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Dec 17, 2023 / 18:06

Explore culture and cuisine of Vietnam Town in Thailand

Vietnam Town is the world's first Vietnamese settlement with such a name and will have significant political, economic, cultural and people-to-people exchange implications for Vietnam-Thailand relations.

Foreign tourists, the Thai community and Thais of Vietnamese descent who visit Vietnam Town can sample authentic Vietnamese cuisine, including specialties from the three regions - North, Central and South - of Vietnam, prepared by Vietnamese chefs.

Sitting at Alley 2, Si Suk Street in Udon Thani City, Vietnam Town, which officially opened its doors on December 9, welcomes visitors every day. Approximately 550 km from the capital city of Bangkok, it offers a vibrant experience of Vietnamese culture and cuisine.

Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of traditional Vietnamese dishes, including pyramidal rice dumpling (banh gio),steamed rice cake (banh te), round sticky rice cake (banh day gio), steamed rice cake with meat (banh beo), crispy pancake (banh xeo), and plain rice cake (banh duc).

 Visitors enjoy eating crispy pancake in Vietnam Town. Photo: Business Association of Thailand and Vietnam

Udon Thani Province hosts the largest Vietnamese community in Thailand, according to Vietnamese Ambassador to Thailand Phan Chi Thanh at a meeting on the Vietnam Town project in early 2023. According to a survey by the Vietnamese Association in Udon Thani Province, the estimated 60,000 people in the Vietnamese community in the province are made up of 1,600 households, of which about 15,000 have a comparatively good standard of living. Therefore, the establishment of Vietnam Town is an inevitable development for the Vietnamese community in the Thai province.

The establishment of Vietnam Town has been planned for a long time, with an investment of up to three million baht (nearly US$86,000) to improve roads, sidewalks and infrastructure.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Thailand Phan Chi Thanh highly appreciated the valuable support of Udon Thani Mayor Thanadorn Phuttharaksa and the Udon Thani City Government for supporting the Vietnamese community in the province, including providing substantial funds for the renovation of Vietnam Town.

The Ambassador affirmed that this is a vivid expression of the friendship and affection of the people of Udon Thani towards the Thai community of Vietnamese origin living in the province, as well as the traditional friendship between Vietnam and Thailand.

For his part, Mayor of Udon Thani City Thanadorn Phuttharaksa stressed that Vietnam Town will uphold Vietnamese traditions and attract visitors from different regions, especially Vietnamese expatriates in Thailand, Laos and people from Vietnam.

 Local visitors are shopping at a Vietnamese food store. 

The establishment of Vietnam Town will bring significant value in various aspects, according to the Vietnamese Association in Udon Thani Province. From a political and diplomatic perspective, it will help promote the image of Vietnam, especially its cultural quintessence, to the Thai people and tourists from around the world visiting Thailand.

It will also be a vivid expression of friendship, cultural exchange and harmony between the people of Udon Thani and the Thai people of Vietnamese descent living in the locality. It is a testimony to the long-standing friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries, the Vietnamese Association said.

From a cultural perspective, once established, Vietnam Town will serve as a place to preserve the traditional cultural heritage of the Vietnamese people in Thailand, a cultural center for the Vietnamese community in Northeastern Thailand and the Vietnamese expatriate community in the country.

From an economic perspective, the planning and development of Vietnam Town will stimulate the economic growth of the locality and provide income opportunities for the Vietnamese expatriates living in the area.

Speaking at the launch event on December 9, Vuong Dinh Hue, Chairman of the National Assembly, emphasized that the first Vietnam Town to be built and inaugurated is an initiative and a meaningful effort by the community to preserve and promote Vietnamese culture. It should be considered as a model for further study and replication in suitable locations in Thailand and the world.

  Vietnam Town in Udon Thani, Thailand.