Is Vietnam the best place for an expat lifestyle change?

Is Vietnam the best place for an expat lifestyle change?

Is Vietnam the best place for an expat lifestyle change?

Expats who’ve chosen Vietnam as their base for business, retirement or entrepreneurship are generally happy with their choice.

New expat arrivals in Vietnam seem to be more than happy with their new lives, citing friendly locals, tasty, healthy food and a fascinating culture, although a few stated they’d had problems getting used to the year-long heat! Others mention learning the language is important, as spoken English is as yet rare outside the major conurbations. It’s not an easy language, but the effort is well worth it as it enables expats to take part in local community activities and make new friends.

Ho Chi Minh City gives the best sources of Western-style necessities unavailable in rural areas and smaller towns, and the slower pace of life is attractive for retirees as well as for business people who need to relax with a Vietnamese coffee when they’ve time. Other pleasures to look forward to include the healthy, delicious food, the beaches and the sunshine, especially welcome for expats from the UK and the damper, cooler regions of the USA.

For expats who’ve arrived with their families, there’s a good selection of social activities as well as a number of well-regarded international schools which also welcome expat volunteers. School-based communities are friendly and helpful, and kids seem to enjoy the different style of quality academic education they receive. Lots of events and sports also keep kids happy during term time, and schools on the outskirts of town encourage their older pupils to cycle to classes.

Healthcare is an important aspect of the decision to move to Vietnam, with everyday ailments easily fixed by visits to a local pharmacy or small hospital. For serious problems, it has to be said it’s advisable to travel to Singapore for medical or surgical intervention,. The closest private hospitals are in Thailand, but the sector at present is being slammed for upping its expat-aimed prices by 300 per cent or more. In addition, the standards of English in many leave a lot to be desired.

Culture shock is to be expected wherever expats hang their hats, with Vietnam no exception to this rule. However, for those wishing to ease their paths into a decidedly Asian culture, the expat communities in the major cities are there to help. Meeting useful contacts isn’t hard, especially if you have kids at an international school, and even small towns have NGO groups happy to be helpful in emergencies. For the Vietnamese, family life is a priority, even although the majority work seven days a week.

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