You’re Not in Vietnam Anymore When…

You’re Not in Vietnam Anymore When…

Taking a two hour flight from Hanoi, Vietnam to Bangkok, Thailand is not just a change in place, but a change in worlds.  I realize the differences were exceptionally stark because we were coming from Northern Vietnam versus Ho Chi Minh City, but here are some of the key things that differentiate the countries.

1.  There is a massive downgrade in hotel room quality that comes with a price increase.

Is this it? I had gotten used to a big room with a flat screen TV, wireless internet, desk, and shower...for $12.

2.  Are those people stopping at a stoplight?  That’s odd, does that mean we should use a crosswalk?  Reprogramming from Vietnamese streets has been difficult.

3.  You can walk on the sidewalks…and not fear getting hit by someone driving on the sidewalk.

Dude, you're the one driving on the sidewalk. Don't honk at me for trying to walk on it.

4.  What time is it?  10AM?  How did we sleep in so late?  No jackhammers.  Where is someone jackhammering at 7AM in Bangkok when you need it?

5.  Cars.  People drive cars, in lanes, albeit on the wrong side of the road.

6.  If people bump into you, they apologize instead of stiff-arming you out of their way.

7.  Posted prices…which are what you actually pay!

8.  If you happened to stay out way too late and drank way too much, you can get a proper hangover Sausage Egg McMuffin to start your day.  Purely hypothetical.

9.  People now say, “you look like Thailand” instead of insisting that I am Vietnamese, but didn’t know it.  Still though, everyone believes I’m from California.

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Comments

» Donna :
Feb 8, 2011

Well, now reality hits, eh? It will be interesting to hear your accounts of how you regroup for a more expensive location. But I think the challenge of finding inexpensive stuff to do, eat and stay is part of the fun of traveling. But you may find yourself thinking twice before spending, especially if you can’t bargain anymore. Looking forward to hearing about a new country. I’m learning so much … in fact, just reading on TripAdvisor (I think) about beach evaluations and they mentioned Nha Trang as not rating very high and Vietnam had responded that they needed to re-evaluate their tourism and environmental policies. Or something like that … shit, I have senior moments all the time you know. Anyway, the point was that I actually knew where they were talking about! Amazing! See? Even old dogs can learn new tricks!! Keep the goodies coming … love my morning “newspaper!” Donna

thinkCHUA Reply:

We haven’t changed that much in this new, more expensive, place…we are just spending more. The huge difference is the cost of beer and museum admission. You get one half liter beer here for $3-4 versus the pennies in Vietnam.

» dad :
Feb 9, 2011

look forward to seeing your reaction and photos from the royal palace…..am pretty sure that it was in bankok, where we toured the american “founder” of the silk industries house, that was cool and we had a decadent desert at same locale in expensive restaurant, all we could afford……one of the specialties i remember as well were toasted edamamie beans…..terry will tell you, but there was a fancy hotel where we had 1 beer, again, all we could afford, right on the river and watched the world go by…..remember to stand and salute the king when the time calls or risk being thrown in the “whousecow” …..really cold here today, like 25 below windchill….ouch…..be safe……don’t protest…..love…….bka

LOCAVORista Reply:

Dad, we are headed to the royal palace today and look forward to seeing the Jim Thompson house as well, it’s definitely on our list. We have been thinking of you and Nick alot while in Thailand and if you have any other suggestions let us know.

» Kate C :
Feb 9, 2011

Don’t you love the jackhammers? It’s the SE Asia wake up call. Don’t worry, they’ll be back before you start to miss them. Laos in particular is fond of them. Eee, I love seeing you in Bangkok! It makes me so excited to get back there!

thinkCHUA Reply:

I think we have enough splitting headaches in the mornings in Bangkok that the lack of jackhammers is welcome.

» Kate C :
Feb 9, 2011

I hope we can run into you guys. I just checked your itinerary guesstimate and we’ll be around Cambodia and South Thailand when you are/might be :-)

thinkCHUA Reply:

Let us know as you head this direction. We’ll be around here for the next 8-10 weeks.

thinkCHUA Reply:

We are thinking about renting motorcycles in cambodia and riding cross country if you are interested.

» Cindy :
Feb 10, 2011

Love It…………..

» Mom A :
Feb 10, 2011

When we went from Bangkok to Siem Riep in Cambodia in 2008 the roads were NOT paved from the Thai border to about 1/2 hour from Siem Riep. Also, different border staff had different understandings of the rules about letting you through or about taking lunch in the middle of helping someone through! On the road, there had been rain and the ruts were incredible. A road grater, where they were trying to build a bridge to reinforce the road over a small stream was deeply stuck. Speakers on the ceiling of the bus fell on people’s heads but the air conditioner kept working. We were really tired after that 6 hour stretch that no amusement park could ever get someone to pay for to ride! Just recently read somewhere that the road is paved. Double check that and see what they actually mean by that before you think about taking a motorcycle or anything you have to drive yourself!

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About the Author

thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.

About the Author
thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.
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