Is Vietnam Water Safe To Drink? Commonly Asked Questions

Whenever we travel to a new country, especially one with a different culture, we would love to find out loads of things before departing. This is necessary as it assures our safety and experiences. Water is often our first concern, as it is an indispensable demand.

So if you are planning to have a trip to Vietnam, the same question is raised: How is Vietnam’s water? Since more and more tourists ask BM Travel Adventure the same questions regarding water in Vietnam, we think it’s time to discuss this topic. In this article, we will answer the most frequently asked questions. Let’s dive in!

Get to know about popular water sources in Vietnam

Before moving further to your questions, we should have an overview of Vietnam’s water state. In our country, rural and urban areas have different water supplies.

In the countryside, people use the following water sources:


Vietnam is a tropical country with abundant rainfall, making rainwater a valuable water source in many areas. However, rainwater is not always as clean as you may think. The quality of this water depends on which area you have. It is harmful to utilize rainwater directly in a place where plants work continually, not to mention storing it in unclean containers. Knowing this, people in Vietnam have come up with several solutions: using alkali chemicals (lime water), filtering with sand, etc. They don’t use the rainwater pouring down from concrete rooftops. The container is cleaned regularly, as well as covered with a lid. Some families even use water purifiers to ensure they have the cleanest water.


Well-water in Vietnam motorcycle tours

In the past, you could easily find a well anywhere, even in big cities. But now they exist mostly in the countryside. Scientists recommend not using unprocessed well water as it may absorb toxic chemicals in the soil.

Water from rivers, ponds, streams, and lakes

We rode through various Vietnam motorbike routes and witnessed locals take advantage of rivers, ponds, streams, and lakes for daily water usage. However, they often don’t drink this water directly. Instead, they boil the water to make it safe to drink. 

People in the cities utilize the following:

Tap water

Tap water is used the most in our country. However, tap water is unreliable if you want some drinkable water in Vietnam. We have to boil it first before quenching your thirst.

Tap water in Adventure motorcycle tours

Bottled water

Many people are getting used to bottled water because of its convenience. They use it for drinking, cooking, brushing their teeth, and washing their face. However, only reputable brands are trustable.

Bottled water

Purified water

Nowadays, more and more people buy water purifiers to filter tap water before use. They rely on this method and consider it the best way to minimize health risks from water-consuming.

Purified water in vietnam motorbike tours

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Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s move on to the more exciting part – answering repeated questions about drinking water in Vietnam.

Does water shortage happen in Vietnam?

After wartime, Vietnam had to suffer a multitude of economic difficulties. And this led to poor waterworks and spared water treatment infrastructure. Nowadays, Vietnam has invested a lot into all the waterworks in the country to make them modern and more effective. Besides, our country possesses nearly 3000 rivers and plenty of natural and artificial lakes, dams, lagoons, etc. This means the water shortage is no longer a significant problem in Vietnam. All the areas in the territory have enough clean water to use for daily tasks. And once you boil the water, you can drink it as much as you want.

Is Vietnam water safe to drink?

Is Vietnam water safe to drink? in Vietnam motorbike tours

Well, to answer this question, we have to dig deeper. First, let’s talk about tap water which is not safe to drink in Vietnam.
In Vietnam, the water treatment infrastructure is not developed enough. Therefore, tap water here is quite right yet not clean enough for drinking. Chemical remains, unhealthy chemicals, and some bacteria in the water can still harm. The rusty pipes are another reason we cannot drink tap water directly yet. If you slake your thirst with tap water, you may have to suffer stomach ache, digestive disorders, or diarrhea.

So what can you drink without any concern in Vietnam? A lot. As we have mentioned, you need to boil the tap water and let it cool down; it is safe to use. Many families in big cities now have RO water purifiers, which can immediately make any Vietnam water drinkable.

And the most common choice of tourists is bottled water. These bottles of mineral water are super convenient. Bottles of 0.5 or 1.5 liters can fit your backpack perfectly, while ones of 5 liters are suitable for a picnic. Some brands you can pick without hesitating are Aquafina, Lavie, Dasani, or Vinh Hao. These brands have the best-bottled water in Vietnam. A half-liter bottle often costs 0.5 dollars. In Vietnam, water bottles are low, and the quality is relatively good compared to other Southeast Asian countries. In particular, you should try Aquafina’s products at least once, as they have a subtle coconut flavor.

Can I brush my teeth with tap water in Vietnam?

Can I brush my teeth with tap water in Vietnam? in north Vietnam motorcycle tours

The answer is yes. However, we have a little piece of advice for you here. Most Vietnamese people use tap water for daily tasks, and there are no significant consequences. If you are on a long trip, you should also get used to tapping water. But if you plan to stay in Vietnam for a couple of days and want to ensure that nothing weird happens, then brushing your teeth with bottled water is a brilliant idea. Luxurious hotels often have a high-end water purifier system making Vietnam’s water safer, so the choice is yours.

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Is it safe to have ice in Vietnam?

Is it safe to have ice in Vietnam? in south Vietnam motorbike tours

Vietnam is a tropical country, so people here have to find ways to fight the heat. Over time, ice has become an essential thing for the Vietnamese. You can find two types of ice here – one is made of filtered water, and another is not. The second type is used for other purposes except drinking and cannot be found in restaurants, cafés, etc. There is nothing to worry about a glass full of ice here.

Is it safe to drink coffee in Vietnam?

Is it safe to drink coffee in Vietnam? in motorcycle tours

Drinking water quality standards in Vietnam have nothing to do with this question because only boiled water is used in this case. Whether it is safe to drink Coffee in Vietnam depends on where you have it. Since Vietnam is the second-largest coffee producer in the world, Coffee has become the main drink in this country (especially in the South).

Many people in this S-shaped land drink Coffee daily, which is enough to answer your question: yes, it is safe to drink Coffee in Vietnam. However, you’d better avoid buying a cup of Coffee from street vendors. Sometimes, these vendors use artificial ingredients to make fake Coffee for a better profit.

There is something you should know about the coffee culture in Vietnam. In big café chains, you can find something familiar such as Cappuccino, Espresso, Latte, etc. The big brands you should visit are Trung Nguyen Coffee, The Coffee House, Highlands, Phuc Long, and Cong Café. In most cafés in this country (including those brands), you can be served the original taste of Vietnamese Coffee, Ca Phe Phin.

A specialized filter is used to make a cup of Ca Phe Phin, making the process quite long. You can choose from adding sugar or condensed milk to this delicious cup of Coffee. Vietnamese people love chattering and reading a newspaper while waiting for a full cup of Coffee.

In recent years, a coffee drink called Vietnam coconut coffee has become increasingly popular and won the hearts of so many coffee devotees. You can enjoy this type of drink in Vietnam’s most famous coffee shops.  

Here are some useful facts for you:

  • In Cong Café, there will be music bands performing in the evening;
  • While traveling in Hanoi, you should try egg coffee. It tastes good and uniquely;
  • Trung Nguyen Coffee is famous for its original taste;
  • Besides the brands we have mentioned above, there are many other good cafés. The tip is to enter the ones where you see many local people inside. Reading reviews in some apps like Grab Food or Foody is helpful too.

What drinks can we drink in Vietnam?

Well, you have thousands of choices of what to drink in our country. But we have a brief list for you to consider. Of course, we have excluded coffee as we have already mentioned its popularity.

Tra Da – Iced Tea

What drinks can we drink in Vietnam? in pillion passenger

Mineral water in Vietnam doesn’t dominate the market, and iced tea is why. Street vendors sell Tra Da on almost every corner of this country. In restaurants and even cafés, you will be served Tra Da while waiting for the main dish (or drink). On hot days, people in Ho Chi Minh City place 20-liter bottles of Tra Da on the sidewalk, and you can quench your thirst freely. Don’t worry too much about hygiene because they use “drinkable Vietnam water” to make this Tra Da.

Sinh To – smoothie

Sinh To – smoothie in Vietnam road trip

This is another popular drink in Vietnam. Fruit smoothies are many people’s favorite drink because it is tasty and nutritious. If a smoothie from street vendors makes you nervous, try it in the café. This drink is available on the menu of most cafés, including the big brands such as Cong Café or Phuc Long. Avocado, mango, or custard apple smoothies will surely win your heart.

Nuoc ep – juice

Nuoc ep – juice in vietnam motorcycle road trip

Juice is as popular as smoothies. Both of them are loved because of their diversity. Vietnam is a tropical country with hundreds of fruit with different tastes. To try them all, you should stay here for years.

Coconut and sugar cane juice

Coconut and sugar cane juice in south Motorcycle tours

These two juices can be in many roadside vendors around the country. They are cheap, delicious, and good for your health. After riding miles in the hot weather, these drinks are super satisfying. Coconut meat will be added to make your glass of coconut juice an unforgettable experience.

Beers and Alcohols

Beers and Alcohols in Vietnam motorcycle road trip tours

It might be impossible to find a country where beer, wine, and spirits don’t exist. Vietnamese love beer and rice wine, and you can see these drinks at many parties. Besides, global brands like Carlsberg or Heineken, Hanoi Beer, Saigon Beer, Truc Bach, or Huda Beer dominate the Vietnam market. Vietnamese also love Bia Hoi – which is fresh beer contained in kegs. Rice wine has been existing long before beer. In each region, people have their way of making wine. You should try Ruou Can – rice wine-added herb flavors in mountainous areas.

Tra Sua – Bubble Milk Tea

Tra Sua – Bubble Milk Tea on road trip

This drink has become more and more popular in recent years. Nowadays, you can find hundreds of brands selling thousands of types of bubble milk tea. The most famous are Tocotoco, Gong Cha, Koi, Ding Tea, Phuc Long, etc.

What should not drink in Vietnam?

Vietnam water seems to raise so many questions relating to health. So let’s move to what you should not drink in Vietnam:

Tap water

We have talked a lot about the Vietnam water supply and other things. In short, don’t drink tap water without boiling it first.

Roadside coffee

Roadside coffee on road trip Vietnam

Say “no” to street vendors and their offers if you want to avoid stomachache. Local people may have been used to such things, but you should choose the safest way to enjoy Vietnamese cuisine. When it comes to Tra Da, you need to make sure you can see tea leaves inside the pot.


We don’t say that milk in Vietnam is dangerous. However, there are cases where foreigners don’t feel good after drinking milk here. Condensed milk causes no similar problems, so it’s ok to use.

What are the unique drinks in Vietnam?

It’s hard to say if the following drinks are unique or not. The reason is that we don’t know whether they can be found in other countries. But here are some names we find less popular yet delicious, and we recommend you to try them.

Artichoke tea

This tea tastes sweet and slightly bitter. It helps purify your liver and reduce blood fat.

What are the unique drinks in Vietnam? in Indochina motorcycle tours

Corn silk tea

This can be considered a traditional drink, as Vietnamese people have used it for thousands of years. It supports the treatment of diabetes and hypertension. We often add sugarcane and pineapple leaves to improve the taste.

Corn silk tea on Indochina road trip

Pennywort juice

If you want to try something new, pennywort juice should be your first choice. We are not sure you will like it, but give it a go. It is said to be good for your liver and skin. But don’t try it if you are pregnant.

Pennywort juice in Indochina adventure motorcycle tours

Aloe Vera tea

This is one of the best drinks to cool your body down in summer. Vietnamese people love its ability to detoxify the liver, support digestion, and increase resistance. It is believed to rejuvenate your skin as well.

Aloe Vera tea - blog motorcycle


Please don’t mistake it with tea. It’s hard to say this is a drink or dish, but we bet you will love it. Che is like sweet gruel with hundreds of toppings. It is served as a snack or dessert.

Chè Vietnam travel tip

For a final word,

So we have just answered the eight most frequently asked questions about Vietnam water and drinks. We hope this information can be useful for you in the future. As you can see, we – BM Travel Adventure – always try to give you the best things. If you plan to visit Vietnam, we are here, ready to support you in exciting Vietnam motorbike tours. With our experiences and knowledge, we strongly believe that all your time with us will be well spent.

Check Out More Topic In Vietnam Travel Tips:

  • Ultimate Guide To Making A Packing List for motorcyclist riding vietnam
  • Is Vietnam Water Safe To Drink? Commonly Asked Questions
  • North Vietnam Food – Ride To Northeastern Lands For An Amazing Discovery​
  • Top 6 Exotic Foods in Northwest Vietnam You Must Try Once in Your Life​
  • Top Hotels, Resorts, Homestays in Central Vietnam Selected By BM Travel Adventure (Part 2)​
  • Top Hotels, Resorts, Homestays in North Vietnam selected by BM Travel Adventure [Part 1]​
  • 10 Best Vietnamese Vegetarian Dishes You Must Try​
  • Vietnamese Coconut Coffee – Tastily Rich Aromatic Drink​
  • Basic Vietnamese Phrases – Easy Adventure Awaits!​

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