Postcard from Saigon, Vietnam

Travelling in Vietnam is a feast for the senses!  Have you noticed how the country is shaped like a don ganh, the traditional bamboo pole slung over the shoulder with a basket of rice hanging from each end?  With rice and nuoc mam cham, the ubiquitous dipping sauce, the Vietnamese will never go hungry!

There was so much to grab your attention in Hanoi. I can definitely recommend hopping into one of the new electric cars that whizz you from place to place around the Old Quarter. It was so unexpected to see sacred temples and pagodas amongst the bustle of everyday life.

I am now in Saigon having been on the 30 hour bus journey south, passing through amazing countryside – fertile and jade-green in the lazy heat and bursts of tropical rain.  In the north I was eating pounded shrimp wrapped around sugar cane stalks and snails the size of ping-pong balls cooked in beer and washed down with lotus-scented tea. Now I’m trying all the spicy street food sizzling in the Saigon stalls. You can find everything here from avocados, white strawberries and tropical fruits to the Chinese-inspired noodle soup, pho, and plump prawns stir-fried with fragrant lemongrass, all served with a French-style baguette! I am discovering so many delicious vegetarian dishes that I can’t resist sending you some recipes….