Asia Forums

Post New Topic

Recent Activity

  • Announcement:
  • Recent Spam Attacks
    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
View all Asia activity »
  1. 1 "necessities" for India
  2. 2 Trip Report 14 days in Myanmar
  3. 3 Short trip to Myanmar
  4. 4 ATMs in Japan
  5. 5 Trip Report The Mystic East - a tale of hot food, hot weather, airmiles and imodium.
  6. 6 DC to Dubai 3 nts, Tokyo 6 nts. Kyoto day trip? Itinerary thoughts?
  7. 7 Changing planes at Dubai
  8. 8 50th Anniversary trip
  9. 9 US Citizen Vietnam Visa Help!
  10. 10 Trip Report Four Best Sakura Sightseeing Places in Tokyo
  11. 11 First time backpacking - 5 weeks in Vietnam, Lao, Cambodia, and Thailand
  12. 12 Trip Report A Journey to Jagna, Bohol - Trip Report
  13. 13 "China Eastern Airline" is it really bad??
  14. 14 Gang rape in India. Again.
  15. 15 First time in India and Nepal-HELP
  16. 16 Mandalay questions
  17. 17 Guides ,Bagan and Mandalay
  18. 18 Asia Transpacific vs Pacific Delight Private Tour to China
  19. 19 12 x Day Itinerary- Please give me your feedback
  20. 20 Myanmar:Domestic flights and transport :cash :guide/travel agency i
  21. 21 3 Week Trip to Southeast Asia
  22. 22 Help - India take 2
  23. 23 Chiang Mai hotel with sweet attentive staff
  24. 24 CNX late arrival?
  25. 25 Trip Report Trip Report: Pandaw’s cruise down the Mekong from China to Laos
View next 25 » Back to the top

A sociological question: Are the people of Vietnam unhappy?

Jump to last reply

I ask this because I have been going through a great many photographs I took while traveling in Southeast Asia during September and October, and I've started to notice that the only country with very few smiling people is Vietnam. More specifically Northern Vietnam, as we didn't get to the south this trip.

I'm struck by how many Vietnamese people in my photographs look glum or are scowling.

In contrast, the people of Bali and Laos look joyful. They often have big smiles, or are laughing.

Now you might reasonably ask if the reason for the lack of smiling was because they had just met me. If that were the case, who could blame them?

But most of the photographs were candid, the subjects never knew they were being photographed.

Now smiling isn't proof of happiness, nor is frowning a sure sign of unhappiness. But from my memory, many people in Vietnam seemed more stressed and less warm and happy than those in other nearby countries.

Could it be change due to increasing industrialization?
Or greater emphasis on materialism and the pressure to make money? (We noticed more people in Vietnam trying to get as much money as possible from us than in other countries during this trip.)
A colder climate?
Or is it cultural?

Or were your experiences just plain different than mine?

34 Replies |Back to top

Sign in to comment.

Advertisement