Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities.
97.3 million (2020)
It’s very counterintuitive, but don’t hesitate or stop suddenly when crossing the road. Just walk briskly in a straight line and the sea of motorbikes and scooters will avoid you.
Three foods you need to try in this country:
- Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup pronounced “fa”),
- Nem Ram (fried spring rolls),
- Banh Mi (baguette sandwich with meat, cheese, pickled veg, fried egg, fresh cilantro and chilli sauce),
- Thit Nuong (grilled pork),
- Bun Bo Nam Bo (slices of beef with crunchy peanuts and bean sprouts with fresh herbs and crisp dried shallots on rice noodles)
- Goi cuon (Rice paper packed with salad greens, seafood, and a layer of coriander)
- Egg coffee
What the country is known for :
- Ho Chi Minh City,
- Ha Long Bay,
- My Son Hindu temple ruins,
- Sapa country side,
- French colonial architecture,
- The Vietnam War,
- Hoi An (food heaven if you ask me)
More About Vietnam
I first visited Vietnam in 2015. I had heard so many interesting reviews from other travellers I’d met in different places, which fuelled my curiosity about this country. Therefore, I naturally decided I would visit. My trip was a typical backpacker’s trail, with the night buses, from Ho-Chi Minh City, right up to Hanoi.
Vietnam is an interesting country with historical influences from many different parts of the world. The country was formerly colonised by the French, and then also was at war with the United States. The history has resulted in French colonial landmarks across the country and various Vietnamese War History Museums including the Cu Chi tunnels used by the Viet Cong soldiers during the war. I do not often read up on warfare, however some of the tactics applied by the Viet Cong soldiers were very interesting, moreso considering how much less advanced they were in terms of advanced artillery.
I am not a fan of massive crowds and big cities – however, there are a lot of interesting things to do, see and learn in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. My recommendation is to be careful but try it out, at least for a day or two. Vietnam has a rich culture that ensures that elders are respected. They also really respect their war heroes, therefore one needs to be mindful when speaking to locals about their war past, as this was a very difficult time for many of them. People are very friendly, hospitable and like to have a laugh. Hoi An, was definitely my favourite stop for food and a cultural experience visiting the Old Town which is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre. It is lovely to walk around the cobbled streets during the day, and at night the river and streets are beautifully lit up with music coming from different places to create a romantic/party atmosphere. Obviously people cannot party with no food, therefore the night markets are available for food and drinks throughout the night.
Vietnam also has a lot of options and variety of landscapes for my fellow nature enthusiasts. There are mountains, a number of waterbodies to behold and even some islands you can go off to explore towards the northern part of the country. There are rice fields galore, including some rain forests, and some interesting landscapes such as limestone islands in Ha Long Bay. Ha Long Bay is also home to a number of floating villages, which are very interesting to behold. Due to the number of tourists that visit this beautiful country, the infrastructure has really been set up to meet visitors with varying travel styles.
For my food lovers, Vietnam does not disappoint. Due to the rivers, paddies, mountains that are deeply ingrained in Vietnamese culture there is a lot of respect for food. It is also considered an insult to the land and the workers who made the meal possible if you leave food uneaten or take more food than you can eat. I found this resonated so much with me. With the cuisine, think random fusions of Asian and French cuisine. We have baguette sandwiches – banh mi, pastries, noodle dishes galore, rice dishes and my personal favourites – fresh fruit and vegetables. Highly recommend Vietnamese coffee and I am sure you may be trying it again and again from home.
Also 5-stars for the price point at which one can comfortably explore Vietnam.
|Please||Xin viu long|
|Thank you||Cam on|
|Do you speak English?||Ban co noi tieng Anh khong?|
|Where is the toilet?||Nha ve sinh o dau vay?|
|May I please have some water?||Cho toi xin chut nuoc duoc khong?|
|I would like some food please||Lam on cho toi mot it thuc an|
|Where can I get a taxi?||Toi co the don taxi o dau?|
NEWS & UPDATES
I always try and immerse myself in the local food culture. In many parts of Asia and South America, I have found that street food is very much part of the culture. As the diligent