Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
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Approximately 5 Hours
This is your chance to discover part of what makes Vietnam tick with a glimpse into local herbal medicine and the culture of street food. Begin with a visit to the Vietnamese Herbal Medicine FITO Museum. The philosophy here is that medical treatment (whether herbal or scientific) is made more effective if it is undertaken in concert with a healing diet of healthy food.
Perhaps not quite as health-oriented, but nonetheless delicious, the fare found on the famous Saigon Street Food Market also offers an insight into how live and eat like a local. Stroll with your guide and listen to his/her fascinating explanation of the Vietnamese diet and the availability of various staple and unusual (to the Western palate) foods.
Head to the large marketplace in central Ho Chi Minh City -- the Ben Thanh (Saigon) Market. Ben Thanh is best known as the place for finding genuine, down-home Vietnamese food. A number of vendors and food stalls in the market's food section offer dishes freshly made to the order. Various local dishes can be purchased here, including Vietnamese pan cake (Banh Xeo), fresh spring rolls (Goi Cuon), Hue cakes (Banh beo) and Vietnamese noodle soup (Pho). Chef Gordon Ramsey visited the market when he filmed a television show here in Vietnam.
Ngon Restaurant offers an extensive menu of foods gathered from the North to the South. The concept behind the restaurant was to bring together many different street vendors under one roof. They produce, in a compact venue, a range of classic Vietnamese dishes from all around the country with the flair, independence and simplicity of the impressive local street fare.
Lunch is served after your experience at the food stalls. Feel free to participate in the demonstrations along with the local chefs at some of the food counters.
Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes.