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Treking, Birdwatching and Eating in Vietnam

By February 5, 2013Travel

One of the most popular dishes to eat in Vietnam is Pho.  Before we left Saigon we went to Pho Hoa a contender for the title of Saigon’s (HCMC) best pho restaurant.  The tables are laden with herbs, chili and lime which you can add to your pho as you like. Pho is a dish you which you can get with beef, pork, seafood or just vegetables. They sell it in almost every restaurant and on the street. Each cook makes thier own variation to the broth. We have been enjoying pho for breakfast most days.  I look forward to learning more about this dish in my cooking class.


We got picked up in Saigon by Mr Long from Phat Tire Ventures who would be our guide for the next 5 days. Off we went to Cat Tien National Park. It is one of the outstanding  natural treasures of Vietnam.  The hiking, bird-watching, crocodile spotting and gibbon viewing are the best in southern Vietnam.  We approached Cat Tien National Park by boat across Langa Lake.

Once we arrived we had a little lunch.  This is where the eating got a little difficult. There was a limited selection of food in the park so I really just ate some sauteed vegetables for the next 2 days.  I didn’t care as the park was amazing.  After lunch we went out on a trek through the park where we spotted some gibbons, I was so excited as Mr Long said they were often hard to find.  We saw parrots, an orange-necked partridge, green pea-fowl and some monkeys. . We saw an alligator in the lake but only his nose and a little bit of his head.  We stopped to take a rest at the Dong Nai River.  It was all so beautiful.

After 2 days in the park we headed off to Dalat.  The weather is cool instead of tropical since it is in the highlands.  The area is surrounded with  farms growing strawberries, artichokes,coffee and flowers. The town has many French colonial villas as it was very popular with the French when Vietnam was their colony.  I was glad to be here becuase I was really hungry.  We stayed at a place called the Dreams Hotel.  The family style breakfast was full of fruits of all types, yogurt, avocado and the usual eggs and and bacon.  Mr Long took us to the best restaurant I had been at so far in Vietnam, Be Thui 371.  The menu was only in Vietnamese so we would not have done well without him. He understood what I like to eat by then so he order a Hot Pot with mixed mushrooms and seafood.  A Hot Pot is where you cook the food in a delicious broth at the table, OMG it was so exciting.  The flavors were delicate and complex not to mention delicious.  We also had a fabulous salad with greens, squid and lotus.

Tomorrow we head off to the beach at Mui Ne.  The fun part is Mr Long is taking us on a 30 mile bike ride to get there.  Wish me luck!



  • Sue Kennedy says:

    Hi Ingrid –

    What a small world. I worked in Da Lat in 2010-2011 as a Community-based Ecotourism Advisor for the Bidoup Nui Ba National Park. We worked closely with Phat Tyre as one of our responsible tour operators.

    The visitor’s center at the park is now open. I wonder if your guide took you there on the way to Mui Ne – it’s just off the main road. I’m on Facebook with the owner of Phat Tyre and I know he has posted treks they’ve taken into the national park.

    I miss the food there – it definitely is an art form! I didn’t like Mui Ne very much – the other beach area was better (I can’t recall the name right now…).

    It’s quite possible I have met Mr. Long when i lived/worked there. You could ask if he remembers Sue Kennedy from JICA (the Japanese International Cooperation Agency). You can also visit my website and this page in particular to learn more about my work there:

    Have fun!!!


  • Gail says:

    OMG. you sound like you are having the time of your life. How exciting. The photos of the food are beautiful. Thinking of you each and sending lots of love and light. And a big hug.

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