Ice (da) is an issue in Vietnam.
It's hot here most of the time. There's not enough fridge space. The power's dodgy. In summer, even drinks that come out of the fridge only seem cold for a minute.
It's a dilemma on a number of levels. Is the ice clean? Is it produced from bottled water? Is it boiled water? Is it right to put ice in beer? Will my mates in Australia ever find out? Where can a stubbie holder be got? Ok - so the last three are my personal dilemmas!
Seriously though, for some, ice reassurance is just as important as going on the Halong Bay boat trip. It's a perfectly legitimate question; impossible to answer, except to say that it depends on your stomach and whether you want your drinks cold or not, particularly when you're on the road, out of the major tourist centres or eating and drinking at a street stall. At such places, if there is a fridge, it could be turned off (to save electricity), it could be being used as a cupboard, a shoe rack or a bread roll warmer!
So, this is what beer looks like with ice in it.
And, while we don't want to pontificate, here are some facts upon which a decision about ice consumption could possibly be based.
1. In general, the ice in Vietnam is clean.
2. It is handled by human hands.
3. On the odd occasion, the hands have been up the nose or grappling the dish rag.
4. Properly cleaned glasses are a good indication that hygiene is around.
5. Ice is generally commercially produced and delivered, even to the tiniest street vendors.
6. Hanoi is an oven in the summer.
7. Beer is great with ice. It rehydrates!
8. Stickyrice does it with ice.
9. Lots of other people don't.