The Big Move...Q & A #22

"Beep.. Beep"  Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

When I was told we were moving to Vietnam I went into full Google search mode. Who, what, where, when, how...lay it on me. I searched out other expat bloggers living in Ho Chi Minh City, sent my list of questions and waited patiently. One person answered and I was grateful to her for taking the time. It was a start.

So here I am, nearly three years later and now the questions are coming to me. I feel like the expat "Dear Abby" of Vietnam. What goes around, comes around. I like that. 

Taking a moment...Saigon

People mostly connect through my other blog, Expat Diary: Viet Nam. I started the blog before we moved to Saigon, as a place store all the information from my Google searches. Since then, I have written sporadically.... but it seems to be enough for people to reach out.

"Fruit for Sale"...Saigon

My most recent request came from Esteban in Argentina in response to my blog post.. A Love Affair..with Vietnam

I'm thinking to live in Vietnam for a year to change the air, imbue my in their culture and break with my actual routine. I'm independent translator and I have many happy and loyal clients, so it I can work in any place in the world with Internet.
I like nature, sailing, reading. I consume tons of silence, makes me happy :)
I don't want to be travelling like a tourist during this year, so my plan is to rent a place that will be my home during the entire year. Eventually I wish to visit on some weekends other places in Asia: Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, other places in Vietnam, Hong Kong and China. 
My wish is to live alone with my wife in a place near some river, beach or sea, with kitchen (I like to cook every day, this make me feel in home), minimum comfort. Nightlife is not for me, I prefer family lifestyle.
Can you recommend me some cities in Vietnam to do this?

Thank you very much!

Best regards from Argentina,


"Fruit Juice for Sale"...Saigon

Did I mention how much I enjoy receiving notes like this? I think Esteban has the making of a great story. I wrote to him with a few suggestions. I am curious to see if he makes his dream a reality. 

The questions I recieve vary...

Do Vietnamese eat dogs?
Should I bring mine?
What is compound living like?
Which schools do you recommend?
How do you find the medical care in Vietnam?
Do you drive in Vietnam?
What is it like living in a Communist country?
How do I find house staff? How much should I pay them?
What should I bring with, medicine, beauty products?
I am looking for a job, what should I do? How does it work?
How much money do I need to make to live comfortably?
Where should I live?
How do I find an apartment, house?

and from future Vietnam travellers..

I want to travel to Vietnam, where should I go?
Can you recommend shops, restaurants, places to stay?
I want to have furniture made, where should I go?

I admit, some questions are beyond me and some are to complex to answer, but for the most part, I try to answer them the best I can. I am now to the point where I can copy and paste information in response to the most popular questions. I wonder if "Dear Abby" does that..  ;)

"Park Here"...Saigon

So.. in the spirit of powering along with my 28 Day Writing Challenge (the one I am five days behind on).. I thought I would ask if you have any questions for me about life in Vietnam or any other topics that interest you. I find that when you live in a place for a time, you start to forget about the gems that intrigued you when you first settled in. The questions coming my way keep it fresh, allowing me to make the most of my time here.

If you would rather write to me, please do!

Sending you a big "Beep..Beep" 
from Vietnam 
for a wonderful weekend!

Jeanne xx

28 Day Writing Challenge, #22
February 27, 2015
Writing from Chateau Mango
Vietnam time

From Saigon...."Beep..Beep"

Collage of Life
28 Day Writing Challenge
(click on title to read)

Photos above taken along my travels
around Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).


  1. I thoroughly enjoy each posting so very very much.
    Love Jeanne

  2. Jeanne, I have traveled often to Europe, but never to Asia. As a student during the Viet Nam war, and certainly because of the current tenuous political environments throughout our world, I always think about a country's political environment before traveling to an unknown area. Have you found any difficulty making a life in a Communist country? I realize that one must be respectful and reserved when traveling anywhere, but your photos of Viet Nam show a serene, peaceful country. How accurate is that depiction?

  3. Jeanne, your life and adventures have the makings of a book. I picture something like, "Out of Africa"!

    I think it is wonderful that you are able to "pay it forward" a bit by helping answer a few of the unknown questions people may have, just as someone did for you. Although I am pretty certain that no matter how prepared that you think you are it is always a surprise!

    Have a relaxing and wonderful weekend.

    P.S Do share your thoughts and samples for the wedding outfit!

  4. I am always amazed to see overloaded scooters like in your photo. I can barely balance myself on a bike.

  5. How nice of you to respond to the queries you receive about living and travelling in Vietnam! I am full of questions about both topics, so I subscribe to Expat Diary: Vietnam and often save its posts. The questions that pop into my mind right this minute are: (1) to what extent is Vietnam actually a "communist" country now? (2) what are the best ways you have found to deal with the humidity when you are outside there? (High humidity is my biggest challenge in travelling in tropical and sub-tropical parts of the world.) (3) are there places to swim in relatively clean freshwater in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City? (4) do you eat prepared food, or fresh non-prepared food, that you purchase from street vendors? (5) do you drink water from the tap in Saigon/HCMC? (6) What is it like having a dog there? (7) what is it like to be an American living in a country the U.S. quite recently waged a war in? That's it for questions for now, but I'd also love to read any more you have to say about Vietnamese culture, art, music, dance, flora and fauna, and history.

  6. I've seen what you use for a Christmas tree in the US, England, Australia and New Zealand. What do you use in Vietnam?


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