• ITS Vietnam Lam Kieu

What is so special about Vietnam?

As a Vietnamese I am putting forwards several things about Vietnam which I think could be considered as special and I hope that i can provide an answer to this question .

1. Attractive Tourism

The scenery is widely raved by foreign tourists as one of the best in the world. The Vietnamese tourist industry has been on the up side for a number of years now and in 2018 there were over 15 million foreign visitors in Vietnam. The attractions included, picturesque sceneries in Halong Bay, Sapa, 31 National Parks, Numerous World Heritage sites, Gigantic caves with their own ecosystem, beautiful white beaches and famous big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh aka Saigon (In 2014, TripAdvisor's 2014 Traveler's Choice Awards for the top 25 destinations in Asia ranked Hanoi second, Hoi An tenth and Ho Chi Minh City eighteenth).

Its Military tourism is also attracting many visitors to places like Hoa Lo prison in Hanoi , during the war dubbed as “khach san Hinton" or the Hilton hotel by the Hanoians, where captured American pilots were kept and interrogated , some for nearly a decade. It turned out after the war that the inmates of the Hilton hotel devised a clever way of communicating with one another by coded tappings on the prison cell's partition walls which kept them sane in isolation and somehow informed of news from the outside world. Another is the Cu Chi Tunnels, a complex and vast network of subterranean city with schools and hospitals to securely house and protect Vietnamese militia troops and their families from the GIs operating on the ground directly above them during the Vietnam war.

2. Ability to Repulse Foreign Invaders

The Vietnamese are renown for their determination and fighting spirit in their long and lustrous history of warding off foreign invaders to preserve independence. They fought China for more than a Millennium and finally successfully gained deserved independence from its gigantic and powerful northern neighbor .

In the 13th century the Vietnamese also successfully repulsed Chengis Khan’s army 3 times , being one of the 4 countries to manage this feat against the almighty army of the Mongols, the others being Japan, Burma and Java.

Vietnam defeated 2 world superpowers in France and The US consecutively in modern times. France hopes of resurrecting their colonial ambitions in Indochina were dashed in 1954 by the Vietnamese at Dien Bien Phu. After 10 years of fighting America, who had stepped in to help South Vietnam administration stem the fearful tide of Communism expanding into South Vietnam and countries in SEA, the North Vietnamese successfully reunited Vietnam fully achieving their war objectives.

3. Hospitality

Hospitality was naturally ingrained into me since childhood from watching my family members, friends and the people around me taking a good care of their guests and visitors at home. It is just a Vietnamese thing and most Vietnamese seem to have it. Only recently it has been noted and communicated to people outside Vietnam due the the rise in tourism in Vietnam.

Even during the hardship of food rations due to the embargo my parents would sometimes spend their last penny or the family’s last monthly ration entitlement to make sure our guest was fed well and looked after properly. I remember as children my siblings and I would go a bit short on food for the next few days but were happy.

4. Forgiveness.

The Vietnamese, for all that they had suffered in centuries of wars, are forgiving people in my view. There had been unprecedented atrocities during the Vietnam war in particular, but by and large the Vietnamese have forgiven the Americans. Since the end of the Vietnam war to my knowledge no actions of retaliatory nature have been undertaken by a Vietnamese against the US and its citizens anywhere in the world including in Vietnam. Americans are always welcome with open arms be it they are in Vietnam for business or pleasure. The same goes to the French, Japanese , South Koreans and last but not least the Chinese.

Really it would be fair to say that we have had enough of foreign invasions, fighting and sufferings. We just want to move on from our past and live in long-overdue peace and prosperity and to reach out to the world community to make friends and to develop our economy .

Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the CP of Vietnam agreed to deepen partnership and preserve and promote the traditional friendship between China and Vietnam in 2018.

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