[Katerina] Bad and good things about Vietnam

First day in Vietnam

The first day was really confusing for me as everything that I had planned before I came didn’t work (that’s a pretty normal thing here as I’ve learnt later). So it happened that I didn’t even know where I was supposed to stay. Well, I felt stressed. Frustrated I was looking around and tried to imagine if I would be able to stay for 3 months as I’d planned. To tell the truth I started doubting.

Bad and good things about Vietnam

What are good things?

Everybody can find their suitable place in Vietnam. This country suits for work and rest. You can work in the noisy, always busy and internationally open Ho Chi Minh city or in a smaller city Da Nang which is next to the sea and has a slower rhythm of life.

You can find any opportunity for the perfect holidays: either active camping in the mountains or passive rest on the bounty beaches. So Vietnam has everything you are looking for. As for me I’ve seen plenty of stunning places I’d never seen before in my life (such as Ha Long bay, Tran An or Mai Chau village).

The next good point I would love to mention is: people. When not taking you as a rich tourist people are so kind, helpful and sympathetic. I was hosted by local families who sharing their food and clothes with me, I was helped in many cases by unknown people just because they saw my puzzled face.

I was a witness of a couple of cases when local people returned lost belonging to inattentive tourists who thought that they had been stolen. That ruins many stereotypes before entering Vietnam. But even though foreigners are always foreigners here and should be careful anyway.

One and the most important good point is that any tourist even on a budget can survive in Vietnam for quite a long time. All prices: for food, clothes, accommodation and transport are incomparably lower than in any other country.

How about bad things?

European and Asian cultures are pretty different and nobody can judge each other but still there some things that I can’t accept or understand. People are not concerned about their environment. There’s a custom to throw the trash on the floor. Ok, in the restaurant at the end of the day the cleaning manager will broom the floor. But who will do it after people throw garbage, plastic and paper out of the window of the train passing those naturally beautiful fields and forests? Nobody thinks about that, so this’s what should be changed and this change should start with the primary school education.

What became really annoying personally for me after ore than 2 months is Asian people being so anxious of taking pictures with foreigners. When they ask for a permission before doing that and you have an option to agree or refuse is quite normal but when they unpredictably touch you (pretty scary when you even haven’t seen the person before being touched), pull or push you towards the cameraman without saying anything can make you feel really unpleasant specially if you were not in the mood of smiling and taking pics with anyone.

The most distractive cases were when they took such non-permitted photos of me relaxing on the beach in my swimming suit. Felt extremely uncomfortable. We are the same humans, differ by the color of the skin and the eyes shape. What is the reason of taking pics with an unknown person, what will you say than when showing those photos to anyone or uploading on Facebook, I don’t know.

One more thing that can be disappointing at the beginning that you never get what you were expecting. And this is concern about many things. You can be served not that food you were expected in the restaurant, asked to pay not an expected sum in the taxi, catch the bus not at an expected time or get off from the bus in a not expected place. Any schedules, agreements or plans with locals can be changed unexpectedly in the last moment. Here no advice can be done…just take it easy, here.

View more:

>>[Ekaterina] Three-month travel in Vietnam in brief (Part 1)

>>[Ekaterina] Three-month travel in Vietnam in brief (Part 2)

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