Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Exploring Đà Nẵng

We got a taxi and told the driver to just drive - we will tell him where to stop. So we drove along the coast and saw a small place off the beaten track so we told him to stop there. "Don't you want to go somewhere else? This place isn't for tourists.", he said. I told him it was where we wanted to be, and he gave me his number to call when we need a ride back. That's what all taxi drivers do here; they all want your business and are willing to wait around for you all day if need be. They'd probably make more money from our one single fare than to drive around trying to find people looking for rides.

So here we are. This is "China Beach", but not as you know it. Jef and I needed to see some real life, not how it's presented for tourists. This place we stopped at was pretty real, and awesome in its realness.

This is a fishing village, where the locals go out, get their daily catch to (hopefully) feed their families. Where we stopped was a place on the street opposite where they live. There are some block buildings, but mainly there are shacks and makeshift housing.

The young dude who ran this place was so laid back it was ridiculous. We got some warm beers, and sat under the shade of the tent. He went off into his little storeroom and came out with some watermelon which he offered to Kien and a cigarette which he offered to Jef. We thanked him and took the watermelon piece.

He was selling live seafood there, and he went down to the beach and brought up fresh seawater occasionally.

After a few beers we decided to head off. We tried giving him a tip but he wouldn't accept it! So we left it on the counter instead. It's funny, I noticed that everywhere we've been people have accepted tips, except for Danang.

The young dude and his friend called a taxi for us, and this place is so off the beaten track that even the taxi driver had a hard time finding us.

We were finally in a cab and asked the driver to take us along the coast for a bit. We then decided to go back into town. He drove us over the dragon bridge and stopped so we could take photos. Can you imagine doing that on the Auckland Harbour bridge?

We were feeling pretty hungry at this point so we asked to be dropped off at the river. We walked down one of the side roads to find a place that sold rice. That was Kien's lunch sorted.

Then we walked up the road and I saw a place that sold some traditional Vietnamese dishes.

Bánh Nậm

These are flat rice flour dumplings with shrimp and spring onions, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. They are delicious.

Bánh Bèo

A variety of small steamed rice cake usually filled with chopped dried shrimp, spring onions, mung bean paste, crispy fried shallots, and eaten with blended fish sauce and fresh chilli. These are one of my childhood favourites.

Bánh Bột Lọc

Translucent shrimp dumplings - these are a speciality of the central region, specifically Đà Nẵng and Huế.

Doesn't the food look great? I can't help but take lots of photos of food on this trip!


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