I thought you might like to read some interesting things I noted regarding booze and Vietnam:-
Our guides told me: In Vietnam the girls don’t drink alcohol at all. The men drink beer and rice wine as often as possible. The government weren’t bothered until the amount of serious accidents on the roads and at work started to become a financial burden. In Vietnam men die aged between 50 – 60 mainly due to alcohol related issues. The women live on average another twenty years on top of this. They hardly ever remarry because by the time their husbands die they have had enough of men!
It is assumed as a man that I will drink alcohol. On arriving at every hotel (we stayed at ten) we were offered a drink. Naturally I always asked if the drink was non-alcoholic and mostly they were. But some had alcohol in them. ‘There is only a little alcohol in it’ they would say, and then look amazed when I refused the offer.
It is assumed that beer is different to alcohol. I told our guides I didn’t drink and they would keep assuming I would still drink beer. ‘But you must drink beer!’ they would say.
On a river cruise on the Mekong all the guests were offered a glass of special local rice wine to sample. There was no non-alcoholic alternative on offer as it was assumed everyone would drink it. Apparently it tasted like the horrible brown medicine I remember being made to take when I was a kid.
Thankfully they serve the most delicious fresh juices in Vietnam, especially the freshly squeezed lemon. They also make some stupendous cocktails, my favourite was a mixture of green apple, pineapple and lemongrass - delicious.
Finally, the Buddhist monks don’t drink, but they do have Bluetooth mobile phones and tear around on mopeds. If you see a monk in the morning and he is wearing shoes he is a fake monk – apparently fake monks are on the increase!