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Single Retiree considering Vietnam

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4/30/2012 20:17 EST

I am a 56 year old single female who is considering moving to Vietnam. Anyone out there have any suggestions about where to start. Is it safe for a single woman? Bet place to live?

4/30/2012 22:54 EST

Hi Babette,

If you are considering Vietnam, Vietnam is good enough to everyone living in. However, stay away from 2 big cities Saigon and Hanoi - Hanoi is the worse.

Nha Trang, Vung Tau, Phu Quoc (island) or Con Dao (island) are seaside cities. You may spend your leisure / retiree time here. Cost of living in Vietnam is low enough to budget of people (total 1000$/person/month including 2-3 stars accommodation + food and drink + leisure time and travel 1 times / month to other place). At your at 56, you may teach some language classes in Vietnam. You may find US 10$ - 15$ / hour , you may teach 2 hours / day (12$ / hour for example) - You may find US 600$ to US 800$.

Kenneth Vu

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5/1/2012 22:36 EST

u can teach english in big city like hochiminh or hanoi.its the most easy way for u. it has many foreingers here so u can stay with them or u can stay in local house first.
I think u should come to hochiminh city. the weather is not harsh like hanoi but a little hot.

5/3/2012 02:50 EST

Hi Babette!You're right to choose Vietnam as the destination to come. I think the foreigner like you is not difficult to start, i am in Hanoi now and understand well the expat community around. They find the life very easy and you also can, teaching or even with your pension is good enough to live in Hanoi. If you need any advice, please let me know.
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5/4/2012 03:44 EST

I think the above answer from canhufs is an advert, not advice they will want to charge you. Hanoi people are very rude and angry.

5/6/2012 00:06 EST

Hi Babette, my husband (age 57) and I (age 52) just moved to Vietnam. He's an English teacher and I'm a writer. We're skipping the two big cities and moving to Quy Nhon a coastal city of 300,000 where a quieter life can be had. He'll be teaching English as a foreign language while I write and do some tourism marketing. If you'd like to chat, please email me at


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For expats in Vietnam, choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our partner, Allianz Care. Their plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz Care's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget.

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5/8/2012 08:40 EST

Dear Babette, I am 21 years old girl and living in Hanoi. I accidentally visited this site and saw the post of terence2000. I traveled around Vietnam a lots, but I love Hanoi. If you want to leave in a big, peace city; Hanoi is your place.

Dear terence2000,
I dun defense the recommend of you. Everyone has their point of view about something. Hanoian don't really bad like think it's. Maybe you did not see right people. I have some friend, who are foreigners and they love to leave here. Every where, there's good people and bad people. I hope that someday something will change your mind. If you are in Hanoi, and wanna find someone to chat. I would love to. My email is

Btw, I am not a marketer or try to get your money. I simply just wanna help and make new friends. here's my link facebook.

Hope the best for you guys.

5/8/2012 09:52 EST

I went to Hanoi last November, flying into the main airport, we took a bus to some part of the city, all the way the drive was driving dangerously he even got out of his bus the fight with some one in a car. e took a taxi and were taken to the wrong hotel, were told by the staff that it took about 2.5 hours to the airport when it took us less than 1 hour. I could go on and on but I will not

7/10/2012 10:08 EST

Vietnam is a great place to retire if you are a single male with a fixed income. Single females will find limited social opportunities. It's not impossible but it will be difficult. There are just too many young VN women looking for a western husband.

It will be easy to find work as an English teacher but you wont be able to own property or even a motorbike directly. You will have a limited visa unless you find a job and get sponsored for a residence permit. The Permit will be dependent on your job. Currently visas are only for 3 - 6 months necessitating renewal in-country or by exit and re-entry. Vietnam is safe and the people are very friendly but the truth is, your status will be as a tourist unless you can marry a local or start a government recognized NGO.

If you are still pursuing retirement in VN then you should travel around the country and see what you like. VN has a varied climate with big differences between north, middle and south. Ha noi area can be quite cold (7C) in the winter and Ho Chi Minh City is tropical all year long.

7/10/2013 11:27 EST

Hi Babette, I am in a similar situation as you...contemplating moving to Vietnam to live as a retiree. I read other posts in response to yours and just would like to say that I personally prefer Hanoi over HCMC in many ways. I think the people in Hanoi are much nicer/genuinely friendly and much less materialistic than people in HCMC. I also feel much safer in Hanoi than in HCMC. Plus I think Hanoi is more interesting than HCMC. Just my opinion based on quite a bit of time in both cities since 2004. Good luck. Jim

7/10/2013 11:48 EST

I am preferred, Nha Trang, Da Nang, Da Lat and many others. HCMC and Hanoi have too many flaws for retirees. Visiting once in awhile, maybe!

7/10/2013 12:33 EST

ALF110 - I have found your messages and comments very helpful. I just wanted to let you know I appreciate.

7/10/2013 21:41 EST

i think, if you are looking for a nice place for retirement, you should stay away from 2 big city Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh city.
If i were you, Da Lat will be my first choice, then Vung Tau. Phu Quoc is a beautiful island but the life is seem quiet and not much expat here.

7/29/2013 23:54 EST

Hi Babette, I moved to Vung Tau in Vietnam a couple of months ago and so far I have enjoyed it. There are a few places up the coast that I will eventually also look into however I also like Vung Tau because it is an hour and a half boat ride to HCMC.

There are a few things you should do before coming including having an on-line bank account with a US bank and updating your drivers license.

If you have any more questions let me know. My private email is

12/29/2014 05:10 EST

Hello Terence2000, thank your for the comments;actually I am posting here just to help the expat if they need any reference and I am as a local Hanoian supporting alot of expats for free and they're happy with that; obviously nowadays more and more foreigners are coming and staying in Hanoi that is proving its attraction.

12/29/2014 05:18 EST

Hi iambiden, highly appreciating your comments, you're a really good Hanoian, I have not signed EX for quite a long time;pls continue what you are thinking and doing to help the foreigners change their mind of Vietnamese people in general and our Hanoi in particular

12/30/2014 03:37 EST

hello all, I read all the comments and rebuttles Vietnam is very much a reflection of your self, if you are angry person, you will meet same, all Vn people are very family orientated and caring for any person on their own. If you are 1 person any place you go soon you will be invited to join Vn people especially if

12/30/2014 03:42 EST

especially if they are eating, Vn revolves around food, even expressions like " if you don't eat rice from your own bowl, you eat from another " mean your not sleeping in your own bed, but anothers, if your invited to dinner in some ones home,EAT LOTS!!! it's rude to reject what they prepare, it is an awesome place!! FIFO, fit in or fly out

2/13/2015 23:12 EST

Hello Babette

once your here and have made a few vietnamese friends, (even better make some before you come, fb groups) people like to practice their english and learn about different cultures, you can ask someone to help you find a place to live, I'm paying 3.6 million dong (175 dollars) in Central HCMH, simple but spacious, if your not a fussy eater then can get breakfast, dinner and supper for under 100k dong, if you really want your savings to last and even save some money whilst teaching a few english classes each week

Watch out there are a lot of people renting apartments for rediculous amounts of money when compared to what the locals pay for the same thing, aswell as restaurants that focus on expats and tourists with a massive mark up

9/26/2017 01:20 EST

Hi Babbette, I,m close to moving there and as a guy have never felt affraid or been intimidated wherever I have gone, I don't flash any bling use a small camera and maintain an open attitude. Cities are great for lots to do but become staid after a while, Now days I use airbnb in district 7 Sg and local transport, the people are friendly and may give you some Tieng viet ( language ) lessons, they are very generous and don't like to see singles on their own, try not to refuse an invitation to join them at the restaurant. if you stay out of town the local bus is about 6000 vnd to city but watch the clock as they shut down early and you may need to get xe om ( motor bike lift) back home if you are out of town it's about 50000 vnd to dist 7 like $2 aud. Sg is a good place to start, it's big diverse, entertaining ( try the opera ). Hope you enjoy as much as I do.

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