First ever Asian markets

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.

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Ladybird cycle helmets are a cute safety must while dried mushroom and spices spill out in all directions.

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Can Tho riverside markets are a riotous romp of activity, food is so fresh it scuttles out of the baskets after you!

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Rows of conical hatted women chatter as they haggle with tough customers.

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Zingy citrus fruits make your mouth water while tiny mushrooms are weighed up for a punter.

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New and untested produce pique the interest but are not always as tasty as they first appear!

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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

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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!!

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