LOCAL BUSINESS

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LOCAL BUSINESS In Vietnam, the regulations surrounding home-based businesses are comparatively lax, which makes for a lower bar to entry. No health inspectors or forms are necessary if you want…

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LOST KEYS

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LOST KEYS This usually doesn’t happen to me — but one night I got too stressed before a flight, tried to do everything quicker than my brain could handle and…

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MOTOS

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MOTOS Motorbikes are the lifeblood of Vietnam. With 12.5 million of them in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi of 45 million nationwide, they ensure ample circulation of the cities’…

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PAST ECHOES

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PAST ECHOES Familial worship in Vietnam crosses lines of religion, and predates them all. Nearly every house has a shrine, which is variously decorated with photos of the deceased, fresh…

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PHOTO OPS

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PHOTO OPS It’s one of those subtle differences between the West and Vietnam — brandishing your phone lensward isn’t quite as intrusive to your average local. (Whether or not you’re…

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PRE-IRONY

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PRE-IRONY RECREATION It’s said that Vietnam picked up a taste for slapstick from the French, and a look around the local entertainment reveals a 1950s flavor to the mainstream product…

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SHRINES

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SHRINES TO FAILED LOVE On Banana Island under Long Bien Bridge, there’s a shrine dedicated to two young women found dead of suicide. Supposedly, they had both taken their lives…

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SYSTEMS

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SYSTEMS Vietnam’s chaotic wiring, nested in tangles that sometimes brush against the top of one’s head in the tighter back alleys, are one of the more visceral marks of life…

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THEME PARKS

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THEME PARKS Vietnamese theme parks have a strange prescription — to provide a cultural experience along with fun. The best of them accomplish their edutainment blend through weird tricks like…

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TRADITION

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TRADITION For Westerners from a certain background, it gets a lot easier to understand Vietnam if you imagine that it’s like your home country was in the 1950s or '60s.…

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