VIETNAM TRAVEL

 

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SPORT

Football (soccer) is Vietnam's number-one spectator sport and the country is mad for it. During the World Cup, the European Champions League or other major clashes, half the country stays up all night to watch live games in different time zones around the world. Post-game fun includes hazardous high-speed motorbike cruising in the streets of Hanoi and HCMC, horns blaring, flags waving. Sadly the national team has not kept pace with this obsession and although one of the stronger teams in Southeast Asia, they remain minnows on the international stage. Think World Cup 2030 or beyond. Their FIFA world ranking is a lowly 172, only one place above Tahiti. Tennis has considerable snob appeal these days and trendy Vietnamese like to both watch and play. Similarly, golf has taken off as a way to earn brownie points with international investors or local movers and shakers. Golf courses have been developed all over the country, although membership fees ensure it remains a game for the elite. The Vietnamese are a nation of badminton players and every street is a potential court. Other favourite sports include volleyball and table tennis.