Moving to Vietnam

Vietnam has transformed itself in ways few could have imagined. It may have taken 30 years, but then Vietnam was at war for more than 50 years with the French, the Japanese and then the Americans.

Vietnam is not yet a Malaysia or a Thailand. It lacks the infrastructure, systems and organization of its more developed neighbours; but it is one of the friendliest countries in Southeast Asia and drop dead gorgeous from the north to the south.

The country offers retirees a super cheap but quality lifestyle. Rent is 80% cheaper in Vietnam than in Sydney or London or New York. You can go to a restaurant at a quarter of the cost and in very local restaurants have a meal for $3 and a beer for around $1.

The country offers cool mountain villages, big throbbing cities or laidback towns, like the beach town of Danang, and its famous China Beach or Hue, an ancient capital filled with palaces, pagodas and temples or Hoi An, an ancient port city near Danang.

The climate is warm, the people friendly and life is an adventure.

There are some downsides to Vietnam, all surmountable, but requiring consideration if you are thinking of a move. You need to pay attention to visa rules, property ownership restrictions and health care issues.