Colonel Sanders in Saigon

Guest Post by Martyn Barmby

Why would you fly 6,000 miles to Vietnam to eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken?  Twice actually: once successfully and once with the bathetic failure of vegetarian falafel.

It’s not that I dislike Vietnamese food; I love it.  Nor is it that I lost patience with my badly wrapped Banh Xeos (“I would not smoke it, never mind eat it” was the withering review of my efforts).  It is not even the repeated faux pas of mixing the wrong sauce with each gorgeous parcel of fish, vegetables and the most fragrant herbs.  It is more about friendship with a dash of nostalgia and maybe a dipping sauce of stubbornness.

Uncle Cake encounters his first Banh Xeo one hour into the weekend

Encountering my first Banh Xeo one hour after arriving in Saigon

After what might technically count as a long weekend in Saigon I got a second taste of what our dear friends love about the place.  Although crossing the road in itself is as fun as going on your average roller coaster, Tim Bishop tours laid on a number of special experiences. Continue reading

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Saigon by Vespa

We’ve had some friends in town recently – Sarah and Manjit – and took them out to experience the sights and sounds Saigon has to offer, on the back of vintage Vespas

 “Vietnam Vespa Adventures” is the brain child of Steve Mueller, a guy as equally fanatical with the bikes themselves as much as he is with the country in which he has now resided for thirteen years.  Steve’s website offers some useful history on the noble Vespa (the Italian word for “Wasp” – I’ll give you that one for free) and his company’s aim is to provide clients with a perspective on Vietnam otherwise unavailable to the average tourist. Continue reading