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Viet Ville in Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Pho & Banh Mi Resto With An Obscure Piece Of History

Viet Ville in Puerto Princesa

Puerto Princesa in Palawan is popular with local and international travelers for its natural wonders. But this scenic city also tells an overlooked piece of Vietnamese-Filipino history.

Viet Ville is a Vietnamese restaurant that serves your favorite dishes from the cuisine and is also a place some 2,000 Vietnamese refugees used to call home.

Vietnamese food favorites

Viet Ville - banh mi
Banh mi.
Image credit: Sethseretset Alibangbang

When you visit during the rainy season, be sure to get pho (from P230, ~USD4.10), a delightful, light chicken or beef noodle dish. For something convenient to eat, get one of their many banh mi varieties (starts at P135, ~USD2.41). Classic banh mi has pork barbecue, ham, pâté, pickled carrots and daikon (white radish), cucumber, and cilantro.

There are also Vietnamese spring rolls called fresh lumpia on their menu, not to be confused with Filipino fresh lumpia. Their version has pork, shrimp, lettuce, rice vermicelli, and herbs wrapped in rice paper. They also have a vegetarian version of this that has no shrimp.

Of course, you can get the staple Vietnamese coffee hot (P95, ~USD1.70) or iced (P155, ~USD2.77) at this restaurant.

Try Vietnamese-Filipino food

Viet Ville - Chaolong
Viet Ville’s chaolong.
Image credit: @drivanvicente

There’s a rice porridge dish in Vietnam called chaolong. But in Palawan, localized chaolong is a noodle dish like pho but with a darker, richer, and sweeter broth to suit the Filipino palate.

At Viet Ville, they serve what is closer to the Vietnamese chaolong (P170, ~USD3.03) – rice porridge topped with meat and innards that comes with a side of beansprouts, mint, and calamansi.

Former refugee camp for 2,000 Vietnamese

Viet Ville - Vietnamese refugees
Colorized photo of “boat people” who fled Vietnam by sea.

Image credit: manhhai/Creative Commons

Viet Ville is more than just a Vietnamese restaurant too. In 1985, it became home to some 2,000 Vietnamese refugees who fled their country at the end of the Vietnam War.

Viet Ville - buddhist pagoda
Buddhist pagoda.

Image credit: @celesteannarformoso

According to Roads and Kingdoms, the Vietnamese village was 13 hectares big with 200 homes, a Buddhist pagoda, and a Catholic chapel. Unfortunately, it closed due to a lack of funds in the early 2000s. Some refugees left the Philippines for the USA, Canada, and Australia, though others stayed and built their families with Palaweños.

Today, you can still see some of the structures, including the pagoda.

Available for pick-up and delivery

Viet Ville Restaurant
Viet Ville.
Image adapted from: @celesteannarformoso

If you don’t have time to fit Viet Ville into your itinerary, you can still enjoy their dishes when you’re in Puerto Princesa. Their Vietnamese dishes are available for pick-up and delivery.

To order, call or text them at 0919 967 4601 or 0917 329 2201. You can also reach them through these mobile numbers for inquiries.

Vietnamese history in the Philippines

So if you ever find yourself craving Vietnamese food in Palawan, try the dishes at Viet Ville.

Though they offer pick-up and delivery for your convenience, we recommend checking out the place for some sightseeing and a small but valuable history lesson!

Address: Km 13, Barangay Sta. Lourdes, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Opening hours:
8am-8pm, Daily
Telephone: 0919 967 4601 | 0917 329 2201
Viet Ville’s Facebook

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Cover image adapted from: @celesteannarformoso and @drivanvicente