The travel sector has never been as valuable and the number of people wanting not only to visit, but to live and work in foreign countries, has never been so high. While blocs such as the European Union allow for the freedom of movement and labour, there is significant movement of people across the world and Vietnam is certainly benefitting. The Country has opened itself to mass tourism in the 21st Century and those taking Vietnam tour packages have been increasing year on year. The message they bring back from a Vietnam holiday regularly talks of a hospitable country with a rich history and culture.
It comes as no surprise therefore that Vietnam has been moving up the league table of countries where foreigners wish to work and live. A recent survey by the international banking group, HSBC, polled almost 20,000 people currently working away from their native country. They were all asked about their current situation and to make comments on life in their ‘’adopted’’ country. The factors that HSBC wanted to know about were the stability of their new home, the standard of living, disposable income, leisure time and employment prospects. All the indicators from those living in Vietnam were positive.
When HSBC analysed the responses, it placed Vietnam tenth on the world list, up eightplaces since the previous similar survey. Respondents had been very positive on the ease with which they could adapt to local conditions, the general benefits of working in Vietnam and the financial packages available for working in the Country.
Vietnam has a relatively low cost of living and ex-pats who could reasonably expect to earn US$100,000 per year found that they had far more disposable income than they would have had back at home, even if they had a higher salary. Local salaries average at about US$2,500 per year, a huge difference!
Vietnam’s position of tenth has moved it above some near neighbours, in order Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia which range from 16th to 31st.Worldwide, Switzerland, Singapore, Canada, Spain and New Zealand are the top five in that order.
It is estimated that 82,000 ex-pats live in Vietnam which allows them to open new businesses while a further significant number teach English as a foreign language. The demand for language skills has naturally risen because of Vietnam’s quickly developing economy.Not only is the demand for English teachers high, the salaries on offer are comparing favourably with other countries around the world yet the standard of living is low.
If you are keen on teaching English and have the ability to do it, there are a huge number of reasons why Vietnam is a place to go:
• The natural hospitality and friendliness of the locals
• The working/leisure balance available in Vietnam
• The salaries available which can create significant disposable income
• The relaxation of employment and visa restrictions by the Government.
However, it is worth remembering the beauty of Vietnam and the major tourist attractions that are bringing more and more people to the Country for Vietnam travel packages.
• Hanoi is the Capital of Vietnam up in the North and among its attractions are the Old Town with its street food and markets, a number of museums, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Hoan Kiem Lake. Formula One comes to Hanoi in 2020 and enthusiasts will love the city’s overall environment.
• Halong Bayis a UNESCO World Heritage site due east of Hanoi in the Gulf of Tonkin. It is a bay filled with limestone karsts where you can sail, explore, swim or just relax. Sunset and sunrise are beautiful times to be in the Bay with overnight cruises extremely popular.
• Red River Delta has been described as ‘’Halong Bay inland’’ because it is another limestone region where you can take a sampan and pass through the rice fields below stunning mountains and even enter caves by boat.
• SaPa to the north of Hanoi up towards the Chinese border is home to a number of ethnic tribes, Mount Fanispan, the highest mountain in Indochina, and the Rice Terraces where locals grow their crops.
• Hue was the Imperial Capital of Vietnam during the Nguyen Dynasty which was the ‘’puppet regime’’ during the time when the French dominated Indochina, the 19th and first half of the 20th Century. The best way to see Hue is by boat with Imperial Tombs on one side of the river and the Imperial City on the other.
• Hoi An became an important trading port many years before that and even today the influence of other countries, notably the Chinese and Japanese can be seen and felt. The Old Town, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, is special and the colourful lanterns for which the City is known light up the night.
• Da Lat in the Central Highlands was developed by the French to escape from the hotter weather in the lowland regions. Old villas are still in evidence and hikers will enjoy the surrounding region.
• Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, is very much the commercial centre of Vietnam with many 21st Century skyscrapers but the colonial architecture built towards the end of the 19th Century is certainly worth some of your time.
• The Mekong Delta is Vietnam’s most fertile region and the produce sold in its morning markets is bought by locals, regional buyers and national companies. You can explore the narrow channels on boat or cycle, passing fields, orchards and villages.
With a good transport infrastructure, including regular and inexpensive domestic flights, leisure time and a high level of disposable income, anyone living and working inVietnam has the opportunity to spend time at any of these places. In addition, Vietnam’s extensive coastline with stunning beaches and warm seas has led to the development of great coastal resorts. Vietnam has become a real jewel and if you want to see it, whether with a view to living and working there or not, get in touch with an experienced Vietnam travel agent.