To get a flavour of any Vietnamese town, head to the central market, the heart of the community. This is where the locals come each morning to ferret out the freshest vegetables, meats and spices for lunch. Or maybe their needs are a little bigger – a new buffalo to add to the herd? A couple of egg-laying chickens? If household utensils are required they can pick up everything from nuts and bolts to brooms and saucepans. On the other hand, perhaps they just want a knocked off version of the latest designer t-shirt or Japanese electrical gadget. It’s all available in markets up and down Vietnam. Even touristy destinations like Sapa and Hoi An boast excellent markets full of unfamiliar spices and herbs and fascinating food stalls. The photo opportunities are unrivalled, too.