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Vietnam -Danang. updated with no reference to schools

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by box_cowfish, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. Hi all, new user here and I have a few questions if you would be so kind...
    My boyfriend and I are both mid-20s (enjoy the occaisional pub night out, exploring, socialising, relaxing) and are planning to move away to teach for a year. After a great deal of thought we have (nearly) decided on Vietnam rather than China or Korea due to the pay, the proximity to other countries of interest and just the newness of it all, I suppose.
    I have a few questions that you might feel charitable about answering :) I was thinking of posting on Dave's ESL but heard, after trawling a few posts, that he can have a few rightwing tendencies?
    We’ve been researching quite a bit and are thinking that Da Nang might be a good place to start. I think it’s a big, possibly ugly city (?) and it isn’t as cosmopolitan as HCMC but it’s next to the gorgeous, gorgeous beaches & Marble Mountains, glorious countryside etc. Plus, and this is a big plus, it is only 20 mins away from Ho An (I think it’s called) which, I’m beginning to gather, is a big touristy place and enough to give us our fix of Western comforts and people. Another thing that I was worried about in a big city like HCM is the traffic and smog and scary roads and concrete and arghh. In a smaller place I think that we could get our confidence up and buy mopeds or something. Is Da Nang the right place to build up that confidence and escape the smog, chaos and congestion of HCMC?

    Oh, another thing, it is monsoon season in October which is when we are planning on going out. Is monsoon season very scary like I suspect it is? I don't wanna be washed away... Also, one of our major conerns are mosquitos and humidity. Of course being in the tropics you have to expect that it won't be pleasantly mild like middle England but is it unbearable and impossible to get used to? Mosquitos particularly love me.. will this be a huge problem or are there ways to deal with them effectively?

    I have a friend who visited Halong Bay, HCMC etc. I looked at her photos - she has a similar complexion to me aka English rose and in all her photos she has a sweaty, red face. Will that be a daily reality for me? I'm also a size 16 person though i'm trying to get down to 14 before we move... I know it's hard to get these sizes in Vietnam bit will the Vietnamese people think i'm an horrendous hulk? I suppose if it's that hot then I can sweat off a bit of the lard.

    I thank you in advance for reading the jumbled mental vomit. I hope some kindly souls are able to give us some good advice.

  2. You'll get a much better perspective putting this on Dave's as they're all EFL teachers. Dave is clearly a Stalinist, look at all the pictures of himself on the site! Besides he's not going to answer your post anyway and just because he likes the bombing of brown people doesn't mean you'll get bad advice regards Vietnam.

    On a personal level, having worked in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia I'd say leave Vietnam alone. The Vietnamese are, by and large very xenophobic people. A friend of mine was at a concert in Ho Chi Minh once with his girlfriend when someone came to the mic and said in Vietnamese "people, do not pickpocket each other, there are foreigners here!".
  3. Thank ye! I'll certainly try Dave's joint then. Just want to be as sussed as possible because am not brave enough to roll up in a random country x
  4. First of all, Vietnam is a wonderful country. I presently work in Saigon at an international school with my wife and two and a half year old and absolutely love the place. Vietnamese people, although not as friendly as the Thais or Cambodians, are a pleasant enough bunch and generally smile and leave you alone. We have quite a bit of experience in SE Asia and can say that you don't need to worry about the locals at all.

    Da Nang is not particularly nice but it isn't a wasteland either. I?m not sure about your chances of teaching EFL there. Your best bet would be Saigon for those types of gigs. Yes, Hoi An is only 20-30 minutes from Da Nang but it is not the type of place where you?ll find ?western comforts? in the Singapore or Phuket variety. It is a sleepy town with loads of lovely shops and cafes. Certainly the type of place that will allow for some much needed R&R. We love it.

    Yes, it is very hot and humid here. It pretty much is for most of the year. Some people get used to it, others don?t. However, I don?t know of a single expat who has left Vietnam due to the heat. The monsoon season can get a bit annoying but is not scary in any way.

    And no, the locals will not consider you to be a ?horrendous hulk?. Most expats are considerably larger than the locals. You?ll stand out in a crowd of Vietnamese, but not among the many westerners you?ll see around most of Vietnam?s travel destinations.
    Good luck.
  5. Thanks so much for the information! It's useful to know that Hoi An isn't as big as I thought - I thought it would have nightclubs, pubs and things. When you say that Da Nang isn't very nice - do you think it isn't a very nice place to live? Is it big and smoggy? I wonder if the beaches would give some relief? Thanks again, so helpful xx
  6. moscowbore

    moscowbore Occasional commenter

    Dear box,
    I spent 2 years living in Saigon recently. The vietnamese people I met were the most friendly people in the world. I found that if you make a little effort with a near impossible language they respond.
    Hoi An is small. I only visited Da Nang once but I remember it as being very small. Beer huts , tourist shops and tailors mostly. There must be a Vietnamese school there but it seemed a bit small to merit an international school. The tone of your posts seems to suggest that you are looking for a working holiday. I know people who have done this. They spent time in Saigon and Hanoi earning enough cash by teaching English to do the trips they wanted and then popped back to the bigger cities to top up with cash when necessary. Maybe you should give that a try.

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