Any traveler who has been in Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon in Vietnam can never forget the hot, tropical climate of the city. To beat the scorching heat of the sun, grabbing a cool drink on Saigon Street to quench one’s thirst is the best way to keep the body hydrated.
In Ho Chi Minh City, special drinks have become an integral part of Saigon’s exotic cuisine. Tourists can discover an oasis of special beverages offered in every street corner of Saigon, in convenience stores, small rolling carts or even in mini stores. They can find bottled drinks intricately arranged in store-cases, on wooden and metallic shelves or dainty, plastic tables.
Below are some of the exotic, special drinks Saigon is known for:
Pennywort juice or “Rau Ma”
If you opt to have a super, healthy drink like vegetable juice, you can try “Rau Ma” (Centella asiatica), commonly known as spade leaf and is used to treat several illnesses. The name, “Rau Ma” means “mother’s vegetable”. It is a healthy, juice drink which is commonly mixed with sweet, green bean paste or coconut juice. Although not everyone can appreciate the taste, this special drink is definitely worth a try.
“Nha Dam” or Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera as it is commonly known for is frequently cited as being used in herbal medicine since the start of the first century A.D. It has also been used in hair shampoos, bath soaps, moisturizers, and other numerous skin and hair products. It is a popular herbal medicine used as a natural remedy for skin irritations and various kinds of skin diseases.
In Saigon, you can discover a special drink of bottled Vietnamese “Nha Dam”, a healthy alternative to sugary, carbonated drinks. It boasts of a tasty treat to the palate which is not too sweet but not bitter. Travelers to Vietnam enjoy sipping this special drink with the soft, floating, chewy cubes of aloe.
Special “Sam Lanh”
Considered as one of the more special beverages you can find in Vietnam, “Sam Lanh” comes in several varieties as sold on the streets: “Bong cuc” which is made from daisy flowers, “Nuoc Dang”, which means “bitter drink”, and “Linh Chi” which comes from mushrooms. “Sam Lanh” may seem to look like dirty, tap water but it is available in different tasty flavors travelers will truly enjoy.
“Dua Tac” from Coconut
“Dua tac”, one of the local’s favorite drinks comes from one of man’s natural resources- coconut. This special drink is mixed with coconut juice, fresh coconut, lime, and sugar which create a rich blend of sweet and sour after taste. “Dua tac” cannot easily be found unlike the other drinks available on every street corner. Those that sell this beverage are from busy corners.
Revitalizing “Nuoc Mia”
“Nuoc Mia” is considered as the best of all natural energy drinks you can find in Saigon which comes from crushed sugar cane stick. It is a revitalizing and delicious treat for your palate which is mixed with lime, extra sugar, salt, or other ingredients which are believed to be a good match for the juice.