Vietnam – Overall Summary
Vietnam – Overall Summary Reviews
Vietnam – Overall Summary Mar 13, 2008
Positives: Food is good, especially the patisserie cakes (strong French influence, not a surprise) which are wonderful and inexpensive. Cocktails are a regular menu item and although you can’t expect to get a good Mojito, basic cocktails are good and inexpensive. Peanut Oreos are the best invention ever, and not as commonly found elsewhere in Asia. Hotels usually have free internet and free breakfast. I cleaned my teeth with the water, used ice cubes, drank the milk, cream and ate ice cream and was fine. People are friendly outside of the cities and usually speak English since they learn it at school.
Negatives: It’s noisy – the bibbing of buses and motorcycles will nearly drive you insane after a few days. It’s dangerous trying to negotiate between so many motorcycles and cars: make eye contact and walk slowly across the road so they can make provision to judge your speed and move round you safely. Hover WCS, no WC paper (carry it always!). It is polluted; you will rarely see blue sky from all the exhaust. People in the cities are pushy, grasping, cheating, dishonest. Often you are paying the same for a thing that you would pay at home, eg. A bracelet that costs $2, a souvenir necklace that costs $4, clothes that cost $10. And yet, conversely, $6 will buy you a 21 hr bus journey! It’s dirty here, the litter pollution is out of hand and it spoils the landscape. There are even hundreds of ancient, holey plastic bags and soda cans in people’s back yards and driveways where their barefoot children in terry towel nappies play.
1UKP = 32,000 dong $1 = 16,000 dong
If/when I return I will definitely not do the coastal route again but instead do the inland route, and parts of the Ho Chi Minh trail. I would like to do the Highlands trip with the Easy Riders out of Dalat. I would also like to explore further south than Ho Chi Minh to the Mekong Delta, and further north than Hanoi. I’d like to do the 3 day 2 night trip to Halong Bay, and also karst formations, Cat Ba Island, the lagoon at Nha Trang where I would like to drink more cocktails and have more massages!
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