Is it possible to travel to Asia without stopping by Vietnam? For many people, yes it is possible.  For me however, the answer would be no. It just won't be right to pass by the land where my parents came from, a land where my ancestors are still buried a home away from home.  Nothing much to do in Saigon except for the usual; eating, shopping and getting clothes tailored.  After a few days I headed south into the Mekong Delta. It was my uncle's death anniversary (đám giỗ) and we were treated to a feast!

Roasted pork with pandan bánh hỏi, duck curry, beef stir fried with fresh leek bulbs, and lotus rootlet salad with free ranged chicken.
 

After our lunch feast, it was a time for a stroll in the "back yard"....  look what I found!

They're called "trái dâu" in Vietnamese.  Does anyone know the English name?

 Fresh bamboo shoots...ummm...

 Fresh pandan leaves...they grow like weeds. Apparently, they are considered weeds, as no one plants or take cares of them...they just grow...

 Fresh durian, ready to be plucked from the tree and eaten....

And...yes they were plucked from the three and eaten.  Delicious!

 Lotus flowers, so beautiful and graceful!

Before heading back to Saigon we stopped for a bowl of Hủ Tiếu Mỹ Tho.  Rice noodles with pork, shrimp, and chives in a clear aromatic broth....


A few days later it was time to head to Laos.  My tour flew me from Saigon to Hue for breakfast.  Then from Hue we drove over to Laos.


Hum....what shall we have for breakfast in Hue?  Bún Bò Huế, of course!  Our tour guide took us to a local hole in the wall place on Lý Thường Kiệt street.  I have to say the Bún Bò Huế in Huế is very different from what I have had in Saigon or Seattle.  The broth is not as pungent of lemongrass and shrimp paste and the fresh veggie mix has different herbs in it.  Most noticeable is the addition for Rau Má.


After lunch we boarded the bus and headed for Lao Bảo, the Vietnamese/Laos border.  Before crossing we stopped for lunch.  
Links to this post