Culture Shock in Vietnam| Expat Arrivals
One expat described his experiences with culture shock in Vietnam, "at first, you love the differences. You love that people notice you and pay extra attention. Then, after a couple months, you get tired of people staring and just want to blend in. That's hard to do when you are 6'3"(193cm). What's strangest is that when you are one-on-one with someone, they have a hard time looking you in the eye when they talk to you. As an American, I am used to looking someone in the eye and being very direct. Viets take this directness as rude or disrespectful, but in groups everyone will stare and if you are with a Vietnamese female and a group of male Viets are drinking, you will get what seems like friendliness, but find out later is rudeness. These negative experiences are not the norm, but they do occur, and it's best at night to be "on the ready", though you would be in much greater danger in parts of New York, Chicago or LA than in HCMC. There are no guns here and you are twice as big as the average male here. So, unless you do something really stupid or disrespectful, you will make it home any time of day. That was the irritated stage. I have always rejected the anti-feminist, male-superiority of Asian culture; it annoys me that females are treated as second class citizens and not allowed to do many things that males can. I have accepted some things, but doubt I will ever accept that having a son is better than a daughter."
People sharing their stories of Culture Shock in Vietnam.
Culture Shock in Vietnam - ExpatFinder Vietnam Guide
This was clearly a very different place from clean, orderly Japan (where people are generally quiet and reserved; there is the most efficient train system in the world; traffic lights signal when pedestrians should walk and the direction traffic should flow; tourist help centers dispense English maps and free information; stores sell products that have fixed prices; and people wait patiently in neat little lines). I was obviously not prepared for what a culture shock Vietnam was going to be. Hanoi is place where people don’t really walk – they maneuver. And they don’t so much talk – they negotiate.
Culture Shock in Vietnam | GiangHana Le