I know that I will never be politically correct
And I don’t give a damn about my lack of etiquette
And if the thrill is gone, then it’s time to take it back

Love it or leave it – why we hated Vietnam and Vietnam hated us

Maybe this would’nt be true for all of the country, but regarding the fact that our lifetime and traveltime is limited we left without discovering anything we really liked.
We will never ever return to Vietnam and do recommend anybody to stay away from it. There are much much better places to bring your money to.

Thank god, we are back in Bangkok.

Some thoughts about Vietnam

Food: ok, but nothing special
People: rude, reckless and aggressive, I would not go as far as other guys did in their postings about Vietnam and call it a lack of intelligence in general, but there MUST be something wrong with this folks. They keep honking all the time for no reason and without any result, except that you get a head like an elephant listening to it the whole day. You might say: yes, but this is true for some european countries as well – yes, maybe 2 hours a day in the rushour on the busy streets. But I got up at 5:30 in the morning to see how it works to find them honking for absolutly no reason, this is going on for every second of the whole fucking day. You go to sleep with the sounds of horns in your ear and you wake up with the sounds of horns.

I found a Vietnames commenting on the statement about the lack of intelligence and he said it is no wonder if people are taught just to follow instead of thinking for themselfs. Maybe that is true.
Someone posted “I let you in a secret: the old quarter in Hanoi is not Vietnam like the Red light district in Amsterdam is not the Netherlands and Khao San is not Thailand.”..blabla.. But come on! Khao San, Red light district.. anything he mentioned is a HEAVEN on EARTH compared to the old quarter in Hanoi. You really get mad here from the aggressive way people behave and drive (and this was true for the countrysides we’ve been to as well) and how they scream at each other.

By the way, air pollution in Bangkok is absolutly nothing compared to whats going on in Hanoi.

We planned to be in Vietnam for 10 days – what is not much at all – but we left after 5 days because several times we were about to punch in someones face or kick him from his motorbike. To avoid this happening we really had to leave.

Facing the fact that lot of people said that Halong Bay is the best to see in the country we don’t want to see anything else because we found even Halong very mediocre. The landscape is almost similar to for example Krabi but without the hospitality, charming and professionality of the thai people. They are godfathers of organizing compared to Vietnam. Nothing here worked out without several problems.

We really feel sorry for everybody who did only see Vietnam in SE Asia. No wonder you never came back.
I read somewhere that from all the Tourist visiting Vietnam only 5% return, whereas 60% of the tourist visiting Thailand return.

Lot of people wrote (in the forums I went through) that you have to keep in mind that it’s only a few years this country opended itself for tourism. But that is true for Cambodia as well. We have been there and we found all the Khmer people we met very friendly very charming and very well dealing with the tourists, even if they are not used to it.
They have been excited and pleased to have us in there country.
(Don’t get me wrong, we do not expect to be treated like King and Queen because we have white skin and are carrying dollars/euros in our pockets – but the clear message we got from the Vietnamese and their government was: we don’t want you in our country – but as you are here anyway, we are going to scam you whenever possible. And what I heard it is even worse for Tourists from Asia. This impression confirmed because the only thing that worked without bigger problems was changing our flights to leave earlier).
When you go to Cambodia and think about what has been done to these wonderful people in the past, you are about to cry. When we went to Vietnam and think about the past we wished that…. ok, I can not write this because it’s to rude, but you can imagine.
People also wrote (commenting on posts done in 2007) that it may be take some more years and things will change a lot. Now it is 2010 and nothing changed, we found everything like described in 2007. People are rude and try to make a fool of you everywhere. Whilst in Thailand you may be overcharged lets say double the price locals pay – in Hanoi they overcharge you 10-20 times (at least they try).

Some vietnamese guy recognized that we really don’t like it and leave after half the time we planned, and he kept telling us that the city is ugly but there are wonderful places to visit in the countryside – boh – so what? Countryside is beautiful in other countries as well – without the shortcomings of Vietnam. So why pay the high Visa Charge to go there to find yourself fooled all the time.

We found all the recommended Pagodas and places in Hanoi very mediocre. Everything is really overhyped by the guidebooks. In fact there is nothing special to see.

Because we didn’t want to join another tour in a crap minibus we asked the hotel to organize a private transfer to the countryside for us. They charged us 40$ for that. We clearly stated that we are not interested in any shopping and we would like to take some pictures of rice fields and buffalos lying around (at least that!). Jaja, no problem, Madame, Sir, we can do for you, no problem. So we went. And guess what? After half an hour passing ugly streets with construcing going on we found ourselfs in the so called “porcelain village” where you, surprise, can only buy chinese style porcelain. “You see – taxi wait here.” … what a bullshit. Cause the only english people driving cars here understand is “Where are you from” we had to made him call the Hotel again to explain that this is absolutly not what we wanted. At the end we saw at least very few sights of the countryside before finding us back in the traffic jams of Hanoi – wonderful.
(When we came back we forced the Hotel Manager to give us half the money back for that shity trip, maybe we should have asked for all the money back..).

There is maybe a very small chance that things improve here in the future, when the generation that was bombed by the US die out.. but regarding the fact that the population of Vietnam grows constantly (60 million people 10 years ago – more than 80 million now) there is also a good chance that things get even worse. Because 20 million more people means minimum 10 million more motorbikes… Motorbikes 1 mm left to you, 1 mm right to you and even in your back (of course “honking”). Motorbikes in front of the shop you want to enter in front of your hotel parked in such a way that can only jump over it to get back in your room or inside a restaurant or shop.

Puh… having that said. I’m going to add some pictures I took while we were on our way back from porcelain village soon.

I took exactly TWO fotos where people were smiling at us - this is one

Ich geh gern in einer fremden Stadt,
auf den Friedhof, so ein Friedhof hat
etwas gastfreundliches und steht allen offen
Manchem nur für seine Mittagszeit,
manchem für die ganze Ewigkeit…

At the cemetery near Hanoi

3 Antworten bis “Love it or leave it”

  1. Ui, das hat Euch ja echt nicht gefallen.

    Jetzt kannst Du sicher besser verstehen, dass wir auf unserer Weltreise einen weiten Bogen um Asien gemacht haben.

    Wir haben es damals nicht ganz so negativ empfunden wie ihr, und hatten durchaus auch schöne Erlebnisse. Liegt sicher auch daran, dass wir vorher noch nie in einem anderen asiatischen Land waren. Da ist man über jeden Tempel begeistert, und so etwas wie Halong hatte ich vorher auch noch nie gesehen. Aber ich erkenne schon vieles wieder, was uns auch schwer genervt hat.

    Scheinbar sollten wir mal dringend nach Thailand reisen, wenn das so viel angenehmer dort ist…

    Stattdessen langweile ich mich gerade mit Kopiermasken, die ca. 10^20 Möglichkeiten zulassen sollen, die natürlich alle etwas anders gehandhabt werden müssen, wobei davon ca 3,5 Fälle wegen der rudimentären Daten testbar sind.

    Grüße vom KP-Veteranentreffen gestern in Eschersheim im Drosselbart. Alle leben noch und IT-Frankfurt versucht sich abseits der Banken neuen Geschäftsfelder zu erschließen. Sollen sie mal machen…

    • Es war echt die Hölle. Wir haben tiefstes Mitleid mit Euch und können total verstehen dass Ihr danach die Schnauze voll hattet.
      Packt Eure Kleine ein und fahrt nach Thailand oder Kambodscha. Das ist überhaupt kein Vergleich.
      Die Leute sind ganz anders und benehmen sich auch ganz anders. Laos soll wohl auch ganz toll sein, das werden wir evtl. noch ausprobieren, je nachdem wie’s uns in Australien gefällt.
      Wir sind heute wieder mal in Bangkok rumgelaufen und sind ingesamt dreimal angesprochen worden, von Thais die einfach nur wissen wollten wo wir herkommen, ob es uns gefällt und ob wir einen Stadtplan haben wo sie uns zeigen können was wir noch anschauen könnten – natürlich ohne dass die Information Geld gekostet hätte oder man nebenbei versucht hätte was aus unseren Rucksäcken oder Hosentaschen zu entwenden.
      Natürlich gibts hier auch “Scam”, aber das hält sich alles in Grenzen und ist leicht zu umgehen – im Gegensatz dazu was wir in V erlebt haben. Die allermeisten hier sind einfach nur nett und wollen dass es einem gefällt.

      Kopiermasken: macht doch nix, das testen doch dann die Kunden, und das Callcenter hat die Arbeit :-D .

      Grüße zurück an die Veteranen, bin sehr froh dass alle noch leben. Und abseits der Banken is auch ne gute Idee, da gibts ja noch weite Felder die man beackern könnte.

  2. Hey Larry hoffen es ist alles klar bei euch und das eure weitere Reise besser wird als Vietnam…Wir machen jetzt mal Feierabend. Wir haben auch gesaugt :-)

    Viel Spaß noch

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