Why does Vietnam look much more modern and developed than India?



Chamkan Ter

My fellow countrymen have a habit of answering every question even if they don’t have a clue. Most of the “Answers” here are Paper facts which persuaded me to answer this:

Background: In the begng of this year, I traveled some 5000 KM from north to South of Vietnam on a motorbike and in between staying in various villages,towns, cities etc.

All the time we were comparing the economy, culture, cleanliness/dirtiness, poverty etc with India.





Some reme village house up in the north (Lang Son Province). The owner of this house gave us free shelter and food for the night. The toilet was just a big hole in the ground. Yet, the lady had an iphone 4s. Not possible in India!

北部(谅山省)一些偏僻的乡村住宅。这房子的主人给我们提供了免费食宿。厕所就是在地上挖个大洞。但这位女士有iPhone 4S,这在印度是不可能的!


Rural village roads just like India.



Small Town at Border. Notice the Suvs, these were rare sights compared to India.



Railway Station Market in Hanoi. Exactly similar to Sadar Bazar Delhi. Bit more cleaner.

The above photos shows how ,on surface, Vietnam looks similar to India.

Differences we saw and reasons I speculated :

译文来源:三泰虎       http://www.santaihu.com/46638.html    译者:Joyceliu




Inequality : On Paper Gini cofficient of both the countries are similar (39-In , 37-Vn). But you don’t need a Bird’s eye to see the reality on Ground. While travelling, I hardly encountered SUVs and Sedans. Everyone is on a motorbike! While, in India walk few Kms in a city and chances are you have seen a super rich and hand to mouth Guy.

Poverty: Again Income per capita (PPP) is simillar $6400 (Vn) and $7100(In). However, I didn’t encounter a single Beggar or roadside malnourished children in Vietnam (may be there are places). Here in India, even in the so called developed state of Tamil Nadu, you can easily find Poverty on your face (hint: Meenakshi Temple).

Reason: Low level of literacy, prevalent caste sy em in Rural India, Big population with inadequate resources. The later is a big reason because I didn’t see beggars and hand to mouth folks in Nagnd and Meghya.




Rich Poor Divide : In India, it’s easy judge a person by his Personality and attire. Rickshaw puller will mostly look like a rickshaw puller. But in Vietnam, damn… the roadside girls in trendy dresses selling corn (Bhutte wali) were so beautiful. Even girls working in small village restaurant had iphones.

Reason: I chatted with couple of people in Vietnam. A common answer was big consumerism (just like america). Earn and enjoy culture. Here in India, people start saving for their children,for their grand children, for home loan etc.

Cleanliness: Every foreign traveler knows “which is the dirtiest country in the world?”. I won’t say Vietnam is cleaner, some parts were clean some were giving close competition to our cities. (Still cities of UP are truly unconquerable )

Reason: I noticed majority of Vietnamese too don’t have civic senses just like we Indians. It’s just the population in India is (especially UP,Bihar, Bengal) huge consequently so is the trash.






A clean Town in Vietnam!


Infrastructure: This part was more or less similar. Just the Civic infrastructure was better in small towns (with Proper sewerage etc). Hanoi was similar to Delhi. Old quarters was similar to Connaught Place (Just bit cleaner and less chaotic)

Reason: Again India is a de acy (somewhat flawed), so you need ‘N’ no of things before you start implementing something.

There many other difference as well like food, conservative/liberal culture etc. But I think those are not related to “modern” look!

Last thing traveling brought me out of my Nationalistic Cocoon.






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