My worthless superpower is the ability to step into any city in the world and find a joint that serves barbecued pork ribs. Sapa in Northern Vietnam is not a street food mecca but ribs were there to be unearthed, alongside the usual assortment of chicken parts and other innards prepped for the grill on the street just north of Sapa’s central market. The ribs had the heavy charcoal flavour that comes from a long period of rest in a sugar-packed marinade followed by a short and brutal blast over the coals.
One of the barbecue innovations that you see around Vietnam is superheating the charcoal barbecue with an electric fan. I never saw this in Cambodia (possibly as a result of extortionate electricity prices), but it seems to be more common in Thailand as well, especially as a technique for heating a charcoal-fuelled wok burner.