The Australian teacher visited the market solely for the purpose of observing and capturing the scenery and individuals in their sketches, without any intention of purchasing or trading.

“I have been strategically planning this all week, contemplating the appropriate way to observe without intruding,” McGrath responded to a follower who commented on the market illustration she shared on her Instagram profile @everydaylizmc.

On my early morning cycle, I happened upon an unoccupied step across from the bustling traders. With its pleasant shade and a wall to lean against, it was an idyllic spot to rest.

I was wearing my sunglasses, but the only person who seemed to take notice of me was a woman who set up her baskets in front of me just as I was about to leave.

A sketch by Liz McGrath features people at a morning market in Vietnam's central city of Hoi An. Photo: Supplied

A sketch by Liz McGrath features people at a morning market in Hoi An, Quang Nam Province, central Vietnam. Photo: Supplied

The art teacher expressed her fondness for capturing vibrant and dynamic scenes in her sketches. She particularly enjoyed immersing herself in lively markets, finding that it often fostered delightful interactions with the locals.

McGrath reminisced about the exhilarating experience of attempting to capture the vibrant atmosphere of a bustling morning food market, highlighting the impossibility of truly capturing its heat, noise, and energy.

During McGrath’s two-week visit to Vietnam in April and May of this year, the Hoi An market became a regular destination for her. She would often spend time sketching the various things she encountered and enjoyed, including the local cuisine.

In 2023, she finally started to attract a following with her impressive sketches.

McGrath began sharing her sketches on social media three years ago, a decision motivated by the support and encouragement of her children while they were visiting Vietnam.

The art teacher, residing in Wadawurrung Country, currently has an impressive following of over 45,200 individuals, encompassing both Vietnamese enthusiasts and her loyal fans.

A sketch by Liz McGrath features Vietnamese 'bánh mì' and 'cà phê phin' (coffee brewed with Vietnamese-style metal filter]. Photo: Supplied

A sketch by Liz McGrath features Vietnamese ‘bánh mì’ and ‘cà phê phin’ (coffee brewed with Vietnamese-style metal filter]. Photo: Supplied

One commenter complimented Liz on her beautiful post, expressing their fondness for Hanoi from their visit decades ago. Another commenter mentioned how Liz’s sketches are bringing back memories of Vietnam for them.

Many individuals appreciated McGrath for bringing them along on her journey through her artistic creations.

One person expressed their excitement about the art and thanked the artist for sharing their work.

According to her, she has had numerous discussions regarding her trip to Vietnam as a result of sharing her sketches on various social media platforms.

“Vietnam garners immense fascination among my followers and stands as a highly sought-after destination for travelers,” she concluded.

McGrath and her family have visited Vietnam on three separate occasions, with their initial journey taking place in 1996.

“I had the opportunity to spend a month in Vietnam when I was a young backpacker,” she fondly reminisced.

My friend and I embarked on an adventurous backpacking expedition, commencing from Ho Chi Minh City and concluding in Hanoi. This meandering overland journey took us through captivating destinations such as Da Lat, Nha Trang, Hue, Hoa Lu, and Sa Pa.

In January 2020, I had the pleasure of returning to a place that I had cherished and explored twenty-four years earlier. This time, I had the joy of sharing the experience with my family during a two-week holiday. The memories and sights from my previous visit had stayed with me, and it was a delight to see them anew with my loved ones.

Trip to Southern Vietnam – 2020

Over a span of two weeks, our family had the incredible opportunity to explore the southern region of Vietnam. Our journey took us to the vibrant cities of Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho, and Hoi An.

During their recent trip in 2023, the family revisited Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An for a few days. However, the majority of their time was spent in the northern region, exploring Hanoi and Lan Ha Bay in Hai Phong City.

A sketch by Liz McGrath features Lan Ha Bay in the northern city of Hai Phong, Vietnam. Photo: Supplied

A sketch by Liz McGrath features Lan Ha Bay in Hai Phong City, northern Vietnam. Photo: Supplied

“We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and made countless joyous memories,” she exclaimed.

“I had the immense pleasure of revisiting Vietnam this year, accompanied by my beloved family, as I continued to document our experiences through careful sketches in my trusty sketchbook.”

Liz McGrath (second from right) and her family take a photo during their trip to Vietnam. Photo: Supplied

Liz McGrath (second from right) and her family take a photo during their trip to Vietnam. Photo: Supplied

“I found inspiration everywhere”

The captivating Vietnam sketches by McGrath were consistently shared on her Instagram account, documenting each day of her unforgettable journey throughout the enchanting Southeast Asian nation.

Thanks to an extensive collection of almost 20 sketches, McGrath’s followers were able to accompany her on her journey across Vietnam. The sketches showcased various experiences such as relishing a delectable bowl of phở upon her arrival in Ho Chi Minh City, indulging in a Vietnamese sandwich known as bánh mì, savoring a cup of milk coffee, exploring the vibrant Ben Thanh Market, and quenching their thirst with a refreshing glass of lime juice to combat the hot weather.

After leaving Ho Chi Minh City, she continued to captivate her Instagram audience with sketches showcasing the diverse cuisine of Hanoi. Her illustrations featured delectable dishes such as rượu mơ (apricot wine), bánh cuốn (steamed rice rolls), chả rươi (sand worm omelet), bánh rán (deep-fried glutinous rice balls), bún chả (rice noodles with grilled pork and meatballs), phở cuốn (pho rolls), nộm đu đủ (green papaya salad), cà phê trứng (egg coffee), and much more.

Australian art teacher Liz McGrath is working on a sketch during her recent trip to Vietnam this year. Photo: Supplied

Australian art teacher Liz McGrath is seen working on a sketch during her recent trip to Vietnam this year. Photo: Supplied

During her journey, McGrath explored the captivating town of Hoi An, renowned for its vibrant lanterns and charming yellow walls adorned with elegant red bougainvillea flowers.

“I am of the belief that Vietnam is a nation that has been bestowed with a splendid amalgamation of amiable individuals, delectable cuisine, bustling cities, and mesmerizing landscapes,” remarked McGrath.

“My visits have traversed a period of twenty-five years, imparting a discernment of numerous transformations, particularly in locations such as Hoi An. Nevertheless, these four attributes endure.”

A fish pond in Hoi An City, central Vietnam, sketched by Liz McGrath. Photo: Supplied

A fish pond in Hoi An City, central Vietnam, as sketched by Liz McGrath. Photo: Supplied

During her stay in Vietnam, McGrath diligently produced two to three sketches on a daily basis.

“I always carry a sketch kit with me,” she disclosed. “It consists of a compact and durable bag that holds an A5 sketchbook, a paintbox with brushes, as well as pens and pencils.”

“I am always prepared to sketch whenever the opportunity presents itself. During my time in Vietnam, a country renowned for its stunning beauty, I found myself captivated by a diverse range of subjects. From the graceful koi fish swimming in a tranquil pond, to the delectable snack box that accompanied us on our overnight train journey, to the tantalizingly delicious bánh mì, my artistic sensibilities were constantly stimulated.”

Fortunately, I discovered inspiration in every facet of life.

Green chilis and lime, the two spices often found at local eateries in Vietnam, sketched by Liz McGrath. Photo: Supplied

Green chilis and lime, the two spices often found at local eateries in Vietnam, as sketched by Liz McGrath. Photo: Supplied

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