A couple of months ago back in dreary February, I decided it was time to ditch the dark and miserable British winter, and jet off to Vietnam. Having already been to Thailand, i’d been bitten by the travelling bug and was itching to return to South East Asia. Vietnam was a place that I had been longing to visit, and luckily, so had my friend Bec!
So, off we ran to Heathrow on a wet Wednesday afternoon for an action packed Asian adventure ahead of us. Neither of us had taken a gap year, so for 10 long days we could pretend that we were care free travellers and leave London life behind us.
Neither of us were prepared for madness that awaited. Within ten minutes of being in Hanoi, we soon realised that absolutely everything was transported on the back of a bicycle. Even goldfish, apparently!
And candy floss…
Food is such an integral part of Vietnamese life, and every corner we turned we were faced with yet another row of market stalls.
Women sat with baskets of herbs which locals bought to make their ‘Pho’ (their national dish of noodle soup, which is absolutely delicious!).
My favourite food market was in the village of Hoi An. It was an overwhelming array of smells and sounds, and so lovely to see such fresh and unusual products.
Chilli’s, spring onions and courgettes were a key theme at every stall.
The food in Vietnam was some of the best I have ever tasted. Even though most of the time we were sat eating crouched next to a dirty road, it was all just so fresh and tasty and served by the most smiley, friendly people I have ever come across. On our first night, we arrived in the late evening and blindly stumbled into the busy streets in search of some local food. We wound up at a small roadside stall with what looked like miniature BBQ’s where you could cook your own food. We pointed at another couple’s BBQ, gave the thumbs up and nodded lots, and crossed our fingers that we too would end up with a mini BBQ of our own. We could not help but be distracted by the sign next to us, and prayed to God that we had ordered ‘Beef steak’ and not ‘Pigeon Fried’.
Whatever it was, it was delicious and we hungrily ate the lot. All in all our first dining experience in Vietnam was an excellent one, and throughout our trip it just got better and better…
Vietnam, i’ll be back!