So the next night, we went into the lobby of the hotel and there were two girls waiting for us. They said hello and hugged us. They were two of our drivers/tour guides. Then we went outside and met the other two girls. My driver was named Isabel. We are still in touch and are BFF (Best Friends Forever). We headed off to the first stop. When we got there, another group of tourists were already there. We took our seats and the leader Anh said, “The first dish of the night is called Bun Bo Hue.” Bun Bo Hue is a Vietnamese soup that you can only get in Vietnam. The main ingredient is lemongrass. Lemongrass is very strong, so when you take a bite of the soup you get a very powerful taste. In Bun Bo Hue, the main ingredients are rice vermicelli and lemongrass. The other ingredients are beef, fermented shrimp sauce, and fish balls. You could also add bean sprouts to make it crunchy, fish sauce to make it salty, or hot peppers to make it hotter. After we ate our soup, we got back on our motorbikes and headed to the next restaurant. At that point it was raining, so they gave us ponchos. We drove through Chinatown on a narrow road through a market. It felt weird driving so close to the people and live animals there. After driving through Chinatown, we drove a little bit more and got to our second restaurant. The first dish was goat breast and our drivers cooked it over a grill. The goat breast was very tender and the sauce on it made it a pale yellow. I was a little bit nervous to try it, but I liked it. The next dish was stir-fried squid, which was just like I’ve had at home. We tried to get my little brother to eat it, but he said “No way!” The third dish was fresh, local shrimp that was caught that morning! It was the best shrimp I have ever had. It was tender and it tasted so fresh. They were really big shrimp too! I took the head off the shrimp and dipped it in chili salt. Mmmm! It tasted delicious! I didn’t eat the whole head, I just sucked the meat and juices. The fourth dish was frog legs. Hold it right there. You know how people say that frog legs taste like chicken? Well they do. I took one bite and declared, “This tastes like chicken!”
While we were there, we played a game with our drivers that involved chopsticks. We were going to find out who the chopstick champion was! The goal was to get six peanuts into a water bottle before the other person did. The drivers picked up the peanut and placed it onto our chopsticks, which we would put over the water bottle, and then open up so that the peanut fell in. My mom and dad went first. My dad won. Then me and my brother played. He said he won, but I think I won. My mom beat my grandma too. In the end, everyone got a “Chopstick Champion” pin.
Then we headed off to our next stop. On our way to the next stop, my grandma yelled out to me on her bike. She said, “At the next stop they are going to serve baby duck embryo!” Before getting to the third stop, we met a Vietnamese Santa Claus and he gave us homemade candies. When we got to the next stop, the baby duck egg wasn't first. The first dish was roasted quail. To be honest, I didn’t like the quail. The next dish I liked more The next dish I had was scallops served in a seashell with peanuts and spring onion oil on top which was good. The last dish, I had was baby duck embryo. They call it balut and it is a dish in Asia that many people eat. They came out with two versions of it. One was a seasoned kind with tamarind and herbs and the other was just an egg in a cup. I knew the egg was tougher to eat, so I challenged my dad to do this because he’ll eat whatever I’ll eat so I picked the egg. If you notice in the video, he has beads of sweat coming down his face. They cracked the egg open for us. Inside, it looked like a weird baby duck forming. They told us there were three steps. First, we had to drink the water from the egg. Then we ate the yolk and then the baby duck. Just to tell you, my dad was freaked out the whole time and complaining that his egg had more baby duck than mine! My mom took some video so you can see how freaked out he was.