Note: The author, who has travelled more than 50 countries during his 30 years on Earth, writes to Living Local from his desk, pointing out 3 REAL drawbacks that he believes commonly make tourists dissatisfied with their trips in Vietnam. The other real drawbacks can be found in the original post on Tuoi Tre News
1. FUNNY VISA FEE: The visa fee for foreigners coming to Vietnam changes like Stock market. It will go up and goes down depend on the weather or at least the person you talk to. It is your job to do research and find out which agency offers the best price.
2. TAXI SCAM: from the moment travellers arrived at the airport. However, it is the traveller fault to fall for these scams. All travel guide website tell travellers not to take the taxi from Airport taxi or anything else other than MaiLinh and Vinasun.
3. SAFETY is the most important factor in tourism. Generally, you will be safe in Vietnam. But beware of tourist spots, there are so many pickpockets waiting for naive tourists. Stay away from crowded places like market too.
Besides these 3 BIG DRAWBACKS, there are hundreds of other small drawbacks but travellers are generous enough to forgive such as: dirty places, boring trips, a tourist vision like 30 years ago, no ecotourism trips, pollution…
Despite all of the drawbacks, many brave travellers love the chaos in Vietnam. One particular traveller said:
I travelled north to south, west to east in motorbikes. No plans, no booking, but with time to spare. I had several mechanical problems and I always got help in my way. Always a friendly smile, people inviting me to eat and drink. I got drunk so many times because I was not able to refuse the drinking. I ate so many crazy food because I was not able to refuse. And I loved. If you think Vietnam is just Hanoi or Saigon its your fault if you had a bad experience. In any big city in the world there are scams, overpriced shit, etc. But Vietnam is much more than that. Middle of Ho Chi Minh trail and north of Vietnam is totally untouched, Sapa is an exception. Stop to cry and try to get the best of experience. I travelled for a while and in my opinion the Vietnamese ppl is the most friendly and welcoming in the world. Try go to Paris, New York or even Bangkok and see if ppl will invite you to their houses. Invite you to join dinners. I was invited for 2 weddings just because I was passing by. In other countries they will call the police if you come to close to a wedding without invitation. Vietnam is great!
Vietnam is a beautiful country. And like every other beautiful girl, it takes travellers courage to discover its hidden beauty. Once you get it, you will love it.