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Issue 8 :: 2010 4,95 euro

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Vietnam PHO

delicious and easy to cook

WHALE ISLAND escape the busy life

HOI AN

walk around, shop, swim, eat and more!

BEST PLACES TO EAT great restaurants

Vietnam

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editor’s letter _ Vietnam

editor’s letter When I think of Vietnam…I think of the delicious food!! Pho, bun cha, rice rolls, spring rolls, and many more!! My first real experience with Vietnamese food – not counting the spring rolls – was in 2000. We discovered this great restaurant in New York (I can’t remember the name anymore) but it was sooooo delicious that we came back for another time during our short stay there. A couple years later my dear friend Sang introduced us the rice rolls. I still remember rolling and waiting for the tasty Vietnamese bacon :p So…when again? Besides the great food it’s also a beautiful country with a lot of history. It’s worth travelling from north to south or the other way around (like I did), cause you’ll discover the great diversity of Vietnam. Not only in architecture, history, people, landscape but also in food. Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels and War Remnants Museum. Try to get crossed the street in HCMC with all the motorbikes and walk to the Notre Dame in Ho Chi Mihn City. Book a tour to the Mekong Delta and learn all about the floating markets. Don’t forget to buy some fresh food!! They’re really sweet and tasty :p Then take the night train to Nha Trang and travel with the local people and relax a couple days at Whale Island. Don’t forget to visit Hoi An – one of my favorite cities – make some clothes, walk around or rent a bike in the old city. Visit the capital of Vietnam – Hanoi – and go to the Water Puppet Theater. And if you have some time left, take a trip to Halong Bay or Sapa…so plenty to do!! And don’t forget to eat a lot during your stay!! Enjoy this issue, hope you’ll get inspired...

Anita Yong-A-Poi 2

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Colophon travel.to is a quarterly magazine for people who love to travel Editor Anita Yong-A-Poi Photography Jen-Pin Yu Anita Yong-A-Poi Design AY-design Marketing MJ Inc. Distribution Surifood Publisher Studio AIKA Contact 010 - 68 68 888 info@travel.to www.travel.to/vietnam


issue

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Vietnam Simplicity at it’s best_ Whale island

Discover Vietnam_ Key Facts & Highlights

In the picture­_ Hoi An

food_ Pho

Restaurants_ Best places to eat

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food |Vietnam

Simplicity at it’s best Two hours north of Nha Trang, you can find Whale Island. A beautiful quiet spot with a great beach. Here you can relax and get away from the busy city life..... Transparent water, coral, great food, snorkling, coconut trees and friendly people. A nice break from all the city trips. *

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food |Vietnam

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Discover Vietnam Vietnam, a name too long associated with the horrors of war, has finally won its last battle – to capture the imagination of the traveling public. Elegant Hanoi now vies with its dynamic sister, Ho Chi Minh City (still fondly called Saigon by the locals), for the attention of visitors drawn by the eclectic mix of old and new. More modern than other Vietnamese cities, Ho Chi Minh City has also retained its French colonial influences. Its vibrancy is maintained by the ever-entrepreneurial Saigonese who have taken the government reforms to heart and re-embraced the capitalist ethic with unrestrained enthusiasm. The streets are jam-packed with mopeds and scooters, often carrying whole families. The markets are chaotically busy.

“Only in Vietnam could the past and the present be encapsulated so perfectly�

Timeless Elsewhere, the scenes are timeless. Early morning on the Mekong Delta brings the daily floating markets where fruit and vegetables are peddled. Everywhere the green patchwork of rice paddies stretches into the distance, broken only by the silhouette of water buffalo and conical-hatted farm workers bending down to tend the young plants. Ancient The soaring mountains in the north of the country tower over tiny villages where life continues much as it has done for centuries, with traditional costumes still proudly worn. Old French hill stations survive throughout the country 8

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discover _ Vietnam

offering welcome respite from the heat of the plains below. And, in the South China Sea, the 3000 chalk islands in Ha Long Bay are not to be missed. The ancient former imperial capital, Hue, takes you back to a time of concubines and eunuchs. In every town, young women wearing the simple but feminine national dress, the Ao Dai, weave their way through the traffic at the controls of a motorbike. S-shaped country Vietnam lies within the tropics and is principally agricultural with a central tropical rainforest. The ‘S’-shaped country shares borders to the north with the People’s Republic of China and to the west with Laos and Cambodia. The eastern and southern shores are lapped by the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Vietnam is capped by two delta regions at either end of the country - the Red River in the north and Mekong (Cuu Long) in the south, connected by a fertile strip of Central Highlands and the extensive Truong Son Range. Its capital, Hanoi, is situated on the Red River delta. The second largest administrative city, Ho Chi Minh City, is located on the banks of Saigon River in the south. Only in Vietnam could the past and the present be encapsulated so perfectly. *

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Key facts Location South-East Asia Time GMT + 7 Area 331,689 sq km (128,066 sq miles) Population 86.9 million (2009) Population Density 261.9 per sq km Capital Hanoi (population: 6.2 million, 2007) Language Vietnamese is the official language. English, French, Chinese and occasionally Russian and German are spoken. Religion Buddhist majority. There are also Taoist, Confucian, Hoa Hao, Caodaist and Christian (predominantly Roman Catholic) minorities. Electricity 220/110 volts AC, 50Hz, twopin flat plugs are in use


Highlights of Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City

Halong Bay

HCMC (formerly Saigon) is Vietnam’s largest metropolis and home to some 6 million people, most of whom you will see as they whiz around town on their motorbikes.

Made up of 3000 limestone islands rising out of the South China Sea. The area is strange, eerie and very beautiful. Halong Bay is part of the UNESCO World Heritage.

Hanoi The thrilling capital that retains an air of French colonial elegance (through the fug of moped fumes) has pretty yellow stucco buildings lining leafy streets.

Floating river markets

Hoi An

The river markets on the Mekong Delta, are an unmissable sight. Life here is dominated by the mighty Mekong and much of Vietnam’s rice crop is grow, and the floating markets are still an essential part of life in the south.

Hoi An is known as the ancient city of Vietnam and was a very busy commercial port in the 16th and 17th centuries. Almost all of the architecture is intact.

Cu Chi Tunnels The Cu Chi Tunnels are a network of around 250 km tunnels built by the Viet Cong over a twenty year period which allowed them to move unchallenged underneath enemy held territory including the US military base at Dong Du.

My Son My Son is the major site in Vietnam from the ancient Champa Kingdom which flourished between the 2nd and 15th centuries. In 1999 it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Other highlight are: Sapa, Hue, Dalat, Nha Trang, Chau Doc, Can Tho, Central Highlands and many more...

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in the picture _ Vietnam

Japanese bridge

Old City

Make your own tailormade suite at Yaly

Rice fields Explore the city by bike

Cua Dai beach

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Hoi An

Central market

The Ancient City of Vietnam

My Son View from Cam Nam bridge

Dinner at MangoRooms

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food _ Vietnam

Pho Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a Vietnamese beef and noodle soup, a Vietnamese dish that has been around for nearly 100 years. The soup includes noodles made from rice and is often served with basil, lime, bean sprouts and peppers that are added to the soup by the customer. It is served in a bowl with white rice noodles in clear beef broth, with thin cuts of beef (steak, fatty flank, lean flank, brisket). Pho is influenced by the Chinese and French cuisines, and was believed to have originally derived from a French soup, ‘pot au feu’(pot on fire), a French beef stew. This is usually a mixture of cuts of beef, vegetable, and spice. In the beginnings pho was just basically boiled beef, broth and noodles.

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Recipe for 8 persons THE BROTH • • • •

• • • • •

2 onions, halved 4’’ nub of ginger, halved lengthwise 5-6 lbs of good beef bones 1 lb of beef meat - chuck, brisket, rump, cut into large slices (optional) 6 quarts of water 1 package of Pho Spices 1 1/2 tbl salt 1/4 cup fish sauce 1 inch chunk of yellow rock sugar

THE BOWLS • • •

• • • • • •

2 lbs rice noodles (dried or fresh) cooked beef from the broth 1/2 lb flank, london broil, sirloin or eye of round, sliced as thin as possible big handful of each: mint, cilantro, basil 2 limes, cut into wedges 2-3 chili peppers, sliced 2 big handfuls of bean sprouts hoisin sauce cock sauce (Sriracha)

CHAR Turn your broiler on high and move rack to the highest spot. Place ginger and onions on baking sheet. Brush just a bit of cooking oil on the cut side of each. Broil on high until ginger and onions begin to char. Turn over and continue to char. This should take a total of 10-15 minutes. 8

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food _ Vietnam

Kopje

Addresses to eat pho PREPARE NOODLES AND MEAT

PARBOIL THE BONES Fill large pot (12-qt capacity) with cool water. Boil water, and then add the bones, keeping the heat on high. Boil vigorously for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse the bones and rinse out the pot. Refill pot with bones and 6 qts of cool water. Bring to boil over high heat and lower to simmer. Using a ladle or a fine mesh strainer, remove any scum that rises to the top.

BOIL BROTH Add ginger, onion, spice packet, beef, sugar, fish sauce, salt and simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the beef meat and set aside (you’ll be eating this meat later in the bowls) Continue simmering for another 1 1/2 hours. Strain broth and return the broth to the pot. Taste broth and adjust seasoning – if you want a little more flavor, add a few dashes more of fish sauce, large pinch of salt and a small nugget of rock sugar (or large pinch of regular sugar).

Slice your flank/london broil/ sirloin as thin as possible – try freezing for 15 minutes prior to slicing to make it easier. Remember the cooked beef meat that was part of your broth? Cut or shred the meat and set aside. Arrange all other ingredients on a platter for the table.Your guests will “assemble” their own bowls. Follow the directions on your package of noodles – there are many different sizes and widths of rice noodles, so make sure you read the directions. For some fresh rice noodles, just a quick 5 second blanch in hot water is all that’s needed. The package that I purchased (above) – needed about 45 seconds in boiling water.

LADLING Bring your broth back to a boil. Line up your soup bowls next to the stove. Fill each bowl with rice noodles, shredded cooked beef and raw meat slices. As soon as the broth comes back to a boil, ladle into each bowl. The hot broth will cook your raw beef slices. Serve immediately. Garnish with fresh herbs, vegetables, a squeeze of lime or lemon, hoisin sauce, unions, chili pepper.

Bon appetit!! *

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Pho24

_ delicious, fresh & fast! Pho24 is a chain, so check out the website for more addresses 14 Phan Boi Chau Street, District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam www. pho24.com.vn

Pho Bahn Cuon 14

_ best pho in Paris! Try the bun also 129 Avenue de Choisy 75013 Paris 13, France

Fuzia

_ start with some freshVietnamese rolls Herenplaats 93 3011 LP Rotterdam, the Netherlands www. fuzia.nl

Noodl

_ order the bo cuon la lot (grilled beef rolled in leaves) & try the delicious bun thit nuong Breestraat 88a 2311 CV Leiden, the Netherlands www. noodl.nl

Vivu

_ eat the bahn cuon (‘Vietnamese ravioli’) Witte De Withstraat 94a 3012 BT Rotterdam, the Netherlands www. restaurantvivu.nl

Little V

_ try the bahn xeo hue (crunchy pancake) Rabbijn Maarsenplein 21 2512 HJ the Hague, the Netherlands www. littlev.nl _ Types of pho: with half-done beef fillet, with well-done beef brisket, with beef muscle, with beef flank, with beef tendon, with beef tripe, with beef meat balls, with chicken, with pieces of shrimp, with variety of seafood ...etc.


Restaurants Best places to eat in Vietnam! Wrap & Roll 62 Hai Ba Trung St., Dist. 1, Ho Chi Minh City www.wrap-and-roll.com g wrap and roll your own food - with a blend of southern and northern authentic cuisines Quan An Ngon 138 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia St., Dist. 1, HCMC g the name means delicious - and it is! popular under the locals, worth waiting for MangoRooms 111 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hoi An www.mangorooms.com g a combi of fresh flavors, beautiful presentations, superb service and relaxing atmosphere

Wrap & Roll

Bunta 7 Dinh Tien Hoang, Hoàn Kiem Dist., Hanoi g everything is bún! also a location in HCMC Pho24 14 Phan Boi Chau St., Dist. 1, HCMC www. pho24.com.vn g eat fresh & tasty pho, check the many locations

Quan An Ngon

Highlands Coffee 3/F 1-3-5 Dinh Tien Hoang St., Hanoi www. highlandscoffee.com.vn g need a break? go to the local Starbucks, best location is in Hanoi on the lakeside, sixth floor This is just a selection... there are many more!! Vietnamese cuisine is a style of cooking with fish sauce, soy sauce, rice, fresh herbs (incl. lemongrass, mint, long coriander and Thai basil leaves), fruits and vegetables. Traditional Vietnamese cooking is greatly admired for freshness of the ingredients and for the healthy eating style.

Pho24

Vietnamese coffee

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travel.to is a quarterly magazine for people who love to travel. This issue: all about Vietnam :)