My least favorite country was Vietnam. I found the general population to be very indifferent to tourists, a big difference to the smiling and polite Thai and Lao. The only ones who expressed any interest in us were the people in the tourism industry and I didn’t trust them. They sold services that were way inferior to what was promised and conducted business in such a way that money seemed to be the only priority. My first cultural experience in this country was being robbed by a man I trusted.

Overall, I felt very weary traveling in Vietnam because of the constant stress of having to defend myself against scammers. It was also difficult to meet other travelers here because guest houses with common rooms and dormitories are not common.

However, there were some very beautiful places I visited (or wish I did). Sapais a cool, mountanoues valley all the way in the north of the country and home to many non-Vietnamese ethnic groups. It was rainy and foggy when I went so I did not go trekking, but I hear that trekking is wonderful! The people are charming! I did take a trip out to Bac Ha market, a Sunday market close to the Chinese border where hundreds of locals of various ethnic groups gather to sell everything from handicrafts to animals.

I haven’t been, but regret not going to Halong Bay. So do go here if you come to Vietnam.

My favorite city was Hoi An because of its architecture and social atmosphere. It’s also the place to go if you need a tailor because these line the streets by the dozen and are super cheap and quick.

If I would go to Vietnam again, I would visit the western parts of the country because they are less developed and I heard that the people are friendlier.


1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. troy nguyen  |  July 19, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    it’d be nice if every asian country opened their arms and had no thoughts about money. Sorry we aren’t all at the service of foreigners and tourists. Maybe that’s why viets are the most successful asians when they emigrate overseas though.


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