Vietnam: The New Hawaii?

vietnamVietnam Airlines has just agreed to purchase four Airbus 380’s and two Airbus 350’s.  The planes will supplement the airline’s currently long-range fleet of 10 Boeing 777’s, which are being used primarily for service between Vietnam and Europe.

The reason I found this news especially noteworthy, is that the company plans on flying the new 500+ seat A-380’s and 300+ seat A-350’s between the United States and Vietnam!

Vietnam and Hawaii have a number of similarities.  Sun, sand, sea and surf among them.  Water sports and marine life are two additional Vietnam features. Vietnam has a long coastline, with its best year round beaches primarily in the southern half.  There are also many tropical islands.  Among its most famous beaches are:

  • Nha Trang:  The vietnamese Riviera.
  • Mui Ne Beach, Phan Thiet.  Beautiful white sand beach.
  • Phu Quoc Island.  Vietnam’s largest island and national park.

In addition to its beaches, Vietnam is said to offer fascinating cities that combine classic with modern, otherwise incredible scenery, a rich history, culture and wonderful food.

While we’re dyed in the woof Hawaii-files, Beat of Hawaii plans to visit Vietnam in the near future and report on it personally. Do you plan to visit Vietnam?

3 thoughts on “Vietnam: The New Hawaii?”

  1. We spent 2 1/2 weeks in Vietnam last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was quite an adventure! We eschew tours, so we did it on our own, flying from area to area with backpacks. I have no doubt that Vietnam’s tourism infrastructure will continue to improve. The food was wonderful, Phu Quoc and Ha Long Bay were amazing and visiting Ho Chi Minh’s tomb was surreal. We became skilled at dodging mopeds, we met some very nice college students who do free tours of Hanoi, the culture and architecture are fascinating (don’t miss Hoi An!), and it was incredibly cheap. I’d recommend going.

    That said, it is NO substitute for Hawaii. It was BEYOND humid (this was May). The people were generally friendly, but were not particularly welcoming or sincere. No offense in meant in saying this…I just don’t think they know exactly what to make of western visitors. If you politely say “No, thank you” to someone offering something for sale, their smile quickly fades and they are simply done with you.

    In certain areas (Hue, for one), we had to be on our guard the entire time for con artists. No, we aren’t paranoid people. We’re pretty savvy travelers. But in Vietnam, there are some common scams, and you will be lied to. Think fast taxi meters, people trying to lead you astray, taxis that take you to hotels with the same name as your hotel (no copyright laws apparently) and hold your passport hostage for money, scammers collecting money for “Red Cross”… We knew most of the scams ahead of time and didn’t fall for anything but one “expensive” taxi ride, but it got so annoying after awhile. Perhaps if you’re in a tour group, you’re left alone; I’m not sure. I can understand the scammers desire to make money in the short run, as it is not a wealthy country, but if Vietnam cracked down on them now it would pay off in the long run.

    THAT said, of course we did meet some wonderful, kind people. And it wouldn’t discourage me from visiting again. But definitely arrange for your hotel to send a taxi to the airport with a sign with your name on it! 🙂

  2. Visit Vietnam? Heck no! There’s no real reason to!
    And besides…the people who visit Hawaii just because it has warm weather and beaches miss out on the real reason to visit Hawaii…it’s the history, the culture and the people of Hawaii that make it such a joy to be a part of. I doubt, seriously, that Vietnam can compete with the absolute warmth that the Hawaiian people add to the culture of Hawaii!

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