Dec 4, 2012

Eating in Vietnam Part 1

I have slowly started trawling through the 1000+ photos I took in Vietnam and will be sharing more with you soon. Turns out I took so many photos of food in Vietnam I will have to do this post in 2 parts – Vietnam is a foodie paradise after all!

Fresh tropical fruit is in abundance and regularly served after meals. Here is a plate of rambutans I snacked on.

Little bananas being sold from a street cart in Ho Chi Minh

Dragon fruit at a local market in Ho Chi Minh

Meals were simple and small in rural areas. This was my lunch enroute to the Mekong Delta and I was starving within an hour!

I sampled some snake wine in the Mekong. It is produced by infusing whole snakes in rice wine and tastes, um, snakey.

Delicious homemade springrolls from my homestay host.

I came across these ladies sorting fruit in a village in the Mekong Delta. They kept giggling and staring at me and my translator informed me they thought I looked like a doll and they liked my nose. Also, would I like to spend my life working with them, sorting fruit? I politely declined.

On a side note, everyone squats here. They must have thighs on steal! I only had to use a squat toilet once and 30 seconds in the position had me whimpering.

I visited a candy factory in the Mekong where they produced all sorts of Vietnamese treats. First they demonstrated splitting the coconut and extracting it’s milk. This would then be used in a coconut caramel.

Rice was cooked over a high heat in what looked like a giant wok until puffed.

The puffed rice was then mixed with a flavouring (coconut caramel or savoury) and pressed out flat onto a board to cut up.

The ladies then wrapped up the puffed rice squares for sale.

Finished treats ready to be sampled. Delicious!

I also watched a lady making rice paper wraps, a fiddly process that she made look effortless.

I ate stir fried Morning Glory with nearly every meal – so fresh and delicious!

You can’t visit Vietnam without many bowls of delicious Pho.

Wandering through local markets in any Vietnamese city is always fascinating. Here we have all the garlic and onions you could ever want.

Dried starfish. I am not sure if they eat these, but can’t help but think they would make a pretty (albeit stinky) Christmas tree ornament.

The markets are often an assault on the senses, particularly when you hate the smell of fish. Let alone dried prawns that have been sitting in the sun all day.

Pufferfish! Another addition to my fishy Christmas tree?

I stumbled upon a delicious looking feast at a temple, perhaps this is laid out for the monks?

At a fishing village near Nha Trang I saw a darling little girl frying quail eggs in a mini pan. Heart melted.

And as we took the boat back to Nha Trang we were presented with a great spread to feast on full of spring rolls, freshly caught seafood and veges.

I hope you enjoyed some of these Vietnamese foodie highlights, stay tuned for part 2 !

12 Comments

  • Gosh these made me drool!
    Great photos!

    • Thanks Jason! I cannot wait to go back (and eat more).

  • Wow, looks like you had a delicious trip! This makes me even more excited about my first visit to Vietnam next year

    • You will have an amazing time Tara! Very jealous x

  • Oh wow, this is amazing! I love that those ladies thought you looked like a doll! :) And that little girl frying eggs… so cute. Looks like the food was amazing. Not so sure about the snake wine though :P

    • Haha the snake wine was a bit traumatising! And then I got to meet the snake’s (live) friend. Argh!!

  • Great pics!
    I can’t believe you don’t want to sort fruit all day?? You want have any advancement on the marketplace career ladder with that attitude!
    I look forward to seeing your pufferfish/starfish fishy Christmas tree.

    • Haha maybe I should have thrown design in and led a simple fruit sorting life. I think you’ll smell my fishy Christmas tree before you see it ;)

  • Love, love, LOVE your photos, you’ve captured such a vibrant food culture so beautifully! Also you are crazy brave for getting into that snake wine. Just looking at it is making me… uhhh uneasy to say the least.

    • Thank you Alana! Means a lot coming from a fabulous photographer such as yourself. The snake wine was very unsettling!!

  • Absolutely stunning photos Swah! Such a visual feast .. I love that little girl frying eggs, heehee.
    So jealous of all that amazing fresh fruit and produce there – south east asia has the best fruit!
    And snake wine?? How was that?? Looks like it was such a wonderful trip!

    • The fruit was amazing and such a great way to end a meal! And a much healthier alternative to chocolate ;)

      The snake wine was so alcoholic, all I could taste was burning hahaah!!

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