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I had a lot of concerns about eating vegan in Sapa, Vietnam. This was because I was planning on staying at a homestay for one night, which meant that my vegan options would be limited. Right before my trip to Sapa, I spent a couple of days in Halong Bay. While on that trip, I met a girl who had just returned from staying at a homestay for a couple of days in Sapa. She told me that the Vietnamese family that she stayed with had her watch as they killed a pig that they ate for dinner, and they drank the blood to honor the pig for sacrificing its life for them. This obviously concerned me even more. How would I navigate getting out of a situation like that while also not seeming rude to the family that I was staying with? Luckily, my experience was nothing like hers.
I was in Sapa for three days and two nights. Every day I went on a hike, and we would stop at a local Vietnamese restaurant for lunch. My tour guide picked these restaurants, so I had no say in where we ate. I told my tour guide right away that I was vegan. I clarified to make sure that he knew exactly what that meant. Tip: I have found that there are a lot of people in SE Asia who don’t consider fish to be meat. Every day there was a vegan option available for me. The first day I was able to eat rice, tofu, and vegetables; and the next two days I was able to eat a vegan noodle soup.
I only stayed at a homestay for one night. The other night I stayed in a hotel where there were several vegan options at their restaurant. Luckily, there was a girl that was also staying at my homestay who was a vegetarian, so I didn’t feel out of place. Dinner at my homestay was rice, tofu, vegetables, and vegetable spring rolls. There were also meat dishes available, but I obviously avoided those. There was plenty to eat, and I left that dinner feeling very satisfied.
The only meal that I had while in Sapa that I left feeling unsatisfied was breakfast at my homestay. The woman at my homestay made pancakes for breakfast. I did not eat them because I figured that they were not vegan. She did put out some fruit as well, so I ended up just having to munch on that for breakfast.
Overall, my experience eating vegan in Sapa, Vietnam was very easy and enjoyable. Luckily, Vietnam is a fairly easy country to eat vegan since there always seems to be an abundance of rice available.
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