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Vietnam's cuisine is full of sensual flavours, subtle aromas and super-fresh ingredients. Bla hoi (beer) is the new tea, but in the mountains it is all about xeo (rice wine), medicine to the minorities.
1 Bia hoi The world's cheapest draught beer keeps on flowing
2 Ca phe Caffe ine cravers unite, Vietnam's coffee has a real kick
3 Cao lau Hoi An's answer to fried noodles, made with water from a well
4 Nem Spring rolls are the country's most famous export, fried or fresh
5 Nuoc mam Fermented fish sauce, the stinky secret of Vietnamese cuisine
6 Pho bo Rice-noodle soup w ith beef, the meal that built a nation
7 Rau muong Just the thing on a glorious morn ing, with a dash of garlic and
8 Thit cho Dog lover has a whole d ifferent mean ing in this part of the world
9 333 Bo bo ba, learn to count w ith the lead ing local beer in the south
10 Xeo The local firewater, particularly potent Is the 'five t imes a night ' variety
In a similar v ein is Ten Years After (1987) by Tim Page. This impr essive book boasts '12-months' worth of photos taken 10 years aft er the war '. The author also return ed to Vietnam to write Derailed in Uncle Ho's Victory Garden (1995), the story of his qu est to erect a wall m emorial in the Demilitariz ed Zone (DMZ) to hono ur th e fa llen war correspondents on all sid es. A Dragon Apparent (1952) is Norman Lewis ' fascinating account of his journ eys through Vietnam, Laos and Cam bod ia in 1950, and is a good insight in to the last days of French rule. Karin Muller'sHitchhiking Vietnam (1998) is a trave logue detailing one woman's tumultuous seven-month journey through Vietnam. Part memoir and part travel narrative .Catfish and Mandala (1999) is Vi etnamese-Am erican Andrew X Pham's fascinating account of his escape from the war-torn Vietnam of 1977 and his subsequent return two decades later, equipped with a bicycle and a need to work out his mixed-up cultural identity.The ultimat e spoof guidebook, Phaic Tan: Sunstroke on a Sho estring (2004) makes fun of us all. No-one is spared, not the locals, not the travele rs, not even hallow ed guidebook authors. An absolute must for anyone travelling through Vietnam and the region beyond.