Your new local habits in Vietnam

Hello everyone,

Living in Vietnam is a great way to immerse in a new culture and lifestyle.

Have you embraced local customs since you've lived in Vietnam? If so, which one(s)?

Did local customs change the way you see things, appreciate life or organize your daily routines? As far as the language is concerned, did you learn new expressions or words and do you use them?

What do you like most about the lifestyle in your host country? Are there any local specificities you are still struggling with?

Thanks in advance,


It's also a great way to help bring Vietnam out of being a third-world communistic country.  I teach the young kids more about their rights and freedoms.

I teach taxi drivers to slow down when approaching those walking in the streets.

I speak softly and carry a baseball bat.

My VN brother in law promptly initiated me in to the 'an nhau' [drinking] culture. Cheap beer, cheap nibbles and lots laughs made thoroughly enjoyable evenings. Neighbours,  other family  members and Australian friends would usually came and joined us, so it was very often that we had to do and "emergency re-supply" before the local shops shut at 2300.

At first I was simply TERRIFIED of the traffic. It took some months to get used to it, then I started riding a motor bike again after a break of thirty  or more years. Eventually I bought a Honda 125cc Fortune Wing and had it fixed so it would run properly (including replacing all the rubbish Chinese electronics with Japanese parts) and enjoyed days of riding around Khanh Hoa Province.

Having learnt Vietnamese during the war, I was surprised how much the language had changed in 40 years, and had to learn several hundred new words, including business, investment, social and political, words to be able to read the newspapers again.  I almost daily come across words that, not only were they not in dictionaries, but none of my wife's family had ever come across them either. The "Từ điển Từ mới" -[Dictionary of New Words] was some help, but contained only less than ten per cent of the 42,000 new words in the Vietnamese Language Institute data base.

Being a bushwalker back in Australia, I wanted to walk up the mountains behind our house. My wife absolutely forbade this !  I learnt about the unexploded ordinance problem when my brother in law explained, "Yes, there are paths up the mountains for the farmers. They have to go up there to earn a living, then sometimes they lose a leg."  That's when I took up cycling instead.

Cycling around the villages and foothills was so enjoyable, with children calling out, "Hullo" every few minutes. In the early days, fourteen years ago, the local police and military also got threw me and my dog and my bicycle out of three villages in the western foothills as being a "security threat" to the local minorities. Tourism has come to those areas now, so I don't have any more problems.

Bathing in hot springs was another new experience. It was wonderful for my bad back, especially when followed by a good massage and few beers. My wife and I would spend all day relaxing and bathing and taking in a good book or two. More hot springs have developed now around Nha Trang, Cam Ranh, Suoi Yang Bay and Khanh Binh, to increase the enjoyment.

I am currently in Nha Trang for another week or so, would like to connect as I have been visiting Nha Trang over the past 12 years or so, and now contemplating relocating here.  We currently have a house/farm in the Mekong Delta, but my Viet Lady is yearning for a change.  We love the salt air and beaches, and always come here for vacations.  My phone number in Vietnam is *** email is:  ***  would like some tips on Nha Trang, where to live, security, privacy expat community  etc etc etc.  We know the tourist area, but little about the real Nha Trang.

Thanx for any information you can render, I have the address for a Real Estate office, but I don;t know enough about the areas to make a decision where to rent or buy, so your incite would benefit me immenslay.  BTW I also am a Vietnam Vet, 2 tours 69 & 71 and a Beer Hoi kind of guy, and would love to hoist a few with you.       as you see below, I am a triple dipper.

Tim Chatelain 
Retired E7
Retired US Gov employee
Social Security annuitant

Moderated by Priscilla last year
Reason : please communicate personal information in private


Sorry, as you can read on my profile, I am now with my family in Australia. But sure I can give you some info on Nha Trang.  If you are thinking of moving to Nha Trang and buying propery here more cheaply than in town, I suggest you look west to Dien An (where I have a house), Dien Toan, Dien Lac villages and  Dien Khanh town, all between nine and twelve km from Nha Trang.  If you want to live by the beach, look four kms north to Bai Duong, then next beach over Tran Phu Bridge. 

for more info, just send me a Personal Message [PM]. You should not post personal details on this public forum.

Dear Everyone,

In General, Vietnamese are very warm people but don't get into unnecessary dog fight or you will face unforeseen circumstances.

Living in Vietnam,  you have to get use to the culture, the climate and you have to learn to ride motorbike, that's your daily transport and your wife. Unless, you're coming from MNC that has the expenses to offer you a self-drive car or a chauffeur (Driver). You have to understand a bit Vietnamese to survive and adapt to the congessed traffic. Dealing with the traffic police is a daily affairs of life here on roads.

Countryside is fantastic with beautiful scenic if you're a adventurous person.

As a foreigner, try as far as possible, stay out of trouble.


Yes im adjusting good! The food here is awesomely good!
  I have purchased a vintage vespa for my mode of transpertation. I absolutely love it. But the traffic is CrAzY heavy. Thank goodness for my ability and experiance in trail bikes from the states, which makes it easy for me.
Looking to purchase an apartment. And many to choose from. Looking for a setting with much garden room outside for enjoyment and to take in the air. Not easy to find a correct floor plan that works good for me. Looking for one with an open kitchen concept, with a breakfast type nook. I see some but they sell fast.
Anyways, yes I like it here! People are cool and friendly. Life is affordable. But housing is expensive as same same in the states.

Sincerely Yours
Bruce Jones

i like learning the language, the biggest challenge is hearing and understanding it as they speak very quickly. i like the food and the different personalities of the cafes. the climate is nice as you can go out at night in shorts and t shirt and of course the beach in the morning. my only peeve is the current difficulties in getting a 3 month visa extension which used to only cost $50 through an agent. now i have to leave the country :( i dont have enough trust in the system yet to even contemplate buying a house. you could return from overseas and it could be demoloshised as a bigger wallet needed the space !

Hello Bruce,
Glad you like it here in Vietnam. I'm a Singaporean spend 11+ years here in Hcmc. I've moved back to my wife hometown in Dalat City, Lam Dong province. I'm a sales and business development professional. My job now is to look for a job. It's not easy.
Glad you have a comfortable life and wish you well in finding a right home.
Standard of living not that high if you considered tax you going to pay in the States and here. Comparing Singapore, it's terribly high.
Great. Cheers mate.

Hello there,
Didn't got your name. If you're thinking of getting a house, better forget it. An apartment perhaps. Yes, visa entry is not as friendly now than before.
I was lucky to get a 2 year TPC-Temporary Residential Card.

Thanks, cool reply Allen. Nice to hear friendly words from ya. Good luck for your working adventures.

Hello all :cheers:

For info, some unpleasant posts have been removed from this thread.

May I please remind members here that we expect mutual respect and please do not swear on the forum.

This is an absolute No No on!


Nice to talk with you.  I don't where to start guide about my country.  But Vietnam is the beauty and rich culture so i thing that you should share with your guide about Vietnamese family and about Vietnamese men and women at Vietnamese's family.

So contact me on Viber or Zalo + Whatsapp = ***.

I happy share with you but I'm sorry to lazy in writing.

Best regards !

Peter Raffle
Email: ***

Moderated by Priscilla last year
Reason : Do not post your personal contact details on a public forum for your own security

Yes, live in Viet Nam is being a great experience to me, new food, new habits, new culture etc. But I would like to start with traffic on the streets and roads, most of the motorbikes drivers do respect any traffic law, but unbelievebly, in three months living here I saw only two smalll traffic accidents, with no big injuries or damages. Believe me. Maybe because of the horns that all drivers use so much.

Next week I will make comments about the food, so rich.

Hi Priscilla,

I am nowmarried to a beautiful (in every way) Vietnamese lady, Thúy. We have a 9 acre orchard at Điem Lam, presently growing mangos and jackfruit but more good things to come. We're, 20 kms out of Nha Trang.
The land is wonderful, the people are wonderful, Vietnamese life is wonderful.

As a Viet Kieu, I am so glad to hear that you are having a wonderful time here in Vietnam with your Vietnamese wife. It makes me proud of my native country.
Wishing you the best always! And I hope your orchard will prosper in the near future.

Hi Zabrinale,
Cam on.
Where are you living?
If in or near Nha Trang come for a visit. My address: xxx
Are you a guy or a girl... not that it matters.

Moderated by Bhavna last year
Reason : Please do not post your contact details on the forum. You may exchange them via the private messaging system.Thank you
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct

Goya say the easiest habit to assimilate has been kicking back with locals for Bahn xe bo, bia Saigon ( not bia Ho Chi Min)( just don't ring, yeh) and having a yarn about fishing down by the river. Like many of the expats my pet hate is the practice of prrking the xe pm anywhere you feel like on the FOOTpath and the gardens, lovely as they may be, it's a pain in the posteria ( GRRRRRRRRR ) forcing people to walk on the road ( how do the locals feel about having to walk in the muck ?) . Aside from that, I love it and am adapting well

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