Not to shorten our travel time in Vietnam (!?) but to avoid all kinds of trouble with the Police on the road!!! Unluckily we got a trouble with them during our day trip to Sóc Trăng by car!
We were stopped by the Police on our way to Sóc Trăng, the speed limit for car on that normal road, no hospital, no school, no construction site... near by - is funny 40km/h! Our speed was nearly 50! At the end we have to leave our documents with them for fine which we have to pay after one week in ...Cần Thơ!
Anyway not to spoil our day, we tried to leave it aside and continued our journey!
Our destination is Sóc Trăng, a small town in Mekong Delta, 240 km away from Saigon but we need nearly 4 hours to reach there!
Sóc Trăng is a special soil!
Special because here, the three biggest communities - Vietnamese, Chinese and Khmer survive together for hundreds of years! Despite the differences in living style, language, business, belief...people living here always shoulder to shoulder to flourish this land!
Sóc Trăng is a Viet version of original Khmer name Srok Kh'leang (literally means a silver treasury), it was also renamed "Moon River" (Nguyệt Giang) in the past, during Nguyễn dynasty, but finally the current name Sóc Trăng remained!
A young boy of Khmer origin playing a traditional musical instrument
at Chùa Dơi (Bat's Pagoda) (*)
Talking about Soc Trang, the first two dishes came to my mind are bún nước lèo Sóc Trăng (rice noodles soup in Soc Trang style and bánh pía or bánh lột da (peeling off skin cake!).
If the noodles represent the Khmer flavor then "bánh pía" - the Chinese origin!
Bún nước lèo Sóc Trăng, rice noodles soup in Soc Trang style!
The soup is similar to famous rice noodles with fermented fish soup (bún mắm), deep sweet, rich flavor of fermented fish! Simply topped by cooked snakehead fish, shrimp and roasted pork ! I would say it's another variation of bún mắm! But it's lighter!
Originated from Cambodia, if our neighbor prepares the soup with their special fermented fish (mắm bò hóc - prahoc), here in Sóc Trăng the local Khmer community or other Vietnamese replace it with more locally favorite fermented fish. Prahoc could be too strong for Vietnamese taste!
We also tried another rice noodles called "bún gỏi già" (or và), but I personally don't like it. As a brown soy bean sauce and tamarind sauce has been added to the soup when it's served. Very strange taste, with some peanut! I was excited to try in the beginning but then a bit disappointed!
Bánh pía filled with sweetened green mung bean (or taro), salted egg yolk, durian flavor!