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How comfortable are you living in Vietnam?
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imisssaitama



Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 46
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:20 pm    Post subject: How comfortable are you living in Vietnam? Reply with quote

I don't like to make generalisations about developing countries but as much as I would like to live and work in Vietnam, I have doubts about what my quality of life would be. How easy is it to get a reasonably modern comfortable apartment? How safe is it to eat out? How good is medical care? How often have you been in traffic accidents? How easy is it to get around without a scooter? What are the dangers from wildlife? I've only lived in first world countries so I'm not sure what to expect from Vietnam once on the ground, I only know what I see on TV or read about.
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SinaloaParcero



Joined: 09 Jun 2017
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am in a nice brand new serviced housing building. Maid and laundry service 2 times a week. Comfortable modern furniture and decor for 300 dollars a month.

I eat delicious food every day for 1-3 dollars. Never been sick.

Only fell on my bike once, due to me being careless.

Getting around is easy without a scooter. Just take uber or the bus.

Never seen any wildlife.

This isn't some tiny village country in Africa brah.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 10944
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:26 am    Post subject: Re: How comfortable are you living in Vietnam? Reply with quote

imisssaitama wrote:
I don't like to make generalisations about developing countries but as much as I would like to live and work in Vietnam, I have doubts about what my quality of life would be.
....
I've only lived in first world countries so I'm not sure what to expect from Vietnam once on the ground, I only know what I see on TV or read about.

Vietnam: The Quiet Economic Success Story Of Asia
By Brett Davis, Forbes contributor | Feb 2, 2016
Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/davisbrett/2016/02/02/vietnam-the-quiet-economic-success-story-of-asia/#657e05804536

(Excerpt)
Thirty years ago Vietnam was one of the poorest nations on earth, today it is officially a lower middle income country. In 1986 the policy know as Doi Moi was instituted to move the country away from a centrally planned economy back to a market oriented one.

Visitors to Vietnam, particularly from western countries, are often surprised by the office towers, high-end boutiques and bustling streets. Their impressions are often set from the images of conflict and rural poverty beamed on to television screens around the world in the 1960s and 1970s.

(End of excerpt)
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reblair79



Joined: 15 Jan 2016
Posts: 103

PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:25 am    Post subject: Re: How comfortable are you living in Vietnam? Reply with quote

imisssaitama wrote:
I don't like to make generalisations about developing countries but as much as I would like to live and work in Vietnam, I have doubts about what my quality of life would be. How easy is it to get a reasonably modern comfortable apartment? How safe is it to eat out? How good is medical care? How often have you been in traffic accidents? How easy is it to get around without a scooter? What are the dangers from wildlife? I've only lived in first world countries so I'm not sure what to expect from Vietnam once on the ground, I only know what I see on TV or read about.


I recommend following Alex Stevenson on Youtube who works in Vietnam and has a TEFL training company called Ninja Teacher. He has made tons of great videos on commonly asked questions about living and teaching in Vietnam. I have found his videos hugely interesting and informative and they have helped me make my decision to teach in Vietnam (I move out on 19th August) Very Happy

Good luck, Ray.
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reblair79



Joined: 15 Jan 2016
Posts: 103

PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SinaloaParcero wrote:
I am in a nice brand new serviced housing building. Maid and laundry service 2 times a week. Comfortable modern furniture and decor for 300 dollars a month.


Whereabouts are you?
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imisssaitama



Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 46
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks all
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SinaloaParcero



Joined: 09 Jun 2017
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

reblair79 wrote:
SinaloaParcero wrote:
I am in a nice brand new serviced housing building. Maid and laundry service 2 times a week. Comfortable modern furniture and decor for 300 dollars a month.


Whereabouts are you?


Quan 10
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reblair79



Joined: 15 Jan 2016
Posts: 103

PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SinaloaParcero wrote:
reblair79 wrote:
SinaloaParcero wrote:
I am in a nice brand new serviced housing building. Maid and laundry service 2 times a week. Comfortable modern furniture and decor for 300 dollars a month.


Whereabouts are you?


Quan 10


Cool, I am being put up in a hotel in D3 for five days on arrival. I will be looking for apartments in Thao Dien which I think looks a really cool area.
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SinaloaParcero



Joined: 09 Jun 2017
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thao Dien is a bit out of the way of things.

But area itself is pretty good.
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Demigod



Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about fast internet? stream movies, video game and calls?
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Demigod



Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking about working in Vietnam. I was shocked that the complaints were tamed compared to other countries like Saudi Arabia.

1. How is the internet ?

2. Language barriers?

3. Social life? Expat teachers are to settle down or kept at a distance?

4. local bank account or direct deposit ?

5. Gyms, hiking, clubs, martial art classes available?

6. Can you exit and re- enter once you start working?
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Piscador



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Demigod wrote:
I was thinking about working in Vietnam. I was shocked that the complaints were tamed compared to other countries like Saudi Arabia.

1. How is the internet ?

2. Language barriers?

3. Social life? Expat teachers are to settle down or kept at a distance?

4. local bank account or direct deposit ?

5. Gyms, hiking, clubs, martial art classes available?

6. Can you exit and re- enter once you start working?


1. I get 2.5 Gb/s (in real terms, at its fastest speed I can download torrents at a rate of 5 gigabytes per hour). I pay about 13USD a month for unlimited data.
2. Depends where you live.
3. There are thousands of expats in HCMC and Hanoi, to say nothing of tourists. You shouldn't have any trouble settling into a comfortable social life.
4. In general, bigger schools pay into your bank account, smaller ones pay cash.
5. There's quite a range of gyms in most cities. Hiking isn't a popular activity in VN. In the big cities you have to travel quite a distance to get to decent hiking country.
6. If you have a work permit and temporary residents card, no problem. For teachers working on a business visa you'll have to leave the country on a regular basis, once or twice a year.
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 743

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Demigod wrote:
I was thinking about working in Vietnam. I was shocked that the complaints were tamed compared to other countries like Saudi Arabia.

1. How is the internet ?

2. Language barriers?

3. Social life? Expat teachers are to settle down or kept at a distance?

4. local bank account or direct deposit ?

5. Gyms, hiking, clubs, martial art classes available?

6. Can you exit and re- enter once you start working?


Vietnam is a country of 100 million. Your questions completely depend on where in the country you decide to live. If you want answers, choose a city.
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sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1217

PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I was thinking about working in Vietnam. I was shocked that the complaints were tamed compared to other countries like Saudi Arabia.


Well, Vietnam has very little in common with Saudi Arabia in terms of culture, climate, government, the EFL scene, etc. It is somewhat comparable to China, its massive neighbor and erstwhile overlord to the north, and some of the other countries in Southeast Asia, such as Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, etc.

Quote:
Vietnam is a country of 100 million. Your questions completely depend on where in the country you decide to live. If you want answers, choose a city.


ExpatLuke makes a good point. Not only does VN have a relatively large population but spans an approximate length of 1650 km north to south, resulting in 3 fairly distinct regions (North, Central and South). Life in the smaller cities is different from the metropolises and living on the coast is different from the Mekong Delta, or the mountains.

Piscador has provided some good info, so I'll just add a few additional details.

1. How is the internet?
Internet speed is adequate when it’s working. Unfortunately, there are periodic problems with the undersea cables.
2. Language barriers?

Yes, unless you spend all your time in District 1 in HCMC. I’d say the vast majority of locals don’t speak English. Vietnamese is difficult to learn, well mostly it’s difficult to pronounce and requires mastery of the 5 tones.
3. Social life? Expat teachers are to settle down or kept at a distance?
If by “settle down” you mean get married, well, yes, some people get engaged before they even arrive by using the internet. Or wait till you arrive and get married then. Otherwise, like other places, social life is mostly centered around bars, restaurants and cafes, mostly hanging out with colleagues and other expats
4. local bank account or direct deposit?
This question isn’t very clear. Piscador’s answer is accurate if that’s what you’re asking about. I’ve had one job that required me to open an account with Vietcom Bank, something the school took care of. I have two other accounts that I opened myself (Sacombank and ACB). These are all VND (dong) accounts.
5. Gyms, hiking, clubs, martial art classes available?
Lots of gyms around, even in smaller cities. Hiking is possible in some smaller cities. I think most martial arts classes are for kids. Not sure what kind of clubs you mean, but there are language exchange groups, English clubs, etc. Some people play tennis. As mentioned above, most are content to drink beer, smoke cigarettes and talk bollocks.

6. Can you exit and re-enter once you start working?
If you have a multiple-entry visa, yes of course. If you have a single-entry visa, then you’ll need to arrange a new visa at an embassy or consulate or an e-visa on the internet. With VN, you need to get the visa before arriving and specify your date of arrival even for ‘visa on arrival’. Some nationalities are (or were?) able to get visa exemptions but just for 15 days(?), and non-extendable.

The things that people complain about most are the schools, the traffic, honking and driving, overcharging, pollution, petty theft, poor service, the schools, the weather, the flooding, low safety, hygiene and health standards, the wife, the in-laws, the schools and the schools, the usual Southeast Asia stuff.

Personally, VN is the best choice in Southeast Asia and if you can get used to or avoid the annoyances above, you can be pretty dang comfortable.
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workingnomad



Joined: 26 Sep 2005
Posts: 105
Location: SE Asia

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My major concern with HCMC is the air pollution. I think too many years exposure could seriously damage your health long term.

People think air-conditioning helps. I am afraid it doesn't. Same with those face masks - they are next to useless.

It's a real shame but it's only going to get worse before it gets better.

They are talking about banning motos in Hanoi by 2030! Never going to happen!
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