‘Trà Chanh’ – the lemon tea
Ho Chi Minh lemon ice-tea
It was a weekday night when more than 200 youths gathered at a riverside area on Ton That Dam Street in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 to enjoy lemon tea, the drink which has been called tra chanh chem gio (lemon tea for chit-chat). Spending VND10,000 (US$0.48) for a cup of lemon tea, taking a canvas or a plastic chair and talking from 7pm to 11pm: that’s what hundreds local youths have done over the last two months in the area.
Hanoi lemon tea and ice-tea
The drinks were first sold at some small street coffee shops and then spread widely in Hanoi in recent years. To many young people, you can’t say that you’ve been to the capital city without having a cup of lemon tea on Nha Tho, Ly Quoc Su or Dao Duy Tu streets. Lately, Hanoi’s tra chanh chem gio, which is considered a local specialty, has come to the southern city.There are several areas where many teenagers gather to enjoy lemon tea, including District 1’s Nguyen Trai Street and the area near Coopmart Rach Mieu supermarket in Phu Nhuan District. Still, the most crowded place is the riverside area at the end of District 1’s Ton That Dam Street. “I feel a joyful atmosphere since there’s a lot of people here and it’s also cool here,
” My Duyen, 18, a freshman at the Industrial University of HCMC, said in explaining why she likes to come to the venue once a week.
“I like such a crowded place,” Thuy Giang, 18, a first year student from the HCMC University of Economics and Law, added.
“I’ve brought all the ingredients from Hanoi, except for the lemons from Da Lat, so the flavor of lemon tea here and Hanoi’s famous lemon tea are not much different,” Minh, a shop owner on Ton That Dam Street, said. Danh, a teenager who sometimes visits the area seven times a week, preferred the diversity of food and drink as well as the reasonable price. “I drink Hanoi lemon tea and feel the same flavor here, but the atmosphere here is much joyful than there, I think,” he added.