Cutlery and condiments on every table - that's how it's done in many Asian countries. Great Vietnamese iced coffee.

Cutlery and condiments on every table - that's how it's done in many Asian countries. Great Vietnamese iced coffee.

Onde onde - small round balls of pandan flavoured gluntinous rice flour filled with palm sugar syrup rolled in grated coconut.

Onde onde - small round balls of pandan flavoured gluntinous rice flour filled with palm sugar syrup rolled in grated coconut.

I had to include this not only because it was one my most treasured books as a child but because the Vietnamese are not well known for their folklore which is a shame because they have some of the most enchanting tales of doomed love, kings, queens, fairies and farmers.

I had to include this not only because it was one my most treasured books as a child but because the Vietnamese are not well known for their folklore which is a shame because they have some of the most enchanting tales of doomed love, kings, queens, fairies and farmers.

Ruins of My Son Temple found in Hue, they are the remnants of a Hindu temple constructed between the 4th and 14th Century AD by the Kings of Champa (Chiem Thanh). It is suspected by archaeologists that the site may at one time been host to 70 temples. The deity of workship of this site was Shiva, known more commonly to the locals as Bhadresvara.

Ruins of My Son Temple found in Hue, they are the remnants of a Hindu temple constructed between the 4th and 14th Century AD by the Kings of Champa (Chiem Thanh). It is suspected by archaeologists that the site may at one time been host to 70 temples. The deity of workship of this site was Shiva, known more commonly to the locals as Bhadresvara.

My favourite feminists, the Trung sisters are considered legendary in Vietnamese history for leading the first rebellion against Chinese Imperialism for the first time in 247 years around 43AD. There are many different accounts on the defeat of the Trung sisters, in one version the sisters were outwitted by the Chinese who fought naked causing the sisters dishonour but it is more likely that their rebellion was suppressed by greater numbers leading to their suicide in the Hat River.

My favourite feminists, the Trung sisters are considered legendary in Vietnamese history for leading the first rebellion against Chinese Imperialism for the first time in 247 years around 43AD. There are many different accounts on the defeat of the Trung sisters, in one version the sisters were outwitted by the Chinese who fought naked causing the sisters dishonour but it is more likely that their rebellion was suppressed by greater numbers leading to their suicide in the Hat River.

French colonial era city hall building in downtown Ho Chi Minh City.

French colonial era city hall building in downtown Ho Chi Minh City.

French occupation of Vietnam lasting almost 100 years (1857-1954) has meant that there are a number of colonial style buildings found in Vietnam. Although the french culture is often regarded as being romantic, the effects of french colonial rule on the local Vietnamese were harsh because they were deprived of their rights to land and the economic benefits that would normally accrue from harvest.

French occupation of Vietnam lasting almost 100 years (1857-1954) has meant that there are a number of colonial style buildings found in Vietnam. Although the french culture is often regarded as being romantic, the effects of french colonial rule on the local Vietnamese were harsh because they were deprived of their rights to land and the economic benefits that would normally accrue from harvest.

Bun Bo Hue is also another beef soup though it originated in the mid-regions of Vietnam (hence the name Hue). Instead of star anise and cloves, this soup contains lemongrass, spring onion, beef shank and is served with rice vermicelli.

Bun Bo Hue is also another beef soup though it originated in the mid-regions of Vietnam (hence the name Hue). Instead of star anise and cloves, this soup contains lemongrass, spring onion, beef shank and is served with rice vermicelli.

Com Tam is a breakfast dish that is broken rice served with an assortment of side-dishes such as meatloaf, shredded pork, pickled veggies (typically radish and carrot), grilled pork and fried egg. Although it sounds like a heavy dish, given the portions are minute this dish is surprisingly satisfying in the tropical weather of Vietnam.  This dish originates from Southern Vietnam.

Com Tam is a breakfast dish that is broken rice served with an assortment of side-dishes such as meatloaf, shredded pork, pickled veggies (typically radish and carrot), grilled pork and fried egg. Although it sounds like a heavy dish, given the portions are minute this dish is surprisingly satisfying in the tropical weather of Vietnam. This dish originates from Southern Vietnam.

A beef noodle soup containing linguine shaped rice noodle that originated in Northern Vietnam.  Pho, is so distinctively different to other noodle soups is the diverse array of herbs and spices to give a flavoursome and full bodied soup.   Originally pho was a breakfast item but given its widespread popularity across the globe it is now considered a meal for any part of the day.

A beef noodle soup containing linguine shaped rice noodle that originated in Northern Vietnam. Pho, is so distinctively different to other noodle soups is the diverse array of herbs and spices to give a flavoursome and full bodied soup. Originally pho was a breakfast item but given its widespread popularity across the globe it is now considered a meal for any part of the day.

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