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Bangalore Business Network [This Network is not currently active and cannot accept new posts] | | Topics
BBNers - International Experiences Thread - Sharing Global Information & ExperiencesViews: 410
Jun 20, 2008 7:35 am re: re: BBNers - International Experiences Thread - Sharing Global Information & Experiences

R Ramkumar
Hi

We (My wife, son and I) lived in Vietnam for almost 3 years and just returned to India over 6 months ago.

Not many people in India (or anywhere else inthe world for that manner) are aware of the developments in Vietnam during the last 10 years or so. The larger cities especially Ho Chi Minh City is very modern and Cosmopolitan. There is adequate entertainment and shopping. The city has exclusive show rooms for most of the International brands in clothing, accessories, travel gear, personal care etc. A wide selection of restaurants provide you with food from across the globe. Service at these restaurants is fantastic.
Although it is one of the "new kids on the block", it is quite an expensive destination. There is a lot of disposable income and the people splurge on cell phones, clothing and accessories. Dinner at an upmarket restaurant can easily cost you a couple of hundred USDOllars without and liquor or wine thrown in.
The Vietnamese themselves are very friendly people - some of the most friendly that you will find across the globe. Getting by can be an issue as a lot of people outside the downtown area do not speak English.
Ho Chi Minh City hosts a huge number of expatriates from across the world. There are 8 International School - each with over a 1000 kids.
In addition to the high profile shopping arcades and exclusive stores, a parallel market exists where excess supplies, seconds and even fakes are sold - it is difficult to differentiate though. These products - mainly clothing, footwear, fashion accessories and travel gear are sold at a fraction of the prices at the exclusive stores. USDollars and Vietnamese Dong are accepted at all stores.
Travelling in Vietnam pretty much reminds you of the landscape in Kerala - there is a lot of greenery and water. However, what little they have is showcased and marketed extremely well. This is the only reason that visitors to Vietnam were almost 5million in 2007. In 1997, they had less than 100,000 visitors. The India Government should take a leaf out of their book if they wish to promote tourism.
There is a great variety of souveniers you can bring back - wooden, ceramic and stone pieces are available all over the city.
Carry enough money - it is not a cheap destination. It has rapidly become an expensive destination. To give you an example of how quickly it has become expensive - when I first went to Vietnam (Dec. 2004), I stayed at the Caravelle Hotel (a 5 star property downtown) at a tariff of US$ 82 per night inclusive of breakfast. In December 2007, corporate rates at the same property was US$ 200 exclusive of breakfast (which was an additional US$ 20).
My family and I loved our stay in Vietnam - both my wife and son were quite reluctant to return to India. We'd made friends (both Vietnamese and expats) who were very nice.
If there is any additional or specific information that anybody would like to have on Vietnam, please feel free to email me.

Private Reply to R Ramkumar (new win)





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