The food of the northern Vietnam is heavily influenced by China with its stir-fries and noodle-based soups. As you proceed south, there is more flavour, akin to Thailand and Cambodia. The tropical climate down south also sustains more rice paddies, coconut groves, jackfruit trees, and herb gardens. The food in southern Vietnam is typically sweeter. French colonization – from 18th century to 1954 - had its influence on Vietnamese food. It definitely left a lasting effect on the country and its people.