When I told my friend Sang that I was going to Vietnam, he immediately blurted out, “Are you going to go visit the Lunch Lady?” Confused, I asked him which cafeteria he was talking about. A YouTube video featuring Anthony Bourdain’s visit to Saigon appeared in my inbox within seconds, and by the end of that minute, The Lunch Lady had been added to my “Saigon to-do list.” I ate a lot of soup in Vietnam, but none compared to the complexity of her dish. It’s a bit off the beaten path but well worth the detour. I paired it with a trip to the Jade Emperor Pagoda to justify the 30 minute walk in the oppressive mid-day heat.
The Reunification Palace housed the South Vietnamese government during the civil war. It’s a must-see for any fan of 60s architecture and design. From the grand entertainment halls to the cramped bunker hallways, the palace is marvellously preserved.