Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I am pretty sure that the Thai word for beer translates to "terpentine". It is expensive (compared to other costs here) and good beer in Thailand does not exist. Singha is shit, Leo is ok, and Heineken brewed in Bangkok is tolerable but exensive. Thai whiskey is awful and liquors are expensive so basically you are stuck drinking Singha or Leo. Wine is taxed heavily and much more expensive than it is back home. Basically, Thailand is not a beer lover's paradise... rather it is hell.

Cambodia was worse with Angkor beer being a mix between Singha and the curb water in Phnom Penh.

I didn't expect much different in Vietnam, however, I'm happy to say I was wrong. Bia Hoi is the world's cheapest beer. It is about 2,000 dong or 12 cents a glass and is available everywhere. It is "fresh beer" and has no preservatives as it is ready for drinking right away. It is generally served street side in the cities and the taste varies greatly. I found one I really like and have been back a few times in Hanoi. Finally a beer that fits the other prices in this part of the world and it actually tastes great.

A good Bia Hoi is accompanied by some squid jerky. (pictured above) This street vendor walks around with a basket of dried and flattened squid and a bucket of coals. She said it went great with beer so we ordered some. She grilled it on the coals and ripped it up into strips and served it with chili sauce. It was good.

2 comments:

nate said...

Nothing like kicking back in vietnam with some friends, cracking open some street vendor beers and having a heart to heart over flattened squid. It really makes you miss the days growing up, waiting outside grocery stores trying to convince people of age to buy your flattened squid for you. Who says you can't ever go home again.....

Jill said...

Wait until you get to Laos - and you can drink Beer Lao!!! It ROCKS - the best beer you will ever have, and dirt cheap. Have fun!