10 Things Foreigners Mistake in Vietnam

Vietnam has been underdeveloped. Traveling to Vietnam is not safe. The Vietnamese are disappointed. These are some of the views that we think have been strongly affected by the media. You can’t see what is really happening here just by reading about Vietnam online. So let’s keep reading, and together we will clear up the mystery. Vietnam is, in the end, a lot more than what you expected.

1. War is the first thing Vietnam has in mind for many foreigners.

 Vietnam has long been known for the dragging years of war within the country, not for its appetizing banhmi or pho or its traditional costume-ao dai. Vietnam has always been in constant danger of being conquered by powerful nations from the Mongolian to the great China and then French Colonial and U.S. in a period of nearly 4000 years.

 Of all, perhaps the most well recognized is the Vietnam War. This case lasted up to 20 years, leaving both parties in considerable loss from 1955 to 1975. The number of fatalities has been calculated in different ways, with one source suggesting up to 3.8 million violent war deaths in Vietnam.

 Although the government of Vietnamese Communism had successfully regained independence after the war and demonstrated its strong military strength, its agriculture, company, and industry were in disarray, most parts of the countryside were littered with bombs and defoliation and filled with land mines, destroying its cities and towns.

 Vietnam suffered a lot in the following years to restore itself.

 It is sad that the nation is best known for war and political inequality, in addition to all the positive things about Vietnam. Before their journey, many foreign travellers contacted us, asking if peace had been created in Vietnam. For that reason , most people, with the heavy image generated by the media over the years, hesitate to pay a visit here.

 Peace, in fact, has long been created. All of Vietnam isn’t about war. We’ve been going on and rising from the ashes. In Vietnam, the crime rate, except in major cities, remains low all the time. Moreover, terrorism, political unfairness or revolt are not evident. So, you don’t have to think about national stability too much.Traveling to Vietnam is guaranteed to give you not only another chance to speculate on the facts of the Vietnam War, but also an opportunity to explore the irresistible charm of the rich culture here. And in the footprints of the Vietnam War, of course.


2. Vietnamese dislike Americans after the Vietnam War and believe their issues are caused by the West

 Most Vietnamese pointed out their animosity for America and Americans for the first few years after the war. They looked down on Americans, passed on ugly tales about the “giants” who wanted to steal away their liberty and pursuit of happiness from the West. Given the violence and destruction that the US had created, it was understandable at the time. The bond between the two nations was also freezing at the same time.

 On 11 July 1995, after a 20-year absence of broken ties, the U.S. formally declared the formal normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States of America and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Bill Clinton the President. The public’s opinion of America and Americans in Vietnam has changed since then.

 A 2017 Pew survey shows that Vietnamese have the highest United States favorability rating (84 percent) of any country. In addition, 7 out of 10 Vietnamese assume, according to the same study, that the globalization of American culture is actually a positive thing. In fact, this openness is evident: almost 31,000 students were sent annually to the United States, 5th among the countries with the highest number of American university students.

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3. Vietnam has been underdeveloped and backward.

 Back in 2007, I had a Russian pen-pal. Every month, we write letters to each other. And when I told him that most Vietnamese families have a refrigerator in their homes, he was shocked. Vietnam is underdeveloped, as he perceived, people here would have a tough time making ends meet, not to mention having the privilege of owning a bike or a refrigerator or other modern appliances.

 In reality, with the government’s continuous effort to eliminate poverty by 2016, Vietnam’s poverty rate is 5.8 percent , compared to 37.4 percent in 1998.

 Vietnam ‘s revenue ($2500 annually) also needs development relative to other nations. However, because the cost of living is very cheap here, we can still have space for some comfort with an average income of $2500 annually.

 Step foot in Vietnam and you’ll see how radically things have changed.

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4. Foreigners are continually hassled by the locals, overcharged, ripped off, and poorly handled.

 I would really like to say, with a lot of love for Vietnam, that this is not happening in the country. Sadly, that’s it. Not only are the locals consistently ripping off tourists, but even us Vietnamese are often overcharged while visiting other cities or towns. They take advantage of our little information to treat us with lies and deception, with such bad services.

 But, let’s be honest, this is happening everywhere, especially where tourism flourishes. Opportunists will still be there, but that’s just a little slice of the bigger picture. In fact, in an attempt to educate residents, prosecute businesses or vendors pulling fraud on visitors, the authority is now enforcing laws and coming up with several solutions. After being published, several incidents have been resolved.

 There are so many friendly Vietnamese on the positive side who are willing to support you. Forgetting or missing items is a nightmare while travelling. After discovering that he lost his luggage, wallets and important documents at a food stand, we once had a customer scared out. It was a relief then, as the seller was kind enough to protect their belongings for them. Some of our foreign friends got lost on the sidewalks, however, thanks to the help of friendly people, they finally found their way.

 You might consider making friends with a local to avoid the wrong experience. You may not, as a tourist, be aware of common local scams, speak the language of the region, or know which neighborhoods are safe after dark. That and more, a local would know. Travel Sense Asia, with a tour advisor, will give you a private tour. Our tour consultant is available 24/24 for any questions and exchanges with traveling experience and insights into the culture of Vietnam.

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5. In Vietnam, pollution is everywhere

 Owning personal transport is a requirement in Vietnam, as public transport is yet to be established. Since cars are expensive, many locals have resorted to buying their own motorcycles. Not only has this exacerbated traffic congestion, but the air quality in major cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City has also seriously deteriorated.

 However, because Vietnam is a highly agrarian society, the countryside or highlands see green fields and spectacular terraces boasting fresh and crisp air, contrary to the bustling concrete jungles. Therefore, if you’re still hesitating to make arrangements for Vietnam, it would be a big miss. You’re waiting for the perfectly manicured rice terraces and different special cultural experiences.

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6. Vietnamese cooking is all about pho 

 Actually, this is amusing because I make the same mistake with Italy and pizza because there’s actually a lot more to Italian cuisine than just pizza. For Vietnamese cuisine, the same applies.

 Pho is arguably the most well-known traditional dish in Vietnam. It will always remain popular for the broth, the noodles, the beef stew and everything one can mention about pho. But Pho is NOT the sole signature food of Vietnam. Only believe me! On a daily basis, even Vietnamese will be surprised at how diverse and appetizing street food is in this country.If you only think highly of Pho and miss the chance to taste other traditional Vietnamese dishes that have always been high up on the cuisine map, especially street food, it would be a huge turn-off.

 In Vietnam, every town or province has a long list of traditional dishes that one must experience. Signature noodles such as: bun rieu, bun thang, bun bo Nam Bo, … or local specialties are available to name a few: banh cuon, banh trang tron, banh xeo, …It will take days or months to list it all.

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7. Local street food is not healthy

 “A number of travellers asked:” Is it healthy or not to eat street food? The response is, it’s dependent!

 Although some suppliers do not follow the requisite precautions for hygiene, some do. Therefore, observe it first before you pick a food stall. To see if the stall is busy, the first thing to note is. A busy stall would mean that there would be many customers eating there. By doing this, you might say that eating there is healthier and even delicious.

 Where dirty oil is used for cooking, you can avoid street food stalls. If the color used by the oil seller looks brown or even black, stay away from it.

 Certain food stalls are filled with glass on all three sides, shielding the food from harmful germs. You should not try stalls where there is no food preservation if this is your first time in Vietnam, as food can easily go bad.

 Don’t be too careful, though, because you may skip some very good dishes.

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8. You can’t find a church here at all.

 A set of pagodas and shrines comprising the diverse temple array of Vietnam lies from the north all the way down to the south. These are not only historical landmarks, but also religious and sacred places where locals gather for blessings and reflection. In addition to adding beauty and heritage to the country, these sacred spots are also important religious centers, especially for practitioners of Buddhism and Taoism.

 It would, however, be incorrect to say that the only religion in Vietnam is Buddhism. Vietnam, in reality, has Asia’s fifth largest Catholic population. In a lot of cities, churches can be found. You could see lots of people going to church on Sunday, just like in Western countries.Some famous ones are: Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon ( Vietnamese: Nhà thờ Đức Bà) – Ho Chi Minh city,…

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9. The weather is serious.

Maybe you learned that Vietnam will be extremely hot with the maximum temperature up to more than 40 degrees during the summer? It is true that summer is, of course, Vietnam’s most intense season and summer will hit that height.

But it isn’t always that way. There are also windy and gloomy days where the heat is not too harsh and there are great outdoor activities. Moreover, you can thoroughly enjoy your time during the hottest period in Vietnam if you bear in mind our top recommended tips to beat the sun.

It is also troubling that your traveling experience will be ruined by heavy rain. The reality is, the Vietnam Summer Shower is faster than you think. Rarely does it last for days. Actually, a sudden downpour is a perfect way to lower the temperature, bringing a fresh and gentle breeze to relieve the bitter heat.

Another thing is that there will be plenty of storms during the rain or rainy season in Vietnam. Yet a way out still exists. Let’s go to the North or the Central, if the South is expected to have an upcoming storm. Read more here about it: https://www.travelsense.asia/typhoon-season-in-vietnam-what-should-you-do/

10. Barely English speakers in Vietnamese

If you said this to me ten years ago, I’d probably agree with you. But that’s completely wrong for now. From primary education to higher education, English has long been introduced into our teaching program. With a view to making English as a second national language in the near future, the Ministry of Education in Vietnam has pledged to boost the overall English proficiency of Vietnamese.

You can easily find local fluency in English in major cities such as Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh, or even in the mountainous areas of Sapa. They are really happy to share stories with you or help you to navigate the highways. You might find some pretty funny ones.

If you have some of these myths is understandable. Only bear in mind that there’s more to Vietnam than just war , poverty or pollution. Vietnam is about the captivating environment, the rich culture, the friendly people, the appetizing dishes, and many other things that I hope you will discover here during your upcoming trips.

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