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Food is a very important part of Vietnamese culture and life. Vietnamese food is deeply influenced by historical and cultural conditions of the country and varies in different parts of the country. There are about 54 ethnical groups in the country that stretches 3,260 kms along the seashore with subtropical climate. Vietnamese cuisine is partially influenced by neighboring countries and the French who dominated Vietnam as a colony from late 19th to middle 20th century.

Vietnamese cuisine has a balance of salty, sweet, hot flavours and sour, these flavours are achieved through cane sugar, fish sauce, chili peppers or tamarind. The locals use plenty of local herbs and their food is not overly spicy. Chili or Chili sauce is usually served separately.

Rice Culture in Vietnam
Vietnam has two large deltas: the Red River Delta in the North and the Mekong in the South. Vietnam used to be the 2nd largest rice exporter in the world, however in the year 2011 they have dropped to 5th largest rice exporter in the world. They supply around 8% of world’s rice.

Vietnamese people consider a meal with rice as a ‘main meal’; if a meal is without rice they land up considering as a snack. During lunch or dinner rice is usually placed in the middle of the table before other foods are arranged surrounding the rice. This is the traditional Vietnamese style usually followed even today by locals at home.

Local Drinks in Vietnam
– Rice wine is one of the most popular drinks amongst locals, usually had with a meal. In recent times local and international beers are also getting popular.
– People of Northern Vietnam usually enjoy hot tea or coffee as against people of Southern part, who prefer iced tea.
– French colonists probably introduced Coffee to Vietnam and Coffee is a local habit, Vietnamese coffee is strong and flavourful. Locals also enjoy iced coffee that is usually served with condensed milk.
– Green tea with pistils of lotus or petals of jasmine is popular. Traditional lotus tea is time consuming and can be far more expensive then dry green tea.

Most popular Food preparations of Vietnam

Goi Cuon (Vietnamese Spring Rolls) – Translucent spring rolls packed with greens, coriander and may be combination of different meats. It is amongst the most popular dishes.

Pho (Pho is pronounced as ‘fur’) is Vietnam’s National dish and serves as staple food, a noodle soup that is eaten at any time of the day, primarily at breakfast. The basic bowl of pho consists of a light chicken or beef broth flavoured with ginger and coriander to which one adds broad, flat rice noodles, spring onions and slivers of chicken, pork or beef. One can also enjoy vegetarian Pho in few places.

Cha Ca – Is a very popular seafood preparation in Vietnam, it is devised in Hanoi and more popular in this region. The preparation is white fish sautéed in butter with dill and spring onions then served with rice noodles and a scattering of peanuts. Chili sauce and other sauces are served as accompaniments along with the main dish.

Vegetarian meals – Vegan or Vegetarian meals are getting popular in Vietnam. A Buddhist temple or pagodas can amaze you with chicken, fish or meat form, however they are actually prepared from taro, potato, tofu or lotus seeds and vegetables.

According to Jay Kantawala, founder of WIYO Travel, The taste of the Vietnamese cuisine is distinct and unforgettable. If one is visiting Vietnam, they should spare some time just to trying different local cuisines during the trip” Jay recommends.

Lifestyle

A check list before your road trip starts

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Road trip holiday travel

New Delhi, May 18: Before you set out for the adventurous road trip on your holidays, it is imperative to carry certain things to make your life easier. A grooming kit, adequate liquids and insurance are the most important, suggest experts.

Saunak Ghosh, Chief Marketing Officer at OneAssist Consumer Solutions Pvt Ltd, and Akshali Shah, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Sales and Marketing, Parag Milk Foods Ltd, have listed a few must-haves.

* Backpack: When you’re constantly tossing bags in and out of the car, they better be able to handle plenty of abuse. Certain bags available in the market are made in such a way that they sustain in all kind of weathers and situations.

* Personal care kit: It takes extra amount of care to keep yourself well-groomed and hygienic. Always stay hygienic and carry the essential personal care kit on your road trip.

* Hydration: Road trips in summer bring a lot of excitement and a need to keep our bodies energised and hydrated. Summer is the perfect time to try out different hydration drinks. Flavoured milk or buttermilk can be your helpful companions on the journey as it keeps you away from dehydration and gives instant energy, without compromising on the taste.

* Insurance: Insuring your travel is something you would feel is unnecessary but you never know that taking a chance on it might become the biggest mistake committed.

It is also advisable to insure your priced possessions like your phone, laptop, wallet, debit/credit/ATM cards. Usually taking insurance creates an image of a tedious office, hours of wait and long queues. But with protection and assistance services platforms you can do it within no time and insure all your possessions.

* Spare chargers and powerbanks: Always arm yourself with spare chargers and powerbanks for worst case scenarios.

* Emergency and first aid kit: Always have a first aid kit in your car. Also, keep a check on everything which is inside the first aid box and upgrade whenever you see the necessity.

An emergency kit should contain battery booster cables, two light sticks, reflective vest, emergency rain poncho, warning triangle, whistle, tyre pressure gauge and window breaker.

IANS

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Lifestyle

Indians taking more spiritual trips this summer: Study

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varanasi temple

New Delhi, May 17: Spiritually motivated tourism has emerged as one of the most vital components of India’s tourism industry with places like Puri, Varanasi, Tirupati and Shirdi topping the list, says a study conducted by travel marketplace ixigo.

According to the study, more and more Indians are travelling to connect with their religious roots. With a rise in spiritual tourism, popular pilgrimages, such as Varanasi and Puri are witnessing higher hotel bookings than other cities this summer.

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Puri Jagannath Temple

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The Great Ganges Ghats of Varanasi

The study reveals that there has been a month-on-month growth of 60 per cent for Puri, 48 per cent for Varanasi, 34 per cent for Tirupati and 19 per cent growth for Shirdi in the hotel bookings, said a statement.

Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala, Tirupati

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Sai Baba Temple, Shirdi

Travellers plan a short-stay of an average two days during their visit to religious destinations. Also, Indians prefer to keep a low hotel stay budget. Around 82 per cent tourists prefer budget hotels in Varanasi, followed by 78 per cent, 68 per cent and 73 per cent in Shirdi, Tirupati and Puri respectively. Only 32 per cent Indians prefer 4/5 star hotel while visiting Tirupati followed by 27 per cent for Puri.

Commenting on the findings Aloke Bajpai, ixigo CEO and Co-founder said: “Looking at the spike in bookings, it’s safe to say that spiritual travel is now being considered as one of the offbeat travel trends in India. It is fascinating to see that young adults are showing quite a high inclination towards exploring indigenous cultural experiences in our country.”

IANS

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Himachal Pradesh may get more thundershowers next week

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himachal manali weather thundershower rain
Rains lash Shimla on May 2, 2018. (PC- IANS)

Shimla, May 11: Himachal Pradesh may get more thundershowers next week as the weather bureau here on Friday predicted that western disturbances will be active once again in the region.

“Light to moderate rain and thundershowers are likely to occur at some places in the state between May 14 and 15 with the western disturbances affecting the Western Himalayas,” Manmohan Singh, the meteorological department director, told IANS.

Western disturbances are a storm system originating from the Mediterranean Sea and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

Tourist towns of Shimla, Narkanda, Kufri, Kalpa, Kasauli, Chamba, Dharamsala, Palampur and Manali might get rains in the next few days.

“High-altitude areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Chamba, Kullu and Kinnaur districts may experience moderate snow,” a Met official said.

There has been no rain or snowfall across the state in the past 24 hours since Thursday.

Shimla recorded a low of 15.5 degrees Celsius, a rise from Thursday’s 12.5 degrees, while it was 3.3 degrees in Keylong, 7.6 degrees in Kalpa, 14.8 degrees in Dharamsala and 15.5 degrees in Dalhousie.

A day earlier, the state capital here saw a high of 23.5 degrees Celsius.

IANS

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