To visit a Vietnamese food market and restaurant like a local, we hired a local.  Turns out it was the right thing to do.  Who else could show us the legit places and also a safe restaurant to eat Pho (soup).

Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) is full of crazy traffic and that’s the only way to describe it. We arrived to the market where the locals shop each morning and buy foods to cook meals at home. Vegetables, meats, organs, chickens, seafood, tofu, and lots of containers of crabmeat. And frogs. Silly me, I thought it was a bag of avocados and you probably heard me shriek when the bag moved!

Restaurants serving Pho open early in the morning and people eat it for breakfast.  The broth simmers for 10 hours and tasted a bit sweet which is typical for the southern Vietnam region. Our guide made sure I had steamed bean sprouts instead of those on the table next to the pile of green herbs.  She explained my digestive system might not handle the raw ones too well. The pho was delicious and with a can of beer 333, it was a good way to start the day. The local people near us were happy as they slurped their pho and allowed me to take a picture as one person flashed me a sign.

I loved the Vietnamese coffee, it is very strong and one cup will keep you going for hours. Usually served over ice, it is flavored with sweet milk and delicious. Although, I wanted more of the freshly dripped coffee, I was able to limit myself to one cup.  The coffee would go well with this tower of Vietnamese breads. The tongs are at the top of this pyramid and just how does he do it?  Very fascinating!