Monthly Archives: January 2015

EATING VIETNAMESE FOOD 7

EATING OUT Eating out in Vietnam is cheap, fun and delicious. Good food can be enjoyed in a fancy, air-conditioned restaurant or at a street cafe. It is also a way of life in south Vietnam. Few people have a large kitchen, many hold two jobs and wives often work outside the home as well, so many meals are eaten ... Read More »

EATING VIETNAMESE FOOD 6

BEVERAGES Tea, called che or tra, is the most common drink. It is drunk at any time during the day. Early each morning, a pot of tea is prepared and then kept warm with a padded cosy or in a thermos flask, to be drunk throughout the day. Any visitor is always served tea in tiny tea cups. It may ... Read More »

EATING VIETNAMESE FOOD 5

THE ETIQUETTE OF EATING Diners will usually sit around a table with a bowl sitting on a small plate, chopsticks and a soup spoon placed in front of each person. The small plate can be used for discarded bones, shrimp shells and so on. Chopsticks for daily use are normally made of plastic, bamboo or painted wood. Special occasions may ... Read More »

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REGIONAL DIFFERENCES Barbecued dishes, fish, seafood and fresh uncooked vegetables are enjoyed throughout Vietnam but regional variations, while not as distinct as in China, are still interesting to note as you travel around. Some of these are due to the climatic and geographical differences and, hence, the varying availability of ingredients. But some dishes are preferred in hotter or cooler ... Read More »

EATING VIETNAMESE FOOD 3

Rice Rice is the symbol of life. It is called the pearl of the gods and is an integral part of any meal. Its importance is reflected in the number of words in the Vietnamese language describing it at every stage of its growth and journey, from rice seed to the table. Children who do not finish all the rice ... Read More »

EATING VIETNAMESE FOOD 2

INGREDIENTS Many of the ingredients are well-known in Asian cooking. Bamboo shoots, tofu or beancurd, Chinese cabbage, bean sprouts and Chinese kale are used widely. Shallots, particularly flowering chives, are used in abundance. Eating lotus seeds or the stem ensures that you will have a good night’s sleep, according to local belief, and both are found in many dishes. In ... Read More »

EATING VIETNAMESE FOOD

Vietnamese food is excellent and appeals to most people. While it is not as well-known as Chinese or Thai food, it is a distinct and refined cuisine in its own right. Flavours, textures, cooking techniques and even ingredients have all been introduced into Vietnamese cuisine over time, but it still retains its own unique character. A southern dish may have ... Read More »

BUSINESS ETIQUETTE 7

Observing Seniority Age is very important to the Vietnamese and an early question will often be “How old are you?” The answer determines both the form of address they will use and their behaviour. They find it difficult to guess the ages of foreigners and even a couple of years’ difference between people changes the pecking order. In work situations, ... Read More »

BUSINESS ETIQUETTE 6

Hiring Staff As in all other countries, there are good and poor performers in the work place. Here, the process can be complicated as many business establishments do not hire direct, but through a service company. Therefore, firing a person may not halt his salary (as it comes from the service company, not you). So the threat of firing is ... Read More »

BUSINESS ETIQUETTE 5

TRANSLATOR ETIQUETTE There are times when you will need to use a translator. Even if you speak a little Vietnamese or the other party speaks some English, it is more convenient and misunderstandings are minimised if a translator is present. Do not talk to the translator but turn to the person you are addressing and speak to him, using first-person ... Read More »