Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dan: Say NO to McDonalds!

In 1986 the communist government applied free market reforms which effectively allowed private ownership and saw the economy shift to market based. As a result the Vietnamese economy has blossomed in recent years. Vietnam politically is still a one party state under Communist power.

With foreign investment playing a part in the strong economic growth it is encouraging to say that at this time McDonalds has not been able to infiltrate the country. Not one to shy away from a cheeky Big Mac now and then I am over the moon I have not seen the golden arches as I explore the city. Of the countries I have travelled, many developing, this is the first I have been to that is lost of Ronald McDonald. That I think is a great thing. There is so much great food here and the ambience does not need anymore Western influence. I don’t want to sound overly opinionated but the last thing you want to see as you stroll the streets of Hanoi, or when sitting on a corner enjoying a bowl of the famous pho is the in your face symbol of fast food. I can get that at home. I can get that pretty much everywhere else. My two cents to the Vietnamese government: you don’t need McDonalds.

The one thing that shocked Celine and I at first about Hanoi was that we could not find any landmarks, meaning, we could not find things we could relate to. Many of these we have now found; shopping centres, pharmacies and the like but they don’t stare you in the face. Fast food outlets definitely stare you in the face and it must be said that they are not completely mislaid in Hanoi. KFC is here and other Western influences we have seen. I don’t know why McDonalds have not broken into the market but I am not complaining. We travel for authentic experiences and McDonalds is not authentic to South East Asia.

I went for lunch at a street stall with Celine today before she went to work. I had a plate of pigs tongue washed down with some noodles, tofu and green tea. I enjoyed it and I enjoyed the girls working at the street stall laughing when I ate it. Celine and I had a good time at lunch; we felt a part of Vietnam, experiencing something we could not do at home. I am sure I will have my late night craving for a double cheeseburger at some point but at the moment I will have to find a suitable replacement. I hear duck embryo is available?

1 comment:

  1. Nice hearing your opinons. I'm glad that you enjoyed Vietnamese vendors. Hope that you could have more joyful experiences while exploring Vietnam. Regards.