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Fast Facts About Vietnam

  • Population: 92,477,857
  • Capital City: Hanoi
  • Climate: Tropical in south; monsoonal in north with hot, rainy season (May to September) and warm, dry season (October to March)
  • Time Zone: UTC+7
  • Language: Vietnamese
  • Country Code: +84
  • Location: Southeast Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and South China Sea, alongside China, Laos, and Cambodia



Culinary Paris, Cheap Flights to Denmark and Much More…

Vietnam has plenty to offer expats, including some of the best beaches in Asia, an extremely warm and friendly population, low costs, wonderful weather, and cultural and natural splendor unsurpassed anywhere else in the region. From its colorful and energetic cities to its lush, tropical rainforests teeming with exotic plant and animal life, Vietnam has become a magnet for tourists and an exciting destination for adventurous expats. In this month’s cover story we guide you through some of the country’s most appealing destinations, reveal how incredibly affordable it is, and provide a quick guide to retiring here part-time…


Vietnam: Exotic Part-Time Living in Southeast Asia

It’s a tropical night. Families and friends throng the café terraces along the waterfront. Everyone can see the Dragon Bridge. It’s lit a brilliant orange and designed to look like a dragon flying across the Han River. If you turn up at 6 p.m. any evening, you’ll see fireworks pour from its mouth. Cross it and you’ll find neighborhoods where expats rent for as little as $400 a month just a few blocks from miles of sandy beaches. The city of Da Nang is my first experience of Vietnam. I didn’t know quite what to expect, but I really didn’t expect what I found…

Beaches and Great-Value Rentals on the South China Sea

Imagine a morning walk that takes you along a winding path shaded by towering pines. Nestled in the woodland around you are homes with pleasant gardens, flower-filled pots and bougainvillea-draped walls. A few minutes is all it takes to reach the low-slung dunes. You pause on top to take in the view: 18 miles of brilliant golden sands fringing the warm tropical waters of the South China Sea. About 10 miles out are the Cham Islands, a biosphere reserve where you can dive on coral reefs and explore the ancient ruins of the Cham civilization.

Nha Trang

Retirement Trend: “Roving Retirees” Overseas Enjoy Unique Travel Experiences and Richer Lifestyle, while Spending Less

For some, home is a place on a map or a house filled with memories and possessions. But for others, home is much more portable. Dan and Char Marshall are among a growing number of U.S. couples who have traded in a stationary retirement for one much more mobile and exotic. Semi-retired, they have been exploring South America for the last 11 months. In that time, they rented a car for seven weeks to explore Chile; trekked in Patagonia; lived and cruised for one month in the Galápagos; hiked over a mountain pass to Machu Picchu; taken kitesurfing lessons; swam with baby sea lions… and the list goes on.

Bet on Population Growth and Live High on the Hog

The best estimate points to a world population several billion larger than today’s just a few decades from now—Earth may host 9.6 billion people in 2050, according to the United Nations. This population growth is all going to be a strain on Earth’s already stretched-thin resources. So how do you invest in a world like the future we seem to be hurtling toward? A world of rising population and increasingly scarce resources?


Roving Retirees Enjoy Unique Travel Adventures Overseas

Semi-retired and up for adventure, my wife Char and I have been traveling in South America for the last 11 months. We’ve rented a car for seven weeks to explore Chile; trekked in Patagonia; lived and cruised for one month in the Galápagos; ridden horses into a remote valley similar to Yosemite; hiked over a mountain pass to Machu Picchu; attended a gaucho festival (cowboys showing off their stuff); explored a remote Peruvian jungle; hung out in a grass shack on a beach; learned to cook Peruvian food; taken kitesurfing lessons; swam with baby sea lions; and cheered at soccer games.

Nha Trang

Exploring the World from This Beach City in Vietnam

Nha Trang lies on southeastern Vietnam’s Nha Trang Bay, about 275 miles northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. It’s a popular Vietnamese vacation destination, with more than four miles of beaches. And it’s home to 400,000 people, including hundreds of expats. The city has a tropical climate, with high temperatures ranging from 82 F to 91 F and lows in the high 60s F. Best of all, Nha Trang has a long dry season, which runs from January to August. It experiences its heaviest rainfall in October and November. Mountains surround three sides of the city, and a large island just off the coast shelters Nha Trang during heavy storms.


Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay by Sea Plane, Colombia’s Whales and Much More…

Affectionately nicknamed the “Rose of the North,” Chiang Mai is Thailand’s charmer; a laidback, yet vibrant, university city famous for its many Buddhist temples, culture and good food. The warm climate, low costs and excellent, modern infrastructure have attracted expats in big numbers, and that includes thousands of retirees from all over the world.

Wisconsin Retirees Explore Asia from Nha Trang, Vietnam

It’s impossible to keep Jo Thomson, 62, and her husband Marc Brand, 63, in one place for long. For them, living the “good life” means bouncing around the globe to hidden corners of the world that some of us only dream of visiting. For many years, they’ve had a particular interest in the delights and mysteries of Southeast Asia, and they’ve found a remarkable home base from which to explore the region: Nha Trang, Vietnam.


Business Potential for Expats in Vietnam

Growing up in Charleston, South Carolina, Steve Mueller didn’t have much exposure to Asian culture. Only after he moved to the Hawaiian island of Oahu to work in telecommunications was Steve exposed to the culture that came to fascinate him. “Moving to Hawaii was a shock, but in an intriguing way. I lived smack in the middle of Chinatown and loved trying all the food on offer.

Keith Hockton thinks he is the luckiest guy in the world living in Malaysia and working as a travel writer.

Travel Wherever You Want, Whenever You Want

I happen to think that I’m one of the luckiest guys in the world. Not only do I live in Malaysia, a beautiful country on so many levels, but also I love what I do. I travel at will, pretty much at the drop of a hat. I’ve enjoyed complimentary meals and hotel upgrades along the way.

Splash Out and Rent Luxury in Asia

Asia beckons for many reasons. Tropical islands with white-sand beaches, lush rain forests filled with fragrant blooms, tree-covered misty mountains, and—if you’re more a big-city type—some of the most frenetic cities on earth, a heady mix of the ultra-modern and exotic traditions.


A New Global Wealth Tax, Asian Currencies, Diamonds in Panama and Much More…

In the U.S., there’s a simple reason why our medical bills are high: Going to the doctor costs more. Perceptive, I know. But it’s the truth. If we dump the unions, the politics, Medicare, government and any other hot button from our discussion, we’re left with the simple yet disturbing fact that Americans pay more for services than patients elsewhere around the world—even in similar “first world” economies. Lots more.


Escape to a Tropical Island (and Live on $1,500 a Month)

Thomas O’Neal had never been to Malaysia. In fact he hadn’t been anywhere in Asia, which made his sudden decision to move to the tropical island of Penang a brave one. “I figured that I’d take a chance and move lock, stock, and barrel. I could have just visited but where is the fun in that? After just a few months here I love it. It’s home for me now. New York has changed over the years and although I’ll always be a New Yorker I needed to travel.”


Work Anywhere, Earn Plenty…the Perfect Portable Career

Thanks to the location independence my career provides, I’ve enjoyed the privilege of making a living from some truly amazing locations all over the world. Places like the top deck of a ferry crossing the Gulf of Thailand at sunrise…in the sleeping cabin of a night train on the way to Sapa, Vietnam…in a pub on Dublin’s Temple Bar…


Now Hiring for the Coolest Job in the World

One advantage of living in Europe is that cheap airfares make the rest of it so accessible. I’ve just got back home to Ireland after an unofficial three-day jaunt to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. This tiny country holds the title for the highest per capita consumption of wine in the world, so there was a good reason to go bar-hopping.


Medical Tourism Growing…And More

Sunsets over the Seine, croissants on the terrace, and lunch or dinner at the corner brasserie…life in Paris is as good as it sounds, and you can try it out for a lot less than you think. Just ask the folks living a “roving retirement,” many of whom make the City of Light a yearly stop.


The Decline of the West

There’s always room for wealth creation. Despite the world’s economic woes, the number of people with $30 million or more in net assets rose by 5% globally last year. And according to the Frank Knight Wealth Report 2013, over the next 10 years there’ll be a 50% rise in the number of people breaking that barrier.

The Weird And The Wonderful On Display In Southeast Asia

The Weird and the Wonderful on Display in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is adventure travel at its most exotic. Each day brings new sights, smells, tastes, and experiences. Cultural encounters, too. The Bangkok taxi driver who asked to borrow my glasses (he thought they’d help his eyesight)…the former head-hunters of the Iban tribe who still live in traditional longhouses in Borneo…the sing-along with locals in a Filipino karaoke bar.


Feel-Good Adventure: Going Local in My Tho, Vietnam

So there I was, on the back of a motorbike flying down the Vietnamese highway at nearly 80mph. On one side of me, the sun was setting over the distant jungle and vast Mekong river. On the other, farmers were clearing their rice paddies. Coming to Vietnam was one of my best decisions. Ever.

Start-Up Economies Why Frontier Markets Make Sense

Start-up Economies: Why Frontier Markets Make Sense

If you want to see real economic growth, get a taxi through Hanoi at rush hour. Every day, millions of residents of the Vietnamese capital weave their way through the city on newly-bought Chinese and Japanese motorbikes and scooters. Twenty years ago, bicycles were the main form of transport.


Vacation to Vietnam

Vietnam might not be on most people’s list of ultimate travel destinations, but if my trip to the Southeast Asian nation was anything to go by—it should be. Amazingly friendly people…deep, colorful history…tropical climate, great value for your dollar—and there is an endless list of exotic things to see and do. One of my favorite stop-offs was the city of Hue (pronounced Way).

Live Large for Less on the Exotic Islands of South East Asia 2012

Live Large for Less on the Exotic Islands of South East Asia 2012

White sands, the scent of spices, the call of the east. Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines are so much more than exotic vacation spots. Enticing expats and retirees from around the globe, these fabled lands of South East Asia still beckon with the promise and rewards of an exciting life overseas.
Live Large for Less on The Exotic Islands of South-East Asia is the best resource available to help you get to know this paradise that is South-East Asia.

The Freedom of a Work-from-Anywhere Career

The Freedom of a Work-from-Anywhere Career

Even though I’ve been a freelance copywriter for over six years now, have lived and worked in over a dozen countries, and use words to make a full-time living, I fear I won’t be able to put into words what I recently saw with my own two eyes. I’ll fully admit it. Right now. That’s because, quite frankly, I’ve never, ever seen or experienced anything like I just did last month.

Where to Look in the Year Ahead for the Best Property Deals

Where to Look in the Year Ahead for the Best Property Deals

Greetings from Quito, Ecuador. In a few moments, I leave for the north coast. This is Ecuador’s nicest stretch of coast. We have the opportunity to buy lots here with monthly payments of $500 or less. Because of the new highway we’ll reach the coast by 9.30 a.m. or so. In time for morning ceviche on the beach.

I’m looking forward to seeing the improvements in the coastal highway that runs south to Canoa since I last visited. I’ll send you my full report soon on the infrastructure developments and improvements at the Jama Campay project.

In fact, while the year is winding down…my travel schedule and deal pipeline is filling up. These are exciting times.

Caribbean Beach Bargains in the Dominican Republic

Caribbean Beach Bargains in the Dominican Republic

Columbus landed in the Dominican Republic in 1492—the same year he “discovered” some of the other Caribbean islands. Like those other islands, the Dominican Republic is ringed by white sand beaches and coconut palms. Unspoiled towns boast stone churches and candy-colored home facades.

A “Mini China” in the Making and How You Can Profit

A “Mini China” in the Making and How You Can Profit

As much of the world pays attention to growth prospects in China, we identify another country that remains under most investors’ radars and yet is one of the best performers in terms of stock market gains.

Introducing The Next Emerging-Market Superstars

Introducing the Next Emerging-Market Superstars

What I’m about to say may sound overly simplistic. But as an investor you want to put your money where the growth is. And right now the growth is not in America. It’s overseas.

Why This “Little China” Is the Best Value in Asia

Why This “Little China” Is the Best Value in Asia

Investors who bought into the Chinese growth story early have done spectacularly well. Over the past five years the iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (NYSE:FXI), an index that tracks China’s 25 largest companies available to international investors, is up almost 110%. Today, a “little China” has emerged. And it promises to make investors equally dazzling returns.

The Best Emerging Markets You’ve Never Considered

The Best Emerging Markets You’ve Never Considered

The big news this week is the bailout of Ireland by the European Union and the IMF. Ireland’s problem is straightforward: the liabilities of its banks exceed the assets of the state. Put simply, the country is broke.

Vietnam—How to Grab Opportunity on this New Frontier

Vietnam—How to Grab Opportunity on this New Frontier

Vietnam is a place that gets me excited. In the capital Hanoi, the sights, sounds and smells assault your senses all at once. Of all the cities in the 32 or more countries that I’ve traveled to, Hanoi is my top pick for a city trip.

The Travel Press Talks...February 2009

The Travel Press Talks…February 2009

Have you always wanted to go crazy with coriander? Or daydreamed of a love affair with limes, but never quite knew what to do with them? Find out more in this month’s Travel Press Talks…

A serious word about Mr. Dung’s Dong

A serious word about Mr. Dung’s Dong

“I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, president of the United States of America, do declare that said national emergency still continues to exist and pursuant to said…”

Cash in on one of the world’s most impressive stock market booms

The International Monetary Fund’s chief economist calls it an “emerging China.” Citigroup calls it “the New Powerhouse of Southeast Asia.” Major multinationals like Intel and Ford are lining up to invest: Vietnam is back on the world stage…this time for all the right reasons. Mention Vietnam today and, for Americans, it still stirs up painful […]

Cash in on one of the world’s most impressive stock market booms

Cash in on one of the world’s most impressive stock market booms

The International Monetary Fund’s chief economist calls it an “emerging China.” Citigroup calls it “the New Powerhouse of Southeast Asia.” Major multinationals like Intel and Ford are lining up to invest: Vietnam is back on the world stage…this time for all the right reasons.

Ringing in the New Year in Bangkok

Mention to anyone that you are going to Bangkok and images of noisy, crowded streets, exotic foods, erotic nightclubs, and massage parlors pop into their minds. And for good reason: Bangkok offers all of this…and much more. In the last few years, Bangkok has fast reinvented itself. Having taken over from Hong Kong and Singapore […]

Eternal spring in the city of Dalat-where you can buy for $25,000 or rent for $150 a month

U.S.$1 equals 16,366 Vietnamese dong A former French hill station, Vietnam’s Dalat, with a population of 120,000, sits at an elevation of 4,920 feet and enjoys daily temperatures of 69° F to 78° F. There’s little humidty and you don’t need heating or cooling. If you seek eternal spring, this is it. Xuan Huong Lake, […]

Are you paying what the locals pay?

Are you paying what the locals pay?

Will Bradshaw and his Thai wife, Nok, walked up to the ticket office at the ancient Khmer ruins of Phimai in northeast Thailand. Will read the price of admission in English and pulled out his wallet. Nok quietly observed a different price written in Thai. Handing over what he thought was the exact amount to the cashier, Will was surprised when she returned half the amount.

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