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    14-09-2015 @ 09:36 PM
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    Post Viet-Nam: Full Review

    Vietnam answers the question ''¿What if Filipinos were really tall? but not the women, though''.



    Don't go to Vietnam if you're fat and/or black.

    Let me start by warning 2 very specific demographics, I'm a member of both and I can tell you that wherever you go there will be people taunting you and more people will laugh at you than a Comedian, in fact if you'd walk around in a clown's costume in the West you'd probably get looked at less than in Vietnam for simply looking non-Asian, but nothing arouses more laughs than carrying some extra pounds or melanin, wherever you go as this problem isn't limited to either the countryside or the urban areas, it's also not regional, in fact there is notably only a single city where almost no-one stared at me and that was Hoi-An, Quang-Nam.



    ¿So you shouldn't go? Well okay I must admit that it's just a title to catch your attention, I came because I wanted to visit my girlfriend and really had a great time as long as I was with her, sure people would laugh at me, and taunt me non stop but I didn't visit them but her, one thing I did notice was ''whom' were laughing the most, in general obese women were the ones that laughed the loudest at me something I really can't understand as some of them had a similar or even larger stature than myself a possible reason I suspect that they were laughing at me because it might have been a psychological way to excuse their own obesity by saying ''look someone else who's fat'' or something, other than fat women it was basically everyone but those that would actually point the most were school-age boys and men who would often alert their friends to laugh some extra at me. Also note that this only happens to fat and dark-skinned MALES as I've asked a few women of African descent and fatter women and they claimed that no one ever laughed at them, and personally I only went because of my girlfriend and I saw a few fat men with their wife and children who visited Viet-Nam for vacation and they agreed with me that it's probably not the best place to go.



    Also don't grow a beard as during my first month as I didn't bring my shaving equipment and my girlfriend didn't know a single place where they would sell it cheap, so I grew a beard... which I really shouldn't have, let me divide the Viet people into 3 groups, 1/3rd would laugh at any fat man, 1/3rd at any dark skinneed man, and 1/3rd simply at anyone who isn't Asian, 3/3rd would laugh at someone with a beard you see no-one in Vietnam had EVER seen a beard before I grew one and so this was a spectacle to be seen in fact so much that almost not a single day passed where at least 3 to 5 older men would ''secretly'' take a picture of me (usually by holding a hand over their old Nokias if I'd look in their direction, but quickly resuming filming once they think I'm not paying attention), in general wherever you go to Vietnam you're greeted (laughed at) as if you're the first foreigner to ever set foot in the country, but if you have a beard expect to hear ''Osama Bin La Den'' almost every minute and have people randomly taking pictures of you, and some would even ask you to pose.



    I know what you're thinking ¿didn't Ho Chi Minh have a beard? well I suspect that they shave him mentally every time they see a picture of him.



    Though personally I got used to the taunting it did make me really angry at some times, one garbage man in Da Nang with a moustache would loudly laugh and point at me while collecting garbage, so basically someone who is in dirt all day long thinks he's above me and should laugh at merely the site of me sometimes padding random people on the Streets to point me out to them so they could laugh synchronously, of course after the taunting he still gets to be a garbage man and I get to go home inside a luxury hotel with my beautiful girlfriend, but it still made me quite upset, other than the locals you'll notice one thing, even after shaving are the Indians.



    Regarding most of what was written before one could simply state ''you're a guest in their country, they laugh at you you should respect them, they should have absolutely no respect for you'' though I would disagree with that statement I can understand it and I generally got used to the taunting from the natives, what grinded my gears though was almost every person of Indian (South-Asian) descent I would meet, during my time there I had only met 2 Indians I liked (one from Uttar Pradesh and one from West-Bengal) and those were both restaurant owners so I suspect that they were only sociable because I was there clients, and most other restaurant staff Indians tended to be quite the opposite.



    Let me first describe some of my attributes, I'm quite fat but a lot of Indians I saw were bigger than I, I'm black but my skin colour is more akin to that of Smith Will or Obama Barack than that of say Jackson L Samuel, and when I had a beard it appeared quite short due to my African structured hair type so something that annoyed me most about Vietnam wasn't really the taunting from the natives but that from a lot of Indians, many of whom were fatter than I, significantly darker than I, and a few had longer beards than I but would mock me for the same attributes.



    Also these people seem more pursuing in their tauntings, in Hanoi an older Indian man with his daughter(¿in-law?) and grand-son even followed me around to laugh at me and later when I went to take the bus and there was only a single seat left and the older Indian bloke would shout ''NO'' at me after I had politely asked if I may sit there, something quite notable about them were that they were all Microsoft employees (former Nokia employees) and wherever I was Microsofties of Indian descent would go out of their way to mock me while if I'd go to the Microsoft Store in Ly Thuong Kiet run by native Viets they were all quite kind and even though none of them spoke English they all treated me with respect and understanding, no wonder Microsoft is cutting jobs more in India (okay, that's probably unrelated but honestly I was quite vocally against firing people at Microsoft before but after how those Indians treated me I'd like to see them cut even more in the hardware sector).



    One very notable taunting I remembered was at the National Day (Independence Day) fireworks event near the Sword Lake, this was the evening after the military parade (more on that later) people all around we were taunting me, I basically learned that if you were in a large crowd never look anyone in the eyes, though this applies to you being ANYWHERE iN Vietnam even if you cross people and don't like to be laughed at, first there were a few young men that would cross me 5 times just to laugh at me again and again, so my girlfriend and I went closer and there was a mother and daughter couple that would look at me just to laugh and I suspect them of taking a few pictures too, and several young girls kept looking to laugh, now here's something I learned laughing back at them for something wrong wtith them goes over their heads, as it was hot we had a good quality fan and used it, but they had 2 broken paper fans so after they kept laughing at me for not being Asian I laughed back at them and they just kept laughing louder and louder.



    Despite all of the above I did still treat every new person I met with respect, and personally I don't expect the tauntings to be any different for a dark skinned person (African) who'd go to Europe before the 19th century and unless someone has been openly apathetic to me I won't disrespect them, if a VIETNAMESE person would taunt me for my looks I will still remain neutral (but annoyed) by them.



    Marketing



    Speaking of Microsoft one thing you'd see everywhere are Apple signs, logos and basically (gratis) commercials, these aren't placed there by Apple, the same goes for Samsung and Nokia (well Microsoft Mobile Oy, but they use the Nokia brand on them), in fact once in Hanoi as I was going to Ba Dinh I had come across a street with more fake Apple stores than there are official Apple Stores in the entire world, and a lot of stores in both rural and urban areas have huge signs with "NOKIA" on them and more and more ''Samsung" ones coming up.



    When it concerns the mobile devices you'd come across I'd say almost everyone has an iPhone and an old Nokia feature-Phone (Microsoft Mobile Oy), but the market is really diverse if you're from the West you'd probably only see one or two brands (mostly Apple and Samsung) and Italians might see the regular Nokia/Microsoft device every now and then, in fact I saw a really old bloke with an old Nokia (Microsoft Mobile Oy) device and an Apple logo sticked to it (usually I see this on laptops though, L.O.L.) and this is a common feature not just of Hanoi, it's common all around Asia.



    Viet-Nam is a hotbed of different brands, you'll find people with loads of different brands of mobile devices, even the foreigners who visit, for one instance I saw a bloke with a Windows Phone and a Macbook Pro, I saw Philips telephones (I'm Dutch and even we don't have them here), if you think that EVERY Asian owns an iPhone and only iPhones (like in Japan, South-Korea, and Mainland-China) be surprised, even South-Koreans own Samsung devices here, and Sony is quite popular too, it's a very diverse market.



    One thing people like to say is that America is the king of capitalism and that almost everything capitalistic = American influence, this couldn't be further from the truth, in fact I've seen countless of Japanese and South-Korean automobiles everywhere, in fact I was counting non-Japanese and non-South-Korean cars and most I saw were very diverse, for example the majority of the larger automobiles I saw were Japanese, then the British and Americans were quite equally distributed (contrary to the popular belief that Europeans prefer smaller cars and Americans bigger ones so they must also be better in these 2 sectors, but it's the Japanese that dominate), and when I counted the cars I saw just as much American cars as I saw German and Hispanic cars, and not even as the latter 2 combined, which basically means that I saw double the number of European automobiles, the same applies to the Philippines too, almost every large automobile is Japanese, and the rest too are mostly Japanese and South-Korean too, most moto(r)bikes are made by Honda as well...



    One instance of how the Vietnamese business mindset works was when I was at the Lenin Ilyich Vladimir park and there were 2 moto(r)bike-taxis that wanted me to take a ride as I was sitting on a bench one moto(r)bike driver asked me for my Nokia Lumia 930 (Microsoft Mobile Oy) and how much I paid for it, I told him that I had bought it for an extremely low price on the internet from a Dutch-Chinese woman for the price of almost a feature Phone and he was quite surprised, he was being sociable to try to get me to ride with me acting quite nice (this is a common way to try and get you to ride with them), not 5 minutes later as I was walking to West-Lake near the old war museum (they have over 8000 years of history on Vietnamese military engagements, I'd totally advise you to go there, just for the old Soviet aeroplanes and captured American tanks) a moto(r)bike rider greeted me by telling me how much I look like a monkey, I laughed and imited one and honestly I wasn't really offended (as this happens to me in my native Netherlands all the time) but I can understand how other people of African descent to get offended by this so please don't get too upset when you're in Vietnam and meet people like this, you're "new" to them so please be understanding.



    Another notable sociable person was an elder man who weigh around 35 kilograms and was a rickshaw driver and we talked about quite a lot, maybe they want to convince you to ride, or maybe they're just bored on a slow they and want to practise their English, if someone is trying to be social with you just return the favour it's a good way to fraternise with the people and with all the people I met every day I'd almost describe as bullies I'd say just talk back.



    When you're walking on the road most people would offer you a ride to wherever you want to go, even in the rural areas but I would advise against going as they overcharge foreigners (more on that later), but the again one bloke offered me a free ride but I said no as I was walking to lose weight (L.O.L.).



    Restaurants



    The first thing you'll notice is the different etiquette first of all almost everywhere (except for Indian restaurants) you'll be forced to exclusively use chopsticks, when I first entered Vietnam I didn't know how to use chopsticks and I was forced to learn to eat by them in 5 minutes or be constantly laughed at in the Lumpia restaurant, if you have tried and failed to learn to eat with chopsticks for years you too will probably learn to eat by them in 5 minutes as there really isn't an alternative, even food most people eat by hand are aten with chopsticks, as for Vietnamese restaurants offering other utensils I went to one where they automatically give non-Asians forks, knives, and spoons and I ended up requesting chopsticks despite utterly hating those things not a week or so ago.



    But when it concerns knives, forks, and spoons in the West we follow the etiquette of eating with the knife on the right and fork on the right, as Vietnamese people haven't been taught this etiquette from the days of childhood they would often just put the utensil in any hand they want (if they can use forks and knives), for example my girlfriend places the knife and fork in whatever order she likes and at home she usually places the knife in her left and fork in her right (she's not left-handed as that would usually be the case for a Westerer to do this), it's simply that because they haven't been taught to ''eat like this if you're right-handed'', or ''eat like that if you're left-handed'' that they will simply eat however they want, but the opposite is true as for fun I learned to use chopsticks with my left-hand (I Always say one day I might lose one of my hands so it's better to be dual-handed than single-handed) and apparently some people were offended...



    Rural areas have several restaurants that come with priceless menu's, don't order here as they will scam anyone don't trust that if you have a Vietnamese person with you that they won't overcharge them/you then, they will continue to do so, also restaurants tend to be horribly diverse in how they charge you, some menu's contain warnings whether or not taxes are included or if there's a service charge, others include it in the price (Americans would be used to the former, most Europeans to the latter), for example in one Indian restaurant everything was already in the price, in another there was simply no indication if the price would've been taxed later, was taxed before, or according to my girlfriend was ''tax-free'', further in some restaurants they offer you free drinks while in others these same drinks are charged, never use a wet tissue as these are Always charged, no restaurant has a single standard and you're Always in for surprises (even for natives, even for elder natives).



    One quick thing to add is how Asians in general eat, they order a lot of food and drinks and they would basically eat very little and throw the rest away, Vietnamese people waste A LOT of food and drinks, I remember going to a cafe in Ecopark where I saw a couple had ordered drinks, they literally took a single sip, talked for 30 minutes and just left without drinking anything else, usually when people are finished eating they throw away between 50-to-90% of the food, they're a very wasteful people, but I've had the same experience in China and the Philippines, and even the day before I went to Viet-Nam I was at a Burger King where Asians ordered an entire meal just to eat the salad and then threw away the fries, burgers, and drinks, for this same reason I don't give money to any beggards (which are really rare in Vietnam).



    Indian restaurants generally have good food and also generally ted to have a Vietnamese staff, but one thing I would warn you of is the spicy food... or better the lack thereof for example I was eating at the Ganesh restaurant in Hoi-An where they have a menu that consists of 4 categories, no chilies, 1 chili, 2 chilies, and 3 chilies and any dish with 3 chilies had written on it in big red letters "(not for the faint-hearted)" so I asked a staff member what's the most spicy dish on the menu and he advised me something, later I saw him (a Viet) talking to the Indian chef making out-of-the-way gestures about how spicy it would (supposedly) be for me by making his hands flap away from his mouth and dancing around, the Indian chef started laughing so I was excited... and when the food came it was mild, it wasn't just mild it was the mildest ''spicy'' food I ever had, any "spicy'' thing on the menu was just so mild, even my girlfriend who can't handle even the mildist of spicy Viet food found the food to be extremely mild, this even would later repeat itself in over 5 other Indian restaurants and the only Indian restaurant that even had spicy food had a Malaysian chef and was advertised as an ''Indian, Malaysian, and Chinese restaurant", speaking of Chinese restaurants...



    Chinese restaurants are quite rare in Hanoi and are more common in the area that used to be South-Vietnam (Nam-Viet-Nam), this could be due to the fact that (mostly Northern-)Vietnam was a Chinese province for over a Thousand years, and though Saigon (known in the west as Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh) has a Chinatown (called Chøløn) there is nothing similar in Hanoi, there is a large thriving Koreatown though but the idea of a Chinatown or Chinese restaurants would go over their heads, partially due to the similar culture, imagine you'd create a Chinatown in Hanoi, ¿how would it be different from the rest of Hanoi? though Hanoi has been the only major city in my life without a Chinatown there simply wouldn't be enough differences between the Viets and the Duongs to form their own community, if you roam Hanoi you'll find Chinese-style temples and moongates EVERYWHERE, if you're from the west and have never visited Asia or only went into Mainland-China (which suffered heavily from the destruction of traditional buildings and culture during the Communist Party's cultural revolution) you might think that there are almost no old as one tourist called it ''Kung-Fu-style'' buildings...



    In fact I'd advise a lot of Mainland-Chinese people reading this to go to Hanoi and the rest of Vietnam you'd probably learn more about traditional Chinese culture than you ever would on the Chinese Mainland (whose government has openly admitted to kowtow to the style of Western culture and would even supress the image of the Chinese dragon due to the way the Western dragon is perceived) while this mentality doesn't exist in Vietnam, every small village has a large number of traditional temples and new ones are being built all the time, in Hung Yen where I was staying there was a small nearby village with 3 or so ancient temples that had been renovated by the government and a new giant temple was built inside of the town, in fact this architecture is so common that even if you're endored by them and have been staying in Vietnam for over a week you're already bored by them, in fact the natives don't even notice them and if you're a tourist you won't either after a few weeks.


    The people



    One thing my girlfriend noticed was that Asians tend to have bigger heads (well, she said it more like ''foreigners have really small heads'') at the same time she pointed to a man of European descent who had a significantly smaller head than his Asian girlfriend, though she would later point out that mine was bigger than most men as well... ¿L.O.L.?



    in crowds Viet-Namese people will push you constantly, they move during, before, and after the even non-stop as this happened during the military parade let me explain the experience for you in case you want to go to a similar large even that draws crowds...



    So my girlfriend and I first entered the crowd in Trang Tien near the Trang Tien Plaza, first entering the crowd in itself was a hassle, then I was standing next to the stairs and a lot of men had their children on their shoulders, people were constantly moving between the crowd often with a few dozen at a time so some pushed me to the stairs, on the stairs there was a woman who kept voilently pushing me into those moving people who'd then push me back to that woman who'd get upset for me touching her, later a tall bloke (I'm quite short only 1.87 M. / 6 Ft. 2) was leaning on my shoulders so I started leaning on his hands and he started pushing me away, later I heard from my girlfriend that she had the same thing happen with her with an older bloke who kept leaning on her even if she would vocally say "no", filming was even more dramatic, there was an annoying block with a selfie-stick blocking any camera view.



    Another thing I'd like to add as a side-note is that it's quite safe, I've walked alone during the middle of the night and other than a few barking dogs in the poorest and richest neighbourhoods (that were Always chained down B.T.W.) there is really no danger, I even strolled around in the middle of the day and never did I fear for my properties, though my girlfriend did tell me about how she had her wallet stolen in crowds a few times, it's a generally safe country, but then again I've walked around in the Bronx at night with golden necklaces and never had even a single moment where I feared for my property, I think that most of the world is safe... though having been in China I'd say that you should look out when you're there.



    - the men



    One thing you'd notice is that a lot of blokes carry around buggies, and that you'd see a lot of elder men with children, in the West this is unthinkable and we'd probably almost immediately call the police if we'd see an old man walk alone with some children, due to the fact that like many married couples in the West during the 1920's and before up until the 1950's most couples had 2 working parents so the burden of taking care of the children would fall on the grand-parents, it's not uncommon to see a lot of men with children, and it's only in the wealthier parts where you'd see unemployed (stay-at-home) mothers who prefer to stay at home.



    One thing I would have to admit about the men is that I can easily recognise their different faces, but not their heads from behind, one thing you'll notice and not just in Viet-Nam but in most of Asia is that the (Asian) men almost all have the same hairstyles, you'd never see a Viet-Namese male with hair longer than 5 centimetres and basically everyone looks like they're either IN the military or have been outside of the military for 3 months or so, the largest differentiator between the Viet-Namese men and Viet-Namese women are the hairstyles, but it could be quite confusing as I've seen several bald and really short-haired women working at restaurants, though not all Asian men have this, Austronesian and Japanese men do sometimes have longer hair, and when I returned back to Europe the first thing I noticed was the fact that men had so many different hairstyles and hair colours here while in Viet-Nam everyone basically has the same hairstyle.



    - the women



    Contrary to popular Western belief women have not been barred from being industrious for centuries, in fact in the Vietnamese Women's Museum they even explained how in traditional culture Viet-Namese women were encouraged to be small business owners and sell stuff to people, today this is still a very common thing, a VERY common thing, and one thing I had noticed was at the construction of a shopping centre, I've been literally everywhere in the world, I'm a Latino myself and have been to the United States of America for quite some time, I live in Central-Europe and have been literally anywhere except for Africa (even though I refer to myself as "an African" all the time, L.O.L.) and one thing I had noticed is that I had only seen 3 female construction workers in my entire life, 1 in the Netherlands, 1 in those U.S.A., and 1 in Germany, in Hanoi I saw at least 10 or 20 in a single day on a single site.



    Though female sanitarian workers as uncommon as they may be are not as rare as female construction workers, but in Vietnam you'll see really A LOT of women who pick up garbage, though often I didn't like these women I passed as they tended to be extremely arrogant (not all of them, just the 3 that I had passed when I had to cross the street), they were very common.



    - fat people



    Despite my earlier warning regarding not going there, there are still quite some chubby people in Viet-Nam, and as a man who enjoys looking at big mông's these aren't rare at all, in fact I remember thinking that the women here are more feminine-shaped than almost every white woman I saw had smaller mông's than a lot of the Viet women, almost everywhere I went, and it's not just young women, as I prefer women decades older than myself it was quite a pleasent surprise to see a lot of women in their 40's and 50's (even in their 70's in some cases) with large keesters, and this is why I'd Always prefer Viet-Nam over China, I've spent quite some time in China and during my entire time there I had seen only a single fat woman, in Viet-Nam they're (thankfully) not as rare as in China, though my girlfriend does consider herself to be "overweight" she's not one of the fatter ones, though I did try to get her to be (a joke, of-course...) Usually when women get fat in the West and other Asian countries it only goes to their bellies (Android) while a lot of Viet women have it go to their seat-area's, and baby-feeding area's (Gynoid).


    ''Tays''


    Tays (or Tâys) basically means "Wests", or "Westerners" the term itself literally makes no sense, it basically means ANYONE who doesn't look like an Asian and gets redefined by anyone whomever you ask, but as it's a really common term I will try to explain almost every terminology and definition I've heard about it, according to my Chinese friend calling someone a "Hsi" doesn't exist, and also note that it's never Ngoui Tay, it's Always just "Tay" (the "Ngoui" means human, so that says enough about how they see us as this term is ALWAYS omitted).



    One definition and the Original one were French people, today this definition can mean anyone who is not-Asian, but also Asians that are from countries that "don't sound Asian", for example people from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan look like Mongolians but are still considered 'Tays", Indians from Sikkim and Assam look just like Thais but are "Thays" too, this is all understandable as these countries are geographically to the West of Viet-Nam, but Australian Aboriginals and dark-skinned Indonesians and FIlipino's are also "tays" because they don't like Asians, basically anyone who can't be mistaken for a Viet is a "tay", though some people told me only us White-Europeans were "thays", and another somehow excluded Latino's (including the blonde-haired ones), but one that did include those thought that a Native-American we met wasn't a "tay" because she "looked Viet", it's a very loose term, but they use it ALL THE TIME, so get prepared to hear it all the time.


    'Poverty''



    You can't talk about Vietnam without talking about the 1000 years of Chinese rule (well, maybe you can, I've just haven't seen anyone do it yet, L.O.L.) and one striking similarity is how even the most impoverished people tend to own loads and loads of golden jewelry, I've seen "poor" people with 2 iPhones (and not even the old models), and basically everyone owns a smartphone, and something as common is elderly Asians taking pictures with Tablet-P.C.'s, wherever you go, they're so popular here that I even saw someone driving while using a Tablet-P.C. despite this the people still call themselves "poor", in Hanoi I only saw a single homeless woman and whenever I saw a homeless person it was the same elderly woman who was also one of the 3 people whom I saw begging. Generally both men and women tend to wear a lot of gold and silver, I recall a mother and son couple having several gold and silver necklaces and bracelets, and while sitting behind them I looked outside and saw a man with ragged clothing on a moto(r)bike with an iPhone and several golden rings and chains, sure Viet-Namese women tend to wear a lot of golden jewelry, but in China they all dress like Mr. T so it's not necessarily as bad as the rest of Asia, but Viet-Nam is still one of the world's leading market for luxury products Despite having significantly less income than a lot of nations in the same region.



    Over- and underpasses are filled with women who urinate in public (the rest of the city is already filled with men urinating wherever they want), and as it's in Asia not a moment passes that you can't hear someone make a sound of some bodily function, wherever you are someone is Always clearing their throats, spitting, or doing something else, though my girlfriend was the only one that would be farting, most people would probably hate this about Asia, but it's something I really love about the continent, personally I think that we in Europe tend to repress these things way too much, but this sentence is just a warning for those that can't stand these things.



    Different prizes for everyone...



    One thing you've probably been warned about over a Thousand times if how Vietnamese people like to scam non-Asians for extra money... well charge you and this is true, but it's not because they're all racists who hate non-Asians, they do this to literally everybody, even other Asians (some South-Korean tourists I met had arrogantly assumed that they wouldn't overpay as much as I would), and because my girlfriend ''dressed like a tourist'' she would also get overcharged, other than that if you're Vietnamese but have an accent from another town or province they'll overcharge you as well, and haggling simply doesn't work, imagine if a native from the same town would pay 25.000, but somehow you have to pay 200.000, the lowest they would might want to go would still be around 50.000, the best thing you can do is just walk away and rarely would they offer you a slightly less inflated price.



    Also if you have a Vietnamese romantic partner or personal tour guide let them go alone first, for example I wanted some Ho Chi Minh, Ho Chi Minh Youth League, and Communist Party jacket pins and the initial price offered to me was 100.000, I laughed it off and said 20.000, he then told me that he would go for nothing lower than 80.000, so I offered 75.000 and was even denied this, so the next day I had came with my partner and let her walk 20 metres in front of me and ask for the prices, she haggled down to 25.000 and would get all 3 for 75.000 though I came after she had only gotten a confirmed price of 1 for 25.000 so I was offered 40.000 for these flag pins, eventually she haggled them down and when we walked away she told me how greedy the bloke in Trang Tien looked, and that she would only pay 10.000 anywhere else (10% of what I was offered initially). I had even heard from an Australian that spoke fluent Viet that the discrimination remains if you'd learn their language.



    Don't think it's just the people that discriminate, the government discriminates too, and they're even more outrageous than the people, for example Hoi-An would (probably be the only area in Vietnam that I would genuinely advise to anyone to visit) a native would only have to pay 40.000 for a ticket while the price was 180.000 for natives, eventually my girlfriend ended up buying one for foreigners as well as they had slightly more tickets. I never went to a park where I had to pay because of this discrimination, as a foreigner visiting public parks would cost you over double the tickets, and this also includes other Asians (including non-Hispanic Vietnamese-Americans who are obviously not natives - for example by not speaking the language or speaking Viet with an accent), as much as I want to support these places I simply can't support discrimination, no form of discrimination.



    Now let's talk about Socialism, in Socialism everyone is equal, discrimination doesn't exist on the basis of origin, ethnicity (which in America means Hispanic or non-Hispanic, but means national-identity in other countries), race, gender, romantic partner preference, and all other factors other than economic status and level of employment (class), originally the idea was that all peoples of Western Europe would rebel against their bourgeoisie masters, the first "Communist" area in the world was Paris and after Marx saw how that has failed he had given up on the idea of Communism and would later just critisize the bourgeoisie, though ironically the largest Socialist revolutions would later happen in the opposite of industrialised nations, Russia only had a handful of factories and the most industrialised areas of Russia (Finland and the Baltic Governates) would not fall to the likes of either the Bolsheviks or the Mensheviks, in Viet-Nam socialism was inspired purely because of the anti-imperialistic stance of socialism, not because of the actual idealogue.



    In reality there has never been any real Socialist state, revolutionary socialist parties tend to be what can best be described as "state capitalism" where the state has fully taken over the responsibilities of the companies they have annexed, social-democrats (most parties that call themselves "Socialist" or "Communist" in democratic countries) are actually just interest groups for the impoverished and underprivileged citizens of these regions, personally I call myself "a Socialist" and "a Communist" and I vote for the Communist Party, but a Social-Democrat is simply a radical-leftist who supports democracy while a Revolutionary-Socialist is simply a person who wants absolute government control (similar to the earlier Fascism of Latin-Europe) as opposed to anything found in Das Kapital.



    The most nationalistic, racist, misogynistic, misandric, and homophobic people I've met are often from (former-)Socialist countries, to understand this one should look at the histories of Socialist countries, after the failed Paris Commune the largest revolution would occur in the Russian Empire/Republic, as most revolutions happening in Russia was because of nationalism and various other factors the Bolshevik Party started promising many un-socialist things to these other groups in the hopes that they would join the Bolsheviks... and they did, now these newly created nations would unite to form the Soviet Union, this lead to the creation of a new Socialist culture, socialist symbolism, and socialist thought, though this wasn't the first major Socialist revolution, the Tongmenhui in China wanted to create ''the first Socialist state in China'' and after the Northern Expedition when the Kuomintang (former Tongmenhui) had consolidated their power over China, but Chiang Kai-Shek due to his distrust of the Soviets claimed to be anti-Communist and outsted the Communist party of China, but the main ideology of the Kuomintang remained to be Socialist until they retreated to the Taiwan province after the civil war, in Vietnam there was a Kuomintang as well but more on that later.



    The problem of Socialist governments is that they will all end up as a flandarisation of their opponents, and would often (ironically) would make the problems worse they purported to be working on solving, a common myth is that Vietnam and Mainland-China are the only Socialist states to ever endorse the free market, this false as capitalist companies were a dime a dozen in East-Germany and the Soviet Union, the flandarization of these states happen due to several reasons, the first act of flandarization happened thanks to the Bolsheviks partnering with local nationalists, this flandarization happned when they started to divide their divisions based on these ''nationalities'' and consolidated this flandarization clearly this type of flandarization wasn't allowed in Das Kapital, but the compromise was a realistic one. Other forms of flandarizations occured directly after the establishment of the Soviet Union, the first flandarization occured when Stalin abolished the rights of men who are attracted to other men due to his personal association of them with child molestation, then the next flandarization happened when Stalin started to move people from one part of the union to the other. The next flandarization is racism which came about from the idea that the largest enemy of the proletariat wasn't the bourgeoisie, nor their real enemy, the party but came from "abroad", another flandarization happened within the party which basically was a bourgeoisie party, Mao zedong was even an admitted bourgeoisie, and Mao zedong had little experience nor real empathy with the proletarians of China who see Mao zedong as some sort of god, Mao zedong is almost universally hated in Vietnam though, even mentioning Mao zedong can arouse rage. Personally I dislike Mao zedong's version of Socialism, but Mao zedong's motivations were really different to those of Ho Chi Minh, he admitted to loving personal power yet the Chinese people never went into him (still don't), he's basically a flandarization of everything Socialism is (ironically) against, this is something we can blame on the side of the kuomingtang and Chiang kai-Shek, they became anti-socialists socialists because of the political tension between the Chinese and the Soviets in the East-Turkestan province, but that's another story for another time.



    A good way to see how Socialist countries keep people from getting angry at the incompetent actions of the party or how the Communist party would throw their own people in concentration camps, and oppress the workers they claim to protect is by finding a common enemy, to the North-Koreans these people are the Americans, to the Mainland-Chinese these people are the Japanese, and to the Vietnamese these people are... the Chinese, the promotion of Nationalism is so grand in Vietnam that it's not uncommon to see people wear flag shirts all the time, and you'd see more flags everywhere in rural provinces than you'd ever do in America and the Philippines, whenever one would hear about ''the traditional woman'' you hear about the Eastern-European women from ex-communist countries, an example I could give is a recent one when during an event we had to escort runners from the field and the Ukranians seemed to have an extremely vocal coach who would scream ''NO'' several times over to anyone who would dare come close near their female runners, eventually these tended to be the ones who needed the most medical attention because of this behaviour, but we were told that we should respect anything they said, but they should have no respect for us, this mentality exists there too, and it's not reversed either, if they're a guest in your country you should respect them, if you're a guest in their country you should respect them. Further the idea of being anti-bourgeoisie basically just became anti-intellectualism and anti-press-freedom, in fact the bourgeoisie live in gated communities and are protected by the "Communist" Parties.



    Now let's go to Socialism in Vietnam, the Communist part of Indochina wasn't the actual first one, in fact you could attribute this to the Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang, but as they were all trained in the Chinese province of Van-Nam and were closely aligned with the Chinese Quoc Dan Dang (Kuomintang) who fought against Mao Zedong's Communist party they became anti-Socialists Socialsits as well, they would never recover to numbers they had after their failed fight against the French, after their defeat they basically lost all hope for ever being a powerful force in Vietnam ever again, later they became a non-influential party in South-Vietnam, and today they're just a bunch of old people drinking coffee in California, United States of America, the success story here though was the Communist party of Indochina, they too were anti-colonial forces whose largest issue was merely ending French rule.



    After some large victories by the Socialists in North-Eastern Indochina (former French Indochina) they started turning in onto each other, it all started when Pol Pot created his "Democratic" Kampuchea state that abolished money, and murdered millions of its natives, originally the North-Viet-Namese and the Viet-Cong supported the Khmer Rouge, but after the Khmer Rouge started laughingly claiming that they could exterminate the entire populace of Viet-Nam and annexed the Phu Quoc Island of the newly created Viet-Cong-run Republic of South-Viet-Nam and massacred over 3.000 people, eventually the newly created Socialist Republic of Viet-Nam would march into Kampuchea and overthrow the Khmer Rouge and replace them with the Khmer Viet Minh, this enraged the Mainland-Chinese as they were Maoists like the Khmer Rouge and their was a small skirmish along the Chinese border where both the Viets and the Mainland-Chinese proclaimed victory, eventually the international community (including the likes of the United Kingdom of Great-Britain & Northern-Ireland, and the United States of America) would rather recognise the Khmer Rouge than the new government that didn't massacre anyone who wears spectacles.



    Maybe this should be another story for another time too, but honestly I side with the Viets here as they deposed a horrible group of people, but what I don't understand is that suddenly ALL their enemies were working together with them, and the Khmer Rouge even got into a coalition and provisional government lead by the former King of Cambodia (as president), and eventually the United Nations installing them as the head government, although the elections that occured later proved (thankfully) that the former Khmer Viet Minh (I forgot the modern name of the party, but they still hold the majority seats).


    The money


    Vietnamese Dongs (yes, that's the actual name of the money) are at present (anno 2015) one of the world's least valuable money and this is quite evident in the denominations you will come across. But one thing you should watch out are for low denominations like 200 (don't even say "200" because a Viet will immediately assume that you mean "200.000"), cashiers love to give them to you when you desperately need change, and if you find them on the ground don't even offer them back because people (including the homeless) will feel insulted when you offer them to them, I did find some money but the stories vary, 200 is less than a single euro-cent and if you come across them in good quality just take them home as you can sell them to collectors for 30 to 50 times the price, but whenever you find a large denomination people will immediately start following you, for example I once found a banknote of 50.000 (+/- 2 Euro's) and a bloke outside tried to explain to me that it fell outside of his pocket while checking on his iPhone 6+, I told him that it wasn't true as he wasn't in the Ecobus, but he kept trying to follow me to get the 50.000 banknote.



    On the other hand no matter how bad a banknote is you can (probably) still spend it, 2 examples, the first one was after strolling around the city I found an ugly 1.000 banknote that was so ugly that if it wasn't for the Ho Chi Minh picture on it you wouldn't be able to recognise it as anything other than a weird flat piece of rock, eventually I ''HID'' it between other banknotes and spent it at the Microsoft Mobile Oy store when buying a Nokia-branded portable charger, later I had found around 3.500 Dong on the ground while strolling around the countryside, often these banknotes are used for the dead and you'll find them everywhere (similar to how back in Latin-America they throw them around too, but for voodoo practises, and if you pick 'em up there you're seen as a ''Choller'', but in Viet-Nam you're okay), and they often have these red-fake-banknotes lying around so I cut a piece out, pasted it on a broken 500 Dong banknote and actually spent it the same night at a Master Chef restaurant, it was just accepted as if it wasn't damaged at all, despite how Viet-Namese people throw away food and 200 Dong banknotes, they would almost ALWAYS accept a banknote of 500 and higher.



    The traffic



    In Viet-Nam you'll notice one thing, almost all Viet-Namese people walk in the middle of the road, in fact the sidewalks are almost Always deserted, this is good news if you want to walk there, but that will cause people to laugh at you, let me tell y'all a few stories about my girlfriend walking next to me, I remember at West-Lake that my girlfriend walked in the middle of the road there was a taxi behind her that would honk at her every 30 seconds but this continued for almost 10 minutes, I couldn't figure out if they cut her slack because she's a native or because she's a woman as I had seen this happen multiple times, and last year my girlfriend said that "anyone who stops for a red light is stupid" and claimed that almost all Viet-Namese people think like this, oddly enough she no longer believes this (thankfully), and has been watching it more, but she still walks in the middle of the road, and a part of trying to assimilate I would walk in the middle of the street, curiously the only time we've ever been told by anyone to go walk on the sidewalk was by a bloke on a moto(r)bike with a girlfriend on his back who slowed down to shout at my girlfriend that we should be walking on the sidewalk, I suspect he might've only said this to her because I'm a foreigner, but it was an isolated incident.



    Generally I would say that I had a good time over there, and honestly I would definately go there again, simply put there is no other culture or country similar to the Viets (well, the Chinese one, but the only places traditional Chinese culture survive is on Taiwan, Hong-Kong, and Macau which are quite similar to the Viet one), but still thanks to the French rule and the Soviet influence it's a unique country (just like every other country). Though the next time I'd be more prepared (as Always) and I hope that you can learn from my experiences and be more prepared as well.


    Basically there are 3 types of tourists to Viet-Nam, type 1 goes for the beaches, Viet-Nam is one long beach, in fact look no further than a map, type 2 goes for the mountains, and type 3 goes for the cuisine, of-course there's a 4th type that just goes through Asia in general, I met quite a few of these people, but there's way to Viet-Nam than just the beaches and mountains.

  2. #2
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    Neverna's Avatar
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    How fat are you? Or better put, how heavy are you and what's your height?

    And something I don't think you covered (I only skim read after "marketing"), where do you fit on the ugly/handsome scale?

    And welcome to Teak Door.

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    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CookieNguyen
    Viet-Nam: Full Review
    It certainly is.

    Welcome.

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    If someone told you that you looked like a momkee and women laughed at you, it could simply mean that your home country and others you have visited are institutionally more polite than Vietnam.
    It could be that you actually resemble a monkey, albeit quite a large one.

    Just a minor point. This first post is a bit on the long side. So much so that I read only a few selected paragraphs. You seem to have a tenency to wander of topic and the reader can easily lose interest, as I did.
    There is a newbie thread where you can introduce yourself without posters being rude or nasty. Try a short post in there and see how things go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CookieNguyen View Post
    Vietnam answers the question ''¿What if Filipinos were really tall? but not the women, though''.

    Don't go to Vietnam if you're fat and/or black...
    Thanks for your (rather lengthy) observations...and the history lesson. It's always interesting to read how people are perceived in a foreign country. I think your experience shows that racism comes in all shapes, sizes and colours (and all shades of colours)...Remember the "paper bag" clubs in the US back in the day?

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    Interesting, I enjoy history and Vietnam certainly has a long history. The Vietnamese laughing at you, well I have had that in Rural Thailand, piss poor people, mostly kids would laugh at Me and say Farang, I kept hearing it everywhere, never offended Me because I just put it down to them having an inferiority complex, they had very little, their lives were shit and trying to mock a six foot tall blond white guy with European status made them happy, wasn't going to bother Me. I knew that I had the freedom to fly out of that shithole, and they were stuck there.
    The other shit I got was tiny kids were told Farang , will eat you, like I was some sort of White European Dragon, and they would run away, I still get that in the U.K with My Thai Wife's friends, I will come home and the dining room will be full of Thai Brides and a few toddlers, they tell the toddler that Farang Dragon is here and they think it's so funny to see the toddler get scared and run away. 555

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    Is there a condensed version of the op? I got as far as "nobody likes me every body hates me so I'm going home to eat worms" then I gave up

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    [QUOTE=Paddy Whackery;3101760]
    Quote Originally Posted by CookieNguyen View Post
    Vietnam answers the question ''¿What if Filipinos were really tall? but not the women, though''.

    Don't go to Vietnam if you're fat and/or black...
    Your descriptions of the Viet women, complete with ad lib farting and peeing freely was quite hysterical. You apparently forgot about the nose-blowing...

  9. #9
    Pronce. PH said so AGAIN!
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    tl;dr.

    You sound fat and your blog sucks.

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    Is yours too long ?

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    Hmm, the OP has some issues, couldn't be arsed to read the whole thing, next time just stay at home and watch discovery channel, your also wrong about there "kee sters " they can buy a fake ass in the market to make it look like they got an ass, selling like hot cakes the last time I was there, you can't sue em for false advertising though

  12. #12
    Veni vidi fugi
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    Vietnam: full review : Travelfish Vietnam travel forum

    So what is this fecker selling then?

  13. #13
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Time shares in Pattaya is my guess.

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    Thanks for sharing

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    A fine OP personal travel blog in my opinion. (I'll admit I'm a year late.)

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    Your writing is a bit one-sided. I think racism appears everywhere but it is not too popular in Vietnam. Besides, each country has its own cultures and features. I already came to visit Vietnam and in general, I find that it is a quite lovely and friendly country.

  17. #17
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    I couldn't be bothered reading the whole post but SE Asians are definitely racist towards ''chocolate men''
    Not too sure about prejudiced towards fatties. I certainly see plenty fat guys in Pattaya with nice looking girlfriends

  18. #18
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    Welcome to the Buffalo Board 10 years ago...Nice of you to stick around and push yer stool in...Heh...

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