Short Advice on Living in Vietnam #3


From Expat Interviews:

Do you have any tips for our readers about living in Vietnam?

Patience, number 1.

Also, come to accept that the ‘Vietnamese-way’ may actually be the right way.

Stop rationalizing everything and please do not give the Vietnamese tips on how to run their business, raise their child, etc. That just annoys them and who made you an expert anyway?

This is Vietnam so either live with it or get out!

That’s all 🙂


  1. Having been married to my Vietnamese wife for eight years now, I can attest to the fact that She is correct most of the time in what she says and what she thinks and believes. Just because you do something one way doesn’t mean it is the correct way. You should always be open to suggestions. Remember this isn’t a start-up country. Vietnam has been here for many many centuries and their way of doing things is good for them. So be quiet and watch. You might learn something.

  2. I totally agree with Mike. “Vietnam has been here for many many centuries and their way of doing things is good for them. So be quiet and watch.” => good advice. However, I love the old Vietnam, prob 5-10 years ago. It was more peaceful and people were more truthful though the country was not as developing as now. Being parted with it for now, yet I believe I’ll be able to return in a very near future. Hope Vietnamese people won’t change much…

    @Kevin: Your writings about Vietnam make me miss it so much.

  3. Wait, people have the right to give any advice they want. Just be honest and say “this is how I would do it in my country/culture”. Because generally the advice comes because of a question. Answering a question is Ok, pushing your own idiosyncrasies is not. And useless, vietnamese culture was there a long time ago and will stay for a while too.

    It’s also expected from outsider to bring a little of them in others culture, that’s how they evolve. That’s how “western” become “western” because of massive cultural mixes at the end of middle age

    Vietnamese are bombarded through TV and movies about how – mostly western and north asian – outsider culture is. I have often to explain that only a small subset of western culture is like what they see. As a father of teens I often have to explain the things about raising teens in Quebec. You would be surprised how things are different even from other “western” culture even from France.

    Overall I agree with your comment but with a caveat. Being culturally sensitive is also about sharing your culture, That means you have to let some Nuoc Mam float in your blood while answer truthfully about your own culture.

  4. Well, I agree with Kevin in a way; nonetheless, I have to say that just because things have been done a certain way for years and years does not necessarily mean it is the only way or the right way. I think keeping an open mind is the best way to go at it. You just do things the way you know it and if it turns out that the Vietnamese way is better, then you learn from that, but if your way is more efficient, then maybe the Vietnamese should learn from you. I think that’s what living abroad is all about…a different perspective on life.

Comments are closed.