This blog is about my favourite leisure activities and some thoughts in general.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Vietnam 2

Vietnam's political system is simple. The Communist Party rules and that's it, albeit meanwhile it is hard to detect any traces leading to their ideology. In Saigon operates a stock exchange and the huge Bitexco Financial Tower dominates the downtown area, where also the rich and beautiful have plenty of opportunities to do their therapy shopping. The traffic system isn't complicated either - the bigger vehicle has the prerogative. At least Saigon is now equipped with more traffic lights, making it a lot less hazardous crossing the street through an endless stream of motorbikes. From Saigon i traveled up north to Nha Trang. Not to long ago this place was a sedate town with a beach, that can easily compete with some of the Caribeans finest. Nowadays it is sporting (almost) more neon lights than Las Vegas and is a playground for Russian all-inclusive tourists. More interesting is the historic jewel of Hoi An en route to Da Nang - a journey to Vietnam wouldn't be complete without visiting it. To escape Nha Trang's intensive heat, i did what the French colonialists already have done and traveled to Dalat in the central highlands. This city is nicely layed out around a lake, but it's main attractions didn't appeal to me and so i moved on after three nights there. A couple of pointers i want to mention here. The Vietnamese seem to be in rude health, what i guess has to do with their cuisine, which is always fresh and healthy, so obesity is almost nonexistent. Why administrations handed out business licenses to Mc Donalds, KFC and Co. is beyond me, but it is good to see only a few people patronize these places. The currency is the dong and 1 euro equals around 28000 dong. Dealing with all these zeros can be a bit confusing at first, but those able to do some basic math get a hang of it quickly.I visited Vietnam three times now and got annoyed only twice and both times cyclo drivers were involved. The first wanted to bring me in a brothel of his his choice instead of my hotel and the second all of a sudden asked me for a ten times higher price we agreed upon. It's never a good idea to show some public rage in Vietnam, however these guys needed an earful to settle the argument. Aside from these two, the people i dealt with were all most wonderful - friendly , helpful and many times displaying a marvellous smile. So what are my conclusions ? Vietnam has undergone a lot of changes in recent years and not always for the right reasons. In fact Uncle Ho would spin in his sarcophage could he see some of them. But nontheless there are no doubts in my mind - Vietnam remains a top travel destination.

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