Vietnam Everyday Life
Housing and supply
In Vietnam, the building boom broke out as part of the reform policy. There is generally enough living space. When looking for a place to live, it is best to rely on the advice of “experienced” expats, who exchange ideas, for example, on discussion forums. Another good source of information specifically about Hanoi is The New Hanoian website.
According to physicscat, Vietnamese food is light. Vietnamese usually eat a warm dish in the morning, e.g. phở, a noodle soup with either chicken or beef. There are different versions of the origin of the Vietnamese national dish phở. The fish sauce belongs to almost every Vietnamese dish, the smell of which is not for the faint noses, but which gives the Vietnamese cuisine that “certain something”. There are clear regional differences – sugar is used in many dishes in Saigon differently than in Hanoi. A typical North Vietnamese dish is bún chả, Rice noodles with grilled pork and herbs.
Some dishes such as dog meat take some getting used to for the western palate, but have long been part of Vietnamese cuisine. Overall, in Vietnam, the consumption of dog and cat meat is However, in recent years, declined.
You can always get something to eat in Vietnam – whether on the street (” street food “), in simple cookshops or in expensive restaurants. Some large restaurants, for example, are designed like a market with different stalls – with lots of smells, but also the corresponding background noise. Meanwhile, the selection of is restaurants so large that the orientation can lose. In addition, there are special ” bia h Restaurantsi restaurants “, especially in Hanoi, where you can enjoy snacks with “light beer” (bia hơi).
In Vietnam, too, “globalization goes through the stomach”. In Vietnam, for example, kebab and other “western” dishes are now available – but adapted to Vietnamese taste. In January 2014 the first McDonalds branch opened in Ho Chi Minh City – so far only the other large international chains have been represented on the Vietnamese market. Interestingly, the franchisee is Henry Nguyen, an American of Vietnamese descent and son-in-law of former Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
In contrast to the “pre-reform period”, the supply situation in Vietnam is very good today. In the markets, however, you should be careful when buying food, especially fresh vegetables and fruit, as some of these are contaminated with pesticides. In the larger cities, international supermarkets, but also smaller shops, now offer organic vegetables. In any case, you should find out whether they actually adhere to the standards of organic vegetables.
The Hanoi People’s Committee is promoting the production of unpolluted vegetables.
There are a number of public holidays in Vietnam. Many shops are still open on these days – but not during the Vietnamese New Year festival (Tết festival). During this time, many shops, including supermarkets, are closed for almost a week.
The opening times are not uniform in Vietnam. In general, authorities, banks, etc. open quite early.
Travel, transportation and traffic
In Vietnam, you have a choice of modes of transport. Trains, for example, are very popular. If you have the time, don’t miss the experience of a train ride from Hanoi to Saigon.
You can of course get to your destination faster by plane, with the state airline Vietnam Airlines or the private carriers Bamboo Airways, Jetstar or VietJet.
There are different ways of getting around in cities like Hanoi. The means of transport such as “xe ôm” (moped taxis) and the traffic itself take some getting used to. Initially it costs quite an effort to a busy road on foot to cross. The Vietnamese “show how “. Taxis are usually a safe form of transport, however care should be taken not to charge them excessively are required. At the beginning of November 2011, for example, a taxi driver in Hanoi tried to “take out” two guests from Singapore and asked them to pay a whopping € 200 for a distance of 10 km. However, he had come to the wrong place, his guests were participants in the first Interpol conference, which was held in Vietnam. The taxi driver was arrested a short time later; the taxi company he was driving for had to shut down.
In recent years taxi companies such as Uber and Grab have conquered parts of the Vietnamese market and are not making life difficult for the long-established taxi companies, but above all for moped taxis. In the spring of 2018, Grab took over Uber in Vietnam.
At the end of the 1980’s, for example, traffic in Hanoi was still comparatively “contemplative” and was dominated by cyclists and a tram, a relic from the French colonial era. Interestingly, in the inner-city district of Hoan Kiem, according to a plan by the Hanoi People’s Committee, Cyclos is to be replaced by trams because the former are “uncivilized”.
The public bus system in Hanoi has been greatly expanded in recent years.
If you want to drive your own car in Vietnam, you need a Vietnamese driver’s license.
In recent years, just as many of the airports in Vietnam have been renovated and expanded, especially the three international airports in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang. Vietnam Airlines, the national airline, has also expanded significantly, modernized its air fleet and added many new destinations to its flight schedule. In addition to the state-owned Vietnam Airlines, there are two smaller airlines: JetStar and VietJet.
When preparing your trip, keep in mind that the climate in the different parts of the country is very different. While North Vietnam has a subtropical climate (with four seasons), you will find a tropical climate in South Vietnam with only two seasons (dry and rainy season).
With children in Vietnam
Those who live in Ho Chi Minh City with children have better school facilities. Schools at the German International School started in August 2009.
There are also a number of other international schools in both Ho Chi Minh City and the capital Hanoi.
There are a number of recreational opportunities for children in Hanoi.
The postal and telecommunications system in Vietnam has developed rapidly in recent years. This also applies to digital media (the beginnings of the Internet in Vietnam go back to the second half of the 1990’s), which have expanded massively in recent years, but still suffer from slow networks. There are different internet providers in Vietnam. Cybercrime has now also found its way into Vietnam and is naturally transnational.
With a Vietnamese SIM card, you can also use your European mobile phone in Vietnam. There are three major cell phone providers in Vietnam.