HCMC (Ho Chi Mihn City)
Ho Chi Mihn City is vibrant, colorful, busy and noisy. Some teachers will absolutely love the buzz of the big city, riding their motorbikes past old buildings, skyscrapers, and active construction sites, and for them, there is one of the biggest markets in the teaching world waiting to be explored. Unlike some other large cities in Southeast Asia, there is not a significant difference in expenses between the city and smaller towns, so money will stretch the same as it will in rural locations, so long as you don’t shop at the mega malls too often. For culture lovers, the city has much to offer with many pagodas, temples, markets, and museums.
If your hobbies include boating or photography this might be a perfect choice for you. Can Tho is about a hundred miles from HCMC along the Mekong River, and is a particularly attractive destination for those who love markets, as its floating markets are world famous. Teaching jobs are easy to come by, and teachers can boat out to the backwaters of the delta on weekends.
Da Nang is quickly becoming a favorite for teachers, for its beauty and convenience. The city has a beautiful stretch of beach, interesting bridges, cute shops, excellent food vendors, and fantastic weather for most of the year. It also has its own airport and is about equidistant to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city, which makes it ideal for taking long weekend expeditions to other areas of the country. This is not to mention it’s proximity to the exceptionally lovely Hoi An, a town well known for it’s ancient old town, canals, and romantic lantern lit streets. It is also near the Marble Mountains which provides excellent hiking opportunities. Da Nang is also just a bit less hectic than the capitol or HCMC.
Hue is famous for a complex with ancient Chinese architecture which has been listed as a World Heritage site. It is a great destination for tea lovers and anyone who likes to eat their cookies on imperial era China, but more generally, people who want a slightly more relaxed yet high culture vibe will feel drawn to Hue. Jobs are a little scarcer than in bigger cities, but still come up often enough.
Nha Trang is for those who like to pamper themselves after work days, as it is particularly famous for its beaches and spa resorts. Mud spas are the main draw for tourists to the town, but teachers stay for the beaches and the particularly great snorkeling and diving opportunities on the coast.
Hanoi is a great place to learn to love Vietnam’s culture. You can see Ho Chi Mihn’s old residence, explore Confucian temples, and watch water puppet shows as you snack on street food. It is also near enough to Ha Long Bay for a weekend trip to the famous karst formations. It is a good choice for those who like a good mix of scenery and more urban appeal.
Hai Phong is a couple hours from Hanoi and quite a large city itself, the third largest in the country. It is very convenient and near to beaches. It is popular with teachers as there are many job openings, and it is near enough to other attractions in the North.