Exploring the Raw Markets of Sapa Vietnam Part 2
Continuing on with my tour of the Raw Markets of Sapa Vietnam Part 1, I made a left rounding the corner about halfway through the market and began making my way through a variety of selected herbs on display that were for sale.
They were all wrapped in similar bags; clear, thin and hosting a white paper display name of the ingredients inside written in Vietnamese. What I found most interesting was the raw honey sitting inside two plastic jars that were stacked on top of each other.
The honey comb inside was somewhat average to me as, even back in the states, they still sell fresh honey in a jar with a full in-tact honeycomb. What I did find interesting, however, was the larvae which was still inside and quite grotesque looking. But after looking through some of the herbs and pondering what medicinal benefits could be had of the herbal teas, I continued to make my way through the many different tables which eventually led me back to a street where they were selling a variety of different nuts, vegetables and fruits.
Nuts came by the sackful and the fruit sold by the piece. As in most markets around Asia the prices were marked up MUCH higher than what they were for locals but, after some willing and dealing I finally got some delicious dragon fruit for a really good price.
Leaving the fresh fruits behind and making my way back to the entrance of which I entered, I wasn’t really looking forward to that ripe smell of fresh cut meat. Turning the corner and seeing it all displayed in front of me, I was surprised to have actually seen a few other things laid out that either wasn’t there before or I just somehow missed: fresh cut dog meat.
It was an eery site, seeing a dogs decapitated head lying next to its hindquarters. Even the paws were there, all displayed on a plate for each by-passers enjoyment to watch. Following the few dog parts were a selection of raw pork, intestines and various chicken parts. The last time I had ever purchased anything like this to eat was down in Puerto Rico when I had that tripe stew (which was delicious)!
Finally making it through the vile aroma, I passed by the remainder of some more odd fruit, vegetables, quail eggs and even ripe and squirming grub worms. They certainly loved eating bugs in Asia, that’s for sure.
At the very tail end of the market was more of the expected North Face knock off gear. There’s surely no lack of it running around town and, for all the trekking and home stays you do in Sapa, the locals definitely get their fair share of business from the travelers passing through.
What do you like best about fresh markets?