Modern Vietnam


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Join me in my presentation on modern Vietnam. I talk about my experiences from a trip I took in Spring of 2008.

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  • I didn't find a lot of information on the web about modern Vietnam as it relates to tourists who are interested in off the beaten path. Therefore, I made this presentation and spoke about it at my local YMCA. I got some rave reviews and it opened up a lot of eyes for those Americans who still think of Vietnam from the 60's and 70's.
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  • Great presentation for who are going to have a trip to Vietnam.
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Modern Vietnam

  1. 1. Modern Vietnam presented by Thomas Yung
  2. 2. Introductions
  3. 3. Places I’ve Lived Hong Kong Tanzania Kenya Nigeria Canada United States
  4. 4. Countries I’ve visited England Netherlands Mexico Dominican Republic Vietnam
  5. 5. Vietnam Population in 2008 census: 86,210,781
  6. 6. Overview Transportation Landscapes Money Language Food Telecommunications Flowers Fashion Parks Questions?
  7. 7. Vietnam Vacation 2008 Pictures by Thomas Yung
  8. 8. Getting around in Vietnam As you can see, the primary mode is by motorbike. Hardly anyone follows traffic rules. Roundabouts are the main intersections on the roads. Driving is crazy and dangerous especially on the highways where it is common for larger vehicles to drive towards you in your lane and miss a head on collision by mere meters all to pass slower traffic on their side of the road. It is even more dangerous to cross a street as a pedestrian. It is not like N America where the pedestrian has the right of way. If you get hit, it is the pedestrian's fault. It is an art form to navigate your way across the street as both a pedestrian and a motorist. Although many of the main cities have paved asphalt highways, suburbs and small towns still have bumpy gravel roads. They have tolls for their highways, but one wonders if any of the money collected actually goes into maintaining the roads. You don't see many tourists venture away from the touristy areas. If they did, they'd probably have a culture shock as it hardly resembles any of the facade of the niceties they have put in place for tourists.
  9. 9. Just had to get one!
  10. 10. Money 16,000 Dong = $1 USD You are a “millionaire” in Vietnam if you have $62.70 USD. However, don’t expect to buy a house with it. It is easy to spend 1 million dong (about $60) in one day as it averages 300,000 dong per meal feeding about 6 persons. Still better than USA but that gap is narrowing. A full tank of gas or petrol averages about 600,000 dong ($50) for a midsize to minivan type of vehicle. The average local's monthly salary is $200. It's no wonder the locals prefer scooters and mopeds.
  11. 11. Foods of Vietnam Farmers market
  12. 12. Young coconuts sold by street vendors. Fresh vegetable market.
  13. 13. Fruits sold at side roads (Rambutan, Durian, Jack Fruit, Mangoes)
  14. 14. Banh Hoi & Banh Cuon served with Nuoc Mam (Fish Sauce) The food vendors on the street sell dishes like banh beo (poached egg like dishes with shredded shrimp and green onion garnish), banh canh (noodle soup with fish patty slices), banh khot (similarly served in little dishes like banh beo except more like a rice flour wrap), pho (rice noodle soup), bun bo hue (spicy red broth beef noodle soup), banh tet (sticky rice with meat covered in banana leaf wrap), chao ca (fish broth congee), com ga (chicken flavored rice), and banh uout.
  15. 15. Pho Bo (Beef Noodle Soup). Banh Beo (Rice cake appetizer) Be aware that visiting these food vendor establishments will not be very appealing if you care a lot about sanitary conditions. It is quite common for locals to throw their garbage on the floors after eating and it is rare to find the food vendor that will clean the mess for the next round of customers. They even have a KFC in Saigon. The locals only eat KFC once in a while as it costs them three times as much as a local dish would. I was tempted but resisted the urge. I think I spotted Korean, Japanese, Indian, and Chinese restaurants along the path of my travels, but they were the exception, and not the norm.
  16. 16. Very popular in the New Year. Pickled vegetables in jars.
  17. 17. Please don’t eat me!
  18. 18. Flowers of Vietnam Oriental Poppies
  19. 19. Flower Park in Da Lat City
  20. 20. Bougainvillea
  21. 21. Flowers of Vietnam
  22. 22. Flowers of Vietnam
  23. 23. Flowers of Vietnam
  24. 24. Suoi Tien Park in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
  25. 25. Huge Buddha face on wall
  26. 26. Buddha Statue 80% of Vietnamese are Buddhist.
  27. 27. Crocodile Kingdom. Face carved in mountain.
  28. 28. Diverse Landscapes of Vietnam Sand dunes on coastal road Vietnam is like California with diverse landscapes ranging from sunny beaches and deserts in the south to the colder mountainous regions in the northern interior. In my trip, I visited Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon as the locals say) in the south, Nha Trang (beach resorts) in the central, and Da Lat (mountainous touristy area with French style charm) in the central interior. If you look closely at every street corner there is not a garbage can in sight. The only places you'll see one is in the rest room next to the toilet. The way it works is that people litter everywhere and during the wee night hours a brigade of street cleaners round up the trash that has been collecting during the day. This viscous cycle has continued for ages and it is an unfortunate part of everyday culture and customs.
  29. 29. Untouched sandy beach
  30. 30. Remote sand beaches...
  31. 31. Coastal fishing regions...
  32. 32. Rural regions (rice patties, rivers)...
  33. 33. Nha Trang city skyline
  34. 34. Beautiful waterfalls and lake in Da Lat
  35. 35. Houses in Vietnam
  36. 36. Language Influenced by French and Chinese At one point in Vietnam's history, they all used Chinese characters in their writing. After the French colonized the region, they left a lasting impression as all forms of writing now use the French alphabet and accented characters. There are many spoken words that have been derived from both Chinese and French languages. It is quite common for locals working in tourist areas to be fluent in English, French, and their local dialect.
  37. 37. Vietnamese alphabet
  38. 38. Useful Phrases • Where is _ ? = _ o dau? • Go = Di • Where are we/you going? = Di dau? • Excuse me. = Xin loi. • I don't speak Vietnamese. = Toi khong noi Tieng Viet. • I speak English. = Toi noi Tieng Anh. • I am a tourist. = Toi khach du lich. (D pronounced as a Y) • Thank you. = Cam on.
  39. 39. More Useful Phrases • I am thirsty. = Toi khat nuoc. • I am hungry. = Toi doi bung • That was delicious! = Ngon wah! • Check/bill please = Duon tien • How much? = Bao nhieu? • I am tired. = Toi mot. • Good night. = Ngoh ngon. • Good morning. = Chao bui san. • Taking a shower/bath = Di tam
  40. 40. Telecommunications Top two brands in Vietnam No such thing as contracts in Vietnam. You buy a phone and then buy a SIM card from any number of carriers (the most popular being Viettel and Mobifone) separately. I brought an unlocked phone with me and purchased a SIM card from Viettel with 100,000 dong worth of minutes for roughly $10 USD. I was able to use Internet via WAP cellular GPRS for only 3 dong / Kb. The only configuration setting needed was using 'v-internet' for the Access Point name. Note: 911 emergency number does not exist. Instead you use 113. Also, all cell phones need to dial prefix 0 before the area code and number. Cell phone numbers are 7 digits long whereas landline phones are 6 digits long. If you are calling from overseas to Vietnam, you dial 011 84, followed by the area code and number.
  41. 41. Fashion Ao Dai
  42. 42. In closing Enjoy a beautiful sunset from the country side
  43. 43. Cám ơn
  44. 44. Questions?
  45. 45. RIA Contact Information Web: Follow us at: Join our cause:
  46. 46. Personal Contact Information Web: Follow me at: Check out my CV at: