Drinks in Vietnam

Find out about the soft drinks as well as the beers, wines and spirits available in Vietnam...

It is strongly advised to avoid drinking any tap water in Vietnam, and to only drink water that comes in a sealed bottle. Bottled water and soft drinks are available throughout the country. Ice is generally made in factories using filtered water, so it does not pose as much of a health risk as might be assumed.

A huge variety of fruit juice and smoothies are served in cafés and restaurants, while sugarcane juice, or nuoc mia, is sold widely on the street. For the safest and cheapest source of hydration, fresh coconuts (dua xiem – pronounced “yooa siem” in the south and “zooa sim” in the north) are widely available.

Chinese tea is very popular and is served both hot and cold. Coffee is grown in the Central Highlands region, particularly around Buon Ma Thuot, and is typically prepared in single servings in single-cup metal filters known as phin.

Alcohol

Vietnam is a country with a keen taste for beer, with many local and international brands vying for a piece of the lucrative market. Less common but still prevalent alcoholic drinks are rice wine, or ruou (a generic term that is applied to all spirits), and Vietnamese rum, which is sweeter and less potent than its Caribbean counterpart. For the adventurous drinker, “snake wine”, a type of whisky in which a snake, scorpion or even crow has been marinated, is also available.

For wine drinkers, Vietnam has its own wine region in the highlands around Dalat, which produces some fairly decent wines, particularly those that are meant for export. There are vineyards near Phan Thiet and Phan Rang.