Originally published: November 03, 2016
This article explains some of the reasons why I have been in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) 3 times in the last 4 years (at the time of writing this article), and why you should visit Saigon!
Charlie Daniels Saigon Music video on YouTube –> LINK
The New Millenia – And What It Means To You
First and foremost, with the new internet millennia, companies are maximizing their profits and shareholder value, but they are also boosting stock prices through the use of the available latest technology. People take advantage of the internet to create a very different life style. This could be done by moving to warmer, low cost regions such as Chiang Mai or Saigon.
Meet Entrepreneurs In Saigon
In Saigon, I met expats who were engaged in various careers; wine traders, IT entrepreneurs, factory owners, and online entrepreneurs engaging in software projects, affiliating, and outsourcing. The reason many online entrepreneurs relocate to places such as Chiang Mai, and Saigon, is so they can cut the bill, but also to enjoy a very different lifestyle in an environment where it is easy to connect with people. Just go out and ask “where are you from?” and the conversation will begin…
Saigon Is Young And Affordable
Go out one night and you will most likely see 70% young people below the age of 30. Many locals in this region are very excited to connect with the westerns, to learn, do business, and to make new friends. Visit a luxury Thai or Japanese restaurant and pay only 10-25 USD for 2 people for a superior starter and main course, taking you to dining heaven. You understand why this place is increasingly becoming a first choice for travelers and online entrepreneurs.
7 Reasons That Make Saigon An Interesting Spot For Tourism And Living
1. The People
I don’t know if it is Buddhism, but I find the locals, in general, easy going, helpful, and friendly to me as a white, European foreigner. You will find bad people, the “chavs”, in all countries, but going out and asking for help is normally not an issue. You can go out to a bar or club alone, and you will soon be in touch with interesting people, but of course, it also depends on your personality, behavior, and attitude. My tips is also to keep your head cool, control your pocket expenses, and be polite and respectful. Treat people as you want to be treated.
2. The Food
Delicious fresh food from countries like Japan, China, and Thailand can be bought at extremely affordable prices. I am a fan of Thai and Japanese food and I recommend Tokyo Yakiniku Vincom or Takashimaya 65 Le Loi Street Ben Nghe Ward District 1. Another great place is the Golden Elephant 34 Hai Ba Trung. I usually have lunch at Pho24 with fresh lime water and coconut priced at 90,000 VND which is just 4 USD. If you go to a local, simple food place that is not as clean or tidy, you will get the same meal for 30% of that price.
3. Body Treatments
A hair cut with a wash and facial treatment, including ultra-light skin treatment, goes for 500,000 VND which is equivalent of 22 USD. This is just a fraction of the price you would have paid in the West for a similar treatment, in a city of similar size with Saigon. Try body treatments but make sure that you enter a professional institution; one that is clean and has educated staff. The institution Clair Vincom is a safe bet in this case; the staff are relaxed, friendly, and very professional.
3. The Climate
Apart from the rainy season, the temperature averages 28 degrees, everyday, in Saigon. Drive by car to Vung Tau in less than 2 hours, and enjoy a beautiful beach; why not being more adventurous and rent a private boat and make your own way along the Mekong River for a few bucks. It is a good way to explore new areas while being surrounded by such a great climate and helpful people.
4. Internet Connection
I was surprised with the massive availability of wireless internet connection. Almost all of the coffee shops have relatively fast and free wireless connection; you should not experience any problems in staying up to date with friends and family.
5. Expat Communities
There is a growing community of Vietnamese people who are returning from the USA (California) to enjoy a lively and quality lifestyle, and many expats have arrived with big-dollar-pockets. There is also a growing community of online entrepreneurs to be found in meet-up groups and in international communities.
6. Easy Flight Connections
It is quick, easy, and inexpensive to travel to nearby places such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Guangzhou, Bangkok and even the more distant Japan (180 USD return ticket for the latter). A taxi from the city center to the airport takes around 25 min and costs about 5-10 USD.
7. Going Out
Some recommended places to visit include: Chill with a Fabulous Sky Bar, Rex Hotel Sky Bar, Level 23 Wine Bar, Shri Rooftop Bar, Breeze Sky Bar, Blanchys, Lush, Caravelle Hotel, Park Hayatt, Jaspas, The Refinery Bar and Restaurant, or attend any of the many live music events. Blanchys is a club hosting more formal and professional clients and it is located in walking distance from Park Hayatt, Hai Ba Trung. Blanchys’ is a place with great music (lounge, pop) produced by local and western disk jockeys. Lush is a meat market hosting about 70% young ladies (below 30), especially if you go there on ladies night.
Don’t flash around with your smartphone, expensive watch, or exclusive jewelry, and keep tight control of your wallet. Albeit being a fairly safe and growing region, there are social challenges in south east Asia with many people struggling to earn a decent living. It is a good choice to stay alert and keep your belongings held close at all times. When travelling by taxi, choose Vinasun, Grab, or one of the other bigger brands, for safety reasons, and avoid the chance of getting ripped off.
I Will Be Back
Next time I travel to Vietnam, I will visit Nha Trang and Dai Lat, and I will continue to find a local business partner for charity initiatives. Please share this article with your friends and feel free to comment. I would be delighted to hear about your own travel and living experiences in south east Asia.
By Anthony Eric
Anthony Eric brings a wealth of knowledge in international business and he has gained 14 years experiences of how to communicate effectively, how to plan and evaluate operations for low risk and faster decision making. Anthony has been trained by international institutes in the USA, the UK, Ireland and Sweden and he provides business training and communication training for clients in business, and for clients who aim at succeeding in business. His expertise covers leadership, management communication, business planning and sales management. He currently holds an MBA (England) and BSc Engineering (Sweden) and he has gained 21st century skills and knowledge at global leading institutions such as: The British government, Deloitte, IBM, TietoEnator, Ericsson, Consulting firm Semcon, The Open University, King’s College London, Manchester Business School, The University of Birmingham, Royal Institute of Technology KTH and Harvard University in alliance with IBM Leadership Academy. Anthony is the author of the e-book project management success, available on amazon.com.
Copyright (C) 2018. Anthony Eric by Antonios Papadimitriou. All Rights Reserved.