Saturday, April 24, 2010


When you tell your friends that you're moving to Vietnam, I can guarantee you will not receive the same reaction as if you were moving to London. Quite the opposite. Here is how it goes:


You: "So I'm moving to london..."
Friends: "Oh that's great. I'm so excited for you!", "You're gonna have a blast!"


You: "So I'm moving to Vietnam..."
Friend 1: "Why? But it's a third world country"
Friend 2: "Are you sure you're making the right decision. You are so brave"


Firstly, it's not a third world country. It's the country, which is experiencing the fastest booming economy since China ten years ago. There's a lot of exciting developments happening here that is not really exposed to people back at home. And trust me, if you're here on a tour to experience the culture, you will take away a perspective of Vietnam as oppose from living here.

Top 10 good things about Vietnam

In no particular order,

                                                                       1. Free Wi Fi everywhere
It's true. There's Wi Fi access in every almost every cafe in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). Not so much Hanoi, but in HCMC you can work or access your email everywhere for free. So you can work, chat, or play games from just about anywhere.

2. Everything can and will be delivered for free

Shops will deliver everything; big or small order it can be delivered with no extra delivery costs. I ring to order lunch for about 30,000 VND (approx AU$1.70)... And what... you deliver? Fantastic!

3. I have a driver!

Give him a few drinks and he claims he is the number one driver in HCMC. So I'm not Kevin Rudd or anything, but I have a driver to take me to and from work and all the meetings during the day. I would never be able to afford one back at home. It's just unheard of, unless you're filthy rich, right?

4. The people

There's the good & bad in every culture. However, since this is a "good" list so I will say good things only at this stage. The people are very family orientated, so when they are your friend they will treat you like their family. Well almost anyway.

5. It's cheaper to live

It's not as cheap as it used to be, but paying $2 for a standard Vietnamese lunch meal compared to $10 for lunch back home is considered cheap for me. Of course, if you choose western food, your looking at paying $10 for a meal anyway. So you can choose to live an expensive lifestyle or a cheaper lifestyle. I like to mix it up, because I can't live without my pasta!

6. Everyone is willing to meet you

It's not too hard to schedule a meeting with the company director. People here love networking and building relationships or getting connected is the way of doing business over here. They love to hear what you have to say or just to meet for coffee. Good for business.

7. The Food... My god!

That's right, there's food everywhere you look. You know in Australia, there are some places you avoid to eat because the food there is not so edible. Well here, I don't think there's any cafe or restaurant where I have walked out saying i could never go there again. In fact, the food here is great.. there's variety, it's fresh, most of it is healthy... and I haven't been anywhere where the food is completely and utterly horrible. Yet!

8. Never have to wear a jacket
Never. It rarely ever gets below 30 degrees in HCMC. Although, the hanoians experience cold whether in Nov - Jan. Very much like Melbourne weather.

9. The land of opportunity

Everything is so new here, so there's plenty of opportunities over here if you want to setup your own business. Labour is cheaper and therefore to setup a business over here can be less than half the cost compared to back home. And... most domain names for are available! 

10. Clubs are for free... what?

I'm not much of a clubber myself these days... too old for that! But in Vietnam, it's free! For VQs and foreigners, but some clubs charge the local vietnamese entry fee. I guess it's a way to get the foreigners in and keep the locals out. I don't know... there's no real discrimination laws over here. Anything goes.


1. My family and friends of course

2. Being able to buy gourmet vegetables from the Supermarket

3. Drive where and whenever you want

4. Lamb souvlaki in the middle of the night!

5. The cold weather. It rarely ever gets below 30 degrees here!

6. Professionalism. In business, there is a lack of professionalism. It's improving but it's not standard as yet.

7. Sticky date pudding with ice-cream. Yumm.... I'm sure we can get it here but I haven't found out where yet.
8. Buying Shoes. The shopping and fashion over here is horrible and the quality of shoes are terrible. There are good stores but far and few between compared to Australia. Good for my bank account though.

9. Not working on the weekends. It doesn't matter what day or time, I work... It has it's pros and cons.

10. My bed! It's firm but soft at the same time. The beds here are really really really firm, if you know what I mean.

No comments:

Post a Comment