Travelling to Vietnam with a Peanut/Tree Nut Allergy

Next year I have the opportunity to travel to one of about fifteen different countries through a scholarship program and I would really like to go to Vietnam. I would be travelling with around 20 other people for about two weeks between the northern and southern parts of the country, while staying in either Ho Chi Minh City or Ha Noi. How common are peanuts and tree nuts in the country and how easy is it to avoid them? Are there common dishes in which peanuts and tree nuts are not used. I would really like to go on this trip, but I don't want my worrying about everything I eat to take the fun and enjoyment out of the trip. I have never traveled outside of the U.S. before, so I have never had any problems with my allergies. I have the itinerary of the trip already and I know that we will be eating out for at least one meal everyday. Are restaurants understanding of food allergies or in general would it be better to choose another location to travel to (though I would probably run into a problem wherever I go).

By Chantel Donnan on Wed, 05-01-13, 00:42

Vietnamese dishes actually do use a lot of nuts and peanut oil. Also, because of the language barrier/cultural differences, there's no guarantee that restaurants will be able to understand what you're asking for, or the severity of your allergy. I would definitely talk to your doctor before making any decision, and DEFINITELY bring medication or an epi pen with you on your trip. Also, learn the phrase "khong dau phong" - "no peanuts" (pronounced roughly "hom dow fom")

For more, you could check out this thread: people here have a lot more insight that I do:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g298082-i9204-k3264501-Peanut_Allergy_Advice-Hoi_An_Quang_Nam_Province.html#23258491

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