What Its Like Living As An Expat In Vietnam

While most people probably don’t think of Vietnam in their short list of places they desire to retire, it’s actually one of the trendiest destinations of 2020! Today I present to you a video from the “Keeping up With the James” YouTube Channel and thought it was the best guide on living in Vietnam. Below you will find the transcript as well as the video.

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What is it Like Living in Vietnam as an Expatriate?

Speaker 1: Morning everyone? On a usual morning for Jessie and I we usually go for a walk at about 6:00 AM. Any later and it’s just way too hot, it can reach about 40 degrees in summer. Obviously, the Vietnamese people don’t really like this sun either, they like to cover up that’s why everyone’s out so early. One of our regular routines to do in the morning is to go for a walk, have a quick shower and come back and make coffee. Coffee was introduced to Vietnam by the French in the mid-1800s.

Since then, coffee is a Vietnamese tradition. There is seriously so many cafes everywhere. It’s usually a robusta bean which means it’s a bit more bitter and explains why Vietnamese people actually use condensed milk in their coffee, to make it more sweet. I like condensed milk sometimes but today I’m going to show you with fresh milk. This little contraption we call a coffee phin, and basically it’s a french drip and the coffee is going to trickle through here.

I’m going to show you how to make a Vietnamese coffee. This is the trick, you actually put a bit of hot water into the lid first l, just so the coffee can expand initially, usually about two tablespoons of coffee. Tap it a few times or shake it to make sure it’s all evenly spread. I’ll put it on the water. It’ll only take about 30 seconds. It’s actually absorbed all the water that I’ve just poured in to the lid. I’m just going to pop that on here, pour in just a tiny bit of water to start. Same sort of principle as what we did here, I’m just going to let it expand for a little bit longer before pouring the majority of the water in.

It hasn’t started dripping yet. Now, I’ll fill it up to the top and place a lid on to keep the heat inside and watch it slightly drip. After about four minutes, your coffee is ready. If it’s too strong for you, you can always add some water, add a drop of milk. Or if it’s too hot for warm coffee, put in a few cubes of ice. Beautiful. Now, that definitely wakes you up in the morning.

Another really cool thing about living in Da Nang is that everything can be delivered right to your door just like sort of Uber Eats but a lot cheaper. A really cool thing is that you can actually buy directly from the person. When you do move here, you just jump on Da Nang and Hội An expat page and people are selling everything from personal training sessions to yoga, to they make hommers, they make brownies. Today a girl posted about cookies and cream cheese cake and her marketing is amazing. Look how cute these are. It is so delicious. Her company is called Sisters Cook Too.

As you can see, me and Jesse have already started it, It is delicious. I’m just heading to my friend’s garage sale. Unfortunately she’s leaving Vietnam, so she’s selling all her stuff. Everyone’s come along. We’re going to miss Adam but we’re going to celebrate tomorrow.

Speaker 2: I was looking for something but I’ve actually ended up with two dishes instead but they’ll do.

Speaker 1: How much did you get them for?

Speaker 2: These are two for 50,000. These are for Meagan because she is the cook of the house.

Meagan: I’m very happy, I’m satisfied with my purchases.

Speaker 1: I did well. Adam is so sweet. She’s stacking the bag. I’m so happy with that outcome. I think I spent about 500, but I’ve got loads of stuff.

Hey guys, we finally found a nice and quiet spot where we can test out our new goggles. Well, we got it that last week at Cham Island we didn’t get to go snorkeling. Jessie went and bought us some goggles today, I think they are about $6 each. Check them out. The nice shiny ones that we’re really going to look the part. Oh my gosh, look at that. It’s a crab. What about it?

Jessie: We’re together. We just don’t know what to say next. Man, it’s good to get out of the house. This place is freaking epic, wasn’t too hard to find actually. All around the peninsula there’s, keeps a little exits and pathways that you can go off and go exploring. The beaches are relatively clean from everything I’ve seen. The sand’s really granularly, so it doesn’t get stuck to you like in Australia. You just clap your hands and it’s gone. The water’s clean and it’s a really good temperature.

Like I was saying, super good to get out of the house and when you’re in nature it’s very peaceful. We’re going to make more of an effort. We’ll still catch up with our friends and most still meet people but we certainly want to invest some more time in exploring and just being at one with nature. I’ve been watching lots of survival YouTube clips and stuff lately, and so it’ll be really cool to our abode or just go stranded on an island somewhere and just live off the land for a little bit. That’s why I got on my beard.

Speaker 1: I think it’s time for him to get rid of it. What do you think?

Jessie: What do you think? Write in the comments if you think that I should get rid of-

Speaker 1: Yes or no?

Jessie: -my beard. Don’t put a thumbs down on the video though.

Speaker 1: I think it’s time for the beard to go. It’s getting sommee and you want to get a bit more cooler, yes?

 Jessie: Can’t get much cooler than me baby

Speaker 1: Just found some really cute place. There was a sign that said cocktails, beer, champagne. So, a little eyes lit up. So nice. Looks like just back at home.

Jessie: Gin martini, what do you call it after a hard day’s work? Hard day’s work in a little Tiki mug? Give it a go.

Speaker 1: Out of the whole menu he orders a martini, really unique babe.

Jessie: It’s to the sensitive palate. It’s a very refined drink

Speaker 1: Just like you, you’re a bit sensitive. [laughs] Cheers mate.

Jessie: Well, I’ve come to a fork on the road with my beautiful beard. The wife, she’s put a bit of pressure on me. I don’t think she likes it anymore and I’ve also had quite a few Vietnamese people I’m 50 years old when I’m only 29 [laughs]. One of my friends, Josh Hilton, he’s got a monster beard on him and he said to me one day, “Jeez, you’ve got some growth, you can really grow a beard and become a man.” I just wanted to test it out and see if I really could be a man and as you can see, it’s a pretty voluptuous beard but today is a sad day and it’s got to go.

Well, that’s phase one, I reckon I do look younger already. I don’t know if I can get rid of this mo though. Have a look at it, it’s popping. [chucles] Should I leave that on for Shen and see what she reckons? All right mo had to go. I think I look a few years younger already. I can’t shave it all off at one hit or I’ll look like an alien so a little bit at a time.

Speaker 1: Hi. There’s my husband very far from home.

Jessie: Clearing up my mind.

Speaker 1: Our friend has just said to us that he’s going to cook us dinner so totally stocked with that. We absolutely love the community here. Our friends are just sitting at the coffee shop, our friends are outside of table. All the people I work with are always up to things and it’s only ever a 30-second walk away. It’s really handy and we’re loving it. Washing machine has been delivered.

Jessie: I thought we’d stop in for a quick little cocktail while dinner is cooking.

Speaker 1: Couldn’t resist. What do you get there boy?

Speaker:  cognac

Speaker 1: Fancy.

Jessie: Cognac.

Speaker 1: Cognac. [music] That literally tastes like heaven. I love it. The Bohemian thank you Oasis. Jessie’s pants are falling down but he’s carrying some takeaway drinks. Where did you get these from Jesse?

Jessie: I don’t even know the name of the–

Speaker 1: Okay. I’ll explain. We just went out and had those lovely drinks and then we noticed the next door has 50% off as they usually do, so we just popped on over there and said, “Can we please have them takeaway because we’re getting dinner cooked?” Now, we’ve got four mojitos and they only cost a $1.50 each.

Jessie: Darling, can you pull my pants up, please?

Speaker 1: His pants are fallng down. See? He’s gone skinny since he’s been in Vietnam. Hello. This is Beto’s dog. Isn’t he just adorable. Hello. Yes.

Speaker: That one Vietnamese and American.

Speaker 1: Is it a [unintelligible 00:13:45]?

Speaker 3: No. It’s [unintelligible 00:13:50] actually and then he designed something with tomatoes in it and peppers.

Speaker 1: You’re a real team you guys.

Speaker 3: I brought the spare he brought [unintelligible 00:13:58].

Speaker 1: That?

Speaker 3: Fish.

Speaker 4: Tuna, maybe tuna.

Speaker 3: Canh Chua Ca which is like sour soup kind  rice [Chinese language] in Chinese. I don’t know what it means.

Speaker 4: I think they call morning glory.

Jessie: The supermarket is there.

Speaker 1: Jessie has just taken me to buy this Vietnamese book, I’ve been asking him for ages, so I’m really happy I finally got it. But I can’t actually figure it out because it’s all in Vietnamese, no English at all but I’ve just seen my friends downstairs, so hopefully they can help me. Wish me luck. We’re trying to figure out what’s happening in this Vietnamese book. They’re all helping me.

Speaker 5: Another one.

Speaker 4: The next one.

Speaker 1: Next one. What letter is it?

Speaker 4: A.

Speaker 1: A. [laughter]

Speaker 4: Ze.

Speaker 1: No, I understand.

Speaker 4: Yes, like this.

Speaker 1: Vietnamese is so hard. [vietnamese language]

?Speaker 3: One month,

Speaker 1: So cute. Get excited.

Speaker 6: Hi.

[laughter] [music]

Speaker 1: Here we are a Hội An Victoria Resort. We’re here for the bouffe. It’s 900K for champagne and food and we can use the pool, sorry it’s boiling outside that’s why we’re inside in the air-con.

Speaker 7: The cheese from France, cheese from Vietnam and I believe this is French cheese.

Speaker 1: It looks amazing.


So far so good. What was your favorite aspect of the meal today?

Speaker 7: The lemon dessert.

Jessie: Mine was the seafood.

Speaker 9: I liked the wine.

Jessie: Seafood nailed it.

Speaker 10: The creme brulee.

Speaker 1: The banana crepe and the ice cream. This is what I meant about Da Nang on a Sunday afternoon, it’s 6:00 PM. This beach was completely bear a month ago.


Tim Schmidt is an Entrepreneur who has covered retirement investing since 2012. He started this website to share his expertise in using his Self-Directed IRA. Most recently he's been advising individuals to diversify into precious metals ahead of a certain recession. He invested with Goldco.