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Expat Report Culture Shock in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam by AliJo333 was published
Culture-Shock-in-Ho-Chi-Minh-City
Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
Expect everything to be different from your home country. Get restaurant reviews from Trip Advisor. Sign up for expat forums/ groups and meet as many people as possible (many people have different reasons for living in vietnam!) (Continue)
A reader commented on the Expat Report Info about Saigon Hash House Harriers in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Info-about-Ho-Chi-Minh-City
Describe your group.
Running club with a drinking problem. Check out the web-site: www.saigonhash.com (Continue)
troyfrick replied most recently with:
I would like to join.
troyfrick replied recently with:
I am American. My Vietnamese wife and our two children will be moving to Vietnam in two months from the U.S. She has a large family there. My wife is a Vietnamese citizen but has a permanent resident green card in the U.S. I and our american born children would like to get long term visas to stay in Vietnam and dont know how to obtain. My wife will open a coffe shop and basically I will be retired but helping the family on the citrus farm. need info or direction where to get my visa answers.
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A reader commented on the Expat Report Having a Baby in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Having-a-Baby-in-Ho-Chi-Minh-City
Describe your experience giving birth there. What type of facility did you go to? What (if any) type of pain management did you use? How long did you stay in the hospital? Was it a positive experience? Etc...
Being the male, I cannot give you a description of the birthing my wife had experienced. But being on the sidelines, I would not recommend any couple to have a child born here if it is possible.

Being an outsider, I decided to let my wife select the hospital as well as the doctor she felt most comfortable with. She had selected the International Hospital for Women located in Ho Chi Minh City, Q1. Having that word "International" gave me a little of an assurance. However this assurance was abruptly snatched away as soon as we had our first prenatal visit.

Granted, that this is my first child, and I really had nothing to compare to back in the states, but what I saw left a lot to be desired. My wife at that time was 38 years old. I would think they would have done more testing to determine if the child may have Downs Syndrome, since at her age there is a 1:240 chance of our baby being affected. The only test that was done on her during her entire pregnancy was a blood test on her first check up. I had requested other tests from what I had gathered from the internet and books that I had brought from the States. But those tests typically done to women at the age of my wife, are not conducted in Vietnam. There was nothing I can do but cross my fingers.

So the months passed, and her weight gained. As far as I could tell everything was okay. I had purchased some prenatal supplements from the States and she was taking them religiously. We also prepared meals to supplement her with the nutrition needed during pregnancy from what I had read.

At nine months and our baby girl was in the breach state and no signs of turning. A cesarean had to be performed. We reserved the best room in the hospital so my wife would be comfortable. When we stepped in, I felt like I took a step back in time. If it wasn't for the color TV and remote control, I could swear I had seen this set on one of those old black and white TV shows from the late 50's. But, you have to make due with the cards you are dealt with. One good thing though, is that the nurses were of great help and pleasant. Usually, in Vietnam you have to tip the nurses to get good service. But at this hospital, although we tried to tip them, they would not accept it. This particular hospital is trying to change and anyone who got caught accepting tips would be let go.

Okay, so my wife is in her room a day ahead of her surgery. The next day she undergoes her cesarean. I am waiting in the waiting room and finally our new baby girl is brought out. Ten toes, ten fingers, eyes look the right distance apart, head shape is okay, and no deformities. Great, I was relieved. I asked about my wife and they said she is okay and is in the recovery room. Knowing this I went back to work. Just as I went to the office I got a call that they needed me back right away. There were a lot of thoughts that ran through my mind. When I finally got back, I found out that they could not stop her bleeding and they wanted consent to do a partial hysterectomy on her. But by the time I got to the hospital they already reopened and removed part of her uterus to stop the bleeding. If they had waited for me to sign, she would have died. The main thing is that my wife is okay.

So, my wife recuperates and we go home after a weeks stay in the hospital. We eventually hired one of the nurses who helped my wife at the hospital to come over everyday for a about a month to check and wash the baby while my wife recuperates.

A month has passed and it is time for our girls first check up. We went to the same hospital. I was surprised at the amount of people just waiting. It reminded me of the unemployment or welfare lines. When we finally saw the doctor, it was like being called into your bosses office. He was sitting behind a desk and my wife sat next to the desk on a chair holding that baby. I was thinking, "Hey buddy are you going to wash your hands before you touch the baby?" He never did. Usually the pediatricians use a special flashlight with a cone to look into the ears, nose and throat. This guys used a regular flashlight just like from K-mart. What the hell??? He does not take off the clothes to check the baby, nor look at the body and limbs....Okay......next person.

The hell with this, I have to find a new hospital. I asked around and found a French Vietnamese Hospital. On the second month we saw a pediatrician from France. I watched him, he washes his hands, removes all the clothes from our girl, inspects the whole body, ask us questions about diet and health. I thought this is great. This is a good hospital. I only wish I had found this earlier. The third month same doctor, same procedure...great, I was very happy.

The fourth month, our doctor left. But the there was a new pediatrician from France. She was excellent also, no complaints.

The fifth month, another new French doctor? What the hell is going on? No problem, he was also good.

The sixth month no French doctors. But there were three Vietnamese doctors. I thought, okay I will try them. Dammm....don't they teach sanitation in Vietnam. Wash your hands first, any elementary school person knows that. That is why you have a sink behind you. Its not used as a storage bin, its for washing your hands. Also, the way they checked the child was terrible and lazy. No questions about diet or health.

After this episode, I said hell with this, it is time to leave Vietnam. I cannot raise a child like this. Eight years is enough. So I started on my wife's visa papers to get our family to the states.

I found a new hospital, for the seventh and eight month. A clinic, but there was an American pediatrician there. Great service. Back to normal.

Ninth month check up. Where is the American doctor? He left, and only local vietnamese doctors are there. I am not going to see a local doctor again. So I went back to the FV hospital where there was another foreign doctor there.

This kept on, and on until now. That is enough for now. I have other stories, but that is for another time. My daughter is 18 months now and it looks like next month (July 2008) we will be moving to our new house in Hawaii. It was great living debt free for several years, now the bank owns me for 20 or 30 years. (Continue)

A reader replied most recently with:
As a foreign woman (Canadian) who has given birth to two children in Vietnam, I have to say I completely agree with the report on this particular hospital. I gave birth twice, by cesarean twice, at a Vietnamese hospital, and while the recovery rooms are not beautiful, they were clean and functional. The nurses were great, and my doctor was wonderful. I chose the hospital based on the relationship I had built with my doctor. So I would say that, if you are pregnant in Vietnam, find a doctor you can trust and who listens to you, and then follow them to their hospital.
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Expat Report Having a Baby in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam was published
Having-a-Baby-in-Ho-Chi-Minh-City
If a friend of yours living in the same country were expecting, what advice would you give her?
Dr. Le Van Duc at FVH (Continue)
Expat Report Review of British Internationa School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam was published
Review-of-British Internationa School
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
The facilities are adequate although any new investment/improvement is quickly offset by an increase in students.

Not many extra curricular activities aside from after school activities, all major sports activities are organized by the parents and the FOBISSEA league is only for those willing to pay hefty amount of money. (Continue)

Expat Report Review of ACG International School Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam was published
Review-of-ACG International School Vietnam
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
Recently built school, extensive facilities. The campus is still filling out with greenery as the school is so new. Well resourced for curriculum subjects like science and computers.

Extra-curricular activities are things like sports, drama/arts, homework. (Continue)

Expat Report Having a Baby in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam by TheSaltyDog was published
Having-a-Baby-in-Ho-Chi-Minh-City
Describe your experience giving birth there. What type of facility did you go to? What (if any) type of pain management did you use? How long did you stay in the hospital? Was it a positive experience? Etc...
My wife and I used Franco-Vietnamese Hospital for pre-natal examinations, the cesarean section and infant follow-ups. My wife was provided all the tests, and then some, that were included in the pre-nat package. Everything was explained to us in Vietnamese and English. We had one ob-gyn throughout the process and he performed the c-section, as well.

The c-section began on time and except for our daughter deciding to shift from the head down position to transverse during the procedure, everything went according to the plan. My wife requested additional pain meds. The surgical nurse was quick to push the med directly into the point at the wrist.

I (husband) have had to use FVH for an emergency several years ago. We trust FVH.

My wife and daughter spent 5 days in the hospital. Nursing staff were professional, courteous and friendly. The insurance department was very cooperative. (Continue)

Expat Report Review of British International School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam was published
Review-of-British International School
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
The British International School in Vietnam has 3 campuses. A Primary campus in the city center and a Primary and Secondary Campus in District 2, where most expat families live. The 2 campuses in D2 each have a playing field, swimming pool, ICT suites. They share a full size playing field and a baskettball court. After school clubs are of great variety and are on offer throughout the year. (Continue)
Expat Report Review of British International School, Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam was published
Review-of-British International School, Vietnam
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
The school has 3 campuses; 1 downtown (Primary only) and two in a suburb called An Phu which includes Primary & Secondary. Facilities are good and continue to expand as the school grows. 3 "playing" fields (though small) and (1) 25m swimming pool in each of the An Phu campuses. Clubs are available after school and other sport activities are available on Saturday. (Continue)

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