When the sun is strong in Vietnam and you’re starting to get thirsty, you’ll probably want to find something refreshing and cooling. There are more to choose from than water though. In fact, there’s an abundance of tasty choices that you can and should try. Note that most of the drinks are served with ice and this is usually okay to drink if you see that the ice has a hole in it – this means that the ice has been machine made. However, try to avoid getting crushed ice, since it’s most probably been crushed with hands, and it’s the hands that you should be worried about. Otherwise, don’t say no to the ice since it’s not common with refrigerators and you don’t want to get a warm drink in the scorching sun.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the best non alcoholic drinks in Vietnam.
1. Ginseng Tea
One of the most beloved drinks in Vietnam is this sweet drink with a nutty taste. It’s usually served with rice dishes. The Ginseng tea is can be found in most places in Vietnam, and perhaps especially from the many street vendors. The drink consists of corn silk, grass roots, nettle leaves and sugar cane, ingredients that have all been locally found. It’s a drink that the locals are very fond of, but that expats and travelers have been opening up their eyes to as well.
2. Sugar Cane Drink
Another one of Vietnam’s most famous drinks, you can find the sugar cane drinks in almost every street in Vietnam, and they’re usually sold by street vendors. It’s not as sweet as it might sound like, since the juice from the sugar canes is also mixed with a tiny sour lime called Calamansi. Therefore it makes for a perfectly refreshing drink to enjoy when the sun is hot or if you just want to quench your thirst. If you’re looking for a sugarcane street vendor, they’re usually never far away from markets, parks, universities, etc. You will bump into one whether you’re looking for one or not!
3. Fruit Smoothies
Smoothies work great as both a thirst quencher and a vitamin boost. Vietnam is known for having an abundance of tropical fruits and what better way to use it than making delicious smoothies out of them? You can find all sorts of smoothies, some with a more tropical flavor such as fresh dragon fruit, jackfruit, coconut, soursop (a must-try!) and pineapple. You can also get other flavors such as banana, strawberry, apple and avocado. If you can’t decide on one, why not ask them to mix some together! The smoothies are usually mixed with condensed milk or yogurt, along with ice that will keep the smoothie cold and fresh. If you want the healthier version, just ask them to add a bit of water instead of milk or yogurt.
4. Artichoke Tea
This one sounds a bit strange but we assure you that it’s actually a really good and healthy drink! It’s especially popular amongst the hungover Vietnamese, since it’s believed that this drink has liver-cleansing and detoxifying properties. You can either get the sweet version of the artichoke tea, which is made from the artichoke flower, or get the black version which is intensely bitter, mde from the artichoke stems. If you’re not a big fan of bitter flavors, stick with the sweetened one since it’s a bit easier to drink if you’re not used to the flavor. You can buy it either in the supermarket, where they have packaged tea, or in some restaurants.
Everyone’s favorite go-to drink is most definitely coffee and Vietnam has an abundance of it. They are one of the main producers of coffee in the world so it’s no wonder that coffee is such a popular drink here as well. If you want to drink it as the locals, get it with either condensed milk or black with a bit of sugar. When the weather’s warm, most people prefer to drink their coffee iced. Although you can get good coffee almost everywhere (the Vietnamese really knows how to brew their coffee), you can also try to see where most locals go and get their coffee boost. In order words – follow the crowd! If you want to try coffee in a more different way, try the Hanoi specialty “egg coffee”, which is a more sweet alternative. You can also get yogurt coffee and coconut coffee, both very interesting and delicious options that you can find in most cafés.
Just remember to apply for your Vietnam visa before you start planning your trip to Vietnam. A visa is required for all those who are not on the visa exempt list or wish to stay in the country for longer than 15 days. Depending on which country you’re from, you can apply for a Visa on Arrival, E-Visa or go to your nearest Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate and apply with them. The online options are the easiest and most affordable, so if you can, we’d recommend you to apply for a visa online.