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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.
Last edited by Dragon on February 6th, 2013, 5:52 am, edited 9 times in total.
When I was a teenager, my mom would always take me to those Vietnamese-owned barber shops. Some of them were actually ethnic Chinese from southern Vietnam who could speak Cantonese, though with Vietnamese accents. As always, the Viet ladies would be there with their highlighted hair, overdone makeup, and suggestive outfits. My mom would call them "san ba nu ren" (三八女人), hahaha.
- "Your son handsome boiii!"
- "You very handsome! Wow, so tall! I make you look better!"
- "You want cut short? Spiky hair? I put gel too."
I remember this conversation quite well:
"So you like the Chinese girl, Vietnamese girl, or the white girl?"
"All of them!"
"Oh you like the white girl too! But I guess your mom think Asian girls better?"
"Yes, but I still like 'em all!"
(Me blabbering in some Vietnamese phrases.)
"Wooowww, you know some Vietnamese. You have Vietnamese girlfriend?"
Those are the barber shop ladies. Most Vietnamese women aren't that wacky by the way.
I'm actually ethnic Chinese from Vietnam. That's why I'm able to write this guide lol. I don't have color highlights in my hair but I'm very wacky.
Thanks for an original and useful post.
How are the Catholic ones different?
They're much more westernized. A lot of them apparently eat and breath Western culture.
Thank you very much Dragon. I'll definitely take this advice into consideration and I certainly understand the importance of learning the language no matter what country you go to. For now, I am working to fund travels. Slow and steady, but I'll get there. I turn 21 next month and I'd like to marry by 27, so I'll start travelling in the next few years.
To reiterate, Winston, please make this a sticky.
That's what I suspected you were getting at. Makes sense.
I stayed in Vietnam for a month back in 2004 visiting a friend who was an ESL teacher in Danang. I broke up my stay roughly one week in Hanoi, 2 weeks in Danang and one week in Saigon. I flew into Hanoi from Bangkok and immediately was scammed a an over amount of money to drive into the city since the airport is outside of it. But at that time there was little choice as there were only private taxis to choose from. Maybe there are official regulated now, who knows?
Anyways, at that time there was a lot of French architecture as most of the buildings were old school like that. It was in March so it was a bit cool in the mornings and evenings, light jacket weather. It was relatively easy to navigate the city as long as you had a map, but you needed a bicycle or motor scooter for the most part to get to longer distane places if you didn't feel like walking. Even though it is a poor country it was a lot cleaner and nicer than neighboring countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines. It seemed to me they took more pride in keeping things in working order, clean and operational, unlike Philippines. The houses were actually quite nice as I visited a pen pal who lived there from a middle class family, her place would rival decent houses in the states IMO. She and her friend took me around the city on their scooters, they wanted me to drive but I haven't really driven one and being in the city traffic I wasn't going to chance wrecking it or getting into an accident so I was on the bitch seat, ha ha.
Girls don't really look you over like they do in Thailand or Philippines, but I'm sure you can meet them easily enough if you try to chat them up or meet them online first. The bars in Hanoi were pretty tame when I was there. There are touts that will introduce you to take you around for a set fee on their bikes. The one I had said his wife ran away with a foreigner but who knows if that is true or not. There are guys on the street that will pretend to help you if you are looking at a map or something but then they will ask for money so that was kinda lame and disingenuous of them.
It was really cheap to rent a room there in a nice place, say $15 dollars a night. But at the time you couldn't bring a girl back to your room unless you showed proof of marriage, I think the rules have lightened up a bit so it may be easier now. there was one place that had p4p action but I got the impression the girls were real professionals and would just service as many dudes as they could pick up in an evening and just go back to the bar after the deed was over. I did pick up one at the time to test the waters but it was kinda lame, typical all nice in the bar and back in the room dead in the sack. She did give me pointers about geting around the marriage hotel thing, usually the French owned hotels were more lenient with the rule, but you had to know where they were.
Hanoi was a nice city but kinda boring in regards to nightlife. I guess if you already had a GF or wanted to settle down without distractions it would be okay. It got a little too cold for my tastes though. I hear it gets cold in the winter and rally humid in the summer so if your not into those extremes it might be a tough place to live.
I then flew into Danang and hung out with my friend there. It was a sleepy beach/port city with not much action going on. Technically even more boring then Hanoi but the nightlife that was there was a lot more open and exciting, real nightlife instead of it beng subdued like in Hanoi. You needed a motorbike to get around as the city was pretty spread out. Fairly cheap to live there and you could rent a really nice house for a few hundred dollars, that's what my friend did. The one bar he liked to frequent still had indentured servants, basically waitresses and GRO's owned by the bar owners and couldn't leave and do much of anything without permission. Not sure if parents sold them or what but many local bars were like that.
You can get by a bit not knowing the language but for the most part you had to carry around a phrasebook and start picking up the local lingo. If you lived there you would probably have to figure out the language eventually to get by. P4P girls are there too but girls in Vietnam don't have the same character as P4P girls in PI or Thailand, you have to b careful of them stealing from you if you bring them back to your place. My friend got burned doing that a few times. The girls are much smarter and craftier too so it's harder to mess around on the side and get away with it. I guess if you prefer a quieter place to live thats near the beach then Danang would be okay to live, but it's not very exciting. After a week you have seen everything for the most part.
I liked Saigon the most, it had the best mix of everything. I also thought the girls were the prettiest from here. Basically the northern girls look more Chinese and the Southern girls look more mixed or Malay looking. Vietnamese girls are generally really short but they have curvy figures and not much fat. Plus they have nice perky tits and nice legs and long hair. I personally don't care about height as long as the girl has curves in the right places the shorter they are the less I can tolerate fat as small women can't handle fat very well whereas taller women can maybe hide a bit.
I stayed in another cheap place the houses and city weren't as nice as Hanoi and there was more pollution but the city is far more exciting and there is always something to do. When I was there the nightlife closed at midnight but I met a Vietnamese American who took me around to underground bars that stayed open until sunrise. P4P was more prevalent here and the girls were a bit more open and forthcoming. So if you wanted to partake you could but once again I was in one of those hotels where you couldn't bring a girl back. They had pseudo go-go bikini bars there an I went to one in Hanoi too but they were kinda lame in comparison to what you would find in Bangkok or Philippines, but the girls were good looking though. Maybe there are more now and better ones. Most of the girls in Saigon would give you a look up and down but I think the language barrier is an issue. IF you learned the language you could probably hook up easily enough.
I found an old guy who toured me around on his bike for a fee. I guess back in the day he used to work in the American embassy and had a chance to flee but stayed behind for his family. They put him through the reeducation camps and all that. He could speak fairly well English and some French. He was funny cause he kept saying how handsome I was and how I looked like a movie star and that all the girls would want to date me if I lived here and all that. I gave him a good tip cause he was nice and informative. He wrote me a short letter on his business card which I have to this day, not sure if he is still alive though. he was in his late 60's probably when I met him. He gave me his number too to contact him if I ever came back. Again it was a long time ago so not sure if it would be working still. But hey if anyone is going to Saigon and wants a good honest driver/translator I would recommend him I can give you his number and you can see if it still works or if he is still around.
All in all I was originally planning on working and living in Vietnam as I felt it was the best place to work as an ESL teacher after my short stint in South Korea was a failure. However, I got stuck in the Philippines. I think if I was single and available to travel or work in Asia I would choose Vietnam again. I think you could find a quality woman there that is pretty and smart as well. IF you don't mind her probably being very short and petite then that would be a good place to go outside of Philippines or Thailand. So if in the future I am still stuck in Asia and not needing to stay in Philippines all the time I may check out Vietnam and see how it goes. However girls are more serious there so you probably can't play around as much, you pick one girl and court her and eventually you'll probably have to marry her or she will lose face and be seriously pissed off at you. No butterflying over there.
It's been a while since I visited there and maybe I'll go there on one of my visa runs. I'm sure it's a lot different now then when I last visited. The street food was pretty good as well as regular restaurants, however I didn't get the major shits there but had perpetual runny stools which is almost just as annoying. Probably would take a while for your body to adjust to the food and water there before you had solid shits again.
If you have the qualifications to teach there it may be worthwhile to work as an English teacher. One annoying thing though is that you have to get a criminal background check from your home country before applying for a job, along with at least a BA degree and TEFL or CELTA certificate. You can make decent money in comparison to the cost of living. The only place that would rival the same options would be South Korea, but I think Vietnam would be a better and overall more exciting place to live. The women are hands down much better looking too than the average Korean woman, unless you happen to really have some kind of fetish for the extreme NE Asian look, which I don't. They do discriminate against brown and black skinned people as they think only White people speak English and that's what they want teaching and representing their schools. I heard also if you can work at one of the universities as an English teacher you got it made.
There is a lot more I could say about my trip but it was a long time ago and probably mostly irrelevant now.
This is the best website to reference info concerning Cambodia and Vietnam teaching jobs as well as basic living info and all that:
BTW, quickly glancing at the above link it seems the site isn't as active as when I first found it years ago. It was much more informative. Maybe there is a different owner now or something. Still may have some decent info here and there. There are probably better sites out there but I haven't bothered to look. This is an older bookmarked link I kept for future reference purposes.
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.
Good information. Thanks for posting it Dragon.
Thank you also Mr S for your informative and detailed post on your trip to Vietnam. That's one country that doesn't get much exposure here and it's a shame as I keep on hearing lots of positives about it. Anyone else has been there and would care to share their experiences? would be awesome!
Are very similar...
Am astounded by the parallelism between the two countries when it comes to courting the traditional normal women.
Only stayed in Vietnam for a few weeks in 2007, thankee Dragon for posting this, though me reckons for those wanting traditional virgin brides who speak english, Philippines is still the place to go as long as you stay out of Cebu, AC, and Subic where women are either used up or as bad as Thai Isaan girls.
Me thinks for those willing to learn Vietnamese and willing to put up with major culture shift, then Vietnam is the answer if one wants a traditional women with feminine virtues. Nevertheless, Philippines is still first in my list, with Vietnam a close second.