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Jonathan Fairfield

What’s it really like living as an Expat in Vietnam? (Interview)

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5 hours ago, spidermike007 said:

Good post. Thanks. I am sure the reasonable visa policy will attract many. Some of us despise the government and immigration here so deeply, that getting away from them would be worth it, almost on it's own!

 

However, I have been there several times and prefer the Thai people. They have far lighter hearts, way better humor and I find them infinitely more pleasant. Frankly, I just did not like many of the Vietnamese people. Ran into alot of surly, cold people. And I am a friendly guy! On two trips I was with my Thai wife who has kind of a Pan-Asian look. Many thought she was a local. They do not seem to like seeing Asian gals with foreign men. I do not have much patience for that level of ignorance. 

 

And trading a hateful, xenophobic, moronic, corrupt and hapless government for a communist government would not be my first choice. Though, it is getting to the point where I might choose anyone over these incompetent goons. 

That's exactly what Vietnam does NOT have.

 

There is no suitable longterm visa for someone who really wants to life there long term, especially as a retiree and one of the reasons vietnam is a nogo for me.

No Retirement Visa, No Investment Visa, No Elite Visa, No Ed Visa (?) - there's nothing. All you can do is getting a fake business visa that they will crack down on sooner or later thai style.

 

Visa exempt for us, even tho i get 15 days like some other europeans too, is super limited. 

You can use it only by air, and you need to have a gap of 30 days between them.

 

The 12 month multi entry visas are only available for US people...

 

 

 

Edited by ThomasThBKK
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My rent is in a modern hotel that includes fast Wi-Fi, market shopping service, laundry service, maid service, three hot meals a day and all utilities for $85 a month.

he seems to be saying he is in HCMC, FOR THESE FACILITIES IN hcmc the price he has there is utter nonsense

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1 hour ago, Des Pickable said:

he seems to be saying he is in HCMC, FOR THESE FACILITIES IN hcmc the price he has there is utter nonsense

I thought that sounded quite suspect. The food alone would be more than that, unless he was being fed porridge three times a day. And laundry service and utilities too? Sounds like a fantasy world. And from what I hear, there is no such thing as fast wi-fi in Vietnam. I get 180mbps down, and 100mbps up, with fiber optic here, for 800 baht a month. Hard to beat that. 

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7 minutes ago, spidermike007 said:

I thought that sounded quite suspect. The food alone would be more than that, unless he was being fed porridge three times a day. And laundry service and utilities too? Sounds like a fantasy world. And from what I hear, there is no such thing as fast wi-fi in Vietnam. I get 180mbps down, and 100mbps up, with fiber optic here, for 800 baht a month. Hard to beat that. 

You HEAR there is no fast wifi, but u do not know? 

Quit with the <deleted>! Great wifi there, and the people aren't friendly? Again you're full of <deleted>!

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If he was in the more central districts of HCMC then a 0 was probably omitted meaning he pays $850/month all inclusive.  If out in district 7 the editor/writer probably missed a 4, 5 or 6 at the start, so $450, $550 or $650.  Quality of the accommodations of course is going to play a huge part in determining that along with the district he is living in. 

 

I was going to add my 2 cents to the recent post but at the time decided not to just because it seems that there is a fairly substantial divide of belief/view/opinion where forummers either are very adverse or pleased towards any positive or negative reports.  I'm not going to present my opinion either way as just as with the other 2, they are 2 only and mine just another.  Everyone is going to experience Vietnam, Thailand or any country for that matter with different perspectives, some slight some substantial.  Having on and off in the last 15 years lived in HCMC and Hanoi primarily for anything from 9-10 months (mainly between 2005-2011) when I was working (a foreign company paying western level wages for those that are wondering) and 6-9 months (my usual time from 2011 onward) when I no longer needed to and was just a tourist, I've known a lot of expats with a very broad spectrum of opinion, from those that can't stand the place, those that love it and everything in between. 

 

At the end of the day just go live, if you're able, in the country that you wish to live, whether that's Vietnam, Thailand or another country.  None of us here own any of these countries (that I know of) so such emotional investment in where people other than yourself wants to live isn't worth the time and life. 

 

FWIW for those that can't find imported products either ask your concierge at your hotel and they'll give you names and address or if in Hanoi and can't find the ones around the small streets near Hoan Kiem lake, there's a small but good one a block or so from the Thai embassy.  Coming out of the embassy just turn right and walk up the street.  It's hard to miss as the have many of their imported foods in the window.   

 

HCMC has even more.  Most of the big malls should have something but again just ask your hotel concierge if you can't find one.  In D1 on the corner of Dong Du, if for example you are coming out of the Sheraton just turn left and walk straight for about 150 meters and there's a double story imported foods/deli/bakery on the other side of the road.  You can get everything from Bob's Red Mill "whatever," imported beers, wines, cheeses, butters, coffee, chocolate, sweets, biscuits etc.  

 

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20 hours ago, ThomasThBKK said:

That's exactly what Vietnam does NOT have.

 

There is no suitable longterm visa for someone who really wants to life there long term, especially as a retiree and one of the reasons vietnam is a nogo for me.

No Retirement Visa, No Investment Visa, No Elite Visa, No Ed Visa (?) - there's nothing. All you can do is getting a fake business visa that they will crack down on sooner or later thai style.

 

Visa exempt for us, even tho i get 15 days like some other europeans too, is super limited. 

You can use it only by air, and you need to have a gap of 30 days between them.

 

The 12 month multi entry visas are only available for US people...

 

 

 

They do have investment visas. 

The 15 day exemption (no doubt too limited in terms of length and the few nationalities that qualify) is good for land borders. 

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I have lived in Saigon for over two years. All in All I like it.

 

I pay 700 USD a month for my apartment in District 4, just over the Bridge from the center. 

 

Traffic can be chaos here, but I am beginning to enjoy the hustle and bustle of early morning rush hour. It's a different kind of riding.

 

Plenty of lemons here.

 

Overall, it is cheaper than Thailand, but f you want to have your western comforts, you do pay more than back home. There are a number of western style supermarkets like citimart, Annam Gourmet, and a few Lotte Marts (quite a decent size Korean community here)

 

Vietnam does offer diversity when it comes to weekend trips. For history go to Hanoi, Hoi An, Hue, Saigon etc. 

For beaches, Mui Ne is decent. Nah Trang has overdeveloped, and is full of Chinese and Russians, so has become a very geared market. If you are into motorcycle trips, like me,  there are loads of decent mountain, coastal roads, and country roads to discover.

 

However, in staying all that I still miss the 7 years I spent in Thailand. There is something about Thailand that Vietnam doesn't have. I think it is the 'Mai Pen Rai' attitude. 

 

I may very well return to live in Thailand some day, just not today!

 

 

 

 

 

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I enjoyed trips to Saigon and Da Nang earlier this year, food was good accommodation was cheap, beaches were nice.

Off to Hanoi later this week to have a look around.

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this year i have had two 3 month visas for vietnam which i barely used, went to the same embassy and asked for another 3 month visa, they said "no can do" have to go through "security" i said ok go through security, they then insisted i change it to one month only, i complied and got the visa.

you have been warned , havent seen any mention of this type of thing by others.

asked when it would be possible to get another 3 month visa - no definitive answer forth coming

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What is a hoagie sandwich? It sounds like an American cigar

On 9/3/2019 at 2:02 AM, madmen said:

Vietnam is getting Thailands rejects, people who failed at life and now at the mercy of currency exchange on meagre pensions and nothing else. How does a person spend a 40 year working life and were not able to save 800k ?

 

Lucky vietnam !!

Who said we were wage slaves for forty years? Who has 23 thousand pounds to spare in  cash? Most people have pensions,  investments or properties to generate a regular long term income not arbitrary amounts of cash determined  by an unworldly military junta.

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On 9/3/2019 at 10:44 AM, Caldera said:

This is more or less just nonsense. Good deals on rent can be had, no doubt, but $85 per month for what's described is unrealistically low, probably a typo? $285 I could believe, maybe even $185 in a cheap area. No lemons in Vietnam? Nonsense, I've seen them with my own eyes. Eating dogs and cats "for fun"? What does that even mean? Many people eat for enjoyment on top of merely sustaining their body, is that what he means?

 

I agree that the recent thread started by robsamui has much better information.

I lived in a place in bangkok for 70 dollars a month for a couple of years.  25sqm with wifi and cable tv too.  15 minute walk to central world.  there are many places like this in bangkok.  you just have to know where to look.  I won't tell you my favorite spots because I don't want the prices at my places to go higher.  hehe.  sorry.

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23 hours ago, aridion said:

I have lived in Saigon for over two years. All in All I like it.

 

I pay 700 USD a month for my apartment in District 4, just over the Bridge from the center. 

 

Traffic can be chaos here, but I am beginning to enjoy the hustle and bustle of early morning rush hour. It's a different kind of riding.

 

Plenty of lemons here.

 

Overall, it is cheaper than Thailand, but f you want to have your western comforts, you do pay more than back home. There are a number of western style supermarkets like citimart, Annam Gourmet, and a few Lotte Marts (quite a decent size Korean community here)

 

Vietnam does offer diversity when it comes to weekend trips. For history go to Hanoi, Hoi An, Hue, Saigon etc. 

For beaches, Mui Ne is decent. Nah Trang has overdeveloped, and is full of Chinese and Russians, so has become a very geared market. If you are into motorcycle trips, like me,  there are loads of decent mountain, coastal roads, and country roads to discover.

 

However, in staying all that I still miss the 7 years I spent in Thailand. There is something about Thailand that Vietnam doesn't have. I think it is the 'Mai Pen Rai' attitude. 

 

I may very well return to live in Thailand some day, just not today!

 

 

 

 

 

I've been to vietnam 4 times now over 3 years.  it's ok.  doesn't have as many malls as bangkok or even pattaya have.  but the internet in saigon maybe even faster than in bangkok.  in many of the coffee shops the speeds are in the 40mbs.  I've been in thailand for about 20 years now.  love it.  but variety is the spice of life.  so next year, I'm thinking of splitting my time between the PI, vietnam and thailand.  maybe start with 6 months thailand, 3 months each in the cebu and saigon.  I heard about these caves in vietnam that are the biggest in the world.  curious..  like angkor wat. 

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2 minutes ago, DEKEM said:

I heard about these caves in vietnam that are the biggest in the world.  curious..

Yeah but a firm called Oxalis has exclusive access and charge about $1000 for a two night visit.

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