Vietnamese Papaya Salad at Le Van Tam Park in Saigon

In Saigon, try the Vietnamese green papaya salad at Le Van Tam Park. For more details, click here ►…

One day when I was in Saigon, we walked over to Le Van Tam Park. We didn’t really go to the park to exercise, or to even walk around the park… but we went to search for a snack, known as goi du du, or Vietnamese green papaya salad. After walking around the park for a little while, we found the crowd of people sitting around on the tree planters, scarfing down plates of papaya salad, and I knew were were in the right place.

I didn’t know exactly what I was doing, but luckily I was able to motion to order a plate of the salad. The salad is actually assembled somewhere at a street stall across the road, but most of the little metal plates are assembled then brought over to the park and served there. When you order, the lady first asks you how you’d like it, with some extra chili sauce or not. She then scoops on some dressing, and some chili sauce, and then hands you a plate of fresh goodness.

After getting my plate of goi du du, I chose a seat on the first tree planter, where they had laid out some little pieces of canvas for sitting, and sat down to eat. The Vietnamese green papaya salad included a nice handful of shredded green papaya, along with a bunch of sliced Vietnamese coriander, some beef jerky (I think that’s what it was), the sweet fish sauce dressing, a squirt of chili sauce, and finally some cracker like chips on the top. Although the dressing was a little on the sweet side for my usual taste, it was still really good, and it was so fresh tasting. Also, sitting on the side of the park, enjoying the cool breeze in the heat of Saigon, plus a little air and away from the chaos of the roads, was a highly enjoyable experience. If you travel to Saigon, eating Vietnamese green papaya salad at Le Van Tam park is a great thing to do.

The Vietnamese street food green papaya salad stall is located at Le Van Tam Park in Saigon, and they set up on what is sort of the western corner of the park each afternoon at about 2 pm or so and sell until evening. A good time to go is about 3 – 5 pm, and I think it can get really busy around the later afternoon or evening when everyone is out and about and when people are off work.

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Mark Wiens and Ying Wiens: &
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