At a time when the earth was desolate and uninhabited, a Golden Dragon descended from the clouds. As he alighted near the seashore, he transformed himself into a handsome young man. He was Lac Long Quan, the ancestor of all the Vietnamese people and father of all the Hung Kings.
Thus begins the fable of the Vietnamese people, a fable told down the centuries by grand parents to their grandchildren, and known by every resident of this often misunderstood country of beguiling smiles and fabulous food.
This guide is a must-have to help you learn all the Do’s and Don’ts of Vietnam, whose history consists of so much conflict, but their present is so delightful to explore. The Chinese tried and failed to make Vietnam their own — as have the French and the Americans. And today, this hectic, friendly, quick-talking, rice planting jewel of Asia remains proudly independent and amazingly forgiving.
With this book in hand, Do remember your curious dinner guests will arrive early and wander through your home to explore more about you. Don’t be upset when residents tell you how fat you are while affectionately patting your belly. Do smile and exchange that warm greeting as the Vietnamese are genuinely courteous and polite.
To ensure that you, the foreign resident, fleeting visitor or armchair traveler, enjoy your stay in Vietnam, the resident authors of this perfect travel guide present a light hearted but practical guide to the Do’s and Don’ts of this very special country. DON’T be surprised if your colleagues sleep at their desks (they’ve usually just finished moonlighting their night job). DO note that a smile can mean happy, sad or angry. DON’T be offended by personal questions such as “how old are you?” They are asked without malice and are not considered rude. Want to know how to behave with an uncooperative immigration official?
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