Every few feet in Vietnam you'll come across a cluster of locals crouched over steaming bowls of something good, perched on diminutive plastic stools that would barely accommodate one cheek of the average-sized western behind, and are a challenge to negotiate for anyone over five foot nine. These bowls usually contain noodle soup.
The Vietnamese like to be outdoors no matter what time of year – people will occupy the pavements, gathered in groups close to the ground. If it’s cold, they’ll be wrapped up in coats, the rising steam from their dinner warming their faces. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten as much rice as I did during my five weeks travelling the length of Vietnam. Much of that was in the form of rice noodles, and they were usually in a broth. But I had pho just a handful of times. Most of the rest of my eating saw me getting acquainted with all the other regional noodle soups found throughout the country. Here are some of my favourites.