Vietnam is a large, highly populated country. There are many regional differences as those on Vietnam tour packageswill discover as they begin their Vietnam holidays. The hill tribes in the Northern Highlands have little in common with the fishermen of the Mekong in the far south or indeed those living in the cities where modern life has been embraced, especially by the young. It does mean that there are distinct lifestyle based upon age, location, rural or urban. A good Vietnam tour operator will recognise this in order to provide the best possible experience on a Vietnam travel adventure.
Family life is very important to the Vietnamese and indeed to all the people of South East Asia. Often two or three generations live in the same house with grandparents bearing a good deal of responsibility for the children, especially before they start school as both parents may well be working. This is a feature of city life; in rural areas everyone is working.
Respect for elders is very important. That applies not only in the family but in general. Children will certainly be expected to help around the house. Confucian teachings involved duty and honesty as well as respect for others; I is natural to help those less fortunate as well. These things are central to daily life for the Vietnamese.
In Vietnam 80% of the people still live in villages. In coastal regions or in the Mekong Delta the people both fish and tend the land. They are looking to feed themselves as well as being able to sell their produce in local markets. Certainly everyone on holiday in Vietnam should try to visit at least one local market as an absolute minimum. The mountain villages of the Northern and Central Highlands are a contrast to those on the extensive Vietnamese Coast (over 3,000 kilometres) or indeed in the lowland areas. In the lowlands the villages will have beautiful bamboo hedges, green paddy fields, water buffalo and villagers in the traditional conical hats that form part of national costume.
City life is changing quickly. There are modern skyscrapers and a 21st Century economy involving office and administrative work, good transport links and the service industries to provide for a growing population. It does mean change but there is still every effort to remember traditions, festivals and special days when western clothes are replaced by the costumes worn by previous generations.
Inevitably Vietnamese youth has not experienced some of the hardships of the ancestors. It is still taught to respect parents and grandparents and value family ties but this is now the age of the smart phone and some things have moved forward so quickly in cities that the elderly may never understand. It is to be hoped that things such as respect and traditional are not lost along the way.
Whether you are on a Vietnam honeymoon vacationor perhaps on a Vietnam family holiday, your memories will be all the richer if you see the diversity within the country while understanding the natural friendliness and hospitality of the people.