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Hoi An Serves Up Specialties Right on its Streets

Hoi An is one of the most attractive cities in Asia, receiving hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. Known as the Ancient Town, and recognized by UNESCO, it is sought for by visitors for having the largest harbour in Southeast Asia, great museums, colonial style buildings, and just for its undeniable charm.

As Hoi An used to be one of the busiest cities in Cochin, which East and West cultures conversed, food here is very diverse. This can be witnessed with a simple stroll on the city’s streets and coming across street vendors offering you with a wide variety of traditional cuisines and specialties.

They are simply everywhere, pushing their foodcarts along the streets and stopping by when a customer wants to check out the many unique and tasty treats. Customers can choose to enjoy the food right on the pavement or take it away. Should the customer want to dine, the vendors can quickly set up a table and a small chair, then serve the food.

Banh beo (rice cake with shrimp powder) is among the most popular and sellable treats. You can also find all sorts of streetfood like banh bot loc, tofu, xi ma phu, cao lau, Chinese noodles and of course the all-time favorite Pho – served hot and fresh.

Unlike other cities imposing regulations on street vendors, they are allowed in Hoi An since they have helped create the characteristics of the tourism town. They however have to meet the set standards on food hygiene and prices. Vendors are expected to sell their goodies at a uniform price regardless if the customer is local or tourist. They are also given warning about not disturbing tourists who refuse to buy. Most importantly, the friendliness and hospitality should always be demonstrated. In fact, when tourists opt not to buy their food, the vendors still offer them a warm, genuine smile.


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