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Ha Tien

Eat and meet

Ha Tien

Ha Tien has a limited choice of dining options, though you can still eat well. The town's specialty is, as you might expect, seafood. Restaurants are limited, so to keep some variety in your meals, you'll likely have to eat off the street.

For a caffeine fix, head down to the river to Thuy Thien, a floating coffee shop. Seating is in cane chairs on a shaded veranda around the barge, the perfect place to look out over nearby Dong Ho. Though those prone to seasickness might not appreciate the cafe's subtle rocking, it's a chilled spot for a morning coffee, and a great spot for watching activity on the river.

The town's most popular restaurant is Hai Van, an airy eatery on the riverfront (affiliated with, but not located in, the Hai Van hotel). It's a simple place, but has a great view over the river, and they serve a decent variety of Vietnamese dishes, with a focus on seafood. The sour fish and tamarind soup is a specialty of southern Vietnam, and their version is delicious. They also serve a tasty breakfast with crunchy baguettes in the AM hours. Nearby Xuan Thanh is also a reliable option -- with chrome chairs and bare walls, the setting isn't quite as enticing, but the food is just as good.

Otherwise, Ha Tien has a decent range of simple stands and rice shops for more casual dining. Riverside Tran Hau is always good for browsing, with stands offering iced tea, steamed buns, or fresh fruit at any time of the day. In the evenings, the street becomes a busy night market, where you can sit down at a chrome table and sample grilled seafood and tasty fruit shakes. Keep an eye out for dessert stands selling a local variety of coconut -- slivers of the tender coconut flesh are served over ice.

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