What to buy in Phong Nha Vietnam

Phong Nha is not only known for its numerous famous caverns, but it is also a site where travelers can buy a variety of tasty and unusual specialities. The specialties that you should buy as gifts after a trip to Quang Binh such as Khoai dẻo, Mực khô, Bánh tráng Tân An, Dút tép đồng Lệ Thủy,… All of these items are linked to well-known craft villages in Quang Binh, and they represent the people’s traditional cultural values.

1, Khoai Dẻo (Soft Sweet Potatoes)

At the top of the list of specialties that you must buy when coming to Phong Nha is Khoai deo. In Phong Nha, Sweet Potatoes is well processed into a regional speciality. The process of creating this speciality is as straightforward as the lives of the people who live here. Red Sweet Potatoes are dried under the sun for 10 to 12 times after being sliced and boiled, till the color changes to dark orange. The plasticity of sweet potatoes is caused by the amount of dry periods in the sun.  With the taste of Khoai deo, you’ll feel strange, but you know it. Those of you who enjoy the first time are familiar but it’s hard to realize it’s yams, but one time, it’s gonna be “addicted” and remember its taste for a long time.

Soft-Sweet-Potatoes- what to buy in phong nha
(Soft Sweet Potatoes – What to buy in Phong Nha)

Khoai deo can be found easily in Quang Binh Province’s marketplaces. The price is from 70.000 VND to 100.000 VND/kg depending on the type. It is frequently purchased as a present for friends and loved ones by visitors to Phong Nha.

Address: 

– Dealer in Khoai Deo in Dong Hoi – 173 Hai Ba Trung Street, Dong Hoi District, Quang Binh Province.

– Rose City -103 Truong Phap Street, Dong Hoi District, Quang Binh Province.

– Quang Binh Province’s marketplaces: Dong Hoi Market, Ga Market, Nam Ly Market,…

2, Mực Khô (Dried shredded squid)

Due to the long coastline of Quang Binh, dried seafood is abundant and diversified. Especially, Dried shredded squid is one of the famous specialties of Quang Binh people. Many people choose to buy dried shredded squid as a present in Quang Binh because it has a substantial body, delicious flesh, and isn’t too tough.

Dried-shredded-squid- what to buy in phong nha
(Dried shredded squid – What to buy in Phong Nha)

Fishermen usually go squid fishing at 1:00-2:00 AM. Under the light of the light bulb, the squid continues getting closer, and is easily caught by the squid catcher. Squid fishing time lasts from 2:00 AM until 10:00 AM. On the boat, there will be someone who specializes in cutting squid and hanging the squid in rows on the pre-tensioned rope, or they will cut the squid and dry it as soon as the boat arrives.

Fishermen- what to buy in phong nha
(Go squid fishing)

The selling price of 1 kg of dried shredded squid ranges from 200.000 VND to 800.000 VND depending on the type. Fresh squids that are dried will have a thick coating of white chalk covering the whole body. When you press your palm into the squid, it does not adhere to your hand, there is no wetness, and there is a distinct scent, proving that the dried squid was dried in natural sunlight. The squid’s hue is a natural, moderate pink tint that is fresh and not too dark. The body and head of fresh squid will cling together securely and will not fall.

Address: 

– Quang Binh’s marketplaces, especially those in coastal areas like: Dong Hoi Market, Hoan Lao Market, Canh Duong Market, Thanh Khe Market,…

– Rose City -103 Truong Phap Street, Dong Hoi District, Quang Binh Province.

– Hai Ha Store – Linh Giang Street, Dong Hoi District, Quang Binh Province.

– Lam Nhung Store – Huong Giang Street, Dong Hoi District, Quang Binh Province.

3, Bánh Tráng Tân An (Rice paper)

Rice paper is another speciality of Quang Binh as a gift. Tan An village, a traditional village in Quang Binh, has produced rice paper more than 100 years ago. It is known for its beautifully produced rice papers, which use milled rice as the major material. Moreover, Tan An rice paper is very delicious and affordable, which is why it is so popular.

Rice-paper-tan-an
(The cake is dried on bamboo wicker)

Rice cakes are made with excellent rice that has been soaked in cold water for 3-4 hours, then removed and cleaned before being ground into a paste and combined with peeled sesame seeds in a mortar. After that, the cake is dried on bamboo wicker. People bring the rice paper back after it has dried to incubate the flattening of the cake’s surface, then remove it off the bamboo wicker and pack it. There are two types of Rice paper, mainly thick cakes for baking and thin cakes for rolling fried.

Rice-paper- what to buy in phong nha
(Rice paper Tan An – What to buy in Phong Nha)

Address: 

– Tan An Village, Quang Thanh Commune, Quang Trach District, Quang Binh Province.

– Rose City -103 Truong Phap Street, Dong Hoi District, Quang Binh Province.

4, Dút tép đồng Lệ Thủy (“baby” shrimp)

Le Thuy District is known as the rice bowl of Quang Binh with vast fields stretching to the horizon. This is the perfect living condition for “baby” shrimp, a unique freshwater seafood species that isn’t found in every location or region. The inhabitants of Le Thuy have taken advantage of this by transforming “baby” shrimp into a variety of tasty and rustic meals, including Dut Tep Dong.

baby-shrimp
(“baby” shrimp)

The process of making Dut Tep Dong is identical to that of making shrimp paste. However, it differs from shrimp paste in that it is more pure, has a more acidic flavor, and is more aromatic because it is mixed with hearing.

Dut tep dong - What to buy in Phong Nha
(Dut tep dong – What to buy in Phong Nha)

Address: 

– Le Thuy ‘s marketplaces

– Rose City -103 Truong Phap Street, Dong Hoi District, Quang Binh Province.

5, Rượu Võ Xá (Vo Xa White Wine)

Quang Ninh is also well-known for its numerous wetlands and white sand beaches. The area with the most wetlands is around Vo Xa hamlet, which has long been famous for the brand name Vo Xa white wine.

vo-xa-wine
(Vo Xa Winw – What to buy in Phong Nha)

Vo Xa wine is produced by the traditional method of Vo Xa village for hundreds of years, from the Nguyen dynasty. The delicate mix of the Cat Trang Cave’s clean water and rural rice, along with the unique fermentation recipe, has produced a wine with a powerful scent that no other wine can equal.

Address:  Rose City -103 Truong Phap Street, Dong Hoi District, Quang Binh Province.

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