Qualified English Teacher to Hanoi, Danang or HCMC

by Victoria
(Tucson, Arizona, USA)

Qualified and Concerned - Cities and Contracts

So, this thread is amazing! I have 2 yrs. exp in Korea, a university diploma and an INTESOL cert. I am clean and definitely presentable. I am interested in windsurfing.

  • Do you know anything about living and working in Da nang?

  • What's the difference between HCMC and Hanoi more or less for expats?

  • Do you know anything about living and working in Vung Tau?

  • If you live in HCMC or Hanoi do you start living in a guesthouse and go from there?

I see where you say in-person is much better and a little experience in the big city might be good and easier than cherry-picking smaller, popular beach places.

So without the contract you commit to a semester, like 12-weeks? And do they take taxes out if you work under the table?

So many questions. You are a wonderful person to answer all these emails. They have helped me so much.



Reply from Travel-Budget-Asia.com

Thanks, Victoria. You are welcome for any way I may have helped you.

I don't know much about the scene for windsurfing in Danang but know well what Mui Ne and Phan Tiet offer quite well. I also love windsurfing and we usually made the trip to Mui Ne for the waves.

I guess we went there because it is just a 2 hour drive to Vung Tau from Ho Chi Minh City and about 4 hours to Mui Ne and some of the best waves of any kind for wind sports.

I know Danang is getting more popular because it is starting to get busy in the waters around Mui Ne and Phan Tiet.

The high season gets so busy that it can be hard to book a room or a flight just to fight for space out on the water.

Danang must be getting busy also. If you lived there, you would have a distinct advantage, though.

Do you know anything about living and working in Da nang?

Danang is a boring place to live. It is an Industrial town that hosts most of the largest production factories in Vietnam.

There are few luxuries for tourist so it will be easy for you to get work because few people want to live there. I know of only one person that wanted to live in Danang and he summed it up pretty well on his return to Ho Chi Minh City.

He said that Danang was a place where 'people look at you oddly when you say you are a tourist'. They answer by saying "Why would a tourist come to Danang. There is nothing to see".

It is a town with a working man's feel. There are tons of Bier Hoi stands along the busiest streets where workers get drunk after work and kids pedal past on their way home to school.

I know that the demand for teachers is high but so is the turnover rate. Many teachers take the position because it actually pays more but they rarely last longer than 6 months. From that I figure there is not much allure to Danang.

Then again, you might love the waves so much that you will enjoy your stay. Even if it is shorter that you'd hoped, you'll learn of new places to let that sail loose.

What's the difference between HCMC and Hanoi more or less for expats?

The weather in Hanoi sucks. There is a more scattered expat community and people are even more abrupt in Hanoi than HCMC.

I worked 2 years in Ho Chi Minh City and 7 months in Hanoi. I would not return to Hanoi if the salary was $100USD an hour but HCMC I would.

You will like it for the first few months in Hanoi but once the weather gets cold and you realize that the government is even more strict in Hanoi than HCMC, you'll want to leave.

Hanoi has all the culture of Vietnam, though. All of it. So, there are tons of cool attractions to see and great Theaters to visit, especially the famous Water Puppet shows.

So, like anywhere, there are both good and bad to both cities.

Personally, I could have seen Hanoi in a week and that would have been enough.

It is Ho Chi Minh City for me.

Do you know anything about living and working in Vung Tau?

Yes, we went there often because they also have a fast boat that runs out of Ho Chi Minh City and up to Vung Tau. The ride is a blast.

There are not many good schools out there that I know of. Many of the students go into HCMC for schooling. I do know of 3 schools that wouldn't be bad places to look for work, though.

The town is nice because of the beach but many people make the mistake of thinking that the beach is a tourist locale. Vung Tau is where the fishing fleets unload their daily catch. Most of the beach area stinks like fish and the beach is crap if compared with ... well .. anywhere.

On weekends, the beaches and town are packed with drunken teenagers that head up to Vung Tau from the Big City to party.

I wouldn't live there simply because it is a fishing village. A large village but a fishing one none the less.

If you live in HCMC or Hanoi do you start living in a guesthouse and go from there?

Yup. Once you start getting a regular income you can start looking at postings for shared housing in the Pham Ngu Lao area, especially de Tham Street.

In Hanoi, the old Quarter is a good place to look.

I eventually moved into a mansion with 5 bedrooms in Ho Chi Minh City. There were 4 of us and we each paid $220USD a month. When 1 person leaves, we have to search for someone to take that room.

I always advertised at Chi's Restaurant on De Tham Street.

But you won't qualify until you have a steady income. That's why you do 2-3 months in a decent $8USD - $10USD room.

I recommend that you compare prices and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor.


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