Vietnam is the eighth most populous Asian country. It is located in Southeast Asia, bordering China, Cambodia, and Laos. Tourism in Vietnam is a major component of its vibrant economy. According to reports, the number of international visitors has increased from 7 million to 10 million in 2016. And tourist arrivals in Vietnam have continued to rise in 2017. For expats, Vietnam has become a popular expat destination in Asia. In this article, we will discuss top 7 reasons to become an expat in Vietnam.
Attractive Natural and Cultural Experiences
Vietnam has several UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – Hanoi, Citadel of the Ho Dynasty, Complex of Hue Monuments, as well as natural sites such as Ha Long Bay. There are many wonderful culture and history heritage sites to enrich your expat experience in Vietnam. You can start a day by visiting the ancient civilizations in Hoi An, enjoy a leisurely bike ride through the region, and explore the night market and try local delicacies.
Lower Cost of Living
According to Numbeo, the cost of living in Vietnam is about 43% lower than in Canada. For US expats, the country is a great place to return as a three course meal for 2 people at a mid-range restaurant would cost $17.61 USD. A bottle of imported beer costs $1.32 USD. Groceries are generally much less expensive than those in North America. Though prices range among different cities, the average rent fee in Vietnam is almost 50% cheaper than in North America, according to Numbeo. For expatriates coming from a Western country, they will be pleased to discover that the cost of living in Vietnam is a great value.
Friendly Expat Community in Vietnam
There are many expatriates working and living in Vietnam. You can either reside in a typical expat neighbourhood or choose to fully immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture. For expatriates relocating with family and children, there are great areas that will cater to your requirements along with some excellent foreign schools. It would be a great idea to connect and become friends with the expats community and join a sport team.
Teaching English in Vietnam
Education is very important in Vietnamese culture and expats can find many ESL teaching opportunities in Vietnam. The government of Vietnam implemented a National Foreign languages Project, aiming for most of Vietnam’s students to be using English confidently for work and study by 2020. There are numerous international schools, state owned universities, private owned education institutions, language centres. Many of these schools are looking for hiring the qualified ESL teachers who come from overseas.
Like many other countries in Asia, everywhere you go, local residents in Vietnam are friendly to foreign visitors. The overall culture and tradition in Vietnam is easy-going and hospitable. Most expats will find that the traditional culture and hospitality are quite welcoming.
The Vietnamese diet is quite attractive to expats living there and is also quite varied. Often, food there will include influences from the Chinese and Indian, and the French cuisine. Common Vietnamese dishes include fish sauce, lemongrass, fresh herbs (basil leaves), shrimp paste and mint. Traditional Vietnamese cooking is mostly using fresh ingredients, such as the use of fresh lime instead of vinegar. One of the most classic Vietnamese dish is the well-known pho. It is a rice noodle soup with either beef or chicken, served with Vietnamese lime, bean sprouts, mint and fresh chilies. Expats living and working in Vietnam will have the chance to try different traditional Vietnamese cuisine.
Convenient Travel from Vietnam
Another benefit of relocating to Vietnam is that, you can have easy and inexpensive access to other Asian countries. Starting in Ho Chi Min, you can plan your travel itinerary as Vietnam – Laos – Cambodia – Thailand – China. Generally speaking, Vietnam serves as a gateway to Southeast Asia and other Asian countries such as Japan. There are also excellent beaches and tourist opportunities for expats in Vietnam.
Don’t Forget to Bring your International Health Insurance
The government of Vietnam is working to develop a universal healthcare system for its citizens. Although the standard of medical care is considered good in major cities, in rural areas it is still insufficient and not readily available. The standard of care in private hospitals in Vietnam is usually quite good. Most private clinics have doctors from the US, Japan and Europe. The cost of private medical care can vary considerably.
At present, most expats will usually opt to use private hospitals as these are usually equipped with English-speaking medical staff. Expats should ensure that they obtain international health insurance before moving to Vietnam. Many expats may want to seek medical treatment in Bangkok or Singapore for specialist and medical emergencies.
For expat health insurance in Vietnam, it is important that you obtain plan that will provide reimbursement for medical expenses via a large network of hospitals. Many expats should also obtain global life and disability insurance coverage while residing in Vietnam.