Before coming to Vietnam, my perception of the country was completely different. Vietnam is not often in the news, and doing a google search of the country mostly brings up various sources pertaining to the American-Vietnam war. Through my travels, the country has pleasantly surprised me. Here are 10 reasons that stood out as to why you should travel to Vietnam!
1. Vietnam has such a rich culture and history (beyond the war). The way of life here is very interesting and is such a contrast to Canada. I admire how hard working the people are, and I’m amazed by the diversity.
2. The landscape is so diverse and beautiful. From sand dunes, to waterfalls; white sand beaches, to pine tree forests. From city populations of around 7 million, to smaller local towns and villages.
3. Everything is SO cheap! I can usually get a good authentic Vietnamese meal for $1! Also, the shopping is unreal. Plus you can barter just about anywhere.
4. The food is Delicious! Vietnamese food back home doesn’t do it justice! All the food is very fresh. Seafood is caught fresh in the morning. Also, when ordering coconut juice, it is not uncommon for the waiter to go grab one a coconut off a tree, cut it open with a machete and stick a straw in it.
5. It is genuinely safe. Before coming I was warned on multiple occasions to “be safe”, but I have not once felt threatened or in danger. Run by a communist party, Vietnam is highly controlled. Foreigners, especially, are highly protected. Okay… so its not Canada, and you need to keep an open mind about some health standards (ie. garbage on the streets in some areas – including cockroaches!). But the experience definitely builds character.
6. The people are exceedingly friendly! Everyone on the streets say hello to you, and the children are very cute! From city to countryside, you can find happy faces everywhere.
7. It is a very new place for tourism, so many people are stunned by your presence. You will feel like a celebrity. Locals typically know very little english, but can usually say hello and call you beautiful. The locals that do know a little bit, love to try and practice it with you.
8. You will enhance your communication skills. Vietnamese is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult languages to learn. In 5 weeks, I’ve managed to pick up a few phrases and words; although I’m positive I’m still saying them wrong. The language relies heavily on tones. This has forced me to slow down my english speaking speed and to speak more clearly.
9. There is SO much to see and do! From the crazy carpeting down the sand dunes, walking along the warm water of the fairy stream, taking a cable car up Ta Ku Mountain, visiting Pagodas and charming little farming and fishing villages, kitesurfing on the ocean, and relaxing on the white sand beaches. And so much more! (And I’ve only been in 4 different areas!)
10. Vietnam Tours is full of surprises and amazing experiences!