Vietnamese Cuisine for Beginners

I was recently in Vietnam and was fortunate enough to attend a fabulous cooking class at 'Saigon Cooking Class'. We were taught by a local chef and learned how to make spring rolls with dipping sauce, beef noodle curry and banana blossom salad with a dressing.
I have been privileged to experience a large variety of Asian foods and have attended several cooking classes in Thailand, but there is a large difference between their cooking despite them being neighbouring countries. 
One thing that particularly surprised me was the combination of the sweet, sour and spicy flavours into one dish as well as the different textures!

{The amazing spice rack on display at the cookery school}
 {The initial ingredients for the spring rolls includes sliced taro root, oyster mushrooms, minced pork and sliced carrots}
 {The final product! The spring rolls were assembled and then wrapped in a medium thickness rice paper; fried in peanut oil for 5-8 minutes. The dipping sauce consists of chili, fish sauce, lemon juice, pepper and rice vinegar to taste}
 {The ingredients for the banana blossom salad which include chicken breast (pre-boiled), green capsicum, onion, kaffir lime leaf and basil}
{This has to be one of the biggest chilis ever! We used it for a garnish after sculpting it into the shape of a flower}
{The banana blossom. Apparently the best kind (according to the chef) is the kind from Vietnam, but it can be found in Asian supermarkets or Wet markets. Banana blossom is what is formed beneath the little bananas before they start growing!}
 {The final salad. The external 'petal' from the banana blossom used as a dish. The rest of the banana blossom sliced finely and mixed into the salad. The chef recommends cabbage if you are unable to find banana blossom.
The dressing used involved the same ingredients as the dipping sauce for the soy sauce but not rice vinegar.}
 {The dry beef noodle soup consisting of raw beef tenderloin, cooked beef muscle, spring onions, coriander, basil leaves, kaffir lime and cooked rice noodles}
{To complete the meal, add beef stock made from the bones and boiled for 3 hours. Serve with Hoi Sin sauce which can be found in every Asian supermarket.}

It was such an amazing experience to attend the cooking class and I really was provided an insight into the making of traditional Vietnamese cuisine.
Now that I have tasted the original direct from Saigon, I shall never be able to eat take-away again!