In this series, I share the little moments and special people I’ve encountered during my time in Vietnam and in Cambodia. Often these were captured on my mobile phone, sometimes supplemented with a Vine App video or a photo on my camera.
You can view them all on my Instagram account – come say hello and show me what’s happening in your world too!
A compilation of moments and the faces that brought them, as we travelled through Vietnam this June. I’ll update as I continue to post #latergrams on Instagram. The first and second post can be found here (Meet Ms Thao, Hanoi) and here (Blue eyed mushroom vendor, Hue)
In the Cai Be village along the Mekong delta, this woman makes her famous duck soup everyday – she rears the ducks and makes the slightly thicker noodles by hand every morning. Looking back now, we should have stopped for a taste.
This man sells green guava with dipping salt and fermented shrimp paste, cigarettes and a wide variety of….condoms! All the essentials? Night time street eats in Can Tho.
Mangosteen seller with beautifully decorated basket in Hanoi. She sold me my first taste of the fruit. I was on a full day street eats exploration at the start of the trip to Vietnam with Mark Lowerson who runs the blog Sticky Rice and has been pounding the pavements, eating with the locals and sharing the joys of Hanoian cuisine with English speaking visitors for years. Mark knows where to find some of the best versions of local dishes, and while everyone has a favourite, his were pretty delicious. I had a hard time finding better during the rest of my trip through Vietnam. Even the mangosteens that rode around in the storage box in his motorbike for the duration of our tour, were some of the most delicious I’d eaten. Something about the first time? *adapted from my Instagram post*
Tropical paradise – a vendor taking a nap during the quiet period after lunch. At the Thi Nghe market across the canal in District 1, Saigon we found ourselves shopping with the locals, pointing to translated words on our phones for rice flour, palm sugar, sticky rice and such. No English was spoken but we enjoyed the interaction with the vendors and shopping for pristine ingredients that we cooked and ate in our nearby apartment. The pomelos were far from cheap, R45 – R50 a kilo and each weighing around a kilo and a half, but so good in a lemongrass chilli beef salad. *adapted from Instagram post)
Saigon, 7 30am. We’re half an hour late. All the coffee shops around our place are packed with caffeine hunters. Perhaps it’s the morning ritual here, go out for coffee and a bit of sanity before the rush of the day starts. We’re headed to district 4. To eat with the morning crowd, and to observe
Sophie Hughes is fascinated by Vietnamese art history. So much so that this former film producer has made it her living. After years of living in Saigon, speaking to the artists old and young and endless research she has pieced together a synopsis of the art history spanning four distinct periods and over four hours she discusses and shows off the highlights at various galleries. It’s a fascinating way to explore Vietnam’s art , political and social history through the decades. Sophie represents one of the many faces of modern day Vietnam. *adapted from Instagram post*
I hadn’t intended to buy any other meat from the market that day. I had just selected some chicken, conveniently chopped up by the vendor using a heavy cleaver, tiger prawns and bags of fruit and vegetables. She motioned to me and pointed to her chopping board, a friendly smile on her face. Who did she remind me of, I stopped and sifted through the memory banks. In less than a minute she cut me four thick slices and I asked her to mince it. Well, I motioned to the mincer on the side. It would go perfectly with the thiên ly blossoms I’d just picked, stir fried with shallot, garlic, maybe a little minced lemongrass. I came back before we left and she smiled so warmly as I took a pic, asking to see the image on the phone. She gave a pleased nod of approval. I have come to love this little market at the edge of District 1.
The mielie lady 😉 Grilled corn, sweet potato and cassava cakes in Can Tho last night.
J’s new BF. She recognised us from this morning’s market tour, we had promised to return. Friendly bargaining between these two ensued while I exchanged a few laughs with her vendor neighbours
Learned today that the market shopper is often the highest paid employee. It takes skill and is a daily if not twice a day labour. A recipe depends heavily on availability of the freshest ingredients, especially the herbs in Vietnamese cooking. At market in Hoi An.
Here’s a little video summary of my Vines for some of this period: