return icon

Dishes help promote Vietnamese tourism

 VietNamNet Bridge – Huong Lien Bun Cha Restaurant on Ha Noi’s Le Van Huu Street became famous in a single night, after US President Barack Obama ate dinner there.

VietNamNet Bridge – Huong Lien Bun Cha Restaurant on Ha Noi’s Le Van Huu Street became famous in a single night, after US President Barack Obama ate dinner there.


The US leader ate bun cha (rice noodles with grilled pork and meatballs), one of Ha Noi’s must-try delicacies, on his second night in the Vietnamese capital on Monday.

Bun cha is a Ha Noi speciality, beloved by many foreign tourists. And now it is even more famous and attractive, thanks to the President’s prestige.

Despite the rain in the capital, a number of visitors flocked to the restaurant yesterday morning to taste the dish praised by President Obama. Or they came to contemplate his seat on the previous day.

Dao Van Dat, husband of the restaurant owner Nguyen Thi Hang Nga, said the restaurant is usually crowded from 11am to 1pm. But yesterday (May 23) he and other employees were surprised when all the seats in the restaurant were full from 7am on.

“Many old people came and asked me to bring them servings similar to President Obama’s on Monday evening,” Dat said.

At 10am, Dat and his employees apologised to their customers that the restaurant had run out of meat. Customers could have eaten their meals at other restaurants. But many insisted on waiting for their meals here.

Each complete serving costs VND80,000 (US$3.5). This is quite expensive for a meal for Hanoians, not including the cost of travelling to the restaurant. And they had to wait at least 30 minutes for their food. But many customers waited patiently to try the food that President Obama - one of the most famous and powerful presidents in the world - enjoyed. And everyone wanted a photograph documenting their visit to the restaurant where the President ate.

Some customers even joyfully call the restaurant “Obama Bun Restaurant” now, instead of Huong Lien Restaurant.

Bun cha is not the only Ha Noi delicacy made more famous by a US President.

Earlier in 2000, then US President Bill Clinton visited Viet Nam and ate pho - a famous Vietnamese dish with noodles and beef or chicken - in a restaurant near the Ben Thanh Market in HCM City. The pho restaurant where he ate has been famous ever since then. It is now called “Pho 2000”, to commemorate the year the President visited Viet Nam.

Pho is listed as a world famous dish by CNN. The beloved Vietnamese dish is globally famous, too. Foreign visitors try not to miss pho restaurants listed in tourist guidebooks when visiting Viet Nam.

Now, thanks to President Obama, foreign visitors have one more must-try dish – bun cha.

And we can hope that the culinary specialties of Viet Nam will fly higher and further.



Speaking about Singapore, visitors think of tidiness and civilisation. Speaking about Japan, visitors think of carefulness and respect. Speaking about Italy, visitors think of romanticism. And speaking about Viet Nam, visitors now think of delicious and famous dishes.

In a recent conference about developing Viet Nam’s tourism brand, Le Quoc Vinh, general director of the LeBros Media Group, said Viet Nam’s tourism promotional activities have only advertised landscapes, while ignoring the core and the highest element of a brand – emotion.

Vinh and other experts at the conference agreed that to promote the country’s tourism, the country should focuse on gastronomy. International visitors highly appreciate the culture, cuisine, friendly people, and daily life experiences of Viet Nam.

Vinh said Philip Kotler, the world famous marketing expert, said Viet Nam is the kitchen of the world.

“So cuisine is one of the unique features we can use to promote national tourism,” he said.

At the conference, Ton Nu Thi Ninh, the former Ambassador of Viet Nam to the European Union - and the former deputy chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee under Viet Nam’s National Assembly - said many leading travel magazines globally also praise Viet Nam’s food, calling it a "superpower".

"It is very bad if we do not promote Vietnamese cuisine," Ninh said.

Given the meal choices of the two US Presidents, I think it’s the right time to develop our country’s culinary culture, and tourism in general.

By Thu Trang




Trendy jobs in Vietnam

New and fashionable professions are being pursued by many young people. But not everyone is succeeding.

Shooting star targets bright future

After the retirement of senior champions, the Vietnam shooting team is now relying on its younger athletes, such as 18-year-old Phi Thanh Thao, who was recently nominated as Best Young Athlete of 2022 at the prestigious Victory Cup.

Hanoi needs world-class entertainment sites to lure tourists

According to experts, the lack of world-class amusement and entertainment zones is a big "hole" in Hanoi's tourism.

HCM City tightens management of food labelled 'organic'

Many families choose organic food though recently several supermarkets and e-commerce platforms had to apologise to consumers after non-organic food was labelled and sold as organic.

Vietnam win ticket to 2022 Futsal Asian Cup quarterfinals

Despite their defeat in the match against Japan on October 2, Vietnam’s national futsal team will advance to the quarterfinals in the 2022 Futsal Asian Cup as it ranked second in Group D.

Many parts of Vietnam saw increased fertility rates during pandemic

Fertility rates over the past two years increased across many localities in Vietnam, and it was even higher than the total replacement birth rate, said Director General of the General Department of Population and Family Planning Nguyen Doan Tu.

HCMC plans to eliminate 20,000 slum areas by 2025

According to the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Construction, over the past 20 years, the city has removed 36,000 slum areas along canals, but there are still about 20,000 of them.

Vietnam to have 33 new highways by 2030

With 33 highway projects totaling nearly 3,000 km long planned for construction in 2021-2030, a decade of busy expressway building is expected.

Viettel, VNPT lead Vietnam’s Top 10 most valuable brands

Four telecommunications brands of Vietnam have a total value of 13,136 million USD.

Floods kill eight in Nghe An, Ha Tinh

Heavy downpours and floods in the north central region claimed the lives of eight people in Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces as of 5:30pm on October 2.

Localities urged to rectify flaws in fishery sector

With the visit of the European Commission’s delegations ahead, Vietnam’s ports and fishers are aiming to remedy the previously criticised issues regarding international fishing regulations.

Market likely to continue to correct this week

Analysts said that in the current environment, financial markets will be very likely to continue revaluing.

Over US$6 bln earmarked for national socio-economic recovery

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has issued a decision earmarking over VND147 trillion (US$6.39 billion) from the State budget for ministries, agencies and localities to carry out the socio-economic recovery and development programme.

FPT Software produces made in Vietnam chips

Vietnam’s FPT Software has launched a new subsidiary, FPT Semiconductor, marking a key milestone for the company as it enters the booming semiconductor industry.

Vietnam's entrepreneurial 'bosses': how are they doing?

There are several famous entrepreneurs in Vietnam who are called “boss”, including Vo Quoc Thang, Tran Dinh Long, Doan Nguyen Duc and Nguyen Duc Thuy.