Reasons Why Not to Visit Vietnam

written by local expert Anna Faustino

Anna is a co-founder of Adventure in You and has been traveling the world for the last 9 years. She has spent time living in Thailand, Mexico, Indonesia, and Spain and is our local expert in these areas. Her expertise on travel, gear, and building businesses have been featured on Foundr, Business Insider, Yahoo Travel, and more.

Vietnam is a large country that is incredibly diverse. From busy cities, picturesque sand dunes, coastal beach havens, and beautiful mountains, Vietnam has a little bit of everything for everyone. Despite its varied landscape, Vietnam has received mixed reviews from travellers. We’ve spent almost 6 weeks traveling the country so here is our take on the country, giving you reasons why not to visit Vietnam.

Beach in Vietnam

Don’t Visit Vietnam if You Don’t Love Adventure

Vietnam is by far one of the top countries in Southeast Asia for adventure lovers and thrill seekers. Whether its riding a motorbike through unchartered roads and jungles, sand boarding, or canyoning through lush forests, Vietnam is a haven for adrenaline junkies. Apart from being home to the world’s largest cave (Hang Son Doong), you can also try a myriad of water sports and other adrenaline fuelled activities to get your heart racing. So if you don’t love the feeling of excitement and adventure, don’t visit Vietnam. However, if you want to be constantly be at the edge of your seat, Vietnam is a country that you must visit. (READ: A Crazy Canyoning Adventure in Dalat,Vietnam)

sandboard vietnam

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Don’t Visit Vietnam if You Don’t Want to Feast on Local Delicacies

Vietnam, alongside with Thailand is probably one of the culinary stars in Southeast Asia. Between the many ridiculously delicious $1 bowls of Pho (whaaat?!), Vietnam is home to many cultural delights waiting to be discovered. Shock your tastebuds and your stomach by trying out a variety of soups, fresh vegetables, and grilled meat. From fresh spring rolls, to bahn mi sandwiches, to the infamous bun cha which President Obama himself enjoyed. For those who don’t know, bun cha is char grilled meat served with noodles, fresh vegetables, and a variety of dipping sauces. Trust me, it is like heaven one bite. So if you don’t want to experience gastronomical delights for insanely cheap prices, don’t go to Vietnam. However, if you want to sit by plastic stools as you devour flavors that you didn’t know existed before then head to Vietnam. Your stomach can thank you later. (READ: What to Eat in Vietnam)

vietnamese food

Don’t Visit Vietnam if You Don’t Like Coffee

Now I know there are in fact a lot of people who don’t like coffee, but hear me out, even if you’re not a coffee lover, the coffee in Vietnam is unlike any other. As the second largest producers of coffee in the world, Vietnam mixes their coffee with condensed milk or other variations like coconut cream. This strong Vietnamese drip style of coffee is pretty amazing and worth a try. So if you’re not interested in getting a jolt of caffeine and trying out unusual coffee blends, don’t go to Vietnam. However, if you want some interesting flavors in your usual morning routine, head to Vietnam to get your fix.

vietnamese coffee

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Don’t Visit Vietnam if You Don’t Want to Experience a Different Culture

Now before you stop reading, hear me out. Yes, there are a lot of scams in Vietnam, yes, there are people that will be constantly trying to rip you off, in fact, other people like Nomadic Matt wrote he would never go back to Vietnam-even if someone paid him to do so. But, people have different experience and encounters. During our six weeks traveling the country, locals have opened up their home to us (one even unhinged his door so Tom and his friends had a “bed” to stay on. One person fetched Tom gas in the middle of the night when his bike broke down. One family in a car stopped and called us a mechanic when our bike suddenly stopped working. This family even waited until the mechanic arrived, with the ladies shielding me from the sun with an umbrella.

I’m a big believer of karma and the kindness and the vibe that you show off will most definitely come back to you-one way or another. Although I don’t understand everything about their culture, (one guy caught bugs and grilled them for us a snack!), learning about it and experiencing it first hand is unbeatable. So don’t visit visit Vietnam if you don’t want to learn about other cultures and see how they relate to you. However, if you’re up for it, visit Vietnam to really get to know and understand a different way of life. (READ: 15 Unbelievable Photos of Vietnam. Go Now!)

vietnamese woman

Don’t Visit Vietnam if You Don’t Want Variety

As mentioned earlier, Vietnam is one of the most varied and diverse countries. You could be rolling down the hills from a sand dunes in one minute, then find yourself in a stunning looking beach drinking with locals. The amount of off-the-beaten path places there are in Vietnam is incredible. From the palm fringed beaches of Phu Quoc Island to the stunning obscure mountain province called Ha Giang. From the rural villages to the glitzy city scene in Saigon and Hanoi. So if you don’t want to see and experience diverse scenery and landscape, don’t visit Vietnam. However, if you want to see and do it all, head to Vietnam to experience variety at its finest. (READ: Vietnam by Motorbike: The Best Six Weeks of My Life)

waterfalls vietnam

Don’t Visit Vietnam if You Don’t Like Exploring Mountains

Northern Vietnam is like paradise for mountain enthusiasts and hikers. Between the many rugged trails though out Sapa and it’s neighboring villages to the magestic Fansipan mountain- the highest mountain in Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia). This stunning mountain range is home to many trails and treks, varying in length and difficulty level. Prepare to be challenged by this fairly strenuous climb as you conquer “the roof of Indochina”. Due to it’s height, the weather conditions vary from hot to extremely cold. It also gets a lot of moisture so you will be left scrambling your way up through some points. So if you don’t enjoy climbing mountains- or even just looking in awe at them, don’t go to Vietnam.  However, if you’re up for a challenge in you enjoy being one with nature, head to Vietnam for an unforgettable experience.

vietnam mountains

I could go on and on about the many beautiful features of this country, but it’s best for you to experience it for yourself. While there is much criticism on this place, we’ve had a fantastic experience. So whether you head up there to get a motorbike (and learn how to ride it without dying), or just to simple travel the country, Vietnam has a lot to offer and is definitely worth visiting.

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24 thoughts on “Reasons Why Not to Visit Vietnam”

  1. Yes! I definitely want to go to Vietnam for all these reasons. You had me at the beautiful scenery. But to add the food and the coffee makes it a must see destination in my book.

  2. Inspiring post that inspires me to get to Vietnam ASAP., because I do love adventure, I do love Coffee and I am absolutely in awe of Mountains.

  3. I am like ‘What?’ Before i read this article and just reading the article. But yeah, i love how you wrote it. Very awesome. By the way, I will still go back to Vietnam for so many reasons.

  4. You had me at strong drip style coffee. I love that part about unhinging a door for a bed and a family stopping to help. The warm hospitality and generosity are what I love about traveling in Asia. I have not been to Vietnam yet but it’s definitely a plan.

  5. I’ve never been to Vietnam but when I saw the title of this post I was like 😮 because I’ve heard soooo many good things and I’ve been wanting to go for SO long! Luckily you just made me want to go even more. 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  6. We have really been wanting to visit Veitnam lately–it definitely looks like there are some amazing adventure opportunities! I would love to do the canyoning adventure that you did. And the food and coffee would be great to try as well! Hope we can make it there sometime soon. 🙂

  7. We’re actually thinking of going to Vietnam this December as a friend of ours moved there. Yet you totally convinced us not to go now …

  8. I was really expecting to read negative things as Vietnam is on my to-go-to-list. So as always I look at the good and the bad. This was misleading but a great post non-the-less…I have to try this Vietnamese coffee everyone keeps talking about!!!

  9. Hahaha I got confused with the title, but sure is a smart idea for a blog post! I have never been to Vietnam and I will take your word for their coffee. I was in Yangon for a quick visit last year and had a Vietnamese coffee and I must say it is indeed one of the best coffees I’ve had.


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