Vietnamese cuisine varies and is
very good. It's a combination
of Vietnamese, Chinese and French
traditions, with various regional specialties.
As in all countries of the region, noodles or rice usually
make up the basis of a meal. Fish is also abundant.
Breakfast is usually noodle soup known as pho (pronounced ‘fur’). Baguettes, French bread are easily found all over Vietnam. Some local specialties
are nem, pork with noodles, eggs and mushrooms
in rice paper, fried and served hot; and banh chung, glutinous rice, pork and onions wrapped in leaves and cooked for
as long as 48 hours, to be eaten cold at any time. A staple
Vietnamese dish is nuoc mam, fish sauce; or mam tom, shrimp sauce. Western food is
available in tourist or business areas.
Green tea is available everywhere. In addition
to baguettes, the French culinary legacy also includes fresh, filtered
coffee, brewed on the table in front of the customers. People in Vietnam are also fond of beer and there are both local and imported brands
available. When in Hanoi, try the local draught beer, (Bia
Hoi) available at street stalls. It's cheap and free of
artificial additives. Rice wine is also popular throughout
Vietnam and is generally very powerful.
Local specialties include embroidery, lacquer painting, reed mats,
tailor-made ao dais (female national dress) and mother-of-pearl
inlay on furniture and ornaments and of course, the pervasive conical
Shopping hours: Monday to Sunday 7.30 am to 12 noon and 1.00 pm to 4.30 pm.
Most regions, especially where there are minority groups,
own traditional festivals with music, opera and dance. Lunar
New Year (Tet) and important Buddhist festivals are celebrated
in February and March every year. Although celebrated, Buddhist
and Christian festivals are not national holidays.
The following is a list of some of Vietnam major celebrations
and events in 2007:
||Perfume Pagoda Festival, Juong
||Têt Festival (Lunar New Year celebrations),
nationwide; Mai Dong Festival, Hai Ba Trang.
||Thay Pagoda Festival, Thuy Khe Village.
||Lac Long Quan Festival, Binh Minh.
|Apr 28 - May 8
||Elephant Races, Don Village.
||Chua Xu Temple Festival, Chau Doc.
||Wandering Souls Day, nationwide.
||Ca’Te Festival, An Phuoc District.
||Do Son Buffalo Fights, Haiphong.
||Mid-Autumn Festival, nationwide.
||Keo Pagoda Festival, Thai Binh.
||Oc Om Boc Festival/Ngo Boat Contest, Soc
Hands and a vocal greeting are widely practised.
should be kept simple, informal and in good taste. Shorts are usually
only worn by children
must be removed before entering Buddhist pagodas.
touch Vietnamese people on the head.
There are restrictions at airports, ports, and
harbours, and in similar areas elsewhere. Ask permission
before taking photographs.
Officially prohibited but widely practised,
particularly in the south. Discretion is recommended.