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Thread: Thailand comparison to Vietnam

  1. #1
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    Thailand comparison to Vietnam

    Flew over to Vietnam for a few days and cannot credit the changes.
    I was last in Saigon close to 20 years ago and Thailand was certainly much more advanced and the economy was better despite the asian crisis.
    Huge gap in the standard of living. Vietnam looked really backward in comparison.

    After a couple of days here, I cannot credit the difference. The place is far more organised than Thailand, the economy appears to be booming, the people look happy, most are well dressed, the streets are clean and the building sites I have seen are going full steam. This place appears to have it all together. Could it be another Singapore in the making?

    Thailand looks very much second rate compared to what I have seen.

    Have I got it right?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Something that I felt on my brief time there.. They were more 'rule following' than Thais in the social sense.. Still free market wheeler dealer pushing business etc.. But less doing anything they wanted whatever the rules were, less inconveniencing others by sticking a cart on the pavement so they could do a business, slightly more structured that way.. Sounds silly but how that creeps into even subtle aspects, people giving way properly at a roundabout, instead of the me first mad rush that slows everything to gridlock here.

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    LivinLOS
    you triggered a memory.
    20 years ago when we were here we were walking one afternoon around Lu Loi St and there were all these tables on the pavement with all sorts of trinkets, some for tourists but many for locals. All of a sudden there were a couple of shouts and all the tables were collapsed, the stuff thrown in bags & boxes and everybody and things gone in 30 seconds. It was like a wave hitting the street.
    Then a couple of green uniformed police walked around the corner.
    Clearly private business was officially banned.
    Apparently everything was confiscated if they were caught and could be gaol.
    At that stage there were also a lot of what looked like Army around with old battered and rusty SKS rifles especially at night. They were not friendly at all in contrast to the locals. It was explained by our interpreter that they were northerners and were here to garrison the town and control the southerners who were nicer people. (the government insisted we hire and go with our appointed interpreter but we used to sneak off)

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TLandHim View Post
    They were not friendly at all in contrast to the locals. It was explained by our interpreter that they were northerners and were here to garrison the town and control the southerners who were nicer people.
    I would agree with the north south friendliness thing..

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    Senior Member NeedHoliday's Avatar
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    Weird, it's been a couple of years since I was there (HCMC/Saigon), but I found it pretty comparable to Thailand - wouldn't have said they're ahead. Unless in a couple of years they've sorted themselves out!

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    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    I was with my wife and sometimes I find it hard to get a feel for a place because she had no real interest in anything but the motherland Thailand

    But I just couldn't get a feel for the place....in any of the cities
    There just didn't seem to be a personality of the people that stood out

    Like when in Tokyo I'd say the overall personality of the people was stylish, sophisticated and polite

    Thailand....playful and somewhat engaging

    Vietnam......I just couldn't feel anything. I can't recall any meaningful encouters

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    Senior Member nelsonone's Avatar
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    My perceptions (been to Viet 3 times in the last 15 years) are that BKK is still way ahead of HCMC in terms of an "international" city and infrastructure....and its still growing much faster towards that title than HCMC...however on a "liveable" scale I'd opt for HCMC (perhaps even Hanoi...I like it up there) over BKK....there are certainly parts of HCMC where you almost feel like you in a great european city sometime 20-30 years ago (especialy on those long boulevards that run down to the Quay near the hotel de Ville) and that relaxed "gentrification" is something BKK has lost...much for the worse IMO

    Policing and doing the right thing is taken way more seriously in Vietnam...and the Viets seem to keep each other way more in check than the Thais...it does seem way more "orderly" to the casual observer

    However I just don't get the same sense of interaction in general in HCMC as I do with BKK folk...Viets tend to look down when you pass them on the street...Thais tend to look and smile....the sense of sanook here cannot be over-estimated...one of the main reasons I live in this country
    obes and Evilbaz like this.

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    Senior Member billpay's Avatar
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    I most definitely got a feeling in Vietnam, especially in Danang, and it was a very, very good feeling. Everything was so wide open and clean....very uncluttered. There was never anyone pushing into your personal space, no on trying to sell you something kind of junk, no beggars. Yes, maybe not quite as friendly and engaging as the Thais, but I don't mind, I like my personal space. Anytime that I tried to engage in conversation, they were always very polite and friendly, no rudeness anywhere that I went.
    All things being equal (meaning business opportunities and such), if I had a choice, I may have chosen Vietnam instead of Phuket. But of course all things aren't equal.
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    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billpay View Post
    I most definitely got a feeling in Vietnam, especially in Danang, and it was a very, very good feeling. Everything was so wide open and clean....very uncluttered. There was never anyone pushing into your personal space, no on trying to sell you something kind of junk, no beggars. Yes, maybe not quite as friendly and engaging as the Thais, but I don't mind, I like my personal space. Anytime that I tried to engage in conversation, they were always very polite and friendly, no rudeness anywhere that I went.
    All things being equal (meaning business opportunities and such), if I had a choice, I may have chosen Vietnam instead of Phuket. But of course all things aren't equal.
    Hue was the worst place in all my travels with being hassled
    One night Ao didn't go out and it was just me and Jim
    Guys wouldn't leave us alone
    Literally every minute and step we were out someone was following us asking if we want girls/drugs/etc....

    One guy followed us for streets in his MB and would not leave no matter how much we said no. He even waited outside a restaurant we ate at for an hour
    It was incredibly frustrating and downright bizarre

  10. #10
    Senior Member Pablo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc26 View Post
    Hue was the worst place in all my travels with being hassled
    One night Ao didn't go out and it was just me and Jim
    Guys wouldn't leave us alone

    Literally every minute and step we were out someone was following us asking if we want girls/drugs/etc....

    One guy followed us for streets in his MB and would not leave no matter how much we said no. He even waited outside a restaurant we ate at for an hour
    It was incredibly frustrating and downright bizarre
    Was it anything like this......?





    Or, "me so horny"....



    Last edited by Pablo; 13th June 2015 at 02:11.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marc26 View Post
    Hue was the worst place in all my travels with being hassled
    One night Ao didn't go out and it was just me and Jim
    Guys wouldn't leave us alone
    Literally every minute and step we were out someone was following us asking if we want girls/drugs/etc....

    One guy followed us for streets in his MB and would not leave no matter how much we said no. He even waited outside a restaurant we ate at for an hour
    It was incredibly frustrating and downright bizarre
    the harassment in Hanoi was so bad when I went there in early 2000, it kinda put me off going back. Hotel staff constantly asking where I was going, people following me in the streets and so on. At least in Thailand saying "no thank you" once is enough.

  12. #12
    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimbag View Post
    the harassment in Hanoi was so bad when I went there in early 2000, it kinda put me off going back. Hotel staff constantly asking where I was going, people following me in the streets and so on. At least in Thailand saying "no thank you" once is enough.
    It was only in Hue this happened to me.....but also the only time we were out without my wife and stepson
    So maybe would have happend in other places if a single man also

  13. #13
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    It was in Hue we had an asshat of a guy bother us also..

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