Have you ever traveled in Vietnam? What problems influenced your trip?
I've been to Vietnam five times, once living there for a few months. The thing about being in the touristy cities - beautiful places that you would want to go - are that scams are abound. It might ruin your trip having to be alert all the time and give you a poor impression of the place. However when I was living there, in a provincial city where there are no attractions, just normal everyday life, my Vietnamese friends were incredibly nice, kind, and hospitable. That was my first time there. So I got a really rude shock when I traveled to the other cities to visit tourist attractions like Hue, Hoi An, Hanoi, etc. Its not limited to foreigners. When I went to Hue with my Vietnamese friends who were from the South, they were scammed, too. What is chilling for me is that they appear to be so friendly even when cheating you of your money.
Vietnam is a beautiful country but I have trouble with a few things when visiting here:
- It's hard to cross the street if there is no traffic light, especially for a traveler like me. From 5 pm to 6:30 pm, the traffic jam in Vietnam is incredibly crazy. (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City)
- The summer in Vietnam will offer you a really hot and humid weather, you should remember to bring a hat or a headscarf to get rid of the hot temperature when visiting Vietnam.
I travelled to Vietnam for a long weekend in November 2017, it's a lovely place but I agree with the comments about the dreaded scooters and air pollution in Hanoi. Our tour guide suggested that environmental issues cost the country $1bn a day in sick leave... take it or leave it.
I am not sure what scams the previous contributor referred to, maybe someone cares to elaborate. For me, the biggest scam was the so called "rest stations" along major routes, for example, between Hanoi and Ha Long Bay. These are designed to trap naive coach tourists, who are transported by agents/drivers who must be in on it. How can you otherwise justify charging $50 for a silk scarf that will cost you $5 on the street market? or £3 for a bag of kettle chips that cost 50p in the UK where the salaries are multiple of Nam? I was told the proceeds go to orphans and underprivilleged but in a socialist system they have, I have hard time believing it.
No doubt, the injustice exists in this wonderful land, otherwise known for its rich history, culture, tradition, food, hospitality. There are corrupt bureaucrats who reportedly educate their kids in the US, unthinkable on their migre wages. But it is not an issue for a tourist to worry about, after all.
If you are looking to go - don't be put off by these "problems", there are many more positives than negatives in favour of visiting Vietnam.
Yes just spent 3 months in Vietnam. The only problem which influenced the trip was the air pollution in big cities. Hanoi for example had terrible pollution and it is very bad for your health so you have to make a decision on either staying put in such a place or just visiting and then getting back out into the countryside. Apart from the air pollution, Vietnam is a brilliant country to visit and the people are very friendly and helpful.
No, I haven't been to Vietnam yet, but I'm going on a kosher cruise on the Mekong and am staying there for a short while very soon. So I'm just keeping track of the answers here so I can have an idea of what to expect when I get there haha. I never expect any trip to another country to be "perfect". No country is without it's flaws, after all. But I find that the problems I face, big or small, are often part of what makes the trip all the more special and memorable.
Yes. The motor bike taxi riders on the street who constantly pushed me to take a ride with them. And will follow me until they gave up. It's not really a problem but annoyed me a bit when I am walking around the city. Secondly was the language barrier, I did not know Vietnamese language so it's difficult for me to communicate with them. Luckily I have google Translate. Despite the problems I still love Vietnam because the local people were really warm and friendly. Was hosted by a Vietnamese friend and he's extremely kind to show me around some places.