Over the Christmas holidays last year, G and I traveled to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos with our friends Lisa and Philip. We saw beautiful temples, explored the overgrown wonder that is Angkor Wat, took a boat ride up the Mekong, strolled through the art galleries of Saigon, ate countless bowls of pho, slurped down many coconut frosties, and bought way more Cambodian silk than anyone has a right to. Among the trip's highlights were the many markets we visited. The gorgeous fresh produce, the delicious food being cooked on the spot, sparkling seafood on display and, yes, plenty of other, less appetizing things—like roasted roaches (Philip ate some and said they tasted like nuts), snakes on a stick and a few unidentifiable substances in varying states of decay.
We were pretty restrained about eating on the street like that, having picked up assorted parasites on other trips (and having all become violently ill on this one after eating the homemade paté de foie gras of a French expat at his tiny bistro in Siem Reap). But thanks to the fabulous Australian Luxe guides
we were turned on to a fantastic restaurant with branches in both Hanoi and Saigon. I think they were both called Quan An Ngon, but since the guide described them as being as big and packed as "Pam Anderson’s bra," that's how we referred to them.