Street food

After the markets, street food vendors are one of the most colorful sights in southeast Asia. From fresh fruits and vegetables to juices, meat and snacks, just about anything you fancy is available from a street stall. Although you might not know exactly what you’re eating, it’s worth watching just for the show.

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A lobster stall in Nha Trang setting up for business.

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Crocodile farming – for both meat and leather – is big business in central Vietnam; the industry is definitely not PETA-approved. This enticement is outside a restaurant in Nha Trang.

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These delicious little packets contain sticky rice stuffed with bananas, eaten as a snack or dessert.

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These lovely women are running a rotee stand. Rotees in Thailand fall somewhere between a crêpe and a pancake and are filled with sweet or savory ingredients.

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Carts are set up along just about every street.

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This woman is making Vietnam’s world-famous banh mi sandwich, sold for about 75 cents.

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These tiny bananas (about the length of a finger) are so much more flavorful than the standard Cavendish variety we get at home.

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Fancy some whiskey or red wine with your street food meal? You can have it.

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Perhaps you’d like a meatball skewer?

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Salted whole fish, ready to eat.

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Fried sweet potato, banana and other tasty treats.

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The “special meat” restaurant outside of Siem Reap. Sit, stay…good dog.

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Little sweet cakes, served hot.

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Skewers and more, ready for the grill.

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Baling sugarcane on the streets of Phnom Penh.

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The sugarcane is crushed through a press to produce delicious juice, which is flavored with fresh lime and sold in little baggies as a refreshing drink.

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Chefs demonstrate their stir-fry skills at Siem Reap’s night market.

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Honestly, I don’t know. But what colors!

 

Scenes from Kyoto

We’ve spent six days in Kyoto and depart tomorrow for a long day of travel to Matsumoto, where we’ll volunteer on a farm. Below are a few of N’s photos from our first week of travels.

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The Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine is one of Japan’s most photographed sites. Thousands of bright orange shrine gates lead up Mount Inari, about 600 feet above sea level. You can’t tell from this photo, but it was snowing pretty hard on our way up.

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Kitsune (Japanese for fox) are one of the most common spirit animals seen at shrines and temples.

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Rather moody and dramatic, isn’t it?

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“Kimono Forest,” Arashiyama train station. These are tall sealed Plexiglas pillars that contain bolts of fabric traditionally used for kimono. As public art goes, it’s pretty spectacular.

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Looking up at the bamboo grove in Arashiyama.

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What a difference a day makes…eight inches of snow overnight. And we thought we’d left winter behind.

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Snow monkey at Arashiyama Monkey Park. Ironically, the humans are inside the “cage” feeding the wild monkeys on the outside.

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Matsuo-taisha Shrine, Arashiyama.

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Imperial Palace, Kyoto.

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Imperial Palace gardens, Kyoto.

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Gion’s famous “red lantern district.”

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Gion District in Kyoto is known for its geisha culture. Many visitors pay to rent kimono and dress up like geisha or maiko (apprentice geisha). There are dozens of shops offering kimono plus hair and make-up services. You can identify the tourist geisha because they don’t have on the traditional white make-up and they’re willing to be photographed. Current estimates suggest that there may only be about two hundred true geisha and about one hundred true maiko in all of Japan, though accurate statistics are tough to come by. Can you spot the true geisha in the photo below?

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