Make Vietnam your second home

09:39 | 10/04/2020
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Are you dreaming of a life away from everything you grew up in? Would you like to immerse yourself into a completely foreign culture and learn new perspectives on life and yourself? If so, Etienne Mahler gives you some reasons why Vietnam is one of the best places to go to.
make vietnam your second home
Make Vietnam your second home

Although travelling to Vietnam is hardly possible amid the current international health crisis, we all look forward to a future in which we can travel to and live in wherever we want. After reading this article, we hope you would like to join us here in Vietnam. So without any further ado, let’s get started with telling you about this amazing country and why you should come here.

EXCITING EXPAT LIFE

Vietnam may not be on everyone’s radar when it comes to the best places for living and working abroad - yet, many expatriates have given their opinions in a recent survey by InterNations and agreed that the country is among the best two to work and live abroad, right after Taiwan. The survey was conducted in 64 countries and territories with at least 75 respondents for each subcategory to be considered. Respondents could rate several criteria on a scale of one to seven, with some varying weights depending on the category.

According to the survey, “there is no better place for finances and working abroad than Vietnam”, ranking first in both indices. More than 80 per cent of respondents were satisfied with their finances here, with 96 per cent of them sharing that “their disposable household income is enough or even more than enough to cover daily expenses”. Vietnam also placed “first for both career prospects and job satisfaction”, combined with a “satisfying work-life balance”.

Although there are still improvements in health, traffic, pollution, and public transport necessary to rank higher in the responding categories, 88 per cent of respondents “are generally happy with their life” in Vietnam. Moreover, with the rapid development that is happening at the moment, the country will certainly improve drastically in these sectors within just a few years. For example, both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will soon launch their metro systems, electrical vehicles are becoming more and more popular, and the digital transformation sweeps through every part of social and economic life.

make vietnam your second home

AMAZING CULTURE

After living, studying, and working in Vietnam for nearly six years, I feel confident in telling you that the Vietnamese are some of the most awesome people on this planet - especially in difficult times like we experience at the moment. And, I’m not alone with this opinion. The blogger Keith Hancock wrote the Vietnamese are “open hearted, friendly and never seem to stop smiling”. A Swiss respondent to InterNations’ survey said “The people are amazing”. Other expats agreed and ranked Vietnam fifth for friendliness, with 64 per cent of them saying that it is easy to make local friends. While 75 per cent regard the Vietnamese language as “difficult to learn, just 18 per cent find it hard to live in Vietnam without speaking it”, the survey also stated. So, do not worry if you are not instantly fluent in Vietnamese.

In addition to its wonderful people, the country has a deep history that goes back thousands of years and is strongly influenced by Chinese, Indian, and some Western cultures, among others. There is so much that is different from what you might be used to, but I can assure you that it is worth discovering. People here will happily share their culture with you, invite you for dinner to their house or for a drink to a nearby bar or bia hoi - essentially a very light and inexpensive beer which is produced and consumed on the same day.

Along with the cultural background goes the vibrant cuisine, which is not only affordable but also delicious. You may have heard about the mouth-watering street food that the country is famous for with travellers - it is true.

If you happen to see an older woman selling some meal on the street greeting you with a smile on her face, you can almost be sure that her food will be as wonderful as her smile while still being very affordable.

Interestingly, Vietnam is also one of the few countries that is not into Western fast food. While we do have some of it here, almost nobody likes it, including myself. Instead, you will find an assortment of typical Vietnamese, Chinese, and even French meals scattered around town, much preferred by most locals and expats. Unlike some stereotypes might let you think, Vietnamese also love yoghurt and other milk products - with some of the wildest flavour combinations you can think of.

STUNNING NATURE

If you love nature, you will love Vietnam. The beautiful Southeast Asian pearl features everything from vast mountainous plateaus, mysterious jungles, and white-sand beaches to scorching deserts - all within an area similar to the size of Germany.

As such, it comes as no surprise that the country boasts many UNESCO World Heritage Sites within its premises, such as the famous Halong Bay, the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, and the Trang An Landscape Complex.

Should you decide to live here, it is easy to rent a car or a motorbike and go on a small trip, even just quickly at the weekend. Apart from the famous tourist destinations, the country’s picturesque nature presents its beauty also often on the way while you are just passing by. So, while you are staying in Vietnam, you can be sure it is going to be the time of your life.

By Etienne Mahler

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