Vietnam. Some people love it. Some people hate it. There are very few people who just kind of like it or kind of dislike it. I’m not quite sure I’ve ever been to a country that has such a love-hate thing going on with the people who visit it.
I am in the “love it” camp when it comes to Vietnam. Though it was hectic, chaotic, dirty, the traffic was insane, and some of the touts were quite pushy, I was able to overlook those negatives because of all the positives the country brings.
If you are planning any kind of travel in the region, here’s a few reasons why I think you might want to add Vietnam to your indie trip.
- While the people aren’t as smiley as in Thailand or as laid back as in Laos, they are quite friendly, but you have to open yourself up to them. If you come across as aggressive and standoffish, then you will get the same treatment from them. But if you let your guard down a bit, you will find that the Vietnamese people are amazing.
- If you happen to be traveling with children, then this is the place to go. I have never seen a culture so enamored with kids and babies. The men, in particular, go gaga over the little ones. It might take a little getting used to, but they are so kind and gentle and just want to meet your child.
- Mountains, bays, jungles, rivers, beaches, big cities – Vietnam has a wide variety of sites for all travelers.
- The French influence on Vietnamese cuisine makes it stand out among the rest of the food in SE Asia. A steaming bowl of Pho for breakfast, crazy sweet and strong coffee, home made beer (Bia Hoi) for the equivalent of a quarter – I could go on and on and on about the food in Vietnam – it’s my personal favorite in the entire world.
For more on traveling in Vietnam and SE Asia, check out some of BootsnAll’s most popular Indie Travel Guides for the region: