Me, Myself, and the World | S2E3 | Hanoi, Vietnam -- Hai

Me, Myself, and the World | S2E3 | Hanoi, Vietnam -- Hai

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(gentle tones) - This has been... Oh, oh, how do I say goodbye? (all speaking in foreign language) - Okay. - Five words. - Yeah, five words. Six, actually. - Is there a quicker goodbye? - The whole phrase means, "Goodbye and see you again." - And see you again.

- How about just goodbye? - Yeah. (speaks in foreign language) (Pamela speaks in foreign language) - Oh. Saying tam biet from Vietnam. (Pamela blows kiss) (Pamela laughs) (gentle music) (gentle music continues) - Welcome to "Me, Myself, and the World." I'm your host, Pamela Holt.

I've traveled to over 90 countries and territories, and I'm here to enlighten and inspire you on the art of solo travel. (train horn honks) (Pamela laughs) Come along with me as I journey around the globe, and share inspiring stories of solo travelers. Hit lots of cool adventures, meet the locals and hear their stories, and a whole lot more. (gentle music continues) Join my solo travel revolution, and discover new lens on the world as we explore this great planet of ours, together. Welcome to "Me, Myself and the World."

I'm your host, Pamela Holt, and this is Vietnam. (gentle music continues) (Pamela laughs) We're back with our tour guides extraordinaire, Kate and Robert, picking up from last episode's Hanoi street food tour. This continues to be a local's look at the food, the culture, and the history of Hanoi. First up, it was some deep fried fermented pork, and yes, a side of pigeon. Next we got to enjoy a cup of the original egg coffee, a definite bucket list item for any foodie. Wait, did somebody move your moped? - Yeah, it's a valet thing.

- Oh, it's a valet. Wait, but a valet relocates your moped, and then gives you the keys, and then doesn't tell you, oh, it's like it's hide and seek with the moped. - I found my spot.

- You found yours, but what about yours? Oh, good. Oh, good, good, good. Woo. - And it's all wet! - So now, am I gonna drive this time? - Yeah. Yeah.

- Okay, great. - Here. - This is for you. (Kate and Pamela laugh) You better take it back.

- I do have a license. So there's all these special decorations for the Lunar New Year, which we've been talking about. We're off-roading on our food tour. - [Kate] We are reaching really near the Tet holiday, which is the Lunar New Year.

- [Pamela] And what street is this? This is incredible. - [Kate] The name is Phung Hung Street. You see the name? - Yes. Yes. - Phung Hung Street. - [Kate] But actually, they turned this into the art street. You see all the art right here? - [Pamela] Yes.

- [Kate] That describe the lives of the ancient Hanoian. And on Tet holiday like this, they turn this into a flower street. - When did they create all this art that is against this wall? The story of Vietnam? - Yeah. It's new. It's really new. - It's quite new. - It's new.

- Yeah. They build it to celebrate 1,000 year of this city in 2010. - No big deal. 1,000 years. Wow. (Kate laughs) And all the traditional handicraft that's in all the different stalls. How late will this stay open? - [Kate] They're gonna stay open until, I guess, until the- - End to Tet.

Yeah, the end of Tet. - T-A-T-E, Tate? - T-E-T. - T-E-T. Yeah. Vietnamese spell that like Tet. - Tet? - Yeah. Okay.

- That's perfect. - Yay! - I'm learning. I'm learning. These lanterns are so beautiful. I love all the colors. I would love to have them hanging in my room. And they're painted. - Yeah.

The ones above us. Hand painted? - [Robert] I believe so. - [Kate] Yes. - Oh, this artwork is exquisite. I love the plants, the flowers, the lanterns.

This feels like a fairytale. - Yeah, I know. - It's very special.

And I'm sure it's even more special for you, because it's the new year, - Yes. and it's like your, I think I figured out it's like New Year's, Christmas, and Thanksgiving all put into one, just one giant love. - Yeah. Happy, joy. - Yeah, exactly. - I hope now you can feel the smell of Tet, right? - Yes, I can. - The smell of incense and all the combination- - We say the same for our holidays.

- Yeah. - The smell of Tet. Okay. Shall we stroll together? - Oh, yeah. Thank you. - All right. (light music) - Next up, it's some authentic Hanoian pho.

It's rumored that pho was born in northern Vietnam during the May to 1880s, and derived from pot-au-feu, a French soup. Here we go. - Yes. I love all the bamboo.

- So here we're gonna try pho, but that is not the normal pho. - Okay. - Actually, we call that pho cuon, rolling pho. A different kind of pho.

- [Pamela] Oh! - That is the rolling pho. - The rolling pho. - [Pamela] That looks delicious. - Pho cuon. So you know what exactly pho is? Pho actually, it is the noodles, not the dish. - Okay. The noodles, we call that pho.

So Hanoi is the place that invent pho, so if you like a Saigon pho, or American pho, or even Cambodia's pho, even if you like it, it's not a real pho. So when you go to Hanoi, you have to try the pho with broth, and we Hanoians, we believe that pho is the hot dish. So you have to eat pho in winter times, because pho, it's gonna warm your body. - Okay.

- That's the reason why some family, they don't want to eat pho with herbs, because they believe that if you put herbs inside the broth, it's gonna cool in the broth, so it's not good. So you have to eat the pho with the original broth, the hot one. - Like boiling hot. - So we have two kinds of pho here. We have this one with, is vegetarian? - Mm. No beef.

- No beef. And this is the rice noodles that I learned how to make down in Ho Chi Min. - Yeah, that is pho, the rice noodle. - And this is with beef? - Yeah. Stir fried beef. - Stir fried beef? Yummy. Cooks blended the Chinese, French, and native influences to make a dish that is uniquely Vietnamese.

- So actually this is one dish. We have to eat them together. - Oh. And we call that deep fry pho.

You see this? The pillow? Right here? - Yeah. The pillow. - The pillow. - Actually this is also pho. You see the layer? They're gonna fold it into the shape of the square, and then they put it in a very hot oil, and you see between layers they have the air, right? So it's gonna explode.

And second, we have this one, which is also pho, but they slice it into the thin lines like this. - Okay. - They mix that with the egg, and then you can try that. It's so aromatic.

- That's a great word. (chuckles) Mm-mm. That's yummy. Ooh. - I know.

Simply amazing. And then over here we have the beef with vegetables. - Vegetables and onion. And onion. That looks delicious.

(upbeat music) Here we go. (pho crunches) This is delicious. Cheers.

By the way, I see all these gifts. Is this all for the new year? - That's it. - It is. I see butter. They're not mine, but butter cookies and coffee and all sorts of goodness.

So tell me where we are off to next. - Next, we're gonna goes to a local beer vendors. - Oh.

- Yeah. It's on the street pavement, if you don't mind. That is really traditional in Hanoi for you to. - Twist my arm. We drink beer from the street. - Yeah, that's it. And next to that, you're gonna walk to a shop that sells sandworm pancake. - Sandworm- - Pancake.

What's a sandworm? - Basically, it's a worm. - Okay. It's not... I'm gonna go... - It's not scary to you. - I'm gonna go eat a worm? - Yep.

- Mushed into a pancake? - Yep. - Smiles. - Yeah, let's go! - Oh, come on. Wait for me! You're too fast! - We're about to go through the lantern street on our way to get some beer and worm pancakes. I'm not really sure if those two words should be put together. Certainly not in food, (sighs) but I will try it.

Ah! (upbeat music) Woo! - Yep. Yep. Thank you. - You get the big chair. - Oh, great. Thanks for giving me the big chair. Oh, beer, beer, beer. - Beer, beer, beer.

- Yeah. Ta Hien. - All right, cheers. - Ah, no, no, no, no, no, no. Come on. No. - Oh, yeah. Right.

This is not the way we do it in Vietnam. - Oh, sorry. Okay. We have to do it properly. Show me. - You can do it. Hold it up.

- Okay. - [All] Mot. Hai. Ba. Yo! - Woo! (laughs) Delicious. - It's so light. It's very light.

This is Hanoi beer. Wow, I had a sip and I can barely talk. - Also here, you see this guy, right? He's the owner of the beer vendor.

He's famous for the phrase, "Hello beer, hello beer!" Every time. Anyone come past here, he gonna say "Hello beer, hello beer!" And that's the way the resident of Hanoi marketing their goods. - Hello beer, hello beer. - Hello beer, hello beer, hello beer! - [Pamela] Hello beer, hello beer. (Pamela laughs) - Back in the time, we are not so accustomed to beer.

We have rice wine. Like in Korea, we love rice wine. And nowadays in countryside we drink rice wine, mostly. But the thing change when the French come to Vietnam. The French brought beer.

And there's a time in 1946, at that time, the whole country is starving of hunger, right? So the government, they implement one policy that no one that have the rice to use the rice to make a wine. So at that time, we changed our drinks to beer. And from that point of time, beer become more popular than ever. - [Pamela] Alfred Hommel established the first brewery in Hanoi in 1890, and today's Vietnam craft beer scene is booming with microbreweries abounding. Ready? - [All] Mot! Hai! Ba! Yo! - [Pamela] And there was plenty to celebrate, especially for me, as the shop that sold the sandworm pancakes had sold out. - [Kate] Oh, they ran out of the sandworm.

- This really was, it's a food tour. It's a city tour, but it's really about connecting, getting to connect with locals, which is a joy. Which is fun enough 'cause it's the joy factory, but really, I mean, you two have done so much more than feed me, (Pamela laughs) or driven me around in your mopeds, so thank you so much. - We also want to thank you a lot for today. You are the one that made the tour much more amazing than ever. - Thank you. - Thank you very much.

Thank you so much. Ah, all right! 1, 2, 3. - [All] Onetrip! - Okay. (all laugh) (upbeat music) (lively jazz music) - Welcome to "Me, Myself, and the World." I'm your host, Pamela Holt, and this is Packing with Pamela. Today we're gonna talk a little bit about money and packing.

I always use my ATM cards wherever I go around the world. I just look for the little plus sign with my particular card and I get cash out of the ATM, because I'm pretty assured that the money is going to be correct. Whenever you use the money exchanges, the kiosk, you never know if you're getting the best rate. And not to mention, sometimes they slip a bill out in particular countries, which I won't name.

It's like a known scam that they will take some of the money. Plus the rates are pretty solid with the major banks. My particular card is linked only to a travel account that I keep just a little bit of money in. It is not linked to my checking or savings or any other account, so should I lose my card, which I did once, they don't have access to all my accounts.

That card is only linked to a specific account and that's it. Now I can make transfers into it myself, but no one else can access it. It is very important, because if you do lose your card in certain countries, they can access everything.

And while you will probably get it back, it might take a while. So those are my two tricks. One, use your own ATM card in lots of different countries, your own bank for a great conversion rate. And two, make sure that account is not linked to any other accounts, and there's just a low cash amount in there. Also, you can turn your card off and on. So if you lose your card, just go online and there's a little button that you can click on your account with most of the major banks that just turns that account or that card off.

All right, this has been Packing with Pamela. We'll see you in the air. (lively music) This gentleman right here just showed me, it's called Backstreet Vietnam Tours. So he just upsold me. I'm gonna take the tour tomorrow.

I actually don't have anything planned, so I get to discover, as he's, as he put it, sort of the good, the bad, and the everything about Hanoi, the history, the people, back streets, not just the pretty sites. But yes, I am gonna get my feet dirty tomorrow. Ah, crazy traffic! (traffic rumbles) Hello. Welcome. - Hi, nice to meet you! - Nice to meet you.

Hi, I'm Pamela. So you're with Backstreet? - Vietnam Backstreet Tours. - Okay. I'm excited to do this.

Tell me a little bit about these. This is incredible. Tell me a little bit about this.

- [Chin Chin] We have the men's motorbike. It come from Belarus capital in 1957. Russians, they're supporting us for second war in the south of Vietnam. - Okay. - And with this men's motorbike, we use only for army, for military.

This was broken, and we bought them from the military, and we fixed a little bit, and we use for the tourist today in Hanoi. - We're going to be touring around Hanoi. - Yes.

- Inside, outside, countryside? - I will show you the real life, the daily life of Hanoi, and the backside in the countryside of Hanoi. - I love this. All right. - So now let me put on the helmet for you first. Yeah. You put one feet on here. Hold my shoulder.

- Okay. - Yeah. And jump on. Oh, that was easy. (laughs) - Are you ready to go? - Ready. - [Chin Chin] Let's go! - [Pamela] Woohoo! (laughs) We are off on the tour. First off, I'm gonna meet another fellow solo traveler. - [Pat] Okay.

- Hi. - Hi. I'm Pamela. - Pamela? - Yeah.

Pamela? - Yes. Pat. - Hi, Pat. That's my mom's name.

- Oh, good. - Nice to meet you. This is Pat, a fellow solo traveler and a US army veteran. She joined the military to become a nurse during the Vietnam War, and it's an extremely moving moment for her to be here in Hanoi today. - Anyway, when I retired in 1993, I put a backpack on. I was 41 years old, and I went to Europe for six months.

13 countries, did it the budget style. Never stayed in a hotel, never took a taxi. I walked, - Wow. I stayed at pensions.

It was before the internet, so I never knew where I would stay. It just all worked out. It was a big- - Oh my gosh. - It was the best time of my life. And I knew it when, I'll never forget standing on the cliffs of Wales going, "It doesn't get better than this."

(Pamela laughs) - Thank you for sharing your story. I'm really trying to inspire and educate people to travel solo. It opens up their whole world. - Well, here is my big takeaway from traveling by myself. Well, I don't get lonely, but what I realize is when you're by yourself, you look outward. When you're with somebody, you look inward to that other person.

You miss so much. - Yeah. So I could choose to be with people that I meet if I want to. - Yeah. But mostly, you know, I'm always looking out, so I don't, so I could capture it all, and not be just interacting with a friend, because that's not why I'm going to these places.

- Right. I love that. - Maybe I didn't say that very well. - No, that's wonderful.

It's always so great to meet a fellow solo traveler. And now we're off on the tour, but first we're gonna make a stop for some additional local street food. - [Chin Chin] So please take a seat. - [Pamela] We have a lot to cover on this tour, but of course, any good tour starts with a great breakfast.

- [Chin Chin] Here is Banh Mi Chao for you. - Thank you. - [Chin Chin] Be careful. It's hot. - [Pamela] This is egg? - Banh Mi, egg, and we have the pate made from beef and garlic. Yeah. And the sauce from potato and tomato. - Yum.

I'll just start with this. (relaxed music) (Pamela laughs) (relaxed music continues) Mm. The cilantro's really strong. So delicious to eat all these fresh ingredients. After our street food breakfast, Chin Chin gave us a truly off the beaten path experience. - [Chin Chin] Yeah. Welcome to Black Markets. - [Pamela] This is Hanoi's Black Market.

It's thrived for over 60 years, and divided into different sections, where you can expect to buy something old, something new, and something probably stolen. The adjacent market has expanded to include extensive selections of fresh produce, ranging from colorful fruits and vegetables. - That's good? - [Pamela] This fruit is amazing. To aromatic herbs and spices. Woo! - That's nice. It's wonderful. The coriander.

A quick couple pro tips for you. Bargain for better deals, and carry small change. And for all you adventurous eaters and foodies out there, this is an epic street food scene. Mm. - That's good. Sticky rice, green bean...

- And sesame seed. - Who doesn't like donuts? (Chin Chin laughs) Backstreet Vietnam Tours is taking us through the alleyways. As they put it, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

For me, it's the good, the better, and the best. Getting to really see how people live is a really neat treat. For me, it's a real honor to be invited into a local space and to honor how people are living all around the world. (gentle music) And I think it's a really important part of travel to experience the back streets of any city or neighborhood. (Chin Chin and Mrs. Tinh speak in foreign language) - It's for the New Year.

In the past, she was single. This meant our government give her her house like this, just only six square meter, because she didn't get marriage. This mean that her house smaller than if you get marriage, the house bigger. And so now she doing, she try to take care of other, the baby. - She's a babysitter? - Yes.

(Chin Chin and Mrs. Tinh speaking foreign language) Yeah, when she was 37 years old, she had a accident, so now with her, she cannot stand straight like this. (gentle music continues) - The lady we just met was 80 years old. She's supported by the government.

She just lives a very simple life, but she said she's very happy. We have a lot to learn. It's been an incredible journey exploring the epic street food scene of Hanoi with our Onetrip tour guides, Kathryn and Robert, and Vietnam Backstreet Tours has been the perfect way to explore the city's hidden gems and off the beaten path destinations. We'll be diving deeper into Pat's solo travel journey and meeting a Vietnamese war veteran who has lived through three wars.

He graciously welcomes us into his home for a meaningful conversation. Tune in to discover more on our backstreet adventures. This has been another wonderful episode of "Me, Myself, and the World," saying tam biet from Vietnam. (Pamela blows kiss) (upbeat music)

2024-04-22 05:13

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