Food in Vietnam is engineered to include a combination of five key elements: spicy (metal), sour (wood), bitter (fire), salty (water) and sweet (earth).
Most of the time you get to choose how much chili and spice you want to add, via a small bowl of salt, pepper, fresh chilies and lime in the middle of the table, while dipping sauces are usually in abundance when dining ‘family-style’ (plate sharing).
In most countries in the world, the capital city is also the largest one in the whole country. It is different in Vietnam. Hanoi (capital) has a population of 6.5 million people, whereas in Ho Chi Minh City (also known as Saigon) live more than 7.5 million people!