8 weird things you’ll only see in Vietnam

by Len on 18th September 2017

Considered as one of the happiest countries in the world, Vietnam also offer visitors tons of joy that you can easily find anywhere on streets. Taking a walk around any city of Vietnam, you’ll discover numerous Vietnam fun facts that will make your day. From motorbike-that-can-carry-anything to crazily-no-rule-traffic or simply a loud laugh of a rustic peasant. Here are 8 unique things in Vietnam that might cause you culture shocks.

Pyjama fashion

Vietnamese women in rural areas love to wear a pair of pyjamas during anytime of the day, anywhere, even go out for work. Pyjama fashion comes in numerous styles, from vintage floral to colorful pattern, in shorts or long loose trousers. The pyjamas are loved for its practical and comfortable form. It’s might look ridiculous but if you try it out, you would fall in love for the convenience it brings about. To get a pair of Vietnamese pyjamas, head to any local market you find in your way.

Vietnam fun facts
Super comfy Vietnamese pajamas!

Snake wine

Snake wine is usually sold in some touristy attractions or you can buy its authentic version in any rural town. The wine is made by cutting the snake’s tail open and let its blood drips into a bottle of rice wine. The snake body is kept inside the wine bottle, sometimes scorpions and herbs are added in. As one of the Vietnam fun facts, Vietnamese guys drink snake wine to increase their manlihood.

Vietnamese fun facts
Different bottles of “snaky” wine

Communal smoking

“Thuoc lao” is a heavy type of tobacco, which is put inside a large bamboo pipe being passed around after meals. The bamboo pipe is called “điếu cày”, which literally means “farmer’s pipe”. The Vietnamese farmers in the North usually smoke “thuoc lao” to aid digestion. You might want to visit Hoa Binh Province, where “thuoc lao” is highly smoked. Here, Muong ethnic minority women gather in markets and share a pipe of “thuoc lao” together. Even you might find this is just one of the Vietnam fun facts, be careful if you try this “Thuoc lao”. It might cause a high amount of nicotine pumping into the blood stream suddenly that make you vomit.

Vietnam fun facts
Chilling with “Thuoc Lao”

“Ninja” on the road

As one of the Vietnam fun facts for female, Vietnamese women consider white skin is the most beautiful skin. They always try to avoid sunshine when they go out. Thus, they cover all their skin with hats, face masks and sunglasses, making them look like “ninja” on the road. The “ninjas” are also well-known for their “smooth” driving skill. Moreover, these cute ninjas usually cause some funny mistakes on the road such as turning on the left signal while they’re turning right. If you want to experience Vietnam on bikes like a local, please read more here!

 

Vietnam fun facts
Different shades of Vietnamese street ninjas

People hired to cry in funerals

In the North of Vietnam, there are professionals who are hired to cry in the funeral in case the relatives can’t. The professional would talk about the merit and the contribution of the dead one while crying. The grief in the speech touches the hearts of relatives and guests, makes them feel the sorrow and then cry. Therefore, a standard crying professional must have a strong voice and can cry during the funeral, a good one would make people cry.

Vietnam fun facts
“I am paid to cry and make everybody cry”

Dancing in funerals

On the other hand, many foreigners are shocked to hear these Vietnam fun facts. In the South people are hired to play pumping music or sometimes even dance in funerals since they don’t want their guests to be upset. The funerals are usually hold magnificently, especially when people die old. The bigger the funeral, the more love the relatives want to show.

Besides, in the Middle of Vietnam, there’s an old custom in funerals that called “paving the way”. The offspring of the dead person would lie down on the street, making a line from their house to where the dead person interred. The coffin would be moved above the line. This is how people show their respect to the dead one.

Vietnam fun facts
It is not always necessary to be sorrowful in funerals

Coconut-shaped boat

The Vietnamese have a type of boat that looks like a half of a coconut. There’s only one paddle moving from one side to another, making the boat move forward without engine. It’s very hard to steer, if you don’t do it in the right way, you’ll end up in never ending circles. The boat is most used in provinces of Mekong Delta and fishing villages near the sea, you can also find it in Hoi An.

One of the Vietnam fun facts that not many Vietnamese even know is that, people use cow dung to make the boat. It may sound disgusting but that is how people keep the boat not to sink. The boat makers weave bamboo into a half coconut shape, then cover it with cow dung, let dry and finally cover the boat with otter oil. The Vietnamese also have the plastic boats, but they’re not long-lasting like traditional boats.

Vietnam fun facts
The ladies in “Leaf hat” know its best how to control the coconut boats

Wedding dresses photos before the wedding day

In Vietnam, wedding couples are photographed with their wedding dresses and suits before the wedding day. They’re willing pay a lot of money on the photos, and usually go far from cities for gorgeous nature scene in the photo. The photos will be displayed in the wedding day, as a proof of their love.

Vietnam fun facts
Wedding photo shot in front Notre Dame Cathedral – Ho Chi Minh city

There are numerous Vietnam fun facts waiting to be told with people who love the Vietnamese cultures. If you want to explore deeper,  an awesome way to learn more is to have a local travel buddy. They can guide you to the best destinations. They can tell you real stories about traditional customs and unique habits being passed from generation to generation. Find out more on: Inspitrip.com