Vietnam reopens to tourists without fixing its problems

January 25, 2023 | 06:15 pm PT
Vietnam reopens to tourists without fixing its problems
Foreign tourists in Hoi An ancient town in March, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong
Foreigners expressed disappointment coming to Vietnam post-Covid and seeing many problems persist, or get worse.

"I have been to Vietnam 5 times, the first 4 a mix of work and pleasure. Things have gotten much worse since Covid. There is trash everywhere, the air pollution, especially in Hanoi is terrible, dead fish everywhere in West Lake. We visited Ha Giang, and it was terrible. Bad roads, bad food, bad hotels, aggressive local tourists. It could be so much better if the locals did not throw trash everywhere."
Yves Badaroux

"Pre Covid, managed to find a few places where you didn't get ripped off and could enjoy Vietnam. Post Covid it's like there is the mentality of ripping off everyone to make up for losses suffered. After 3 trips in 12 months decision has been made, never to return, just not worth the stress and angst. Great country Vietnam, but no idea on how to make use of its attractions."

"Vietnam has so much to offer but sadly so many people are getting too greedy, seeing tourists as wallets to empty and not as customers, also yes a huge lack of care about the environment, therefore tourists never want to come back, which is awful, knowing how much Vietnam can offer them to see and to enjoy."

"Vietnam can be a paradise, with little effort from everyone. I am a foreigner who lives there half of the year, and I know what foreigners and tourists look for: safety, first. Safety on the roads is clearly number one. Number two: respect for your own country. Stop the trash! Stop the invasion by plastic bags and polluting stuff and garbage everywhere! No need for so many artificial "resorts" and fancy parks. Vietnam nature is at its best when it is respected and kept natural... Number three: Foreigners and tourists are not millionaires, mostly. They are quite ready and willing to pay the normal price, the reasonable price, but not more. The Vietnamese people have a treasure: their country. Love it, respect it, make the roads safe, and tourists will come by the millions!"

"A stunningly beautiful country drowning in garbage and the locals could care less. If they did, they'd clean this place up in a heartbeat and keep it clean. In the U.S. there is a program 'Adopt a Highway'. Various companies, groups, organizations, or even neighborhoods sign up for a stretch of road with the promise to keep it clean. They do regular trash pickups on weekends when needed and get a sign stating the group responsible for that stretch of road. I wonder if something similar would work here?"

"Vietnam should be improving for the benefit of the Vietnamese people first then this will better the tourist experience. Vietnamese deserve a clean, welcoming, safe and friendly country. Let's do it for Vietnamese, 10 million foreign tourists it could be done with minor adjustments, let's not forget the 100 million Vietnamese exploring this beautiful land."

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