Deputy Ambassador of the UK to Vietnam Steph Lysaght who has been staying Vietnam for two years shared that Vietnam’s cultural values always interest him.

The diplomat said that it seemed that many like Vietnam’s weather, food, mountains and beaches, but what he loves the most about the country is the bustle and excitement of cities. He said that he felt energetic while seeing bustling life on streets of Vietnamese cities. In Vietnam, it seemed that all activities from eating to doing physical exercise and meditation take place on the streets.

Anne-Lise Thieffine's two daughters at Bong Do Market in Ha Dong district, Hanoi

Steph Lysaght added that he loved Vietnamese food and more significantly he cherished the Vietnamese family meal when all family members sit around a big tray or a table full of different dishes, use small bowls and pairs of chopsticks, and have talks during the meal. The daily meal is a chance for family members to talk and share their happiness and hardship in life.

The UK Deputy Ambassador evaluated that a firm family foundation, economic development, and parents’ great care for a bright future of their children have helped Vietnam raise its level of happiness in global reports. Recent surveys proved that most of Vietnamese people are living a happy life, and Vietnam has obtained certain achievements in different aspects.

Mentioning some major challenges confronting Hanoi in the 21st century, Steph Lysaght affirmed that the Hanoians will be happier if the city has a more effective public transport development plan and builds it into an environmentally-friendly smart city.

Twenty-six-year-old French girl Lucie Martin said that she was so happy visiting Vietnam – the motherland of her grandfather. The young girl recalled that her grandfather passed away when she was only one year old, so she did not know much about the country. It was his paintings about Vietnam that urged her to discover this beautiful Asian country.

She said that her family has still preserved the tradition of making spring rolls - a Vietnamese traditional dish, on anniversaries since his grandfather was still alive. “I feel so happy visiting Vietnam, meeting friendly Vietnamese people, savoring delicious food, and admiring spectacular landscapes,” said Lucie Martin.

The French traveler shared that she felt safe and comfortable while staying in Vietnam. She recalled her 14-hour trip from Hanoi to Hue city, “Although I was the only foreigner on the train, I felt safe. Locals made me feel comfortable as they treated me with delicious local food and water and talked with me openly. I treasure every single moment with Vietnamese locals,” said Lucie Martin.

Anne-Lise Thieffine had different reason for her trip to Vietnam and her love for the country. Attracted by Vietnamese spectacular landscapes after watching the film "L’Amant" (lovers), the 37-year-old woman decided to make her first trip to an Asian country with her two daughters, Maxine and Cléo.

“I was fascinated by the beautiful landscapes of Vietnam and so were my daughters. We rambled through streets of Hanoi and felt as if we had been walking in France. I was surprised at Vietnamese people’s hospitality. They gave my daughters candies, treated them nicely, and loved to join pictures with my daughters. That was incredible!”

She said that she would definitely cook Vietnamese food, including stir fried noodles, fried rice, spring rolls, and “pho,” which are her daughters’ favorites. “I will always miss Vietnam,” said Anne-Lise Thieffine.

Translated by Tran Hoai