Xin chau! (pronounce/spreek uit: sien tjau)
Vietnam is really cool! Many things seen, done, or experienced, and even learned 🙂 More about that later. I forgot to show you my collection of the worst Chenglish signs ever in China.
Being in vietnam feels like a new stage of the journey; another world, a world where the colours of rice paddies are vivid, the culture is richer, and the history compelling. It is different from China, but also similar, making it a good transition for SE Asia. The old-fashioned style of the government buildings and the interesting propaganda of the communist party on bill boards are worth to observe. Sure, not more than that, since I discovered a pleasant and exotic country.
Vietnam is a young nation; I’ve never seen so many young people on the streets in a single country. Imagine these to reproduce and the population will be boosted to staggering 120 million. Beside this I noticed that most people want to go forward. The war is the past and the economic boom the future. This might be the reason for the many cries of hawkers on the streets. One thing is for sure: it’s all about selling stuff.
Nature has caught me too in Vietnam with stunning national parks, islands and radiant rice field covered mountains. The busy streets with hundreds of motorbikes, made crossing streets an exciting business I won’t forget easily. Things are sold in every corner of the street by women wearing the typical conical hats. So, brochures don’t always lie 🙂
Also on the culinary front it is good times. Xeo (rice wine) with delicious spring rolls. Lovely herbs and spices make the pho rau (vegetable noodle soup) my all time favourite. With so many different dishes there is plenty of veggie options for me! Probably the best eating out experiences were the noodle soups and com (rice dish) at the local street food stalls. In the evening it is very cosy and it is a good way to meet the locals.
Last but not least there aare always the strange things about a nation. One particulary custom for women is to cover completely with cloths preventing from getting dark skinned. No matter what, if you have a claxon, then use it! Further I think I cannot erase the sound from my head of the “beeping” shoes. With every step a ducklike sound can be heard.
Have a look on the travel page what my route was from north to south Vietnam. Hanoi – Halong Bay – Sapa – Ninh Binh – Hue – Hoi An – Nha Trang – Dalat – Saigon
One thing is still missing on the list: the Mekong Delta, south of Saigon find me there after I’ve visited Combodia in August.