International culinary festival lures huge crowd
Update: Jan 17, 2018
Huge numbers of domestic and international gourmets late last week converged at Le Van Tam Park at the corner of Vo Thi Sau and Hai Ba Trung streets in District 1, HCMC to gain hands-on experience into the cuisines of different cultures around the globe during the annual international food festival named “Taste of the World”.

Bui Ta Hoang Vu (C), director of the HCMC Department of Tourism,
and guests visit a Thai food corner selling Thai signature dishes

The four-day festival, which wrapped up on Sunday, captured strong public attention and was lauded by the expat community, as the event featured more than 100 food booths showcasing an array of signature dishes from many countries such as Thailand, Denmark, India, Argentina, Italy and Viet Nam.

In addition, foreign visitors had the opportunity to discover a Vietnamese street food and get a real taste of traditional typical dishes from Viet Nam’s three regions of South, Central and the North as a highlight at this year’s culinary event.

Furthermore, scores of entertainment activities such as don ca tai tu (Southern folk music) performances, a cooking show and a talk show on traditional dishes during the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday, were also featured at this year’s food festival.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the festival on the night of January 11, Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, deputy director of the municipal Department of Tourism, said the 12th edition of the festival continues its mission to promote the diversity of Vietnamese culinary culture to international friends, spur cultural exchanges among the participating countries as well as woo more international tourists to boost the city’s tourism growth.

David Scott, a 28-year-old Australian man, who is residing in HCMC’s District 1, said in an encounter with the Daily that it’s really an amazing experience to try out tasty dishes of different countries, especially street foods and watch the chefs show off their cooking skills.

“Well, the food festival is more crowded and busier than weekend food bazaars I have ever visited,” he added.

2017 was a successful year for the city’s tourism sector as the city has welcomed more than 6.38 million international visitors, a pickup of 22.8% year-on-year, and pbtained total tourism revenues of nearly VND116 trillion (US$5.1 billion), surging 12.6% against a year earlier, according to the municipal tourism department.

HCMC, the country’s most dynamic and vibrant economic center, is pinning high hopes to woo 7.5 million foreign arrivals this year, with total tourism revenue of VND138 trillion.