What to drink in Vietnam

Vietnam offers a variety of ways to quench your thirst on hot and humid days. From sugar cane juice to local beers and artisan rice wine, here is our list of drinks to try in Vietnam.

Sinh to (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 all popular in drinks, as well as local strawberries, thanks to Vietnam’s cooler, mountainous regions.

Fresh coconut juice

Enjoyed straight from a green coconut, fresh coconut juice is sweet and revitalising. It also comes with the added bonus of roadside theatre as you watch someone artfully slice open a coconut with a machete. Smaller coconuts tend to be sweeter. Try to find a roadside stall that keeps their coconuts on the ice.

Nuoc mia (sugar cane juice)

Sugar cane juice is less sweet than it sounds and squeezed from fresh canes by roadside vendors. Juice from calamansi, a sour mandarin-like fruit, is often added to round out its grassy flavour.

Soda chanh (lime soda)

This concoction of fresh lime, sugar syrup and soda water is 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 suit your taste.

Bia (beer)

Submerse yourself in the boozier part of northern Vietnam’s street life by enjoying a bai hoi – a low alcohol, watery larger served straight from the keg – while sitting on the plastic chairs provided by roadside vendors. Vietnam also has a burgeoning microbrewery scene centred in Saigon and growing in Hanoi.

Ruou can (rice wine)

Glutinous rice is brewed with herbs in large earthenware jugs for a month to create this local tipple - the sort of thing you might find on a Hmong homestay.


It's important to stay hydrated while travelling in Vietnam. We recommend packing a reusable bottle with filtered water to take with you as local tap water is not safe to drink. 

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