In my latest travel writing for The Vancouver Sun, I explore the true beauty of Vietnam through its local food (photos in this gallery). One of the delights of this South Asian nation is that the produce is so exceptional, the standards of cleanliness so high and the street food so sensational, that even though the country’s cuisine has earned the endorsement of  celebrities like TV chef Anthony Bourdain and former President Barack Obama, anyone can afford a culinary adventure.

In the spirit of Bourdain my motto for my two-week foodie tour of Vietnam is: go beyond pho. And as I wrap up a bicycle tour through the Mekong Delta to Ben Tre and putter up the Song Ham Luong river’s water palm lined canals in search of a meal, I’m deliciously off-book. Read more of all Vietnam has to offer, on and off the table, in my article, “Vietnam: A Peasant Food Pilgrimage.