Exploring Vietnam

     Vietnam is a place known to most Americans as the location of a lost war. This has led to a bitter attitude toward the country by our citizens, which is expected and even understandable to this day. I visited Ho Chi Minh city over Thanksgiving Break, which is the business hub of the country. Here are five great reasons why you should plan your next global vacation to Vietnam:

     First of all, it is extremely tourist friendly. In case you may be worried about acceptance as an American, or just entering a communist country in general, Vietnam is very open to tourists. They make a lot of money off tourism each year, especially during dry season (from November to May). You will not feel out of place; there are tons of European and Asian visitors walking the streets.

     There are beautiful countrysides and many tours that take you to local farms and villages. You’ll get to see beautiful landscapes and chill with local families. It’s an amazing way to really start to understand and respect a different culture.

     The people are extremely hospitable and friendly. Everyone I made contact with, English speaking or not, provided assistance or at least smiled.

     City life is vibrant and safe. If one of your fears is safety, the streets of downtown Ho Chi Minh are great. There are shops everywhere, great restaurants with food from all over the world, and really cool markets where the Vietnamese sell their products. There is also a lot of history like the President’s palace, an old post office, and some tunnels used in multiple wars.

     Motorbike taxi rides. This one sounds a little crazy, but let me explain. It’s not for everyone, but if you give it a chance, you will encounter some great experiences. The streets of the cities are very crowded, very, and almost everyone uses motorbikes because taxes on cars are over 100%. So, taking a ride on the back of a bike through those streets is an exhilarating thing that always earns the driver a tremendous amount of respect.

     There are many more things to discover for yourself about Vietnam. Americans need to join the rest of the world and see it for themselves.

Written by Mitchell Williams, Staff Writer

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