No matter where you go, the sight and smell of food at the place where you’re sightseeing sometimes can be very attractive, even though you probably would just ignore those if you come across them on daily basis. Such was the case when we were in the middle of our trek to Cat Cat village near Sapa, Vietnam.
As we’re getting closer to the waterfall on the trek, we noticed the aroma of grilled meats in the air. There was a little stand with a lady sitting on a small stool grilling a variety of skewered meats on a charcoal grill, and there were a few trekkers who sat and waited patiently for her to cook the grilled meats they ordered. Normally I wouldn’t care as much for this — in Jakarta (or even in Washington, DC) you pass street-side vendors all the time, and I could refrain from snacking. But this time, we had just walked a good 1.5 miles down from Sapa, it’s around lunch time and we had not had food since the morning, and it was wet and a bit cold. Seeing several other trekkers sitting enjoying their snacks and drinks was enough to draw us to join them.
I had a little apprehension at the beginning, since we still need to walk back to Sapa, and later than day we would go on an overnight train ride back to Hanoi. The last thing I wanted to happen is to risk either Kristi or I getting stomach upset because of the food we eat. But Kristi convinced me that it should be okay if we just have a little bit to taste. So she ordered a couple kinds of skewered meats, some roasted chestnuts, and a little cup of home-brewed apple wine to share. We also got a can of Coke and a bottled water to wash the food down.
The food was pretty good. The taste of the food was not the memorable part of the experience; the setting was. And we didn’t have any indigestion problems afterwards.
The photo below was taken as we waited for the lady to cook our order. You can see the various things she had to offer, and the other trekkers sitting in the background waiting for their order as well.