Vietnam’s auto imports increase sharply in January

Saturday, 11/02/2023 18:30
The General Department of Vietnam Customs said that Vietnam spent more than US$314 million on importing 14,500 completely built-up (CBU) cars of all kinds in January, marking a sharo increase of 219% in volume and nearly 150% in value on-year.

Vietnam imports 14,500 completely built-up (CBU) cars of all kinds in January (Photo:

Most notably, Thailand regained its position from Indonesia to become Vietnam’s largest car exporter, with the number of autos imported from Thailand amounting to roughly 6,700 worth US$125.5 million, according to Radio the Voice of Vietnam.

Indonesia came second with nearly 6,200 cars valued at US$89.7 million being shipped to Vietnam in the first month of the year, followed by the United States with 432 cars, and China with 328 cars.

The number of cars imported from these four major markets accounted for 94.3% of the country’s total car imports in January.

Despite the increasing number of imported cars, the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers' Association (VAMA) said that January sales for the whole market reached just over 17,300 vehicles, a decline of 51% compared to December, 2022.

Of the figure, the sales of domestically assembled cars reached 8,000 units, down 54%, whilst the sales of imported complete units stood at more than 9,200 vehicles, down 48%.

In 2022, the figures of domestically assembled and imported vehicles were 8,000 and 9,200, down 54% and 48%, respectively.

Vietnamese team begins search, rescue mission in Turkey

A 24-member team deployed by the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security has begun engaging in search and rescue efforts in the Turkish southeastern city of Adiyaman, which is among localities bearing the brunt of the devastating February 6 earthquake, said the Vietnam News Agency.

Vietnamese police on duty in Turkey (Photo courtesy of the delegation)

According to the ministry’s police department of fire prevention, fighting and rescue, the delegation arrived in the Istanbul international airport on February 10. Due to difficulties in traveling and having to transport 15 tonnes of equipment for rescue work, they were divided into two groups to reach the site where their services are needed.

On February 11, they began working at the rubble of a building in Adiyaman where the local authorities said 15 people are trapped.


The team works at the site (Photo courtesy of the delegation)

Related inspection and planning activities are thoroughly conducted given extremely difficult conditions, as the temperature drops to minus 6 degrees Celsius and collapsed buildings continue to fall, said a representative of the team.

The group left Vietnam for Turkey on February 9, marking the first time Vietnam has sent a delegation on an international search and rescue mission to a disaster site far away from its territory.

‘Banh cuon’ among top ten meals around the world: Australian magazine

Banh cuon (steamed rolled pancakes) has been named one of the top dishes from around the world by Australian daily online Traveller, reported by the Vietnam News Agency.

According to Traveller, banh cuon is a simple dish and less popular with international tourists compared to pho (noodle soup) and bun cha (vermicelli with grilled pork and fresh herbs). However, making the dish requires a lot of skill.

“There's a certain magic to how these big sheets of steamed rice noodles are made before they're wrapped around savoury fillings and served with herbs and sauce,” it says.


Vietnam's banh cuon is one of the ten must-try dishes of the world in 2023, according to Australian daily online Traveller. (Photo: 

The famous US magazine, Travel and Leisure, also recommended that banh cuon is one among three must-try dishes on a food tour in Vietnam, besides pho and banh mi.

Nine other dishes were also named on the list are grilled turbot of Spain, Oklahoma smash burger from the United States, mole negro from Mexico, short eats from Sri Lanka, sushi from Japan, ragu napoletano from Italy, sarawak laksa from Malaysia, duck sausage sanga from Australia, and tahdig from Iran.

Banh cuon impressed diners with its special cooking style and the harmony of flavours from its ingredients. The dish can be found across Vietnam, but each region has variations in ingredients, cooking methods and tastes.

The most famed variation is said to be found in banh cuon’s cradle, Thanh Tri, an ancient suburb of Hanoi.

Thanh Tri rolled pancakes are paper thin and look almost transparent. Minced pork and wood ear mushrooms are rolled in the rice sheet, and the whole dish is served with dipping sauce.

The sauce served with the rolled pancake is similar to that in bun cha (noodles served with grilled pork) – fish sauce with sugar, water (to lessen the saltiness), chilli and vinegar. They could also be eaten with cha que (orange-hued, roasted cinnamon sausage) or cha lua (Vietnamese classic silky sausages) to boost their taste.

Unlike Hanoi’s version, Phu Ly steamed rolled rice pancakes in Ha Nam province have no stuffing. This type of banh cuun is eaten cold with charcoal-grilled meat instead of roasted cinnamon pork. The meat must be both lean and fatty to be soft, fragrant, and not too dry. The pancakes are dipped in diluted fish sauce and served with various herbs.

In the northern provinces of Cao Bang and Lang Son, rolled pancakes are eaten with pork bone broth instead of fish sauce like in Hanoi. While spreading the wet batter over the steaming basket, cooks would add an egg and then cover the cooked egg with a rice sheet. Diners could add some fermented bamboo shoots and chilli to fortify their broth.

In central provinces like Nghe An and Ha Tinh, banh cuon is also known as banh muot. Here, the steamed Vietnamese rolls often contain only rice batter, without any pork or mushroom.

In Nghe An, locals often serve banh muot with eel soup, another local delicacy, while in Ha Tinh, the dish is eaten with ram, the local version of spring rolls. To enjoy this dish, diners wrap the crispy spring roll with the rice pancake and dip it into fish sauce.

New Zealand reporter shares travel experiences on Con Dao Island

Brett Atkinson, a reporter of The New Zealand Herald, has published an article sharing his interesting experiences when visiting Con Dao Island in the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau, said Radio the Voice of Vietnam.

According to Atkinson, from the late 19th century to 1975, the strikingly beautiful destination was viewed as hell on earth due to the extremely harsh conditions imposed on political prisoners, particularly those incarcerated during French colonial rule.

He suggested that visitors pay a visit to Con Dao Museum to gain a comprehensive overview of this tragic period in the island’s history.


Con Dao Island in the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau (Photo:

“With minimal traffic, Con Dao island is one of the best places in Vietnam to ride a scooters. Sweeping coastal roads are shadowed by forested peaks, and trailheads lead to remote beaches,” the reporter noted.

Atkinson added that most guesthouses and hotels are able to arrange speedboat and snorkeling trips to Con Dao’s smaller islands, with March to September being the best time to go diving with the Con Dao Dive Centre.

Furthermore, according to the New Zealand reporter, visitors should not miss out on sampling some of the delicious food on offer on the island, with Con Son town’s covered central market being the best place for breakfast.

“Begin the day with banh tieu (Vietnamese doughnuts) and an iced coffee, or get your noodle fix with bun thit nuong (grilled pork and vermicelli) crammed with fresh herbs,” he stressed.

“Sizzling steak and egg platters served with a crunchy baguette offer good sustenance if you’re going hiking, and there are also banh mi sandwiches to take away,” Atkinson added.

For those looking to enjoy a lighter meal, Atkinson recommended Chay’s Day Vegetarian Kitchen that is a simple place serving up meat-free renditions of Vietnamese classics such as pho (noodle soup), spring rolls, and banh xeo savoury pancakes.

“For fresh Con Dao seafood, head along for hot pot at Thu Ba,” he concluded./.

Compiled by BTA