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"Vietnam: A different perspective."
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mocha madness 251 desperate attention whore postings
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10-02-06, 02:32 PM (EST)
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"Vietnam: A different perspective."
I have been to Hanoi on two separate occasions, and last night's episode had a certain familiarity for me. I am very curious as to why they gave no $$$ for this leg. The airport is quite a ways outside of the capital, and a $10.00 taxi charge for arriving at close to midnight could be expected. During the day you could travel by motorbike or airline shuttle for $3.00. The urgency to go fast from the airport to the Hanoi Hilton was ridiculous. This was an obvious bunching point, and the Govt. is not going to want racers zooming around Hanoi after midnight looking for clueboxes. The only question is what time it would open the next morning. There is a fee, but maybe they waived it for AR.

The Hanoi Hilton is now a museum, and much of it is devoted to the cruel imprisonment of political opponents by the French when they were in charge. John McCain's flight suit is on the second floor. The North Vietnamese knew when they captured him that John McCain was a very important prisoner as he was (is) the son of a high ranking military officer, but they tortured him nonetheless. They have a plaque in their museum that states that all prisoners were treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention (big lie)....I will pass on the political shot I could take at Bush for lying about the same thing.....

I do not recall what kind of hotels are in the immediate area...I think upscale, but a traveler's hotel in Hanoi would be at least $10.00....so again I am puzzled as to why no $$$ for this leg of the race.

The French quarter aka old quarter is a short walk from the Hanoi Hilton, but the streets become a real rabbitt warrent of confusing streets, and going by foot could get you lost and take some time. The French quarter is characterized by lumping similar businesses all together in one place, so all of the flower shops would be on one street, all the metal shops on another, etc. Once you found the flower street it would not be a big problem to find a particular flower shop.

The big lie to me is Phil's assertion that no one was permitted to ride by motorbike for safety reasons...hogwash. Traveling on the back of motorbikes is a very common form of transportation. If you are a foreigner walking in Hanoi you will be stopped numerous times by young men on bikes offering to take you where ever you want to go. Even if one sees you turn down an offer it will not stop him from asking as well.

Many of these guys speak English, and for a fee could really handle things for you. I think the real reason is that it would be harder for the two person camera/sound crew to follow you through the narrow and crowded streets if you were on a motorbike....two passengers to small motorbike is very common. Only rich tourists would take a taxi....travelers on a budget would go by motorbike.

My first time in Hanoi the offers would have been by a pedicab bicycle, but now motorbikes are everywhere, and clog the streets....speaking of crossing the street...

The real way, and the safe way to cross the street is to walk very slowing across a street making eye contact with oncoming traffic. Traffic will not slow or stop, but they will weave around you as you cross. This takes some getting used to, but this is how it is done....either during the day or the evening. Dashing across....as we saw on TV is very dangerous, and that could very easily get you struck.

Finally, the ban on begging or selling by the racers....I would guess this was a condition of the Vietnamese govt. Begging is very rare in Vietnam, and you will not find many Vietnamese begging for money, but a foreigner offering to sell his or her watch, etc. would draw a crowd, and that is not what the authorities would want to take place, and be shown on world wide television. Not necessarily a crowd of bidders, but a crowd of Vietnamese wanting to see what is going on.

As an aside, the begging by foreigners in third world countries to continue a race for a million dollars is perhaps the most distasteful aspect of the AR, and they should not permit it.

Finally, I wondered if the Race would go past Uncle Ho's tomb. It is a little bit further away from the Hanoi Hilton, but still walking distance. The Tomb is in a huge square, everyone knows where it is, and there are always lots of people lined up during viewing hours. That could have been a spot to "get your next clue"....

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  Table of Contents

  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
 RE: Vietnam: A different perspecti... MissRaven 10-02-06 1
   RE: Vietnam: A different perspecti... Earl Colby Pottinger 10-03-06 8
 RE: Vietnam: A different perspecti... Snidget 10-02-06 2
   RE: Vietnam: A different perspecti... aquariaqueen 10-02-06 4
   RE: Vietnam: A different perspecti... Earl Colby Pottinger 10-03-06 10
 RE: Vietnam: A different perspecti... dabo 10-02-06 3
   RE: Vietnam: A different perspecti... mocha madness 10-02-06 5
       RE: Vietnam: A different perspecti... dabo 10-03-06 11
 RE: Vietnam: A different perspecti... bullzeye 10-03-06 6
   RE: Vietnam: A different perspecti... michel 10-03-06 7
 RE: Vietnam: A different perspecti... Earl Colby Pottinger 10-03-06 9
 RE: Vietnam: A different perspecti... Max Headroom 10-03-06 12

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MissRaven 187 desperate attention whore postings
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10-02-06, 02:57 PM (EST)
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1. "RE: Vietnam: A different perspective."
Thanks for some interesting info!


>The big lie to me is
>Phil's assertion that no one
>was permitted to ride by
>motorbike for safety reasons...hogwash.

I thought this may have to do with TAR avoiding liability but the camera crew problem makes more sense!

I suspect the distastfulness of begging in a third world country is a BIG reason why TAR has disallowed it. Perhaps we will see it being permitted in wealthier countries.

My other thought on the matter was, since little money was required for this leg, the 'surprise' rule of no begging would penalize teams who use up all money given on previous legs. It may be the heads-up to save some in anticipation of an unknown future.

~Raven~

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Earl Colby Pottinger 1803 desperate attention whore postings
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10-03-06, 12:19 PM (EST)
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8. "RE: Vietnam: A different perspective."
LAST EDITED ON 10-03-06 AT 12:20 PM (EST)

Or it could be both. I don't know how dangerous it is to have two passengers on bike plus the driver - but I sure for the sound person and camera person trying to use thier equipment at the same time as riding a motor-bike to keep up with a team could be dangerous indeed.

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10-02-06, 03:00 PM (EST)
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2. "RE: Vietnam: A different perspective."
They did say there would be twists on the race. I think they want to keep the racers from feeling like the know what will happen. So the elimination non-pit stop was one. No one having any money for a leg would also be something unexpected that could throw a team for a loop.

They probably did calculate how much money the Vietnam race would be and added that amount to the earlier payouts so that teams should have the taxi money, but not ones that spent extra earlier on because heck, they had more than enough.

It would make teams be more circumspect in the future about spending any extra cash they have. Do you risk bribing someone to get you there faster if you might not have the cash to make it through the next leg, etc.

I could see the motor bike thing. Falling off a bike without a helmet even at a fairly low speed or getting hit by a truck can cause a lot of damage. Just because it is rare that somone gets hurt that way doesn't mean the insurance company that they use would be willing to cover the risks of that. I didn't think of the cameraman angle but that would also be a problem.

When I did a exchange to Spain they didn't want us riding on the back of motorbikes/scooters there for safety reasons even though almost everyone under 18 drives one of them (you can't get a car licence until 18) and most of the time no one gets hurt.

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10-02-06, 03:25 PM (EST)
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4. "RE: Vietnam: A different perspective."
It make make the teams not spend their money so foolishly....
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Earl Colby Pottinger 1803 desperate attention whore postings
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10-03-06, 12:30 PM (EST)
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10. "RE: Vietnam: A different perspective."
Great point about insurance - in any one country if any locals got injuried in an accident they would sue the driver.

In the case of a US resident run in a show's race, who are they going to sue? The poor local driver or the rich TV studio? And they would have a good case too, after all it is a race and the show's crew is telling them getting in first is important.

Banning riding the is a big plus to the insurance company, and when someone gets injury they can't claimed they were not warned.

Plus, that 30 minute wait was great TV drama.

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dabo 25344 desperate attention whore postings
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10-02-06, 03:23 PM (EST)
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3. "RE: Vietnam: A different perspective."
I think the prohibition on motorbike travel was a production decision, probably to reduce their (TAR's) liability in case of some accident.

The tourist sites the racers visit often seem to be closed to the general public, or at least that has been my impression. Would Vietnam be willing to close Uncle Ho's Tomb for a day to accomodate a silly bunch of Americans trying to win a cool mil?

The countryside in Vietnam is much prettier now than I recall seeing on the evening news when I was a kid.


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mocha madness 251 desperate attention whore postings
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10-02-06, 03:37 PM (EST)
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5. "RE: Vietnam: A different perspective."
I did not suggest that the Govt. would close Uncle Ho's tomb for the AR....the tomb is a very important site, and you could be sure that they would not tolerate ANY NONSENSE AND/OR DISRESPECT. However, there is such a big public square at the tomb, and it is known to everyone that I thought it would be a good spot for racers to go to the square to find a clue box directing them to the next task somewhere else.
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dabo 25344 desperate attention whore postings
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10-03-06, 12:43 PM (EST)
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11. "RE: Vietnam: A different perspective."
Well, a big open square probably wouldn't be closed to the public the way some other sites would be, but I can fully understand how they wouldn't want any disrespect shown towards Ho Chi Mihn. After all these years, there are still harsh feelings over the war.

In any event, the countryside was absolutely beautiful. And the Vietnamese people in this episode were really very nice.


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10-03-06, 10:54 AM (EST)
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6. "RE: Vietnam: A different perspective."
A most interesting post MM - thank you for sharing that perspective.

As an aside, the begging by foreigners in third world countries to continue a race for a million dollars is perhaps the most distasteful aspect of the AR, and they should not permit it. .

That? I agree with 100%.


A birthday present from Tribe

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michel 10812 desperate attention whore postings
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10-03-06, 11:37 AM (EST)
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7. "RE: Vietnam: A different perspective."
Thanks for the informative post. The begging has always been the worse aspect of the race and there are so many penalties that could be used instead of that.

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Earl Colby Pottinger 1803 desperate attention whore postings
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10-03-06, 12:23 PM (EST)
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9. "RE: Vietnam: A different perspective."
Interesting point about how to cross the street, if you tried that method in France or Italy you would end up dead meat.

As TAR shows, every country and has it own little rules that if you don't know them you can get into big trouble.


As for the government and begging, I am not surprised - in one sense this is a tourist show. Even in a rich country like Canada the local government (Toronto) is looking into laws to limit begging.

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Max Headroom 10028 desperate attention whore postings
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10-03-06, 01:16 PM (EST)
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12. "RE: Vietnam: A different perspective."
Thanks for a very informative post!

While I haven't been to Vietnam, I have traveled in China several times and can relate to your points. No one seems to walk in China; motorbikes and bicycles are everywhere. I've seen entire families, babies and all, riding on a single motorbike and it was common for multiple people to be on a single motorbike. Regarding safety, I've seen the aftermath of a serious accident between a motorbike and a flatbed truck (needless to say, the motorbike lost), so I understand why TAR had a rule against racers riding.

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