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Vietnam or Qatar

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by kirkdax, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. I have been researching different countries in the Middle East and Far East to teach in, and I have settled on Qatar and Vietnam.

    Can anyone give me the pros and cons of both? Also, which is the best country for saving money, food and social life?
  2. tyler durden

    tyler durden New commenter

    Can only speak for Qatar but:

    Year round sunshine
    Lots of world class sporting events
    Amazing shopping
    Great for water sports and out doors activities
    Good standard of living
    Fantastic dining options
    Very nice bars
    Cheap cars and petrol

    Crazy driving
    Expensive booze
  3. Hmm a rather positive appraisal, sounds very attractive.
  4. moscowbore

    moscowbore Occasional commenter

    Having moved from Vietnam to Qatar I feel qualified to answer this one. Spent two years in Saigon and two years in Qatar. I much preferred Vietnam. Vietnamese people are very friendly as long as you make some effort to speak the language. Vietnam is a beautiful country, full of interesting places and is generally very cheap to live in. The weather is hot and humid most of the year until it becomes life-threateningly hot and humid. Vietnam is an emerging nation. It does not have all the trappings of modern western cities and life for many Vietnamese is unchanged for a century. Qatar is a modern country coping with new wealth. If you are into shopping malls there is nowhere better. Personally, I hate shopping malls. If you like sporting events then this is the place to be. However, remember that people who bought tickets to the final of the Asia cup were refused entry to the game. This was because so many free tickets were given to "important" people the organisers feared that the stadium would be empty. Their solution was to bus in every gardener and cleaner in Qatar and sit them down in the stadium 2 hours before kick off. Many spectators didnt even know why they were there, they were just told to go. The result was a full stadium and people with perfectly valid tickets could not get in. This for me sums up Qatar. Oh, and the driving is crazy.
  5. Thanks for all your replies. Qatarsoon, have pm'd you with some more question, if that is ok?
  6. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    It really depends what type of person you are, and what you value in life and the lifestyle you enjoy. I've lived in both the Middle East and Far East and of course there are aspects of both you may find tedious, frustrating, fantastic and cold. The thing that links both, other than your complete dependency on having your own mode of transport (car in ME, motorbike in FE) that I find most bizarre, is the fascination with mall culture, which for many is the only viable option for leisure.
  7. I'm not into shopping malls as a leisurely pursuit; I want to meet new people, eat lovely food and save a bit of money, too.

    In which country would I have a better chance of saving about £800 a month as a single teacher?
  8. I?ve been teaching internationally for a many years now in South America, Europe and Asia. I am presently in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City.

    I find that Saigon is a fantastic city and enjoyable on every level. This city does not have a mall culture. There is only one large mall in the center of town. Will this ?culture? eventually become synonymous with Vietnam? Perhaps. However, this is not an issue now.

    If you work at one of the better paying schools (the one from the US down south, the UK one, the Kiwi one, the Aussie one, the ?international? one) you will be fine and if you are mindful, will be able save quite a bit.

    Food here is unbelievable. The local food it brilliant, the expat places quite good, and the French food world class.
    Good luck.
  9. ...and I don't have a motor bike. Taxis are just fine.
  10. afterdark

    afterdark New commenter

    If you work at the right school for the right company you can do this in Qatar. I can't say for vietnam.
    There is a large company that has 2 schools in Qatar. One is on the East coast and it is a lovely place. Very calm and relaxing township. Trying not to name places here.
    pm me if you want a more...

  11. silkywave

    silkywave Established commenter

    They were discussing Qatar on radio 4 today. Doesn't sound like they understand democracy.
  12. silkywave

    silkywave Established commenter

    Last ten minutes of world at one @kirkdax
  13. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Qatar has camping, amateur dramatics, rugby, nightclubs, BBQ and more. Those who claim it's just malls aren't making enough effort.
  14. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    It's not Bangkok or London, but it's got stuff to do. Enough to keep a working teacher socially busy all year.
  15. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    You might find camping and rugby just a little bit difficult when the temperature is over 40 degress C, gulfgolf. Really there are more than enough things to do in Qatar, if you are busy in school for most of the week.

    Yes, it is a bit sad that Qatari-bashers seem to be having a field day at the moment. Okay, it is perhaps not the most democractic country in the world. But not every country in the world is a liberal western-style democracy, where human rights are universally respected and everyone reads The Guardian. Nasty things go on in many countries in the ME, not to mention some of the appalling regimes in Africa. Here in China, one of my colleagues is from Venezuela. That does not seem to be a happy place at the moment.

    On a slightly more positive note, Mrs H and I were in Doha for five years. We had some great friends and we also saved a lot of money. The Islamic Art Museum is amazing, the Corniche is nice and it is always fun to wander round the souq. Even when it gets hot, you can still get some exercise if you get up early in the morning. A snooze in the afternoon is an enjoyable way to avoid the worst of the heat. Qatar is also a great base for cheapie holidays in the rest of the ME, Sri Lanka or further afield.

    Yes, the squabble with the Magic Kingdom is a bit scary at the moment, but probably it will all blow over soon. Insh'allah.
  16. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    Please don't resurect 6 year old threads when there are thousands of newer Qatar threads on the first page alone.

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