My trip to South Vietnam in 2008 marked the start of my love affair with Asia and all its quirky delights. It’s also the first place I encountered some of the cavernous trade markets with their endless produce for sale that I grew to adore.
In Ho Chi Minh the Bin Thay market is a cavernous labyrinth of stalls. It’s not a tourist market, it’s mainly wholesale and all geared towards other traders.
Ladybird cycle helmets are a cute safety must while dried mushroom and spices spill out in all directions.
Can Tho riverside markets are a riotous romp of activity, food is so fresh it scuttles out of the baskets after you!
Rows of conical hatted women chatter as they haggle with tough customers.
Zingy citrus fruits make your mouth water while tiny mushrooms are weighed up for a punter.
New and untested produce pique the interest but are not always as tasty as they first appear!
Above these warty looking things could be Bitter Melon. Also known as Ampalaya or Balsom Pear. Alternatively they might be bitter gourds . .
Here are some tiny pink rambutan. The name comes from the Malay language word for rambut or “hair”, a reference to the numerous hairy protuberances of the fruit.
In Vietnam however it’s called chôm chôm (meaning “messy hair”) due to the spines covering the fruit’s skin
From the vivid colours of the exotic looking (but rather bland tasting) dragon fruit to the bunches of lemon grass and other herbs it all makes our supermarkets look a little bit tame!!