The Golden Bridge, coffee that tastes like chocolate, sports in the morning at dawn, pho at breakfast, bicycles and mopeds: today we take you to Vietnam and tell you eight curiosities you absolutely must know that will convince you to book a flight with destination to this beautiful country.
1.The alarm clock goes off incredibly early
Vietnamese people wake up at dawn and start their day with gymnastics in the park. They love to be outdoors, and in the big cities, there are many green areas, even equipped with beams and other machines usually found only in the gym.
They also close the day with exercise and group dances: giant 80s radios with ball music and off-to-pelvis movement. If you pass by there, you can join them for wild dancing, practicing Thai Chi, or stretching; they will be pleased with your participation.
2. Lucky birds
In Vietnam, buying a bird in a cage and then releasing it is believed to bring good luck. The truth, however, is that these little birds get trained, and once released, they return to the cage from which they were released.
3. In Vietnam, people are very good at playing Jianzi
As you walk in park avenues, you will notice that there are areas drawn on the ground that mimic the playing squares of volleyball courts, badminton, and foot volleyball. It doesn’t mean they play bad shuttlecock; it just means they play shuttlecock with their feet–a soccer shuttlecock also known as Jianzi–passing a ball with a plume with no small athletic gestures.
4. Many video games and online games are prohibited in Vietnam
In Vietnam, it is almost impossible to see minors playing video games. In 2011, Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communication, following a similar policy to China’s, prevented children from accessing online video games from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. to reduce their consumption.
In addition, until recently, physical casinos found in the country’s most luxurious resorts and online gambling, like the Bovada online casino games platform, were legal only for foreigners.
However, Vietnamese people can gamble for the past few years, but only those over 21 years of age and with a monthly income of at least 10 million Vietnamese dongs (USD 446).
In addition, each year, they restrict and prohibit the distribution of games that may promote violence or distortion of the country’s history. Thus, only from 2017 to 2019, they removed from Apple and Play Store more than 241 applications.
5. Life is mainly on two wheels
Bicycles and mopeds are all the rage, and they will look at you a little funny when you rent them to get around cities and lower yourself into their sprawling traffic.
Better to get around on two wheels than take a chance on two legs: pedestrians, like in Nepal and India, are the last link in the road chain.
Also, here’s a curiosity about buses in Vietnam: tickets are made on board, and you can also buy drinks and food. In addition, the driver is equipped with a broom and dustpan to keep the vehicle always clean, and there are doormats in front of the doors that say Welcome!
6. Coffee culture: it tastes like chocolate
Vietnam ranks among the top ten coffee-producing countries in the world. Although you’ll find the domestic instant one in hostels, as you wander around the cities, you’ll get to taste this beverage in all its variations.
Straight out of the mocha, mixed with excessive ice, added with yogurt or coconut milk or freshly whipped egg yolks- you’ll fall in love with it. Preparation takes time, so don’t be surprised if you are served a lovely bergamot tea after ordering; it is customary to sip it while waiting.
7. Ice cream is served rolled
Did you know that in Vietnam, they serve rolled ice creams?
Here’s how it works:
- At first, it’s like making a crepe.
- They pour the mixture to be iced on a chilled top.
- You choose the ingredients you want to combine with the base according to your taste or curiosity (you can range from fruit to Oreo cookies).
- They start scrambling the mixture with spatulas.
It will be frozen, cut, and rolled in a few minutes, ready to be enjoyed.
Going around supermarkets, you can also find packaged ice creams in unknown flavors. Then, of course, ice cream parlors also serve ice cream in the classic cone but come on: this one about rolled ice cream could win the prize of the craziest curiosity about Vietnam!
In general, food culture in Vietnam is very strong, just like in neighboring countries such as Malaysia or Thailand.
8. The mini pig is a domestic animal
If you see Vietnamese people accompanied by a pig during your trip, no worries! Because it is completely normal here. Among the most common pets are not dogs and cats, but the pot-bellied piglet, so called because its belly almost touches the ground.