New members of the Vietnam forum, introduce yourselves here - 2018

Hi all,

Newbie on the Vietnam forum? Don’t know how to start?

This thread is for you ;)

We invite you to introduce yourself on this topic, to share with us your expat story if you are already living in the country, or to tell us more on your expat projects in Vietnam if you are planning to move there.

It will enable us to help you better but above all to wish you a warm welcome.

Welcome on board!

Hello all! My name is Gemma, I'm a California expat living in HCMC for the next 4 months. I just moved here in January and I'm a huge noob to it all. I'm currently working on a television show set to air in April on HTV 7 :] I'm looking to meet some new friends (as it seems surprisingly difficult meeting people here, a lot of bars I've gone to people just stay within their cliques and groups) and to learn some valuable knowledge from your experiences here. (Ex. my skin is DYING in this humidity and pollution, that's how I found this site was through a thread someone posted about a dermatologist haha!) Looking forward to getting acquainted, hope 2018 is kicking ass for you all so far!

Hi there, first post on Expat.com and I will be in Saigon for six months from June.  I am looking for an apartment, 2 b/r or large 1 b/r, District 1 or District 3 as I will be doing working with some colleagues in District 3.  Any links to apartments, recommendations, places to avoid etc - all will be welcome.  Many thanks, Jo.

Kalangadoo :

Hi there, first post on Expat.com and I will be in Saigon for six months from June.  I am looking for an apartment, 2 b/r or large 1 b/r, District 1 or District 3 as I will be doing working with some colleagues in District 3.  Any links to apartments, recommendations, places to avoid etc - all will be welcome.  Many thanks, Jo.

Hi and welcome to expat.com!

If you look at the top of your screen you will see a link to HOUSING.

Klikky linkky will take you to info about housing. Now, a word about Estate Agents and Landlords: Be Careful! There are many sharks in the shallow pool of Saigon. And be careful of Lawyers here too. Problem is that in Saigon you will find as much corruption as you are ever likely to find anywhere outside of Cambodia.

And having posted your request above you are now likely to receive a lot of PM's from "Estate Agents" and wanna-be estate agents, chancers and outright thieves, so beware!

And remember that, as a foreigner your only real "rights" involve being seen as a target to be ripped off. As my (Vietnamese) wife (with an MBA and Post-grad Masters degree) tells me constantly DON'T BELIEVE ANYTHING ANYONE TELLS YOU HERE - until you have empirical proof.

Apart from that its a great place to be.  :)

Thank you very much.  I will be as aware as I can be and will seek help (and negotiation skills) from trusted [local] colleagues there.

gemmo :

Hello all! My name is Gemma, I'm a California expat living in HCMC for the next 4 months. I just moved here in January and I'm a huge noob to it all. I'm currently working on a television show set to air in April on HTV 7 :] I'm looking to meet some new friends (as it seems surprisingly difficult meeting people here, a lot of bars I've gone to people just stay within their cliques and groups) and to learn some valuable knowledge from your experiences here. (Ex. my skin is DYING in this humidity and pollution, that's how I found this site was through a thread someone posted about a dermatologist haha!) Looking forward to getting acquainted, hope 2018 is kicking ass for you all so far!

Welcome!

Pollution? It's a matter of relativity (Yeah I know that Saigon pollution is getting worse by the day), but we had friends visit us from Hong Kong last year and they said that the one thing that they loved above all else in Saigon was that they could breathe clean air - compared to Honkers!

As for meeting people, call in to the Hard Rock Cafe, the MAY (Me And You) bar, Bernies Bar (I think its now the Irish Pub) and any of the Craft Beer bars that are springing up all over the place. All locations can be found by consulting our mutual friends Mr. & Mrs Google.

And when you have a day to spare, take a cab (Uber, whatever) out to Thao Dien (Quan 2 https://www.google.com/maps/vt/data=Cqg … ykOlNynHtA)  and spend a day wandering around the place, where you will find all kinds of shops, restaurants and bars including an Amrican craft beer bar with some very good (but eye-wateringly expensive) beers, a German bar, a cheese bar, an Arsenal football club, and lots more. Many foreigners of all shapes, sizes, languages and nationalities may be found there.

Not far away from Thao Dien and still in D2 is the MM Supermarket (taxis drivers still call it by its old name - METRO, An Phu (An Phu being the part of Q2 where it is located). It's about a 50,000 Dong taxi ride from Thao Dien and it is quite big, selling everything from cosmetics through clothes to cleaning materials, bread baked on the premises, fresh meat (including chilled US and Australian beef), a good selection of wines and spirits and a large selection of fruit and veg.

Back in Thao Dien, the Annam ex pat store (EXPENSIVE, but has a lot of imported stuff) is dead opposite the confusingly named An Phu supermarket (there is a selection of ATM machines there too). The An Phu supermarket has fresh bread and a large selection of dry goods, herbs and spices and tinned stuff as well as a reasonable selection of (not cheap) wines. Both Annam and An Phu supermarkets are infested with "tây" (Westerners) as well as other foreigners.

There's an English restaurant in Thao Dien called The Mekong Merchant, a bar called the Buddha Bar, a Bistro called Al Fresco, and, tucked away on the river bank is quite a nice restaurant called Restaurant 13 - it has a facebook page where a few foreigners have dinner.

I've run out of time. Enjoy exploring!

gemmo :

my skin is DYING in this humidity and pollution,

If your skincare routine has been twice a day (morning and evening), double the frequency.  Twice a day is not enough while living here; that's my only advice.

Wash your face as often as you can.  Forget about all the articles saying too much water drying out the skin.  Between dry skin or dirty skin (skin gets clogged worse here than in CA), I'll pick the former any time.  Cleanse in cold water, tone, moisturize, no makeup --  over and over and over.

My facial skin showed signs of damage during the 2nd and 3rd months here.  My remedy: aloe vera in the morning, Vitamin A pommade at night, other moisturizer after every shower/face washing in between.  It's back to normal after two or three weeks and I've been keeping the same routine ever since.

Hi All,
I’m Mei, newly arrived expat. Originally from US. Previously lived in Chengdu, China past years as traveling spouse w husbsnf’s work. Very different  lifestyle here for my kiddos.. I’m thankful for this forum as I hope to connect w a nondenominational church group is my main interest, also best places to buy used furniture for our new place and possible help getting connected w pharmaceutical recruiter in order to resume my career in pharmaceutical & health food industry.  We plan to be here 2 years! I’ve asked a lot! Thank You for your feedback!

Hi there! My friend recommended this agent who was very diligent in finding him what he wanted and for a good price. You just tell her where you want to stay, what your budget is, and what amenities you're looking for. Just to give you an idea, I'm staying in a serviced apartment, which includes laundry service 2x a week and cleaning everyday. I'm not sure what it's like everywhere else, but just wanted to let you know that option is out there too.

Here is the link to her facebook, she posts daily pictures and availability of housing. Good luck!

Agent

Thank you so much! I'll have to go pick up some Aloe Vera and Vitamin A pommade. Are they easily found at supermarkets here? I appreciate your help, my pores are bigger than they've ever been, and my skin is definitely allergic to the pollution and dust out here. Everytime I step outside I come back with a face full of little red bumps. I really appreciate the pointers, hoping it works for me! <3

Wow! That was really thorough, I appreciate you taking the time to write all that out. I'll definitely be checking out those places, it sounds like a lot of fun :] still adjusting a lot to the life out here, but luckily I can maneuver around well enough with my Vietnamese. Thank you again!

gemmo :

I'll have to go pick up some Aloe Vera and Vitamin A pommade. Are they easily found at supermarkets here?

I noticed aloe vera (lô hội / nha đam) at Big C one day, so it's probably available at large supermarkets. However, it'd be better to buy a small plant and keep it by the window at home and use it fresh.  Many people I know who live outside of Saigon have a plant or two in their yards, you could even ask them for a few stalks. 

Cây Nha Đam (houseplant)

If you don't mind some chemicals in the products, then The Body Shop (there are many locations in Saigon now) carry aloe vera, Vitamin C, and E.  No A though.

I brought aloe vera from the States and Vitamin A pommade from France with us when we moved here, enough to last me another year or so.

Hello! My name is Erica. I'm from the U.S. I grew up in California but have lived in North Carolina, and Florida. I have been in Vietnam for 5 months as of today. Former librarian. I teach English in the Binh Duong province. Still trying to get used to the climate. I thought I knew what humidity was from living in Florida. I was wrong :) but loving my decision.
I'm  hoping to make new friends. Any comic book nerds out there?

Thank you Gemma. Would you mind sharing information about what you are paying per month and how many rooms please?  Thank you for the link to the agent's page.  Jo.

In reply to Dreamer100: Vietnam has only the Roman Catholic church (doa cong giao) and the Protestant church (doa tin lanh). Take your pick.

@ Ralph -- Not understand a whole lot about Christianity, I don't know if Tin Lành and Baptist are one and the same, but I know there are Baptists in Saigon.  My sister's sister in law became one in the 60s.  I've seen several Baptist churches and once visited Thánh Đường Gioan Tẩy Giả or John the Baptist Cathedral in Tân Bình.

@safkhet, glad to make your acquaintance! Glad to hear you're adjusting nicely aside from the humidity, I myself am struggling with it a bit. I hear it's only supposed to get hotter in the next several months, eek! I'm not a comic book fan, but I've actually been looking for a good book to get into while I'm here, any recommendations?

Ciambella,
Thanks for that, I've never seen a Baptist church so named in VN, only Protestant churches with no further information. The Baptist Church is part of the Protestant movement which broke away fro the Catholic Church during the Reformation during the 16th century.

Hello everyone! Nice to meet all of you.
I'm An, nearly 23 years old. I'm not an expat. I live in Can Tho city. My cousins live in Australia, they live in Adelaide and Sydney .
I'm a quite introverted so I don't know how to make friend with foreigners or any clubs like that in the real life.
If you really want to have a friend, please message me. We can share or talk about music or food, something like that. Maybe my English skills are not very good but I'll try my best to communicate with you.

Hi everyone,
My name is Claus, I'm a 64 old German, working for German Government technical Cooperation (GIZ). I live in HCMC District 2, An Phu  (CANTAVIL) and work in a Renewable Energy Project at a technical College in Dong Nai Province.
I'm married to a Xhosa women from South Africa, were I lived the last 16 Years.
I have an electrical Engineering and professional Teacher background.
Every day I get local VN social content by driving with bus line 150 & 602 (The Worst)  2 hours to and from Dong Nai. 
I love to cook and watch the daily comedy soapy of Donald Duck (sorry, Thrump) in the NEW's.
I'm an environmentalist since the late 70's, fighting against Nuclear power plants and storage of nuclear waste in my former area in Germany (Bauzaun Gorleben etc.)
I collect, recycle and reuse LI-ion Laptop battery packs. If you have one ore know someone who have not working Battery packs, please send me a message.

Regards
Claus

G'day all,

I'm a 40 year old Melburnian. Will be in Saigon with my wife and two young daughters as of 22 Feb (2 years initially)... Looking for great tips on everything from banking to family friendly activities.
I love my AFL footy and cricket so looking forward to joining a few clubs when in town.

Cheers,

Simon.

***

Moderated by Christine 7 months ago
Reason : promoting freely your services is not allowed on the forum
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct

Hi there, I'm Yen expat from Malaysia currently living in Hanoi with my American husband and 6yrs old son.

People here are friendly but it's hard to communicate with them as I don't know their language. Vietnamese always have trouble understand our English. It is challenging, frustrating and fun at the same time. Exp: you wanted to order 2 pcs of fried chicken end up with 8pcs ^^.

Looking forward to meet more friends! 😁

Greetings, my wife Nadine, and I arrived a week ago in Da Nang and found a nice one bedroom apartment close to the beach. We have just retired and are scouting around for places to live for 3 - 4 months of the year. Our first choice was Da Nang because we visited Vietnam five years ago and loved the country. We will be here until the end of April and then head back to Nova Scotia for the summer.
We are looking forward to a great time here.
Cheers,

Jim

Welcome, & good luck

Lctravpics17 :cool:

yengullo06 :

Hi there, I'm Yen expat from Malaysia currently living in Hanoi with my American husband and 6yrs old son.

People here are friendly but it's hard to communicate with them as I don't know their language. Vietnamese always have trouble understand our English. It is challenging, frustrating and fun at the same time. Exp: you wanted to order 2 pcs of fried chicken end up with 8pcs ^^.

Looking forward to meet more friends! 😁

Welcome! And don't be surprised at the difficulties in communicating with Vietnamese people. For one thing there are countless dialects in Vietnam; for another, Vietnamese people are often simply amazed at foreigners trying to speak their language and simply don't comprehend. Then there  are the tones used - a rich and complex area ripe with areas for misunderstandings to arise.

Luckily Vietnames people are quite accommodating with foreigners, so they can be fun to be with and to share experiences with.

A couple of examples: I shared my home made ginger beer with some neighbours. "Huh, ladies drink", they said. I forgot to tell them that it is 8% alcohol by volume  ;)  It was interesting watching them walk home!

Also I made some traditional English pickled onions, which for some reason they loved.

Every days a school day in Vietnam too. I learn a lot by listening to my (Vietnamese) wife who is academically very well qualified, but was brought up on a farm, talking about river bank herbs and shrubs, bushes, leaves, berries and fruit which can be used for many purposes.

Vietnam is fascinating, but as my wife keeps telling me - don't trust anyone until you know them well!

Hi,

I've been an expat for some time now but looking for new business opportunities in Vietnam.

I am planning to move with family at the end of the year.

Extremely grateful for any help the forum can give.

Hi Gemmo,

Im an expat from Australia also staying here for another 4 months. Been here since late December.
If you havent done so already you might want to try Lotte Mart in D7, they have all sorts of products in the supermarket and boutique stores in the shopping centre. Another place to try is Vivo City and Sky Garden (also in D7). Sky Garden is also known as the "Korean Village" by some of the locals, Koreans do love their cosmetic products.
If you want to go a more upmarket try Crescent Mall (D7). I'm sure you will find what you need from those three places.

Hi Saijon

Let us know how you go.
Im also looking for business opportunities that I can also work on when i go back home (in 4 months)
Home being Australia.

Hello All,

My name is Sonny, I am from NJ/NY area, USA.  Have been living in Hanoi for the last 3 months with my vietnamese wife and it looks like I am here to stay.  Not into the bar scene and drinking aimlessly, but love to meet new people.  Looking for like minded Expats that either meet for drinks and dinner to share stories and experiences about life in Hanoi.   If such a group exists, please point me to it.  If not, I propose we create one.  It would be great to experience new foods and share some laughs with new friends.

hi all

moving to hanoi in mid march 2018. plan to have apartment rented by april 1st then im going to see how long i can stick it out. i'm working on a large scale writing project, but i dont want to upset the authorities so my cover story is i'm simply retired. (they might consider my non-paid self directed writing project to be "work") so im keeping that under my hat.

one thing im having a little trouble with is; how extreme is censorship at the boarder? i have a bunch of research materials, books that i want to bring. they are old books and not available to read online so i kinda need them, except they all relate to the american counter-culture of the sixties, the hippie movement, drug use etc.

i think with proper explanation a govt official would see these materials are not harmful to asian values... they are scholarly examinations of the above mentioned topics but a not-too-bright customs agent might not "get it"

anyone have experience with similar situations? are there certain channels for getting books in that may need "approval" first?

very little info online... i'm not surprised, who travels with a pile of books? anyway...

Customs used to hold ALL CDs and DVDs for inspection, for which a fee was payable  but they no longer do this. Perhaps your books will be inspected.

Oh I have no doubt they will be inspected I'm just not so sure that the customs officer, a communist military police, will understand what the books are about. He might just see the word "drugs" or "youth in revolt" or see some of the illustration of freaky looking hippies, nude and/or using drugs and kibosh the whole thing. Westerners are used to such imagery and understand it as harmless and historical but a person who has lived under communist restrictions all his life... it might look totally evil to that person, pernicious and corrupt! I have no idea what to expect and would like to avoid trouble

It is also quite likelr that you will be asked for 'coffee money' to help the problem go away.

i'll buy *coffee* no problem ;) but does the *coffee* price include me getting to keep my books tho?

I'm afraid you will have to wait and see.

tommylacroix :

i have a bunch of research materials, books that i want to bring. they are old books and not available to read online

In your other thread in Hanoi forum, you mentioned you plan to bring 20 books.  The three titles that you mentioned in that thread are available for download as ebooks (the first one is in pdf).  Do some search and you may find the rest of them in digital version as well -- a much better way to lighten your load and ease your concerns.

I have a couple thousands of ebooks in my Kindle and Calibre library and I don't worry about any prying eyes at all.

that is my solution right there! thanks! (i should have thought of that myself)

Hi, my name is Bethel, I'm a Nigerian and I moved to Vietnam 27th Jan, 2018....I'm also looking out to meet new friends and I am fluent in English. I'll really love to hook up with you. Bye 😊

Saijon :

Hi,

I've been an expat for some time now but looking for new business opportunities in Vietnam.

I am planning to move with family at the end of the year.

Extremely grateful for any help the forum can give.

Hi Saijon!

My brother is looking for someone to operate his brand new hotel in Hoian or interesting to rent yourself to start your own business. It is small hotel - 16 rooms has just finished construction, right in the centre of town and less than a minute walk to Hoai river.

Please contact me for more details

New topic