Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi has been listed among the 12 best places worldwide to travel this fall by the US’s CNN Travel.
According to an article recommending these destinations, Asia tourism, in general, has been the slowest to bounce back, but Vietnam “is the real bright spot right now.”
It said Autumn in the capital city is drier and cooler and has plenty to keep foodies satiated. Cha ca (fish cooked with turmeric and dill) is so popular that a street was named after the dish.
Even food expert Vu Bang, the author of Mieng Ngon Ha Noi or The Tasty Bites of Hanoi, found the dish intriguing, writing: “It’s surprising how they could make such awesome dishes of grilled fish at the restaurant that we could never compete even with massive effort. Our grilled fish will never match the crispiness or perfect cooking.”
|Cha Ca (fish cooked with turmeric and dill) is so popular that a street was named after the dish. Photos: Tra My
The dish delivers a fascinating, unusual flavor that Bang said some attribute to the marinating process, which employs a special kind of oil to “dress” the fish in a beautiful costume.
“For me, there’s a unique pleasure to enjoying grilled fish inside an old shop,” Bang wrote in the book. “It has to be the second floor, where I can sit neatly in a cozy corner, savor every little piece of grilled fish while watching people wandering on the cold and rainy streets of Winter. What a sensational feeling that is!”
One of the best things about the restaurant is watching your meal being prepared right at the table. Before the fish came out, all of the auxiliary ingredients appeared including peanuts, rice noodles, spring onions, dill and other fresh herbs, shrimp paste with lemons, and a bottle of the special yellow oil that Bang deemed as the secret to the dish.
A perfect bite includes a piece of fish, noodles, peanuts, herbs, dill, and spring onion, all covered in just the right amount of shrimp paste.
Hanoi-style Banh Tom (shrimp cakes) is another must-try, according to CNN Travel.
A set of West Lake shrimp cakes is colorful and eye-catching. Before they enjoy the taste, gourmets can be fascinated by the visual harmony of red shrimps, yellow fried cakes, and green herbs such as lettuce, sprouts, and basil.
Sauces also offer customers an interesting gustatory experience. It’s a symphony of fish sauce, sugar, and vinegar creating a balance of salty, spicy, sour, and sweet tastes, not too much or too little of any flavor.
|Hanoi-style Banh Tom (Shrimp Cakes) is another must-try for visitors to the capital city.
The sauce is decorated with red-colored carrots and green and white pickles made from papaya and hints of garlic. All work together to create an unforgettable flavor for the shrimp cakes.
Com (young sticky rice) is a special gift that heaven and earth bestow upon Hanoi in Autumn. The soft, fragrant green rice is an ideal gift for visitors to enjoy or buy as gifts for friends and relatives. After more than 1000 years, the profession of making nuggets in Hanoi’s Vong Village is still handed down and retains its identity, giving people the opportunity to enjoy Hanoi’s very popular specialties.
|Old French architecture on Ba Vi Mountain. Autumn is the ideal time to enjoy the cool atmosphere at this site.
The American TV channel also suggests some interesting tours when coming to Hanoi such as walking around the Old Quarter to see the old streets and jewelry, fabrics, and flower shops. It is the ideal tourist destination in Asia to explore by bicycle.
|Visitors join a tour of Bat Trang Pottery Village, one of the most famous traditional ceramic villages in northern Vietnam. Photo: Hoài Nam
“This city has a system of roads that are convenient for visitors to explore every corner by bicycle. Visitors can park in the city’s colorful Old Town and enjoy street food,” said CNN.
In addition, travelers can have a tour of Hanoi beyond the historical quarters on a scooter. CNN invites visitors to a few suburban areas, such as Dong Ngac, a “village of scholars.”
Vietnam’s capital city is known for its centuries-old architecture, lakes, parks, and more than 600 ancient temples. In Autumn, the cold breezes blow a gentle atmosphere to the bustling capital.
CNN recommends a few ideal hotels to make travelers’ experience in Hanoi complete such as Hotel de l’Opera by the Hanoi Opera House or Maison d’Orient in the Old Quarter.
The CNN Travel list also included Mexico City, Madrid of Spain, Samoa, Greenville of the US, Egypt, Cape Town of South Africa, US-Canada Atlantic cruises, Bavaria of Germany, Buenos Aires of Argentina, Hawaii of the US, and the Azores of Portugal.