Despite the differences in lifestyle and culture, Vietnam’s tourism still attracts visitors by its natural scenery, people, long-standing culture, and magnanimous historic stories. Moreover, Vietnam also is considered one of the happiest countries in the world. Let’s discover some “weird” but fun facts about Vietnam that might cause you shocks.
1. Brushing teeth before breakfast
In Western countries, people usually eat breakfast and then brush their teeth because they always have breakfast at home. In Vietnam, people have a habit of brushing their teeth right after waking up and consider it an ingrained habit because people often eat breakfast outside and then go to school or work.
2. Taking a siesta anywhere
Every so often, Vietnamese take a midday nap after having lunch. It takes about a half or an hour that they think that is the best way to relax and refresh their minds. However, besides sleeping in bed, Vietnamese people can take a nap anywhere such as under a tree or a desk, on the saddle of a motorbike, or a bench in the park.
3. Using snakes to make liquor
Vietnamese snake wine is famous for its bizarre way of making. The wine is made by cutting the snake’s tail open, then letting its blood drip into a bottle of rice wine and the snake’s body is kept inside the wine bottle. Due to its extremely high alcohol percentage, snake wine is traditionally drunk in shot glasses. In Vietnam, snake wine is widely believed to improve health and virility.
Snake wine is said to be very beneficial for health in general, however, nowadays with the risk of extinction of many wild animals, Vietnam has joined many international conventions on animal protection. So, from now on, let’s give up the habit of soaking wine with rare wild animals or using any products derived from wild animals.
4. Using sun protection clothing
The development of Western media and culture has created the desire of Vietnamese for white skin. Especially with Vietnamese women, the color of their skin is one of the biggest concerns. In fact, they deem that the more white your skin gets, the more beautiful you are. While Europeans yearn for a tan, so they are ready to go for waking in the sun or sunbathe on the beach, Vietnamese women always try to avoid sunshine when they go out. They cover all their skin with hats, face masks, sunglasses, and long clothing to avoid UV rays in the sun.
5. Thuoc Lao – Pipe Smoking
A common proverb in Vietnam said that a piece of betel is the beginning of the story but for most of the Vietnamese gentlemen, pipe-smoking named Thuoc Lao really begins theirs. Thuoc Lao is a heavy type of tobacco put inside a long pipe made from bamboo or plastic called Dieu Cay through which people can smoke. The Vietnamese men smoke “Thuoc Lao” to help their digestion process. Although Thuoc Lao causes many health risks, it remains rather popular in Vietnam, especially in the Northern part. In daily life, Thuoc Lao and Dieu Cay have become an integral part of all classes from the rich to the poor, from the functionaries to the citizens in Vietnamese society.
6. Wearing Pajamas as Daywear
In Vietnam, visitors can see women in pajamas everywhere such as exercising in the park, walking to the market, or serving in food stalls, especially in the rural areas. The pajamas offer a practical and comfortable form as well as have numerous styles, from vintage floral to colorful patterns, in short, or long loose trousers. Because of the popularity of Vietnam pajamas, travelers can get a pair at any local market they find in their way.
7. Motorbikes can carry anything
Not only motorbikes are great places to take a midday nap, but they can also carry anything in Vietnam such as cages of live poultry or animals, hundreds of bottles, thousands of eggs, gas tanks, giant tree trunks,…There’s no limit to what a motorbike can carry because Vietnamese people thought that it is a good way to save time and money instead of renting a van to transport things. The action seems to be dangerous but it has become a familiar part of the streets in Vietnam.
8. Coconut-shaped boat
The coconut-shaped boat is a Vietnamese popular type of boat that looks like half of a coconut. These boats can be frequently seen all over the country, especially on the beaches of Central Vietnam. Sailors only need to use one paddle to control the boat without an engine. Many Vietnamese don’t even know that these boats are made from cow dung. It may sound disgusting but that is how people prevent the boat from sinking. The coconut-shaped boat is one of the symbols of people’s lives in the Mekong Delta.
9. Eating fried crickets
Fried crickets are one of the popular dishes for Vietnamese beer drinkers. The most common approach to this insect is deep-fried after seasoning them with salt, pepper, scallion oil, herb and such strong seasonings. Crickets will be more crunchy and easy to eat that way. Its taste is very particular, very delicious with a good smell but it is very difficult to compare cricket to other meat. If you have a chance to visit Vietnam, you should not miss this unique dish.
10. Coffee Made from Weasel Poop
Weasel Coffee is one of the most luxurious coffees known around the world. In Vietnam, people call it “ca phe chon”. The coffee beans are collected from the weasel droppings, but the final product has been entirely cleaned and processed. Weasel coffee is considered to be not only more fragrant and delicious but also healthier than coffee made from regular coffee beans. Therefore weasel coffee is exceedingly popular both in Vietnam and in the world, although its price is extremely expensive.
There are some “weird” but fun facts about Vietnam waiting to be told with people who love and want to learn more about Vietnamese cultures. They are Vietnam Traditional customs and unique habits being passed from generation to generation. Although being queer, they play an important role in Vietnamese life. If you want to explore deeper, welcome to Vietnam, many interesting things are waiting for you.