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mrblonde

Vietnam

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6 hours ago, Ulic said:

Hoi An is a beautiful, but a tourist trap and much more expensive than say Saigon, Da Nang, Nha Trang, and Dalat. Vietnam is well worth a trip. Like every country plusses and minuses.

Love Saigon nearly as much as Bangkok, which is my most favourite place on Earth. Well, it was - before they started to destroy the commercial activities on sidewalks. Still flourishing in Saigon.

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I was impressed by the fact that the police do not carry guns in Vietnam. The train is a great and cheap way to see the countryside. Hue was my favorite place to visit, and Hanoi second. Loved Halong Bay, but we got the best prices in the back packer hotels for tours. Stayed in a five star hotel in Hanoi, mainly because it was wheelchair accessible. We would buy the cheapest thing on the menu which was a chicken sandwich, and then one day the price had doubled...I talked with the hotel manager and he explained the hotel's costing to me and that when something sold well they would increase the price....hilarious. Nha Trang had great resorts at good prices, but hookers on the beach at night, and if you refused then gay guys appeared to hassle us....strange. China Beach used to be a beach with jungle right there, but when I returned three years ago the jungle had gone and it was set up for a Miami Beach vibe  with hotels starting to be built. You used to see hundreds of Vietnamese on the beach exercising as the sun came up, but sadly that has all gone as they probably now live far from the beach....sadly not progress. Overall love the country and the people who have an easy smile and are friendly.

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3 hours ago, oilinki said:

Good comments about Vietnam by members. 

 

What kind of visa options are available in Vietnam for long term stay?

 

 

I’ve been commuting from Thailand to Vietnam 3-4 days per week for the past 18 months. So I see both sides quite regularly. But with regard to visas that foreigners can get for long stay, this is one area where Vietnam excels compared to Thailand. Visas are super easy. None of the stupid rules of financials and hours and hours spent standing in lines to deal with loads of unnecessary paper work and bribery and changing rules and all the rest that we all love in Thailand. You just go online, choose the duration and class (business or tourist) visa you want, pay for it with credit card or even PayPal, and then receive it from agent who meets you at the arrivals hall at the airport, then in and out multiple entry visa good for a year. You can get a 1 year multiple entry business visa for about $500. You can work with it, live with it, open bank accounts, everything. There aren’t the stupid rules prohibiting foreigners from working. If you go to a french restaurant, it’s quite refreshing that all the staff are French, same for Argentinian, English, Moroccan, etc. It’s a million times more foreigner friendly and business friendly than Thailand. The rest are just lifestyle issues which you’ll need to see and compare for yourself.

 

Personally I find the cost of living similar, give or take a few things. There is much better nightlife in Vietnam. I find Vietnam food to be better and cheaper than Thai food, and foreign foods about the same quality and cost, depends where you go. I do find Vietnam much safer, much less crime, and driving is a million times easier and more refreshing without so many kamikaze motorbike drivers as in thailand. Amazingly, there are more motorbikes in Vietnam as compared to cars and almost no accidents at all.

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I don't like that it is not possible for foreigners to rent a car (self driving) in Vietnam.

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I’ve been commuting from Thailand to Vietnam 3-4 days per week for the past 18 months. So I see both sides quite regularly. But with regard to visas that foreigners can get for long stay, this is one area where Vietnam excels compared to Thailand. Visas are super easy. None of the stupid rules of financials and hours and hours spent standing in lines to deal with loads of unnecessary paper work and bribery and changing rules and all the rest that we all love in Thailand. You just go online, choose the duration and class (business or tourist) visa you want, pay for it with credit card or even PayPal, and then receive it from agent who meets you at the arrivals hall at the airport, then in and out multiple entry visa good for a year. You can get a 1 year multiple entry business visa for about $500. You can work with it, live with it, open bank accounts, everything. There aren’t the stupid rules prohibiting foreigners from working. If you go to a french restaurant, it’s quite refreshing that all the staff are French, same for Argentinian, English, Moroccan, etc. It’s a million times more foreigner friendly and business friendly than Thailand. The rest are just lifestyle issues which you’ll need to see and compare for yourself.
 
Personally I find the cost of living similar, give or take a few things. There is much better nightlife in Vietnam. I find Vietnam food to be better and cheaper than Thai food, and foreign foods about the same quality and cost, depends where you go. I do find Vietnam much safer, much less crime, and driving is a million times easier and more refreshing without so many kamikaze motorbike drivers as in thailand. Amazingly, there are more motorbikes in Vietnam as compared to cars and almost no accidents at all.
What type of nightlife is better?

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33 minutes ago, jasonsamui55 said:

You can get a 1 year multiple entry business visa for about $500

Married to (or parent of) Viet citizen, 5 year multi-entry VISA $40. 

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3 hours ago, usacb500biker said:

Can I ( USA) Vist V N on my Honda 750 motorcyce ?

 

Don't really know what you are asking. But if you want to ride your 750 bike into Vietnam. Not a chance. Read

Golden Triangle Rider for any updates. 

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7 hours ago, murraynz said:

i also like vietnam , similar to the above.i love Nha trang beach--except too many russians there.

viet women dont compare to thai women...a little more educated though...

i will be in Da nang next month,for the first time..

i find the toot-toot-toot style of driving, very strange....

I bet most readers did not understand the toot-toot-toot. I was shocked that from sunrise and throughout the night everybody is honking continuously. Very strange and very annoying.

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40 minutes ago, andre47 said:

I don't like that it is not possible for foreigners to rent a car (self driving) in Vietnam.

 

No wonder. The Viets have a completely lopsided way of driving. Such as making turns from three lanes out. Duelling with scooters at roundabouts and in street lanes. Cutting across solid lines into opposing traffic to bypass slower cars. Plowing into swarms of motos to make a turn. Riding the horn instead of the brakes. And my favourite, blasting down moto-only paths to beat traffic. Except for the latter, all of these methods are normal. 

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I'm 2 hours southeast of Saigon. I love the smiles and friendly faces in my city. Neighbours and strangers will say "xin chao," they're never afraid to speak to foreigners. When you approach a cafe cashier, they look you straight in the eye and smile. They listen, they help out, they make way if they're blocking you, they make a real effort if you are asking where something is or how much something is. If they're not sure, they readily get out the smartphone to access a Viet-English translator. No effort is too much. What a difference with Thailand. 

 

I get hellos from the school kids frequently and they ask me where I'm from. If they're riding on a moto with a parent, they'll even say hello or smile. I've never seen so many smiles. 

 

Where I live, I've never had a shop owner or minimart clerk try to "rip me off." Even if it happened, it was probably 2000 VND. However, taxi drivers are not to be trusted. They will not start the meter, or they keep driving past your destination to get the next fare amount, or they take you the long way.

 

However, I really like it and feel so much more comfortable and welcome. 

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Medical issues in Vietnam are not a problem. They have numerous properly trained Doctors around.

Most top line Doctors in Vietnam are trained by the best in Russia for a few years, before they are allowed to practice...Dental work out shines Thailand by heaps and nearly half the price...So, please dont worry about Medical situations...I lived and worked there for longer than 5 yrs, and am still kicking myself for leaving....Great Food, Beer, and for me the Vietnamese Girls are far prettier than the Thai Girls...

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Vietnam is well worth a visit. Danang, Dalat and Hanoi all interesting places. Did not like HCMC ( Saigon ).

Food is a bit blander than Thailand, breakfasts have the French influence. Hired a scooter, no problem wherever I went.

The coffee in Vietnam is among the best around. I thought for a Communist country the police and army presence was far less visible than Thailand.

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5 hours ago, oilinki said:

Good comments about Vietnam by members. 

 

What kind of visa options are available in Vietnam for long term stay?

 

Business VISA is easy and long stay welcomed

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Vietnam is well worth a visit. Danang, Dalat and Hanoi all interesting places. Did not like HCMC ( Saigon ).
Food is a bit blander than Thailand, breakfasts have the French influence. Hired a scooter, no problem wherever I went.
The coffee in Vietnam is among the best around. I thought for a Communist country the police and army presence was far less visible than Thailand.
They may not be visible but they rule with an iron fist and the human rights record is abysmal

https://www.hrw.org/asia/vietnam

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1 hour ago, blackhorse said:

They may not be visible but they rule with an iron fist and the human rights record is abysmal

https://www.hrw.org/asia/vietnam
 

 

 

Some countries need ruling with an iron fist, some countries that aren't wished they were!

 

When I see the out of control demonstrations in the name of free speech in the UK, it makes a person cringe.

 

The UK police are neither feared nor respected anymore. It is about time it reverted to a Police Force and nono of this LIBERAL terminology such as Police Service crap. We aren't ordering pizza off these guys, they are there to maintain law and order in a very uncertain world.

 

I know we can say Be careful what you wish for. However, look at how quickly Vietnam takes care of drug trafficking problems, open dissent, rioting, and such like.

 

Sometimes, I wish the U.K. could take a leaf out of some of the other police forces around the world as ours is now ruined due to Political Cowardice.

 

Anyway, back on the topic of Vietnam, we were stopped by police in Halong Bay for no safety helmets and advised to wear them in future and sent on our way with a smile. That would just NOT HAVE HAPPENED in Thailand.

 

I know that Vietnamese citizens don't enjoy the freedoms that tourists do and those areas need improving, but I am actually only speaking as a tourist.

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