Vietnamese cuisine with its refreshing flavours, citrus hits and use of distinctive herbs and warm spices is one that’ll shake up your taste-buds. With its careful use of oil it’s also one of the healthiest. The mere thought of succulent lemon grass chicken, green papaya salad or crisp spring rolls stuffed with minced pork, ginger and Thai basil starts me salivating. Not only does it taste amazing it looks good too. The food pops with colour – think fresh green herbs, blushing-pink prawns and scarlet-red chillies against a backdrop of pale, fluffy rice. It’s simple, yet sophisticated, vibrant yet subtle.
We’d done the local sightseeing in Mui Ne; the Fairy Stream, the dunes and the fishing village. We’d spent hours mesmerised by the kite-surfers and we’d kicked-back and chilled on the long sandy beach. So what to do next? Now this may surprise you but on our third day in Mui Ne we took up our clubs and played a round of golf at Sea Links Golf and Country Club in Ham Tien.
Mui Ne with its temperate micro-climate and 6k stretch of golden sand is Vietnam’s kite-surfing central and adrenalin hub. Surf’s up most days and although that brings with it a breeze its cooling and refreshing under a hot sun and vivid blue skies. Perfect for a kite-surfing or surfing holiday. The fishing village at the end of the bay is authentic and colourful which means there’s also a surplus of fresh seafood and there’s some unusual sightseeing nearby too.
Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City as it’s officially known, is the largest city in Vietnam with many visitors flying into the city before moving on to explore other parts of the country like Hoi An, Hue or Hanoi. It’s a city of modern high-rise buildings, traditional Vietnamese tube houses and French Colonial architecture. You’ll find street-food, Pho stalls and high-end eateries, parks, markets and shopping malls. Here’re my tips on what to see in Saigon and how to get the best out of 48 hours in this frenetic city. But first you need to know about the traffic….
In Hoi An town at full moon the town celebrates. All the electric lights are switched off and softly coloured lanterns cast magical shadows in the narrow streets. Candles are lit and cast into the river along with wishes and prayers and set sail into the night flickering in their small paper cups. A gentle glow radiates through Hoi An…
This post is part of Ailsa’s Travel Theme – Light
A typical sight in rural villages all over Vietnam is a person wearing a traditional conical nón lá hat (leaf hat). Worn to protect the wearer from both the sun and rain they are hand-made from palm leaves. There are other Asian versions of the hat but the Vietnamese forms the most perfectly circular cone which tapers smoothly from base to tip.
In some parts of the country the hat is called a nón bai tho (poem hat) where lines of verse are romantically inscribed inside the hat and can be seen only when held up to the sunlight.
When I see an image like this I know immediately from the nón lá that it’s set in Vietnam and this is why I’ve chosen it as my entry to The Departure Board’s Picture the World photography project.
Picture the World
Thanks to Kat from Travel with Kat for nominating me to submit a photograph from Vietnam to The Departure Board’s Picture the World photography collection.
I’d like to nominate Tricia from Tricia A Mitchell with her lovely images of India and Madhu whose fabulous photographs can be found on her site The Urge to Wander. You don’t need to be nominated to take part; just visit Picture the World and see what countries don’t yet have an image partnered to them. Instructions on how to enter are all on the page and please do share any images you submit.
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