How Much Do You Know about Vietnam?
Spectacular nature, cultural complexities, delicious cuisine, etc., you can discover a lot in Vietnam.
Some people may have already experienced the adventure in the attractive country but how much do you know about this country?
This article introduces its features, culture and cuisine of Vietnam. Also, we offer a special quiz at the bottom of this page. Why don't you test your knowledge?
Vietnam, officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV), is a country whose capital is Hanoi.
It is located in Southeast Asia that has many attractive elements, including its geography, culture and cuisine.
Geographically, Vietnam borders China, Laos and Cambodia facing the South China Sea in the southern part.
The country is long and narrow in shape, with mountainous regions and spectacular scenery in the north. On the other hand, there are historic towns and beautiful beaches known as Hoi An listed in the World Heritage in the center. You will see another different side in the south like Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, with skyscrapers and modern cityscapes.
World Heritage Site
Halong Bay was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 for its exceedingly beautiful scenery and unique ecosystem are unparalleled on the planet. Visitors are captivated by the magnificence of tranquil emerald green waters and more than 2,000 rocks and islands.
Cruise tours ranging from a few hours to several days allow visitors to enjoy the landscape or traditional Vietnamese cuisine. Kayak or snorkeling are also popular tour activities.
Halong Bay is dotted with fishing villages, where visitors can interact with local fishermen and experience boarding a traditional boat.
When thinking about Vietnam, some people may struck by the overflowing number of motorcycles on the roads and the bustle of the city. In urban areas of Vietnam, you will see congested traffic with motorcycles. Especially, traffic in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi is extremely heavy, and the roads are often filled with hundreds of motorcycles.
The background of the traffic congestion includes factors such as population growth, an increase in the number of vehicles due to economic growth and underdeveloped transportation infrastructure. The overwhelmed density of traffic congestion is especially likely to occur during commuting hours and special events.
Once you visit rural area or regional area, on the other hand, traffic is relatively light and congestion is infrequent allowing travelers to enjoy idyllic rural scenery.
Vietnam is one of the major cashew producing countries and known as a biggest exporter of the nuts in the world.
The cashews we eat are a part of seed called kernel, and are heat-processed when shipped. This process removes the toxic substances from raw cashew kernels.
Roasted cashews are popular but cashew oils and butters are also widely-accepted in Vietnam.
The pulpy part of the cashews is called "cashew apple" and is used to make juice and jam. Along with their tropical sweetness and acidity, they also have a bitter or astringent taste.
Cashew apples are often consumed in the producing countries because of their thin and fragile skin, and it is difficult to obtain fresh fruit pulp in other countries. When you visit Vietnam, it is worthy trying raw cashew apples.
Reference Attractiveness of Binh Phuoc Province - Expectations for future expansion of the manufacturing industry as a cashew nut kingdom and a place adjacent to industrial clusters in Ho Chi Minh City and neighboring provinces - | Consulate-General of Japan in Ho Chi Minh City
When introducing Vietnam, the rich culture cannot be ignored. Let us dive into some of the events and traditional costumes in Vietnam.
Hoi An Lantern Festival
The Lantern Festival held on the night of the full moon is one of the traditional festivals in Hoi An, Vietnam, and the origin is said to honor ancestors.
On the night of the 14th day of the lunar month, which falls on the full moon, electricity use is kept at a minimum level in the city and people spend time with the light of colorful lanterns. The gentle lights illuminates the darkness creating a romantic scene.
Some people enjoy folk performances with dance and music, and some enjoy participating in game tournaments. A variety of food stalls will also be the highlights in Hoi An.
Reference Lantern Festival｜TNK Travel JAPAN
Ao dai, the traditional Vietnamese folk costume, consists of an upper garment (ao) and a long skirt (dai). This Vietnamese symbol represents its culture and society, and catches the eye of tourists for the beautiful design and delicate handicrafts.
Originally, the ao dai was loose-fitting and suitable for daily labor. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, however, it was influenced by French culture and European-style design was standardized.
Subsequently, the ao dai became widely accepted among Vietnamese women and established itself as the national costume of Vietnam.
At cultural events, ao dai rental service is popular among tourists. Your camera will capture a special moment with a beautiful traditional dress in the country.
Local food always makes your trip unforgettable. Vietnamese cuisine typically contains flavorful herbs and spices, and comparing to other Southeast Asian countries, it has little of the pungent spiciness.
Each region in Vietnam has different features of seasoning. In general, it is sweeter in the southern part, slightly spicier in the central part and lighter in the northern part.
Vietnamese cuisine is popular worldwide, and we will focus on some of the most typical traditional dishes below.
In Vietnam, where rice production is thriving, rice is widely used in a variety of local dishes. Pho is not the exception. It contains aromatic broth and flat rice noodles made from rice flour. This traditional dish is now one of the well-known dishes as representative of Vietnamese cuisine.
Pho broth is made by simmering beef or chicken bones and flavored with a variety of vegetables including onions, cinnamons, cloves, and other spices to give it a deep richness and flavor. There are different names for the soup depending on the ingredients used to make the broth: "Pho Bo" for beef broth, and "Pho Ga" for chicken broth.
Many of street-side vendors or restaurants offer this traditional dish at an affordable price in Vietnam but it is now popular worldwide and you may find some places to eat it in your region as well.
Bánh xèo is a Vietnamese crispy crepe which contains shrimp, pork, onions and so on, and the dough is made from a mixture of rice flour, coconut milk, turmeric and other ingredients.
This savory flavor Báinh xèo is particularly popular in central and southern Vietnam, with different variations of fillings and sauces depending on the region. The customizable fillings are also the reason why it attracts people.
Fresh Spring Rolls
Fresh shrimp rolls are made with fresh vegetables, herbs, cooked shrimp or pork, etc. on rice paper and dipping them in a special sauce.
Because of the healthy ingredients and texture, these rolls become popular worldwide. People enjoy the sticky rice paper and crunchy fresh vegetables with unique flavored sauce, which made them one of the special dishes in Vietnam.
Even in other countries, some supermarket offer these Asian appetizer for the popularity. Going to a Vietnamese restaurant is one thing, but you can try home-made shrimp rolls filled with freshly harvested vegetables you like.
We offer a Vietnam quiz below to test your knowledge.
Try it now and find how much you know about Vietnam.
In this article, we explored the features, culture and cuisine of Vietnam.
The World Heritage Site of Halong Bay to Hoi An, where the Lantern Festival is held, fascinates visitors for the romantic scenery with special experiences there.
Vietnam also offers popular specialties such as pho and fresh spring rolls. Also, a variety of rice recipe will satisfy your appetite.
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