It Ain’t Dirty, It Just Looks That Way

Posted by - October 12, 2011 | Category: Peculiarities

The Signs of Vietnam

In a nation where the national currency is the “dong,” I’ve come to expect signs that perhaps would be a tad too racy if they appeared on a shop front back in Canada.

The combination of monosyllabic words and English close equivalents conspire to give the message that, well, the Vietnamese are obsessed with the penis.  At least that’s how it appears on the surface. 

And since I’ve already talked about the sights of Vietnam, and the sounds of Vietnam, I figured I should put together a post of some of the signs of Vietnam as well.

Here’s a look at some of the innuendo in the signage around the country.  And please, let me know if you think the same way too, or if I’m just stuck at Freud’s third stage of psychosexual development.

(Hover your mouse over each photo to see where it was taken.)

Superdong Ferry port sign, Rach Gia, Vietnam

Hung sign in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam

Le Hung Store sign, Hanoi, Vietnam

Hung Long Art Gallery, Hoi An, Vietnam

Hung Long Store sign, Hanoi, Vietnam

The award for the most ballsy sign (pardon the pun) would have to go the next one.  This is the sign on a shop door front in the Old Quarter of Hanoi.  There’s so much happening in that part of town, that I don’t think many people noticed it.

Try Cock Today Please Sign, Hanoi Vietnam

Ahem.  Zooming out you can see what the store owner was referring to.

Try Cock Today Please sign, Old Quarter, Hanoi, Vietnam

I wonder if anyone has ever told him what message he is  sending with that choice of acronym.  Or maybe the crafty shop owner was deliberate in his word choice — there is a lot of “stiff” competition among vendors in Hanoi. Smile

Have you seen any signs like these in your travels?

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78 comments - add one
    1. Hi my friend,
      I am the owner of the shop named COCK. I would like to invite you go to Facebook to have a look the whole story about my shop. There are hundreds funny stories around my sho name and slogan. Most of you think I dont know the meaning of it. But there are many people make friend with me and they all said I am genius. I am proud of making most of tourists who understand English laugh when they see my shop. My facebook add is [email protected]. Take care x

  1. Finding hilarious signs is one of my favorite things about traveling! I have tons of crack-me-up sign pictures from my travels and the collection is still growing. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. What a poor acronym choice by that shop owner. Or a good one I guess for entertaining travelers :) Vietnam is the capital of this, though, starting with the currency, as you point out.

  3. Again, we are sitting here in our hotel room (in San Diego) and laughing our assets off reading your blog.

    To funny!

    Yes, definitely a different culture to put it mildly.

    Hope your having fun though!

  4. One of my favorite Vietnamese restaurants in Seattle is named, “What the Pho?” Yeah, its not quite as rique as the signs you have here. But still shows some hilarious sense of humor, none-the-less.

  5. Just a warning that the giggling goes both ways. Here in Norway, if you introduced yourself as, say Steve Cook… well, everyone would giggle – or rather, laugh out loud.

  6. Hahaha! I can’t stop laughing! Oh my God! That’s one funny advertising! It’s good you manage to catch it with your camera! Thank you for sharing it! I just had my days worth of laughter!

  7. Love the goofy photos, I tried looking for photos with a similar goal in mind for Japan but I think there are too many English speakers there for these kind of signs.