On the other hand.... when I arrived in Sa Pa just before day break, the Hotel in which I had a day room was dark, and locked tight. It was the “Cat Cat Hotel”, named for a nearby “ethnic village”.
I was all for going across the street to get a cup of coffee but my trustworthy guide (Sinh) insisted on calling the night clerk.
He soon arrived to open up the Hotel – all smiles, and explaining that he’d been at a party the evening before as was a bit “hungover”.
I never got to know his name, so I nick-named him “Mr. Friendly”. He was/is a Vietnamese of Chinese background. His English was flawless. His personality was filled with bubbly bonhomie.
After my sleep and shower he and I chatted. He told me that he was very happy because he was going to his home village for the Tet holiday.
I asked about his family. He told me that he had an older brother.
Then he added “I am happy that I have an older brother because it’s his responsibility to take care of my parents, not mine. As for me, I don’t want to get married because I want independence and freedom”.
So despite what the airline clerk at the Ha Noi airport said, there are young Vietnamese men (and probably some women) who are opting for single and alone life which is so common in the west.