Vietnam on Dutch TV
Alicia is a fan of Net5 TV-show Peking Express
A few days ago I heard about a Dutch TV show named Peking Express, which is filmed in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, where I am from. I could not hide my curiosity, and decided watching the 1st episode.
Peking Express is quite similar to a series I know called “Amazing Race”: different couples have to compete with each other and overcome difficult challenges. The only difference is that in Peking Express, the participants have only one dollar to spend every day; so they need to ask local people for a ride, a meal and places to sleep.
The first episode of this season was so interesting, as the starting point was located in Halong Bay – a UNESCO World Heritage site and popular travel destination in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam. During the show, I can see they went to the Sun Wheel Ha Long- one of the top world’s tallest sightseeing Ferris wheels, and also Cai Rong- a city of Van Don Island, in where you can see several floating houses on the water. After sunset the couples aren’t allowed to travel so they need to find a place to sleep while they are on their way to Hai Phong – the third largest city of Vietnam.
If you watch the show, you can see that Vietnamese people are very friendly and hospitable. Although there is a language barrier, as not many people speak English in those areas, they still try their best to help the participants and even try to communicate with them. However, there were some cases when the locals refuse to help, which I believe is due to the lack of understanding English or their busy schedule. So please do not consider them as rude!
I found the episode very funny at one point, when the contestants spoke English and even a bit of Vietnamese to the locals, but in return Vietnamese people just smiled and said “Khong hieu dau” – meaning “I don’t understand”.
I am glad that the show’s producers chose Vietnam to film. I will continue watching Peking Express when I have more free time later on. I wonder where they are going.
Alicia Nguyen is a Communication Student at Arnhem Business School.