At Expat Focus, we like to be on the lookout for resources around the web that could help prospective expats adjust to their new countries. Today, we’re taking a look at Vietnam and some of the blogs that might be useful for expats there.The Power Of Good
An expat living and working in Ho Chi Minh City, advocating for human rights. She blogs about her ‘ordinary life in an astonishing city.’ You won’t find recommendations for bars, attractions or accommodation here. Instead, expect to be educated, enlightened and humbled by her words and photos. Grin while reading about the nation’s adorable obsession with George Michael songs and frown over the country’s increasing problem of orphanage tourism. She’ll give you a rundown of the nuances of Vietnamese traffic (you’ll probably think twice about hiring a motorcycle). And, who knew there were that many unlaid eggs inside a chicken?!
Linh was born and raised in a small Vietnamese village before going to school in New York and subsequently working there. She’s now living in Hoi An, working as a freelance photographer and blogging about her passion for cooking and preparing hearty, family meals. It goes without saying that the photography on her blog is stunning; from the tantalizing food shots to the interiors, people portraits and vibrant glimpses into her daily life. You’ll be bookmarking her tasty recipes in no time and seeking out her videos to make them yourself.
Mai Life in Vietnam
Half French Mai Kerivel left France at age 16 to start a new life in Vietnam. She shares her cross-cultural perspective through her blog and regular YouTube videos. You’ll find many French and Vietnamese comparisons as Mai explores the French influences from 19th century colonization. She also provides her own personal mashups – eating a croissant with chopsticks, anyone? Mai takes readers on Vietnamese market food tours, posts dish ingredient breakdowns and outlines living costs (‘what you can buy with 1 Euro’). An informative blog for expats who’ll appreciate the ‘insider’ tips and explanations for everyday living.
Long-time Asia explorer Mark Bowyer provides recommendations for experiencing unfiltered local life, alongside the more typical traveller fare. His focus is on Vietnam and Cambodia. A former travel company owner, Mark now blogs purely for passion and to document the amazing change taking place across Asia. His posts on Vietnam are easy to navigate and are excellent resources, especially for expats in the midst of researching their new home. Click on his ‘need to know’ tabs for some essential takeaways, wherever you’re headed in the country.
Antidote To Burnout
Mel’s blog is fascinating, even for those not typically interested in the logic and practicalities of Vietnamese architecture, urban design and planning. The San Franciscan was on the verge of professional burnout when he decided to move to his then-wife’s homeland, where he manages design and construction projects. He proudly shows off his stunning, own-designed home and educates readers on the development history of Ho Chi Minh City. You’ll find comparisons with American architecture and explanations of the unique use of colours, textures and forms in Vietnamese construction.
Expat Mark Lowerson takes you on a street food crawl through Hanoi that will leave you wanting more. Resident in Vietnam since 2002 and eating on the streets from day one, his is one of the internet’s longest-running food blogs, and there are years of posts to pore over. On Vietnamese street food and wet markets, Mark has you well catered for. His updates capture not just the tasty, vibrant dishes that he and his friends consume but also describe preparations, and paint the street food vendors themselves in beautiful, insightful detail.
Saigon Sporting Life
Sport doesn’t immediately spring to mind when you think of Vietnam – or Southeast Asia for that matter – and for good reason. As Matt Natalotto says, with few parks, crazy traffic, pollution, heat, humidity and often no beaches for miles, sport in Asia can be challenging. It can be dangerous too, as he experienced first-hand when he was robbed while on a long distance cycle tour. Active expats and those looking for inspiration will get a kick out of Matt’s blog. He shares his stories of cycling, running, swimming, football, sailing, adventure racing, climbing and much more in Vietnam and beyond.
A Filipino expat attempts to make sense of the beauty and quirks of the lovely and vibrant Ho Chi Minh City in which she has lived for 6+ years. This is a really friendly, down-to-earth blog that reads like she’s inviting you to access her personal Facebook feed. You’ll feel like you know her and her family in no time as they head out and about. Lots of photos, recommendations for places to go with the kids and amusing observations of life in Vietnam will make you want to hit ‘like’ and get chatty in the comments within just a few posts.
Asian-American expat Tomo writes about tech, entrepreneurship, software, living and travelling in Vietnam. He’s involved in tech startups and has lots of knowledge to share on the growing local scene. He also provides a wealth of information for expats considering their relocation options. See ‘Should an American retire in Vietnam or Southeast Asia?’, ‘Cloud hosting and content delivery networks’ and ‘Medical tourism to and from Vietnam.’ Tomo’s updates are very factual and often delivered in an entertainingly deadpan style. Dive into this blog to find out why Vietnam makes a great base for a startup, and why Tomo has decided he won’t be moving back to the USA.
We’re always on the lookout for more sites to feature – if you run a blog about living in Vietnam, leave us a link in the comments and we’ll take a look!