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in Natural Selection

Lá Dứa: The OG Queen of Vietnamese Desserts

There’s a 99% chance that a Vietnamese child’s first exposure to lá dứa, or pandan, is in the form of rau câu.

in Natural Selection

Sao La: The Real-Life Unicorn of Vietnam

Disney’s Aladdin, Super Nintendo, digital fingerprint technology: the outside world was familiar with all these by 1992. Sao la, however, remained unknown. 

in Natural Selection

Cò: The Symbolic Soul of Vietnam's Countryside

Is Chim Lạc based on a real bird?

in Natural Selection

Voọc Cát Bà: The Endangered Primate of Karst Land

Imagine being born one color, and growing up into a very differently hued adult.

in Natural Selection

Trái Thị: The Fruit of Heavenly Smell and Infernal Taste

If you had to pick a national smell that represents Vietnam, what would it be? There are a host of strong contenders: durian, lotus-scented green tea, fragrant pandan sticky rice, that enticing aroma ...

in Natural Selection

The Ephemeral Grace of Trái Vải

Is scarcity a source of beauty?

in Natural Selection

Mèo: A Complicated Love Affair

Of all the Asian and Southeast Asian countries that use the animal zodiac, only Vietnam has a cat in place of the rabbit. One theory for why is that while Chinese has a word for rabbit, it also has a ...

in Natural Selection

Cây Đa: A Tree That Contains Multitudes

A book, a beer and some shade, what else does one need?

in Natural Selection

Thạch Sùng: A Muse in Every Home

“I dream of lost vocabularies that might express some of what we no longer can,” wrote poet Jack Gilbert.

in Natural Selection

Cầy Mực: A Critter With Popcorn Pee

Vietnam is home to a diverse range of species, from the elusive sao la to Hanoi's pungently fragrant hoa sữa. As an ode to the wondrous nature of the country, we're introducing a new article series, Natural Selection. Each article will feature a species of plant or animal native to Vietnam — starting with the laidback cầy mực (binturong).