Our adventure of living in Vietnam has begun: we arrived 7 days ago and it feels like we have already been here a month, mostly because we have been busy organising renting a house and settling in.
I have to say the first couple of days in Hoi An we all experienced a little culture shock. Even though we have spent a long time in Asia in the past, we recently spent the summer living in Winchester, England, which as you can imagine is a very orderly and organised part of the world.
The Noise and The Heat
So landing in Vietnam, the heat and humidity was the first aspect to adjust to and Marco and I seemed to suffer the most. Then it was the noise, and the MOTORBIKES! I’ll be honest, I was asking myself whether we had made the right decision moving here. But we rolled with it for the first few days, finding our feet and the culture shock faded away.
Kids Going To School
With the priority of getting the girls started in School, I’m happy to report that went really smoothly. Especially for our eldest daughter who was very ready for school and announced she loves it so much she wants to go everyday. Long may this sentiment continue!
Earlier on in the year, we had considered homeschooling/ WorldSchooling both our daughters, but had a change of heart a few months ago. Seeing both our girls start school this week, it confirmed, we have made the right decision. Both our daughters were crying out for more interactions with other children and having a little more structure to their day.
On a personal level, with the girls at school 7hrs of the day, I immediately felt a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Having a few hours away from the girls, was something I had been craving for a long time. I love my daughters dearly and I enjoy spending time with them. However, mentally the last few months have been difficult for both Marco and I.
The 24/7 being together as a family with not many breaks became too much after two years of full time travel. All of us were getting frustrated and annoyed with each other, all too frequently. I’m interested to see how the next few months go, where we will have a more structured routine and a few hours away from each other.
Eating in Vietnam
We attended a spur of the moment lunch with other expats at Ms Vys new restaurant called Yum Cha. Ms Vy has created an exciting menu of both traditional and new fusion dim sum dishes – many Chinese favourites along with some original creations of her own, using ingredients and flavours local to Hoi An. The result is a vibrant dining experience where the food comes freshly prepared directly from the kitchen to the diners. You don’t need to choose from a menu – just stop one of the passing carts when you see something you fancy.
The concept reminded me of Tapas restaurants in Spain. The result was delicious, my personal favourite was the Dim Sum the mix of flavours were out of his world, the duck and rice soup dishes were great too.
Ms Vy was there in person and able to recount her story of growing up in Hoi An and how she started in the restaurant business. Most importantly for us, she was able to give some valuable advice on how expats living in Hoi An are able to integrate better with the local people.
Here is a list of my observations of our first week living in Vietnam with children
- When it rains it pours and you need to be prepared with a poncho, we got caught out and so soaked through, it wasn’t a pleasant experience.
- Grocery Shopping is a twice daily event, as you pass through the markets morning and evening.
- House spiders come as big as you hand, however if you leave them alone, they can be a valuable house guest, eating flies and mosquito’s for you.
- Ants in the kitchen are real problem, they find there way into what you thought, was the most well sealed bag.
- We love the cafe culture in Vietnam and Marco and have started our daily routine and returned to our favourite local place called Tri Long Coffee over looking the rice fields.
Visa’s are often the biggest concern for anybody travelling to far away offbeat places. Everyone wants to avoid unwanted attention from the authorities. We used a great company called ivisa, that arranged our 3 month single entry tourist visa. We had no issues and entered the country with no problems, there website was is easy to use.
Overall a great first week in Hoi An, we’re very excited to be living in Vietnam and looking forward to exploring other regions of the country whilst we are here.