Street food - A tourism magnet

During his recent working visit to Vietnam, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had lunch at an eatery in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, where he tried the world-famous Vietnamese “banh mi” sandwich and drank “bia hoi”, a locally-brewed beer enjoyed by Hanoians on hot summer days. It seems that Vietnam’s beer and street food are appealing to foreign heads of state.

Under the baking summer sun in Hanoi, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese joined a crowd at a “bia hoi” spot in Hoan Kiem district to drink ice-cold draught beer and have lunch.

The Australian leader showed his interest in Hanoi’s beer drinking culture and even toasted “Cheers!” and chatted with other beer drinkers.

Street food and draught beer have become “specialties” of Hanoi. What could be more refreshing and pleasant than sipping on an icy cold glass of “bia hoi” and enjoying popular dishes with friends on a hot summer’s day? This interesting cultural feature is increasingly attracting foreign tourists.

Drinking beer is part of the culture in many countries around the world, especially in Europe.

 The Czech Republic is famous for its beer and the people’s drinking ability. Belgian beer culture has been honoured by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The world’s largest beer festival - Oktoberfest in Germany - gathers hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and generates millions of dollars for the German economy.

It is not only a business opportunity for the alcoholic beverage industry but also helps promote tourism. This is a lesson Vietnam could learn from.

A culture of civilised beer drinking and stops combined with street food would create a highlight for the tourism sector and also bring economic benefits./.