One of the best things about living in Hanoi, Vietnam, for the last five years is how perfect the city is as a base for exploring the north of the country. Along with vibrant, bustling cities, soaring mountains etched with ancient terraced rice paddies...
One of my favorite ways to start the day is with a stroll to my favorite patisserie, O’Douceurs. A pretty little spot, with comfortable couches, where a perfectly prepared, frothy latte and a flaky just-baked chocolate croissant, get my morning off to the best start.
Ron Piltzer’s house has a perfectly manicured front yard and patio. The 1,200-square-foot house has two large bedrooms, a large kitchen, a gorgeous tiled bathroom, and a large living room and dining room. The attractive, high-quality furnishings are rich with tropical hardwoods.
Vietnam stretches for more than 1,100 miles from north to south, and the climate ranges from cool-weather pine forests in the Central Highlands and the far north to steamy tropical jungles in the south. You’ll find that any time of the year is a good time to see all that this geographically diverse country has to offer.
Expat Judith Gold, 68, never runs out of places to explore on Bali, the tropical island she calls home. “I love to go to all the different waterfalls. It seems to be never-ending. I hear about new ones all the time,” she says.
Just 30 years ago, after emerging from decades of war, Vietnam was one of the five poorest countries in the world. Most of its existing infrastructure was damaged or missing, the population was dramatically decreased, and living conditions were abysmal.
Vietnam is one of the most scenic countries I have ever explored. No matter where I go, I’ll find something beautiful, odd, or just different than anything I’ve ever seen before.
One of my favorite ways to start the day here in Hanoi is to head over to the nearby French patisserie, where I can wake up with a perfectly prepared frothy latte and a flaky fresh-baked chocolate croissant or a warm baguette.
Every morning at his condo complex in Damansara Heights, in Kuala Lumpur (KL), Karl Hutchison, 61, sits on the patio next to the swimming pool, enjoying the palm trees, quiet neighborhood, and the warm, sunny weather.
Wherever you are in Vietnam, you’ll find that the cost of living is very low. Even in the most expensive cities—Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi—two people can live well for less than $1,500 per month. If you’re hoping to find an even lower cost of living than that, my advice is to head for the beaches.