Between Thailand and Vietnam, I prefer Vietnam

February 27, 2023 | 12:37 am PT
Between Thailand and Vietnam, I prefer Vietnam
Foreign tourists enjoy a coracle ride in Hoi An nipa palm forest, July 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh
There are obvious reasons while Thailand has been more attractive to tourists than Vietnam, but many also vouched for Vietnam as a nice destination that still has space for improvements.

"I, between Thailand and Vietnam, prefer Vietnam. I find the people in Vietnam nicer, friendlier and more polite. And I find a more genuine environment without seedy places like Thailand's red-light districts, and I hope I never see them in Vietnam. The problem is that I am retired and eager to stay in Vietnam most of the year, (I like to live in Hanoi from March until mid-December) I am forced every 30 days, to fly to Bangkok in order to be able to get a new visa of only 30 days, resulting in financial and time expense. Why not grant a visa of at least 3 months?"

"Personally I think for many expats and locals here, we would not want seedy red light districts in Vietnam. Not all expat males are crazy for intimacy with sleazy girls. Some of us prefer a night out at some good cocktail bars or pubs where we can listen to some good live music bands or make friends by watching together a good game of football or rugby. That being said, HCMC is sorely lacking live music bars: specifically bands that play rock or metal genres which are quite common in Thailand. All the clubs here tend to favor blasting out techno tunes that are overwhelmingly loud."

"Thailand had no wars and 30 years of tourism ahead of open tourism... I say Vietnam is catching quite fast compared to the 1st time I came 35 years ago."
Cyric Bhaal

"I live in Thailand and I travel a lot. Bangkok is a mess and very time-consuming. Last Dec. 27 I flew in Hanoi mid-afternoon, yes airport was busy yet it took me less than 10 minutes at Hanoi immigration compared to 30 to 45 at Bangkok. Arriving in Hanoi, lined up in front of one of the 20-25 immigration desks, in Bangkok you would get 6 maybe 8, 10-12 people in front of me. I was done in 10 minutes. Passport, e-visa done. ATM, bus 86 in about an hour I am in my hotel room. Last July in Da Nang, even faster, less than 5 minutes to clear immigration. Hope for the same next month."

"As an expat living in Vietnam, I'd have to say I prefer Thailand. The Vietnamese people are wonderful, very friendly and pro American. The food is really great and I love the place. The downside is that it's filthy and the traffic is a nightmare. Healthcare in Thailand is much better although I have found an excellent dentist in Hanoi. The visa situation for longer-term expats is a nightmare. I like both places really. I live in Vietnam because of my Vietnamese girlfriend. Concerning all the negative comments about the Bangkok red light districts, the Thais seem to be very open and tolerant regarding their sexual mores and the Vietnamese are quite conservative, but to each his own."
Charlie Skinner

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