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Considering a trip to Vietnam: food itinerary help

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Hi, Guys

I'm tentatively planning a trip to Vietnam. This choice is guided mainly by how much I enjoy Vietnamese food, and a desire to explore SE Asia more after a really wonderful trip to Thailand three years ago. The little research I've done has shown me how little I know about the sheer breadth and depth of Vietnamese culture and food! Basically, from a Chowhound perspective, where should a total novice go in Vietnam to get a good intro to the food, which obviously varies from place to place? I'd have about two weeks, or a little longer.

My research also shows that Vietnam's climate changes from region to region, so I need to know where I should go in order to figure out if early December is a good or bad time for a trip, based on the weather. Any thoughts on that welcome, too!

Thanks.

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  1. I would definitely include Saigon, Hue, and Hanoi--eating in different restaurants, markets, and street food.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

      Although when I worked off and on in Vietnam, I really, really liked the Mekong Delta and the south: from Saigon to Cahn Tho to Nha Trang and anywhere in the Delta itself. Magical.

      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

        Hi Sam. Thanks for those suggestions. Is there a best time of year to visit the south of Vietnam, in your mind? I can only really go in the beginning of December, so I'm trying to decide whether I should then, or put the trip off until next year, when I might have more flexibility. Thanks.

        1. re: Gooseberry

          Fine time of the year in Vietnam. Go and enjoy.

    2. I was just there in November of last year and really enjoyed it. I was in Hanoi and also went to Halong Bay. If you go to Hanoi check out a place called Thanh Dao in Le Mat which is in the North side of Hanoi I believe. They serve cobra. I originally wanted to eat it because of the shock value but was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. I would definitely eat there again.

      1. The weather in December could be nice and sunny or wet, cold and blustery. I suggest starting off in Saigon. Check out Chefmoz for restaurants:
        http://chefmoz.org/Vietnam/