Tourism worker explains why foreign travelers find Vietnam trips disappointing, Tuoi Tre News, 5 January 2016.

To view the original and unedited article, click here.

Editor’s note: Lani Nguyen, who has traversed 20 countries during her eight years of working in Vietnam’s tourism industry, writes to Tuoi Tre News from Italy, pointing out three drawbacks that she believes commonly make tourists dissatisfied with their trips in Vietnam.

Vietnamese tourism is facing a difficult time at the moment.

The main reason that many people have mentioned is that stealing and scamming destroy experiences of tourists in Vietnam. This is truly a big issue and Vietnam is trying to work on this, albeit quite slowly…

While there are many factors that can influence the satisfaction level a traveler has about a certain destination, they are mainly categorized into two groups, namely expectation and experience.

These factors give tourists a 50 percent chance of being responsible for their own experience at the destinations…

Firstly, many tourists have unrealistic expectations and imagination of Vietnam.

A common unrealistic imagination is about the rate of development and changes in Vietnam. Some tourists are actually shocked to see skyscrapers and the rapid pace of life in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, instead of a “little Paris” or the “Pearl of the Orient,” ways these two cities were referred to by the French colonialists many years ago…

The reality shows that tourists with unrealistic expectations tend to be disappointed, while those with realistic ones are happier with their journeys.

Secondly, many tourists whom I have met and talked to admitted that they have no plans before their trips to Vietnam.

…These tourists clearly have less decision-making capability due to little preparation and their experience then depends on pure luck.

When I travel within Vietnam, I always spend time searching for the right hostel or homestay service, and book it in advance after taking as much consideration as I want.

This practice always works. I can stay in the place I like and am never followed or convinced to spend money on something that I am not aware of.

I also do this when I travel to other countries and when you are sure about things, bad people have much less hope to cheat you…

Thirdly, many tourists do not have enough time to see the real beauty of Vietnam.

When working for a famous tour operator in Ho Chi Minh City, I received many requests from tourists who want to visit Vietnam within a week and want to visit Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Sa Pa, Hue, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City, and probably also the Mekong Delta.

With such requests, many tourists end up rushing from one highlighted destination to another. During such trips, they will only meet other tourists with similar itineraries, rather than getting to know and understand local people and culture in these places…

While he really enjoyed the trail with its primitive landscapes, it is the Vietnamese people he met on the way that made up the most beautiful impression of Vietnam in him…

As a travel blogger has put it, “Vietnam is a mirror,” I very much agree with such a remark.

Vietnam is where you receive what you give. If you give a smile, you will receive a smile in return…

In countries like Vietnam, well preparation beforehand and traveling with open minds do make lots of differences.

 

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