Skip Navigation

Why bother with Vietnam?

Travel Forums Asia Why bother with Vietnam?

Page

Last Post

11. Posted by AlexT (Respected Member 245 posts) 10y

Yeah I tend to agree with Peter... also, as has been pointed out by many, accomodation that is clean and dirt cheap is everywhere in Vietnam. The most I ever payed was US$15 when I wanted to treat myself to something nicer and to be honest the room had more facilities and more personality than most of the 5 star hotels I have stayed in. If you truly believe that the communist government is misusing your tourist dollars, may I suggest you dont feed the beast and invest your money in the local,poorer Vietnamese. For example, dont go to some restaurant clearly targeting western tourists and fromthe humble street vendors. There are plenty of ways to not support a regime you disapprove of and you shouldn't let politics get in the way of experiencing somewhere as beautiful as Vietnam.

thats enough for now...

12. Posted by trailbound (Budding Member 13 posts) 10y

Quoting daklak2

I would be interested in knowing where this fabled USD$600/night room in Da Nang is - the highest in the region is the Furama which tops out with a rach rate of around USD$320/night - which is far below the USD$1000/night suite available in Ha Noi.

With all the fuss going around, I decided to check out the facts and it looks like ravine90 was right. The accommodation at a five-star hotel in Da Nang can be as high as US$600 (http://www.furamavietnam.com/home.php?m=accommodation). I also search the web and e-mailed some friends in VN and they confirmed the wage and the average hotel information as well. Though, there are accommodation running below 20 bucks (US) for the night in some cities of VN.

From an objective point of view, it looks like Jay Houston (real name?),a.k.a. daklak2 has gotten a bit personal and angry for some reasons. His response to ravine90, in my opinion, has raised some questionable "motives" in reference to his personal business/financial and political interests in Vietnam. If this is the case, I am not sure if his posts carry that much of validity any way.

13. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 10y

(ravine90]

The average wage of an ordinary Vietnamese citizen is about $1.60 USD/hr.

The average budget hotel/hostel in VN is about $30 USD/night

a 5-star hotel room in Da Nang could be yours for $600 USD/night)

"Average VN citizen making $1.62USD/hr"
I asked not only my GF what she makes, but many other VN residents as well, and most do not make $100/month. In HaNoi, yes many make much more than $100/month, but outside of HaNoi, no. 'ravine90' must mean $1.62/day. Most of rural VN citizens do not make enough to stay in hotels and eat in tourist restaurants. But I did see plenty of VN citizens traveling everywhere over Tet, using the open tour buses and staying at the same hotel I did. The VN economy has made real strides since my 04 trip. Better roads, better Internet, more citizens making better money.

"Average budget hotel/hostel in VN is about $30 USD/night"
The Hanh Cafe open tour bus stops at selected hotels in every city and none of them were more than $8/night. There are certainly hotels that cost $30 or more, but I don't think the 'average budget hotel/hostel' costs $30/night.

"A 5-star hotel room in Da Nang....$600 USD/night.
There are outrageous examples of hotel prices in most countries. They are several hotels in Siem Reap that charge more for one night than a Cambodian citizen will make in a year. Here in Las Vegas there are high roller suites that are over $5,000/night. Yes, there are expensive hotel rooms in VN that a VN citizen could never afford, I cannot afford them either.

Post 14 was removed by a moderator
15. Posted by thejohn (Full Member 13 posts) 10y

Interesting post. I hated Vietnam when i visited but feel you're a little off the mark with your comments.

I thought the Vietnamese were to most capitalist, money hungry and agressive in asia. I can't for a minute believe that these people were trying to rip off tourists as much as they do because they want to contribute more to the government through taxes or by being a good communist. They do if for personal gain and i am sure there are a lot of people bettering their circumstance because of tourism in Vietnam. I agree with Peter, most governments do little to help their poor communities. I think if you spend your money wisely you can make a difference - even if it means some of that spending ultimately goes to the government - and tourism should be encouraged in these places.

As for the accommodation comment, i stayed for about 25 days and never paid over $12/night, average was about $8. If you're going to complain about expensive countries check out Bhutan.

16. Posted by iloveflyin (Full Member 159 posts) 10y

Being a Vietnamese by birth, I appreciate what you said ravine90. The communist government in Vietnam continues to oppress its people. While saying communism is classless, all people are equal, the high ranking leaders become richer, drive Mercedes, have Swiss bank account. The people still poor, and still have no freedom. Being a former Vietnamese, I wanted to see for myself what the country was like, so I took a train ride from Saigon (South) to Hue (Central VN). What I saw was a very poor country. I am sure, if we boycott Vietnam from our list of countries to visit, it will have some effect. But, the sad part is it will hurt the people more than those guys live in high places, having chauffers driving their Mercedes ... I travel to Vietnam at least once a year, to visit family members, and seeing the country where I was born. My hope is one of these days, when those greedy old leaders die and go to hell, the younger leaders realize that communism is bad for for the country, they change it. If we boycott countries where its government oppress its people, we should also include China who still control Tibet (where, perhaps, the meekest, nicest, people live), Burma, where freedom is control by the millitary government, and all the Muslim countries, where they execute people because they want to exercise their freedom of belief... It's a sad world we live in. But I feel that I owe those oppressed people a visit to see the condition they live in, and sympathise with them.

17. Posted by ravine90 (Budding Member 9 posts) 10y

Quoting iloveflyin

My hope is one of these days, when those greedy old leaders die and go to hell, the younger leaders realize that communism is bad for for the country, they change it.

That's a wishful thinking. The problem is the communist kids are having such a great life now from the corrupt money their parents are feeding them with. So, when they "grow up" they would do their best to continue the "tradition" and maintain their luxurious lifestylew while continue the oppression policy against the poor. But your optimism is good to have. I ran into several Vietnamese travellers while in Italy last month and learned that none were "ordiniary" citizens (they were either party members or closely related).

By the way, I never used the word "boycott". I merely suggested that it was likely that most money from tourism falls in the pocket of the communists - not the poor. Just like oil-rich nations in Africa, where the people benefit very little - if any, the people of Vietnam may not enjoy the benefit from tourism to the extent they should be. I was hoping to raise some awareness in this issue. And it looks like some of TPers have good suggestion regarding how to support the ordiniary people with their "conscious spending". On the other hand, we also get some TPers who dwell on the small points such as exactly how much an average hotel would cost, while missing the bigger point. I'm not sure if they simply wanted to show off how intimate they are with the price list or simply missed the entire point. In either case, it's been entertaining.

Quoting Peter

Replace 'VN' above with 'Australia' and unfortunately it wouldn't sound a bit strange

I think you fail to see the difference between VN and Australia. You're a Dutch living in Australia, enjoying the freedom and democracy in Australia. And you are comparing Australia with a communist state? I am not saying the Australian government is perfect. But hey, it ain't a communist government! Perhaps Peter should move to VN?

18. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 10y

Quoting ravine90

By the way, I never used the word "boycott". I merely suggested that it was likely that most money from tourism falls in the pocket of the communists - not the poor.

You didn't use the word boycott. But you described one.

Quoting ravine90

Quoting Peter

Replace 'VN' above with 'Australia' and unfortunately it wouldn't sound a bit strange

I think you fail to see the difference between VN and Australia. You're a Dutch living in Australia, enjoying the freedom and democracy in Australia. And you are comparing Australia with a communist state? I am not saying the Australian government is perfect. But hey, it ain't a communist government! Perhaps Peter should move to VN?

I'm not sure why it matters that I am a Dutch person who moved to Australia? I have lived here for almost 10 years now - the longest I've lived anywhere! I follow politics closely and find the current direction taken extremely disturbing. So far nothing in your description of Vietnamese politics has sounded very different at all to the kind of preference for the wealthy we see here currently. We need to fix our own problems before getting high and mighty about others'

For instance, it seems one of your main points is this:

I truly hate the idea that travel to a foreign country is an exclusive right and privilege reserved only to the rich.

Do you think Australia's immigration policy allows people from poor countries easy access? The Working Holiday Visa stipulates how 'rich' you have to be to be let into the country. And retiring in Australia is easiest achieved by buying your way in. I think you should understand that travelling in Australia is a lot harder for the world's poor than travelling in Vietnam.

19. Posted by wotthefiqh (Inactive 1447 posts) 10y

This post has been a rrrrrriveting read to say the least.
I visited Tito's Yugoslavia in 1971, Soviet Russia in 1984, warlord China in 1994 (and still is in 2006), El Jefe's Cuba last year and the sweetnesss and light of the military dictatorship in Myanmar just last week, so the intellectual incontinence in this post is an absolute crackup.

Brendan, there has been a 'true' communist society. It was the Khymer Rouge in Cambodia, and they were the natural and final evolution of communism.
Nazism and the Holocaust was the natural and final evolution of fascism.
The Taliban, and the Saudi Wahhabists, are the natural and final evolution of medieval Islam. Even Mullah Omar liked comforts not given to his people (AK47 bullets for the poor), and the Saudi princes drink and whore their way through the bars and casinos of Europe, the USA and Asia.

ravine90, which country or continent meets your exacting standards? Give the Antartic the bodyswerve, as the Emperor penguins oppress the baron, count and duke penguins something rotten!!!

trailbound, surely daklak2 has the right to express his opinion on this post, and any so-called 'personal and angry' response seems to be more clearly attached to ravine90, brendan and yourself rather than daklak2.
But then again, us capitalist democrats have the moral, political and especially the financial ability to throw our opinions around without question.

Travelling to other countries is not some so-called 'right and privilege' of the rich. In modern terms, it simply means that the most affluent (youse and me) can afford it as the other 80%+ poor bastards in this world can't. It's simple economics.
My father travelled to Egypt and India with the Royal Air Force between 1942 and 1946, and he sure as hell wasn't rich, privileged or very happy about being shot at.

Australia especially wants backpackers to have sufficient funds to keep them during their visit to Australia, not that it makes much difference to the Brits. The overwhelming majority of illegal stayers are Brits who can't countenance returning to that miserable cold wet island.
As for the poor coming to Oz, we have enough of our own.

As the good Lord said 'Let he who casts the first stone make bloody sure it incapacitates the intended victim'.
Book of Abominations, Hells Angel Chapter 2, verse 1.

Anthony

P.S. Will be posting some pics to my profile of the most amazing sights of Myanmar in the next few weeks.
Avoid them in case reality meets your Hobbit like view of humanity and the world as it is and probably always will be.

20. Posted by ravine90 (Budding Member 9 posts) 10y

-snip-

That's my opinion and I am "entitled" to this opinion. I am delighted - not "anrgy" - as it been quite entertaining to see what kind of people frequent this forum. -snip-

[ Edit: Keep it nice please. ]