Short Advice on Living in Vietnam #4



One of the biggest complaints about living in Vietnam is the heat, this is from both Expats and Vietnamese.  A cool day in Vietnam is roughly in the low 80s F (high 20s C) which is a hot summer day from where I am from in Seattle.

One good way to acclimate is to NOT use the air conditioner whenever possible.  At home, I try not to use the air conditioner until I go to bed.  I then leave it on and sometimes will set timer to turn the aircon off during the night.

If you live in a nice quiet alleyway with a good breeze, you can just leave your windows and have a nice fan blowing on you.  I cannot do this now since my alleyway gets real loud at 6 AM in the morning.

You will notice that when you start to rely on the air conditioner less, the outside air temperature seems to cool down a bit.  For me, I consider 78 F  (24 C) as cold now.

Lastly, another great way to acclimate is to trick your mind.  I always set the temperature on my mobile phone or web browser to Celsius.  When I see 30 Celsius it seems like a cool temperature even though it is actually 88 Fahrenheit!!!


  1. The way I survive being outside during the day in Saigon is the same way I survived the heat during the BURNING MAN festival in Nevada for six years. I keep 6 to 8 damp washcloths in individual ziplock bags in my freezer at home. When I am going out walking, I take a few frozen washcloths with me in a plastic bag inside another bag. When my head feels hot I use a frozen “rag” to cool off. Afterwards I put the still very cold washcloth inside my cap on my head to keep cool for awhile. When the first rag warms up I replace it with another as necessary. Works for me. Of course, I don’t care how I look as long as I am comfortable…

  2. @Clifton: Saigon is not hot enough for me to use your remedy though I like the idea. I remember when I was in boot camp, my drill instructors always told us to put a small towel on top of our head when we wore to soak up the sweat.

    @JJ: When I lived in Thu Duc and District 5, I had a Raid plug-in near my bed, it kept the mosquitoes away.

  3. Hi Kevin:)

    I occasionally found your blog from Jon Hoff’s blog. It’s really interesting. I llike the way you enjoy your life in Vn, especially in HCMC, and the way you deal with it. This is the most interesting blog written about Vn I’ve ever found up to now.

    Thank you for being so nice and kind for us- Vietnamese.

    Best regards,


    P.S. I also really love Seattle-your hometown, and hope i can be there some day. Nice to meet you!

  4. Hi Van Dang, do you live in Vietnam now?

    My philosophy for this blog was to look more at the positive aspects of living in Vietnam. My first deleted post was negative which seems typical for most Expat bloggers in Vietnam. I then posted a new one with traffic policeman and kept it positive since with a couple negative posts.

    My blog has helped me get a more positive experience in Vietnam. Before my blog, I probably would have moved back to the US. Now I want to stay.

    I really enjoy the emails from Vietnamese and Viet Kieu who always praise my blog. My only complaints come from Western Expats who feel that I focus too much on the positives of living in Vietnam.

    Seattle is nice but my hometown is 2 hours south of Seattle in a town called Centralia. It is quite small. I love Seattle, just hate the rain. The traffic is worse than in Saigon as well but the people are nice.

    Thanks for your comments.

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