67 things about Vietnam

Vietnam's flag
Asia » Vietnam
May 13th 2008
Published: May 13th 2008
Edit Blog Post

This content requires Flash
To view this content, JavaScript must be enabled, and you need the latest version of the Adobe Flash Player.
Download the free Flash Player now!

An acrylic story of honesty & faith.

67 things I noticed while back in 'Nam

1. A Vietnamese superstar recently sued a Vietnamese blogger for defamation of character!
2. An alien was found in Vietnam it looks like a semi melted plastic silver blow up, bought from The Pound Shop, sprayed with metallic car spray, surrounded by the cast and crew from the Asian version of Ant & Dec's 'Autopsy' film.
3. Miss Universe 2008 is to be hosted in Nha Trang Vietnam, last year Miss Vietnam Global 2007 was won by Ngo Phuong Lan, who has not actually lived in Vietnam for 10 years but in her acceptance speech she believes “a beautiful woman must have a kind heart.” here, here....! It will cost Vietnam some 15 million US DOLLARS (not Dong) the venue is the Crown Convention Centre which is still not finished yet & things are certainly hotting up as videos of the regional finals to find Miss Vietnam have been shown on loops on all the tourist night buses.
4. All road users ignore all zebra crossings, it can take up to 23 minutes to make a single crossing, proving you need a PHD in Green Cross Road ethics, also goats eyes
Sapa FamilySapa FamilySapa Family

Good Bye from us!
in the sides of your head help. Once crossing the road DON'T change course or pace as a motor bike driver will have pre thought his manoeuvre and it could cause serious collision if you suddenly stop or speed up.
5. They officially drive on the right side of the road, but they unofficially drive on the left if it gets them through traffic and to destination quicker with no regard for other users.

6. 35 fatal motor bike related accidents are caused each day in Vietnam.
7. It takes approx one hour for an ambulance to arrive within any city or town centre, the number to call is 115. The private international standard ambulance services employ ambulance EMTs from around the globe, who work along side a Vietnamese nurses. Hanoi: (84 4) 843 0748 Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon): (84 8) 822 7848 Danang: (84 511) 582 699
*Currently Conjunctivitis is a serious medical concern, within the blink of an eye it is spreading fast.
*Motorbike taxi drivers in Hanoi have launched a grass-roots ambulance service to help save some of the 12,000 Vietnamese who die annually in traffic accidents. This was launched by Counterpart International, an American non-profit organisation, is designed to expand the capital’s network of first responders and promote safe driving among Hanoi’s hundreds of motorcycle taxi drivers, each driver is taught basic life support methods, how to render the best aid and how to avoid accidents while on the road.
8. If you cause a fatal accident and kill someone you are considered one of the dead's new family & spend much time mourning the mutual loss of this stranger for years to come.
9. They use the hard shoulder to over take, while texting a friend.
10. They usually own two bikes, one for work and one for best occasions.

11. Many people meet friends they have texted underneath all major motorway bridges, share a cool drink, and pull their t-shirts up around their bare upper chest area to cool down.
12. Since the new law of November 07 many motor bike users now must wear crash helmets on bikes but wear them in shops, on walks in the parks, in cinemas, on trains, on the beach, in TV soap operas and game shows. The safety advise 'to wear a crash helmet at all times' has been
Ha Long Bay Muppet showHa Long Bay Muppet showHa Long Bay Muppet show

Folical abuser.
miss understood by many.
13. They don't provide children with crash helmets and still drive with 6 people to one motorbike & can text a friend.
14. They can transport anything by motor bike from a small petting zoo with animals stuffed into various sized cages to a one bedroom flat, and still manage text a friend.
15. The sound of the car horn fading in...barp baarrp baaaarrrrp then fading out baaaarrrp baarrp barp. Its like a soft ripple of car horns, not a hard wall of horn noise.

16. Hop on hop off open sleeper buses that costs one price to travel up and down the country. Best seat for width, hight & comfort is the lower bunk.
17. A meter taxi in HCMC are a very fair fare.
18. A meter taxi in Hanoi start at $1 (16,000 dong) then jumps to 20, 35, 50, 85, 100, 150,000 ($10) within the space of 1.95 km, causing high blood pressure and mild rants.
19. They still ride horse or buffalo and old trap carts. Buffalo are used as a living tractor on farms and land. And they live beneath peoples homes, considered one of the family.
Interesting wedding photo tac ticksInteresting wedding photo tac ticksInteresting wedding photo tac ticks

romantic stuff up against the fire door.

20. Vietnamese Buddhists don't eat meat on the 30th, 1st & 15th of every lunar month.

21. I only see the women balance one bamboo stick resting across shoulders with two heavy platters hanging with sour mangos, red hairy rambutan, durian, dragon fruit, water chestnuts in blown up plastic bags and other stuff to sell, they endlessly walk the streets, each step taken like a dressage pony to evenly distribute the mighty weight they carry.
22. They make lots of rice, they eat lots of rice, they make rice wine & add snake for flavour.
23. They BBQ banana wrapped in banana leaf in the street.
24. They can eat soup with chop sticks.
25. If you ask for a sandwich it always comes toasted.

26. They eat our zoo creatures, family pets and science projects...dog, (Umm think about the term 'Hot Dog'!) turtle, field mice, snake, snail in coconut sauce, blood cockles fried in garlic, incubated duck eggs, insects, all served with rice or noodles.
27. A lot of tourists get colds, bad throats and sneezes, stock up on Vit C, pharmacies sell all.
28. Papaya salad isn't the soft orange fruit its a vegetable salad that is very very hot and spicy and comes with fish sauce, dried shrimp, not good with morning coffee.
29. During the second world war, the Vietnamese had no cloth in the country so they all wore clothing made from straw.
30. Since the war straw era they have become the worlds top tailors.

31. Ho Chi Minh, was their first president of the democratic republic of Vietnam from 1946-69 he was also their superhero.
32. Victor Hugo, French writer of the novel (& influence for musical) Les Misérables is their patron saint of Cao Dai.
33. Buddhist and Christian faiths are practised throughout the country.
34. The most highly paid job for a woman is to be a flight attendant with Vietnam Airlines, were one can earn up to $1000 a month.
35. They are a nation of Karaoke loving Kings and Queens.

36. Grown men sit on toddler sized plastic chairs in the coffee shops sipping rocket fuelled coffee in small glasses.
37. Families are only allowed to have two children as the population is over 86 million.
38. Tribes in the northern provinces don't care about the 2 per 1 family law and give birth all the time, the more the merrier.
39. They are a nation of keen golfers.
40. Its hot here.

41. Homes are 3-4 stories high, yet only one room in width the building is mainly detached.
42. They sit armed with tweezers and pluck all the grey hairs from family & friends heads.
43. Quotes: “ You buy from me, what's your name, where you live, which country you from, how old are you, you buy from me, Number One, good price, cheap cheap, same same but different”
44. Retail copy cats some things sold on the streets: bunches of badly printed postcards that ball point pen slides off, photocopied novels wrapped in cellophane. (it takes no less than 3 hours from a book being published to being copied on these streets) sunglasses, cd, dvd, pineapple cut in to swizzle's, fantastic copies of any artists work oil on canvas, on bikes are mountains of ladies bras & pants, conical hats, hardware and lilies.
45. From HCMC to Hanoi you will find many single playing cards littering the streets, I pick one up and see what luck I will have for
A painting of Buffalo and BoyA painting of Buffalo and BoyA painting of Buffalo and Boy

Seen for real all over Sapa & northern parts.
that day, Queen of Hearts, Ace of Diamonds or The Joker!

46. Hanging baskets of plants that hang with no pots, just mud & roots held up with string, but they are not all from orchid family.
47. They love English football, especially Tottenham Hot spur, Chelsea, Bolton wanderers.
48. Sun creams minimum factor found 40. Maximum factor found 84!
49. All brands of face and body creams have peroxide based whitening agents in them.
50. They wear shoulder length gloves, face masks, conical hats or crash helmets to avoid the sun & pollution.

51. One pint of quality beer $2, petrol per litre $1, pack of 20 fags $1.20, (government subsidised) hair cut, coloured, head massage $20. Foot massage $6, average meal $3-5, Prada day bag $5.... enjoying these luxuries for next to nothing...PRICELESS!
52. When entering any shop an assistant will immediately stand some 9 inches away from you which is far too close in any personal space zones, telling you the price of every item in Dong & Dollar.
53. They say one thing but mean many things, I think this comes from the Kinh language that has many meanings and pronunciations for one just word. But at least they have bothered to learn English, my Vietnamese is not happening.
54. Bathrooms and rest rooms are called Happy Rooms.
55. Many young boys have currency collections and will ask for notes from your country.

56. Bring your favorite clothing even shoes and boots and get them copied for peanuts in every colour, top quality reproductions.
57. They use toothpaste for motor bike burns but not really for their teeth. *I now have a grand moto burn scar on my leg, that I can show off for many years of my amazing time back in 'Nam.
58. On trains they use western toilets but stand up on the seat instead of flipping it up, hover & squat. Then don't clean the seat.
59. Free Wifi in most hotels, 50-80 cents p/h internet in the shops, personal computers in selected hotel rooms with internet.
60. 1 star hotel has less than 10 rooms but could still have all the fine trappings of a 5 star hotel in the west, and will still only cost $10-25. While a 5 star hotel has more than 50 rooms but could be damp, no tv, no hot shower no AC and will set you back over $50-$150. Check first.

61. They believe in natural body healing methods, the pain is in the mind.
62. In 1967 the American Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr gave this moving speech, this is all I will mention about the war as it was the apocalypes then .
Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home, and dealt death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken.
63. They have been fought by or occupied by the Chinese for 1000 years finishing around the 10th century, the Japanese occupied during second world war, French colonised during second half of 19th century, Americans from 1964 to 1973. The Chinese and Japanese blend in, the
Fine TuningFine TuningFine Tuning

Cut, colour, shampoo, head massage and fun time $20.
French run restaurants, while a lot of Americans pretend to be Canadians while travelling here, even though there is no threats towards any of the above nationalities.
64. 1976 Saigon became the Socialist Republic of Vietnam renaming itself Ho Chi Minh City.
65. To be a college/ university student here you must do one month a year military service.

66. Vietnamese were descendants from dragons and mountain fairies, not the Chinese.
67. There are very honest people here in Vietnam, yesterday I had my hair done all nice as a rare treat for myself, while I had my hair washed I felt a panic about my handbag and wallet that id stupidly left in the main but empty salon area. I came to pay and the wallet had gone, but before I went in to a rage as my head was in a mild spin I stood quietly and listened to my thoughts which soon told me to go back to our breakfast café up the road as they will have it. So I gave the salon my brand new camera as collateral and ran like thunder up the road. This was at 13.30 the exact same time Hanoi was said to have felt minor after shocks from the terrible earth quake in Sichuan China, but I didnt feel anything. I entered the café and the manager looked at me and said “You lost something haven't you, nice hair?” He handed me my wallet with my one and only cash card and a bunch of dong in cash all still there, I wanted to drop to my knees with gratitude and gave them a huge tip for their honesty. But that morning two strange things happened, 1. I bought a bunch of postcards from the same café, the waitress under counted the amount of cards I had picked up, so I pointed it out to her and paid for the 3 missed cards. 2. I had later read my daily personal horoscopes (especially drafted with my exact birth times by a very special lady) which so far this year has been beyond spot on every day, because I had read the following I didn't accuse the salon of theft and make a daft scene which is what the over all situation looked like on the surface.
The horoscope read like this......
'Situations will require quick thinking as things could become lost or misunderstood, the impulsive side of your nature is out of whack with the thought process, take a minute, control those outbursts before they get you into trouble. Use honesty and diplomacy in all that you do now, as things are not what they seem' How crazy is that!

These are situations and facts I have either witnessed with my own eyes or heard with my own ears. I hope I have portrayed them in the most honest and diplomatic manner, as sometimes things could appear to other eyes not what they seem.

One fine and great country to visit.

Additional photos below
Photos: 33, Displayed: 31


We met two more lovely T-Bloggers.We met two more lovely T-Bloggers.
We met two more lovely T-Bloggers.

This is Jim & Ann aka UNDERWAY. A fine & fun night was enjoyed by all.

13th May 2008

Hi Claire, I cannot keep up with you, now you are in Vietnam, it all looks amazing as I sit here in bucolic Cotswolds with gun dog and contemplate the future, are you moving fast or am I moving too slowly, not sure. Love you, take carexxxxx
14th May 2008

Helmet hair
We're 2 weeks from the end of our travels (in BCN) and I thought I´d had enough of travelling......but now I want to go to Vietnam! love the bit about the helmets. Mike.
1st June 2008

Your knowledgeable
Claire, You have learned more about Vietnam then I have in six. Your great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep them coming. Kent

Tot: 2.643s; Tpl: 0.057s; cc: 12; qc: 31; dbt: 0.0311s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 2; ; mem: 1.4mb