BANH MI PATE, HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM

After months of Thai cuisine and sweet bread, the French influence and baguettes on the Vietnamese food scene sent the two of us foodies into overdrive. It’s hard to find a single street not adorned with pâté stands and you can suss out the best and the freshest by the longest queues. Their traditional pâté baguette also encompasses sliced meats, Asian vegetables, soy sauce and mayonnaise (but you can mix and match to suit your palette!). Don’t be put off by the meats in the window, these are usually just for show and when it comes to making your order, the chef will produce fresh, cooled ingredients.

'Bánh mì' - Vietnamese for 'bread'

‘Bánh mì’ – Vietnamese for ‘bread’

At under $1 each the staff soon new our order by heart, slightly embarrassing…

Charlotte & Sarah

THE VIETCONG TUNNELS

Having studied the Vietnam War at school and being a couple of geeks in general, we were extremely excited to see the Vietcong tunnels – though having been so disturbed by the Killing Fields in Cambodia, we were slightly more hesitant than we might otherwise have been to learn more about the aftermaths of war and the impact on the countries involved.

Vietcong replica tunnels

Very hot and sweaty in a ‘larger’ replica of the Vietcong tunnels

As the Vietcong were living in their enemy’s territory, they had to live underground and built an entire and extensive underground community – some people living down there for as long as 27 years. There were kitchens, bedrooms and even maternity wards.

Our tour guide (nicknamed ‘Jackie Chan’ years ago by the Americans) had been a translator for the Americans and so after the war, the opposing side winning with the Fall of Saigon, he was arrested and spent two years in prison, where he had to collect up and dispose of mines which the Americans had dropped but which had failed to detonate. Apparently Vietnam won’t be clear of all the mines for 100 years after the war ended.

Vietcong tunnel tour guide

Jackie showing us the entrance to a genuine Vietcong tunnel

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