Hannah and Adam, the couple behind the popular travel blog Getting Stamped, say they really like Vietnam. But there are things in Vietnam that can get under their skin, even though not bad enough to stop them from coming back.
Here's a list of things that they "will not miss about Vietnam."
Adam described the sidewalks in Vietnam as everything but a place to walk. He said he was constantly stopped by motorbike parking, eateries and shops.
Both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have launched their sidewalk cleanup campaigns, which if effective will be able to solve this problem for pedestrians.
Foreigners can sometimes be charged a lot more in Vietnam. Adam said he was once asked by a bus driver to pay an extra VND100,000 ($4.4) just because he carried a bag. He refused to pay more than the fare.
His tip: Put on a confident face and laugh.
“Lines and order don’t matter in Vietnam, it’s whoever pushes harder or is more bold gets ahead,” the couple said on their blog.
While this kind of generalization doesn't sound fair, line cutting is without a doubt a problem in Vietnam. In many places, people simply don't queue up for their turn. But if you are lucky, the stars will bring you a line of polite, patient Vietnamese.
The Vietnamese size
The 30-something couple thinks that the Vietnamese size of everything, especially seats and bathrooms are not comfortable for westerners.
Vietnam is one of the world's biggest motorbike markets and it is sometimes dubbed the “heaven” of motorbikes. Well, that only makes sense to manufactures. For locals and visitors, it's not exactly hell but it's really far from heaven.
Hannah and Adam could not even find the right words to describe the chaos. “You just won’t understand the scope of this complaint until you visit Vietnam."
Public nose picking
“Think of the nice little lady making your sandwich,” Adam wrote.
And that's one thought nobody wants to have.
Having to bargain on food
The couple believes it’s okay to fight for the best price, but that should not be an ordeal when someone is only in their dining mood. Their advice? Tourists should pay just a fourth of the first asking price, they said.
We say it depends. For many fancy restaurants and cheap eats around the country, the prices are actually fixed and tourists can simply pay whatever the bill is. But it's true some places overcharge tourists, even local travelers.
To Adam, it’s petty, but it’s still an unpleasant memory. He said that every time he wanted black coffee, he would end up with an overly sweet cup of bad coffee.
We, however, believe this is just a communication issue and can easily be fixed. Our tip: "khong duong" means "no sugar."
Do you agree with this list? What turns you off when you're in Vietnam?