22 Realizations Every Backpacker Can Relate To After Traveling Through Vietnam


Vietnam is over-stimulation at its finest. I’m not sure if it’s the endless supply of Vietnamese iced coffee, the neon lit cities filled with karaoke joints, or the tainted history withered deep into the veins of this country. Whatever it is – it’s overpowering, can be overwhelming, and is absolutely enchanting. No matter how long you backpacked in Vietnam, which cities you went to, or when you went, these 22 realizations definitely occurred along the way.

  1. You never really knew what the color green looked like until you saw a field of bright green rice paddies swaying like green carpet in the wind.
  2. You have never known joy like buying ‘normal snacks’ aka $1 Pringles, Ritz, or Oreos from a pushy lady with a basket at a bus stop.
  3. The ice + beer combo is a thing you learned to embrace and love.
  4. Night buses are surprisingly great if you don’t end up in the ‘rape cave’ aka the lower bunk, bottom, back row.
  5. Getting lost on your motorbike was a daily occurrence due to the lack of road signs.
  6. Ramen noodles will just never be enough. The infamous Pho dish is as sensational as Anthony Bourdain claims, and for $1/bowl – you just can’t beat the steamy, fresh aroma of this local favorite.
  7. You can no longer fathom paying more than fifty cents for a large, local beer.
  8. Waiting is an art you have coveted.
  9. Vietnamese ladies are boss ladies who mean business
  10. Nothing is free, ever–no matter how many signs say FREE
  11. Everyone you met had some type of Motor biking accident, burn, or scrape
  12. Motorbikes can move any amount of anything.
  13. Vietnamese men love the whole mid-drift thing.
  14. Someone has scammed you, and probably taken everything but your soul.
  15. You have a burning desire to know who the hell is on the other end of that phone call. Who is this mysterious boss lady on the end of the Nokia call?
  16. Same, same but different can be used to explain absolutely anything.
  17. Russians in speedos love Vietnamese beach towns, especially Nha-Trang.
  18. Everything is edible, I mean everything.
  19. A $1 meal will never be as satisfying anywhere in the world.
  20. Miniature plastic stools in the street are the only way to enjoy a meal.
  21. Starbucks has nothing on Vietnamese iced coffee.
  22. Vietnam seeps into your soul; it stays with you, and it always will.