Sinh Tố (Fruit Smoothie)

The abundance of fresh tropical fruit is just a blender and a block of ice away from becoming a delicious smoothie. Fresh dragonfruit, jackfruit, custard apple and banana are popular drinks in Vietnam, and thanks to Vietnam’s cooler, mountainous regions, local strawberries.

Fresh coconut juice

Straight from a green coconut, fresh coconut juice is sweet and revitalising with the added bonus of the roadside theatre of watching someone artfully slice a coconut with a machete. Smaller coconuts tend to be sweeter. Try to find a roadside stall that keeps their coconuts on the ice.

Nước Mía (Sugar Cane Juice)

Sugar cane juice is less sweet than it sounds and squeezed from the fresh canes from a roadside. Often juice from calamansi, a sour mandarin-like fruit is added to round out the grassy flavour with some sourness.

Soda Chanh (Lime Soda)

Fresh lime, sugar syrup and soda water are as simple as it is refreshing. Fancier places will serve the sugar syrup on the side of your drink so that you can adjust the ratio of sweet to tart to your tastes.

Bia (Beer)

Bia hoi – low alcohol, watery lager served on the roadside straight from a keg and drank while sitting on a small plastic chair submerses you in a boozier part of the northern Vietnam’s street life. Vietnam also has a burgeoning microbrewery scene centred on Saigon and growing in Hanoi.

Rượu cần (Rice Wine)

Glutinous rice is spontaneously brewed for a month with herbs in large earthenware jugs, the sort of thing you might find on a Hmong homestay.

Water

Stay hydrated. It’s hot. Always fill a reusable bottle with filtered water to take with you.

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