Me, Myself, and the World | S2E2 | Hanoi, Vietnam -- Mot

Me, Myself, and the World | S2E2 | Hanoi, Vietnam -- Mot

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(ambient music) - This last one is... - Pigeon. - Pigeon. Are you gonna, you're gonna eat that? - Yeah. - Is it good? It's delish.

You love it. - Yeah. I love it. I eat his brain to become smarter. - Okay. (both laugh) (gentle upbeat music) Welcome to "Me, Myself & 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 shrieks) 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. 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 & the World!" I'm your host Pamela Holt. And this is Vietnam! (shouts) (gentle upbeat music continues) (motorcycles rumbling) I'm here on my last night in Saigon, Vietnam. And it is 5:00 PM and I'm heading to Hanoi tomorrow and I still do not have a hotel room.

But that's the cool thing about solo travel, you can book on the fly. I encourage travelers to book last minute, especially if it's not some crazy holiday or the high times, because you can get great prices, especially day before or the day of. In fact, I found this place last minute on Airbnb.

This is Christina's. It's a community-style hotel with open areas for travelers to work, play, and share their tall tales of travels. Part of the Christina's community and network is OneTrip, a tour company. I'm meeting up with the advisor to hear her tips and tricks on some great solo travel adventures here in Vietnam. What do you recommend for solo travelers? - So Saigon have almost everything, it's like about food, about culture, and also the history. You have to try the Cu Chi Tunnel and Mekong Delta.

That is two famous area in Saigon. - I've heard about the food up in Hanoi. Do you have food tours up there? - Yes, of course, we have it, but we won't take you to the famous place, but we will take you to the local one. - Okay. - And you will try the street food. And also you will see the, how the local people enjoy their life there.

- What advice would you give a solo traveler coming to Vietnam? - A lot of solo traveler, when they come to Vietnam, they feel nervous because they don't know about our country and they think it's quite dangerous. - Yeah. - But actually, no. Yeah, the people here, we're really friendly, and you could ask us if you need something. - Okay.

- And you can try the group tour. Yeah, it's nice to meet other traveler on your trip and to learn about our history here, yeah. - What all does OneTrip do? They do tours? They're part of Christina's, right? - Yes, it's like Christina will give you a place to stay, and OneTrip will take you around to see things. - What's your favorite tour here in Saigon? - Definitely Street Food. - Street Food? - Yes, the street food in Saigon is really, really good. So we have like the main course, we have snack, and we have different kind of drink.

So enjoy the food and also talk with each other about their local life. That is how we live in here. - Thank you so much for sitting down with me. I think I'd like to do the evening food tour up in Hanoi. - Yes. - Can you book that for me?

- Yeah, of course. - Excellent. Thank you. (hands clap) Whoo-hoo! (laughs) I'm so excited about this. I appreciate it. (gentle music) (melodic music) Oh, my gosh. It took me a couple hours to get into the airport.

I'm here in Saigon, heading up to Hanoi, and we are just a few days away from the Vietnamese New Year or the Lunar New Year, and it is packed here at the Saigon airport. It's only gonna get busier, so I better start looking for a seat. Wha! Happy New Year. (upbeat music) (plane whooshes) (bell clinks) We just got in three hours late. It's now like, 1:30 in the morning. I'm exhausted. I'm puffy, I'm tired.

I kind of wanna throw a tantrum right here on the conveyor belt. Yeah, thank you. Sorry, we're so late. But I made it to Hanoi.

Ugh, it's freezing. Part of any travel includes delays. The hotel I wanted to stay at was booked. It was another leg of the, another part of the ecosystem of Christina's, but they were sweet enough to call this hotel and book it for me. That's incredible. And now I am going to head off to the Train Street, which is known for serving coffee on railroad tracks.

(upbeat music) Oh, they're just putting up all the decorations. (upbeat music continues) The architecture here in Hanoi is incredible. Here we have this amazing building over here, and it's something that looks pretty old right there. These are called matchbox houses. The way they've done their architecture is quite ingenious, straight up, really thin, matchbox.

The tradition of narrow tube houses is rumored to have begun back in the 14th century when craftsmen were taxed on the width of their storefront. So they built narrow houses to pay less tax, some as little as four feet wide. This is not official, it's just what I've been told, that a certain amount of garments leave these factories. Whether the factory lets them do that, it's unofficially official or what, I don't know. But a lot of the name brand ends up out here on the market. Some of it's real, some of it's not.

I don't know the whole deal. So you're kind of at a whim when you buy something that's name brand. (upbeat music continues) Ha, ha! We go here, which means I gotta cross the street. I remember what Derek said, be confident with myself. Still it's scary.

All right, on three, one, two, three. (soft ambient music) Wha. (laughs) Whoo! (gentle upbeat music) Made it to the famous train track street, or Train Street, really.

Back in 1902, the tracks were laid right through Hanoi's Old Quarter. Today, it has become a must-see spot for anyone seeking to experience something off the beaten path. And this might just be your most delicious and dangerous cup of coffee.

Okay, the train should be coming through in probably the next 10, 15 minutes. And you'll notice that people have put their beer tops on the tracks. So it's a fun little memento.

Not really sure if that's safe, but we'll see. These are the tracks. But, of course, as you know, the train is wider than the tracks, so we're gonna literally have to hug the wall.

(gentle upbeat music continues) (train horn blares) (Pamela shrieks) (train rumbles) This is insane. (train squeaks) Wow. (laughs) My Hanoi beer cap that I put over here on the track is flattened.

So I'm gonna make a little necklace. Not really. I'll make a bracelet. (laughs) A ring! I'm gonna make a ring. (laughs) For my next adventure, I'm heading to a dressmaker to have ao dai made.

This is a traditional Vietnamese garment made for both sexes, but primarily worn by women. The shop owner is shy, but she said I could walk around and I'm going to pick out the fabric that I like, and then I get to choose the bottoms. (gentle upbeat music continues) The embroidery on this is exquisite. North and South Vietnamese wear the ao dai in a slightly different manner. Northerners wear long skirt, and Southerners wear loose fitting trousers that split from the waist down into front and back panels. Dark green is my color.

I think I'm going with this one. There's my future new dress. Wha! (upbeat music) Welcome to "Me, Myself & the World." I'm your host, Pamela Holt, and this is Packing with Pamela. Today, I'm gonna talk about everything that's essential for the plane.

First thing I wanna talk about is this. It is nothing more than just a simple, little, durable strap. What I do is hang this where the little rest is, the little table.

It goes right in between and I get to rest my feet. It is so clever, so handy. It costs about 99 cents. I love it. It packs and weighs nothing. And it's like I have my very own footrest.

Yes, you heard it here. The 99 cent traveling footrest. Also, don't forget, something like this can come in super handy. If your bag zipper breaks, this will keep it strapped together. Probably one of the most useful things when traveling, compression socks. I got these at REI. They were somewhat expensive, but I will have them for a very, very long time, and they work really well.

So here's what it looks like. (chuckles) It really adds a lot of pressure to the leg and to the foot. Of course, everyone knows that diabetics use compression socks, but they sure do help with swelling on the plane, and they keep you healthy and safe, and not to mention, warm. Compression socks, one of the best-kept secrets, really easy, they last a long time.

You can get these great little airplane kits, even if you're not in first class. All you gotta do is be the last person off the plane and take one that someone has left behind. I always pack mine with everything that comes in it, and a little trick that a doctor taught me, Neosporin.

If you put Neosporin around your nose, the tip of your nose, it helps your nose create moisture, which is the best way, evidently, by doctors, to help your body get rid of the germs that are in the air, especially on a plane. So you're essentially just helping your body do its natural defense. Neosporin has saved me on many a trip, and it's great to have with you. I always pack a little fun kit that might have some moisturizer, ChapStick, some other fun little things. You'll put your own fun things in it.

Of course, I have extra socks if I need them, and a bunch of other eye patches, little things that you can use. But again, you can either buy one at the 99 cent store, you can take one as you're getting off. And this is my favorite neck pillow. The reason I like this, this is by Samsonite, is it's got a little pocket and I generally put my EarPods in here, and it blows up.

But it, the key thing is it folds down to just nothing. And this has also saved me at some hotels that I've stayed at where the pillows aren't too comfortable. I just pop this thing up, I use the pillowcase I bring, and voila, I have an extra pillow. But again, what's so handy is I can unpack my bag, stow it away, and put my little bits and pieces right in here. All right, two essentials literally, probably under $15. They will last you forever. Get yours today.

(upbeat music) (upbeat music) - Hi! - Oh, gosh. - Hi, Pamela! My name is Kate. - Hi, Kate, nice to meet you. Hello, hello. - So nice to meet you. - I'm a little nervous about this food tour because- - Don't be, don't be.

We keep you safe. (laughs) - I know, but I'm not a good eater. I eat like a toddler.

- Oh, really? - French fries, macaroni and cheese. - Uh-huh. - But I'm excited to see all the local food on your scooter? - Yep, on an old scooter. Let's go. (upbeat music continues) (bell clinks) Here we are (indistinct).

(upbeat music continues) - Okay. So what do we have here? - Okay, so I call for everything this shop have. This one, they call that the grilled fermented pork because that their specialties.

- Grilled fermented pork. - Fermented pork. - Okay. - Fermented pork is not from Hanoi. Actually, it is not from Hanoi. This is the Hanoi version, which is sweet and salty, because inside they put, of course, the pork and also they have the pig skin. - Okay. - And rice.

- Okay. Should we try it? - Yeah. Cheers. - Cheers, too-doo. (people chattering) (car horns honking) It tastes like bacon, but actually the sauce is great. - Yeah, the sauce is great. The sauce is homemade too. - It's very good. - Yeah.

You're gonna try the second one. This one is the deep-fried fermented pork. - Cheers. - Cheers. (chuckles) - Oh, that's quite nice.

(car horn honks) That's really nice. - This is not the original version. - Yeah. - If you go to the coast, I mean the middle part of Vietnam, then that is the land that invented fermented pork. - Okay.

- Because people right there, they have to go to the sea for very long time. So they have to find some way to preserve the food. - Okay. - So they create fermented pork, which is sours.

And, you know, they add more chilies to that. But this one is so sweet. - This is very nice. - Yeah. - Like a Chicken McNugget, but (Kate giggles) minus the chicken. - Yeah. Yeah. - [Pamela] This last one is...

- Pigeon. - Pigeon. - You feel pity for them? - I'm so sorry. Okay. Are you gonna, you're gonna eat that? - Yeah.

Be brave. Vietnamese woman is so brave. - I can't eat the pigeon. I, no. - Okay, so I will make some example first. - Please. Yes. - So here the pigeon, right? - Hi. Oh, gosh. - Hi. You say hi to him.

- Yeah. Hi. - The last time. - Yeah. - The first time is also the last time.

- Okay. See you- - The first time. Oh, my gosh. Is it good? It's delish. You love it. - Yeah. I love it.

I eat his brain to become smarter. - Okay. (both laugh) - All right, and you try it? You dare try it? - No.

I can't try it. - Ooh. - Okay. It tastes good. - Mm-hmm, it tastes good. - Just the thought of it.

I cannot believe I just ate pigeon. (Kate laughs) Five years ago, I would barely eat anything, and I'm trying to get better about trying things. - Oh. - Bon appetit. Cheers. - Bon appetit. (upbeat music continues) My mother would be very proud that I tried the pigeon. (Pamela laughs) - You know, before we move to the second stop, I wanna introduce you to a very, very special dish of Hanoi.

- Okay. - Only in Hanoi, you can find it. - Okay. - Actually, not really only in Hanoi. Right?

All over Vietnam. We call that the black noodles. Over here, the black noodles.

(both laugh) You find it everywhere. - [Pamela] Black noodles is actually a nickname for their electrical wires, and this is ranked as one of the most dangerous power grids in the world. (gentle upbeat music) Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. - [Kate] Yeah, President Ho Chi Minh, we called him.

- Ho Chi Minh traveled the world for 30 years, living in the US, UK, France, and Russia. He was a writer, a poet, a journalist, and wrote in three languages, Chinese, French, and Vietnamese. It was my mission to find the original egg coffee shop here in Hanoi. It was created by Mr. Giang

in 1946. A coffee was created due to the milk shortage caused by the First Indochina War. Mr. Giang whisked an egg as a milk substitute while bartending at the famous Sofitel Hotel. Ooh, wow! (indistinct) - Thank you. - Coffee. - Oh, my gosh! Okay. I'm gonna try.

Mm. I might have to order another. This is definitely the best egg cacao I've ever had in my life. - Yeah. (people chattering) - Ha, ha! (laughs) Oh, my gosh.

She literally made this in a day. Wow! It's so beautiful. Picture it with high heels. Oh, my gosh, I love this. It fits perfectly. I think she took about 30 measurements everywhere, every little bit and piece from arm length. The detail on this, I almost hesitate to tell you the price.

It was (chuckles) just over $40 (bell clinks) for a completely handmade dress, plus the pants, which I can wear in other places. So, okay, finished product. (chuckles) (upbeat music) After a few holiday delays, our first day in Hanoi was well worth the wait, from the iconic Train Street to donning a traditional ao dai dress, and riding into the vibrant street food scene with, of course, a side of pigeon, it's been a day of culture, unique flavors, and wonderful new friends with Kate and Robert.

Tune in next episode as we uncover more of this incredible city together, continuing our authentic Hanoi and street food tour, experiencing the taste and feeling of the Lunar New Year, and exploring the good, the bad, and the real Hanoi on our Backstreet adventure. Thank you for tuning into another episode of "Me, Myself & the World." I'm your host, Pamela Holt, saying (speaking in foreign language) from Vietnam, mwa. (upbeat music continues)

2024-04-16 04:43

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