Hekou:  Eating Cheap and Local-11403

Where to Eat in Hekou, China

Hekou is a typical border town.   There are a good selection of hotels of varying sizes and prices  and several that you can book ahead of time.   There’s also a reasonable number of places to eat, but you’re going to go local to eat in Hekou.  You left all the westernized joints behind when you crossed the border from Vietnam.

That said, there is a Dico’s, which promised chicken burgers and fries and a frozen yoghurt place.

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Places to Eat in Hekou

There are lots of small plastic chair places to eat near the market.  If you walk straight on from the immigration offices, you’ll find it off to the right.  There’s also a street of small plastic chair restaurants nearby with a specialty of insects and bugs. The staff were most keen to tempt us to eat something. Nothing doing. There’s plenty of other stuff to eat first for me at least, despite what the World Health Organization might think.

Eat Insects in Hekou

Eat Local in Hekou

We picked a busy spot on the corner of BINHE LU near the border. There wasn’t another westerner in sight, so we watched how it worked for a while and then dived in.  We did have to work at being served, I’m sure they were more frightened of us that we were of them!

Local Eating Spot Hekou

First of all you pick what food you want. All the food is displayed on a couple of tables, and it’s all on wooden sticks. So a mushroom is speared onto a stick, so are pieces of spinach, tofu, small pork sausages and so on. You put your selected food into a plastic basket that they give you. If you want rice or noodles, then you need to let them know that (and how many portions), which is where hand signals come in handy. Hand it all over to the cook and then you find a seat and wait.

Select your Food

There was a queue of 10 baskets when we added ours to the pile  We ordered our two portions of noodles (in retrospect, one would have done).  A couple of beers and two bottles of water kept us busy until our food arrived.

Put your food in a basket
Meat/Tofu Selection

There are several large metal cauldrons, or metal buckets, filled with some type of broth, simmering away. Your basket of foodstuff is emptied into the cauldron, in the relevant order for cooking, while still on the sticks.  The sticks are removed throughout the cooking. It’s all remarkably quick.

Bubbling Broth

Your noodles are added to a metal sieve on the side and then when it’s all done, its dumped into a large metal bowl.  Then its handed off to another member of staff.

Too Many Cooks...

It’s then taken to the spice and condiment table.  Its here that a spoonful or more of a variety of spices and chili and other gorgeous looking, fabulous smelling concoctions are added to your bowl. A handful of herbs are added to the top and it’s all yours!

Spicing it Up

Delicious. If we’d been able to communicate we would have asked for a tad more spice and heat, but it was still really good. Really good to the tune of 40 Yuan. That’s about 4 GBP, or US $6.00.

Noodles, Tofu in Hekou
Counting the Sticks to Add up the Bill

Perfect. Now we’re to tackle those stairs to the seventh floor again to the Hua Yua Hotel , because we’re off to the rice fields of Yuangyang tomorrow.

Hotels in Hekou

There are lots of hotels in Hekou within easy reach of the immigration building. Be sure of your accommodation in Hekou and book ahead. The Chinese site Trip is great for booking accommodation in China and has more choice than other sites.

Hekou Accommodation Recommendations

Hekou International Apartment

Great location close to the border. No English speaking staff, but a 24 hour front desk and free wifi in designated areas. Big rooms and free cancellation. Check out prices and book your room now

Helen No. 1 Hotel

Superb location, free in room wifi and 24 hour front desk. Fabulous rooms. Get the best rate for your room now.

Asia Theme Hotel

Free in room wifi, 4 hour front desk and an entire NON SMOKING FLOOR! Secure your room now

Resources:

Travel Tips for Exploring China

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