Posts Tagged ‘local chef’

Some Useful Tips While Hiking in Sapa


Located in the Northwest of Vietnam, Sa Pa is a quiet and peaceful town. But it has a strong attraction to any visitors thanks to the magic of nature, the cool climate, and the fresh air. Hiking in Sapa is a good option that is favorited by many travelers as it helps them understand and have great experiences in this beautiful land. If you are also planning to get a Sapa hiking trip in the near future, keep in mind some of the helpful tips below.

1. Stay at a guest house

In Sapa town and the surrounding area, there are hundreds of accommodations, from homestay with a cheap price to luxury resorts, hotels. So, you may be confused when choosing where to stay. Nowadays, many tourists get the good option like homestay while hiking in Sapa. As it is not only cheaper but also closer to the local living of this mountainous area. You will not only have a place to stay but also have the opportunity to experience the life of the ethnic group in Sapa, their activities,  traditions, and cuisine.

sapa homestay


The hosts of homestays are locals people so they are very kind and generous. You can join the daily works, taste some specialties, drink their wine… Living as a true village in this mountainous land will be an unforgettable memory for you.

The hosts can also give you some advice to explore Sapa. In addition, the homestays are often located very close to the favorite sites while hiking in Sapa such as Ta Phin Village, Muong Hoa Valley, Y Linh Ho Village… So it’s very convenient for you to move. In summary, a local homestay would be a great option for your trip.

2. Find a local guide

If you hiking in Sapa by yourself, you may face many difficulties or lost much time on search, asking for directions. In order to save time and energy, it’s much better to hire a local guide who knows well the terrain, weather and tourist destinations in Sapa. As a result, your trip will be safer and you will have more enjoyable to explore the local life.

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You can find a guide through a hotel in Sapa or the main tourism office found in town. The guides are mostly local and they can communicate fluently in English. So there’s no reason to not hire one. They will help you much in the journey of hiking in Sapa.

3. Carrying reasonable baggage

Before hiking in Sapa, you should find the necessary information for your trip such as must-come destination, the weather forecast, the suitable clothes.  Remember only bring what is absolutely necessary to you. And you will have to carry them by yourself when trekking. At first, luggage may be lightweight, but after a time,  when you have become tired, they will become heavier and it’s harder to carry. Some items needed are:

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Food: This is an important thing of your discovering journey in Sapa. You can lose energy after a long distance of hiking. So some fast and nutritious food can be useful for you such as bread, chicken egg, snack, orange juice, tangerine…
Medical supplies: Don’t forget to bring these indispensable items. You should prepare some wind oil, diarrhea medication, flu medication, medical alcohol, cotton, gauze, salon pass…
Climbing sticks: You may have to climb to Ham Rong Mountain or Fansipan Mountain. In that case, a climbing stick is very useful during your trip.
Camera: Sapa is beautiful with the ranges of mountains in the mist, the vast terraced fields, the peach blossom forest in the spring, the villages with special architecture… All will make you impress and want to keep them in the photos. That’s why you should bring a camera fully charged.

4. Hiking route recommended  in Sapa

Day 1: Hiking in 5-hour to Cat Cat – Y Linh Ho – Ta Van Village

Depend on tourist’s timing, they usually chose the different route for hiking in Sapa. But we recommend you to visit some highlight villages here such as Cat Cat, Y Linh Ho, Ta Van, Giang Ta Chai or Supan Village.

Firstly, from Sapa town, you can trek about 1 km to Cat Cat village.  Along the way, you can admire the beauty of nature such as the majestic waterfalls, the terraced fields, and the clear river… Located at the foot of Hoang Lien Son Mountain, Cat Cat Village is a place where the Black H’mong ethnic group lives for a long time. You can witness the daily life of local people, talk with them to understand more about their culture. After that, take a rest to prepare for the next trekking.

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Leaving Cat Cat Village, we will continue the trip by hiking to Y Linh Ho, the village of another Black H’mong group, 7 km far from the center of Sapa. This place is favorited by the poetic of Muong Hoa Stream, the nice architecture of local people ‘s house and their friendliness. You will also have an opportunity to see their special dress that has the dark color in black and navy dyed with indigo. The daily activities of residents also attract the attention of tourists, especially foreigners. Y Linh Ho is one of the must-come destinations for whom love the adventurous hiking in Sapa.

Ta Van Village is the last destination on this hiking trip. Located 8 km from Sapa town, this is the village of the Zay communities. Trekking to this place can give some impressive experience for adventurous travelers because the pass path is quite creepy and steep. Visiting Ta Van will be unforgettable memories. You can discover the ethnic life,  unique custom, and long-standing culture. Moreover, there are many homestays here so you can choose to stay in this village to experience the local life. That will be very convenient and efficient for you to have relaxation after a long day of hiking in Sapa. In addition, you can find out more about the culture of ethnics people by taste their unique cuisine, visit local homes as well as schools.

Day 2: Hiking in 3 hours to Giang Ta Chai – Su Pan

The next morning, before continue exploring Sapa, you can enjoy a breakfast made by the local chef. Then we will go hiking to Giang Ta Chai.

After about a half hour trekking the trails, the beautiful rice fields, the pristine bamboo forests and cool waterfalls, you can see Giang Ta Chai, the village of Red Dao Group in Sapa. Located on top of the hill, from here, you can look down to see the beauty of Muong Hoa river. If you have much time, don’t’ ignore to visit Hau Thao village nearby, where you can see many Dao and H’mong women gather here for trading and exchanging handicrafts.

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Finally, we will trek to Su Pan Village, the last destination in your hiking in Sapa trip. As well as the Lao Chai and Ta Van Village, Su Pan is located in the middle of Muong Hoa Valley. But it can be referred to as a mountainous commune. About 17km from Sapa town, this village retains more primitive features than any other village in Sapa. That’s the reason why many adventure lovers especially like it. They can see a much rudimentary house built on the rocky land in which the locals grow corn and cassava as their main food, or the people work on their rice terraced fields. This will be an unforgettable experience

Whenever you go hiking in Sapa, you can catch the stunning scenery, the friendly smile of people here, the different cultures. Let’s come here to discover and feel it!

The post Some Useful Tips While Hiking in Sapa appeared first on Travel Sense Asia.

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Must Try Restaurant in Hanoi


Along your journeys to conquer new lands in each region, the cuisine is an indispensable experience for most travelers. Travel Sense Asia would like to recommend must try restaurant in Hanoi, Saigon at the two biggest tourist cities of Vietnam.

1. Duong’s restaurant

The restaurant system is owned by Vietnam Top Chef Hoang Van Duong – Awarded Top 3 Vietnam Top Chef 2014. Here you can have experience of a mix of traditional Vietnamese dishes mixed with Vietnamese / French fusion dishes. Moreover, you can enjoy both street food or traditional food of Vietnam such as Vietnamese noodle (Pho), Vietnamese dish of grilled pork and noodle (Bun Cha), Fried Spring roll (Nem Ran)…

On the other hand, if you choose the Cooking class in Hanoi or Cooking class in Ho Chi Minh City, this restaurant is the best choice for you. When you participate in the cooking classes, the chef in the class will show with you many of his/her secrets when he takes you on a culinary journey. After that, they will teach you how the subtle blend of spices which are the key element to creating the outstanding flavors that are found in some of the favorite dishes of the Hanoian.


You can choose to attend a morning or afternoon cooking class every day, but you should book in advance in order to make sure the class is still available at that time. 7 menu options are available for the cooking classes each day, you can choose the best option for your team. The morning classes will culminate in lunch whilst afternoon classes culminate in dinner.

In Hanoi, you can find Duong’s restaurant at 2 addresses:

Add 1: 27 Ngo Huyen st.., Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Dist.., Hanoi, Vietnam
Add 2: 101 Ma May st.., Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Dist.., Hanoi, Vietnam

In Ho Chi Minh city, Duong’s restaurant is located in:

Add 1: 27 Dong Du, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

2. Madam Yen Restaurant

In Madam Yen Restaurant, All dishes were made from the passion in the cuisine of the chef. One of the highlights of this restaurant is the food focuses on classic Vietnamese dishes with a Western influence prepared by experienced Chefs. As many restaurants for travelers and locals, you can enjoy Vietnamese dishes like Deep Fried Hanoi Spring Rolls, Hue Spring Rolls, “Lã Vọng” Grilled Fish, Grilled Local Chicken with Lemongrass…

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Moreover, If you want to find a reliable cooking class, you can choose Madam Yen restaurant in order to learn how to cook the Vietnamese dishes. Madam Yen Cooking Class was opened in 2016 and its mission is to introduce Vietnamese authentic cuisines to other friends who travel to Vietnam and want to know deeply the local food.

If you love Vietnamese dishes, especially in Madam Yen Restaurant, you can join the class, interact with the chef to know more about the material, the herb,… everything which makes the delicious food.

The only one address of Madam Yen Restaurant:

99A Hang Gai Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam.

It is very near to Hoan Kiem Lake, you can easy to find it.

3. 5 Spice restaurant

It is located in the center of the old quarter, 5 Spice Restaurant is quite near the heart of Hanoi and is one of Must Try Restaurant in Hanoi. And it is well set in an old French house which was built in 1923, so you can feel the architecture of Hanoi in the early of that century.

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Nowadays the address of this restaurant is 27 Hong Phuc street (it is easy to find it because it is interlinked with Hang Dau street on one end and Hoe Nhai on the other. Near Hang Than St. and Nguyen Truong To st.), Ba Dinh district.

5 Spice is established since 2010, the restaurant is very confident and proud to bring you the best local food experience in Hanoi, Vietnam. As many local restaurants, it serves authentic Vietnamese food with lots of specialties of Hanoi such as “Cha ca la Vong”, Pho Ga, Hanoi “Nem”, Grilled beef in banana leaf, Grilled pork with chili and lemongrass, stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts… but you will enjoy the special decor as well as the different spices here.

You can visit 5 Spice at No.27 Hong Phuc – Ba Dinh Dist., Ha Noi, Vietnam

4. Home Hanoi Restaurant

If you choose a luxury restaurant, you can find Home Hanoi restaurant. The fusion of old-world splendor and cutting edge sophistication defines Home – Vietnamese Restaurant. The restaurant partnered the finest traditional Vietnamese food with the inspired contemporary cuisine, which is presented with warm service within spectacular surroundings.

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Here, you can enjoy the famous foods like Grilled “catch-of-the-day” with Hanoi’s herbs and rice paper roll, Half-moon cake with crab meat, “Pho” consommé with duo beef flavor…

To be served best, you should book in advance

On the other hand, if you want to find some must-try restaurant in Hanoi to enjoy local food as residents, you can visit some places below:

5. Bún Riêu – Hàng Bạc

Bún Riêu is a traditional Vietnamese rice vermicelli soup for the local family. Each family or restaurant have the different way to cook this food. However, today Bun Rieu was bún riêu cua, a popular version made with crab, tomatoes, pork, and tofu.

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You can eat Bun Rieu at the restaurant in Hang Bac, the food is served with tomato broth and topped with freshwater crab, specifically rice paddy crabs, which are pounded with the shell into a fine paste before being strained. The crab liquid is then used as a base for the soup along with tomatoes, giving it a wonderful tangy flavor. You can enjoy Bun Rieu with some kinds of vegetable and can drink a cup of Vietnamese ice tea.

Address: 11 Hàng Bạc, Quận Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội

Operating Hours: 7AM-10:30PM, daily

6. Bánh Cuốn Gia Truyền Thanh Vân

Banh Cuon is popular local food for Vietnamese people. Every traveler comes to Vietnam looking for this food and enjoy at least one time. In each shop, you can watch how to make Banh Cuon by the local chef. The materials are simple, but to make a delicious one is so difficult. Banh Cuon is made from a thin sheet of steamed fermented rice batter filled, seasoned ground pork and wood ear mushrooms.

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Sometimes, you can see Banh Cuon Trung, it means Banh Cuon with egg with the same method. bánh cuốn is typically made with pork but this restaurant offers other varieties as well, including rolls made with shrimp. On the other hand, to make the food more delicious, you will top with herbs and fried shallots and served with a bowl of fish sauce. And enjoy with the Vietnamese pork sausage, sliced cucumber, and some herbs.

Banh Cuon Thanh Van is also the must try restaurant in Hanoi for anyone who wants to enjoy the local food when visiting Vietnam.

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