Vietnam’s Tourism Index rank improves to 67th

Indochina day tours - Vietnam ranks 67th among 136 economies in the recently released Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) 2017, going up eight places compared to the same period in 2015.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang, Vietnam’s national park and UNESCO World Heritage
Released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) every two years since 2007, the TTCI 2017 analysed 136 economies and scored each according to three sub-indices: regulatory framework; business environment and infrastructure; and human, cultural and natural resources. 
The TTCI provides a means to measure a country’s performance, and utilises sub-indices and their component parts to represent the overall quality, future potential and long-term sustainability of the tourism sector within each country assessed.
In terms of security and safety perception, Vietnam ranks 57th, rising by 18 places.
The country occupies the highest position in the sub-section, index of terrorism incidence, as well as in timeliness of providing monthly/quarterly travel and tourism data.
In the context of increasing security threats, especially terrorism worldwide, Vietnam has been assessed as a safe destination with stable political conditions.
However, when it comes to international openness, the country ranks only 73th.
Vietnam’s place in the openness of bilateral air service agreements index has improved by three places, reaching 40th, but the lowest place in the index belongs to visa requirements, indicating that the country has yet to catch up with other regional tourist destinations such as Thailand and Malaysia, which have eased visa requirements over the years.
This can be a hindrance when it comes to connecting with other regional destinations and integrating into global economy.
Vietnam made significant progress in its human resources and labour market scores (37th, up 18 places), thanks to a better-qualified labour force (53rd) and partial simplification of regulations to hire foreign labour (75th).
The country also saw exceptional improvement of its information and communications technology capacity and usage (80th, up 17).
Courtesy the country’s increasing online presence, searches related to Vietnam’s natural tourism are growing, which helped it rise in the appeal of its natural resources index (up six places).
At the same time, continued economic development has led to expanding business travels (further increase by three spots).
To continue enhancing the sector’s competitiveness, Vietnam should focus on environmental sustainability (129th).
Lax regulations (115th), high levels of emissions (128th), deforestation (103rd) and limited water treatment (107th) are collectively damaging the environment and should be addressed, perhaps at a multilateral level, to build the foundation for more sustainable development.

Five Vietnamese dishes that have got global gourmets talking

Vietnam awesome travel food - Let's rule out 'pho' and sample the rising stars of Vietnamese cuisine.
Bun cha, "cursing rice noodles", snails, duck embryos and banh mi - ever heard of them? They've been catching the attention of foreign visitors of late, and some have already made it onto the international culinary stage.
Regardless of their sheer weirdness or genuine quality, these dishes have moved the country's culinary reputation on past the traditional pho.
'Bun cha'
Bun cha never used to be a real competitor against other famous street foods, such as banh mi, pho and cuon (spring rolls). It was only popular in Hanoi because in other cities, even Saigon, people had never heard of it. But the dish’s destiny has taken a turn. This is best food in Hanoi.
After the visit of former U.S. President Obama to Vietnam in 2016, bun cha (noodles with grilled pork) stirred up a social media frenzy, and now the dish is renowned among international visitors.
Unlike other favorites that contain secret spices like pho, the ingredients for bun cha are easy to find and the recipe is not that complicated. All you need is sweet and sour smoky broth, barbecued minced pork patties and soft white rice noodles, along with a lettuce, cilantro and herb garnish.
Cursing rice noodles
This is the name that world-renowned chef Anthony Bourdain, who accompanied Obama on his bun cha experience, calls the noodle shop on Ngo Si Lien Street in Hanoi. The place is known for its sharp-tongued owner, a middle-aged lady who does not pull any verbal punches when talking to her customers.
Bourdain's bizarre eatery experience at the shop, which stirred mixed opinions among Vietnamese viewers, was featured on the second episode of CNN food show Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.
Following the episode, more people have ironically been flocking to the shop out of curiosity, and its popularity has grown. After all, bowl of vermicelli noodles, pig's tongue and ground pork, peppered with some tasty language, must be worth a try. Otherwise, all the debate over "dignity or food" surrounding the shop would never have started in the first place.
Vietnamese people love to eat snails, but will only dig into a certain species. They eat oc (Vietnamese freshwater snails), which are smaller and chewier than their land-based cousins. Cooked snails are arranged neatly in a bowl of white rice noodles with fried tofu and fresh herbs, and the dish is finished with a hot, sweet and sour broth that is poured over the cold ingredients. For the final touch, a few slices of cooked tomato are placed on top.
In many countries, snails have a slimy, unhygienic stigma attached to them. Many foreign guests are somewhat hesitant when they're asked to try them for the first time, and some even react with a disgusted: “Eww!”
However, with a variety of cooking methods, from boiled and steamed to fried with pepper, garlic and chili, this folk dish has "reached new heights" and fascinates many visitors from far-flung places.
Vietnamese people consider banh mi a common dish. A baguette with various fillings which may not necessarily follow any certain pattern. Standard stuffings include meat, which can be grilled pork, meatballs or cold cuts, with cucumber slices, cilantro, pickled carrots, liver pâté and a swipe of mayonnaise.
Banh mi is actually one of the best-selling dishes among foreigners visiting Vietnam, with many even hailing it as the best sandwich in the world. While banh mi has become increasingly popular and easy to find in many countries, the best place to eat one is still on the streets of Saigon.
Duck embryos
Trung vit lon, duck eggs with the embryos inside, are a popular street delicacy across Vietnam. They can be boiled, stir-fried, tossed or poached in soup. However, this unconventional dish can be a real challenge for many foreigner visitors in terms of both ordering and consuming.
It’s easy – at least for non-Vietnamese – to mispronounce the name for a fetal duck egg as something quite rude, so perhaps it’s best to just point at the eggs, unless your Vietnamese is tone-perfect.
Besides, the feeling of snacking on a baby duck can spook some people. But for those who take the duck fetus challenge, they may find its richness to their liking, especially when combined with salt, pepper, lemon and Vietnamese coriander. Nutritionists also say they're good for your health.
Saigon is considered by many visitors as one of Asia's culinary heavyweights, and its name rings out besides the likes of Bangkok (Thailand) and Penang (Malaysia).
Street food in Saigon is rich in variety and flavor, and is sold from early morning until late at night. Most snacks cost less than VND45,000 (about $2), but still promise to satisfy even the most difficult diner.
Recently, CNN Travel aired a short film introducing street food in Saigon that was viewed and shared thousands of times in just two days.

Vietnamese food in different regions

Bún bò Hue
In Vietnam, the food of each region (North – Central – South) owns different characteristics and has various cooking methods, which is a great contributor to the diversity of Vietnamese cuisine.
Unique points of Food in the North Vietnam
Bún thang
The North was the residence of Vietnamese ancestors long time ago; therefore, many traditional cultures and standards in eating and clothing have been established for many years. People living in the North usually choose the food containing frugal and a bit sour flavour. Favourite dishes of the local people include phở, bún thang (soup with shredded chicken meat, shredded fried egg, shredded steam pork cake and vegetables), bún chả (grilled pork and noodle), bánh tôm (shrimp cake), thịt đông (aspic), xôi cốm vòng (sticky rice with cốm), chả giò (minced pork sausage), and so on.
In addition to traditional food on Tet holiday, the North is famous for the food between meals. These foods are not served in the three main meals in the day but many people are excited about them. And a special point is the food like mứt (murabba) made from fruits and cốm cake made from rice and mung bean keep unforgettable memories during the childhood of almost all the Northern people.
Food in Central Vietnam with the boldest flavors
Bún bo Hue
The Central region is the exhausted land and not endowed with advantages of natural conditions like other areas. As a result, the local people always high appreciate their available products and turn them into the dishes with distinctive flavor making a deep impression on those who have an occasion to enjoy them. Normally, Central food include much spicy taste but less sweetness than food in the South. A typical example is Hue people, food always is created by various tastes, especially sourness and spiciness, for example, mắm cà (solanum macrocarpon sauce) and mắm tôm (shrimp paste). Outstanding dishes carrying Central characteristics are bún bò Huế (soup containing rice vermicelli and beef), bánh bèo (water fern cake), bánh xèo (sizzling cake), chả ram, bún cá (vermicelli fish soup)and bánh tráng thịt luộc (rice paper wrappers with boiled meat).
Diversity of Food in the South Vietnam
The Southern food
It is said that cooking way express people’s characteristics. Indeed, different from the North or the Central, cuisine of this region is simple and not fussy. These traits of the food have similarities with the local people’s features. Coconut water are often added to the food, making the South’s food having much sweet taste. Some foods like grilled sausage, chicken congee; types of cakes like In cake, Men cake, Bò cake; kinds of chè (sweet beverage or dessert soup) involving chè kiếm and chè chuối contain coconut water or cốm dừa (sweet rice flakes with coconut shreds), helping increasing greasy and sweet taste.
These distinctive features of local region significantly contribute forming the diversity of Vietnamese cuisine. That is the reason why Vietnamese food draws the attention of a considerable number of international tourists. Despite some differences, food of these regions still have quite a few similarities of structures of meals, cooking methods for types of food such as soup, sauce, additives, vegetables, and so on.

5 must-try food in Hanoi

5 must-try food in Hanoi
Hanoi has been long considered the promised land for those who are eager for eating. Due to the culinary interference between different regions, Hanoi owns countless delicious foods. Pho, rice vermicelli, hot pot, ice cream and sticky rice are all the dishes associated with Hanoi and considered the best foods in Hanoi. As a result, almost all the people in the trip to Hanoi find the opportunity to enjoy these dishes. However, tourists from afar are usually impressed by the following food. This article would like to introduce 5 must-try foods in Hanoi.
Pho in Hanoi
Pho has a strong attachment to Hanoi. Pho not only is a dish but also brings the exquisite beauty of the Vietnamese culinary culture. The brand names that bring the fame to Hanoi’s pho include pho Bat Dan, Pho Thin and Pho Co.
The domestic customers or foreign tourists are excited about Hanoi’s pho because of the sweet taste of the broth made of simmered beef bones, soft noodles and delicious beef. The average price for a bowl of pho ranges from 30,000 to 60,000 VND.
Pho tron (Mixed Pho)
Pho tron (Mixed Pho)
In Hanoi, only with 25,000 to 35,000 VND, you can enjoy a bowl of mixed pho or crystal noodles. This is one of the favorite foods in Hanoi. This food is not too greasy with the good smell of roasted peanuts and dry onions, soft noodles and beef or chicken will help you feel full for a long time.
The best-mixed pho for you to enjoy is located in Nghia Tan street or at No. 5 Phu Doan street, Hoan Kiem. You will have a full bowl of mixed pho or crystal noodle with the tasty broth.
Bun cha (rice vermicelli with grilled pork)
Bun cha (rice vermicellie with grilled pork)
Previously, Bun cha in Hanoi was baked with bamboo sticks. But today, the pork is usually put on the barbecue, then grilled on the charcoal. You can choose to eat meatball or meat in pieces. The sauce that is eaten with bun cha is considered the soul of the dish. It is often placed in a big bowl and served hot.
Besides famous restaurants like bun cha Hang Manh and bun cha que tre at Dong Xuan market, you can eat bun cha in every street, alley or corner in Hanoi at a cost of 15,000 to 30,000 VND.
Bun dau mam tom (Fermented shrimp paste with fried tofu and rice vermicelli)
Bun dau mam tom
The most popular in Hanoi is fermented shrimp paste with fried tofu and rice vermicelli. The ingredients of this dish only include crisply fried tofu, a plate of rice vermicelli and some herbs but bun dau mam tom always draws a lot of customers. If you feel worried about the food safety at the sidewalk food stalls, it is recommended that you choose to eat in a clean restaurant with the great fame to immensely enjoy the special flavor of the dish. You only pay from 15,000 VND to 25,000 VND.
Bun dau mam tom is quite familiar with Hanoi’s people and may be served in all the meals in a day. In addition to fried tofu, this dish is eaten with chả cốm (Vietnamese sausage with green rice), fried black pudding, boiled meat, blood sausage and boiled tongue.
Pho cuon (Rolled pho)
Pho cuon (Rolled pho)
Hanoi’s rolled pho attracts customers by chewy and soft rice paper, tasty medium-rare beef and fresh leaf vegetables. This food is accompanied by dipping sauce to create a typical dish in Vietnam.
You can enjoy rolled pho in West Lake, Ngu Xa, Ba Dinh, sidewalk food stalls or markets in Hanoi with the price between 40,000 VND to 50,000 VND.

Learn more about Vietnam awesome travel food

Vietnam awesome travel food
There are a variety of reasons for you to visit Vietnam and the cuisine is definitely one of those reasons. One of the unique features of Vietnam cuisine is the street food with numerous creative method of cooking. You should not miss the chance to explore the delicacies here. The following article is the list of Vietnam awesome travel food that contains all the flavors of Northern, Central and Southern regions.
Phở bò (Noodles with beef)
Phở bò (Noodles with beef)
It comes as no surprise when phở is in the list of what to eat in Vietnam in the trips through regions. The reason is that a bowl of steaming phở with fragrant flavour has long occupied a special position in the hearts of gourmets around the world. If you are really interested in this food, you will easily realize that phở brings the local flavor but each noodle restaurant owns its characteristics and brand name that is usually handed down from generation to generation.
Bánh mì (Vietnamese Bread)
Bánh mì (Vietnamese Bread)
Despite being known as one of the most delicious bread in the world, the bread remains a simple concept and is sold at quite cheap prices in Vietnam. The taste of the Vietnamese bread is the subtle combination of fresh vegetables, tasty sauce, pâté, meat and eggs that are placed inside a small hot crispy loaf of bread. In particular, there are countless types of fillings for the bread including char siu, egg, grilled chopped meat and roast meat.
Bún chả (kebab rice noodles)
Bún chả (kebab rice noodles)
Bún chả is an exquisite combination of rice vermicelli, fried patties and sauce. The food is often served with raw vegetables and a cool glass of iced tea. Bún chả not only brings the quintessence of Vietnamese dishes but also is the pride of Hanoi cuisine. Therefore, coming Hanoi, you will easily get the opportunity to find out the food stall selling this food while walking around the city center. It’s interesting to select a roadside stall, wait for a tray of hot bún chả and savor the great taste of the dish.
Rolled noodles (phở cuốn)
Rolled noodles (phở cuốn)
One of the dishes you should not miss when visiting Hanoi is rolled noodles. Similar to almost all other dishes, this food is most delicious when served hot. Sheets of white rice papers wrapped around the steak, soft onion and basil. An indispensable ingredient of the dish is the sweet and sour sauce that make phở cuốn more attractive and tasty.
Chè (Sweet gruel)
Chè (Sweet gruel)
Sweet gruel that is a mixture of glutinous rice, bean, fruit and jelly is one of the most popular desserts in Vietnam. With the cool and sweet taste, this is an ideal refreshment drink in hot summer. There are many types of sweet gruel with different ways to enjoy; in particular, it can be served hot or cold. The typical dishes of sweet gruel are black bean sweet soup, green bean soup, lotus seeds soup, three-color soup and mixed sweet soup.
Bia hơi (Draught beer)
After a long day of weaving across the crowded roads, a cool glass of beer may be the most wonderful beverage and preferred by many people in Hanoi. Draught beer is not so popular, but in Vietnam in general and Hanoi in particular, enjoying beer is a unique culture.