Wednesday, March 7th 2018, we are in Hanoi preparing to take the plane to Myanmar tomorrow. Before leaving a quick update on our travels in Vietnam
We planned to fly to Hoi An from Nha Trang but Stefan met Mr. Hung in Da Lat and he convinced us to cancel our flight and go with him to Hoi An on a motorbike … and so we did. Now, at the end of our trip I am happy we changed our plans. We learned so much, saw a lot of rural Vietnam and experienced a seldom visited part of Vietnam. We can warmly recommend it in good weather and when you have time! We were lucky we did not see any rain until the last day.
During our trip we were amazed to see so many children and young people in Vietnam. I checked the statistics, 96 million people live in Vietnam, only 6% is older than 65, 40% is between 0-24 years old, 46% between 25-54 years old, and 8% is between 55-64 years old (because of the war). Our guide told us that if you work for the government you are only allowed to have 2 children otherwise you lose your job.
The last 2 days of our trip we passed a lot of police controls and many cars and motorcycles were stopped. According to our guide this is because the police needed money for the New Year. It is always possible to avoid a fine if you pay them ‘black’ money. There is clearly still a lot of corruption in Vietnam. Another guide told us that government jobs are mostly bought.
The Vietnamese have suffered many wars. Vietnam fought wars against Japan (1945), France (First Indochina War, 1946-1955), and America (Second Indochina War, 1954-1975). While the country proudly celebrates its wins against foreign invaders, the border conflict from 1979 with China has been a taboo topic because of fear they would loose the economic cooperation from China.The conflict lasted only 27 days but tens of thousands civilians lost their lives. Today most Vietnamese are happy with the government because they have had peace since 1979.