10 reasons to try Hanoi’s Bia Hoi for travel experiences in Vietnam
Much has been written about bia hoi. It's a foamy, light-alcohol beer
found mostly in northern Vietnam. Made fresh each day with few
preservatives, the dregs are chucked down the gutter at close of
business each day.
This quick turnover and easy brewing means it's exceptionally cheap
-- about 20 cents a glass, though Vietnam's rapid inflation may see
that rise before publication -- and the establishments that serve it
are also relatively basic.
1. Bia hoi is cheaper
Far, far cheaper than its Czech-inspired counterpart. Though both cost peanuts compared to most
places back home there's a 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 clustered round the low-slung plastic stools of a bia hoi where
some blinking, red-faced bloke 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 some rounds 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
4. The food
Some bia hois serve execrable rubbish, but plenty serve excellent, freshly prepared dishes for very little
Banana flower salad (nom hoa chuoi), barbecued chicken (ga nuong) and fried rice (com rang) are
stalwarts. Just watch out for the mixed hotpot (lau thap cam) or pig stomach (da day).
5. Interesting local spirits
Vodka Hanoi (cheap, rice-based vodka with a slightly greasy aftertaste) is a standard but many places
also stock ruou ong den -- rice wine 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 better than Malibu, believe us).
The hangover's never worth it, mind.
6. Street life
Usually these beer barns are open-walled and tables and chairs often spill onto the street. You may get a
lungful of motorbike exhaust with your fried spinach, but you get a nice view as well. Others back onto
lakes or parks, or the Mausoleum.
7. Watery, weak, but unique
It's rare in the south but unheard of in the rest of the world. Fresh, brewed daily and cheaper than any
other beer, anywhere. That has to count for something in a world of generic, international brands. And
it's no more watery than Bud or Coors, anyway.
8. Colonial heritage
Think of this: the French colonial oppressors brought bia to Vietnam to stop people wrecking themselves
on dodgy rice spirit.
This is where bia hois originally came from. The pilsner beer halls are a result of people studying in
former communist nations back 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 egalitarian international brotherhood are there mostly for the rapidly emerging middle class.
9. It's egalitarian
Bia hoi gets more egalitarian yet. A bia hoi can be nothing more than a tiny grandmother sat roadside
with a table, chairs, a keg and a few glasses.
Using technology no more complicated than a rubber pipe she sucks some frothy beer from the keg, so
you can usually have a drink morning, noon or night. As Vietnam modernizes, beer for breakfast has
become less common, but it was once a grand tradition.
10. No hangover
Though some drinkers will vehemently disagree, bia hoi doesn't usually leave you with a pounding
It's low alcohol content means it takes a concerted effort to get drunk enough to feel dreadful the next
day. Most problems come from people getting a stale batch, something you have to watch out for.
Drinking at busy places is a better idea.
For more information about Vietnam Travel Tips and Advices, please visit Vacation to Vietnam
Original Link: http://vacationstovietnam.com/lastest-travel-news/10-reasons-to-try-hanoi-s-bia-hoi-for-
About Vietnam Heritage Travel
Vietnam Heritage Travel Company offers easy online booking for travel services in Indochina including
Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia. Our company is contributed by professional travel advisors and teams of
qualified administrators. In addition, our strong alliance with experienced local travel suppliers and
wholesalers across Indochina help to enhance the quality of our travel services and not less importantly,
keep our prices highly competitive over the market. With more than 10 years experience in travel industry
in Indochina, we would like to provide personal service for any travel requests and guarantee satisfaction.
Let's us share travel experiences with you.
Vietnam Heritage Travel Company
Sharing travel experiences
# 1002, Building A4, Den Lu Str
Hoang Mai Dist, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam