Good Night Vietnam

by Jason -- January 19, 2010

Cat Ba Island Sunset

Sharon and I have now left Vietnam and are currently residing in the quiet beach town of Koh Kong, Cambodia. In this post I’ll wrap things up on Vietnam and reflect on our 5-weeks there.

Overall, we really enjoyed ourselves. It’s pretty cool to say that we traveled almost the entire country, entering their northern border and leaving on their southwest border. It’s also a place we’d like to return to. You can’t beat the prices, and there were a few places we skipped that we’d like to go back to. The highlights:

As usual, making a list is how I’ll wrap things up.

Final random thoughts on Vietnam:

  • They blatantly charge tourists more for things. The most blatant example I encountered was at a sandwich cart. The cart only makes 1 kind of sandwich and a lady bought one in front for me for $5,000 dong. I clearly saw the transaction. When it was my turn, the sandwiches were now $10,000 dong. Neither price is very expensive, but this happens with everything. If you go to the market to buy fruit, on some modes of transportation — if they think you’re a foreigner, you’re going to pay more.
  • Sharon and I prefer to figure things out on our own and to not do tours. Unfortunately, with many of the hotels we stayed at, if we asked a question about doing something, their answer was almost always to put us on a tour. We did go on two very cool tours, but it was frustrating how everyone just wanted to put us on a tour rather than giving us the information to explore a place on our own.
  • People spoke much more English than we thought they would. Compared to China, it was unbelievable how well and how often people spoke English.
  • Almost every store sign has the full address on it. This makes getting around much easier when all you have to do is look at a store sign to find out what street and what city you’re in.
  • Public buses do not seem as widely used as in China. Another comparison to China. In nearly every city we went to in China, we used the public bus to get around. In Vietnam, we rode the public bus only once. We enjoy taking the bus. The price is posted so we know we’re not paying tourist prices and in China, at least, they were very convenient.

For now, though, we say goodbye to Vietnam.

A great way to see the country, as a tip, would be to buy a motorbike in Hanoi and ride it all the way down to Ho Chi Minh City, where you would be able to sell it for nearly as much as you bought it I would presume. Perhaps this is how we’ll experience Vietnam on the next go around.

Be awesome and help us share:

4 Responses to “Good Night Vietnam”

  1. I love that map and being able to see where you last logged in!

  2. My guess is that there are probably more English speakers in the net population in China, but they are probably all running some big time business making big bucks. I can’t say enough good things about the public transit in China. Wait till you see the subway in Beijing, it’s state of the art, or at least it was 30 years ago!

  3. btw, I read your twitter and I dont know how to responde to it but its like $360 in seattle to get dive certifide. $1000 seems like a lot BUT getting certifited in thailand is a once in a lifetime expeirance……

  4. Holly - Glad you love the Latitude map. It’s also helpful for the parents so they can stop asking us where we are :-). And thanks for the info on getting dive certified. That’s pretty crazy that it’s so cheap in Seattle!

    Vivian - I imagine you’re right on the English speaking in China. And from what I’ve seen, I completely agree on China’s public transportation. Looking forward to Beijing. Only a few more weeks ’til we get there!

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