Having a relationship with someone from a different cultural background is fraught with difficulty.
Can love work between couples from different language backgrounds and different cultures? If I look at the family of my older sister and of my boss, I think it can. However, it’s never easy, and making it work is far more complicated than just overcoming the issues of language and culture. For, in reality, I know that my boss and my sister have had to accept more than just their partners’ cultural traits.
“In a city one thousand years old, everyone is a visitor.”
I have been ‘dropping’ in to Hanoi for over a dozen years, for the past 9 months I have found myself a resident.
Hanoi has always intrigued me, drawn me, a visually beautiful city with a certain charm and character, it smiles at you through the cracks and exhibits style and elegance even amidst occasional chaos and degradation.
Coming to Vietnam & want to avoid the touristy stuff? Or coming back for a repeat visit & want to do something different? Here’s our list of 30 fun & non-touristy things to do in Vietnam…
As a regular business/leisure traveller and web addict, wifi access is very important to me. And this is one of the great things about living in Vietnam – virtually every café, bar and restaurant has free wifi, meaning I’m never far away from a connection. Sadly, the same cannot be said of hotels, at least not all of them.
When the train started to rattle and shake as it began to ease out of the station, I knew we were about to escape the bustling city. I was longing to experience the pristine landscapes and fresh air of the far north.
It was my fourth trip to Y Ty, but it seems a place that I always anticipate my return to. Despite visiting countries throughout Asia and Europe I still get that tingle of anticipation as I board the night train to Lao Cai, take the winding roads to Y Ty and think of the old house of Mrs. Si and the traditional herbal bath in a wooden barrel.
Luxury travel isn’t just about travelling by private jet/limo or staying in 5* hotels, though that is of course part of it. What’s equally important is enjoying unique, authentic experiences and really getting under the skin of a destination, and seeing things that most tourists miss. That’s why many of our clients like to give expensive upscale restaurants a miss every now & then, and enjoy Asian food the way the locals do – on the street.
People queue. British people are famous for queuing. We queue just to get into another queue. We queue to ask about where we should queue. We separate queuing people with ropes and guide them with signs. We spilt queues when they get too big and start them again on somewhere else. We zig-zag queues to accommodate all the queuing people. Personally I had forgotten about this phenomena. However frustrating a queue may be, I prefer it to total and utter disorganization - i.e. Viet Nam. Not to say Vietnamese are disorganized, it is all for a reason...
The Cretin said, "The Cretans are always liars." - The Liar Paradox
I arrived in Ho Chi Minh City by plane, checked through immigration and customs and walked out of the terminal to the taxi stand to get a cab to my hotel (the Trang Long Hotel on Mac Thi Buoi Street, a tourist hotel in the heart of a tourist district.) I had reservations and know the place well as I have stayed there several times. The taxis in Ho Chi Minh City are equipped with meters, but at the airport the drivers refused to use them, instead demanding a flat rate of US$10 into town. A rip-off price, but so it goes at airports and bus stations the world over where they have you over a barrel. Tired and anxious to get to my hotel, I argued only weakly, then agreed to the $10.
So most of you have already read 15 Facts About Vietnam and I am sure you still want to know more about this country. Some of the things here have become normal to me. I have already inhaled and exhaled Saigon so much that I have become immune to it. And to be honest with you, it’s not that very different from my country. In fact, I only notice these things when a visitor points things out or when these issues come out during a conversation with other expats.
Three Hanoian expats have dug into Vietnam’s musical past to create a hip hop single entitled “Oi Gioi Oi” — a track that hails the joys and pains of living in modern day Hanoi.
British MC Ian Paynton, known by stage name EP, the Hanoi Sessions duo of the enigmatic Hanoi Funkmaster (Japan) and JC Smith (UK) have teamed up to in their spare time to create an entertaining and positive take on the capital, which often takes its fair share of criticism from expats, tourists and locals alike.