This is your first trip to Vietnam and a foreign country so naturally you are excited. But when travelling to this country be prepared to expect some strange things that you are not accustomed too.
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For one, did you know that you can eat some strange things for breakfast? No more cold pizza and a beer in the morning here to enjoy from that left over dinner from the night before. Don’t even think about those eggs or pancakes either. Instead think more about what you would have for lunch or dinner for breakfast in place of your normal routine. Take your choice of beef and noodle soup or even chicken pate sandwiches.
Let’s go biking! No, not for a leisurely stroll through the park but more like in the way of major transportation to get around town. The bikes make up about 90% of all vehicles on the road and it is now compulsory to wear a helmet also. Where else will you be able to see the streets clogged with over 10 million bikes and even that number keeps rising. It is a cheap way to own transportation.
Uncle Ho (Ho Chi Minh) travels about 8000 miles every year, but what is peculiar is that he has been dead for quite some time. Over 40 years! The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi is a place to put on your “to see” list as he is on display for at least 9 months of the year for viewing. His dying wish was originally to be cremated. Plan ahead if you want to stop here to visit as it is closed from September to December.
Another oddity that you don’t see in a lot of countries is snakes in bottles of whiskey. But not just any snake either, specifically it is the cobra snake you will see in them. They actually bred them on farms before going into those bottles. This snake infused bottle is considered an aphrodisiac and can also be a reliever of back and muscle pain. Guess this would make a great souvenir for someone on your list, if it passes thru customs when returning home.
While on the subject of oddities how about insects made into food? A popular one is crickets. Usually these critters are fried. There certainly are a lot of them in the green rice paddy fields, but they also bred these specifically to eat as food. A lot of vendors sell them in plastic bags along the roadside and when you eat them you will hear the sound of the crunch like you are eating a crisp. Harder to imagine as a snack is also fertilised duck eggs, served hard boiled and more solid than a regular egg.
These are just a few things you will find strange when travelling in Vietnam. What has been your most unusual thing, that you’ve seen, when exploring in a faraway lands?
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