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Rules/safety tips for eating and drinking in Hoi An please

Posted by BrigZapps on 11/2/2014 at 21:29

The street food in Hoi An sounds amazing! We are spending time in Hoi An in July this year. My question is, how safe is it all to eat? We have travelled to Bali & Thailand before and have followed all the rules eg, only bottled water, no raw salad, no ice, only ate in busy restaurants and never ate from street vendors etc. We are travelling with our teenagers, and would like to try the local food and drinks from vendors and markets, but would appreciate any tips regarding do's and dont's so no one ends up sick!

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Posted by antoniamitchell on 12/2/2014 at 00:53

Hi BrigZapps,

To be perfectly honest, most of the "rules" seem to have been written by people who've never traveled in their life (or have an insurance company's love of eliminating every last scintilla of possible risk).

Street food is frequently just as safe as busy restaurants, because they have high turn-over, and it's prepared fresh when you order (and you can also see what the vendor is doing, so you know how clean they're keeping their work area).

Ice is normally safe too - look for tubular ice (the ones that are formed in thick rod shapes), as these are usually made in the bottled water factory.

Sure, there's a small risk you could get sick, but that risk exists in your home country as well. Basically, use common sense (don't eat pre-cooked food that you can see has been sitting around in the sun and flies for a while) and you should be fine.

#2 antoniamitchell has been a member since 13/5/2012. Posts: 541
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Posted by travellingsarah on 12/2/2014 at 10:11 TF writer

Posted from within Vietnam.

I completely agree with Antonia. I've only ever got sick from restaurant food, never street food. Salad is a bit of a risk perhaps, as that is probably washed in tap water, so perhaps avoid that, at least to start with. And yes, stick to places that look busy as their food won't be hanging around for too long.

#3 travellingsarah has been a member since 23/3/2010. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 684
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Posted by LolaNguyen on 20/2/2014 at 03:49 TF writer

Posted from within Vietnam.

Hi, if it helps the street food places in the Hoi An section here have all been tested numerous times by my very delicate belly and passed the msg test (I'm allergic) :-)

You could also do a street food tour - is the most popular and is run by a local expat, but groups can be on the large side and it's a bit of a budget blow out if you want to go with the whole family. An alternative smaller tour is run by Coconut Tours with an English speaking guide Mr Phuoc which is more personal and fun (and half the price) his number is (84) 0905411184.

Ms Vy of Morning Glory/Cargo fame has recently opened the Market Restaurant on An Hoi (opposite the old town), which is a cleansed version of the street food stalls in an international standard restaurant where you can try all the local specialities and watch them being prepared - they even have a weird and wonderful corner where you can try things like grilled silk worms.

Restaurants are regularly checked by food safety officers and are required by law to show their certificates and send staff on food hygeine courses. Most wash salads, fruit and veg with bottled water and all must use 'safe' ice. Even the street food vendors in tourist areas in Hoi An are monitored by these officials - most have the certificate or look for the vendors with gold lettering on their sign - they have the government stamp of approval.

There are some street food dishes that western pallets don't handle very well, but due to Hoi An being so touristy vendors tend not to serve those things to foreigners (or at least will offer you the choice). Follow the girl's advice above about the ice and busy stalls and you'll be absolutely fine.

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Posted by nathuy on 6/3/2014 at 01:35

Posted from within Vietnam.

I would suggest that you should take a look at the street food culture in Hoi An. From time to time, it has been developed by a wide variety of vendors throughout Vietnam. They aim to serve up their specialities. But the price is not always good. To avoid this, it is advisable that you visit the central market food hall in which all vendors have to be under a fixed price system.

#5 nathuy has been a member since 24/1/2014. Posts: 28

Posted by BrigZapps on 6/3/2014 at 02:46

Thankyou for all of the advice and information, it has been really helpful !

#6 BrigZapps has been a member since 9/2/2014. Posts: 3
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