Is Ho Chi Minh City Better Than Hanoi?
My friends who are teachers are now in Hanoi and they encourage me to go there next year. Based on what I have heard from them, Hanoi is quite an ideal place to teach.
However,your reply to one of your senders that HCMC is better makes me doubt my friends' judgement about Vietnam. I mean, they have been there less than a year but you stayed much longer than that right?
I really wanna know your insights to this.
P.S. Is it advisable to get a medical certificate in Vietnam or from your home country?
Thank you for reading.======================
Reply from Travel-Budget-Asia.com
Hello, Sooky. My opinions about Hanoi is reflected in the turnover rate for both tourists and teachers to that city. A large majority of people leave Hanoi quickly and rarely return.
Some people love it and others hate it. You may like it but you are smart to consider that there might be other places that are a better place to start a life overseas.
Hanoi is cold in the winter and snow is not too uncommon. Hanoi is the center of Vietnamese Culture and Pride. The average Vietnamese person in the North does not like the people in the South and Vise-Versa.
Hanoi is a hard place to live and your friends might be in that first 'Shock and Awe' stage.
Are they traveling alone for the first time and working abroad for the first time?
This can often lead to blindness.
Make no mistake. I think that Hanoi was one of the worst places I have ever lived. I only ever realized that once I had been to other places and compared.
Never listen to someone who says "This is the best place" when they have only ever been to one place. They have no way to make a comparison except to their home country and everyone feels liberated when they leave their home country.
Sorry to sound so negative of Hanoi. I feel like I wasted so much of my time there when I look back and compare my experiences to other places I now know that I could have gone.
And been much happier.
Who am I to say? So, I think we should do a Pros and Cons so that you can decide for yourself.
Some people just can't live in the Northern parts of the world.
Beijing or Hong Kong?
Phuket or Chiang Mai?
Hanoi or Saigon?
People of the North are generally more aggressive, more uptight and have a larger desire to become the owner of your possessions.
People of the South are more laid back, passive and too lazy to bother stealing your stuff (They will get it anyway just using less energy).
Hanoi does have things like water Puppet shows and grand performances of Vietnamese culture. You won't find any of this in Saigon because people come to Saigon from the countryside for 2 reasons. A better education and more work opportunities. Period.
Go where it is warm, at least. If you are stuck in Vietnam then Ho Chi Minh City is where I would prefer to live. Hanoi does have all of Vietnam's culture and Ho Chi Minh City may have little, though.
I prefer HCMC because it is so close to Cambodia, Thailand and a gorgeous Island called Phu Quoc
I really don't know what you want me to say, Sooky. The 2 years of Hanoi sucked when I compare it to the 3 years I have done in Ho Chi Minh City.
But that is just me. I love to wear my shorts, t-shirt and Sandals on my feet. I like to never feel the cold. I love to drive my motorbike through the streets of Saigon after 10pm when the roads are open and I can always ride in my t-shirt with the warm air blasting in my face.
I even love the odd noises that the insects make at night.
I love to sit on the patio of a restaurant and not rush in to get out of the cold to remove my heavy jacket. The warmth means a lot to me and the trips you can take on the weekend to the Mekong Delta, Cambodia
, Lao and Thailand are so easy from Ho Chi Minh City
From Hanoi it is either China, Laos or Halong Bay
. That is not bad but boy do I love Cambodia, Thailand, Phu Quoc and Sihanoukville, Cambodia
a whole lot better.
I like the people of Saigon more. The people of Hanoi united all of Vietnam against the Americans in the Vietnam War. Many people still feel superior because of this and are less tolerant of dark-skinned people. Maybe just the darker-skinned people in the warmth of Ho Chi Minh City's sunshine.
Good luck, Sooky.