Vietnam’s first McDonald’s

Many people can’t imagine driving around town without seeing the Golden Arches, the name of the McDonald’s “M” logo. However, in Vietnam, there were none until recently when the first McDonald’s restaurant opened in Ho Chi Minh City. This was also the country’s first drive-thru restaurant.

McDonald’s is an American fast food chain. It was founded in 1940 in California, USA,  by two brothers, Richard and Maurice McDonald. It started off as a barbecue restaurant. McDonald’s has over 35,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries. It serves nearly 70 million people around the world every day.

McDonald’s restaurants around the globe don’t all have the exact same menu. Some items are offered according to the food tastes of the citizens of the country the restaurant is in. The restaurant in Vietnam has the McPork (a pork burger). Here are some unique items: McAloo Tikki burger (vegetarian burger, India),  McArabia (chicken sandwich in a flat bread, Bahrain), Teriyaki Mac (pork burger with teriyaki sauce, Japan), McSpicy (very spicy chicken burger, Singapore), the Ayam Goreng McD (fried chicken, Malaysia), and the LeCroque McDo (melted cheese and ham sandwich, France).

Vietnam was colonized by the French in the 1800s. The country declared its independence in 1945. However, the French did not leave until 1954, after which the country was divided into two parts. The northern and southern halves of the country were ruled by two different political parties. Fighting broke out between the two halves by the end of the 1950s, and lasted for over 15 years. The Americans supported the southern part and sent their troops to help. Americans call this the “Vietnam War”, while the Vietnamese call it the “American War”. In 1975, the government of the northern part took over the southern half, and Vietnam was united into one nation.

The capital of Vietnam is Hanoi. Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is the country’s largest city.  Vietnam is shaped like an “S”. The country at its narrowest point is about 50 km (30 miles) wide. The most common family name in Vietnam is “Nguyen”. A popular food is Pho, which is broth with noodles, herbs, and meat.

Did you know?

Subway, the American sandwich restaurant chain, has over 41,000 restaurants around the globe.

Did you know?

A magazine called The Economist publishes the Big Mac index, which is the cost of McDonald’s Big Mac burgers in some countries around the globe.

Image Credits: http://news.mcdonalds.com/ for McDonald’s restaurant in Vietnam, androog for pho’s image
Sources: mcdonalds.com, CIA World Factbook, www.subway.com, www.lonelyplanet.com, www.digitalhistory.uh.edu, BBC, tuoitrenews.vn