southeast asia.

There are many ways to visit a place. This time, for our trip to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, we went with the lens of street food. Though we spent most of our trip exploring this deliciousness (stopping for the occasional temple, and to gawk, open mouthed, at what the Vietnamese can balance on a moped), we return knowing we tasted and tried only a small sample of what these countries have to offer. Let’s just say that street food infrastructure we witnessed puts New York to shame.

After a bit of a trip shuffle, we ended up in Vietnam in the weeks and days leading up to Tet, or the Lunar New Year, and then in Bangkok for the actual celebration. Tet is the most important holiday in the Vietnamese calendar, and even two days before its start some of the places we wished to try in Hanoi had already closed for the holiday. Experiencing the build up, however, is magical: the streets fill with flower markets, and kumquat tree vendors (which are like Western Christmas Trees) pop up on every corner. Beautifully wrapped packages of Bánh chưng appear at the markets, along side coconut candy and peanut brittle. There’s an excitement, a sense of anticipation that even we could feel, as visitors. And then to experience Yaowarat, Bangkok’s Chinatown, for Chinese New Year is not to be missed.

It’s hard to capture the texture of these incredible places, but here is a small recap of things eaten and experienced.

Siem Reap and Angkor Wat (Cambodia)

Ho Chi Minh City (Vietman)

Hoi An (Vietman)

Hanoi (Vietman)

Bangkok (Thailand)

 

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