Hanoi cuisine in the last two decades.

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Source: Internet

According to stories, there was one street vendor at the corner of Ngu Xa and Nguyen Khac Hieu Street in Hanoi which sold traditional Vietnamese Pho for diners who were watching football late in the evening. One day, the broth ran out and there were some uncut noodles left. Therefore, to satisfy the hunger of customers, the man invented a new dish. He pressed the noodles like rice paper roll and then added the beef into the roll with herbs. When served, the rolls were dipped in the Vietnamese dipping sauce with sugar, vinegar, water, garlic and fish sauce. Surprisingly, the visitors were interested in this new food. After that, the shop changed to new style of Pho.

In the last 20 years, rolled Pho has become a special choice of Hanoi citizens. There has been some luxury restaurants selling it and the visitors are coming more frequently. The restaurants that sell rolled Pho usually also provide some other Pho dishes for the customers such as fried Pho with beef, deep fried Pho with eggs, crispy Pho; but guests would always choose rolled Pho as their first course.

Silk Path Hotel Hanoi is located just 15 minutes away by car from the famous Ngu Xa street which sells the most authentic Rolled Pho in the city.

Sugarcane Juice – A Summer Refreshment

Vietnam is one of the leading producers of sugarcane in the world, therefore no doubt sugarcane juice or “nước mía” is quite a popular drink all over the country, especially during the hot summer.

It is usually sold by street vendors, who use electric squashing machine to squeeze the juice from stalks of sugarcane. Then, it is mixed with kumquat juice, a tiny sour citrus fruit that smells like a mandarin. Its sour center and citrus fragrance help boost the sweet flavor of sugarcane and bring the juice to a whole new level.

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Source: Internet

The finished product has a crisp grassy flavor which is very refreshing on a sweltering hot day. No exaggeration to say just a sip of this natural refresher will leave you glowing from the inside out and cool you down in seconds. Therefore, sugarcane juice can be found mostly anywhere, from vendors along the side of the road to fancy coffee shops. One of the popular spots for tourists is just within walking distance from Silk Path Hotel Hanoi, which is at 77 Hàng Điếu Street.

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Source: Internet

Sugarcane vendors advertise their wares openly, with a bucket of sugarcane stalks in front of their stall. They can also be identified by what looks like a ship's wheel on the side of the stall, part of the electric wringer mechanism that juices the cane before your eyes. And if you want to try something more special than traditional version, go to Thanh Nien Street in Tay Ho district, which is just 10 minutes away by car from our luxury Silk Path Hotel Hanoi. There they serve the juice with chewy tapioca pearls and artificial fruit syrup (optional).

Sugarcane juice is usually sold in a plastic cup with cover and straw, and the price range is just between VND10.000 to VND 18.000.

Sources: hanoikids.org and seriouseats.com

Hanoi Draught Beer - Bia Hoi

Hanoians have been drinking “Bia Hơi” since 1961, when Ha Noi Brewery began to produce draught beer. At the end of the working day, everyone from laborers to government workers would head straight for the “Bia Hơi” where a group of friends will be waiting.

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“Bia Hơi Corner” in Hanoi old quarter – Source: Internet

Most of the seating at any given “Bia Hơi” would be outdoors. The outside arrangement gives fresh air and a chance to experience local culture. That said, in the height of summer or the depth of winter, this can be less than appealing.

Popular beer-munchies include peanuts, fermented salami rolled up in banana leaves, dried squid, calf meat and anything that tastes good dipped in a special salt and pepper lemon dip.

At around 6 every morning, three major breweries in town which make “Bia Hơi” open their doors to outlet representatives. From there the beer is sold directly to thirsty comrades or is further redistributed in the “Bia Hơi” network of Hanoi. Those “Bia Hơi” outlets that can sell as much as 10 to 15 of the 100 liter barrels in a day will resell smaller amounts to street-side restaurants catering to the lunch-time crowd.

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“Bia Hơi” together with some typical snack – Source: Internet

Unlike canned or bottled beer, “Bia Hơi” has no additives or preservatives and is essentially made to be consumed on the day that it leaves the factory. As a result, there is no stocking of “Bia Hơi”, and outlets must forecast accordingly. They must purchase just enough to last one full day. Locals will tell you that “Bia Hơi”, which typically has an alcohol content of somewhere between 2% and 4%, is best when served early in the day - as close to when it has been made as possible.

Nowadays, a “Bia Hơi” place is not just a haven for people after work anymore, but also a common get-together destination for younger generations who just want to have a relaxing time to catch up with their friends.

Centrally located in the old quarter, Silk Path Hotel Hanoi is only 10 minutes away by car or 15 minutes on foot from the famous “Bia Hơi Corner”. It is just around the junction of Tạ Hiện Street and Lương Ngọc Quyến Street, which is crowded every evening with foreigners and youngsters of Hanoi. This is an experience that you will not want to miss while in the capital city!

Source: squeakieice.com

Hang Ma Street, Hanoi

Hàng Mã Street is the center of Hanoi Old Quarter, specializing in votive, paper crafts and home decorations. “Mã” refers to the paper replicas of items that you’ll see people burning to send to those in the afterlife, such as money and household items.

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Source: Internet

Hàng Mã is the place to go around festival times as it sells whatever is relevant to that season: at the moment it is the place to go for Halloween masks and polystyrene pumpkins – in limited supply — but before we know it it will be full of Christmas trees, Santa hats and decorations. Especially, each spring festival came about, it is always filled with a red and gold shimmering characteristic of the Lunar New Year. The envelopes (to give lucky money), red couplets, lanterns, decorative paper, paper caps ... and all other decorations in the New Year are here. Hàng Mã Street is also one of the ideal places photographed for Festivals of many youngsters.

Even outside of festive days it is a colorful street for a wander, full of bright red lanterns, balloons, tinsel, ribbons, cards and wrapping paper.

Hàng Mã Street is from the intersection of Hàng Đường Street to Phùng Hưng Street and it is 339m long. It is one of the “36 Ancient Streets” of Hanoi (in Old Quarter), very close to Hoàn Kiếm Lake and Đồng Xuân market. Hàng Mã is definitely an appealing destination for both locals and foreigners.

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Source: Internet

With the perfect old quarter location, our luxury Silk Path Hotel Hanoi is just 5 minutes away by car and 15 minutes on foot from this festive street.

Sources: travelfish.org and xeomtour.com

Hanoi Grilled Fish Chả Cá Lã Vọng

Might not be the oldest dish of Hanoi as it has only been around for over a hundred years, but “Chả Cá Lã Vọng” or “Chả Cá Hà Nội” is definitely the most unique among best known dishes of the capital city.

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Source: Internet

The origin of this dish dates back to the early 1900s when Vietnam was a French colony. Đoàn family, who lived at 14 Hàng Sơn Street, often hosted secret meetings for the resistance army. Therefore they decided to sell this home cook fish dish as a cover in addition to earning more money. The people called it “Chả Cá Lã Vọng” after the statue of “Lã Vọng”, a Chinese poet and revolutionist, sitting at the gate of the house. The delicious taste of “Chả Cá” soon made it popular, so much that the whole street was named after it later on.

The fish used in this dish is Hemibagrus, a type of Catfish caught in the rivers of the northern mountainous area. It is one of the biggest river fishes thus very easy to remove all bones to have a big fillet. The fish is cut into matchbox-sized pieces, marinated in galangal and turmeric along with other spices. Then the spiced fish pieces are placed into bamboo clips to be grilled on charcoal until both sides are almost cooked. After that, the fish is put into a frying pan with hot oil, together with dill and spring onion for a short time.

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Source: Internet

“Chả Cá” must be served while hot with rice vermicelli, fried peanuts and coriander, all to be dipped into Vietnamese dipping sauce (contains fish sauce, vinegar, salt, sugar, garlic) or shrimp pate (“mắm tôm”) mixed with lime juice. The grilled fish pieces must not be broken or too dry, but are yellow, tasty, fresh and fatty.

Although “Chả Cá” can be found in many restaurants even around the world, the orginal “Chả Cá Lã Vọng” is still open for locals and tourist after five generations. It is in the old quarter, at 14 Chả Cá Street, which is only 5 minutes away by car or 15 minutes on foot from Silk Path Hotel Hanoi. Or you can also enjoy this delectable dish right here in our Belissimo restaurant to receive the best service.

Hanoi Exercise Culture

Hanoi demonstrates a city with a unique exercise culture. Hanoians love to exercise in the parks or near the lakes in the early morning and in the evening when the air has cooled down. Around Hoan Kiem Lake during exercise hour, you will see the place is full of people from all walks of life partaking in their exercise of choice.

The most common sport to do individually is jogging. Many runners are non-Vietnamese too. Some runs in small group or with a partner. Other individuals, especially older generations, do stretches and exercises. People would get creative, using benches as props in various moves.

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Source: Internet

Group sports on the other hand, are very diverse, from modern dance, martial arts, stretching, classic dance to badminton and shuttlecock. Groups are often divided according to age. The younger generation exercises very early in the morning; while the oldest generation exercises later on. Perhaps this is because many of the younger age groups are still in school or have jobs where they must arrive in the morning. Another notable point about exercise groups is certain groups were gender specific while others were not. For example, some of the dance groups and stretching groups were only women, while the barbell and dumbbell fitness groups were only men.

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Source: Internet

Exercises begin again in the evening, into the dark hours. There are mostly runners and walkers, with modern and Latin dance groups at night and men doing weight lifting.

Exercise culture in Hanoi is booming more than any other cities in Vietnam. Our old quarter hotel Silk Path Boutique Hanoi gives you the perfect location to observe and explore this unique local culture right from your window overlooking at Hoan Kiem Lake.

Bún Thang – Defining Hanoi Cuisine

In Vietnamese cuisine there are many types of noodle soup, but the most significant one of Hanoi city is Bún Thang. “Bún” means rice vermicelli and “thang” diverts from “thang thuốc”, which means a unit of Chinese herbal medicine, because this dish is made of little amounts of many ingredients, just as a pack of Chinese herbal medicine would be.

This noodle soup is traditionally eaten during "Tết" holiday, on the 4th day of the New Year to be precise. On this day, Vietnamese would burn joss paper and perform ritual worshipping to say thanks and farewell to their ancestors whose spirits have come to join the family during New Year’s eve. After that, the remaining food from the last days would be renovated to make "Bún Thang".

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A colorful bowl of "Bún Thang" with chicken, ham, eggs, shrimps, onions and shrimp paste - Source: Internet

This dish demonstrates Hanoi cuisine’s soul through its sophistication and complication in cooking yet balanced and delicate in taste. Traditionally, to make Bún Thang it takes no less than twenty ingredients, each of which has its own specification. The main ingredients are: rice vermicelli - white and in small strings, scrambled eggs - very thin and sliced evenly, chicken - tender and shredded with skin, “giò” (Vietnamese ham), dried shrimps, shiitake mushrooms, dried pickled radishes, and of course spring onions and laksa leaves.

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Another version with radishes and mushrooms - Source: Internet

As all traditional noodle soup, the heart of the dish lies in the broth. The clear hot broth is stewed from chicken bones and shrimps with the cook constantly skimming it. A well-cooked broth is clear, fragrant and has just a little bit of lingering sweet taste of shrimps and dried mushroom. “Bún Thang” is cooked with a few drops of belostomatidae aroma and served with “mắm tôm” (shrimp paste) to make it even more flavorful.

Although nowadays this dish is made less complicated, the taste is still distinctive and very worth trying. Situated in the old quarter, Silk Path Hotel Hanoi is very close to the most famous places to eat “Bún Thang”, which are 59 Hàng Lược Street and 32 or 48 Cầu Gỗ Street.

Trang Tien Ice-cream

Trang Tien Ice-cream, or “Kem Tràng Tiền”, has been an irreplaceable treat for many generations of Hanoians since it opened in 1958. Anybody who has had the chance to taste it can hardly forget the unique tradition of the capital city – eating Trang Tien ice-cream while standing!

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Photo source: Internet

The famous name comes from its location – number 35 Tràng Tiền Street, which is also its only address. Although started with only four ice-cream flavors popsicles: chocolate, young rice, coconut milk and green bean; this ice-cream store won over the hearts of everybody from young kids to elderly people with its fine taste and reasonable prices.

The Trang Tien ice-cream store is never empty, especially in the evenings of Hanoi hot summer. People would line up from inside the store to outside the street, waiting for up to half an hour just to buy a few ice-creams. And even then, some would still have to leave empty handed.

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Photo source: Internet

This store produces about 25,000 to 30,000 ice-creams a day during high season but still cannot meet the demand of consumers. Trang Tien ice-cream attracts not only locals but also visitors from other parts of the country and tourists all over the world. Everybody wants a taste of this refreshing delight!

According to customers, Trang Tien ice-cream is not just unique in flavor but also in the way that it is eaten. Most of the buyers eat the ice-creams immediately right outside the store to prevent it from melting, which makes that street corner even more crowded. The picture of people standing and holding ice-creams in their hand trying to eat them as fast as possible before they melt has become a part of Hanoi culture and traditions.

Located in the city center, the Trang Tien ice-cream store is only 5 minutes away by car or 15 minutes on foot from our luxury Silk Path Hotel Hanoi.

Tet Doan Ngo - Vietnamese Midsummer Celebration

Every year, midsummer is celebrated all around the world. Western countries have St John’s Day, and Eastern countries have “Noon-begin” festival.

In Vietnam, the event is called “Tết Đoan Ngọ”, in which“Đoan” means to begin and “Ngọ” means noon. It is on the 5th day of the 5th month every year in moon calendar. This year it is on Saturday, June 20th.

According to oriental legends, on this day when the sun is the brightest, positive zen energy of the world and the body is maximized, therefore everybody should take this chance to strengthen themselves and abolish all negative energies as well as maladies.

Vietnamese folklore specifies this with traditions that help kill all the “bugs and worms” (“sâu bọ”) inside our body that make us ill and weak, hence the common name “Tết giết sâu bọ” – Traditional bugs and worms exterminating festival. These traditions include worship ceremony at noon with fruits and spirits, cleansing customs and eating some specific foods.

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Vietnamese rice dumplings with sugar sauce – Source: Internet

Most common cleansing customs are bathing with coriander, marking on small children’s forehead and belly button with quicklime, and collecting herbs to make medicine.

During this day, the most notable part is probably the consumption of several special foods and drinks. People would refer to sustenance made from rice, Vietnamese main crop, to gain strength and purify the body. In the early morning, adults usually sip a small class of rice wine to rinse the digestive system. Then throughout the day, families would eat Vietnamese rice dumplings (“bánh gio”), fruits like lychee, banana, plum, watermelon, and fermented rice (“nếp cẩm”).

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Lychee and two most common types of fermented rice – Source: Internet

“Tết Đoan Ngọ” is one of the most important family celebration events in Vietnamese culture. With our central old quarter location, Silk Path Hotel Hanoi can give you the chance to observe local culture and be a part of this festive day!

Summer Camp “Dream Journey 2015”

Silk Path Hotel is proud to sponsor summer camp “Dream Journey 2015” hosted by the Center for Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI) and Chong Chong Cooperative.

In Vietnam today, it is difficult to identify children in special circumstances and they become even more vulnerable than before due to the changes in society. Many of them lack the identification documents, birth certificates. Consequently, they face various difficulties in accessing basic social welfare like health care and education. In many places, HIV/AIDS prevention for vulnerable population is still limited and does not meet the demand.

This camp is an annual activity that aims to give vulnerable kids – especially the children of marginalized population a chance to interact, make friends and participate in learning recreational activities with other children.

In 2013 and 2014, the camp was successfully launched in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city and since then, it has not only become a treasured memory to the children and parents alike, but also inspired them to stay connected, to share and to care. Besides, the camp also garnered public interest to “invisible” children – those who have been left out by the network of social welfare programs.

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Memorable moments of summer camp “Dream Journey 2014” – Source: Organizing committee

This year, as one of many charity activities, Silk Path Hotel is very happy to sponsor the camp. We encourage everybody including our staff and guests to donate and join us in creating a wonderful experience and memory for these children. For more information please contact Ms. Le Thi Thanh Ha via email hale@scdi.org.vn or telephone (04) 3573 0589 (ext. 102).

The Street Barbers

Street barbers working under tree shelters: familiar pictures to Hanoians as well as many people all around the world.

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Photo Source: Internet

The origin of this job in Vietnam dates back to the 18th century, when Vietnamese men were encouraged by French colonists to have a more modern hairstyle. Vietnamese street barbers are usually retired men, trying to earn a living or just want to socialize. They are everywhere, working under any circumstances, whether it’s a sunny Monday morning or a drizzly Saturday night.

Tools of all barbers are simple. Some pairs of scissors & combs, a mirror hung on the wall or whatever is nearby, a wooden chair and sometimes a small sign are enough for them to get the work done.

Customers of street barbers are usually men, mainly because they care less about trendy hairstyles but more about the price than women often do. Street barbers offer a very affordable price (from $1 to $4), depending on the talent of each barber, or whether the customer is a regular or not. Many people also find barbers as friends to share daily gags with.

However in this decade, street barbers are now replaced with sumptuous hair salons.The living standard has greatly risen and a haircut is not just about getting the hair short and neat anymore. It needs to be stylish, trendy, done in an air-conditioned room, not worrying about the weather outside too.

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Photo Source: Internet

As the number of street barbers has greatly decreased, it is harder to come across one, even in the old quarter where Silk Path Hotel is situated. However, these street corners where a chair is facing a mirror will always bring a familiar and nostalgic feeling to Hanoians…

Lotus In West Lake – A Hanoian Symbol

Hanoi is a vivid city where almost every month, there is one blooming flower that overwhelms the city with its charm. These flowers, such as the festive cherry blossoms of January, the elegant Easter lily of April, or the pure daisy of October, have become the symbols of Hanoi and the pride of every Hanoian. As May and June pass by, we celebrate the flower that represents purity, serenity, and optimism: Lotus. Although named as the “National Flower”, every Hanoian will describe the picture of this beauty as fulfilling West Lake’s surface and flourishing under the bright sun of early summer.

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Photo by Caphemotminh

At night, the flower closes and sinks under water. It rises and opens again at dawn. How it blossoms and recedes at certain times of the day makes the flower remain untouched by impurity.

Distinguish from others, lotus is not just a flower, it can be used as food and specially tea’s ingredient. The farmers wake up early in the morning, harvest the lotus and make sure to keep all their purity. Part of them is sold as flowers but most of the harvested lotus is used for marinating tea. Each tea weight must be used from 1000 – 1400 to marinated lotus, customized to the small and must be picked before dawn. The lotus flowers that still keep mist on is extracted, and the “rice grains of lotus – called Lotus rice” is taken out, one tea layer on a lotus rice layer.

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“Lotus Rice” – Photo source: Internet

Hanoian loves lotus as they love their capital city. Lotus season comes, the morning in West Lake is full by the people come to contemplate the morning lotus in sunshine and keep the memories by taking a photo’s collection.

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Westlake is full of people come to take photo’s collection

Photo source: Vnexpress

If you have a chance to travel Hanoi those days of summer (May & June), take a chance to visit this, one of our Hanoi attractions. The Lotus’s lake in West Lake is just 7 km from Silk Path Hotel Hanoi.

Easter Lily

Unlike other temperate climate countries where yellow leaves fall in autumn, but our Hanoi is in late spring. In that season, even the yellow leaves are dropped, the green one still remain in the tree that an amazing contrast is made. And the time of yellow leaves falling is the time of Easter lily.

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Photo source: Internet

As their ethereal beauty, Easter Lily is usually decorated in the solemn place as living room or working room.

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Photo source: Internet

April comes; Hanoian loves to take photos with Easter Lily. In some flower gardens as Quang Ba, Tay Tuu, etc., the florists also ask for entry fee for photo taking.

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Photo source: Internet

Banh Tom - Shrimp Cake

Overlooking Truc Bach Lake, Banh Tom Ho Tay is famous for its scrumptious fried shrimp patties.

One of the specialties in the city of Hanoi is Bánh Tôm Hồ Tây (fried shrimp fritter in West Lake). Its way of processing is rather simple. Fresh shrimp that caught in the West Lake is covered with wheat flour, and then deep- fried in oil. It is eaten with sweet, sour and spicy fish sauce, vegetable pickles for best taste. The cake is brittle, soft and sweet-smelling; therefore, it is really an appropriate dish for drinking beer.

It is a coordinated mix of three colors: yellow, red and green. The red brick of cooked shrimp stand out from the golden dough. Green delicate of fresh vegetable as lettuce, basil, etc.

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Photo source: Internet

A famous restaurant of this delicious dish is on Thanh Nien Street which is a familiar address for any Hanoian or tourist. You can try not only Bánh Tôm Hồ Tây here but also many more Vietnamese dishes.

Once come to the capital of Vietnam, you should not miss this tasty dish!

Old Quarter's Hanoi Living

Hanoi is the type of city that will quickly find a place in your heart, a city rich in flavors and charm, a city that maintains an incredible balance between significant development as large shopping malls or high buildings and the oriental beauty.

I myself love walking around Hanoi’s Old Quarter, taking in the old architecture that was influenced by French Colonial and enjoy one of the delicious bowls of Hanoi street food. There arecertain things like honking or scooters are everywhere in a busy road that inability to cross that may drive you crazy but if you will get use to it, you will start enjoying this special atmosphere which you have never experienced in anywhere else.

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Photo Source: Google

Another thing that makes Hanoi different than others is how Hanoian live in the Old Quarter. After the French colony – 1945, all the mansions in Hanoi had been re-divided and one was shared to 5 to 10 households. A household lives in one room for all their living demand as living room, bed room and share the kitchen and bathroom with the others households. Thus, it is the reason why you can find many housewives cooking, washing clothes or doing things in the pavements of Old Quarter. Because they live in the street!

Some family had lived in Old quarter before 1945, they still keep their traditional occupations as tailors, silver made, oriental medical, etc. same as the name of streets.

Tết Hàn Thực

The Cold Food Festival is an original traditional Chinese holiday; but it is also celebrated in South Korea and Vietnam. In Vietnam, we call it “Tết Hàn Thực”. The festival takes place on the 3rd day of the third lunar month in Vietnam, although it is celebrated for three consecutive days from April 5 by the Gregorian calendar in its origin country – China.

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Source: Internet

On that day, all family’s members, even living or working far from home will come home to make “banh troi” and “banh chay” together. “Banh troi” and “banh chay” are two traditional food of Tet Han Thuc in Vietnam. “Banh troi” are spheres made of glutinous rice flour with piece of sugar inside. “Banh chay” are bigger than “banh troi” and have sweet green bean paste inside instead of piece of sugar. After all have been done, “banh troi” and “banh chay” will be put on a tray on altar to offer ancestor. The householder will burn incense to invite ancestor enjoy Cold Foods Festival with family. When the liturgy of ancestor worship ended, all family will eat “banh troi” and “banh chay” together. “Banh troi” is usually added some coconut fibers and sesame; “banh chay” is associated with sweet broth.

Although the legend of that festival in China is to remember Gioi Tu Thoi a loyalty madarin in the dynasty of King Tan Van Cung, the festival in Vietnam is not related to that legend. We are found that day as a day to remember ancestor and for family gathering.

Sources: toursinvietnam.com

Ca Trù

“Ca trù” is a fascinating type of vocal music from Northern Vietnam which has a long and distinguished history, and its roots probably date back to the fifteenth century. This traditional music is a complex form of sung poetry using lyrics written in traditional Vietnamese poetic forms.

Since the beginning, “Ca trù” has many names, depending on each locality, each period of time, it is also called A Dao singing, Cua Dinh singing, Cua Quyen singing, Co Dau singing, Nha To singing, Nha Tro singing and Ca Cong singing. The varied forms of “Ca trù” fulfill different social purposes, including worship singing, singing for entertainment, singing in royal palaces and competitive singing. Ca trù has fifty-six different musical forms or melodies.

Ongoing wars and insufficient awareness caused Ca trù to fall into disuse during the twentieth century. Although the artists have made great efforts to transmit the old repertoire to younger generations, Ca trù is still under threat of being lost due to the diminishing number and age of practitioners.

On October 1, 2009, “Ca trù” singing has been inscribed on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in need of Urgent Safeguarding in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Useful Information:

Ca Tru Thang Long Club performs Ca tru singing from 08 pm to 09 pm on every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday at Old House 87 Ma May Street, Hoan Kiem District. (1.3 km from Silk Path Hotel Hanoi)

Ticket: USD10/ pax

Please contact our concierge for more information

Fried Spring Roll – A Must Try Dish in Vietnam

“Vietnamese spring rolls are the one thing i can never refuse, no matter how full i am”, Steph from Iamafoodblog has shared.

Fried Spring roll is a popular dish in Vietnamese cuisine that is usually cooked to honor the death anniversary or celebrate festive days in Vietnam. Although it is a traditional food, it does not go by just one name since the Northern people call it Nem rán while the Southern call it Chả giò or Chả ram. 

The main structure of a roll is commonly ground meat (it could be pork, shrimp, crab or even snail), mushrooms, and diced vegetables such as carrots, bean sprouts, jicama, eggs, rice vermicelli then roll up in a sheet of moist rice paper and deep-fried it to golden brown deliciousness. 

The best way to eat spring rolls like a real Vietnamese requires lots of lettuce and fresh herbs which will balance your taste buds. Wrapping a roll in a lettuce and fresh herbs then dip it in the sauces will sure to surprise you by the contrast between the hot roll and the cool, crisp lettuce is incredible. 

The fried spring roll itself can be delighted you but the best ingredient made this dish that famous I think is the dipping sauce which is the combination of fish sauce mixed with lemon juice or vinegar, water, sugar, garlic, chili, pepper and shredded green papaya. The perfect blend of sweet, sour and salty is truly made the best spring rolls. The most interesting part in Nem recipe is that it varies on families and also regions of Vietnam. There is no official recipe; it depends on the custom of eating of each family. 

You can find spring rolls in many Vietnamese restaurants or street venders in Hanoi but if you want to try a truly Nem in a high hygiene standard and cozy restaurant’s atmosphere, visit our Bellissimo restaurant at hotel ground floor, your curious taste buds will be satisfied. 

 

Typical Vietnamese Family Meal

For Vietnamese, the family meal is one of our traditional values, customs, and etiquettes of the ancestors. Since the ancient time, it has become a very familiar thing whenever we go far away, we think about it with high regards.

Since everyone is busy for working or studying, dinner is the main meal which is an intangible string to connect family member together and opportunities for them to share a meal and talk together. 

It is Vietnamese tradition to share food while eating. Thus each member has their own bowl of steam rice and taking food from the common dish. A typical meal usually includes a dish of meat, a dish of vegetable and a bowl of broth. For example one dish of stewed pork, steamed chicken or fried fish; one dish of boiled or stir-fried vegetable and one bowl of broth. 

There is a lot of etiquette for a typical Vietnamese meal that we have to follow. You have to wait until all members sit down to start the meal. And then, the younger must invite the elders to eat first and the women sit right next to the rice pot to serve rice for other people. They also pick up food for each other as an action of care. Furthermore, Vietnamese people have to eat in a slim and polite. 

Family meal is significant to us - Vietnamese people which do appreciate the period of family union. It remains itself traditional values that all of the generation have to preserve carefully.

Sources: vietnamonline.com, vietnamesefood.com.vn 

Hanoi Travel Guide

Late night beer joints, food stalls spilling out across the street and a peaceful lake for a morning stroll. Hanoi offers an eye–popping introduction to Vietnam.

The bustling, narrow streets of the Old Quarter are the ultimate expression of Vietnam’s can–do attitude. Businesses sprawl across the narrow paths, selling everything from flip-flops to locally grown coffee. In between it all you’ll find workers taking a nap on their scooters or locals cooking up treats over an open fire.

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Hàng Vải - Bamboo selling streets - Photo by trip.me

Food fanatics will find so much to love here. Don’t be put off by pulling up a child–sized chair at any one of the street side carts which dot the Old Quarter and the edges of the blissful Hoa Kiem Lake. Vietnamese food is unquestionably among the most delicious in all of Asia. Hanoi’s seafood is also legendary.

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Hanoi’s Grilled Fish – Photo: google

That colonial history is in evidence all over Hanoi: crumbling buildings dot the city from a time before it suffered at the hands of American bombers during the war of the 1960s and 1970s. But it’s a brutalist modern building which is the city’s most famous. Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum is an essential stop off for any visitor. Huge crowds gather everyday to file past the body of the one–time leader of Vietnam, who helped see off French and American troops.

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Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum - Photo: google

There are plenty of other excellent cultural highlights, from the ancient Temple of Literature and its peaceful gardens to the thought provoking and politically charged Hoa Lo Prison, which once housed Vietnamese prisoners during French rule and was nicknamed the Hanoi Hilton by the U.S. troops held there during the war.

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Bia Hoi Hanoi – Local Draught Beer – Photo: vnexpress.net

Be sure to sink a cheap and cheerful bia hoi, a light, local brew, at one of the bars around the pretty St Joseph’s Cathedral - just be careful crossing the road after you’ve had a few as the locals on their laden scooters won’t stop for anyone. Nestled in the heart of Hanoi, Silk Path Hotel Hanoi affords discerning travelers an unrivalled value to explore all that the city has to offer.

Sources: worldtravelguide.net    

Food Tours Offer A Taste Of The Capital's Cuisine Beyond Pho

Instead of jetting out of Ha Noi as soon as possible to get to destinations like Ha Long Bay or Sa Pa, more tourists are now spending quality time in the capital wandering the streets of the Old Quarter and enjoying its various signature dishes, including Pho and Bun Cha (fresh noodle with charcoal grilled pork).

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Photo by Google

Food tours stemmed from walking tours in which tourists enjoy the city on foot, learning about its history and culture. Firms now offer a wide range of tours that allow visitors to see the streets on bicycles and motorbikes. Besides, tourists can also buy ingredients at markets and cook at a Vietnamese home, or visit villages in the suburbs for lunch. Out of all these options, street food tours are most popular. Food tours help visitors understand more about the city and its food, and bring them an unforgettable experience.

The tour guide often brings visitors to some fixed locations such as Giang Cafe on Nguyen Huu Huan Street, where the first ca phe trung (egg coffee) was made. Other dishes always on the list include pho, bun cha, nem and cha ca (grilled fish). He also takes tourists to try new dishes like PappaRoti (Mexico buns) to let them know that Viet Nam welcomes delicious food from abroad while keeping its traditions intact.

Source: VNS.

Bún Chả

Bún Chả is the quintessential Vietnamese dish – simple, quick to eat and mouth-wateringly tasty. As a popular dish in Vietnam, Bún Chả is the combination of the spices to create a very harmonious dish, fits the delicious shown ingenuity cook.

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Photo Source: Google Image

Bún is the vermicelli noodle and Chả is the fatty grilled pork, throw in a fish sauce dip and a liberal array of fresh herbs. As one of the best street food in Hanoi, each vendor has their own style when making the sauce for Bun Cha but mainly is the meat served in the dipping sauce which is created with a mixture of fish sauce, vinegar, some sugar, crushed garlic, and slices of green mango and carrots. Fresh herbs are a great part of Vietnamese cuisine and add a lot to the flavour. You will soon find your favourite so experiment a bit at first.

Still, bun cha signs were easy enough to spot when we were prowling around the Old Quarter of Hanoi near Hoan Kiem Lake, looking for brunch.

Where to eat 1. Dac Kim – No 1 Hang Manh, Hoan Kiem Dist. 2. 34 Hang Than, Hoan Kiem Dist. 3. 59 Hang Ma, Hoan Kiem Dist.

For those who are not comfortable with eating this popular food on the street, Bún Chả is also available in Silk Path Hotel Hanoi which is as delicious as on the street yet much hygiene.

Source: buffalotours.com

Banh Chưng – Chung Cakes

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Source: Internet

Traditionally the Vietnamese have many delicacies but few are as special as Banh Chung. These cakes are made with a sticky gelatinous rice covering and a mung bean and pork inside. This dish has many variations such as a vegetarian option with only mung bean paste.

The history of this cake is long. It is said that in the Sixth Dynasty there was a King who had 18 princes. After a Victory against the Shang Dynasty the King proposed a competition to decide his heir. His sons searched the land for special foods from the sea and the forests. His 18th prince, Lang Lieu, was very poor, he could not afford any of these rare and exquisite foods and only afford everyday ingredients. Prince Lang Lieu used a glutinous sticky rice and pork. He created one cake in the shape of a square, the earth and another in the shape of a circle, the sky. The King tried Prince Lang Lieu’s cakes and thought they truly honored the ancestors. Lang Lieu was deemed the heir to the throne and founded the Seventh Dynasty.

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Source: Internet

To this day the Vietnamese people still place these cakes upon the altars to honor their ancestors. There are even some villages which specialize in the making of Banh Chung.

Tet Tao Quan – The Kitchen God Send Off

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Source: Internet

In Vietnam Tet is considered the Lunar New Year and is one of the most popular and celebrated traditions in the country. It could be comparable to the Western Christmas in terms of popularity and spirit. The start of the Tet Festival is the Tet Tao Quan, or The Kitchen God send off. This day is the 23rd of December on the Lunar calendar lands February 11 on the Gregorian calendar of 2015, and is thought of as the last day of the old year. The origin of this holiday is taken from local folklore about Thi Nhi, Trong Cao, and Pham Lang. In the story Thi Nhi and Trong Cao are unhappily married with no children. They quarreled and fought constantly and one day Trong Cao got very angry and sent Thi Nhi away. Thi Nhi left and later married another man named Pham Lang. Decisions made in anger are generally regretted and the same was true for Trong Cao, who really did love Thi Nhi. He then set out to find her and on the way he became a beggar. As he was searching he accidently found Thi Nhi at her new home. They talked about the past and their present lives for hours until it was about time for Pham Lang to come home. Since Thi Nhi thought it would be awkward for the two men to meet, she convinced Trong Cao to hide in a haystack. Pham Lang accidentally burned this haystack to make fertilizer for the fields with Trong Cao still hidden inside, thus cremating him. Thi Nhi feeling guilty decided to also jump into the fire and die. After watching his wife kill herself Pham Lang then took his own life and the 3 spirits ascended to heaven. Upon entering Heaven Ngoc Hoang (the Jade Emperor) deemed them Deities, the Tao Quan, who would watch over the people on Earth and report back each year on the people’s actions after riding a carp back to heaven. Thi Nhi became the Deity of the Market, Trong Cao, the Deity of the Land, and Pham Lang, the Deity of the Kitchen. In present day to honor these Deities, the women of the family will prepare a feast, which will be considered the last of the year, and clean the altars and homes. The altar will be redecorated with fresh fruits, 3 votive candles (one yellow for Ms Thi Nhi and two black for Mr. Trong Cao and Mr. Pham Lang) and a bowl with 1 or 3 live golden carp. After the Feast and prayers the family will walk go to the nearest River or lake to release the carp so that the Tao Quan with have a way back to the heavens. A popular place they release the fish is very close to Silk.

Pho – Vietnamese Rice Noodle

In the past, this delicious soup was traditionally carried by vendors in two baskets hung on a stick over their shoulder. One of the baskets contained a pot which was kept hot with a fire underneath; the other basket contained other ingredients, bowls and other tools for serving the soup. For being so popular, the origins of Pho are widely disputed since its history is not well documented. The original Pho has been popular in the North since the 20th century but did not grow in popularity in the South until after the Vietnamese War.

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Phở vendor in the past - Photo: google

The broth of this soup is clear thanks to the care and time it takes to create it. Each vendor has their own secret recipe but mainly the broth is created with bones, beef or chicken, herbs and some spices. These are generally held in a cheese cloth to keep them from floating all throughout the pot. Any impurities which float to the top are skimmed off to give the broth clear consistency. Pho is generally served with linguine shaped rice noodles, some herbs, and either beef or chicken slices in the clear broth. On the side there is a variety of condiments that can be added. In the Northern style usually some green and white onions, Asian Basil leaves, some chilli slices and a lime wedge. Typically also in the North is using chili sauce or Fish sauce to add flavor.

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A bowl of Pho - Southern Style - Photo: google

For those who are not comfortable with eating this popular food on the street, Pho is also available in Silk Path Hotel Hanoi which is as delicious as on the street yet much hygiene.

Pho in the North and South Vietnam have widely different styles so be sure to try them both!

Hanoi Egg Coffee

Vietnam is often lauded for its coffee, which is strong, thick, and oftentimes over-the-top sweet. Sitting at local café’s – from Saigon to Hanoi – you can’t miss the unique way coffee is brewed in Vietnam (through the filter). But, the lesser known, “Coffee with egg” can be found on menus in hidden coffee shop gems.

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Picture: google

The Coffee with egg was found by Mr. Nguyen Giang in 1954 when he was working as a bartender for the famous five-star Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi hotel. Although the café has been relocated twice, its egg coffee recipe is almost the same as in its early days, with its chief ingredients being chicken egg yolk, Vietnamese coffee powder, sweetened condensed milk, butter and cheese. The coffee is brewed in a small cup with a filter before the addition of a well-whisked mixture of the yolk and other ingredients. The cup is placed in a bowl of hot water to keep its temperature. Mr. Giang developed the recipe in days when milk was scarce in Vietnam. He used egg yolks to replace milk.

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Picture: google

Whatever the time goes by, the coffee is pretty delicious mixed by the whole materials as eggs, milk, coffee that you will find them so amazing and unforgettable. The egg flavor is really fat, the coffee flavor are really both fragrant and bold. Sitting in a tiny chair, sipping the fabulous “Coffee with egg” and enjoy the Hanoi’s bustling streets, your Hanoi trip will be rememberable.

Famous Hanoi’s Coffee with egg:

Bich Café – 13 Dinh Tien Hoang, Hoan Kiem Dist. Giang Café – 39 Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem Dist.

Street Vendors

Be easily seen in every Vietnam’s city corners, street vending is an essential part of our city life which can be roughly divided into three types: those who constantly move around either by bike or on foot, those have a stable stand on a street and lastly, those who own a shop and expand their products on the pavement. They serve as an informal yet extremely important agent in the local economy.

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Flower Vendor in Hanoi - Source: Internet

In general, fruits, flowers and domestic products are the most common goods. Strange as it may sound, street vendors do have regular customers and stable trading relationships. Therefore, while certainly there are gaps and differences; quality is often preserved to a good extent. Local people who shop for fresh grocery everyday can enjoy the luxury of having products delivered to their door at a competitive price without any delivery fee. However, bargain is virtually a must, especially if you are a tourist and a foreigner at the same time.

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Fresh grocery – Photo by Hung Le Van

Another indispensable function street vendors play is to provide a great variety of food 24/7 all year around. Types of food may alter with the rhythm of season. Street vendors may be considered equivalence with fast food because a dish is often ready in no time, yet it is not mass-produced and contains significantly less fat.

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Street food in Saigon – Photo by Julian Seal

Food hygiene and safety is a concern and a major reason for a recent decree passed by the government to restrict street vending. If you are not sure how much your stomach can tolerate and how safe the dish is, you may not want to take risk. So a wise thing to do is to consult a local friend if you can, they know whom can be trusted. If no advice is available, then go for a shop with more people eating rather than a quiet one, since it’s obvious that good business comes with good quality.

Nestled in the heart of Hanoi, Silk Path Hotel Hanoi affords discerning travelers an unrivalled value to explore all the hidden charm of the city as variety of delicious street food or Hanoi beauty.

Source: Vietnamonline

Ikebana - The Japanese Art of Flower

Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. It is more than simply putting flowers in a container. It is a disciplined art form in which the arrangement is a living thing where nature and humanity are brought together. It is steeped in the philosophy of developing closeness with nature.

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Source: Internet

As is true of all other arts, ikebana is creative expression within certain rules of construction. Its materials are living branches, leaves, grasses, and blossoms. Its heart is the beauty resulting from color combinations, natural shapes, graceful lines, and the meaning latent in the total form of the arrangement. Ikebana is, therefore, much more than mere floral decoration.

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Source: Internet

Creating a world with full spectrum of products and services that bring guests the most comfortable and convenience, Silk Path Hotel Hanoi aims to draw guests in with beautiful settings, rich textures, thoughtful lighting and sophisticated elegance design with modern beauty while preserving the heritage of the oriental spirit.

Stepping into the Hotel lobby, guests will be seduced by the elegant yet modern interior design beautifully embellished with Ikebana arrangement around the corners. The flower decors are changed daily so that guests will feel the freshness and charm every morning when they are leaving the hotel for a new journey.

Traditional Vietnamese Tet

Tết - Vietnamese New Year is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture. Tết celebrates the arrival of spring based on the lunar calendar, which usually has the date fall between the months of January or February.

In Vietnam Tết is divided into three periods, known as Tất Niên (Penultimate New Year’s Eve), Giao Thừa (New Year’s Eve) and Tân Niên (the New Year).

Penultimate New Year’s Eve begins one or two weeks before the New Year’s Eve. The general atmosphere leading up to Tet is in the bustle of shopping, decorating home with Hoa Mai (Ochna integerrima) in the South and Center, Hoa Đào (peach flower) in the North or Hoa Ban in the mountain; cooking traditional Tết food such as Chưng Cake, Dày Cake, Pork Bologna, Pickled Onion.

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Prepare Bánh Chưng (Chung Cake) before Tet

The 23rd day of the last Lunar month is a ritual worship to Kitchen Gods (Tao Cong). It is believed that each year on this day, these Gods (two males, one female) go to heaven to report to Jade Emperor (Ngoc Hoang) about all households’ activities on earth. Each household also buy a carp as the transport for the Gods to heaven and they set them free after the ritual.

On the New Year’s Eve (Giao Thua), all families gather to celebrate the New Year’s Eve to enjoy the New Year’s dinner. After the dinner, some may gather around TV and watch the Kitchen Gods show, some may go out for fireworks observation. When the bell of the twelfth hour rings, everybody gathers, at exciting parties or at the comfort of their homes, saying Happy New Year to one another in warm hugs, forgetting all problems as well as hoping for a better start.

On the New Year’s Day, the first ones who come to visit households—called first-foot—are very important hence need to be well chosen, since they are believed to hold in their hands the entire luck of the family in the New Year. Until the third day or even the fourth day of Tet, individuals visit relatives, friends and colleagues, wishing them all happiness, health and success. They give children lucky money covered in pretty little red envelopes also because of that reason, as red represents good lucks. Also, they visit pagodas to pray for a good start in the coming year.

A New Pizza Collection

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 Fusion pizza, a new gourmet pizzeria collection has been recently presented at Silk Path Hotel Hanoi. This collection is a new innovation by our talented chef Trinh Hai Phong as a perfect incorporation of the finest and most luxurious ingredients with a crispy, hand-tossed crust and each bite is a master piece of flavor.

Fusion Pizza collection is uniquely topped with the freshest Caesar Salad, Boneless BBQ Grilled Pork-rib, the finest Norwegian salmon fillet or the succulent seasonal fresh fruits mixed in cream that is unable to find in any other restaurants in town. Besides the traditional white crust, Silk Path Hotel Hanoi is proud to present our special Dark – Rye dough, which has a numerous health benefits, into our Pizza selection so guests can create mix and match their favorites.

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If you want to pamper your palate and add enticement to your day try our fancy pizza pies, a scrumptious blend of melted cheese and the finest ingredients served inside a uniquely crispy, hand-tossed dark crust.

Silk Path’s Team Building Trip

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Silk Path's Team Building Trip 2014 for the Hotel management board and supervisor level associates

“Hotel culture development to meet corporate core value” was the topic of the training which focuses on action plan to go beyond guest satisfaction.

By establishing the culture filled with Honest, Inspiration and Growth, we encourage all the employee to get the passion for service in order to bring guest excellent hospitality. “We have been planning for this program in months as we are going to open more properties in the years ahead. Our aim is to build the Hotel’s service core values that Seductive, Instinctive and Innovative by which we believe it will reconfirm our position as the leading international four star luxury boutique hotel in Hanoi.” Hotel GM – Ms Thuy Nguyen said.

The team participated in the program which consists of 2 sessions: workshop and outdoor activities with high excitement and desire to learn. In such a changing industry, innovation is the key to success for any business. So we have to keep update the best to adapt the market trend and to anticipate guest needs. The year of 20 15 just began. We all look forward to a new set of energy to serve guests all our best.