What's Exciting About Vietnam
Have you ever wanted to visit an exotic Asian locale, but did not know how you were going to get a chance to thoroughly explore the destination or get a real feel for it? Little tourist vacations do not really cut it when you want to really get a thorough feel for the country with an extended stay. What if could live and teach in Vietnam while you are exploring the country? If you get certified as a TEFL teacher there, you can live and teach there afterwards, and you will get a feel for the country that your rich vacationing friends will be surely jealous of.
A Blend of Nature of History
An intriguing blend of natural beauty and rich history, Vietnam attracts millions of visitors each year. It is also a great place to live short-term, as there are abundant tourist attractions to visit, comfortable accommodations and a thriving nightlife. Visitors and new inhabitants will find a city both up-and-coming and historically preserved, with activities and attractions that will appeal to people of all ages and interests.
Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam. It is also the most highly populated, with a metropolis of over 9 million people. As expected, Ho Chi Minh City is a bustling area with wide streets (often filled with traffic), French colonial architecture, and plenty of places to explore.
If you love things that are visually stunning, then Vietnam is the country for you. It has beautiful azure waters and surreal limestone islands in Halong Bay, and there are some majestic mountains in Cao Bang. You can trek the mountain tracks and go through amazing tribal villages around Sapa and Bac Ha. There are some amazing bays along the central coastline too, and there are reefs and coves galore in the Cham and Con Dao Islands.
You can also check out the amazing cave systems in Phong Nha, set out for national parks such as Cat Tien, and check out the amazing backwaters of Mekong Delta. Be sure to check out the big city life in Hanoi, Vietnam's capital. This should not be a problem if you are teaching in Hanoi.
Vietnam is hailed as being a surprising foodie heaven. You can find delicious traditional dishes at stalls and casual restaurants for under $2, and Vietnamese cuisine includes a diverse and mouth-watering array of dishes such as fried rice, seafood, noodles, and of course the famous Banh Mi sandwich. Pho (rice noodles in broth) is another popular Vietnamese food export, and while it originally hails from Hanoi you will have no trouble finding restaurants that do it justice in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City (Pho Lê and Pho 2000 are two of the best pho restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City, according to the Wall Street Journal). Great food at affordable prices makes Vietnam an ideal place to stay as you receive your TEFL certification.
Binh Quoi is home to two lush tourist villages that are located on the Thanh Da Peninsula. There visitors will find breathtaking nature in the form of coconut trees and creeks, as well as thatched cottages and various outdoor activities such as rowing and fishing. The Binh Quoi Villages have been known to be one of the most serene and picturesque areas of Ho Chi Minh City. For history buffs, the Reunification Palace is always a subject of interest. Formerly South Vietnam’s presidential palace, the Reunification Palace remains mostly unchanged from the 1960s. Finally, the Cao Dai Temple is the center of the Cao Dai religion, the largest one to come out of Vietnam. It is a beautiful and spiritual place, a place dedicated worshipers and out-of-town tourists alike seek for peace of mind and calmness of heart.
As prices in Vietnam are so low, it is a smart idea to take advantage of this fact and do some serious shopping. The Ben Thanh Market is the largest old-style market in central Ho Chi Minh City, with separate areas for the typically tourist items such as apparel and souvenirs and everyday consumer goods such as fresh produce and flowers. Saigon Square is an excellent choice if you’d rather avoid the daytime heat and stay within air conditioned walls; there is even a supermarket on the second floor. One thing you should absolutely make time for during your time in Ho Chi Minh City is a visit to the tailor. Vietnam is known for its fine craftsmanship in tailoring beautifully-fitted outfits, especially suits.
10 Things to Do While Taking Your TEFL Course
1. Take a helicopter out to the beautiful Halong Bay and marvel at its 1,600 limestone islands. There’s a reason it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.
2. Let your worries melt away in the peaceful, historic town of Hoi An. An added bonus? Scrumptious dishes such as fried wontons are cheap and accessible!
3. Learn about the Vietnam War at the Vietnam Military History Museum in Hanoi, Cu Chi Tunnels, and Hao Lo Prison.
4. Enjoy a cold pint of “33 Export” beer at a hot club in downtown Ho Chi Minh City.
5. Admire the beauty of the architecture of the Saigon Opera House, then have your breath taken away once again inside when you view one of their famous operas, musicals, or symphonies.
6. Take a private trekking/hiking tour in Sapa to witness the wondrous hills and rice fields, then enjoy a fun night of live music right in the same city!
7. Windsurf in the beaches of Mui Ne, and take unforgettable panoramic photographs of its famous sand dunes.
8. Pay your respects at the Thien Mu Pagoda, the tallest pagoda in Vietnam at seven stories high. It was built in 1601 and is considered the unofficial symbol of the former imperial capital.
9. Get in touch with your inner child at Paintball Saigon, just $25 for an all-inclusive paintball adventure.
10. Delve into the rich and unique Vietnamese culture by attending The Touch of Masters' Hands, an authentic Vietnamese cultural show, or catching a famous water puppet dinner show at Thao Dien Village.
What Is It Like In Vietnam?
If you are a certified TEFL teacher in Vietnam, you will have an opportunity to experience the cultural smorgasbord that is Vietnam. Get ready for fast-paced, energy, sharp, and active people and commerce throughout the big cities. It is definitely a place to see and explore, and the urban experiences are just as thrilling as the natural wonders in this amazing little country.