Interesting facts about Vietnam food

So you have heard about the Vietnamese cuisine and culture? Wonder what are some of the interesting facts about Vietnam food? Here are some of the facts about Vietnamese food.

There is admirably a great balance between vegetable and meats, as well as a selective use of spices to reach a fine taste. Vietnamese food can be considered one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide. More junk food stores from Western countries are opening in main cities, and these include Mc Donald, Italian Pizzas, Lotteria, etc yet traditional Vietnamese food remains the number one position in the country.

Traditional Vietnamese cooking is appreciated for the freshness of the ingredients and for the minimum use of oil which makes this cuisine very healthy. Hardly do families use processed food for daily meals. There is a refrigerator in almost every household in cities, yet families tend to go to open markets every early morning to buy fresh fish, veggie and ingredients for the day.

Vietnamese recipes make use of a range of herbs, including lemongrass, mint, Vietnamese mint, long coriander and Thai basil leaves…. Interestingly each dish is accompanied by a kind of herb. You would wonder why on earth households tend to make simple dishes a complicated task. But that is the cooking tradition which is passed down from old people to young children.

Vietnamese cuisine is all about four distinct flavors, which are fish sauce, rice vinegar, salt, and sugar. Hardly do families in the countryside use pepper although Vietnam export of pepper ranks the second in the World. In any meals whether in urban or rural families, you will find a fish sauce bowl containing some chili and garlic.

Vietnamese cooks use almost all parts of an animal for food, including meat, bone, internal organs and skin. Nothing is left unused! Strange isn’t it? Yet this is an interesting fact from the North to the South Vietnam. For instance, fish bone, chicken bone…are boiled up and produce great water for cooking other dishes. Buffalo and cow skins can produce great dishes for men!

Decoration is essential in any dishes, ranging from simple herbs to complex flowers made from veggie, sauce, pastes, etc. In the North, decoration is most complex in Vietnam. Households in central and south Vietnam tend to decorate their dishes less, yet it is quite a distinctive feature from a traditional Vietnamese dish in comparison to neighboring countries.

Rice is the key and most important dish throughout the day. Vietnamese cuisine depends heavily on rice grown in water paddies throughout the country, with dishes varying from simple everyday meals to most complex dishes designed for Kings. You would find several types of noodles, cakes and foodstuff made from rice. Bread and cereals are not as popular as rice.

Look for some suggested Vietnam itineraries this holiday seasons?

>>Budget Family Tour of Vietnam 

>>Holiday in Vietnam with your teenagers 

>>Affordable Vietnam family holiday package

There is no preferred meat in Vietnam. Instead, all beef, pork, chicken, fish and various kinds of seafood are used in most dishes. The most popular meat type is pork and fish. Beef is less popular as it is so expensive for farmers.

The most favorite dish for family events is Spring Rolls. Vietnamese spring rolls are made with rice flour, meat, veggie, eggs, pepper and seasoning and are very light on the palate. Making Spring Rolls is fun, and most cooking tours in Vietnam offer the opportunities for international tourists / travelers to make simple Spring Rolls.

The most well-known Vietnamese dish worldwide is in fact not Spring rolls, which ranks the second, but Pho. Almost all visitors to Vietnam have ever tasted Pho. Almost all of them like the dish. There are businesses who open Pho restaurant chains, but it is best to enjoy in local Pho shops (where the owners cook them with passion, secret recipes…) not in industrial food chains.

The most terrifying dish for foreign visitors is Blood soup, made from blood and internal organs of pigs, ducks, goats and even dogs! It is however considered delicious and nutritious by both men and women in Vietnam. Never try this no matter what!

The ugliest flavor for foreign visitors is shrimp paste, a liquid paste made from shrimp and used for various dishes including Bun Dau Mam Tom, dog meat. The smell is very strong and international tourists are advised not to try this sauce.

The most tempting dish for male visitors is snake wine, which is considered very helpful for your bone system. It is one of the most popular traditional wines across the country. However rarely can you see young men drink this type of wine as it is believed not good for sexual ability.

The most popular Vietnam drink is tea. There are hundreds of tea brands but the most favorite one is Thai Nguyen tea. Interestingly only few women drink tea in a day, as tea is not good for their sleep. Towards the central and South Vietnam, coffee is more popular. Ca phe sua da or condensed milk coffee is most favourite drink for foreigners.

Vietnamese use different ingredients to cook different dishes during different months of the year. During summer, the food is lighter and a lot of vegetables are used in dishes, while in winter pork and beef are used a lot.

In Vietnam, there is sweet dessert soup that is usually prepared with beans or sago and served with diced seasonal fresh fruits. Ask your home-stay to do this for you, or learn to do it by yourself. Che Buoi is very popular in Hanoi.

Vietnamese cooks use lotus. Every part of the lotus is used to prepare different dishes and root plants are used a lot in different dishes.

The most traditional recipe to cure a cold is not medicine but a hot rice soup containing lots of onion and folium perillae. Ginger tea is also a popular way, but a hot rice soup is very popular across the country.

Goi Cuon and Pho are among the top 50 best dishes in the world voted by CNN Travel. Goi Cuon is as attracting and popular to foreign visitors as Pho. The dish is made from beef, lettuce, herbs, and noodle and rolled into a rice paper, then used with a special sauce.

Vietnam street food is among the most delicious in the world, ranging from simple to complex dishes. Street food tours are gaining momentum in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Hotpot is the most popular family meal during weekends in the winter. Interestingly it is not the original Vietnamese dish but is copied from Korea and China. Essentially you will cook raw ingredients in a hotpot. It is very very popular in main cities.

Beer hoi or cheap street beer is the most favourite drink in the summer. Beer hoi Hanoi is the most popular in Vietnam. More Western travelers are now seen in beer hoi streets in Vietnam than before.

Exploring Vietnam, its land and people, must be insufficient without tasting its cuisine thoroughly. If you plan to have a private family tour of Vietnam, contact Red Crane Travel at or visit our website to see some sample tours at



Bun Cha, a special street food dish in Hanoi

Bun cha is a well-known local food in Hanoi. It is made of grilled pork and noodle, often thought to have been originated from Hanoi Vietnam. This dish is served with grilled fatty pork (cha) over a plate of white rice noodle (bun) and herbs with a side dish of dipping sauce/broth.


Listed in top 7 specialties of Hanoi street food, the available density of Bun cha Hanoi is so great that you can easily find a Bun cha everywhere, from big restaurants to street vendors, but only gourmets of Hanoi can advise you the best ones.


When the bun cha set appears, you will see that cha, sauce, noodle and herbs are served separately. Thanks to the bamboo stick, the meat is grilled so well and has a special fragrant compared to other types of bun cha. It looks so attractive that you will eat it quickly in few minutes. The tip for you is to come here from 2h00PM. You will be served well for your patience.



Vietnam Cambodia Private Tour

An 18 day tour of Vietnam and Cambodia reveals the best of these legendary lands! It explores cultural values, natural beauty and social norms of villages and key attractions in World Heritage Sites.This family tour in Cambodia and Vietnam enables your family with children to explore key highlights of Cambodia and Vietnam. Throughout the tour you will get to know cultural values and traditions of destinations and indulge yourself into daily life of visited destinations.


–       Sightseeing at famous attractions of Phnom Penh including Wat Phnom Temple

–       Exploring Angkor Archaeological Park, with temples dating back hundreds of years

–       Enjoying an amateur snorkeling, discovering marine lives in Nha Trang

–       Feeling the past through ancient town of Hoi An: its unique architecture, art, silks

–       Appreciating Viet Nam longest tunnel at Cu Chi Tunnels

–       Getting to know Hanoi’s rich cultural and historical values: its past and presence

–       Boat cruise through the limestone karsts of Halong Bay

Halong bay cruise_Vietnam


Gold Coast Australia to Hanoi Vietnam

This is a very exciting trip designed for families with children who want to explore key cultural attractions of Vietnam in a slow pace. We will start from Hanoi city, exploring its elegance, cultural charm and fun places including museums and water puppet theatre. In Halong Bay, we cruise through beautiful sceneries, grottoes and fishing village before stopping in a cool bay for kayaking. Sapa is the world of difference, with mountains, valleys and waterfalls and most interesting of all the colorful ethnic groups. Kids and parents will trek through stunning valleys and a suspension bridge to enjoy magnificent mountains and valley. In the central region, we explore the cultural complex of Hue, the World Heritage. Then visit Da Nang and Hoi An, the great places which are beautiful and family suitable, with their own characters, beaches and friendly locals. Further to the South is Nha Trang where we enjoy gorgeous beach life. In the busy and bustling Saigon, we visit its key historic sites including Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum and the fascinating Notre Dame Cathedral. We will get stunned at the Chu Chi Tunnels and the colorful temple of Cao Dai. We enjoy a river boat cruise through densely connected network of rivers and canals in the Mekong Delta, passing through colorful floating markets and orchards. The ultimate goal of the trip is to create a great chance for children as well as parent to experience Vietnamese culture, wonders, food, lifestyle and friendly ethnic minorities.

Day 1 (Thu, 26 June): Hanoi Arrival from Australia

Your connecting flight lands at Noi Bai International Airport. Our private car and tour guide will come and pick you up, transfer to the hotel right in the Old Quarter of Hanoi. Depending on your arrival time we will design appropriate short tour for the day. Overnight in Hanoi Tirant Hotel.

Day 2 (Fri, 27 June): Hanoi Highlights (Breakfast, Lunch)

Today we will explore key attractions of Hanoi. In the morning, we drive to Ho Chi Minh complex, spend a couple of hours to visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and museum. We walk to the One Pillar Pagoda, the iconic Buddhist temple of Vietnam. We continue to the Temple of Literature originally built as a temple of Confucius. This is the site of the Vietnam first university dating back to 1070. The Temple highlights the importance of education. Have lunch in the KOTO restaurant. In the afternoon, we visit the Museum of ethnology, the most interesting museum in Vietnam, showing the diverse cultures of 54 ethnic groups in the country. Let your kid explore Vietnam cultural values; play with sample huts and outdoor playground. In the late afternoon, we enjoy an unguided performance of Hanoi’s famous Water Puppets – kids and parents will be equally delighted! After the show, explore the best cuisine of Hanoi in the Old Quarter by yourself. Free and enjoy the pool with your kid in the evening. Overnight in Hanoi Tirant Hotel.

Day 3 (Sat, 28 June): Halong Bay (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

At around 8AM, a shared shuttle bus will pick you up for a four hour drive to Halong Bay, the World Heritage site, before boarding on the cruise boat. Let’s explore this wonder of the world! We will cruise through remarkable limestone formations of Halong Bay. Your family will have the opportunities to enjoy a swim, visit stunningly beautiful grottos and do some kayaking if the weather permits. Overnight on the cruise boat will be a memorable experience for your family. Overnight on Oriental Sails boat.

Day 4 (Sun, 29 June): Halong Bay – Hanoi – Sapa (Breakfast, Lunch).

In the next morning, enjoy some guided Tai Chi exercise on the sundeck. We continue sightseeing and cruising around Halong Bay, before turning to the harbor and driving back to Hanoi. Get a short rest in our hotel lobby for free, then have a shower. Find some dinner before our private car and tour guide come and transfer you to the Tran Quy Cap station for our train to Sapa, the centre of colorful and culturally diverse ethnic groups. Overnight on Orient Train.

Day 5 (Mon, 30 June): Sapa Ethnic Groups (Breakfast, Lunch)

A visit to the North West of Vietnam to see the magnificence of mountains, valleys, waterfalls and ethnic communities is a must. Kids will love getting closed to nature and the habitats or just taking photos with a water buffalo. Our private tour guide and car will pick you from the train station, some 30km away from Sapa town and transfer to the hotel for breakfast and a rest. We will then have a private day tour to see Lao Chai and Ta Van villages, home to H’mong ethnic group. This is the best tour to explore highlights of ethnic tribal groups in Sapa. Enjoy the traditional lifestyles, scenery and landscape, and daily activities of the group.  Overnight in Sunny Mountain View hotel.

Day 6 (Tue, 01 July): Sapa – Hanoi (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

This morning, we will visit the Silver Waterfall. This is a great place to enjoy taking lots of awesome photos! Climb up the waterfall over rocky steps and have a panorama view of the mountains. Get back to the town and have your lunch. In the afternoon, check out and we will drive to Ta Phin village and explore the local herbal medicines. Ta Phin is a picturesque thirty minute drive away to the North of Sapa. Set within a valley with a towering mountain peak at one end, this village is alive with the daily life of the Kinh, Red Dao and Black Hmong people. After the visit, we will drive to Lao Cai city and have dinner. In the evening, we will take the overnight train back to Hanoi, departing at around 9PM. Start to share your own photo shows and great moments in this lovely town on the train! Overnight on Orient Train.

Day 7 (Wed, 02 July): Hanoi-Hue Cultural Complex (breakfast, lunch)

The train arrives in Hanoi at around 6AM. Our private car will pick you up and transfer to the hotel for a short rest. Enjoy the breakfast and then our private car and tour guide will pick you up and transfer the airport to take the flight departing at for Hue, then transfer to the hotel. Have lunch. In the afternoon, we will sit on the dragon boat cruising on the romantic Perfume River and visit Hue’s best-known religious site, the Thien Mu Pagoda (celestial lady pagoda). This is one of the iconic places that characterize Hue land and people. Overnight in Camellia Hotel.

Day 8 (Thu, 03 July): Hue discovery (Breakfast, Lunch)

Today, lets explore the complex of monuments in Hue. Our tour starts with a visit to the Imperial Citadel and the Forbidden Purple City. Built in the 19th century by the Nguyen dynasty, the City was home to the former Emperors of Vietnam from 1802 until 1945. Have lunch. Then we will continue the tour by visiting the enchanting mausoleum of Emperor Khai Dinh, the famous emperor of the Nguyen dynasty. Then get to the Dong Ba market to get a glimpse of the local life. Overnight in Camellia Hotel.

Day 9 (Fri, 04 July): Hue – Danang Highlights (Breakfast)

Check out this morning and take a three hours drive to Da Nang city, driving over the legendary Hai Van Pass. Check in hotel by the most stunning beach of My Khe. Have a rest and lunch on your own. Then in the afternoon, we will visit the Marble Mountain, a cluster of five marble mountains lying close to the sea. It is so famous that many people consider it as the symbol of the area. Cultural and historical vestiges of the Marble Mountains are still on every pagoda and tower of the early 19th century and on Champa sculptures of the 14th and 15th century. Then we will go to Cham Museum to see a collection of remnants from the golden Champa era. Have lunch and our journey continues to the Son Tra peninsula, which overlooks the whole city of Da Nang. Get back for a great swim in My Khe beach. Overnight in Hoi An Glory and Spa.

Day 10 (Sat, 05 July): My Son and Hoi An (Breakfast, Lunch)

After breakfast, we start the journey to My Son Holy Land – one of the 5 UNESCO World Heritages in Vietnam. Considered to be Cham’s counterpart to the grand cities of South-East Asia’s other Indian influenced civilizations: Angkor (Cambodia), Bagan (Myanmar) Ayuthaya (Thailand) and Borobudur (Java); My Son Holy Land is famous for its oriental architecture and ancient civilizations once known as the former kingdom of the ancient Cham people in Central Vietnam from the second to the thirteenth century. Return to Hoi An which was for three centuries one of the most important ports in Central Vietnam. We will visit Japanese covered bridge, Tan Ky Old hose, Phuc Kien Pagoda, Cham Museum and Chinese Assembly Hall. All these places symbolize the golden days of this ancient city. Overnight in Hoi An Glory and Spa.

Day 11 (Sun, 06 July): Danang – Nha Trang (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

In the morning, we transfer to Da Nang airport to take the flight for Nha Trang city. Get transferred to the hotel in Nha Trang for lunch. In the afternoon, we will visit key attractions of the city including the Cham tower to get to know a local civilization which existed in this land some hundred years ago. Visit the market to get all the taste and sounds of local life. Then get back for a great swim. Often referred to as one of the best bays on earth, Nha Trang beach is stunning, beautiful, clean, with clear sky and water. We will have the opportunity to enjoy a tropical paradise right on the beach. Kids will love all kinds of games and water activities in the amusement park and aquatic park on this luxurious island. Overnight in Vin Pearl Resort Nha Trang.

Day 12 (Mon, 07 July): Nha Trang Boat trip (Breakfast, Lunch, dinner)

In the morning, we will enjoy a private cruise on a wooden boat to Tam Island, a small island strictly protected by the Government (with support of Danida Denmark). The cruise will provide opportunities to enjoy an amateur snorkeling, discovering marine lives thanks to crystal clear blue water. Then visit an island and have lunch. Take a sun bed, start enjoy fresh seafood with a cup of wine or beer. In the afternoon, we continue visiting a village and an aquarium before transferring back to the hotel. Overnight in Vin Pearl Resort Nha Trang.

Day 13 (Tue, 08 July): Nha Trang – Ho Chi Minh City (Breakfast)

Check out and transfer to the airport for the flight VN1355 (10.40-11.40) to Ho Chi Minh city. We will transfer you to the hotel right in the heart of the city. Have your own lunch. Saigon is a bustling city, yet there are great stories that can be of interest to travelers. In the afternoon, we will start our half day city tour by visiting the War Remnants Museum to discover one chapter of the city, then head to Reunification Palace close by. Take a walk around Ben Thanh Market, Notre Dame Cathedral and the central Post Office. Overnight in Saigon Eden hotel.

Day 14 (Wed, 09 July): Mekong Delta Day tour (Breakfast, lunch)

How much have you known of this low-lying land? Well, today we will leave Saigon for the town of Cai Be town (80 kms away) in the Mekong Delta to take a river private boat trip. This journey cruises through floating markets, rice fields, fruit plantations and so on along a densely connected network of rivers and canals. An absolutely amazing view of a totally flat, low-lying delta that seems to have no have no boundary will bring you an immense feeling of this region. Take the opportunity to explore local life on floating boats, which is very much in contrast to life on the mountains in Sapa! Overnight in Saigon Eden hotel.

Day 15 (Thu, 10 July): Cu Chi Tunnels – Cao Dai Temple (Breakfast, Lunch)

In the morning we will explore an incredible network of underground tunnel designed and constructed to withstand fierce crack down of the external forces, the Cu Chi tunnel. No word could describe it better than experience it yourself. Come and see how Viet Nam won the war. You’ve got to appreciate the talent of the country. Then we will visit Tay Ninh City nearby to discover at the colorful temple of Cao Dai, the centre of a unique religion in Vietnam. Overnight in Saigon Eden hotel.

Day 16 (Fri, 11 July): Departure for Australia (Breakfast)

Enjoy a free day today for last minute shopping and sightseeing. Then we will transfer you to the airport for your flight to either Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok or Singapore. From there you will take an overnight flight back to Australia. End of service.

If you are interested in finding out more about great deals and packages or more options for Vietnam holidays, contact Matthew at