30 Aug 2013, 4:50pm
Life in Vietnam:


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  • The differences between Hanoi and Saigon (part 2)




    They call their lovers “anh yêu”, “em yêu”

    They use “ông xã”, “bà xã”.


    You will be considered a rich man when:

    You have a lot of money.

    You spend a lot of money.


    Choosing song, singing for joy, no problem if you get wrong tone.

    Try your best to sing, as good as possible.


    They are very expensive but not practical.

    Very convenient

    A place for relaxing at weekend

    Book store

    The seller is imperious.

    You can read book at the book store to find which book you want or like. If you don’t buy any book, it’s ok, don’t worry about that.


    It’s very quiet, you can have inner peace

    It’s very noisy

    “Chè” (a kind of sweet derrert)

    It’s often contained in a small glass or bowl.

    Contained in a small bag, often including coconut milk, you can bite a hole and suck.

    Cut a lemon

    Cross line cut

    Vertical cut

    Go out:

    Good motorcycle, beautiful dress, but maybe have no money.

    Don’t need to dress so beautiful, but when you ask for money, they will say: “How much do you need?”


    Remember not to haggle. In the morning, if you don’t want to receive  a hot look, and hear bad words

    They just say: “Thanks you, see you next time”


    Emphasizing on the words

    Emphasizing on the gesture

    Pay respects

    You have to address (his/her name) in a respectful way.

    You just need to bow

    Buying something, and you need them to pack faster

    If you want it to be faster, go to another store!

    Ok, I’ll do it now.


    It need to be polite and formal.

    As funny as possible.

    When talking about business

    They will ask you who your father is

    If they recognize your plan is feasible, they will agree.

    Developing a project

    They care about how many they can get from the Central Government.

    The people in Saigon just care about the way to make profit from that project, and how to do that.

    When you come to visit somebody:

    Hosts will invite you to drink tea.

    It’s often coffee or soft drink.

    Talking to friend:

    They use: “cậu” and “tớ”. When friends in Hanoi use “may, tao”, the relationship has become serious

    They use “mày” and “tao”

    Say thanks when given something:

    “Vâng, quý hoá quá”

    “Trời ơi dữ hông”

    Praising food

    “Ngon tuyệt cú mèo”

    “Ngon bá cháy bò chét.”

    Power, water cut

    Mất điện, mất nước

    Cúp điện, cúp nước

    About Girls

    Sun burnt skin, lovable in talking

    White skin, but cold.

    About Boys

    Sun burnt skin and humorous

    White skin and mannered dress.


    A bottle is poured around for all glasses

    Each person keep his own bottle.

    16 Aug 2013, 9:39pm
    Life in Vietnam:

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  • The differences between Hanoi and Saigon (part 1)

    When you study Vietnamese, you will meet some thing that is different between the South and the North of Vietnam.

    This topic will help you have an overview about that different.




    Like the disposition of girls in Hanoi – smoldering and tenaciousness

    Like the disposition of the girls in Saigon – Sour and scornful but easy to forget


    It’s easily to find a motorbike taxi driver working in vest.

    You can dress the shorts with plastic sandals and properly go into Rex (a luxury restaurant in Saigon).


    They call it a transportation with engine. Rarely to see an old or broken motorcycle on the street

    They call it a transportation with two wheels.  Some motorcycle seems to be borrowed from the museum running on the street.

    Mending a puncture at midnight:

    “It’s too late now, 100.000VNĐ and I will mend it for you.”

    “10.000 VND, please!”

    Passenger car:

    They will tell you: Move over, please!

    Each passenger have a particular seat, don’t get more if the car is full.

    Receive a phone call:

    Let’s stand at the crossroad when talking so that others will know who you are.

    If you don’t want your mobile phone wrenched away from you, you should park your motorcycle on the sidewalk for talking.


    Do not turn right when traffic light is red.

    Some places is even allow for turning left.

    When you get a light accident with the other who stops for traffic light

    You will receive an insult.

    They just look back to see who the perpetrator is, and … continue waiting.


    Men in Hanoi can wear shoe without stocking.

    Girls in Saigon can wear stocking without shoe.

    When two girls like the same things

    They said: “You and I buy it.”

    “You bough it, I will find another one.”


    And the formula is also different:

    Coffee shop is very cramped, sometime you can see that two couples are arranged in one table.

    Coffee + milk + two ice cube = ice milk coffee, named “nâu đá” (brown ice), if you want more water, it’s very difficult.

    Coffee shops have a lot of chairs arranged in line.

    A few coffee + a few milk + ice + ice +… + and ice = ice milk coffee. and  you also have a glass of ice tea or a pot of tea to drink for free

    Ice tea:

    You can buy a glass of ice tea with 2.000 VND.

    A glass of ice tea like that can make 4 glasses, but it’s free.

    Fork and dish. (nĩa – đĩa)

    When you say: “cho tôi thêm một cái dĩa”

    You will have a fork.

    They will give you a dish


    It’s very rare

    It is very usually when you here someone say: “thanks”

    Yes (Dạ and Vâng)

    When the elder invites you over for a meal:

    In Hanoi, you should say: “dạ, vâng”

    Just need one word, “dạ” or “vâng”

    Saying love:

    When you speak to a girl: “Thế em có yêu anh không?” (do you love me?)

    The girls in Hanoi will answer: “Nếu nói không thì sao?” (what if I say “no”?)

    The girls in Saigon will answer: “Tại sao lại không nhỉ!” (why not!)


    6 Dec 2012, 3:50pm
    Life in Vietnam:

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  • Culinary culture of Vietnamese

    Part I: the synthesis nature

    The way of eating in Vietnamese culture is firstly showed on the way that Vietnamese do the cooking. Most of Vietnamese dishes are the product of a synthesize making: vegetables and vegetables, vegetables and spices, vegetables and meat…

    Untitled 1 Culinary culture of Vietnamese

    Simple as xôi gấc (steamed momordica glutinous rice), ốc nấu (boiling shellfish), phở (noodle soup)… Sophisticated as bánh chưng (square glutinous rice cake), nem rán (fried meat roll) … Or just the sauce, all of them are made from a lot of materials. These materials mixing with each other to make the dishes have full of nutrient: protein, fat, starch, mineral, water. They not only have high nutritional value, but also make a original taste, both delicious of five tastes: salt – fat – sour – pungent – sweet, and beautiful of five colors: black – red – green – white – yellow. With just a bowl of sauce, a clever housewife will make from a lot of material, make it full of tastes: salt of fish sauce, pungent of ginger, chili, sour of lemon, sweet of sugar, and special taste of garlic.

    023 Culinary culture of Vietnamese

    The synthesis nature is also shown on the eating way of Vietnamese. When eating, Vietnamese have a lot of dishes at the same time: cooked rice, soup, vegetable, melon, fish, meat, flying dishes, boiling dishes… This way affect to all human senses: nose sniff the scent of dishes, eyes saw the colorful of dining-table, tongue tastes the dishes, and ears hear the sound when foods are chewed. (Vietnamese like smack the lips when drink tea, and “khà” (a sigh of satisfaction) when drinking). Sometime, Vietnamese fell very comfortable and wonderful when using hands to tear the food (such as boil chicken).

    The delicious of Vietnamese meals is the mixing of many factors:

    Good food but bad weather is not delicious.

    Good weather but bad place is not delicious.

    Good place but has no friend is not delicious.

    Have friend but bad atmosphere is not delicious as well.