It’s odd to me to sometimes hear about censorship in Vietnam, the lack of freedom of speech or of the press, etc. From my viewpoint, I read plenty of news from local newspapers that paint the country negatively, news that I might normally expect to be censored – terrible school system, grisly murders, corruption, police corruption, police scandals, what else do you need?
(Edit: June 29, 2013. Almost two years later, it’s funny to me that this is the most popular post I’ve ever written, but no one has ever commented. If you’re reading this now, you can be proud to be one of the many anonymous people who have visited. Also, since you’re here, I’ll point you to a popular site that Vietnamese like: http://lauxanh.org/. Yes, you can click it, I promise not to tell anyone.).
You could mention more political stuff, but is that really any different from the US, is the US really that “free”?
The press here will even discuss (it’s not legal in Vietnam) prostitution and pimp traps as seen in “Red light” districts in Ho Chi Minh City from Tuoi Tre.
I like the article because it’s pretty insightful, but what I like most is that they go into detail on a number of key locations to find such er, services. Not that I would use them… <ahem> of course not.
One of the current hot spots in Ho Chi Minh City is Hoa Binh Park, located on the corner of Hung Vuong and Nguyen Chi Thanh streets, lying in the border between two districts 5 and 10.
On a stretch of street that is only 500 meters long, running from Nguyen Chi Thanh Street to Hoa Binh Park, prostitution activities seem to go on around the clock. The girls just need to cross the street to enter another jurisdiction to escape in case of police raids or ID checks.
Other streets, such as Le Tuan Mau and Kinh Duong Vuong in District 6, Hong Bang in District 5, Cong Hoa in Tan Binh District, 23-9 Park in District 1, Linh Xuan Bypass in Thu Duc District and An Suong T-Road in District 12, have also seen prostitutes publicly waving down passers-by.
The inclusion of location detail here really surprised me because I would never expect that in a US-based article, and a lot of that stuff is often missing from Vietnamese articles. Sometimes I’ll read a nice article about hand-made toys in Hanoi or or a feature on a type of food dish.
But where do I go to buy or eat it? No location given. Good job this time, Tuoi Tre!