Without an H

Photography from south-east Asia by Jon Sanwell

Banh cuon ladies of Ha Giang

banh-cuon-ladiesThis is my quick photographic tribute to the splendid banh cuon ladies of Ha Giang province. These four women provided me with breakfast in (clockwise from top left) Meo Vac, Dong Van, Yen Minh and Ha Giang City.

Banh cuon (apologies for the lack of the proper Vietnamese tone markings) is a popular breakfast / lunch dish in the north of Vietnam. Rolled rice noodles are filled with minced pork and mushrooms, and served with a vinegary fish sauce broth and Vietamese sausage (cha). It’s easy to find in Hanoi, but for some reason I rarely eat it there, tending to go for pho, bun cha or xoi for lunch. But up in Ha Giang, I had banh cuon for breakfast nearly every day. As well as providing great food, these tiny, dim, steamy eateries are good places to kickstart a day’s photography.

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