Photo of the Week: Vietnamese Don Ganh

by Christy on

Don Ganh in Vietnam

After engaging in some friendly (but fierce) haggling with a gentleman selling fresh coconuts in Ho Chi Minh City, a city  known to be very inexpensive you can get more travel information  on www.expedia.com.vn.  We spent a few minutes chatting with the merchant about his “don ganh”.

Don ganh are a common sight in Vietnam; all throughout the country you’ll see food being toted around in these baskets slung from each end of a wooden pole.

Kali commiserated with the merchant that his don ganh looked quite heavy, so the guy eagerly offered to let Kali see for himself.

The verdict? They’re even heavier than you’d think!

Don Ganh in Vietnam

Don Ganh in Vietnam

Most don ganh are carried by elderly women, and inside the baskets you’ll find everything from produce and noodles to small stoves and all the little plastic chairs you’d need to set up an impromptu cafe on the side of the street.

Some of the freshest and most delicious food you’ll find in Vietnam comes from a don ganh, so if you see one you should check out the wares – and admire the strength of whoever is carrying it!

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Stevetwitter: vangrizz April 27, 2012 at

I don’t think you can say how Kali found the Don Ganh heavy, and then follow it up with a sentence pointing out that they’re usually carried around by elderly women. Although in all fairness, Kali looks like he could handle at least two of those.
What I really want to know is, do you have any of those little orange seats?
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Christy May 2, 2012 at

Hahaha, well played. And I thought the little seats were fantastic, but then again I have small legs and could fit on them no problem. Kali, on the other hand, couldn’t figure out where to fold his legs to keep them out of the way. I guess they’re mostly practical for little people like me.

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Ruth (Tanama Tales)twitter: tanamatales April 27, 2012 at

I bet you it is dificult to balance and carry stuff in these. I’ll probably make a mess if I try to carry one.
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Christy May 2, 2012 at

The women carrying them had a strong cadence to their walk, so I guess once you get into a rhythm it’d be easier? I’m with you though, Ruth – I think it’d be hard to get the hang of at first.

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InsideJourneystwitter: InsideJourneys April 28, 2012 at

Did Kali make that one? It looks almost empty compared that that one on the ground with the pot in it. Hahahaha! In fairness, though, if you’re used to carry a don ganh and have been doing it for years, it’ll be a breeze!
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Christy May 2, 2012 at

I know, the coconut one we found was tiny compared to the others! Which is maybe why the guy let us try it out, lol.

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Leightwitter: hikebiketravel April 28, 2012 at

Good idea trying out the Don Ganh. Now can you imagine walking with that hours every day probably six day a week. Never.

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Christy May 2, 2012 at

Ouch. It would certainly build strength, but it seems like it would wreck havoc on your back. Quite physically demanding work, for sure.

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Kieu ~ GQ trippin April 29, 2012 at

O I’ve tried it.. nearly ruined a days worth of business for the “elderly women”. :P
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Christy May 2, 2012 at

Agghhh!! I wonder how often that happens? They probably run the other direction when they see tourists, lol.

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Scott - Quirky Travel Guytwitter: quirkytravelguy April 30, 2012 at

I wonder if they carry them on their bikes too. That recent Matador photo essay of Vietnamese people hauling super sized loads of crap on their bikes blew me away.
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Christy May 2, 2012 at

Seriously, we saw someone drive a queen sized MATTRESS on his scooter. We were so stunned we didn’t even think to take a photo.

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Ayngelina May 1, 2012 at

I once got suckered into carrying one. Well they offered and then offered to take a photo and then wanted money.

I fell for all of it but I have a good photo.
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Christy May 2, 2012 at

We were lucky that this guy was super nice and just wanted to chat.

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