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Vietnam

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Observations

Vietnam, at least the three cities we visited, gives the impression that it was at one time well designed and constructed, at least in its core districts, and then was allowed to decay. The sidewalks are treacherous to walk on, the buildings crumbling or rusting. Some part of this is probably attributable to the war (or wars) but the rest has to be the result of a people too poor to afford the luxury of maintaining their infrastructure.

Instead of the bicycles in China, the Vietnamese all have scooters (and few cars). Whole families pile on one scooter and the things they transport on them is nothing short of amazing. If they ever become affluent enough to switch to cars, the city will come to a standstill.
The traffic rules are simple, do not challenge a car driver - he has the right of way by default (he's bigger). For two wheel vehicles - walk across the road slowly and deliberately, the drivers will steer around you (hopefully). Do not run, it confuses the driver.

The food is good and cheap. Clothing is also cheap, including tailor-made. It is a very reasonable country to travel in.

There is not much in the way of sightseeing to see. Likely after all the fighting, there is not much left.

The people, at least through the mouths of the guides, are a tough lot (remember they used living bombs well before the Iraq War). They took away land from their neighbors to make the country, keep China at bay, and threw out the French (after a long colonial period) and Americans.

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Hanoi-1 | Hanoi-2 | Danang | Saigon | Observations

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