Sidewalk driving, garbage among the biggest nuisances in Vietnam

Created 26 November 2021
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What are the biggest nuisances of living in Vietnam? VnExpress International readers share some of the nuances that have been bugging them for a long time.
Sidewalk driving, garbage among the biggest nuisances in Vietnam

"Ninja lead and the general apathy about anything going on around. Basic common sense isn’t a thing. Respect and privacy are not a thing. Lying and excuses being accepted without challenge."
MC Byers

"Stealing people's dogs, cats and selling them to the abattoir and the government seems doesn’t care about that. Those thieves should be chastised!"
Nhi Le

"For me, the biggest nuisances would be "sidewalk driving". Can not count how many times I was honked out to move out of the way for motorbikes while walking on the sidewalk. A nuisance but an adventure all in itself! I know I miss Vietnam, and would gladly put up with it again to return!!"
Clevie D Belyeu Jr.

"Noise, it's a real Asian problem, lack of concern for others' problem. Two prices, one for local one for foreigners. Crazy dangerous drivers. The upside, some of the nicest people I've ever met, the climate and some of the most beautiful women I've ever met."
Andy Oshea

"Truck horns! They honestly reduce the quality of life living in the city!!! Also the rudeness of people at shops jumping queues !!!!"
Ally Daubhill

"The one thing, and it isn't based on city size or other factors, is inability to even see how what you do affects others. Throwing garbage around, noise until all hours of the morning, contaminating water sources, honking aimlessly when not needed, operating vehicles recklessly, spitting and urinating in public. I'm not suggesting life should be perfect, but be aware what you're doing is affecting the farmers in the Mekong, the air you breath and other irritants in everyday life."
Michael David Kemp

"Bikes parked on the pedestrian sidewalks!!!! It forces me to walk on the road where bikes and cars are racing by. I feel unsafe walking around Hanoi and it gets far worse if I am with my kids."
Jasmine JungHyun Ryu

"Biggest nuance is an oxymoron. Nuances are subtle, and so by definition they are not big. That's the whole point. You don't really notice the nuances unless you pay particular attention. Some interesting subtle things I have noticed are examples of a duality among Vietnamese people.

1. Somehow Vietnamese people are simultaneously extremely caring and extremely selfish at the same time.

2. Safety. They're extremely safety-conscious with minor things like how close a cup is to the edge of a table or how dangerous a table corner can be for a kids head, while at the same time not caring about wearing a seatbelt or a helmet while driving.

Other things I find are the culture of not losing face. E.g if asked for directions, instead of saying they don't know the way to some, many people give fake directions.

Also, more personally, I have found that a little Vietnamese goes a long way. My Vietnamese isn't great but I get by pretty well. People who don't speak the language generally stay pretty close to the expat areas, while those of us who learn Vietnamese are able to spread our wings a bit more and experience living here a bit more authentically. Plus, people seem so much warmer when they realize I can have a bit of a chat in Vietnamese.

Lastly, the bia hoi scene is a unique culture that I've grown really fond of. Looking to when we're allowed to go back there!"
Ed Brown

Source: VNE

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