VIET NAM - travel guide (for solo female travelers)

Sadly, sometimes I cannot cherish a place enough - because there are some negative points that have a too strong impact or I'm not ready for the place or I simply need something different the moment I'm there. And it's only afterwards that I reminisce and realize how cool it actually was.
Viet Nam is a place like this.

Before I went there, I've heard from so many people how great it was and that it was even much nicer than Thailand, so I really looked forward going there, yet I was quite disappointed. Maybe my expectations were so hight because of all the tales.
Anyway, now that I think back, it is quite cool. It's probably due to its political past that it is so very different from the other South East Asian countries, and maybe that's confusing at first, but there are so many good things there, it's absolutely worth it and I think, I'll be back somewhen soon.

For us Europeans having lived with the iron curtain for decades and having witnessed how complicated it was to let bygones be bygones resp. to cope with the past, it's amazing how the people of Vietnam gets over the past, embraces the changes. Actually this difference in dealing with Socialism in comparison with European countries isn't that new. The Vietnamese way seems to be less doctrinal and obstinate. Already the fact that Buddhist monks joined the Socialist fight agains Colonial France and later the American troups shows the different approach. In Europe every form of religion was banned by the Socialist government (according to Marx' saying "Religion is the opium of the people"). Well, in the Far East they obviously find their own way to deal with opium.

Communist propaganda and a Buddhist Temple
Obviously there is enough space for different kinds of faith.

Anyway, it's baffling to see the traditional, naiv, right in your face propaganda at every corner - including the inevitable red flags, pentagrams and hammer and sickle. And right next to it people living their hyper capitalistic reality selling you everything.

Colonial building, communist propaganda and a skyscraper in HCMC
A family picture of Viet Nam's different eras: Colonialism, Communism, and Capitalism .

The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam has a population of more than 90 million people living on a  329.560 sq km (about 127,000 sq miles) terrain. While the South and North are low, flat deltas, the central  highlands and the far North towards China are hilly or even mountainous. While the South is tropically hot and humid, the North is noticeably cool and rainy. In Viet Nam you pay with Dong (VND) - that you can convert e. g. on XE.


A brief history
 of Viet Nam

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