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British tourist addresses rumors about Vietnamese tourism

Friday, April 26, 2024, 15:01 GMT+7
British tourist addresses rumors about Vietnamese tourism
Calum Dalton appreciated Vietnam’s beautiful landscapes ad friendly people. Photo courtesy of Calum Dalton

A British tourist recently addressed several rumors about the state of Vietnam's tourism in a social media post, saying he "can't wait to return to see more of it" and everyone should just "ignore the moaners."

Through a post on a Vietnam tourism forum, Calum Dalton discussed scams, pushy sellers, traffic, noise, unfriendly people, and littering in the Southeast Asian country.

'Ignore the moaners'

Dalton, 34, said that he and his partner did not encounter any scams at all, probably because they booked all taxis through Grab and airport transfers through Booking.com.

“We had done our research regarding common scams such as cyclo drivers, people offering free coconuts, and photographs, but cyclo drivers accepted a ‘no thanks’ and didn't [sic] encounter the other two things at all,” he said in the post.

“When walking down the Beer Street in Hanoi and through the Old Town in Hoi An, you will be stopped multiple times, but again a polite no thanks’ and you were left alone.

“[I] didn't find [Vietnam] anywhere near as pushy as some other countries."

Dalton, originally from Newcastle, also addressed traffic noise in Vietnam, saying that it was not as bad as he was expecting.

Specifically, in Ho Chi Minh City, crossing the roads was fairly straightforward and drivers seemed considerate toward pedestrians.

In Hoi An, the main issue was cyclos going through the busy streets in the Ancient Town, but it was not really a big deal, according to Dalton.

The most difficult day for Dalton during his trip was his first day in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, but he and his partner quickly got used to crossing the roads and the scooters were good at anticipating and avoiding pedestrians.

“There is noise from scooters wherever you go in Vietnam, but I didn't find it overwhelming (and I'm easily irritated by noise). I just found it to be part of its charm,” he wrote.

Dalton also discussed “unfriendly people” in Vietnam.

“I don't know where this rumor came from, but we found 99 percent of Vietnamese people to be really welcoming and friendly,” he said, adding that they “would go out of their way to help us and were appreciative and proud to show us their country.”

The last topic Dalton covered was litter.

According to him, Vietnam's litter issues predominantly occur in rural towns and villages.

He specifically recalled watching shopkeepers regularly clean their storefronts.

“I didn't at any point think it was worse than other countries,” he noted.

“Ignore the moaners. It's an amazing country and I can't wait to return to see more of it."

Calum Dalton (front) and his husband wear nón lá (Vietnamese conical hats) on a boat trip in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Photo: Supplied

Calum Dalton (front) and his husband wear 'nón lá' (Vietnamese conical hats) on a boat trip in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Photo courtesy of Calum Dalton

'I had wanted to visit Vietnam for a long time'

Dalton and his husband were in Vietnam from March 14 to 30. It was their first visit to the Southeast Asian country, he told Tuoi Tre News via email.

“I had wanted to visit Vietnam for a long time!” he said.

Before the trip, besides watching YouTube videos about Vietnam and researching what to do in each city, Dalton joined several Vietnam travel groups on Facebook to learn more about the nation.

“I had seen some negative posts from people regarding things such as scams, cleanliness, litter, food hygiene, traffic and noise,” he said.

“I would always want to visit a place myself to make up my own mind, instead of basing my opinion on what I had read online.

“I also read many positive reviews from people who loved their time in Vietnam.

“After our trip, I wanted to post in the travel group to let people know my personal experience, which was amazing, so that people who were planning a visit in the future would not be put off by any negative things they had read, which in my opinion were completely unjustified and exaggerated.”

In addition to discussing common rumors about Vietnam, Dalton also shared his two-week itinerary and specific recommendations of places to eat, where to stay, and what to do.

“A lot of people from all over the world concur that they would recommend visiting Vietnam,” Dalton said.

“There were, however, a couple of negative comments from people who did not have the same experience, or largely enjoyed their visit but felt that certain elements, traffic and litter mainly, could be improved on.”

The peaceful Vietnamese countryside. Photo by courtesy of Calum Dalton

The peaceful Vietnamese countryside. Photo courtesy of Calum Dalton

The three reasons why Dalton loves Vietnam

Dalton also shared his three favorite things about Vietnam.

“First, I'd have to say the people,” he said.

“We found them so welcoming and helpful. They seemed proud of where they were from and keen to show the country at its best to visitors. There seemed to be a genuine warmth towards tourists, and we were also impressed by the local people's resilience and hard-working nature.”

Second, the scenery across the country was stunning. Vietnam is a naturally beautiful country and Dalton and his husband particularly enjoyed Bai Tu Long Bay and the Ninh Binh region.

Finally, Dalton appreciated the country’s diversity and variation.

“We visited Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Ninh Binh, Hanoi, and Bai Tu Long Bay. Each place was very different from the others we visited in terms of culture, architecture, food and things to do and see,” Dalton said.

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Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News

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