Photo: Rural scenes, northwest Vietnam.

Eat and meet

Rife with dining opportunities, Yen Chau is not. Com. Pho. Pho and Com. That’s a good summation. It you happen to be here, you’ll do as well on your own as you would following our advice.

There is one place that’s worth a try. It’s called Phuong Men, and it’s located along the main road (as everything is) west of the town centre. It’s easy to miss though — look out for the smoke wafting from the BBQ set up outside, which they get started at around 4pm. It’s the one place you’re actually likely to see locals making merry in the evenings, mostly due to their rice wine, which is of an excellent vintage.

But the menu is also noteworthy, though, sorry to say, there is no menu. Go for chicken, served grilled (nuong) or boiled (hop, tastes much better than it sounds) at about 40,000 - 60,000 dong. Satisfying Chao Ga (rice soup) is also available, at 15,000 VND a bowl, and most notably Banh Cuon Nhan Thit, which is a cheap and delectable dish that is nothing so much as a pork dumpling bedecked with grilled onions. Oh, yeah. At 15,000 dong per person, there’s no reason not to try it. It’s on the main road, west of the intersection where the Huong Sen hotel is to be found, on the north side of the street. Sorry. this is Yen Chau. There are no addresses. The rest is up to you.

Alternatively Ha Tien, opposite, advertises duck and hotpot.

If you’re just after a drink, there are a number of cafes and bia hoi joints around town — Huong Ly on Highway 6 west of Huong Sen is a pleasant place for a refreshing lemon water.

Phuong Men Restaurant: Tieu Khu 1, Yen Chau. T: (022) 384 0977. Hours: 18:00 to late.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Yen Chau? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Vietnam.

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