40 Reasons Why Living in Vietnam Is Better than Living in a Western Country (#1-20)

19/11/2021 | 16:12

My friend asked me to give her 100 reasons why living in Việt Nam is better than living in a Western Country. Here's 20.

See reasons #21-40 here!

1) I can drive on the sidewalk.

2) People in Hanoi are cold. I like this, I think it's more honest. It's a more accurate reflection of human nature. I find it exhausting around tây people when I always have to pretend to be so friendly like "hey, GREAT to see you". I don't always feel like smiling, I don't always have the energy for it. Tây people will look at you and judge you if you look unfriendly or unhappy. In Hanoi I can just sit and eat my bun cha alone in peace without anyone judging me. Me and the bun cha lady have an unspoken connection together, I don't need to always put on a big act everytime.

3) There's lots of street food readily available. I can just go in, eat, and be out in 15 minutes and pay 2 dollars for a meal that will leave me full, is healthy and not fattening, has 3 different food groups, and is great for when you feel sick (chilli and garlic). I don't always want to take a lot of my time in a restaurant to sit down, wait for a waiter to bring me a menu, wait for a waiter to bring me a drink, wait for a waiter to bring me food, wait for a waiter to bring me the bill, wait for a waiter to take my money, then wait for a waiter to bring me my change. When I'm hungry and my stomach is hurting, I want to eat now, not in 40 minutes.

4) In a tây country you need to tip. People come to expect it. People should do a good job at something because they enjoy their job, not because they are expecting more money. If you don't tip, waitresses will act extremely bitchy and snobby towards you, talk about you with their coworkers. Really it's not an optional thing.

5) People in Hanoi were always so happy and willing to share about their city and culture with me. Happy to show me around the city and tell me stories about each place. They're proud of their culture and genuinely really enjoy sharing it with others, but don't impose it on you. Many tây people view tây culture as "progress" or "modernization", really tây culture is just one culture of thousands in the world. There are thousands of ways to live a life, why does one have to be the best?

5) The children in Vietnam are so well behaved and have so much respect for their teachers and parents (and they're very intelligent). Very very different from how tây children treat their teachers and parents. Like half of them are really spoiled and terribly behaved. I would never teach a classroom of tây children for even a day.

6) I can get a motorbike easily for a few hundred dollars, after this all of Vietnam is accessible to me. If it breaks down, then there will certainly be a mechanic nearby who can help me for a few dollars. Also buses and trains are cheap and there are many of them. In America and Canada, it's like 10 times the price to get around, and so much more cumbersome and inconvenient.

7) Driving in heavy traffic, I feel connected to the other people on motorbikes around me, like we share a collective consciousness. When we all unspokenly decide to make a left turn through a red light together, we use our mass of 20 motorbikes together as strength to get through safely, it's a cool feeling.

8) Driving is based on instinct and common sense. You have to be aware and in the moment. Tây countries have all these firm traffic rules that everyone follows and as a result people get complacent when driving. If people in a tây country see someone driving the wrong way (even on the side of the road), people will like freak out and think that the world is ending. In Vietnam, it's no big deal. You just become aware of it and adjust your trajectory accordingly.

9) Even from like 13 years old, the dog eat dog/step on each other social culture is super predominant in a tây country. Kids and adults bully each other, gossip about each other, and put each other down to try to climb the social ladder and to try and make themselves seem better than those people. It gets so bad that hundreds of kids commit suicide or shoot up their schools. People don't form their own opinions of others, they just like and dislike whoever is trendy to like or dislike.

10) Vietnamese girls' (and guys' I suppose) minds are unique. They think in a way that is unique and unlike how the people think in any other place in the world. I find it so interesting to get to know a Vietnamese girl and come to understand how she views herself, others, and the world. It helps me to change my own outlook on life. Mainstream tây media tries to make everyone behave and think the same. People see music videos, tv shows, movies, memes, bullshit on Facebook, or whatever, and this tells them how they are supposed to interact with others, view the world, and respond to different social situations. Backpacking in SE Asia, it was so boring and disappointing to discover that so many backpackers (from many different countries) think the same, it makes the world a very uninteresting place.

11) Family is important, people always have meals together and respect and enjoy being around their families. Tây families live in massive houses and are hardly ever in the same room together. Most children hate their parents from like 12-18 and barely have any meaningful interactions together for that entire time.

12) Áo dài

Absolutely beautiful and in no way slutty or promiscous. Gentle and graceful, yet powerful in a way.

13) I think lots of people would agree that Vietnamese women are the most beautiful in the world. Lots of traditional girls are raised to be loving, caring, and supportive of their boyfriends/husbands. They see the potential in you even when you are at your low, and want to take care of you and encourage you to help you reach your full potential. Alot of tây women would leave their boyfriend/husband when he's not doing well because they only think of what he can offer them now. Just look at divorce rates.

14) I don't need to waste time and money with things like eyeglasses/contact lenses prescriptions or medicine prescriptions. I have the option to consult a doctor if I want, but if already know what I need, I can just go buy it.

15) In Hanoi, I could order hundreds of different types of delicious food to my door for like 5 dollars a plate, plus 1 dollar for delivery.

16) Parking is easy and cheap. At my university in Canada, students would have to pay like 1000 dollars a year to park in a stall and still walk like 10 minutes to their classes. In Vietnam you can just plop your bike on the sidewalk (even in the city center) or just pull your bike in underground for like 10 cents.

17) The vast majority of Vietnamese people are non-violent and non-confrontional people. They have good hearts and want to see things flow smoothly. In a tây country it's fairly common to see a someone in a restaurant yelling at a waiter or waitress about something. People fight all the time in bars and clubs. People like to argue just for the sake of arguing. In my time in Vietnam, the only time I've ever seen Vietnamese people act aggressively was when foreigners were influencing them to do so.

18) In my university, I was surrounded by ten of thousands if 18-22 year olds that were so opinionated and "knew the answers to all of the problems in the world" because they had taken a few classes and spent alot of time browsing Facebook. They were always trying to prove how smart, opinionated, and "unique" they were. They knew nothing about the real world. I find people like this absolutely insufferable. Vietnamese people are more humble about their knowledge.

19) That feeling when riding a motorbike through winding mountain roads surrounded by rice terraces with a beautiful girl hugging you tightly behind you and the wind in your face.

20) I've heard many many stories of foreigners who have their bikes break down (or run out of gas) on some rural road. It's never long before a complete stranger stops and helps them. In tây countries, there has to be companies that provide roadside assistance, because strangers rarely would stop to help somebody.

See reasons #21-40 here!


Source: James Jones

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