It’s my second birthday in Vietnam this week and it’s always special. It’s special because I am spending it in the place I was born. Although, it’s just another day for me. I woke up in the morning with my love giving me a big hug and kiss, that is the best gift ever. I ask for nothing more…
Where we are today, is our home in Vietnam. Even though it’s the craziest street ever, we’ve grown to love it. I am very disappointed at myself for not learning more Vietnamese, it’s still so broken it’s embarrassing most times and I’ve been forgiven with a smile.
There are a lot of things I still have to learn about my own country. It can’t be found in TripAdvisor forum or any other posts I’ve seen on the internet. Most of them are written for the tourists and backpackers point of view. So, I would explore some answers to a lot of my questions.
I wrote this last night after our little 3-course street food dinner take away trip down our street.
“Take Away Dinner by Bicycle at Huynh Tan Phat Street”
It’s rush hour now in HCMC. We rode our bicycle clockwise from our apartment rushing through traffic. It’s really busy out there! Hunny just told me that we had a little street food tour in our neighborhood. There sure was a lot of them outside and I can feel the energy on the road. We rode the Main Street then turning right and it looks like the once dirt lot by the river turned into some kind of children’s open garden. There were a lot of vegetable plants and beautiful set up of a garden. It doesn’t look quite open yet and I look forward to visiting it in the future. They’ve also cleaned a lot of the sections right by the river making it more open. The river is quite high today.
There is a smaller road for motorbikes and bicycles separated by a divider to all the big honking trucks. Although the road goes one direction, we had to watch out for motorbikes and bicycles going the wrong direction. Also, motorbikes don’t look before getting on the road from a side road, gotta watch those.
There are a lot of open lot restaurants as we curve around to go back to our street. There are a few seafood, snails and BBQ restaurants getting ready to serve. These restaurants only open at night time. We got back on our street and slowed down to check out what’s interesting. Lots of interesting kinds of Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwich), Bun Rieu (Tomato Crab Soup), Sup Ca (another Crab soup), Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Crepes) and all sorts of fruits and vegetables. There is a small milk store that a lot of ladies with children on their motorbikes stop by to grab milk products.
I am trying to figure out the types of food sold in the streets for breakfast, lunch and dinner – there is a common theme…more on that once I figure it out.
Every vendor is a drive thru here. You see what you like, you stop on motorbikes, bicycles or even cars then pick it up. The vendors are VERY fast in putting together the “take away” food! First stop is Che or Vietnamese dessert. I got some yam rice and black eyed peas topped with coconut milk as “take away.” Next stop is Banh Mi Heo Quay, our go to place for sandwich. It’s the kind we like, just roasted pork with crunchy skin, cucumber, cilantro, chili and a soak of the drippings from the roasted pork. Also, “take away.”
Finally, we stopped at the spring roll or Goi Cuon lady. We’ve eaten there before and I never seem to get away from her. Her Goi Cuon are not the best but I’ve watched her make it and I’ve made spring rolls before – it take time to prep. She’s got all her pig’s ears, shrimps, vegetables and rice paper all ready for her to keep the spring rolls going. There are two small table seatings so you can also eat on site. Doug ordered 6. She looked at me and said, “it’s been a long time…” in Vietnamese. I said, yes, it’s been a while. She remembered us from last year.
Almost all of the Vietnamese food I’ve eaten in my life requires a lot of work specially the soup. I can’t imagine the amount of time it takes to make the food let alone transport it to the location of where they sell it. Yeah, a lot of them might not be the greatest but these vendors are there feeding the masses and it’s affordable for a lot of locals. As far as for us, food is food and it feeds us. I just wish we had bigger stomachs!
2 Banh Mi Heo Quay, 24K dong
6 Goi Cuon (Spring Rolls), 30k dong
4 Che desserts 👍, 20k dong
All for 74k dong which is $3.38, dinner for two people. We were full and satisfied.