Bui Vien Street - The street never sleeps, doors never closed

The street for food

City life at night here has become hectic, with social pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels sprouting everywhere. Sound familiar, right? Yes, this might remind you about Ta Hien, the Beer Street in Hanoi. If you are a huge fan of fired food, a wide range of grilled food from pork, beef to seafood would totally satisfy you. With almost $1, you can buy some grilled pork, but tasty seafood is much more expensive (at least $5-6).

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For adventurous eaters, Pho (noodles) in Bui Vien tastes much different from this traditional dish in the North. Pho Cuon (grilled pork rolls) and Noodles look more colorful but seems perfect with amazing sauces, sesame and spicy soup that foreigners call broth. One of the must-go addresses for this dish is Pho Hai Thien, at 14 Bui Vien Street. Those who love trying some foreign foods should have Beer Bui Vien-Cold Beer (71 Bui Vien), Pizza Rex (189 Bui Vien), Baba’s kitchen (164 Bui Vien, Indian Dishes) and Ngo Ri (16 Bui Vien, Thai dishes) in their handy address book.

And drinks

However, when it comes to drinks, it is definitely a much harder decision. Bui Vien street offers you a chance to enjoy yourselves in the quite Cong Café (127-129 Bui Vien) or some smoothies with fresh fruit cubes and jellies at Five Boys (84/7 Bui Vien). Priced at $1, coconut sticky rice ice cream is a mixture of rice, coconut water, coconut meat and ice. Well, I know that the dessert has got a terribly long and complicated name, but it is worth. A vegetarian can also find his greatest dish that makes Google search busy: sweat tofu dessert. Tofu in water sweetened with brown sugar is eaten with jelly and small spherical pearls (home made from some special powder I cannot even remember the name).

The street for English

Although people visiting and staying in this area come from different countries in the world, the dominant language in Bui Vien Street is English. This explains why the street has got another interesting name: “the Vietnamese forgotten street”. Locals living here communicate with foreigners in English without feeling shy or ashamed of their ability to use the language. They are very confident for two reasons. First, body language helps, and second foreigners do not mind as their friendliness and helpfulness break the language barrier. Why do mispronunciation and misspelled words on labels and signs matter if locals and foreigners have many days and months ahead to get to know others?

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And mixed feelings

Don’t worry because the feelings are “mixed” but all good. Most foreign visitors have to experience culture shock to some extent at some stages in their lives, especially when they are not in their countries. However, the street is a place like home. Homesick and feeling alone at Christmas or on New Year’s Eve? Never, the feelings have not ever existed here as locals and tourists celebrate the Lunar Year Tet Holiday, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve together. They spend white nights singing, dancing, enjoying food and music, and looking at others’ sparkling years and smiles. The mixed feelings in Bui Vien street sometimes always go beyond the expectation of anyone leaving his home.