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Thread: Vietnam?

  1. #11
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    Fair enough - the beer there is decent and cheap as chips. Well, at least it was in Hanoi.

    The local specialties in the South are apparently different. But I will say that I really enjoyed the spring rolls and had some excellent pork spring rolls that were eaten with dry (but obviously cooked) noodles. This was at a local, and very basic, restaurant which has somehow become well-known, yet retains its character. So, a bit like the best restaurants in KL or Penang. Legendary stuff.

    I'm sure you must know some Vietnamese in Australia? Wouldn't they be able to help?

  2. #12
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by IMOA View Post
    Or do I just turn up, eat awesome food and get pissed in a series of random bars?
    I think this is your best bet. From what I've heard from a workmate who goes once a year, Vietnam is super-duper cheap, but with awesome food and hospitality. You'll live like a king. Basically a much nicer destination than Bali but without the hordes of bogan Aussies clogging up the joint.

  4. #14
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    So, in the end I went with turning up, eating awesome food and getting pissed in a series of random bars. As it turns out this was an excellent plan.

    I read an article last week about what travel used to be like in the not so distant past with no smartphones, no gps, no internet, no google maps etc and while a lot of the these things really have made travel easier they have also taken away from some of the travel experience. That article kinda spoke to me and taking into account that you only ever get one chance at a first impression and I know I'm going back to Vietnam soon I decided that I wouldn't really research anything, that I would only access the Internet from the hotel and that I would be heads up looking around rather than taking photos. Basically wander about without a real plan or direction and see what happened.

    So, anyway, Vietnam is completely mad and I loved it. It was quite funny that when I got back to Bangkok there was a real feeling of 'ok then, back to quiet staid sanity then'. What I enjoyed most was the sitting on plastic chairs in the gutte somewhere eating some awesome food, drinking hopelessly cheap beer watching just the most amazing theatre pass you by. There was so much going on in the street in front of you, families 4 and 5 up on a scooter, they army tearing past in a pickup, a couple of guys riding past with the entire contents of a restaurant packed on too scooters (the first one had all the tables and chairs, the second one had the kitchen including the stove which was a clay pot grill with foot high flames) and then you have two ten year old girls standing in the middle of all that on the street comparing bracelets utterly oblivious to the maelstrom around them. It is just wonderful.

    So, some other quick observations

    There was a lot more closed than I was expecting, yes, billi was right
    The Vietnamese go to bed early. almost all bars close around midnight and even on new year after the fireworks finished everyone basically went home
    The sight of thousands of people all leaving the same place on scooters at the same time is pretty awesome.
    I thought I got pretty good at crossing the street Vietnam style until I saw a local cross through an absolute scrum of scooters I thought impossible to navigate. Much respect.
    Vietnam may have eclipsed Malaysia as my favourite place for casual afternoon beers.

    I can't wait to go back

  5. #15
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    Haha, love that post man.

    In my head you basically describe the scene from Full Metal Jacket where the two soldiers are sitting at a table just before the kid steals the camera off them. But with less war and more scooters.

  6. #16
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    Gee..., glad you find that appealing. I'm not sure if I'd ever spend money and vacation time on such madness!

    BTW, so Vietnamese can all speak English now? How were you able to communicate with them?

  7. #17
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    I've spent a hell of a lot of time in Japan and there's very few countries with less English than there so anything more is a breeze. Just about everyone knows some English these days, it's not the most common first language but it's the most common second language by a mile. Bit of English, bit of charades, it all works.

    And madness is brilliant, it's a glorious change from how constricted and sterile the western world has become.

  8. #18
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    Glad you had a good time. It's an awesome place!

    But the food in Malaysia will ALWAYS BE BETTER.

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