adventure

Having a few at the beer drinking street in Hanoi and eating Bun Cha

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When I’m on on vacation, I drink beer. I just do, as do most of us, moreso than I do when I’m not on vacation. So when I was in Hanoi, I was like, why not do it where everyone else does it? That is at the Beer Drinking Street, which is located in the Old Quarter of Hanoi.

Basically, on this stretch of restaurants and bars, during the weekends, they set up hundreds of little stools outside of all the establishments. People are encouraged to come, sit on the stools, and drink a few cold ones. While I was there, I was crying to myself “Why don’t they have this in China?!?! ;-(

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We walked our way down through the Old Quarter.

I met up with a couple friends whom I had recently met in Hanoi, my friends Ri and Hynek. Super cool dudes! We had some bun cha for dinner which is a pork dish with noodles, and we also had some egg rolls and beers. It was absolutely delicious to say the least and it really only cost a few dollars including the beer!

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Vietnamese food is delicious to say the least!

We went down to the beer drinking street soon after dinner together and poured out a few. It was a good time for sure. As the night started to really fire up around 9-10 PM the crowds started to get insane!

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At one point it was hard to walk anywhere without bumping into anyone.

The atmosphere and vibe of the drinking street is super laid back and super cool. The nightlife in Hanoi is super affordable as well, so it didn’t break the bank at all. A standard beer in Hanoi even at bars can be had for as little as 20,000-100,000 dong (Between 1-4 dollars) and food is also very cheap. I ordered some nachos for 120,000 dong ($5.41 USD) if I remember correctly. We hit up a bar later that night and finished the night off with a little hooka session, which I hadn’t done in years.

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Hynek hitting up the hooka like a boss

Overall, the beer drinking street is one of the coolest nightlife spots I have ever been in my entire life, and in my opinion, the coolest during my time in Hanoi. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you are looking for new cooking videos/traveling videos every week! See you next time!

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Guilin Day 2: Annoying local fishermen, and riding the Yao Mountain Cable Car Ride

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On day 2 of my trip to Guilin I woke up very early in the morning around 5:30 AM. Maggie was taking the sleeper train into town from Shenzhen so I had to go to Guilinbei Railway Station to meet her and bring her back to the hostel. I caught a couple nice looking views from the cab on my way there.

After meeting Maggie, I brought her back to the Li River around 6:30 to catch the sunrise. It was breathtaking. We were also surprised to see a ton of fishermen there trying to catch some fish from the river. In Chinese I asked them if they had caught a lot of fish. They looked at me very annoyed as if I was making too much noise and said no.

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The fishermen were annoyed as we asked them if they had caught any fish.

We headed back to the hotel, had a shower and some breakfast, and then we were off to explore Guilin! We planned to go to Yao Mountain on this day, and that’s what we did. However first I had to buy a pair of pants because the mosquitos in Guilin are terrible – I got 15 mosquito bites on my first day in shorts. The remainder of the trip was spent in jeans. (Which I buy in the video) After that, we took a bus ride to Yao Mountain and found that you actually had to walk quite far from the bus to reach the mountain. Regardless, we found it and the cable car ride was AMAZING.

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The cable cars were like ski lifts, and honestly seemed kind of dangerous

So the cable car costs 65 RMB ($9.79 USD) to go up one way, and 110 RMB for both up and down ($16.57 USD) per person. It was well worth it though. Hiking to the top of that mountain, despite how much I love hiking, in that heat would be miserable. Plus, the views you get from the cable car and the nice breeze is unforgettable!

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Another unforgettable mountain view. Nature is beautiful.

Going up the cable car was even a bit scary for me, but poor Maggie had an absolute meltdown. In fact I plan to do another video on just how funny I thought her freaking out was. She was truly terrified on that cable car ride.

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Really awesome picture of a random tree branch sticking up and Guilin in the bg.

As the ride came to an end, we even caught a picture of a beautiful butterfly that landed on our cable car. Make sure to check out  my YouTube channel and check out the video of this day at the top. Let me know what you think in the comments! See you next time! I am off to Vietnam tomorrow so expect tons of good video logs and blog postings from there as well! I will be there for two weeks, and I still have videos scheduled to post to my YouTube channel while I’m gone, and I will see what I can do as far as updating the blog goes.

Guilin Day 1: Hostels, the Lijiang River, and the Zhengyang Pedestrian Street

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My trip to Guilin last week was a total success! We saw some amazing things out there, and this is what I saw on my first day. After having got off the train (Check my last week’s post Riding a Chinese sleeper train from Shenzhen to Guilin in China) I took a motorcycle to my hostel, the Sky Palace Hostel in Guilin. I checked in and I had to wait a couple hours for my room so I had some western breakfast.

After having some breakfast, I was able to check into my room. I was alone for Day 1, so I stayed in a shared hostel room for only 45 RMB a night (USD $6.78) which was a total steal.

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My hostel bunk bed at only $6.78 a night!

In fact, no one even checked in for the rest of the day and I had the room completely to myself! The cheap hotel fad would soon be over since my girlfriend arrived the next day, but I was still very happy. After taking a shower I headed out to get some food. I ate some Guilin noodles for lunch (Which will be in a future episode of my show, Ian’s Journeys) and then I decided I would like to check out one of the main attractions in Guilin, the Lijiang River. It was very near my hostel, so I took a walk (In the sweltering summer heat – Guilin absolutely does NOT have pleasant weather in the summer – very hot and humid) down to the river bank.

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The Li River

The river was quite breathtaking. The river stretches down hundreds of kilometers and passes through various towns – and you’d better believe we toured the river – which is coming in future blog posts/videos. All day you can watch different boats and fishermen trying to catch some river fare. After checking out the river, I returned to the hostel to enjoy a beer and take a break from the heat. I went out a few hours later and checked out one of the main tourist areas, the Zhengyang and Zhongshan walking streets which are home to tons of shopping and spots for street barbecue!

After checking out the pedestrian walking streets, I stumbled upon a familiar face: The king of burgers…

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I couldn’t help but justify a burger meal since I was on vacation as I do love my western food!

Later that night, I went to the bar at my local hostel and enjoyed some beers with the locals and had some pizza.

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Enjoying beers with a local

Then, it was off to bed as I had to wake up quite early the next morning to greet my girlfriend, Maggie who was coming in on the sleeper train. The Guilin adventure was just beginning! Make sure to check out the video of this trip, one of my best produced yet, right at the top of this page and on my YouTube channel! Make sure to like and subscribe if you haven’t yet, and let me know what you think in the comments!