In this article I will share some tips with you to improve your quality of life in Vietnam and also anticipate your arrival in this beautiful country. The Vietnamese government began a steady process of economic and political reform, the country has not only prospered but opened up to the world. It now attracts a large number of expatriates from all over the world. If you are thinking of moving to Vietnam, here are some tips that should help you.
1. Carry a lot of clothes and shoes in Vietnam
Vietnamese people are not particularly tall or very large, so non-Asian people tend to have trouble finding clothes and shoes in their size. Plus sizes are not entirely unavailable, but your choices will be limited. And if you were plus size, even at home, you will have major problems in Vietnam. The best thing to do is to carry a lot of stuff with you when you first move, and then stock up whenever you visit your home country.
2. Buy books
The Internet has made buying books fast and easy, no matter where you are in the world. However, sometimes delivery in Vietnam may not be possible, and other times you may just want to visit a bookstore. Fahasa is your best option - they have the widest range of international books, and they have outlets across the country. Bookworm in Hanoi is also said to be quite good.
3. Learn to negotiate and bargain.
You may find this uncomfortable and awkward, but remember that you are in a different culture and there is nothing awkward about it. Vietnam has large stores where prices are fixed, but many of your purchases will (and should) be in local markets and street vendors. The prices here are quoted with the expectation that they will be knocked down; if you don't play, Vietnam will not be cheap for you.
4. Vietnamese is difficult, but learn it anyway.
There are some things about language that make it extremely easy - the rules of grammar and sentence structure are quite simple compared to many other languages. However, what complicates everything, slows down new learners and confuses and frustrates non-native speakers is the fact that tone is extremely important to meaning. The same words can mean something drastically different depending on whether your voice is rising or falling.
For native speakers of languages like English, this is a completely foreign concept that can be difficult to grasp. And because it's possible to get by with English and a handful of Vietnamese, many expats give up.
5. Walking on the street
Forget everything you know about driving and crossing the street, or it will be impossible to do so in Vietnam. Drive and cross the streets like the locals, as long as you don't do anything outrageously risky.
6. Beware of burglaries
Burglaries are a bit of a problem in Vietnam, so make sure you have adequate security. Make sure your doors and windows are secure at night and when you are away.