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HCMC or Hanoi?
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Mojoski



Joined: 03 May 2009
Posts: 170

PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:05 am    Post subject: HCMC or Hanoi? Reply with quote

A little help, please, those of you who have been to Vietnam. If you could choose to live in one of the two cities, which one, and why? Thanks!
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 250

PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lived in Hanoi for a while. Visited HCMC for 3 days.

Both have some good points. But mostly bad.

Traffic is awful in both.
Crime is a problem in both - especially HCMC
Hanoi seems to have more character - more history etc.
Both are expensive but maybe HCMC is more so.

People in the north are less friendly - they say.

Hanoi is surprisingly cold and uncomfortable in the winter. Both are hot/humid in summer and HCMC is most of the year. But the cold/chill/dank weather in Hanoi really got to me.

I live in DaNang now and thinks it's the best place to live in Vietnam. But it is not an easy place to start out especially teaching EFL.
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Anh Dep



Joined: 16 Mar 2013
Posts: 53
Location: Bangkok Thailand

PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree with Skarper, I would pick Saigon to start with and then move to Hanoi once you get a feeling of how things work.Hanoi can be damn cold and damn hot, I find the Northeners not as friendly, but I find Hanoi to be a nice city with its parks,lakes and buildings.
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Mojoski



Joined: 03 May 2009
Posts: 170

PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your help. There seems to be no clear winner. Temperature is not a major consideration. I've spent four winters in Warsaw and three summers in Oman. I know the humidity makes it worse, but I've dealt with all the extremes and survived. Cool I didn't consider the crime. I got a little spoiled that way in Oman. There's a little crime there, but it's really rare. I would guess it's less than 10% compared to the USA. Traffic must be awful. Do they have trams there?
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 250

PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are buses - but they are not easy to use, overcrowded and a bit dirty.

Most people drive motorbikes or use motorbike taxis called xe om or regular taxis (which are quite expensive if used a lot and can be annoyingly crooked).

Walking is not usually an option. I could walk from central Hanoi to my home in Hai Ba Trung in an hour and quite enjoyed the walk - but many would find it a little far and not feel very safe.

Transport is probably the biggest pain in Vietnam. Traffic is horrendous and I'd be scared to drive or ride a bike in it. I'm OK as a passenger in the quieter hours but not in Hanoi/HCMC. Taxis or walk there only.

It would be nice to have trams or a subway but I think it's years away. [2016 or 2018 for the first lines]
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psychedelicacy



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
Posts: 45
Location: Qatar

PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never been to HCMC, but I lived in Hanoi for a while and disliked it almost 100%. Problems were:

* motorbike traffic like you wouldn't believe
* very high rents
* horrendous cuisine
* general grime, noise, overcrowding and filth
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 250

PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is great food in Hanoi but it can be expensive compared to the cheaper and rather yucky alternatives. I found it OK.
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PhoenixSpirit



Joined: 31 Jul 2013
Posts: 20
Location: Russia

PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would pick Saigon/HCMC for sure. I found it much more to my liking than Hanoi. Better nightlife, more variety of things to do, friendlier people.

All to your own though.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 493
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saigon, hands down. I think Hanoi is in many ways more interesting with a greater sense of history and much better architecture, however, the people up there just wore me down and life's too short.
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 250

PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed Hanoi a lot during Autumn - Sept-Dec and miss a few things about it. However, I could live in a bubble with one or two reliable friends and not interact with the locals much.

Anyway - for me the dank gloomy winter was too much. Miserable. It's a special kind of cold unlike the dry cold of Korea or even the damp of Britain. Ugghhh. Never again.
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Mojoski



Joined: 03 May 2009
Posts: 170

PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, all. I've chosen HCMC as my preference. Cool Don't know if I will get the job or not. Confused
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montblanc20



Joined: 21 Jul 2013
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've thought that Hanoi would be good for rock climbing and going to the mountains. There is a gym that I think would be cool to join. People speak with a different accent in the North. I wouldn't like to hear it all the time. I'm living in the center. I've thought about going to to the two big cities in order to try to make more money. In general, I like my city and seeing the ocean.
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vabeckele



Joined: 19 Nov 2010
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

montblanc20 wrote:
I've thought that Hanoi would be good for rock climbing and going to the mountains. There is a gym that I think would be cool to join. People speak with a different accent in the North. I wouldn't like to hear it all the time. I'm living in the center. I've thought about going to to the two big cities in order to try to make more money. In general, I like my city and seeing the ocean.


Did you sort out being the middle man problem?

You should think about making a picture book type of thing for children, you have that style about your writing: simple but clear.
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just noel



Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Posts: 164

PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:23 pm    Post subject: Re: HCMC or Hanoi? Reply with quote

Mojoski wrote:
A little help, please, those of you who have been to Vietnam. If you could choose to live in one of the two cities, which one, and why? Thanks!


Come to both cities for at least 7 days in each one and suss things out and see how you feel.

I think this is the best way.
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 1931
Location: Paradise, Paradise, Paradise!

PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

skarper wrote:
There are buses - but they are not easy to use, overcrowded and a bit dirty.

Most people drive motorbikes or use motorbike taxis called xe om or regular taxis (which are quite expensive if used a lot and can be annoyingly crooked).

Walking is not usually an option. I could walk from central Hanoi to my home in Hai Ba Trung in an hour and quite enjoyed the walk - but many would find it a little far and not feel very safe.

Transport is probably the biggest pain in Vietnam. Traffic is horrendous and I'd be scared to drive or ride a bike in it. I'm OK as a passenger in the quieter hours but not in Hanoi/HCMC. Taxis or walk there only.

It would be nice to have trams or a subway but I think it's years away. [2016 or 2018 for the first lines]


The HCMC bus system is one of the easiest of any major city to navigate. Bus stops are clearly marked, many of those have bus shelters which show the routes of the buses which stop there. Many if not most bus routes either terminate at or pass through the Ben Thanh market central bus station. The buses are cheap and are usually dependable.
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