Luke visited SAPA high in the hills in Northern Vietnam fifteen years ago. He's pleased to find out that not much has changed, and visits a little girl he befriended during that time. She welcomes him into her house and learns how the local dish of dried buffalo is made. He also goes foraging for botanicals with a scientist who is making Vietnam's very first gin.
Luke's penultimate stop of his train journey is Hanoi, the second largest city of Vietnam located on the Red River. There is one dish Luke always has when he visits Hanoi and that's bun cha.
Luke visits Hai Phong, a major industrial city and the second largest in the northern part of Vietnam. This is a special visit for Luke as it's the birthplace of his partner Lynne, where he'll meet her family - some of which he has never met.
Luke's next stop is Ninh Binh, which is a scenic wonderland with its majestic rolling mountains and intricate waterways. An early start at the local market, Luke meets a rice farmer who also catches and sells tiny rice paddy crabs. She offers to take Luke out on her canoe for a spot of crab hunting.
Luke visits Hue, famous for its royal heritage, ancient imperial architecture, and rich royal cuisine that inspires Luke. He also visits Con Hen Village, where they specialise in the technique of swirling and de-shelling baby clams, a skill that goes back hundreds of years.
Luke approaches the halfway mark of his trip and arrives at Da Nang, a growing and bustling city located on the coast, west of the Han River. First up, Luke visits the spectacular Dragon Bridge, a symbol of power, nobility, and good fortune.
Luke's next stop is Hoi An. While en route, Luke cooks wok tossed beef in the train's kitchen carriage. He soon realises the onboard cooks have an amazing ability of balance, while the train moves from side to side on the railway tracks.
Luke boards the train at Ga Thap Cham, and soon finds his way to Nha Trang, a similar vibe to the Riviera of France. Nha Trang is known for its diverse sea life and beautiful coastline, and here, Luke hand catches his favourite seafood - sea urchin.
Luke Nguyen embarks on a trip around Vietnam aboard the country's most interconnected railway line. He begins his journey in Ho Chi Minh, and discovers how rapidly it's developed over the years.
Luke visits the city of flowers, known as Dalat, where the French influence can be seen everywhere.
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