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Why did I Move to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam?

I've received several questions lately about me being in Vietnam. Some came out of curiosity and others from people not understanding what I am doing here. The goal of this post is to answer these questions and give a better idea of what I am doing in here.

Vietnam Cafes

Why Vietnam?

It can be summarized by "I just go where my gut tells me to go" but there are also rational reasons behind it:

Location - There are a lot of places I want to travel in and around Southeast Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, New Zealand, China…). Vietnam is well located to be a base location to travel to these countries.

The low cost of living - I am tracking my expenses right now and I predict my cost of living here is around 30-40% lower than in Montreal. I could lower this even more if I wanted to. I just kept the same budget for some expenses like rent, but get more luxury, like a room with a private bathroom, balcony and maid service.

Recommendations - When my friend Ariane first talked to me about Vietnam, I wasn't trilled about the idea, especially after reading the story of Matt. While in Spain, I happened to meet two guys living a similar lifestyle I'm pursuing who both raved about Vietnam. I’ve been here for three weeks and I cannot relate to Matt’s story at all. I thought maybe it was because I'm not into backpacking, but I have two friends currently doing a Vietnam backpacking trip and they seem to enjoy it a lot.

What are you doing there?

Right now I'm focusing on growing my business and streams of income while discovering a new city and culture.

I spend a lot of time working in cafes, meeting a lot of new people, and trying new restaurants and food.

How long are you going to stay?

My plan is no plan. I will stay as long as I feel like staying. Right now I think I will stay in Ho Chi Minh for a couple months.

Why don't you post more pictures?

I just don't have many pictures to share right now. I'll probably be around Southeast Asia for a while, so there are no reasons for me to rush to travel everywhere. I am not in a picture-taking mode but more in a working mode right now.

Also, Facebook is blocked by many Internet provider here (requested by the government I think). It's a good thing for productivity but it complicates things a little to upload pictures.

I will be taking a trip to Thailand and maybe Cambodia in December, so you can expect more pictures soon.

Do they have good Internet connection in Vietnam?

In Ho Chi Minh it is slower than Canada in general, but I can really live with it. The worst places were about 1 Mbps and the best 8 Mbps download speed. For mobile, 3G with the iPhone is cheap and surprisingly fast (6 Mbps download, enough to make Skype calls).

3G-speed Vietnam

Did you have culture shock?

The first two days I did. One of the reasons I came here was to see something different, so I was prepared for it and looking forward to experiencing it. There are a couple good reasons not to like Ho Chi Minh: crazy traffic and honking, air quality, smells, etc.

The second day I felt like I could either decide not to like the city for those reasons or give it a chance. Since then I have discovered a lot more about their culture and the lifestyle possibilities, which outweigh the cons for me.

Do you have any other questions about Vietnam? Let me know in the comments!

Category: Lifestyle

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About Me

I'm Charles, an independent SEO Consultant. I blog here about SEO and life experiences. Read more