During the trip in Hoi An, tourists can enjoy its specialties not only at the luxurious restaurant but right from the vendors selling in the street. Besides, a cooking class in Hoi An is also another way to introduce every visitor specialties of this charming town.
Hoi An used to be one of the busiest cities in Cochin, which conversed the East and West cultures, therefore, the food here is very diverse and abundant.
Today, many traditional cuisines and specialties are offered by street vendors. At about 2pm, one can hear vendors advertising their food on the street. Whenever they find a customer, they stop, place down their bamboo frame under the shade of the tree to prepare food. The customers can enjoy the food right on the pavement or take it away. If they want to taste the cuisines on the spot, the vendors will lay the table, which is a small chair, to arrange food.
Most western foreigners travelling to South-East Asian countries like Vietnam are normally afraid of eating street food. Do not hesitate! The only thing you’d need to keep mind of is to make sure that there are a lot of people eating at the food stall (to ensure food turnover is quick) and that the food is cooked in front of you, and with that you should be fine! Enjoying street food is one of the most interesting things in the Central Vietnam with World Heritage tour.
Used to be the major trading center and one of the busiest cities in South East Asia for centuries ago, Hoi An owned the mixture of East and West cultures, which has made the food here is very diverse and abundant as well as captures every visitor’s heart whenever they travel to Hoi An in their Vietnam tours.
Ms. Huong, who has been selling “Banh Beo” (rice cake with shrimp powder) for more than 20 years, said that both Vietnamese and foreign tourists love to enjoy her food on the street. “The food is not very strange to many people but they like the way it is served and its special flavor. They can also witness the life of local people while eating.”
Walking through the ancient streets of Hoi An as Tran Phu, Le Loi, Nguyen Thai Hoc or along the Hoai River, tourists will see women walking with a bamboo frame on their shoulder, inviting tourists to buy their food. If the tourists refuse, they will still receive a wish and a smile from the vendor.
Visitors can find all kinds of food on the street, from Hue’s cuisines as banh beo, banh bot loc, rice with mussel to Chinese cuisines like tofu, xi ma phu, cao lau and Vietnamese and Chinese noodles, which are changed a little in the flavor. The food is served by mobile vendors but it is always hot.
Another reason that makes street food in Hoi An popular is the reasonable price, only 1 or 2 USD per unit. In Hoi An, vendors are not banned like in other cities because they have helped create the characteristics of this tourism town. However, they have to meet criteria on food hygiene, prices and are not allowed to disturb tourists. “I charge the same prices for both locals and tourists,” said Ms. Hoa, who sells sweet soup on Bach Dang Street.
Hoi An is always the best choice for every Vietnam family tour. I guess what tourists loved the most about having street food was the simplicity of the dishes, the fact that tourists could actually talk to the food vendors about the food they are making for their customers and to just appreciate all the hard work that these food vendors (which are most likely family-run) do to serve up the best dish they possibly can to make a living – most of which have been working at the same spot everyday of the year (except the Vietnamese New Year holidays) for most of their lives!
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