In Asia we are go for exotic (except sea rest - this is a different story). Of course, there are enthusiastic people who want to look at what they already know in absentia, but, in the case of Asian countries, there are relatively few such. Before the trip, I honestly tried to overpower the book on the history of Vietnam, but I could not finished it ... And from what I read, there was nothing left in his memory except the main Vietnam surname, Nguyen. :) All the same very much it is far and unfamiliar - in all senses.
Oddly enough, the differences are best illustrated by images of mythical creatures.
Who is it? :-0
And who is this?:-0
I will not expand on the fact that Vietnam is now a socialist country, because I do not know what it is expressed. I saw the Pioneers, but no more.
I will not say how it is now, but earlier in the schools children learned Russian language. Girl in a travel agency told me about it, she is trying to insert Russian words into conversation. :)
The people of Vietnam are very friendly and spontaneous. Of course, in the places of a large congestion of tourists, there are many different kinds of swindlers, but this phenomenon is international.
However, about the exotic.
Exotics began at the airport. The overwhelming majority of passengers (Vietnamese, of course) registered an unimaginable number of huge baggage bags. As a result, after arriving at the airport as usual, 2 hours before departure, in an hour and a half I did not reach the baggage check-in counter. It took the help of airport workers to get on the plane. On the return plane, the passengers did not have less bales, but there are not so many flights (and people) there.
The flight passes over areas where few people have been - interesting to see. Most of all I was amazed by the great Asian rivers, which are even from a height of 10 km. look very wide, and Pakistan - a country consisting of half of the desert, half of the mountains.
After the passengers in the plane there were huge piles of garbage ... The people of Vietnam do not have the habit of throwing garbage into the urns. And the urns in Vietnam need to be looked for, they are only available near museums and other cultural institutions. Moreover, the Vietnamese and household waste are thrown, as it seems at first, anywhere. At the same time, do not say that the streets were littered with rubbish - up to sterile cleanliness is far away, but not so bad. In fact, there is a certain order in this - they do not throw it completely anywhere, but on the side of the road, where often special people collect garbage.
The main shock for a man who first came to South-East Asia is road traffic. There are few cars, the main participants of the movement are scooters of different ages and sizes. In the city it is often a continuous stream, and all are constantly signaling and do not care about compliance with the rules. For example, a person traveling in the right row of a wide five-lane road suddenly remembers what he needs back and immediately, at right angles, crosses the entire carriageway. In this case, I have never seen any accidents, probably because the speed of such a flow is very small and the drivers have time to react to the obstacles encountered.
Therefore, crossing of the road, in fact, is not such a dangerous enterprise, as it may seem. Since there are no rules, even pedestrians cross the street anywhere. It is only necessary to slowly go with the same speed, then the approaching transport will gently round you or slow down. The main thing is not to jerk, otherwise drivers will not be able to understand where you will be in the next moment. At traffic junctions, however, you can go fearlessly - all traffic stops. Well, almost everything. :) If there are no traffic lights nearby, and you are not sure in yourself, there is an option to wait, when some Vietnamese is going to cross the road and keep close to him.
By the way, how a tourist crosses the road, it is possible how long he has arrived. For example, unregulated pedestrian crossings in Vietnam, there are only to be "like everyone else". Nobody stops at them. And recently arrived tourists long stand and wait, when they will miss.
As a taxi in Vietnam, all the same motor scooters are used, although there are a lot of normal cars. I did not go on motor scooters, because when I needed to get to a rather remote shopping center, it turned out that they wanted for this amount, comparable to the cost of a trip on a normal taxi (with incomparable comfort, of course). So I preferred the car. This, in principle, is also inexpensive, although there is a nuance. Taxi drivers must include a counter and, those two times when I drove, they did it. But the meter can work in two modes - by kilometers or by time. Naturally, the taxi driver includes the regime that is currently more profitable for him. In principle, when planting, you can discuss this point in advance, if, of course, you will be able to understand each other at all. :)
By the way, one of the taxi drivers tried to guess where I came from. The first option was Japan. :) I, of course, read that all white people for Asians on one face, but what for the Vietnamese and the Japanese look like Europeans, it was news for me . :)
The main Vietnamese soup - pho, is a rich soup with rice noodles, beef (pho-bo) or chicken (pho-ga) and herbs-spices. Delicious.
In general, rice noodles are almost always used. Even in supermarkets there are shelves with just noodles, and there are with flour noodles. :) Well, rice itself, of course - the main side dish.
The dishes are seasoned, most often with fish sauce - some kind of smelly substance of different density. If you do not abuse, it is completely edible.
Different dried delicacies are generously covered with spices, even if it's not seafood or meat, but fruits and berries.
Vietnamese alcohol is disgusting. In Vietnam, wine is made, but it does not look like wine at all, even the most expensive (and it's really expensive, but for Vietnam it's unreal expensive). Rum is worse than the worst ever. Beer like a water. Still, naturally, they sell tinctures on various evil spirits, supposedly curative, but I did not even to try. Not out of disgust, but simply because it's understandable - this is the usual divorce of tourists.
Tinctures on reptiles
Themselves of the Vietnamese eat from street trays, where they cook all the same Fo soup and noodles with different additives. They are immediately at home - those on low chairs, and who simply on the curb or stair.
There are also places that are similar to real cafes and even restaurants, but there food is much more expensive and it is calculated mainly for tourists.
A huge variety of fruits. Of those that we do not sell, I most liked the jackfruit. The fruit itself is huge - the weight can reach several tens of kilograms, but of course it is not sold entirely, only the sweet yellow flesh. I also tried the famous durian. Stinks really strongly, but, it seems to me, it is strong, but not disgusting. The taste is pleasant enough.
Of course, in Vietnam everything is much cheaper. But to buy something from clothes is unlikely to work out - too different type of figure. It's not the size - just the proportions are different.
About the Vietnamese language you do not have much to say - it's impossible to master at least a couple of words. The main meaning is in the different keys of the vowels, and this is even hard to hear, not to mention the reproduction. For example, writing words pho (the same soup - phở) and pho (street) - differs only by apostrophes over the vowel, and pronunciation, respectively, only by tonality. Moreover, the same word can mean another dozen concepts, depending on the pronunciation.
Several excursions are offered from Hanoi. Prices are the same everywhere - you can safely apply to the first agency that comes across. I chose the trip to Mai Chau.
It is a picturesque valley, in which is located the so-called. ethnic village. It is not the Vietnamese who live in it, but some kind of Thai tribe, whose way of life has not changed much in the last few centuries. Well, perhaps, it was possible to make money on tourists :) selling homespun paintings and all sorts of souvenirs.
Mai Chau. Traditional house
Tourists carry a lot, some even stay to spend the night and wander around the village, but, strangely, this has not turned into a tourist attraction. People are engaged in their own affairs and, it seems, do not pay attention to strangers (except, of course, those who directly serve tourists).
To go about three hours, so that the excursion for the whole day. But the road is also interesting - there is an opportunity to look at rustic Vietnam.
What to bring to home from Vietnam. Souvenirs each will choose to your liking, and I want to say that you can buy in Vietnam a quality and cheap.
Firstly, fruit. Quality and prices are not comparable to what they sell from us, not to mention the fact that they are here, such as they have never seen at home. It is recommended to try everything and choose the ones you like. Some you can buy immature, so that they are less scraped and ripe already at home (for example, mangoes are exactly possible). Transport me more conveniently in a suitcase, in plastic boxes. You do not need carts, you can find them in any supermarket. In general, fruits are allowed to be taken into the airplane as hand luggage, they even sell special baskets, but this is fraught with attracting undesirable attention at the border. Durian is forbidden to carry in any luggage - not because it is so valuable, but because of the smell.
Coffee and tea. Local coffee is for an amateur - someone likes it, some do not. But tea is excellent and cheap, but only green. Black is rare, and the quality is so-so.
Transportation in Vietnam.
Urban public transport - buses. Cheap and quite comfortable. There are even air conditioners. Information about which bus is needed, it is better to get in advance. On the spot to understand the unreal.
Intercity buses, of course, are also available, but it makes sense to use them only for short distances. The roads are bad and a long trip will take a lot of time. For example, to get from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh to the center of Vietnam (about 700 km.) - it's not less than 15-16 hours. Therefore, on such routes, so-called slip-basses are used, in which you can lie down, which is understandably more convenient, but does not shorten the trip time.
Easier to fly by plane. Prices for domestic flights are very affordable. The flight on the above-mentioned route will take just over an hour with the cost of just two times higher than the cost of the bus.
Hotels in Vietnam.
Accommodation is mostly cheap. It is clear that in Vietnam you can find a room for $500 per night (though not everywhere :), but, in general, a hotel for $20-30 corresponds to a European one for 50-70 euro. The main problem of Vietnamese hotels - disgusting sound insulation, with both external and internal. I met windows with huge slots - what kind of soundproofing is there? Therefore, it is better to live on somewhere far away, on a quiet street, and hope for the absence of neighbors.