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French Influence on Vietnamese Culture
With several hundred years of influence, the French influence on Vietnamese culture can be seen across the country.
Hoi An’s Ancient Town is a great example of a mixture of French and Vietnamese architecture. Likewise, this mix can be seen in Ho Chi Minh City’s Notre-Dame Cathedral (the name’s also a bit of a giveaway), Hanoi’s Opera House and in buildings in al the major cities.
Food is another area that still bears the hallmarks of French involvement. The banh mi – a daily staple snack for locals and visitors alike – is certainly flavoured Vietnamese-style but the bread is based on the famous French baguette. The preference for condensed milk in coffee is another French invention – many years ago it was difficult for the French colonialists to bring sufficient milk into the country without it spoiling. Condensed milk was a convenient long-life alternative that caught on.