From itchy feet to a happy stomach – Myanmar – Part I: A Taste of Heaven

The first time I visited Myanmar was a year ago when I stayed in Yangon and traveled to Kyaikhteeyoe, the place with the landmark rock pagoda. I don’t know why and how but I just fell in love with the atmosphere and the warmth of the people there. Yangon, more like a town than a city, carries with it a peaceful vibe with people strolling around in longyis (it seems odd to me at first and then I realized that it is a perfect thing to wear on a summer day). Occasionally you will see girls holding flowers walking in groups on the way to pagodas to pay respect and young monks playing and laughing so happily on the street.

This time round, my destinations were Bagan – a place famous for its thousands of pagodas – and Taungyi – the capital city of Shan state known for its rich cultural heritage and food diversity. It was an amazing trip with endless breathtaking scenery along the road, interesting new friends and friendly warm random strangers.

And of course, I do travel for the food. Continue reading

Bánh bột – My childhood favorite

Boc boc boc…that sound keeps playing on my mind whenever I remember my mom at the stove stirring and stirring continuously, preparing bánh bột (savory coconut cake).

A family rooted in Bến Tre where there is an abundant supply of coconut, we’ve always had this crazy love for the wonder fruit. We make no excuse to let coconut make its way into our cooking: fish sauce made with the juice instead of plain water gives it a natural sweet taste while the milk in chè (sweet soup) acts a flavor enhancer. When it comes to bánh bột, coconut milk is absolutely a must. Continue reading