A western look on Vietnam

Take a bike tour Hoi An

We all have some stereotypes about almost everything, Vietnam is also suffering from clichés. This article will show you that it’s much better to travel; discovering a culture by yourself, rather than blindly believe in others. You will discover some aspects of Vietnam through a westerner’s look. And realize that the reality can be different from what you thought. Together, we are going to see that some clichés about Vietnam is only a question of perspective.

Peacefulness VS Chaos

The first thing I’ve heard about Vietnam is that is a calm country. Indeed, its countrysides and the surrounding areas are a haven of peace. But the question is different when we go into the cities.

For people who visit Vietnam for the first time, the crazy traffic and the number of motorbikes can shock. They are everywhere! Vietnam has 40 millions motorbikes for 95 millions of inhabitants. But this chaos turns out to be an organised chaos! we will let you discover for yourself!

The streets’ size of the cities can explain the number of motorbikes. But above all, a car’s price is too expensive for the average incomes of Vietnamese.

The driver’s manual leaves a lot to be desired, not easy for a foreigner to cross the streets in Vietnam, you could pass all your holidays waiting at a crosswalk, it’s useless; they are not going to let you pass! You will have to take your courage in both hands and try to cross calmly, without sudden gesture; the road users will take care of avoiding you.

See how to cross a Vietnamese street: https://www.instagram.com/p/BwWh6z3Bh9n/

A man crossing the street carefully
A man crossing the street carefully

The kindness of Vietnamese

The second idea I had about Vietnam was that Vietnamese were welcoming and friendly. Good news! this isn’t a myth, everywhere i have been, i’ve met hospitable and smiley people, indeed, despite past wars, Vietnam is a country which goes ahead, and its population too. Vietnamese people are always ready to help you regardless of whoever you are!

Nevertheless, the streets sellers perceive foreign tourists as walking wallets, this feeling of being an easy target when you’re shopping can begins to feel heavy.

Source: VnExpress

Vietnamese don’t like the sun

Have you ever seen the asian sunshade? If not, you will do in Vietnam. In opposite to western women, Vietnamese women don’t like tanning, when the sun shows up, they avoid it the most they can. Either they use their sunshade or they can also use a conical hat. But when they are driving motorbikes, their summer looks can surprise… This way of being dates back to hundreds years before. When somebody was tanned, it meant he worked in the field and consequently he was poor. From now on, it is a question of a feminine ideal to which women want to be like. Unusual for a westerner who dreams to be the most tanned possible…

Several aspects of the sun protection in Vietnam
Several aspects of the sun protection in Vietnam

In Vietnam, life is cheap!

Each withdrawals will make you a millionaire! More seriously, compared to the western cost of living, Vietnam is a very cheap country. Allow between 1 and 2 USD to eat a delicious Vietnamese dish and some cents for a drink. But the cost of living isn’t limited to the food, it also concerns the travel costs : one more reason to visit Vietnam from top to bottom.

A 2 USD dish

Vietnamese landscapes are wonderful!

This other myth is also truth, in Vietnam, you will never get tired of seeing the landscapes. Between the traditional streets of Hanoi; the demonstration of the rise of the Vietnam with the Saigon’s skyscrapers and the multitude of different landscapes located all over the Vietnam. From the Sapa region to the Da Nang’s beaches, by way of the unmissable Halong bay. Make sure to take many photos as you can!

At the left side: the heart of Halong bay – in the top right-hand corner: the Bitexco Tower seen through an old street of Saigon – in the bottom right-hand corner: the train street in Hanoi.

Author: Corentin Serreau

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