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08 Free smart phone apps expats in Vietnam should have

Living in Vietnam as an expat could be awesome but daunting experience at the same time. However, there are some free smart phone apps all expats can use to make the most out of their stay in Vietnam. Despite the most popular/ best rated ranking, here I round out the top 08 most useful free apps for expats in Vietnam based on my experience as an expat living abroad with the same types of app.

*Any comment/ suggestion is much appreciated!
1. Local Talk: Zalo & Whatsapp
Communication plays an extremely important role in our lives. Hence, chat apps are of course worth mentioning here. Beside some foreign competitors such as Viber and Whatsapp (more and more predominant in Vietnam), Zalo is likely Vietnam’s most used chat app. Zalo offers users great experience with convenient appreance and a range of emoticons and free text messages/ voice messages via 3G or Wifi.

2. Local Taxi: GrabTaxi & Uber
GrabTaxi is an automated GPS app to book and coordinate taxis via smart phones. All you need to do is to log in to the app, put in your pickup location and destination, then wait for the closest driver to come and “grab” you in. The app also provides you all needed information such as how long the ride would take and how much you are expected to pay. GrabTaxi is of good use to foreigners/ expats in Vietnam because the app can prevent you from being scammed or overcharged/ ripped.
Uber is an online app that brings a significant change to taxi services around the world. You pinpoint where you want to be picked up and where you are heading to, the closest driver would come to pick you up. The ride will be tracked on GPS and cash interaction between passengers and drivers is replaced by credit card transaction before the ride. Two more advantages of choosing Uber are Language (English) and Cheap Rate (compared to taxi). However, due to rape case related to Uber taxi driver in India, Uber’s reputation is somehow damaged and not in secure.

3. Local Bus: Saigon Bus & Hanoi Bus
If you are considering commute or travel around those big cities by bus, Saigon Bus – Xe buyt Saigon and Hanoi Bus – Xe buyt Hanoi apps are exactly what you are looking for. Users can easily look up all bus stops and terminals of all bus lines in both Saigon and Hanoi and find it convenient to move around by searching available bus numbers within a click.

4. Local Search: Clingme
Compared to other local search apps, Clingme is much friendly to users who do not know Vietnamese. The app is now available on both iOS and Android with two versions of language: English, Vietnamese. What you can find at Clingme: Restaurant, Street Food, Fast food, Coffee Shop, Bars, Beauty Shop, ATM, Parking, Petrol Station... All search results are based on location you are choose to set the radius raning from 01 up to 20 KM.

5. Local Language: Google Translate
Vietnamese ourselves usually say/ joke “Phong ba bão táp không bằng ngữ pháp Việt Nam” (Storms, hurricanes are easier to deal with rather than Vietnamese grammar). Thus, no worries when you do not expect to master Vietnamese within a short time. Meanwhile, let Google Translate “accompany” you along the way and keep your ears open to every single new word. Day by day, Vietnamese will be in your hand and hopefully, Vietnam will be in your heart too!

No -You don't want grab taxi

http://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=424834

That intrusive app is able to read all your phone data, including files on memory cards.

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7471/15278963924_639c9ddb1a.jpg

It can also read your contacts and see when you made calls to them.

I most strongly recommend you do not use this app.

They can read all of our personal data on phone? Noooo :( I usually use Grab Taxi in Malaysia and have not encountered any problem though. So sorry for things that happen in Vietnam :(

alittlenomad wrote:

They can read all of our personal data on phone? Noooo :( I usually use Grab Taxi in Malaysia and have not encountered any problem though. So sorry for things that happen in Vietnam :(

It will not affect the operation of your phone in any way.
The app works anywhere and everywhere. The problem is not just in Vietnam but anywhere in the world grab taxi operates. 

Get rid of it off your phone.

Will consider it. Thanks guys :D

alittlenomad wrote:

Will consider it.

What's your attraction with Ireland - the beer or the water/rain?

As for your Apps, as others have pointed out, too many Apps want to 'peep in your pants'. Google is also a pain, bit fun to confuse.

You forgot URL's:
(Clingme) - < http://clingme.vn/ >
(xe buyt HCM Viet Nam) - < www.freeappsky.com/androidmarket/desc/id/281888 >
(Zalo) - < www.freeappsky.com/androidmarket/search?s=zalo >

Little is free in this world, ALittleNomad, as Vietnamese are fast finding out, this country is open wide to all the frauds, scams, rip-offs, dirty tricks, that we from the West are used to dealing with.

I change the IMEI in my cell handsets weekly, at least, and I have found that when Google PLAY downloads anything, it records your IMEI. After changing the IMEI and visiting Google PLAY again, it then queries all the Apps on the cell handset and starts asking what type of smartphone you have. (My replacement IMEI's are made up, by me, on the spot) My smartphone doesn't even have a SIM in it, but sure is private!

The question is: Why does Google need to know?

So, as you can see, I prefer to use non-Google download web sites. ALSO. avoid anything from the USA as it is king of the sell your data rackets.

It might not matter given your age and likely profession but some of us treasure our privacy. Thanks for the list, though, it's always interesting to see what younger VNese are doing with their handsets.

Loved your: “Phong ba bão táp không bằng ngữ pháp Việt Nam”. So apropos.

All the UBER taxi drivers were detained about 10 days ago and they are effectively out of business in TP HCM. Besides with over 11,000 legal taxi's in HCM PLUS all the illegal pirates running around (with magnetic signs) who needs an App?

AirBNB is the next to get knocked off - permanently.

Hello, I will be visiting Cambodia in 2 weeks time with Nigerian passport for business purpose. I would like to know the possibility of visiting Vietnam and Laos via land boarder since I overheard they are close by for other business contacts. Thanks

Dinyelu wrote:

Hello, I will be visiting Cambodia in 2 weeks time with Nigerian passport for business purpose. I would like to know the possibility of visiting Vietnam and Laos via land boarder since I overheard they are close by for other business contacts. Thanks

Because of 419 activities in Nigeria, VietNam requires certain classes of Nigerians to apply from within Nigeria only through the Vietnamese Embassy.

They do criminal record checks and verify passports are genuine with the Nigerian authorities. Better to do it properly than get rejected when you are over here. Laos has different procedures. Cambodian visas can be purchased on-line at https://www.evisa.gov.kh/. NOTE: This is the official web site - all others are scammers.

VietNam does not have on-line visa facilities.

Dinyelu wrote:

Hello, I will be visiting Cambodia in 2 weeks time with Nigerian passport for business purpose. I would like to know the possibility of visiting Vietnam and Laos via land boarder since I overheard they are close by for other business contacts. Thanks

Nigerian passport holders need to get a Lao visa before entering the country. When you get to Cambodia go to the Lao embassy in Phnom Penh 
15-17 Mao Tsetung Road
Khan Chamcar Mon

email  laoembpp[at]canintel.com

National Nigeria (NG) >>  Destination Lao People's Dem. Rep. (LA)

Passport required
- Passports and/or passport replacing documents must be valid  for at least 6 months from date of arrival.

Visa Issuance:
Visa required, except for Nationals of Nigeria can obtain a visa on arrival, for a max. stay of 30 days (one extension possible), provided traveling on an official visit and holding an official letter of guarantee issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lao People's Dem. Rep.

Facility available at Vientiane (VTE)
Facility available at Luang Prabang (LPQ).
Facility available at Pakse (PKZ).

Additional Information:
- Visitors are required to hold proof of sufficient funds to cover their stay.
Warning:
- Nationals of Nigeria must hold return/onward tickets
Visa Issuance:
- Nationals of Nigeria, for a max. stay of  30 days (one extension possible), provided traveling on an  official visit and holding an official letter of guarantee  issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lao People's
  Dem. Rep. and
  - holding a confirmed hotel reservation in Lao People's Dem.

  Rep or provide contact details of person in Lao People's Dem. Rep; and
  - holding all documents required for their next destination;
  and
  - holding a 1 photograph size 3 x 4 cm.
  Fee: USD 30.

Source: Timatic

Like Foody? :D

Try LetEatGo and you'll see the different between me and Foody :) Happy New Year Cutie!

Like Foody? :D

In addition, I have found plenty of Grab drivers to be flooringly stupid and inept at there jobs. It may save a bit of money, but using Grab is really rolling the dice on whether you will make your trip on time, or at all. The last time I used Grab, it was in Malaysia. Some lippy little idiot named Gerald Lim Kheng nearly made me miss my ferry, because finding my guesthouse BASED ON ITS ADDRESS was apparently incomprehensible and beneath him.

Don't get me wrong, most are decent guys with good brains in their heads. But saving pocket change by potentially putting your plans in the hands of someone who doesn't comprehend how street numbers work is not smart.

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