When it comes to eating in Ha Long Bay, one local tells us to “expect seafood, seafood and more seafood”.
This beautiful region is tied intrinsically to its ocean surrounds as the waters of this world-heritage listed site is a place of work, play and even home for a number of Vietnamese people.
During our three days in Ha long Bay, Ha long City and Cat Ba Island our group was able to try a range of delicious seafood specialties, unique to the region.
A trip to Ha Long Bay is not complete without a junk boat tour through the maze of limestone islands rising spectacularly out of the bays emerald waters.
Our tour began with a seafood banquet as we slowly cruised out of the port.
This feast included shared plates of fresh prawns, delicious crab cakes stuffed and fried in their original shells and squid sautéed with crisp vegetables.
Everything we tasted was phenomenal.
When you think of Vietnamese produce, wine is not the first thing that comes to mind!
But to complement our meals we tried a local Vietnamese wine, Vang Da Lat, and were not disappointed.
The extravagant affair fuelled our group for an afternoon of exploring the rock formations and caves on kayaks.
Our next night in the outskirts of Ha Long City did not present us with much in way of dinner options but we settled on the near by Café Thien Ahn.
The group selected a range of fresh seafood straight from the tank starting with mussels steamed with lemongrass and chilli, grilled oysters, clams stuffed with onion and herbs, scallops stir-fried with pineapple and peppers, and crab in tamarind sauce.
Although completely satiated, we were able to fit in a nibble of sugar cane a stalk; a very sweet but light and refreshing end to our delicious meal.
Cat Ba, the largest and one of the only populated islands in Ha Long Bay, was the next destination for some of our group.
After some interesting negotiations with local transport providers we were very much in need of replenishment so we dropped in for lunch at the renowned Green Mango restaurant.
Overlooking Cat Ba harbour we dined on a fusion of Vietnamese and western cuisine beautifully presented with exceptionally friendly service.
Travelling throughout Vietnam has given our group the opportunity to try many delicious Vietnamese dishes and a range of cuisines unique to each region.
The famously fresh seafood of Ha Long Bay has been an absolute highlight!
We now move on to Ninh Binh where we will no doubt continue our ‘foodie’ adventures!