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10 reasons to try Hanoi’s Bia Hoi for travel experiences in Vietnam

  • venorica

    Joined Travelfish
    18th October, 2012
    Posts: 9

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 10 reasons to try Hanoi ’s Bia Hoi for travelexperiences in Vietnam

    Hanoi's bia hoi: youwon't get drunk, but you won't spend hardly any money either. Much hasbeen written about bia hoi. It's a foamy, light-alcohol beer found mostly innorthern Vietnam. Made fresh each day with few preservatives, the dregs arechucked down the gutter at close of business each day.
    This quick turnover and easy brewing means it'sexceptionally cheap -- about 20 cents a glass, though Vietnam's rapid inflationmay see that rise before publication -- and the establishments that serve itare also relatively basic.
    1. Bia hoi is cheaper
    Far, far cheaper than its Czech-inspiredcounterpart. Though both cost peanuts compared to most places back home there'sa certain satisfaction in knowing your dozen beers cost only US$3.
    2. People are friendlier
    It's a rare night you'll spend with friends clusteredround the low-slung plastic stools of a bia hoi where some blinking, red-facedbloke won't lurch up to your table to repeatedly grasp your hand and yell,"Helloo! Hello! Helloh?" then invite you to join his mates for somerounds of cheap, rice-based spirits.
    3. You can relax
    Smoking, slurping, dumping chicken bones on the floor-- all are acceptable behavior here. Nay, they're encouraged.
    4. The food
    Some bia hois serve execrable rubbish, but plentyserve excellent, freshly prepared dishes for very little cost.
    Banana flower salad (nom hoa chuoi), barbecuedchicken (ga nuong) and fried rice (com rang) are stalwarts. Just watch out forthe mixed hotpot (lau thap cam) or pig stomach (da day).
    5. Interesting localspirits
    Vodka Hanoi (cheap, rice-based vodka with a slightlygreasy aftertaste) is a standard but many places also stock ruou ong den -- ricewine infused with the whole bees' nest, not just the nectar -- or ruou dua,rice wine left to ferment in a coconut shell (it tastes a hell of a lot betterthan Malibu, believe us).
    The hangover's never worth it, mind.
    6. Street life
    Usually these beer barns are open-walled and tablesand chairs often spill onto the street. You may get a lungful of motorbikeexhaust with your fried spinach, but you get a nice view as well. Others backonto lakes or parks, or the Mausoleum.
    7. Watery, weak, butunique
    It's rare in the south but unheard of in the rest ofthe world. Fresh, brewed daily and cheaper than any other beer, anywhere. Thathas to count for something in a world of generic, international brands. Andit's no more watery than Bud or Coors, anyway.
    8. Colonial heritage
    Think of this: the French colonial oppressors broughtbia to Vietnam to stop people wrecking themselves on dodgy rice spirit.
    This is where bia hois originally came from. Thepilsner beer halls are a result of people studying in former communist nationsback in the days when everyone still knew the words to the Internationale.
    But the leftovers of colonial rule -- the bia hois --are still working men’s brew halls while the results of the egalitarianinternational brotherhood are there mostly for the rapidly emerging middleclass.
    9. It's egalitarian
    Bia hoi gets more egalitarian yet. A bia hoi can benothing more than a tiny grandmother sat roadside with a table, chairs, a kegand a few glasses.
    Using technology no more complicated than a rubberpipe she sucks some frothy beer from the keg, so you can usually have a drinkmorning, noon or night. As Vietnam modernizes, beer for breakfast has becomeless common, but it was once a grand tradition.
    10. No hangover
    Though some drinkers will vehemently disagree, biahoi doesn't usually leave you with a pounding hangover.
    It's low alcohol content means it takes a concertedeffort to get drunk enough to feel dreadful the next day. Most problems comefrom people getting a stale batch, something you have to watch out for.Drinking at busy places is a better idea.
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    #1 Posted: 7/11/2012 - 03:51

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  • daawgon

    Joined Travelfish
    17th April, 2007
    Posts: 1039
    Total reviews: 2

    I avoid bia hoi places because they serve dog meat - shame!

    #2 Posted: 7/11/2012 - 08:09

  • venorica

    Joined Travelfish
    18th October, 2012
    Posts: 9

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    no..in Ha noi bia hoi do not serve dog meat....

    #3 Posted: 8/11/2012 - 01:26

  • Kurtz

    Joined Travelfish
    15th October, 2012
    Posts: 20

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Daawgon - on what basis are you making that comment? I have drunk at dozens of bia hois around Hanoi and have never seen tit cho on the menu.

    I drank bia hoi for a year and have finally woken up; it's cat's piss ready made for the Vietnamese common man and backpackers.

    #4 Posted: 9/11/2012 - 09:31

  • venorica

    Joined Travelfish
    18th October, 2012
    Posts: 9

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Hi Kurst. That's right. I try to enjoys Bia Hoi in Ha Noi old quarter and I have ever seen dog meat in Bia Hoi restaurant.

    #5 Posted: 12/11/2012 - 01:02

  • theglesgaboy

    Joined Travelfish
    7th January, 2012
    Posts: 7

    Posted from within Vietnam.


    #6 Posted: 12/11/2012 - 07:55

  • cuongicp

    Joined Travelfish
    5th November, 2012
    Posts: 4

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    I often drinks hanoi's beer in hot-pot meals with my family. That's a good drink, i like most !

    #7 Posted: 12/11/2012 - 21:45

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