Surviving Vietnam: 6 Days Without Masala or International Cuisine – Tips and Suggestions

Traveling to a new country can be an exciting adventure, but it can also be a challenge, especially when it comes to food. If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam and are not a fan of masala or international cuisine, you might be wondering how you’ll manage your meals for six days. But don’t worry, Vietnam has a rich culinary tradition that goes beyond these flavors. Here are some tips and suggestions to help you navigate the food scene in Vietnam and enjoy your stay without compromising on your dietary preferences.

1. Embrace Local Cuisine

Vietnamese cuisine is diverse and offers a wide range of flavors. If you’re not a fan of masala or international food, this is a great opportunity to explore local dishes. Pho, a traditional Vietnamese soup made with broth, rice noodles, and meat, is a must-try. Other popular dishes include Banh Mi (a Vietnamese sandwich), Bun Cha (grilled pork and noodles), and Goi Cuon (spring rolls). These dishes are flavorful but not spicy, making them a good choice for those who prefer milder tastes.

2. Communicate Your Preferences

When dining out, don’t hesitate to communicate your preferences to the staff. Most restaurants in Vietnam are accustomed to catering to tourists and can adjust the dishes to suit your taste. If you’re not comfortable with spicy food, you can request that they make your meal less spicy or exclude certain ingredients.

3. Opt for Seafood

Vietnam, being a coastal country, has an abundance of fresh seafood. From grilled fish and squid to clams and prawns, there are plenty of options for seafood lovers. Seafood dishes in Vietnam are usually prepared with simple ingredients like salt, pepper, and lime, allowing the natural flavors to shine through.

4. Try Vegetarian Dishes

If you’re not a fan of meat or seafood, Vietnam also has a variety of vegetarian dishes. Tofu is commonly used in Vietnamese cuisine, and there are also many dishes made with mushrooms, noodles, and vegetables. Some restaurants even offer vegetarian versions of traditional Vietnamese dishes.

5. Explore Street Food

Street food is a big part of Vietnamese culture. It’s also a great way to try a variety of dishes at a reasonable price. From rice pancakes to sweet desserts, there’s something for everyone. Just remember to choose vendors that look clean and are popular with locals.

6. Stay Hydrated

Finally, remember to stay hydrated, especially if you’re not used to the tropical climate. Coconut water is a popular drink in Vietnam and is a great way to replenish your electrolytes. There are also plenty of fruit juices and herbal teas to choose from.

In conclusion, while the food in Vietnam may be different from what you’re used to, there are plenty of options to suit different tastes. With a little bit of exploration and an open mind, you might just discover your new favorite dish!