This introduction of Vietnam is a mix between basic information you need to know before arriving in Vietnam and an overview made by people with experience of living in Vietnam. We have tried to show you some different aspects of Vietnam from the economic situation of Vietnam and its History to the weather, the dense traffic, the delicious food and including what it’s like to travel in Vietnam. Feel free to contact us for additional information.
Vietnam is a stable developing country with high potential
Also called “Indochinese peninsula”, Vietnam is located in the South of China. Since the reunification of the North and the South Vietnam in April the 30th 1976, the country’s official name is The Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Forget about the War against the US! Vietnam lives in peace since 40 years and is nowadays achieving massive development! The Government is politically stable, economic and demographic indexes continue to improve rapidly. Its Economy is open to foreign investment which represents around half of the national GDP. Vietnam is part of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the CIVETS (the six favored emerging markets countries: Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South-Africa).
Easy facts to remember:
- 91,5 millions of inhabitants
- 2nd world exporter of coffee behind Brazil and 2nd world exporter of rice behind India
- 50% of the population is less than 30 year-old
- Economic growth rate is approximately above 5% since almost 30 years!
- There are 5 important cities with high potential:
- Hanoi (the official capital, North)
- Hai Phong (industrial city, North)
- Da Nang (Newest emerging city, Central Vietnam)
- Ho Chi Minh City (Also called Saigon and seen as the Economic Capital, South)
- Can Tho (heart of the Mekong Delta)
- $160 = Monthly average income per inhabitants in 2014 (World Bank 2014)
Massive transformations means huge contrasts
As a booming economy, from one street to another, you will travel between rich and poor areas, from business centers with brand new buildings, fancy cars to the countryside and rice paddies, from street-food places to high-end restaurants, etc. Coming from a developed country means you have more chance to have access to all of it and you’ll be amazed by the diversity of this country.
Coffee in the street – $1 the glass
Vietnam has a fascinating History
Far before the US War, Chinese have occupied Vietnam for more than thousand years from the first century before Christ until the eleventh century. Located between India and China, the Indochinese peninsula has always been a strategic position for business international relationships. After repulsing the Chinese, Vietnam became independent but had to fight constant Chinese invasions. These few centuries of independence gave strength and confidence to the people.
The weather in Vietnam is tropical and very pleasant. Average temperature is 26 to 30 degrees with 80% of humidity in the air during the whole year. In Saigon, there are 2 seasons: the rainy season lasts from mid-May to mid-November and the rest of the year it is dry season while the north has 4 seasons where temperature can go under 10 degrees during the winter! But in general, it’s a good idea to bring your pair of flip-flops!
Easy access to amazing destinations
Vietnam itself is a dream destination!From Halong Bay to the Mekong Delta including the mountains of Sapa, Hanoi, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City and other seaside resorts, you’ll be amazed by the diversity of the landscape and there are enough for everyone’s taste.
Traffic is dense
You’ve surely heard about traffic in Vietnam and if not, we suggest you watch the video below. Vietnamese use motorbikes for almost everything! In Vietnam, you can find motorbike taxi at every corner of the country. It’s maybe the most exiting difference from developed countries regarding transportations. It works the same way than a taxi except it’s normally twice cheaper if you succeed in negotiating the price. It’s time to put your business skills into practice and jump in the traffic! Every newcomer arriving in Vietnam is astonished by the crowd and the noise from the street. Some of our interns were surprised: “where all these people are going?!” It’s part of the frenetic aspect of Vietnam especially in Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Noi, the two biggest cities.
Traffic in Frenetic HCMC, Vietnam from Rob Whitworth on Vimeo.
Crossing a street is an Art.
To cross the street is a real challenge. The flow never stops and if you wait for the green light, you might wait your whole internship! On the contrary, we drive very slowly in Vietnam, no more than 30kms/h so it’s easy to anticipate and find your way inside the crowd. You might need a few days to understand how it works and have the courage to try on your own. You will be used to it very soon and we can teach you ;)!
Check this quick video to really understand what we’re talking about!
Vietnamese cuisine is amazing and delicious
Some people say that Vietnamese cuisine is as much sophisticated as the French Gastronomy. You’ll judge by yourself… We are sure about something: A few months is not enough to try ALL the variety of food Vietnam has to offer. Here are some samples: Bon Appetit! Try as much food as you can!
More information about Vietnam?
- When we arrived in Vietnam, we read Vietnam – Culture Smart! (in French: Vietnam attitude!) The essential guide to customs & culture by Geoffrey Murray. It gives you interesting and accurate information and it’s a good introduction to Vietnam.
- For those who like newspaper and blogs, you should subscribe to Saigoneer: It’s a famous Vietnamese newspaper written in English and check CityPass Guide
- You like videos? Then, check our YouTube Channel to find documentaries and videos about Vietnam. We will soon produce our own videos.
- You might also need information about the budget to live in Vietnam.
Thank you for reading, The Jump in Vietnam team