Responding to trailbound above I would point out that ravine90 was discussing room prices - the rate you quoted was for the top end suite - with three rooms.
trailbound should know that I also carry the same passport as she does and that the name in my passport is Jay Houston.
I live in VietNam rather than visiting for a few weeks and becoming an instant expert on VietNam, Rachel M (hiding?), I also live within the Vietnamese community, in Buon Me Thuot (DakLak), as opposed to an isolated ex-pat enclave.
As a guest in VietNam my politics are neutral, however this does not mean I support Communists. Our provincial government recently adopted a new fiscal plan that is based on capitalist principles which includes encouraging commercial investment.
Communist principles are well defined in Russia where the philosophy was developed. Under any measure the majority of the governments of VietNam, provincial or central, have abandoned Communism in most aspects of life and at this time the country is questioning the population and seeking guidance on its future political direction.
Another action that is not Communist.
Do you think the governement is the only ones who benefit from you going. don't you think that by going YOU could help a little. Get off your ass, go there, and do what you can to help. Unless of course you are giving away all your money to charity, in which case, I applaud you.
vietnam is a wonderful and special place. the people are great and really friendly. the tourist dollar does in some way like all countries go towards the government, but doing tours through the local people can change all of that. for example i went on a journey with a vietnamese guy for 6 days on the back of his motorbike for $250. i stayed in places where there were no foreigners and ate where the locals ate, and paid local prices.
along the way he gave money to diffrent people that we visited. for example we visited a black smith and a coffee plantation, they all work together to help each other. so the morale is dont be deterred by this communism idea. a lot of the vietnamese still support the communist way of life. do your activities through the locals and not the cafes. arrive in the location and you will always find an eager village person willing to show you there land at an affordable rate.
accomodation is very good value. its a dollar or too more expensive than thailand but the quality is a lot better. average 45 -75 Thousand VND a night $3.5 -5 for a decent room. in cities like saigon and hanoi prices will rise but its great value either way.
if you want to do the motorbike experience then check out the 'Easy Riders' there is an article about them in the Lonley planet vietnam. They are based in Da Lat, they are basically just guys who have big motorbikes and local knowledge and they have there own made up travel agenda which is really mind blowing once you set off!
Why bother with Myanmar, Laos, China, America.....
Sure, please help keep this nice place.
Thank you very much.
I’ve followed this thread and see that it is becoming much of a controversy.
Firstly, i want to have a talk with Ravine90, who started this thread. Initially u seem to be very aggressive in language you use, which may vex such Vietnamese like me. However, looking from your point of view, i understand why you make such arguments. No need to say more about acommodation costs as other TPers have informed super-detailed. i want to talk with you about what you continually mention- the managing and governing method in Vietnam. It is indisputable that communist is somewhat not supported, or even protested, by many global citizens. You guys make look into Vietnam from capitalist’s perspective and confirm: oh, jerk, communist is trifling, in equality, corruption, unemployment... But why don’t you think that is the common problems of any countries today? Anyway, Ravine90, you are write to say that many people in Vietnam still suffer from poverty while daughter and sons of communist partier travel to Italy! I have no comment. But there is one thing you need to know. Our government is trying, as hard as possible to adopt your capital governing methods. Don’t you butttress it? We want our people to get rich more than any countries in the world. The progress, undeniably takes much time, esp we must suffer from the 2 wars costing us soo much money and people. There are so many problems to face now. You cannot question us why not helping people? How can we help our pp while our economy goes down?
You are a tourist, or a traveller, so you cannot be blamed for lack of knowledge about Vietnam with only a week staying. Then i can tell you and from now on you can tell your friends, that: even though Vietnam government may do as little for the poor as Australian, Canadian or whatever government in the world, we, Vietnamese people do a lot for each other. You can surf the web www.vnn.vn and see how we ahow sympathy and donate money for the poor sufferinf from Chanchu hurricane last week. You can turn on the tv at 7pm (if you are still in Vietnam) and admire the long list of benefactors, from 6-7 year-old children to 99 year- elders. Of course, our charity organization and some ministry help a lot to. The evidence is shown when 3000 houses were built last year for the poor along the countries. Coming here, i don’t know to list the long and trite report of our achivements as what you often see on newspapers. I just want to tell you that: Ravine, and anyone composed entry to this thread: “thank you for caring about the destiny of Vietnamese. We strongly feel grateful about your warm and friendly attitude. We are trying too, to do everything we can to attain equality, to provide the poor with clothes and house and food.
For the government, you can recognize many malfeasanse like the PMU18 stuff or other corruption. Vietnam is ranked the highest ratio of corruption. But everything has its two sides. Our party also contain good members who live a modest life like Uncle Ho and demand happiness for our people. We are entering WTO. If the government persist in their scheme to posess money for their own, they never come and negotiate with other countries for a permission. If the government wants avery property of the country belong to them and their family, they will never raise so many conference, enlisting help of other countries’s expert in education and medical service. Then you cannot always go stuubornly for a side without looking into the problem.
Anyway, as i have mentioned above, i feel really grateful as there are still many people like you, who truly care for the poor in Vietnam.
Secondly, about the matter of tourism in Vietnam. We endeavor to imitate Thailand, who successfully accelerate their economic growth based on tourism. You may see many people have become rich businessman for tourism. Esp in the south of Vietnam, there are as many private-owned companies as stars in the sky and the privatization process is accelerated in the North. Even our universities are going to be privatized now. But our aim is not for the elite like what you say. The eviden is that Vietnam was last year polled by the MSN the most popular destinations for backpackers. Not only the accommodation is cheap, but the food is unique and at an unbelievable low price too. Plus, peope who live in luxury may find a place where they can spend their money too. A hotel in Danang like Furama can cost these a lot, but serve their purpose, right? In short, travelling to Vietnam can catter to any needs and wants.
For the last word, i would like to say thanks, on behalf of Vietnam, to all the traveller who have come to experience the country, esp those who had a deep impression and nice remark favouring us.
Welcome all of you to Vietnam.
Yes, Vietnam, the hidden dream!
Thank you for taking the time to put your thoughts about VN on the forum. I admit I am not objective about VN as my GF is in HaNoi. I saw a tremendous change is just 3 years. VN is following the Chinese model of letting the people start businesses and become wealthy. I saw many more cars in 06 than I did in 03. Plenty of people had those big $6,000 scooters in HCMC, visual proof that many are making good money now. A travel agent I met in HaNoi, Phu, told me how communism works in VN. This is not the old soviet style communism of the top officials dictating to the rest how it will be. In VietNam, the masses send representives to their parliment and tell the leaders the direction the people want to go. It seems to work for them. One area that does need improvement is in a free press and freedom to disagree with their gov't. As in China, dissent is not tolerated very well.
VietNam is making rapid progress towards becoming the new Thailand for tourists, so do not wait much longer to visit. Prices will go up as they have in Thailand. I don't think VN is hidden anymore, but it is a gem to visit.
. It's too late from the last post, and I think my post might be read by nobody, but as a 100% Vietnamese I just can't keep silent .
I'm just so sad to read what ravine90 had said and a little bit angry, because I feel like he hates communist so he became to hate Vietnam too, and it's not fair, he hates some rich people and decides to ignore other "poor" ones, who were seems to be protected by him in his word
For someone who I don't remember the username, but said that she/he is Vietnamese by birth and had came to VN several times and saw that VN is very poor country. Well, that's right, my country is not rich as the country that u are living in now, no matter what that country is. But I'm really interested in if u ever seen how people in the central part of Vietnam fighting with typhoon, hurricane several time a year ? Did u see how everybody in every part of my VN helps each other after every tragedy ?
There's a lot I wanted to say, but it's may be worthless for some people who was " delighted" to hate a country.
Again, all I wanted to express here is I' m just so ,so , so sad
oh yeah...proud of being vietnamese, he he...
I thought the politic doesn't matter to the way we travel, does it? lol...anyways, they are just different opinions of people about Vietnam, we don't need to be so aggressive...lol...
My Grandpa died in the war, most of my family are member of communist party, but I am not, it is not necessary to be one of them. I don't like some facts that vietnamese are facing because the government lose its control sometimes. But all countries have the same trouble, just give Vietnam( and Vietnam tourism )alittle bit more time to catch - up.
I was amazed by the little political activity I saw in Vietnam. One does see it much more in Hanoi than the rest of the country, for sure. The people in Vietnam need tourists to raise their standard of living, and I believe we tourists can insure that our money stays in the country by avoiding luxury, foreign-owned accommodations and resorts. People drink a great deal of Tiger Beer (Singapore) in this country, and the Vietnamese beer is just as good - I say that we should support Vietnam by using their products, and not imports. From what I saw, Communism has changed for the better in Vietnam, but still far from perfect (this is not China!)
As an American, I was at times embarrassed to be a Yank. The Vietnamese are such a gentle people, so gracious, and so willing to help. Some of the things we did to Vietnam during the American War are very hard to forgive, but at no time did I see hatred for me. It was truly hard to believe that we had been at war with this wonderful place/these wonderful people! Governments are one thing, but we're talking human beings, and how will we ever understand a country by avoiding it?????
[ Edit: Edited on Apr 22, 2008, at 12:18 PM by Daawgon ]