I travelled to Vietnam in March last year (2011). It was an unexpected trip, very last minute really, tagged onto a trip to Thailand for a mates wedding.
Vietnam is beautiful. It is very clean. The streets are cleaned and maintained 24 hours a day. I was amazed at that it was kept so pristine with so many people living in and around Saigon. The people were extremely polite and very helpful. I don’t know if it was because we being driven around by a private driver every day but we felt safe as houses. One of the high lights was a trip to the Mekong River and to the war tunnels where we got to shoot M16’s, bloody AWESOME!
Every thing was cheap. Food was extremely cheap and the quality was second to none. Fresh fruits and vegetables that bring the markets with colour and abundance. The food was really interesting and the flavours were a lot “fresher” than I thought and lighter on the palate, not so heavy to get through when you’re eating it. The street food was good too, in fact some of the best food in general that I have tasted came from the streets of Vietnam. The best pho that I have ever tasted (which happens to be my favourite soup) came from Pho 2000, the most famous of all the pho shops. We also went to place that served only Banh Xeo, this wicked Vietnamese pancake that’s filled with stripped chicken, bean spruts and yellow lentils, served with fresh herbs and lettuce. The point is to strip a bit of the pancake off then wrap it in lettuces and Vietnamese herbs then you dip in Nuc Chum, a chilli and fish sauce dipper.
Vietnam is still on my travel list! I feel that I still haven’t seen enough of it to warrant it from being ticked off the bucket list. The North and middle of the country is supposed to be fabulous and I have not even tasted any where near as many dishes that I want. I am hoping Cambodia is also tagged along with that same trip, I have a huge fascination with Cambodian food!