Vietnam does not have a wealth of historic buildings or ancient palaces – after years of successive invasions and conflicts there was never much time or spare capacity for Vietnamese people to erect monuments. It seems because of this much of Vietnamese culture is highly portable – and usually strapped to a scooter. The cultural expression is less in bricks and mortar and found more in languages, hair styles and, above all, food.
We leave Vietnam in a few days and aside from the great people, changing landscape and hair-raising street crossings – the thing I will miss most and remember Vietnam for is the glorious food.
Apparently simple dishes that are subtly complex, combinations of influences wrapped together in a flash and every pavement packed with people on plastic stools eating and meeting at steaming micro-restaurants.
So, to celebrate here are just some of my favourite edible monuments of Vietnam …