We joined a tour with Hanoi Street Foods which was a great introduction to the local grub and took us places we wouldn't have dared go ourselves.
When we got more confident we sampled the local 'bia hois' where a glass of beer is available for less than 10p!
Also recommended is Highway4 restaurant where we were either ultra-confident or drunk on their rice wine and tucked into local scorpions, bugs, ostrich and crocodile!
Livingston is a little town, a little like Jamaica. A very peaceful place, there is a big inter-cultural mix, you find the Garifunas, Quetchi, Ladinos and Coolis.
The people are very friendly and the place is relaxing. The nights are warm and there are partys on every street, in the day you can visit the most beautiful river in Central America "Rio Dulce" you can't miss the tour with Exotic Travel Agency who I travelled with and recomend to everyone.
Lovely family-run restaurant in residential area just off Les Halles. We had a fantastic meal - the mussels in Roquefort and the pudding, some raspberry creamy dish, were brilliant. The whole family seem to work there, it's very relaxed and the bill was around a ridiculous 12 euros a head.
29 Place du Grand Couvent, Nimes, tel 0466299981
Don't miss the Chocolate Train! Departs from Montreux in the morning and meanders its way up through the mountains, with great views of Lake Geneva and some truly Sound-of-Music scenery.
You travel first-class in some wonderfully restored Belle Epoque railway carriages before stopping at the Gruyere fromagerie, where there's time to explore the mountain village of the same name and have a spot of lunch.
After lunch, it's back on the train to the Cailler-Nestlé chocolate factory. It's just like you would imagine a Swiss chocolate factory to be: set in the mountains, with as much chocolate as you can eat!
The day finishes with a scenic ride back down to Montreux. Wonderful scenery, cheese and chocolate - what more could you want? Apart, perhaps, from some local wine pressed from the grapes of the numerous vines covering the mountainside. Advance booking recommended!
I didn’t want to like this cafe - done up by an ex-pat and catering very much to western tastes and pockets but the food was so good we went back for more.
Squid in lemongrass and chilli was tender and tasty and the Vietnamese spring rolls were gorgeous.
On the main street, Hoi An
The somewhat relaxed attitude towards life in general is clear: pubs open until the last customer standing is no more, the smoking ban having clearly missed Brussels, and the pleasant taxi drivers who are all too happy to tell you about their great city in approx 10mins (that’s how long it takes to get anywhere).
Yes, this city is not to be missed, with “Delirium” pub a must-see (and try!) with over 2000 beers offered, there really is something for everyone!
Go to the Chocolate shop Planete Chocolat in Brussels where you will truly be in chocolate heaven.
There is a demonstration of how chocolate is made every Saturday afternoon. The smell hits you when you are in the shop and makes your heart race and takes you back to being a kid.
I always feel like Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate factory when I enter the shop. So much choice and so much colour.
The most essential souvenir to bring back from Brussels is, of course, chocolate.
Being a frequent traveller on the Brussels-London Eurostar route and a chocolate fanatic, I have discovered the most efficient chocolate-buying routine: nipping into the supermarket at Gare du Midi just before travelling back to London. The mini GB Express has a huge variety of Cote d'Or chocolates (the best in my view) at very reasonable prices.
Plus, the chocolate will still be in one piece and one gets to experience the wonders of Belgian supermarkets - could you ask for more?
Take the travelator at Montparnasse station, "itself an adventure, as it travels at roughly the same speed as a Parisian bus".
Take the Metro to Raspail, and around the corner you will discover Montparnasse Cemetery, or "Cimiterie du Sud", an oasis, pilgrimage and sculpture park all in one. The resting place of the artistic community that included Baudelaire, Jean Paul Sartre, to name but two of the luminaries buried here.
After spending a couple of hours taking in the scenery, and the great and the good, and not so good, you could saunter out to The Cafe Raspail Vert, and partake of an existential cafe au lait, "one of Satre's favourite haunts."
Tucked away behind the clamour and fuss of Rue des Bouchers is a great little restauraunt - Vincent.
For over a hundred years they've been serving up classic French-Belgian cuisine here. You enter the restaurant through the kitchen, where you get the opportunity to ogle at the collection of knives before the smells entice you into the restauraunt for a memorable meal.
Vincent, Rue des Dominicains 8-10, 1000 Brussels
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