Vietnam has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and due to this, English has become a very important language : studied at every school and by all age ranges. The number of students going overseas to study increases year after year and the determination and dedication of students to studying is something very rewarding for a teacher.
Vietnam has a long and rich history with a very special culture which dates back many thousands of years and crafted by the many nations which have inhabited it.. Vietnam has a unique feel and is very different to the countries it borders such as Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and China. Around 80% of the population of Vietnam is Buddhist and this has an effect on the attitudes and actions of the people who are warm hearted, kind and welcoming to foreigners.
With over half of the country having a coastline, there are many beaches and idyllic places to relax and explore. From Ha Long Bay to the Mekong Delta there really is something for everyone in this amazing country. It is a heaven for those who love fresh and cheap seafood. Many teachers who plan to come for 1 year end up making Vietnam their permanent home.
The climate varies a lot depending on the region. Ha Noi has 4 seasons and can get quite cold whereas HCMC stays hot all year round and just has the hot season and the rainy season. The intense heat of HCMC can become stifling and people regularly head further North to Da Lat to get some clean fresh air.
Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country on the South China Sea known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities. Hanoi, the capital, pays homage to the nation’s iconic Communist-era leader, Ho Chi Minh, via a huge marble mausoleum. Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) has French colonial landmarks, plus Vietnamese War history museums and the Củ Chi tunnels, used by Viet Cong soldiers.
Home to the Vietnamese Government and the resting place of Ho Chi Minh
The capital of Vietnam and the final resting place of Uncle Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi has the charm of the old French colonial buildings and the beauty of the lakes and botanical gardens. It is developing incredibly quickly and a new monorail is set to open soon to ease some of the congestion and offers an alternative to riding a motorbike.
The city is very different from HCMC both in looks and feel. The old quarter is particularly beautiful and is a very busy area where locals and tourists mix and enjoy eating noodles and drinking traditional coffee.
Although it is the capital city it has a much more Oriental feel and is much less westernized. Hanoians are more reserved and spend their money wisely, especially on education. The food is also very different from the South and tends to be more savory.
Hanoi is famous for its beautiful autumn season, historic temples and places to visit. There are some beautiful lakes in the city and the colonial French buildings stand out with their yellow/orange facades.
Places to visit in Hanoi
For those of you who are new to Hanoi there are some great places to visit to learn more about this amazing country and culture.
These places are perfect for a day off in and around Hanoi:
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With the city returning to normal after the recent Tet holiday, there are a lot of exciting events in Hanoi to appeal to all tastes. Whether you are interested in making friends, exchanging languages, dating, cooking courses, excursions, charity work, live music, parties and more, this website will keep you up to date with up and coming events Hanoi Events
Despite the atmosphere of most events being very relaxed, please remember you are in a communist country and laws are very strict.
Hồ Chí Minh city, or Sài Gòn is where we were founded.It is a busy 24 hour metropolis with a fast pace of life and a population of around 10 million people.
It is fast becoming more westernized with the arrival of many chains of western restaurants opening up almost daily. To fully immerse yourself in the lifestyle of HCMC, knowing how to ride a motorbike is an advantage.
It is a city that never sleeps and attracts tourists from all over the world. Food in HCMC is available 24/7, and ranges from Vietnamese dishes from across the country to western food and food from all over the world. HCMC is famous for its food, which plays a large part of the culture.
Check out this great video about Ho Chi Minh City
After every Tet holiday there is always an increase in petty crime as thieves try to recoup money spent over Tet. This increase is usually focused on the tourist areas of the city with thieves looking for personal electronics to snatch.
Smartphones are the most popular items to be stolen as they can be sold off in a matter of minutes. With smartphones reaching record prices make sure to keep yours safe and avoid checking yours whilst walking or sitting at a coffee shop.
If you are the victim of a crime please inform the closet police station as soon as you can. Although the chances of recovering your stolen goods is remote, the rate of arrests have gone up over the last year and the VN Government have made a big effort to improve the country for tourists.
There are always a wide range of scams in any country which has a high number of tourists and Vietnam is no different. Whilst most scams here relieve you of a few more VND than a local would pay, there are some scams which can ruin your week/month/year. Make you stay in Vietnam as enjoyable as possible and be aware.
A lot more scams are taking place online with several locals and foreigners being defrauded out of money by people claiming to be very ill or have a family emergency. In these cases use your better judgement and think carefully before parting with any money.
If you are anyone you know are the victim of a scam, report it to the local police and make sure to tell your friends and colleagues so they can avoid it too. There are a lot of useful posts on the Hanoi Massive Community on Facebook which report and warn other expats as to ongoing scams.
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