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Thread: bad vietnam backpack trip

  1. #41

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    to be appreciated of a place is very difficult. those who has heart, your everyday neighbourhood is very interesting place.. where you have grow up..

    I was from malaysia, from a small town, and i recently told my friend that i feel this small town got his own charm, since it had been exisited 100 years ago..and some old street that never change.. those malay pasar, chinese kopitiam, early chinese shophouse..those things we have been growing up with.. but i am quite disappointed my friend told me this town is actually not interesting ler.. i was speechless ha..ya it may not have famous historical sites, or theme parks.. but sure there is something to offer by a 100 years town..

    it takes time for us to learn to appreciate..

  2. #42

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Perhaps Cosycactus may want to take a step back and appreciate the wisdom in the words some of the others here shared. LENS has got some very sensible points. I think that the series of Vietnam photos in the landscapes/travel section shows another such a mature photographer (and I am jealous of the beautiful photos!).

  3. #43

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Canonised View Post
    Frankly if you dont find HCM appealing, then I think there are so many other countries in the world that will not appeal to you. I believe that if one has the right mindset about visiting any country, one will enjoy oneself .... even in Angkor Wat, there are visitors who will find it especailly boring ..... just lots of stones.
    It would be unwise to ask those ppl who are not culturally/historically/etc inclined to visit such countries and expect them to enjoy .... i think they would be happier with factory warehouse sales in HK, kara ok lounges in China, etc...
    As for carrot chopping, it is personal. Though I am never in favour of giving to beggers, poor children on the streets/tourist areas, etc... I think we should not complain too much as the money involved is not that much in our std of living .... extra a few USD for beer, etc... the money will actually go to their poor families eventually. Ever heard of paying extorbitant amt in HK bar, Tokyo, Taipei, developed countries?.... those are syndicated backmailing
    For me, I normally give local guide the money to buy the drinks/food for all of us, and the guide appreciated the treats as well.
    Always enjoy when you are oversea and not look for things to complain ....

    Well said

  4. #44
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    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Hmm Have you tested for 'Vietnam Rose' yet?


    juz kidding,

  5. #45

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Go there with an open heart and mind.
    Not everywhere is the same as Singapore.

    There are tons of beautiful things that you may never see if you already have an expection.

    Some self publicity --> http://visualjournalist.net/visualjo...ons.php?main=3
    My North & South Vietnam pictures taken a few yrs ago.

  6. #46

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Aiyah... that's the trouble with traveling to poor countries. One has to expect such things when one decides to go to a third world country and be prepared to live with them. Ok... it's easier said than done. But try, otherwise the trip will become a nightmare. Some personal experiences,

    1. Laos: Foreigner price = > 2x local price.
    2. Morocco: Locals persistently pester you to hire them as guides and refuses to let you go.
    3. China (Huangshan): The touts encircle your taxi trying to 'persuade' you to stay at this or that hotel.

    Let's think more positively, it's an experience (even it's a bad one) and we are so glad that such things don't happen here. But we travel so far often for photo opportunities and experience something unique (or foreign) so try to ignore and enjoy the short stay there.

    Cosycactus, it unfortunate that you didn't enjoy the trip. Hope that will not put you off from going to Northern Vietnam. I had a wonderful time in Hanoi/Halong bay/Sapa 1.5 years ago.

  7. #47
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    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Quote Originally Posted by AReality View Post
    Go there with an open heart and mind.
    Not everywhere is the same as Singapore.

    There are tons of beautiful things that you may never see if you already have an expection.

    Some self publicity --> http://visualjournalist.net/visualjo...ons.php?main=3
    My North & South Vietnam pictures taken a few yrs ago.
    Beautiful Vietnam series !!!

  8. #48
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    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    As a tourist, whether you are a backpacker or visiting with an agency, it's inevitable that you'll pay the foreigner price. That's part and parcel of travelling. Research will help to minimize the diff though.......Try not to let that spoil your trip, learn the lesson and move on....you'll enjoy your trip better......

    As for expectations, if Singaporeans travel with the Singapore mindset of comfort and service level, then i think it's better not to travel to developing countries. Sometimes, i wonder who is more developed....us or them.

    There is beauty in simplicity if you free your mind and open your heart....

  9. #49
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    perhaps there is two issues here.

    1. behaviours related to foreigners and tourist
    2. enjoyment and photographic opportunities

    i do agree with some points, perhaps the perception of the pricing is not that exorbitant going by the standards. but i think we are also not seeing the other facet. it is not too bad an idea to know about other travellors experience, about how the locals behaved, about the local pricing, about where to get cheaper or better services etc. let's not just criticise without looking into the value of one's experience, be it his opinions on it.

    different places have different socioeconomic background and cultural/historical background. And one may find that some places or some cultures does behave more civil or are less dishonest in terms of prevalence, but let's not dwell further on that before it gets personal. it is afterall something that changes with time, and varies between different location, and happens to different people, from different communities in the same place, not something definite, but perhaps something more common in a place than another. profiling is not to make us biased, but to help us be careful of what we should do and what should not do, and what to look out for. we are not trying to sound superior when we describe of another place as being more chaotic, have a higher crime rate, or have a lack of police support, or lack of help to foreigners, if it is true - they are things for us to take note of, and be prepared to cope with or avoid - either way. while some of us can cope with such situations, e.g. having to haggle on with prices, knowing how to go to more risky places and not running into troubles. let's respect others who wish not to do that.

    i have come across travellors who would bargain even over things that cost just S$1, and travellors who believe that he should not do so becos US$5 meant nothing to him but a lot to the locals and would give it to the locals who asked for such a pricing. likewise there are travellors who feel that you should not give in to marked up prices to foreigners because that will affect the future travellors and make the locals nasty with prices yet irresponsible or dishonest in deals, while some believe that paying more would help the society grow richer and become more developed. i thought the reasons in both thinkings are valid, as long as you do it the civil manner and not get racial, but the more important part is that one should not get too easily opinionated and judgemental of others over such issues, unless one behaved badly himself or gets racial about things. the problem of being too judgemental about such things would be one would make a really bad travelling partner.

    i believe his rambling does give an idea of what to expect for those that is not so prepared for that, and who may want to avoid those circumstances. in general, anyway, backpacking requires one to take more risk and not get too upset over differences of expectation. i have known personally of more than one person who have died on backpacking alone, one likely accidental, one likely criminal, and hence, i feel that having some idea of how a place is, where to go and where to avoid, is still important. it doesn't mean that if i'm a more rugged travellor, i should brush off the worries of those less rugged, becos the conservative does not always lose out to those more adventurous. of cos we should strike a balance, but it is not always easy to do that, and to do that, always take note one can learned from the opposite parties at times.

    as for enjoyment and photographic opportunities, i think pictures speaks lots of volume. many have been to vietnam and brought them back. perhaps going to the wrong places and meeting the wrong people, coupling different expectation, and maybe a lack of appreciation of the beauty beyond the more touristy places. afterall, travel photography is about experience, understanding of its background and culture, having a different eye to things, knowing something different from what we see locally, and having a variety of things to shoot. as such, it may not be a good idea if one is very selective, only wants to shoot landscape only, portraits only, events only, streets only etc, becos backpacking can be very unpredictable.
    Last edited by zoossh; 6th January 2007 at 02:46 AM.

  10. #50

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    I love vietnam, for what they are. Very laid back. Common sights of shop houses and low rise buildings.

    In Dec 2006 i went to Hanoi for a youth exchange program. I also visited Ha Long bay for two days(in was a crazy 4-5 hours ride in a van) It was autumn-winter, exceptionally cold, there were no clouds, just misty skies. It didn't bother me too much. I didn't take much of landscapes due to that. I took more of street shots, from the van. Vietnamese are soo nice. I received a total of 3 bouquet of flowers(which i HAVE to leave it there), and couple of gifts.

    It was a sponsored and planned trip, so i expect that everything will turn out nice. If it was backpacking, always expect the unexpected. Do ALOT of homework, which includes learning a few of their daily phrases. So least likely you'll be con.

    When u are in a foreign country, firstly you have to adapt to the environment, not be hostile. I felt out of place at first, being the only Malay. They thought i was Indian (don't know why, i am relatively fair skin) I learnt alot about their culture. Language is totally a barrier, alot of "AH?" and "Err, what?" Hahhh.

    Aside from the congested traffic and noise+air pollution, Vietnam is a developing country. In Hanoi, every corner of the street there'll be at least one wi-fi cafe. Quite shocked a first. And, i hardly see any beggars along the streets. They work to live. Even the old, will find a place to sell simple stuffs like roasted corn along the streets, to earn some money.

    Food is good, i love the "pho" noodles. In the restaurants, its normal to expect meals that cost likely as in Singapore. If you are adventurous enough, you could try the street vendors. A bowl of noodles cost around 50cents or so. But make sure you have charcoal pills on standby.

    Lesson learnt, do your "business" in your hotel toilet, where it's clean and comfortable.
    I had a bad experience for that!

    I would love to visit Vietnam again

  11. #51

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Quote Originally Posted by LENS View Post
    hi guys, sometimes we really have to be more humble.. like visiting a place, we don't care about the unique of the place, and the history behind it, or the local culture.. then we blah blah say so messy place, dirty, people wearing funny..mekong river like kranji river, or we also got that in singapore, singapore also can buy that, singapore buy it cheaper ler, why no shopping mall?

    let's be more humble and don't be a frog in the well.. if those place doesn't what you expect it may just not your cup of tea, it is amusing that you use your 'singapore view' to view the rest of the world..
    Hi my dear friend, sometimes, we have to think careful before we speak. i'm not being snobbish here. Vietnam is not my cup of tea indeed but dun put some of the words in my mouth when i didn't say them.
    I do not have anything against the general pple nor place there. Infact, i rather like the local i've interacted with in the few market places i've been too.

    My whole purpose of starting this thread is to share my experience of the tourist scene there and how badly it is, to let other would be travellers know what to expect, to have 2 sides to glossy travel stories in vietnam. Dun assume that the whole point of my thread is to pen down my feeling of superiority and use my singapore view to see the world. my advice? dun use ur singaporean attitude to assume the worse of others.

  12. #52
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    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    -Vietnamese is cunning and dishonours. If they know you are foreigner, die liao. So please speak Vietnamese to them..Who can????

    -Vietnamese in Singapore I think almost at Joo Chiat and Geylang. Hopeless.
    The ones in University are damn arrogant, unfriendly, speak too loud in the lectures.

    -Vietnamese girl are not pretty . Who say they are, please correct me by evidence..

  13. #53

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Quote Originally Posted by standingup View Post
    -Vietnamese is cunning and dishonours. If they know you are foreigner, die liao. So please speak Vietnamese to them..Who can????

    -Vietnamese in Singapore I think almost at Joo Chiat and Geylang. Hopeless.
    The ones in University are damn arrogant, unfriendly, speak too loud in the lectures.

    -Vietnamese girl are not pretty . Who say they are, please correct me by evidence..
    Blatant racism.

  14. #54

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    [QUOTE=standingup;2755490]-Vietnamese is cunning and dishonours. If they know you are foreigner, die liao. So please speak Vietnamese to them..Who can????

    I'm still alive after 4 trips to Vietnam and yes, they know I'm a foreigner. I agree that some of the Vietnamese are not the most honest people I've met but then again, show me a honest person and I'll show you a dishonest one, from the same country. I take that you are a foreigner who encountered some dishonest Vietnamese and since you don't speak the language, you lost out a great deal?

    -Vietnamese in Singapore I think almost at Joo Chiat and Geylang. Hopeless.
    The ones in University are damn arrogant, unfriendly, speak too loud in the lectures.

    Seems that you are a regular at Joo Chiat and Geylang. That probably shows how you were cheated. How hopeful can one get if one has to resort to selling flesh to feed a family?

    Universities ? Go figure (google). Did you know that the lady who's teaching Vietnamese language at NUS is a Vietnamese who "has qualifications in Teaching methodology in foreign languages and ESL from Australia. She taught Vietnamese at the Australian National University before coming to NUS to establish the first Vietnamese language programme. She is the convenor of the Vietnamese language programme in the Centre for Language studies at NUS and the author and co- author of 4 widely used Vietnamese language textbooks" ? (Source : NUS website) I guess she had to speak loud at lectures ...

    Did I mention that I know 2 Vietnamese ladies studying in Cornell University, Computer Science and they are VERY arrogant and UNFRIENDLY towards people who say Vietnamese are arrogant? I hate to say this but where's your evidence?


    -Vietnamese girl are not pretty . Who say they are, please correct me by evidence..

    I guess you might be right. One man's meat is another's poison. Perhaps you can show us how right you are, by providing evidence to sustain your claims?


    Not wanting to OT too much, as mentioned, I've been to Vietnam, HCMC for several business trips. I read up their culture, their language and some history before going and they (Vietnamese) respect me for that. If you go anywhere without wanting to understand the destination, you'll better off going somewhere else. Go figure.

    -andy

  15. #55

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    this is starting to become a flame war. ease off guys. to each his own la. i think this thread is going off topic already.

  16. #56

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Quote Originally Posted by standingup View Post
    -Vietnamese is cunning and dishonours. If they know you are foreigner, die liao. So please speak Vietnamese to them..Who can????

    -Vietnamese in Singapore I think almost at Joo Chiat and Geylang. Hopeless.
    The ones in University are damn arrogant, unfriendly, speak too loud in the lectures.

    -Vietnamese girl are not pretty . Who say they are, please correct me by evidence..
    I didn't know Club Snap have such a person like u.

    If u look at VNmese is dishonours can u tell me singaporean at lucky plaza , sim lim square and you is what kind of people. And since u cant speak VNmese,they cant speak English, tell me the story that lead u to this kind of conclusion.

    -Not only offence VNmese, u also offence who live in Joo Chiat and Geylang , u mean all people live there are HOPELESS ???
    -Well,i was surprise that u have education in university, very surprise after seeing those words u write, i thought in such a developed country like this and for someone have high education at university level like u can say that. I can show u many students who is arrogant, unfriendly , speak loud in lecture or tutor and it doesnt have anything to do with personality.

    -VNmese girls pretty or not depend on ur tatse my friend,and i dont think ur tatse is good.

    -Some say Singaporean is materialism as they chase after the 5C but is it all singaporean do ? I dont think so.

    - i wont judge singaporean just because of a bad man like u.
    In this forum we shouldn't discuss political issue or bring up one, dont start a racist war my friend, remember Singapore is a country with people come from many countries .And in SIngapore, the numbers of VNmese live or work or study not little, U are offending not a group of people but a country.

    \Well, i will give u some advice : If u look at people like monkey, they will treat u a barbarian way. If u disrespect them, they will disrespect u, and u think they are not modernized people , they treat u the acient way --> the one who contribute nothing to the societies but trouble and create problem should be left out and should cease to exist.
    Last edited by bahibo; 11th January 2007 at 09:01 AM.

  17. #57

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Quote Originally Posted by standingup View Post
    -Vietnamese is cunning and dishonours. If they know you are foreigner, die liao. So please speak Vietnamese to them..Who can????

    -Vietnamese in Singapore I think almost at Joo Chiat and Geylang. Hopeless.
    The ones in University are damn arrogant, unfriendly, speak too loud in the lectures.

    -Vietnamese girl are not pretty . Who say they are, please correct me by evidence..
    It is incorrect and impolite to state the above ....
    1. Maybe you speak from your bad experiences with some of them but one must know the history of Vietnam and its people well to appreciate them. Basically after many years of war, the country and its people have remain poor and war-torn, but mind you, the people are determined to play catch up with its neighbours. If you have been to HCM or Hanoi, most of the ppl are extremely friendly and helpful. You can speak to them in English or Teochew and sign language (is it their fault that you cant speak their language?), you should be able to get what you want in Vietnam. As for being cunning, basically after so many years in war, they have learnt to be less distrustful with others and everyone knows that Teochew ppl normally have very good business sense, and coz of this some ppl may interpret them as cunning. Dishonesty cuts thru race, nationality, etc...

    2. Please do not equate Vietnamese = Joo Chiat. If you are more expose globally, you will know that Vietnamese artists are now globally received in international art/craft auctions. Please dont have a braindead pigeon's view on the social problems of other nationalities, esp when they are poor.
    If you count the number of art galleries and artists in Vietnam, you, if you r a Singaporean, will be ashamed when compare to our country.

    3. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. If you equate beauty in the eyes of Miss World, then most Asian girls CMI. But I am sure we take more pride and enjoyment in looking at our gfs, wives, more than Miss World? Probably when you visit Vietnam again, do not put your heart solely to look out for those beautiful girls (in your own std) but instead talk to them and listen/share with them their experiences. In this way, you will find them, maybe more beautiful then all the girls you have known before .....
    As for physical beauty, it is unfair to say Vietnamese girls are not beautiful becoz most of the other girls you saw are probably modern and have better makeups on. I am sure in the next 5 - 10 years when they can afford modern amenities, then you can get a better picture.
    Last edited by Canonised; 11th January 2007 at 10:39 AM.
    always the Light, .... always.

  18. #58
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    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    I don't want to debate with others since it is my own opinion. You won't make me to believe that my perception was wrong until the day I myself realise that. Now, thanks, I stick with my opinion.

    It is not just about my education. Please, there's nothing to do with education background. And please don't put your words into my mouth. I don't say all people working in Geylang and Joo Chiat are hopeless.

    Someone mention about a lecturer in NUS, excuse me. If you take this example, please go to US, UK, Russia, Hungary, Poland, HongKong, Australia, see how much Vietnamese commited crime there? How do they do their business. Have you forget Nguyen sentenced to death because of carring heroin in Singapore? You need me to list out here more Vietnamese gangsters in US, Germany,Russia? Have you ever heard about NUS student online steal money of friends? Have heard of NUS student steal good in OG? So if you don't know about these famous examples, please grow up and face the fact. Major of them don't obey any law. Even a gorvement officer went to Singapore and stole good ? DId you read that in the newspapers? Hmm..

    I do often visit Geylang and Joo Chiat and if some of you here want to judge me, please go ahead.

    As I said, I might be wrong but it is my opinion. You have your owns, so please dont force me to change my mind because of what you said.

    Thank you..

  19. #59

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Quote Originally Posted by standingup View Post
    I don't want to debate with others since it is my own opinion. You won't make me to believe that my perception was wrong until the day I myself realise that. Now, thanks, I stick with my opinion.

    It is not just about my education. Please, there's nothing to do with education background. And please don't put your words into my mouth. I don't say all people working in Geylang and Joo Chiat are hopeless.

    Someone mention about a lecturer in NUS, excuse me. If you take this example, please go to US, UK, Russia, Hungary, Poland, HongKong, Australia, see how much Vietnamese commited crime there? How do they do their business. Have you forget Nguyen sentenced to death because of carring heroin in Singapore? You need me to list out here more Vietnamese gangsters in US, Germany,Russia? Have you ever heard about NUS student online steal money of friends? Have heard of NUS student steal good in OG? So if you don't know about these famous examples, please grow up and face the fact. Major of them don't obey any law. Even a gorvement officer went to Singapore and stole good ? DId you read that in the newspapers? Hmm..

    I do often visit Geylang and Joo Chiat and if some of you here want to judge me, please go ahead.

    As I said, I might be wrong but it is my opinion. You have your owns, so please dont force me to change my mind because of what you said.

    Thank you..
    ok at least you know it is your opinion only... not the truth.

  20. #60

    Default Re: bad vietnam backpack trip

    Quote Originally Posted by standingup View Post
    -Vietnamese is cunning and dishonours. If they know you are foreigner, die liao. So please speak Vietnamese to them..Who can????

    -Vietnamese in Singapore I think almost at Joo Chiat and Geylang. Hopeless.
    The ones in University are damn arrogant, unfriendly, speak too loud in the lectures.

    -Vietnamese girl are not pretty . Who say they are, please correct me by evidence..
    just keep your opinon to yourself okay? If u want to voice them out in a forum, be ready to face retaliation and dun say these are your own view and u are entittled to it because fact is, once it's made public, it's everybody's business...

    btw..this is MY thread...so just shoo off with ur elitist, uncaring attitude.
    shame on you.

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