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Why do so many foreigners decide to make Việt Nam their home?

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Expats come from all over the world to make Việt Nam their home. VNA/ Photo

Sean Nolan

For many years now, Việt Nam has been a popular tourist destination – in fact, prior to the start of the COVID pandemic in 2019, over 18 million international tourists visited the country.  

Perhaps unsurprisingly, hundreds of thousands of foreigners also decided to make Việt Nam their home. Although there is no official figure on the number of expats living in the country, a report from the Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs shows that as of April, 2021 there were about 101,550 foreigners working in Việt Nam on a permanent basis. 

Which has got me thinking – why do so many people decide to make Việt Nam their home?

Stevie Willows from South Africa puts a lot of it down to the cost of living.

“The cost of living is cheap, [Việt Nam is] close to other Asia countries, so it’s easy to travel. Socialising is easy and cheap too,” he said

The low cost of socialising is a big draw for many expats who have chosen to make Việt Nam their home. Photo Sean Nolan

It’s no secret that the cost of living is a big factor for many expats living in Việt Nam. 

Despite the average Vietnamese salary being around VNĐ7.8 million (US$336), in jobs like teaching where many expats are employed, wages start at around VNĐ30,000,000 ($1,300) a month. 

This makes both the cost and quality of life very appealing to foreigners who are considering making Việt Nam their home, especially in comparison to the savings-to-outgoings ratio in most peoples’ home countries. 

Kelsey Scheepers, also from South Africa, agrees: “Living costs are much more viable as opposed to my own country.” 

However, while the cost of living is a big draw, it isn’t the only reason that many foreigners have made Việt Nam their home. 

Others were drawn here by their work and didn’t expect to stay for so long. 

Callum Maxwell is an Australian whose company posted him to Việt Nam, initially on a one-year contract. However, because of the culture, people, and food, he’s decided to extend his contract and stay for longer. 

“I love the food that you can eat here, there are so many things that just aren’t available back home,” Callum said.

“I love seafood, especially things like fried eels, which you don’t see very often in Australia. That, combined with just how friendly and welcoming the people are, is a big reason that I’ve decided to stay in Việt Nam longer than I initially thought.”

 

For some, it is the incredibly diverse range of dishes on offer that has convinced them to stay in Việt Nam longer than they intended. Photo Hồ Hoàng

Harriet Peterson from the UK has been in Hà Nội for a year, one of the few who arrived during the COVID pandemic. She only ended up in Việt Nam as her husband was offered a job here. While she only expected to stay for around six months, a year later she has no intention of leaving. 

“I love it here, I really do. The people are so friendly and the way of living is so easy. A lot of people say that the language is too hard to learn, but I don’t agree. Of course, the tones are difficult to wrap your head around, but if you make the effort to try and speak the language, it really does go a long way.

“I think that is the single best piece of advice that can be given to someone who has just moved to Việt Nam – try and learn the language. You can’t really understand somewhere if you are limited to only speaking to people that speak the same language as yourself, a foreign language to them. Learn the language and you’ll have a much better, more complete experience here.” 

His reasoning is mirrored by Maria Nicole, from the US. She has been here for five years, though that was never her plan before arriving. 

“My advice to anyone who wants to come to Việt Nam is do it, just do it. You won’t regret it.”

The cost of living, high salary and savings potential are no doubt alluring for foreigners that have chosen to make Việt Nam their home. However, it is clear that while the pay and savings potential is a big draw that gets people here initially, it’s the quality of life, culture and ultimately the people of Việt Nam that convinces people to stay. 

 

Cost of living in Hà Nội

Housing 

Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre — VNĐ5,636,676 (US$241.9)

Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre — VNĐ8,401,650 ($360.6)

Childcare

Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child — VNĐ5,000,000 ($214.6)

Eating and drinking

Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant — VNĐ50,000 ($2.16)

Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) — VNĐ23,692 ($1)

McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) — VNĐ129,500 ($5.58)  

Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) — VNĐ20,000 ($0.86)

Transport

Monthly Bus Pass (Regular Price) — VNĐ200,000 ($8.60)

Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) — VNĐ12,000 ($0.52)

(information from https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Hanoi)

 

 

 

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/life-style/expat-corner/1209251/why-do-so-many-foreigners-decide-to-make-viet-nam-their-home.html

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Ho Chi Minh City unveils design for Tet flower street

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The Ho Chi Minh City administration has introduced a design for the annual Nguyen Hue Flower Street to celebrate the coming Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, which will begin around the latter half of January.

Happy and prosperous spring will be the theme for this year, the Year of the Cat, according to eastern zodiac.

Every year, Nguyen Hue Street in District 1, which has a pedestrian-only zone down its heart, transforms into a ‘flower street’ during Lunar New Year.

An architect’s impression of a corner along the 2023 Nguyen Hue Flower Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
An architect’s impression of a corner along the 2023 Nguyen Hue Flower Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

This year, it will be open from 7:00 pm January 19 to 9:00 pm January 26, one day longer than previous editions, with the decorations starting on January 3, according to the organizers.

Like in previous years, environment-friendly materials will be used for the decorations.

To usher in the Year of the Cat, most of the event’s concepts and decorations will pay homage to the animal, with 70 mascots being set up along the street.

An architect’s impression of a glass bridge along the 2023 Nguyen Hue Flower Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
An architect’s impression of a glass bridge along the 2023 Nguyen Hue Flower Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

The entrance will also feature a clowder of cat displays.

The highlight of the design will be a 40-meter-long glass bridge.

The annual flower show, which accentuates the festive culture of Tet, has become hugely popular and attracts more than a million visitors a year.

An architect’s impression of a section along the 2023 Nguyen Hue Flower Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
An architect’s impression of a section along the 2023 Nguyen Hue Flower Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

There are also other annual flower festivals and markets in Ho Chi Minh City during the Lunar New Year, such as those in Gia Dinh Park, which borders the three districts of Phu Nhuan, Go Vap, and Tan Binh, and Le Van Tam Park in District 1, as well as one along Tran Xuan Soan Street in District 7.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

The Ho Chi Minh City administration has introduced a design for the annual Nguyen Hue Flower Street to celebrate the coming Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, which will begin around the latter half of January.

Happy and prosperous spring will be the theme for this year, the Year of the Cat, according to eastern zodiac.

Every year, Nguyen Hue Street in District 1, which has a pedestrian-only zone down its heart, transforms into a ‘flower street’ during Lunar New Year.

An architect’s impression of a corner along the 2023 Nguyen Hue Flower Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
An architect’s impression of a corner along the 2023 Nguyen Hue Flower Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

This year, it will be open from 7:00 pm January 19 to 9:00 pm January 26, one day longer than previous editions, with the decorations starting on January 3, according to the organizers.

Like in previous years, environment-friendly materials will be used for the decorations.

To usher in the Year of the Cat, most of the event’s concepts and decorations will pay homage to the animal, with 70 mascots being set up along the street.

An architect’s impression of a glass bridge along the 2023 Nguyen Hue Flower Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
An architect’s impression of a glass bridge along the 2023 Nguyen Hue Flower Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

The entrance will also feature a clowder of cat displays.

The highlight of the design will be a 40-meter-long glass bridge.

The annual flower show, which accentuates the festive culture of Tet, has become hugely popular and attracts more than a million visitors a year.

An architect’s impression of a section along the 2023 Nguyen Hue Flower Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
An architect’s impression of a section along the 2023 Nguyen Hue Flower Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

There are also other annual flower festivals and markets in Ho Chi Minh City during the Lunar New Year, such as those in Gia Dinh Park, which borders the three districts of Phu Nhuan, Go Vap, and Tan Binh, and Le Van Tam Park in District 1, as well as one along Tran Xuan Soan Street in District 7.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/ttnewsstyle/20221203/ho-chi-minh-city-unveils-design-for-tet-flower-street/70320.html

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People enjoy music, cultural festival in Ho Chi Minh City pedestrian zone

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The ‘Ho Chi Minh City – Our Common Home’ festival opened to the joy of local people and visitors in downtown Ho Chi Minh City on Friday night.

The music and cultural event is taking place in the Nguyen Hue pedestrian zone, on Le Loi Boulevard and at Bach Dang Wharf Park in District 1 through Sunday.

This fest is expected to attract performers from 23 cities around the world that have established relationships with Ho Chi Minh City, including Luna Negra – a music band from Cuba, Outrange Band from the Philippines, and a Malaysian dance group, and a Japanese kendo group.

It also features the first trumpet music festival in the city.

People enjoy music performances in the Nguyen Hue pedestrian zone, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 2, 2022. Photo: T.T.D / Tuoi Tre
People enjoy music performances in the Nguyen Hue pedestrian zone, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 2, 2022. Photo: T.T.D / Tuoi Tre

On its opening night on Friday, the festival did not only attracted local people, but also caught the attention of many international visitors and left them with nice impressions.

One of those visitors is Daniel Dixon, a Canadian who is enjoying a trip in Vietnam with his wife and just arrived in Ho Chi Minh City earlier the same day.

Although Dixon and his wife did not know much about the ongoing event, they spent time through the artistic space on the pedestrian street and experience the vibrant atmosphere.

A Malaysian troupe performs a folk dance in the Nguyen Hue pedestrian zone, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 2, 2022. Photo: T.T.D / Tuoi Tre
A Malaysian troupe performs a folk dance in the Nguyen Hue pedestrian zone, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 2, 2022. Photo: T.T.D / Tuoi Tre

“Vietnamese food was one of the reasons why we come here,” Dixon said.

“Now I live in San Francisco, and also very close to San Francisco is San Jose, which is one of the biggest Vietnamese populations outside Vietnam, so we had lots of Vietnamese food from there.

“I ate lots of food from Vietnam, and some are my favorite.

“We’re excited to come here and try it where it is.”

Visitors join the Xoe dance with a dance troupe from northern Lai Chau Province on Le Loi Boulevard in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 2, 2022. Photo: T.T.D / Tuoi Tre
Visitors join the Xoe dance with a dance troupe from northern Lai Chau Province on Le Loi Boulevard in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 2, 2022. Photo: T.T.D / Tuoi Tre

Spending half of his Vietnam trip in Hanoi, after arriving in Ho Chi Minh City, Dixon noted some differences. 

“One of my first impressions was that Ho Chi Minh City is very well-developed,” he said.

“Extremely wide boulevards, and I noticed that a metro is opening pretty soon.

“I see a lot of growth and development and I am really enjoying my time here, even though I’ve just been here for eight hours.”

A Vietnamese performance in the Nguyen Hue pedestrian zone, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 2, 2022. Photo: T.T.D / Tuoi Tre
A Vietnamese performance in the Nguyen Hue pedestrian zone, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 2, 2022. Photo: T.T.D / Tuoi Tre

Like Dixon, Andrew, a British, only arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday and will have to leave the next day, but his short two-day business trip in the southern metropolis has really surprised him. 

“Exciting,” “vibrant,” and “wonderful” are among the many adjectives he used to describe his first thoughts about the city. 

Although he was in a hurry, he managed to try some Vietnamese dishes and commented that they were very delicious.

A Vietnamese performance in the Nguyen Hue pedestrian zone, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 2, 2022. Photo: T.T.D / Tuoi Tre
A Vietnamese performance in the Nguyen Hue pedestrian zone, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 2, 2022. Photo: T.T.D / Tuoi Tre

Chiara and Aude, two friends from France, were also among the people who excitedly watched the performances of Vietnamese and foreign art troupes through big screens in the Nguyen Hue pedestrian zone on Friday night. 

Chiara shared that she noted down a few places she definitely wants to visit again when she returns to Ho Chi Minh City next time.

She did not hide her smiles as she was giving positive comments about her experience in the city.

“This city is so lovely and interesting. This is a completely new experience for me,” Chiara said.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

The ‘Ho Chi Minh City – Our Common Home’ festival opened to the joy of local people and visitors in downtown Ho Chi Minh City on Friday night.

The music and cultural event is taking place in the Nguyen Hue pedestrian zone, on Le Loi Boulevard and at Bach Dang Wharf Park in District 1 through Sunday.

This fest is expected to attract performers from 23 cities around the world that have established relationships with Ho Chi Minh City, including Luna Negra – a music band from Cuba, Outrange Band from the Philippines, and a Malaysian dance group, and a Japanese kendo group.

It also features the first trumpet music festival in the city.

People enjoy music performances in the Nguyen Hue pedestrian zone, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 2, 2022. Photo: T.T.D / Tuoi Tre
People enjoy music performances in the Nguyen Hue pedestrian zone, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 2, 2022. Photo: T.T.D / Tuoi Tre

On its opening night on Friday, the festival did not only attracted local people, but also caught the attention of many international visitors and left them with nice impressions.

One of those visitors is Daniel Dixon, a Canadian who is enjoying a trip in Vietnam with his wife and just arrived in Ho Chi Minh City earlier the same day.

Although Dixon and his wife did not know much about the ongoing event, they spent time through the artistic space on the pedestrian street and experience the vibrant atmosphere.

A Malaysian troupe performs a folk dance in the Nguyen Hue pedestrian zone, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 2, 2022. Photo: T.T.D / Tuoi Tre
A Malaysian troupe performs a folk dance in the Nguyen Hue pedestrian zone, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 2, 2022. Photo: T.T.D / Tuoi Tre

“Vietnamese food was one of the reasons why we come here,” Dixon said.

“Now I live in San Francisco, and also very close to San Francisco is San Jose, which is one of the biggest Vietnamese populations outside Vietnam, so we had lots of Vietnamese food from there.

“I ate lots of food from Vietnam, and some are my favorite.

“We’re excited to come here and try it where it is.”

Visitors join the Xoe dance with a dance troupe from northern Lai Chau Province on Le Loi Boulevard in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 2, 2022. Photo: T.T.D / Tuoi Tre
Visitors join the Xoe dance with a dance troupe from northern Lai Chau Province on Le Loi Boulevard in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 2, 2022. Photo: T.T.D / Tuoi Tre

Spending half of his Vietnam trip in Hanoi, after arriving in Ho Chi Minh City, Dixon noted some differences. 

“One of my first impressions was that Ho Chi Minh City is very well-developed,” he said.

“Extremely wide boulevards, and I noticed that a metro is opening pretty soon.

“I see a lot of growth and development and I am really enjoying my time here, even though I’ve just been here for eight hours.”

A Vietnamese performance in the Nguyen Hue pedestrian zone, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 2, 2022. Photo: T.T.D / Tuoi Tre
A Vietnamese performance in the Nguyen Hue pedestrian zone, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 2, 2022. Photo: T.T.D / Tuoi Tre

Like Dixon, Andrew, a British, only arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday and will have to leave the next day, but his short two-day business trip in the southern metropolis has really surprised him. 

“Exciting,” “vibrant,” and “wonderful” are among the many adjectives he used to describe his first thoughts about the city. 

Although he was in a hurry, he managed to try some Vietnamese dishes and commented that they were very delicious.

A Vietnamese performance in the Nguyen Hue pedestrian zone, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 2, 2022. Photo: T.T.D / Tuoi Tre
A Vietnamese performance in the Nguyen Hue pedestrian zone, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 2, 2022. Photo: T.T.D / Tuoi Tre

Chiara and Aude, two friends from France, were also among the people who excitedly watched the performances of Vietnamese and foreign art troupes through big screens in the Nguyen Hue pedestrian zone on Friday night. 

Chiara shared that she noted down a few places she definitely wants to visit again when she returns to Ho Chi Minh City next time.

She did not hide her smiles as she was giving positive comments about her experience in the city.

“This city is so lovely and interesting. This is a completely new experience for me,” Chiara said.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/ttnewsstyle/20221203/people-enjoy-music-cultural-festival-in-ho-chi-minh-city-pedestrian-zone/70317.html

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Vietnamese families spend big on Christmas decorations

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Vietnamese families are spending hundreds of millions of dong to decorate their houses for Christmas.

Nguyen Thu Hang, the owner of a company on Tran Binh Trong Street in District 5 which specializes in designing and decorating high-end events, shared that customers have already began placing orders to have their houses decorated for Christmas, which is still several weeks away.

“Families typically begin decorating for Christmas shortly after Halloween ends,” Hang said.

“We get many orders this time of year, but we can only work on two or three houses a day.”

Hang’s team offers a wide range of Christmas packages for its customers, with each costing anywhere from VND40-100 million.

Premium packages, fetching from VND70-100 million, include decorating the garden, main door, living room, banquet table, and Christmas tree.

Less expensive options, fetching VND40-50 million, only include the Christmas tree, staircase, and main door.

It takes two to three days to decorate each house.

For big contracts, pine trees are often imported from Denmark and are decorated with unique handcrafted items.

“Customers want a warm and joyful Christmas atmosphere to spend with their family, children, and friends,” Hang said.

“Christmas is a common time for students who are studying abroad to return home for winter vacation, so many families want to decorate their house to welcome them.”

One such company on Nguyen Thi Dinh Street in Thu Duc City offers Christmas decoration packages for VND8-45 million.  

All customers need to do is send a picture of the space they want to be decorated and the company sends back decoration suggestions.

“It takes us only one day to decorate because we have a professional and experienced team,” said P., an employee of the decoration company.

“We can do several projects a day, so customers don’t have to wait long.”

(US$1 = VND24,390)

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/ttnewsstyle/20221202/vietnamese-families-spend-big-on-christmas-decorations/70293.html

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