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How about Vietnam?


Brunolem

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There is a lot of talk these days about the future for Westerners in Thailand, especially those who are not multimillionaires.

 

So it may be wise to start looking around, just to be on the safe side.

 

I know Cambodia and Laos well enough to be sure that I wouldn't consider moving there, but I am wondering about Vietnam, notably Ho Chi Minh City and the Southern part.

 

How are things for foreigners over there (visa, banks and currency, healthcare, cost of life, security, and so on).

 

Your input is welcome...

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4 minutes ago, marcusarelus said:

Hospitals are friendly and I understand many patients share beds.  Most of the tests are sent to Singapore to be processed I believe.  I would not want to get sick in Vietnam. 

I doubt that's true.

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Vietnam is less developed than Thailand (Hospitals not as good, public transport less developed, not as many shopping centers...), has a higher theft rate, cost of living is higher, and in my opinion Thai food is way better. I've never heard of serious problems with banking from my vietnamese ex GF, so i assume it's ok, but no personal experience dealing with banks there.

So most Things in Thailand are better, only the visa situation in Vietnam is better.

 

Of course Vietnam also has interesting things, and not everything is bad, and i would definitely not mind staying in Vietnam for a few months, or even a year, but if you want to choose either Thailand or Vietnam, Thailand clearly wins

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19 minutes ago, jackdd said:

Vietnam is less developed than Thailand (Hospitals not as good, public transport less developed,

You're wrong about public transport.

I travelled everywhere in HCMC on the bus, and there was an app for my smartphone, which showed me where all the busses were, and the bus stops, and where they were going, all at a really cheap price (including the airport).

 

Cost of living was the same or cheaper, pound Vs dong didn't change much with Brexit, so it's moved 20% cheaper than Thailand in the last two years. Beer is half the price, hookers are double the price.

 

@OP

Me and my pals all loved HCMC, and the nearby beach resort Vung Tau.

I was coming out to Thailand after 2 years in the UK, my pals said we're all in HCMC, so I did a 2 week stopover before Thailand (April 2018). Watch out for the girls though, much more aggressive than Pattaya, if you sat still for more than 10 minutes in a public place (park, bar, restaurant, coffee shop), one would approach, I was tempted many times, but a bit too old for those games now. They all spoke really good English, none of this 'my friend you' malarky.

 

Who the f$#% cares about hospitals? I avoid them whenever possible.

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16 minutes ago, scorecard said:

I doubt that's true.

+1...there's the FV Hospital and the SOS international medical clinic in HCMC both offering a western standard of medical care and with their own lab facilities...but they aren't cheap...useta be mostly french medics at the FV hosp 10 years ago...

 

 

 

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41 minutes ago, BritManToo said:

You're wrong about public transport.

I travelled everywhere in HCMC on the bus, and there was an app for my smartphone, which showed me where all the busses were, and the bus stops, and where they were going, all at a really cheap price (including the airport).

 

Cost of living was the same or cheaper, pound Vs dong didn't change much with Brexit, so it's moved 20% cheaper than Thailand in the last two years. Beer is half the price, hookers are double the price.

 

@OP

Me and my pals all loved HCMC, and the nearby beach resort Vung Tau.

I was coming out to Thailand after 2 years in the UK, my pals said we're all in HCMC, so I did a 2 week stopover before Thailand (April 2018). Watch out for the girls though, much more aggressive than Pattaya, if you sat still for more than 10 minutes in a public place (park, bar, restaurant, coffee shop), one would approach, I was tempted many times, but a bit too old for those games now. They all spoke really good English, none of this 'my friend you' malarky.

 

Who the f$#% cares about hospitals? I avoid them whenever possible.

 

"...Watch out for the girls though, much more aggressive than Pattaya, if you sat still for more than 10 minutes in a public place (park, bar, restaurant, coffee shop), one would approach..."

 

What rubbish. Yes there are girls looking for men / money, but that's true in every country, nothing more / nothing less. And way way less than in Pattaya. 

 

I've visited HCMC, Hanoi and VT twice a year (all 3 locations) every year for the past 12 years), I have never once been approached. 

 

In terms of development, the Vietnamese education system is way ahead of Thailand and is based on the Singapore model, there's massive development / re-development of infrastructure, airports are well designed and highly efficient, Visa systems are ahead of Thailand. Trains and bus systems continue to improve. Overall there is respect for the law, way ahead of Thailand.

 

 

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People say the visa situation is better but I've yet to be convinced on that. There is no actual retirement visa, so you need to play games, right? Also I would predict that eventually if they have an actual retirement visa it will higher financial level than Thailand because Vietnam is becoming a more successful nation than Thailand. 

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2 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

People say the visa situation is better but I've yet to be convinced on that. There is no actual retirement visa, so you need to play games, right? Also I would predict that eventually if they have an actual retirement visa it will higher financial level than Thailand because Vietnam is becoming a more successful nation than Thailand. 

"... because Vietnam is becoming a more successful nation than Thailand."

 

Agree. 

 

 

 
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Vietnam over LOS any day of the week.  If you think Thai food is more tasty, go to a Thai restaurant.  A flight to Thailand (for a good time) from Vietnam is a few bucks.  Their chaos is more refined and a noticeable, higher level of respect across the board.  Great soi vendors (food, products, etc...same-same), shopping malls, markets, half decent train system, chaotic (but safe) traffic.....I like it.

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5 minutes ago, CanuckThai said:

Vietnam over LOS any day of the week.  If you think Thai food is more tasty, go to a Thai restaurant.  A flight to Thailand (for a good time) from Vietnam is a few bucks.  Their chaos is more refined and a noticeable, higher level of respect across the board.  Great soi vendors (food, products, etc...same-same), shopping malls, markets, half decent train system, chaotic (but safe) traffic.....I like it.

 

 

Beaches are good as well.

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Sadly Thailand went down the crapper a long time ago.....all the points you mentioned are available and of course will progress just as Thailand has over the years. The main point for me is the total dislike of Foreigners here from the top echelons of government down to somchai taxi guy, so having to queue at the bank once in while in a friendly environment far outweighs the daily drudge of having to deal with retards that throw their dummy out the pram at the least little thing

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2 hours ago, tutsiwarrior said:

+1...there's the FV Hospital and the SOS international medical clinic in HCMC both offering a western standard of medical care and with their own lab facilities...but they aren't cheap...useta be mostly french medics at the FV hosp 10 years ago...

 

International Living magazine gave Thailand a score of 89 in the Health Care component, putting it in the top ten highest-rated countries for health care out of the 24 nations surveyed; Vietnam scored 78, which means it ranked 21st out of the 24 countries.

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/111015/thailand-vs-vietnam-which-better-retirees.asp

 

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1 hour ago, scorecard said:

"... because Vietnam is becoming a more successful nation than Thailand."

 

Agree.

Per capita GDP is 300% greater in Thailand.  $2,303  vs $6,663.  Vietnam is not in the same league.  Vietnam has 23 vehicles per 1000 people Thailand has 225.  It is like comparing the stone age to modernity. 

 

https://countryeconomy.com/countries/compare/vietnam/thailand?sc=XE15

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11 minutes ago, baansgr said:

Sadly Thailand went down the crapper a long time ago.....all the points you mentioned are available and of course will progress just as Thailand has over the years. The main point for me is the total dislike of Foreigners here from the top echelons of government down to somchai taxi guy, so having to queue at the bank once in while in a friendly environment far outweighs the daily drudge of having to deal with retards that throw their dummy out the pram at the least little thing

Exports $226.10 billion
Ranked 25th. 97% more than Vietnam

 

Vietnam is not stable enough in healthcare, currency, government or industry for anyone to compare it realistically with Thailand.  Maybe in 20 years.  

 

Thailand is like a dog.  If you want to be afraid and think it dosen't like you it won't. 

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Just now, marcusarelus said:

Per capita GDP is 300% greater in Thailand.  $2,303  vs $6,663.  Vietnam is not in the same league.  Vietnam has 23 vehicles per 1000 people Thailand has 225.  It is like comparing the stone age to modernity. 

 

https://countryeconomy.com/countries/compare/vietnam/thailand?sc=XE15

I guess this is the inevitable "escape" to Vietnam thread. I've lived here for 4 years and it's not even close to Thailand. I'll repeat it but a few of the rebuttals here already have it right. It's not as developed as Thailand by a long shot. It may someday be (not soon either) but it may be quite awhile. Vietnamese know it.

Good diagnostics on medical tests are often if not routinely sent to Singapore or BKK. It's light years from having anything like the MRT or BTS if ever. The latest reports have South Korea and Japan throwing in the towel on funding here for any transit or subway system. Why? The predictable levels of graft and corruption have mysteriously "lost" enough money to kill it. Oh, there's an option  - guess who'll be willing to fund it like they're funding it now. You guessed it, the Chinese. Wondering if that will clog up the cities with masses of Chinese visitors? No need to guess really. The Chinese embassy and the Ho Chi Minh City government have managed to "partner" together to increase the number of Chinese tourist in HCM from .5 million a year to 1.5 million a year. The HCM infrastructure can't handle Vietnamese for f-sake. Guess they could go elsewhere in Vietnam right? They're already over running places like Nha Trang and in another "partnership" the gov here gave away historic levels of a deal (99 year leases) in places like Phuoc - prime locations. You probably didn't hear about the arrests after people protested because a lot of people had the crap beaten out of them.

I may be wrong, but like another poster, I've never heard of a retirement visa here. Many are here on "business visas" which are easily obtainable NOW, but there's nothing saying this visa, tied to other employment trends might easily be changed. You're going to do another round of dubious visa processes here?

I understand some of the frustration with the Visa process in Thailand but equating this with a logical slide into Vietnam will leave even more people bewildered and unprepared at some point.

 

 

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43 minutes ago, marcusarelus said:

Per capita GDP is 300% greater in Thailand.  $2,303  vs $6,663.  Vietnam is not in the same league.  Vietnam has 23 vehicles per 1000 people Thailand has 225.  It is like comparing the stone age to modernity. 

 

https://countryeconomy.com/countries/compare/vietnam/thailand?sc=XE15

But most of us that came here, especially years ago, came to get away from traffic, so its a bonus what you have posted. 

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41 minutes ago, marcusarelus said:

Exports $226.10 billion
Ranked 25th. 97% more than Vietnam

 

Vietnam is not stable enough in healthcare, currency, government or industry for anyone to compare it realistically with Thailand.  Maybe in 20 years.  

 

Thailand is like a dog.  If you want to be afraid and think it dosen't like you it won't. 

Who cares about GDP........thats just it.....people are fed up with thailand the way it is. It was all here befor but with the advent of social media its blatant that it is very far from a hospitable place to be

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1 hour ago, tideout said:

I guess this is the inevitable "escape" to Vietnam thread. I've lived here for 4 years and it's not even close to Thailand. I'll repeat it but a few of the rebuttals here already have it right. It's not as developed as Thailand by a long shot. It may someday be (not soon either) but it may be quite awhile. Vietnamese know it.

Good diagnostics on medical tests are often if not routinely sent to Singapore or BKK. It's light years from having anything like the MRT or BTS if ever. The latest reports have South Korea and Japan throwing in the towel on funding here for any transit or subway system. Why? The predictable levels of graft and corruption have mysteriously "lost" enough money to kill it. Oh, there's an option  - guess who'll be willing to fund it like they're funding it now. You guessed it, the Chinese. Wondering if that will clog up the cities with masses of Chinese visitors? No need to guess really. The Chinese embassy and the Ho Chi Minh City government have managed to "partner" together to increase the number of Chinese tourist in HCM from .5 million a year to 1.5 million a year. The HCM infrastructure can't handle Vietnamese for f-sake. Guess they could go elsewhere in Vietnam right? They're already over running places like Nha Trang and in another "partnership" the gov here gave away historic levels of a deal (99 year leases) in places like Phuoc - prime locations. You probably didn't hear about the arrests after people protested because a lot of people had the crap beaten out of them.

I may be wrong, but like another poster, I've never heard of a retirement visa here. Many are here on "business visas" which are easily obtainable NOW, but there's nothing saying this visa, tied to other employment trends might easily be changed. You're going to do another round of dubious visa processes here?

I understand some of the frustration with the Visa process in Thailand but equating this with a logical slide into Vietnam will leave even more people bewildered and unprepared at some point.

 

 

Yes, there definitely is no retirement visa for Vietnam and I totally agree that any changes in the future are likely to make it harder for foreigners to retire there. 

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But most of us that came here, especially years ago, came to get away from traffic, so its a bonus what you have posted. 
If you might think traffic in Thailand is crazy, which I do think, you should have a look at Ho Chi Minh! I have NEVER seen in my whole life a city with so many motorbikes, I heard about 6millions, amazing to see how they manage not to crash in the big roundabouts at rush hour.
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