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Archive for the ‘drink’ Category

ms loan

cau lauHoi an has some great specialities.  In fact it’s one of the best places to eat great food in Vietnam.  There are tasty cheap eats down the market, upmarket Vietnamese places in old traders houses, Cafes, even places that serve some pretty edible pizza – but for me, this is the place to try great examples of the local food.

Ms. Loan is one of many almost identical places lined down the Khu am Thuc eating area.  The restaurants take turns feeding the customers who wander this far down, and I ended up being fed by the family here – lucky for me.

mi quangThe most famous dish from Hoi An is Cau Lau noodles – Thick, rough rice and wheat noodles, with lots of green herbs and lettuce is topped with a little broth, some roast pork, and finally some offcuts of the same noodles deep fried till crispy.  It’s one of my favourite noodle dishes.  Simple, and the pile of herbs and a squeeze off lemon give it a fresh light flavour.

white roseAnother noodle dish we tried was Mi Quang –  Turmeric coloured noodles with the same herbs, but a rich tomato and crab fat sauce, with braised pork and a quail egg.  Another great dish, Richer than the Cau lau, but still light because of the mix of green herbs.

won tonsWe also tried two other local dishes. White Rose is a steamed rice noodle stuffed with prawn, and topped with lots of crispy shallots – with a sweet vinegar dip.  The local wontons are flat triangles stuffed with a little pork mince, then topped with a great sweet and sour salsa of green beans, tomato and peppers – another winner, almost like a local plate of nachos!

So, If you’re in Hoi An, get down to Ms. Loan’s for some local specialties.

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Need I say more, whiskey – laos

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Obviously we all come to Siem Reap to visit the huge temple complexes outside of town – But when it’s raining?  Really, its pretty hard to appreciate the temples when its pissing it down.  Sadly on my last trip we found that it rained pretty much all the time – so we learned a little about the town.

Anyway, my little list

1 boys fish spa1. Get a fish spa – A little bit tickly at first, you soon get used to it and 30 minutes later all the dead skin is gone from your feet.  And at $2, with a free beer, it’s a bargain.

7 crocs2. Visit the Crocodile Farm. With more than a thousand crocodiles, it keeps you busy for at least 30 minutes – and it’s only $7 to feed them a live duck!

8 rice cake3. Eat – There a literally hundreds of options in Siem Reap for food.  From local food down the market, to upmarket French – And everything in between.  Fresh morning pastries at The blue pumpkin are my personal favourite.

10 happy herb pizza4. Have a happy herb pizza – It’s pizza, with herbs that make you happy – what else is there to say?

11 mantis brekkie

5. Do nothing – Just kick back on your balcony and relax – and hang with the praying mantis as we did.  Sometimes it’s good just to have a rest from all the people trying to sell you stuff, take you on tours, have you eat in their restaurants……Don’t forget you’re on holiday

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lv 0 trump

lv 1 circusSo Las Vegas it is.  Like some sort of weird oasis it appears out in the desert from far away drawing you to it.  Gold high rise hotels, neon and the promise of good times.  I choose my hotel, Circus Circus, for two reasons – One because its cheap, and the other because of its connection to Hunter s. Thompson – The guy who brought us ‘Fear and loathing in Las Vegas, one of my all time favourite books (and movies, Johnny Depp is awesome as the Doctor, though Circus Circus wouldn’t let them film inside)

lv 2 encoreThis hotel is huge, and so much going on in every corner – gambling, drinking, eating, circus stuff, games, all sorts – though this is nothing to the casinos further down the strip!!  Hunter S. Thompson had this to say about it –

“The Circus-Circus is what the whole hep world would be doing on Saturday night if the Nazis has won the war. This is the Sixth Reich”. – Though it’s really wholesome family fun these days.

Anyway,eventually I negotiate my way through the chaos to the outside world and the Las Vegas strip.I walk down the top of the strip dominated by the golden Wynn and Encore hotels, stopping to eat beef head tacos at the amazingly named ‘Tacos El Gordo’, before making it to the centre of the strip.  Here I check out the amazing Venetian hotel – with its replica canals and fresco ceilings.  The sheer extravagance of the place just blows me away.  Feeling out of place I find some cheap bars to hang out in.  In fact cheap isn’t the word.  I’m paying as little as $1 a beer in some places – and for $2 you get a hot dog as well.

8 venetian 2But this place isn’t cheap, the money just seems to drain from your pockets – a couple of dollars for the machines turns into 10, and with poker machines at every bar stool its hard not to resist.  They really know how to squeeze every last cent from you.

lv 3 ceasersI’m happy when I meet a guy called TJ from Chicago and have a couple of drinks.  He’s travelling to Los Angeles to make it as a writer – Oh yes, straight out of a movie. We drink, meeting all sots of crazy characters and end up in downtown Las Vegas, where the beer is even cheaper and the bars more dingy.  At one place we eat a prawn cocktail for $2 – bit of a weird thing to be drinking at 2am in Vegas, but hey, stranger things have happened. After this we crash – heading back to Circus Circus for some sleep.

lv 5 revoThe next day i wake up glad i didn’t get food poisoning from the prawn cocktail and head to the pool for a swim before getting out into the mid day sun to check out some more hotels.  I pass through treasure island with its tropical getaway vibe and xxxx with its endless Beatles advertising, then on to Caesar’s Palace – this place is enormous, with huge Greco-roman statues and endless shopping and restaurants.  Across the road is the Bellagio and Paris, both well thought out, beautiful hotels.  The replica Eiffel tower is so impressive.

lv 4 parisBy this time I’m all hotel’d out.  i find a local microbrew place that sell great new york style pizza and load up.  After this its a case of drinking my way back down to my hotel via any cheap dive bar I can find.  I get back to the hotel and crash out straight away.

The next morning I contemplate staying, but decide not to and hit the road north again through Nevada and into the Eastern Sierra Nevada

Next part 3 – Up the back and over the top

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Gad. Gad Gad, Gad. GAAAAD. Fizzy, yeasty, Sour, drink.  Why? Please tell me why?  I tried my hardest to like it, I drank a whole bottle.  now I ask myself why, why, why did i drink It?

Buy it. Try for yourself – you’ll see.

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