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   Cooking Holidays Vietnam  
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VIETNAM

. . . the land of the noodle crazy population - breakfast, lunch and dinner

Vietnam is bordered by China in the North and by Laos and Cambodia in the West. Three quarters of the country is occupied by mountains and tropical forests. The weather in the southern part of Vietnam is tropical whilst in the north it has the monsoon which brings a hot, rainy season from mid-May to mid-September and a warm, dry season from mid-October to mid-March.

The country is an eclectic mix of old and new from Hanoi in the north to Ho Chi Minh City in the south. Hanoi the capital city of Vietnam has a lot to offer to its visitors and residents alike. It is quieter than Ho Chi Minh City but there are more green spaces and eighteen beautiful lakes such as Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake and Truc Bach Lake to discover. The most attractive part of Hanoi is its centre, around Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter. Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) remains the economic capital of Vietnam, its cultural diversity, which remains, makes this an undeniably rich city.

Much of the countryside remains unchanged. From the Mekong Delta to the green patchwork of rice paddies to the soaring mountains in the north which tower over tiny villages where life continues much as it has done for centuries, to the South China Sea and the three thousand chalk islands in Ha Long Bay this is a country not to be missed.

Vietnamese food varies from region to region. Rice and noodles are staple foods and are served with nearly all meals. The most popular dishes are nema rán (spring rolls), bún thang (noodles with sliced pork, eggs, shredded chicken and shrimp), shellfish steamed with ginger and sea crabs fried with salt. Among common ingredients used are: shark fin, duck, pork paste, fish, spices, fruits, vegetables, crab meat, lobster and oysters.

 
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