Issuu on Google+


This file is created with the aim to provide interns a better preparation for their internships in Vietnam, especially in AIESEC FTU HCMC.

Introduction Although many westerners still imagine Vietnam through the lens of war, it is in reality a country filled with captivating natural beauty and tranquil village life. Its highlands and rainforest regions, far from being devastated, continue to yield new species and team with exotic wildlife. Its islands and beaches are among the finest in all of Southeast Asia, and its cuisine is very possibly the most delicious you will ever find. Over two decades have passed since Vietnam was officially united, and in that time it has done a remarkable job of healing its wounds. Today, this gracious and graceful country is an outstanding travel destination. (

TABLE OF CONTENT Welcome message …………………………………………………………………………………………….2 Both sides/responsibilities…………………………………………………………………………………….3 Vietnam – the hidden charm…………………………………………………………………………………4 Celebrations in Vietnam………………………………………………………………………………….6 Ho Chi Minh city (or SaiGon)…………………………………………………………………………………9 General view and Sai Gon weather…………………………………………………………………..9 Destinations in Ho Chi Minh City …………………………………………………………………….10 Accommodation …………………………………………………………………………………………………14 Transportation …………………………………………………………………………………………………..16 By Plane and by Motorbike taxi…………………………………………………………………………16 By bus …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..17 By taxi and by Rented Motorbike………………………………………………………………………18 By Cyclo ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..19 Food and Drink ………………………………………………………………………………………………….20 Traditional food ……………………………………………………………………………………………..20 Restaurant …………………………………………………………………………………………………….25 Medical Information ……………………………………………………………………………………………27 Currency and Bank …………………………………………………………………………………………….29 Visa to Vietnam ………………………………………………………………………………………………….31 DO and DON’T …………………………………………………………………………………………………..32

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

1 AIESEC in Foreign Trade University Ho Chi Minh City In September 2008, AIESEC in Foreign Trade University Ho Chi Minh City (or you can call AIESEC FTU HCMC) was established and became the first stable university-based branch of AIESEC in Vietnam. For more information about our LC, you can go to our LC’s website. To get to know more about our LC member, you can go to AIESEC Zone – the internal forum of AIESEC in FTU HCMC AIESE in FTU HCMC is very new and exciting. Our members are motivated and eager to learn. We always try out best to help you here and we hope that you will have an amazing experience and wonderful internship.

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

2 Welcome

First of all, congratulation for being matched with AIESEC in Vietnam in general and AIESEC in Foreign Trade University (FTU) in Ho Chi Minh city (HCM) in particular!!! We welcome you with open arms and look forward to both learning from you and helping you to understand more about yourself! AIESEC in Vietnam is a new AIESEC country full of challenges and opportunities. We cannot wait to share it with you! The purpose of this Guide is to help you in preparing yourself to come to this beautiful country. However, the information in this Guide might not be complete. Therefore, we recommend you to read up as much as possible about Vietnam through guidebooks for tourists, websites, or information from Vietnam embassy before coming. If you need any extra information, please feel free to contact us (we provide information of all Intern Supporting team’s member in the last page of this Guidebook). Every culture in this Earth differs in a way that we might never imagine. Prepare yourself for the new challenge ahead. Open up your mind for any possibilities that you might encounter during your internship! We do hope that you will enjoy your whole duration in Vietnam! We are looking forward to working with you soon. Best regards,

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

3 Both sides’ responsibilities

Your responsibilities as an intern  Facilitate the cultural exchange and discuss your problems with AIESEC members  Do your job with the best attitude and to the best of your abilities  Complete expectation setting with us so we both can ensure we are meeting with each other’s expectations  Fill in the measurements survey and give us your feedback  Help us help you  this is only possible if you communicate with us about any problems, concerns and expectations. Many things may not be obvious to us and we need you to tell us. Ask us lots of questions!!!!  Never miss a party because this is when you get interacts with members and interns in LC and many other interesting people.  Be well prepared before you come to Vietnam

Our responsibilities as Hosts  Pick you up at the point of arrival ( if you arrive here from 6 am to 9pm)  Help you with arranging accommodation  Help you with all the regular daily functions (shopping, taking the bus, getting a bank account, how to use the telephones, how to order food, etc.)  Take you to the organization on the first day of your internship  Be there to answer questions and provide support whenever we can  Help you get integrated into the culture  Provide activities that can teach you about the Vietnamese culture and lifestyle  Provide you with names and a telephone list of the AIESEC members in your LC as well as information about upcoming events or activities

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

4 Vietnam (or Viet Nam) – The hidden charm Geography

Vietnam is located on the eastern Indochina. It covers a total area of approximately 331,688 km2 in area, excluding the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa islands. The combined length of the country's land boundaries is 4,639 km, and its coastline is 3,444 km long. Vietnam's land is mostly hilly and densely forested, with level land covering no more than 20%. Mountains account for 40% of the country's land area, and tropical forests cover around 42%.

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

5 Weather Because of differences in latitude and the marked variety in topographical relief, the Vietnamese climate tends to vary considerably from place to place. During the winter or dry season, extending roughly from November to April, the monsoon winds usually blow from the northeast along the China coast and across the Gulf of Tonkin, picking up considerable moisture. Consequently, the winter season in most parts of the country is dry only by comparison with the rainy or summer season. The average annual temperature is generally higher in the plains than in the mountains, and higher in the south than in the north. Temperatures vary less in the southern plains, ranging between 21 and 28 째C over the course of a year. Seasonal variations in the mountains and plateaus and in the north are much more dramatic.

Vietnamese Culture and Customs Vietnam has a very rich culture that has been shaped by many different civilizations throughout history such as Chinese civilization. Through many long struggles, the Vietnamese have created their unique culture. The Vietnamese have many customs. They have a great respect for their families and ancestors. Children obey their parents, and wives obey their husbands. Many people practice ancestor worship. They have shrines in their homes where they burn incense for their deceased family members. They believe that they must treat their ancestors well, or bad things could happen. Confucianism introduced a strict moral code, formality, harmony with nature, and established a social order centered around society, family, and male dominance. Buddhism stresses self-improvement, and greatly influences Vietnamese life. The French colonists brought industrialization, the idea of individual importance and the equality of men and women.

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

6 Celebrations Certain celebrations are big parts of Vietnamese life. On holidays everybody dresses up in their bet clothes to enjoy the festivities. There are parades (in some areas) and entire villages can be decorated or special celebrations. Each holiday holds a special place in the lives of the Vietnamese people. The most important and most widely celebrated holiday in Vietnam is Tet, the lunar New Year. Tet is celebrated, usually in late January to mid-February. Tet originally began as a festival before spring planting to pray for a good year. People, from all over the country and of all religions, travel with gifts to their hometown to bring in the New Year. They decorate their homes and the graves of ancestors with flowering branches and red and gold paper. There is one belief that still exists: the status of a family’s first visitor is believed to determine the luck of that family for next year. Vietnamese people think that the spirits of their ancestors return on Tet, so they pay deceased friends and family members special respect during that time. Tet is a time for them to enjoy life, review the past and plan for the future. One of the most traditional special foods for Tet of Vietnamese is Banh Chung (Bánh Chưng) or foreigners can understand it as sticky rice cake. Banh Chung is made of sticky rice, pork meat and green bean, every ingredient is wrapper inside a special leaf which calls “Dong” in the North or a banana leaf in the South. Banh Chung is a must among other foods to be placed on the ancestors’ altars during Tet holiday. In the old time, one or two days before Tet, every family prepares and cooks Banh Chung around the warm fire. It is also the time for parents to tell their children folklore stories. Nowadays, families which live in villages still maintain making Banh Chung befreo New Year but the people in the city does not. They prefer to go to the shop and buy it.

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

7 In Vietnam, the Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most popular family holidays. It is held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month and parents would use the Mid-Autumn festival as an opportunity to show their love and appreciation for their children. Appropriately, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also called the Children’s Festival. Activities are often centered around children and education. Parents buy lanterns for their children so that they can participate in a candlelit lantern procession at dawn. Vietnamese markets sell a variety of lanterns, but the most popular children’s lantern is the star lantern. Other children’s activities include arts and crafts in which children make face masks and lanterns. Children also perform traditional Vietnamese dances for adults and participate in contests for prizes and scholarships. Unicorn dancers are also very popular in Mid-Autumn festivities. Like the Chinese, Vietnamese parents tell their children fairy tales and serve moon-cakes and other special treats under the silvery moon. A favorite folklore is about a carp that wanted to become a dragon. The carp worked and worked and eventually transformed itself into a dragon. Parents use this story to encourage their children to work hard so that they can become whatever they want to be. There’s also a story about how the Moon Lady ascended to the moon. A man named Chú Cuội found a lucky tree that had special healing powers. Because this tree was sacred, people were forbidden to urinate at the foot of this tree. Unfortunately, Chú Cuội’s wife, Chị Hằng forgot the rule and urinated on the tree. On day, while she was sitting on the tree’s branch, the tree started to grow and grow. Eventually, it reached the moon. Since then, Chi Hằng lived on the moon for the rest of her life as a punishment for desecrating the sacred tree.

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

8 Christmas in Vietnam is a huge event, especially in big cities such as Ho Chi Minh or Ha Noi and the Vietnamese Christmas celebrations here are like any other city in the western world. The Christians in Vietnam attend a Midnight mass on Christmas Eve and return home to a sumptuous Christmas dinner. The Christmas dinner usually consists of chicken soup while wealthier people eat turkey and Christmas pudding. On Christmas Eve, Vietnamese people in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, especially young people, like to go into the city centre, where there is a Catholic Cathedral. The streets are crowded with people on Christmas Eve and in the city centre cars are not allowed for the night. People celebrate by throwing confetti, taking pictures and enjoying the Christmas decorations and lights of big hotels and department stores. Lots of cafes and restaurants are open for people to enjoy a snack! Vietnam used to be part of the French Empire and there are still French influences in the Christmas traditions. In some areas of Ho Chi Minh City, usually in Catholic parishes, people have big crib scenes in front of their houses and decorate the whole street, turning it into a Christmas area! These are popular for people to visit and look at the scenes.

The Hung King temple is located on the Nghia Linh Mountain, Hy Lang commune, Phong Chau district, Phu Tho province, 85 kilometers northwest of Hanoi. Every year, a national festival called Hung King temple Festival is held to worship the Hung Kings, who were instrumental in the founding of the nation. The Hung King temple Festival is one of the most important and sacred festivals of the Vietnamese people, deeply embedded in the minds of every Vietnamese citizen, regardless of where they originate from. Hung Temple Festival not only attracts visitors from all over the country because of its special traditional cultural activities, but it is also a sacred trip back in time to the origins of the Vietnamese nation. People usually show their love and pride of their homeland and ancestral land. From 2007, the 10th of lunar March becomes a national holiday to match with the significance of this festival in Vietnamese people’s minds.

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

9 Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon, situated in the southern part of Vietnam, is still called Saigon by most of the natives. This modern city used to be considered as the Pearl of the Orient by the French. The wide Saigon River, which takes a huge turn from the east of Saigon, links the city with the sea. Unlike Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, Saigon - Ho Chi Minh City may lack charm and elegance, but the city with its essential French colonial character has enough to draw your attention. The city's colonial villas, wide avenues and a lively cafe society remind you the days of French dominance. Over the last 10 years, Saigon - Ho Chi Minh City has experienced a spectacular change in its cityscape. The once low-rise landscape of the city's central area, District 1, is now marked with shining skyscrapers including high-rise apartments, international hotels and companies. This bustling, vibrant, industrial hub of the nation is the biggest city of Vietnam as well. Saigon is also the cultural center and economic capital of the country. Sai Gon Weather Located on the southeastern part of Vietnam, on the right bank of River Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon has a tropical climate. There are mainly two seasons in this city: The rainy season starts from May and lasts till late November. Downpour becomes heavy from June to August. However the showers are usually sudden and stay for a brief period. So even during the rainy season reappearance of Sun occurs fairly quickly. From December to April, this particular time period is considered as the dry season. The average temperature during the dry season stays around 28 degree Celsius. April is the hottest month of the city and December is the coolest one. However in general the climate of the city is hot and humid.

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

10 Destinations in Ho Chi Minh Saigon - Ho Chi Minh City, the industrial hub of Vietnam, has huge resources to draw your attention. This dynamic city being the cultural trendsetter constitutes the core of Vietnam. It is also the biggest city of the nation and considered as the economic capital of the country. The Ho Chi Minh City - Saigon features French colonial architecture mingled with Chinese influences. Reunification Palace (135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia St, Dist1). The once residence of the Governor Generals of Indochina, the Reunification Palace in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, has a spacious complex with 100 rooms and total area exceeding 2,000 square meter. Its finest decorations and the rich collection of contemporary Vietnamese art and craft, make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. Notre Dame Cathedral: The famous church, which was constructed during 1877 and 1833 by the French, serves as the nation's Catholic center. The history of the church says that the materials used in its construction were imported from France- Notre Dame with Virgin Maria. The Archbishop of the Ho Chi Minh City is posted here. Catholic followers of the city attend the services offered in the morning and in the afternoon. The New Year and Christmas celebrations of the Notre Dame Cathedral draw a huge crowd. Central Post Office (2 Cong xa Paris St, Dist 1). Located in the heart of the city, the Central Post Office has been a prominent feature of Ho Chi Minh city. This grand old edifice was constructed between 1886 and 1891 by Gustave Eiffel. The architectural design of this Central Post Office represents the French colonial style. It is no doubt the biggest post office in Vietnam and is an important commercial center of Ho Chi Minh city. This classic colonial structure stands right next to the Notre Dame Cathedral, at the famous Paris Commune Square in Ho Chi Minh city

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

11 The Ho Chi Minh municipal Theater (7 Lam Son Square, Dist 1): This is an opera house in Ho Chi Minh City which is an example of French Colonial architecture in Vietnam. Built in 1897 by a French architect Ferret Eugenen, the 800 seat building was use as the home of the Lower House assembly of South Vietnam after 1956. It was not until 1975 that it was again

used as a theater, and restored in 1995. The Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden (2B Nguyen Binh Khiem St, Dist 1) As one of the oldest zoo in the world, the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden is famous not only with Vietnamese but also with foreigners visitors. It is the home for many rare orchids, ornamental plants, and over hundred species of mammals, reptiles and birds Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden is a cultural place of Ho Chi Minh city. It was ranked eight among the oldest zoo in the world. Up to now, it is 133 years old.

The Historical Museum (inside Botanical Garden) This museum has a rich collection of data and objects belonging to some ancient civilizations in the Mekong Delta. The Botanical garden remains open to the visitors daily. However in order to collect the essential study materials for research work, from the huge library of the museum, researchers need to have special permits from the museum authority. The live puppet show held in the museum complex is a major source enjoyment to the tourists visiting the Historical Museum

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

12 The War Remnants Museum (28 Vo Van Tan St, Dist 3). The weapons and information on the recent wars of Vietnam are kept in this museum. The museum displays the war crimes, which affected the Vietnamese. The models preserved in the museum can give you an idea of the most dreadful prisons and the most deadly weapons used by foreign forces in Vietnam. It also features a guillotine used during wartime.

Giac Lam Pagoda ( 118 Lac Long Quan St, Tan Binh Dist). Erected long back in 1744 with the fund raised by Ly Thuy Long, a native of Minh Huong village, this is the city's oldest Buddhist pagoda. The interior of this famous pagoda is adorned with a rich collection of statues of old Buddha and Arhat. Ancient furnishings and decorations inside this pagoda are enough to charm the visitors. Thien Hau Temple (710 Nguyen Trai St, Dist 5). According to the Chinese folk, this site is devoted to the Sea goddess bas. Other gods like Money God, Mother Goddess and Mermaid are also worshipped in this ancient Chinese temple. To offer prayer for good health and business you have to buy an incense coil. It is a common belief that offering money to the Money God brings good luck in business.

Thien Hau Temple

Giac Lam Pagoda

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

13 China Town - Cho Lon: It is a densely populated town with almost 5 million Chinese. The Chinese, uprooted from the Ming Dynasty, established the China town in the 18th century. Filled with markets, restaurants, pagodas, shops and family factories, it is one of the most crowded places in the Ho Chi Minh City. Dam Sen Park offers a wide range of exciting activities to choose from. The interesting features of the park include a bird garden, a water park and a sports center. You can also opt for fishing in a particular lake within the park, which resembles the West Lake in Hanoi. The puppet show is very popular among tourists visiting the park. The restaurants in the Dam Sen Park serve you with wide variety of delicious dishes. The Thuy Ta floating restaurant attracts huge crowd. No doubt the Dam Sen Park is the right place for group entertainment in Saigon Ho Chi Minh City. The address of this park is mentioned below: 03 Hoa Binh St, Dist 11. The city is also an excellent starting point for excursions to southern destinations including the Mekong Delta, the Cu Chi Tunnels, the Can Gio Eco beach resort and Vung Tau beaches.

The Can Gio Eco beach resort

Dam Sem Water Park

Mekong Delta

Vung Tau city

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

14 Accommodation We offer the interns 3 kinds of accommodation during your internship in Vietnam

1. Homestay You will live with a Vietnamese family or a Vietnamese student in a private room or a shared room. It is interesting and convenient since you can use the host’s facilities and you can understand more about Vietnam culture. However, the host and you may have some agreements (if any) with each other during your stay. Also, some may not ask for your financial support, but it is advised to share with the host family electrical and water bill. It will cost you around 150.000 – 200.000 VND per month (from 7.5 USD to 10 USD). You and the host may discuss about these with each other. In addition, if you are hosted by a Vietnamese student, you might share bed with them or you can buy a mattress to be more convenient. In some hosts, there are some regulations that you must know before starting living with. Development Trainees often prefer this kind of accommodation

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

15 2. Hostel There are many hostels in backpacker’s street. If you choose this kind of accommodation, you will share a room with other foreigners that you do not know them and you must take care all of your properties by yourself. However, you are very free because they do not have special regulation like closing time. Price: 7 USD – 10USD/ night (including electricity, water and wifi. About laundry, some hostels do not cover, some if you stay there longer than 4 – 5 days, you do not need to purchase)

3. Rental room You will live in a room with full furniture. They have bed, wardrobe, television, air- condition and a toilette in the room. Price is from 250USD – 300 USD per month, including electricity, water and wireless. Some guest house owners cover laundry cost but some are not. You are quite free because the owner will give you a key so that you can feel free to come home late. However, you must prepare a deposit which is equal to one-month rental fee to give the owner.

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

16 TRANSPORTATION By Plane Tan Son Nhat, located in ward 4, Tan Binh district, is Vietnam's largest international airport. The airport is conveniently located about 8 km north of the center. From the airport, you can fly directly to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Vientiane, Pakse, Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bandar Seri Begawan, Manila, Hong Kong, Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, Nanning, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Busan, Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Nagoya, Doha, Frankfurt, London-Gatwick, Paris, Moscow, Perth, Darwin, Sydney, Melbourne, Yangon and Istanbul. Information about flights is updated every day is on There are two terminals: the shining, very pleasant new international terminal, which took over all international flights in 2007, and the old but functional domestic terminal 200 m away. Duty free items that you want must be purchased at your departing airport if you are coming into Vietnam. Both terminals have limited food offerings at double prices once you get past immigration on your outbound journey. To exchange money, there is a very inconspicuous ATM on the right and the withdrawal fee is 20,000 dong. BY MOTORBIKE TAXI The “xe ôm” (literally 'hugging vehicle') is a common mode of transport for Vietnamese as well as tourists. They are widely available and reasonably cheap -- about 10,000 dong for a 10 minute trip, which should get you anywhere within the city center. Walk the city streets, and every couple of minutes a guy will flag your attention and say "You !! Motorbike ?" Longer trips to outlying areas can be negotiated for 20,000-25,000 dong. Always agree on the fare before starting your trip. As with most things, a tourist will often be quoted an above-market price initially, and you need to be firm. Occasionally drivers will demand more than the negotiated price at the end, so it's best to have exact change handy. Then you can pay the agreed amount and walk away, end of discussion.

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

17 BY BUS For travelling around in the city: Using the bus for travelling is the cheapest way that you are almost safe from complex traffic condition in Vietnam. One ticket only costs 4000 VND per person plus a 4,000 dong fee for bags. Try to have exact change because bills with big face value may not be accepted. You can get a discount if you buy a set of 60 tickets for onemonth use in advance. Generally, buses in Ho Chi Minh city are low qualified and crowded at peak hours (6:30 am-8:30 am, 11:00 am1:00pm, 5:00pm-6:00 pm). Most of buses work from 5:30 am to 7:30pm every day. There are various bus stops on the way. The signage indication a bus stop is blue and on the sidewalk.

You can go by bus from the airport to the city center with buses numbered 152. It will drop you off at the bus terminal on the south side of the Ben Thanh Market roundabout. For the bus map of HCM city, please visit: Taking a bus is just a little complicated at your first try. Remember these guidelines and from the second time, you will find

TIPS TO TRAVEL BY BUS  Search for the location and bus number from bus map in advance.  Standing at the bus top is not enough, hail the bus like you would hail a taxi (wave your hand).  Get on the bus quickly, it may not stop for you. When it drives slowly and the door opens, simply jump on and hold on tight.  Sit down and the conductor will approach you. Give him the money or tear one ticket you have in half and give him one. For both cases, you’ll get a receipt, hold on to it as sometimes inspectors check the bus.  Keep an eye on your property. Bus thieves need to be aware of.  Getting off is like getting on. Before your stop comes, get up, walk to the door … and get out. The conductor will warn you. When all motorcyclists have passed away, you can get off but still keep an eye out for those motorcyclists





Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

18 BY TAXI Taxis are much more expensive than bus and certainly much more highqualified. Travelling by taxi costs you about 12000-20000 VND per kilometer. You may want to use them when you first arrives or leaves here with big and heavy luggage or get lost anywhere in HCM city. Here are telephone numbers of some famous and most reliable taxi company:

Mai Linh +84 8 38 298 888

Vinasun +84 8 38 27 27 27

SaigonTourist Taxi +84 8 38 46 46 46

Be cautious of taxis which resemble the above mentioned reputable companies with minor differences in the names (e.g. VinasOn or VinasuM instead of VinaSUN, MEi Linh or Mai Lin or M Taxi instead of Mai Linh). To the unsuspecting visitor, they will charge outrageous fares. Drivers generally speak limited English and do not speak any other foreign languages, so it's wise to write the name and address of your destination, preferably in Vietnamese, to show the taxi driver.

BY RENTED MORTOBIKE It’s the best way to experience the busy lives of locals but it can be extremely dangerous for those who are not confident in their driving skills and traffic regulations. You can find some motorbike rentals in every districts in HCMC at the price of around 100000VND/day/1 motorbike. Following are some places to hire motorbike:

Hai Au

+84 8 224 724


+84 8 230 611

Tran Bao Tran

+84 8.994.217

25 Hai Ba Trung St., Ben Nghe ward, District 1 71C Dong Khoi St., District 1 72C Bach Dang

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

19 St., Binh Thanh dis. However, you must give them your original passport as well as paying the rental fee. Therefore, if you want to have a rented motorbike, please contact Intern Supporting team and we can support you without leaving your passport there. BY CYCLO If you are looking for pure fun while moving around Ho Chi Minh city or Sai Gon, you can opt for cyclo or Cyclos are pedicabs and pronounced as “ see-klos” by the locals. It is like a rickshaw but the driver instead of sitting in front of occupies the back seat. Therefore, you can gt the feelings of pedaling through the waves of traffic. Cyclos can take one passenger at a time. In spite of being uncomfortable and slow, cyclos are popular for their openness. While getting around Ho Chi Minh City, you can at once experience the pulse of this vibrant city. Considering the increasing number of vehicles on city roads, which is includes lawless cars, motorbikes, buses, bicycles and cyclos, the city authority, is gradually banning cyclos on busy urban streets. Usually cyclos cost around 2 USD per hour. However, near the tourist attraction in Ho Chi Minh city, they charge higher rate but you can bargain to make the price down . While moving around the city in cyclos, be very careful about your belongings like bags, cameras and necklaces, as thieves passing by bikes can snatch them anytime. Above are some means of transportation in the city. If you want to travel to another province, you can choose plane, bus or train. For bus, please go with another Vietnamese because the sellers cannot speak English.

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

20 Food and drink Vietnam’s street food is some of the best in the world. The options are endless and the dishes timeless. Even simply simplest fruit dish or baguette has a twist in this country. And, of course, being the center of Vietnam’s economic and cultural activity, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is the best city in the country to try street food.


is the closest thing Vietnam has to a national dish, originally from Hanoi; this brothy and hearty noodle soup is now popular national wide. Pho is mostly a breakfast dish, but stalls, some quite crowded, can be found at any time of day.  Addresses: Pho 24h: 119 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai , District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. o Pho Hoa: 260C Pasteur, Ward 8, District 3 o Pho 2000: 01 – 03 Phan Chu Trinh, District 1 o Phở Hùng 1: Số 10 Nguyễn Thị Nghĩa, Bến Thành Ward, District 1. o Phở Hùng 2: Số 928 Trần Hưng Đạo Ward 7, District 5 o Pho 5 stars: 304 Trường Chinh, Ward 13, Tân Bình District

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

21 BANH XEO (PANCAKE) Banh xeo are Vietnamese crepe-type pancakes made out of rice flour and coconut milk (optional), and are pan-fried and stuffed with slivers of fatty pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts. Served wrapped with lettuce leaves and stuffed with mint (optional) and other herbs, and dipped in fish sauce. Here are addresses of some famous pancake restaurant in Ho Chi Minh city Banh xeo an la ghien 1. 100A Cao Thang street, District 3 2. 778 – 780 Dien Bien Phu street, District 10 3. 74 Suong Nguyet Anh street, District 1 Website:

www/ Banh xeo Dinh Cong Trang 46A Dinh Cong Trang, district 1 Price: 40.000 VND – 60.000 VND

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

22 BANH BEO Banh beo ( literally “ water fern cake”) is a variety of smalls steamed rice cake or rice pancake in Vietnamese cuisine. It is white in color and typically features a dimple in the center, which is filled with savor ingredients including chopped dried or fresh shrimp, bean paste, crispy fried

shallots, fish sauce, rice vinegar and oil. Banh Beo Thanh Nga: 45B Ky Dong street, District 3 (opposite Ky Dong pool) Banh Beo Vy Da: 62 Ly Tu Trong street, District 1.


Trảng Bảng dew – wetted rice paper (Vietnamese language: Bánh tráng phơi sương Trảng Bàng) is a flexible two layer rice paper. People wrap rice paper around a range of ingredients: pork simmered in coconut water, and a variety of vegetables, such as cucumber, coriander, Thai basil, spearmint or peppermint. People serve it with sweet and sour fish sauce. Banh Trang Hoang Ty 106 Cao Thang street, Ward 4, District 3 459 – 461 Cach Mang Thang 8 street, Ward 13, District 10 691B Xo Viet Nghe Tinh street, Binh Thanh, Binh Thanh District Price: 150,000 VND – 200,000 VND/2 persons

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

23 CHA GIO (FRIED SPRING ROLL) A popular dish in Vietnamese cuisine and usually served as an appetizer in America and in Europe countries, where there are large Vietnamese communities. The main structure of a roll of “cha gio” is commonly seasoned ground meat, mushrooms, and dices vegetables such as carrots and jicama, rolled up in a sheet of moist rice paper. The roll is then deep fried until the rice paper coat turns crispy and golden brown

GOI CUON (FRESH SPRING ROLL) Ingredients includes liver soft boiled or fired pork, shrimp, chicken, beef, fresh herbs, lettuce, sometimes fresh garlic chives, rice vermicelli, all wrapped in moistened rice paper, served cold with dipping sauce or hoisin sauce. The salad roll is easily distinguished from a “minced pork roll” by the fact that it is not fried, the ingredients use are different.

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

24 “Cha gio” and “ Goi Cuon” can be easily found around Ho Chi Minh city and the price is quite cheap


It is a Vietnamese baguette made with both wheat and rice flour, but more popularly known as a type of sandwich traditionally made with this type of baguette. The sandwich is make up of thinly sliced pickled carrot and daikon, cucumbers, cilantro. Chili peppers, pâté, mayonnaise and carious meat fillings or tofu Popular “ banh mi” fillings include roasted or grilled pork, steamed or roasted pork belly, Vietnamese sausage chicken, head cheese and ham Banh mi can be found everywhere, usually around the crossroad, near schools, hospitals or crowded areas Average price: 6,000 VND – 12,000 VND

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

25 It is now a city where people can enjoy dining in sophisticated restaurants with delightful surroundings and menus that encompass not only delicious Vietnamese food but also cuisines from around the globe, include French, Indian, Mexican, Italian, Japanese, Thai and Chinese. Camargue French Camargue is in a beautiful villa with a lovely garden courtyard and attracts diners with its romantic atmosphere. The restaurant’s bar is an ideal spot for a pre-dinner cocktail or two Address: 16 Cao Ba Quat, District 1

Cantina Central Mexican Cantina Central is the well-known among locals, expats and regular visitors to Saigon for the fresh authenticity of its Mexican food. It also serves the best Margaritas in town, amid attractive, relaxing surroundings. Address: 51 Ton That Thiep Street

Lemongrass Vietnamese Lemongrass is a sister restaurant of Vietnam House and is just around the corner, in a two-storey French-style building. The place is small but it is considered by many to be one of the best restaurants in town. Address: 4 Nguyen Thiep St

Pomodoro Italian Pomodoro is famous for its pizzas and Italian espresso, though the menu also features a good range of vegetarian, fish and meat dishes. Popular both for business lunches and for dining out at night.

Opening Hours: 10:00 to 22:00 Address: 79 Hai Ba Trung, District 1 Temple Club Vietnamese Housed in an old Chinese temple, with beautiful woodwork and masonry, and a terracotta floor, the Temple Club has a bar, a lounge and a formal dining room with a menu featuring Vietnamese food from all over the country. Address: 29-31 Ton That Thiep St, District 1

Vietnam House Vietnamese This popular, cozy restaurant is in a nicely redecorated colonial building and has welcomed many world-famous people, including former US President George Herbert Bush. It has a selection of Vietnamese and international dishes and an excellent lunch buffet. Address: 93-95 Dong Khoi St

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

26 Zen Japanese, Indian, Mexican A small restaurant with a sushi bar, Zen has an eclectic choice of Japanese, Indian and Mexican dishes. It is also one of the best places in Saigon for tasty vegetarian food. Address: In Saigon Sky Garden Service Apartments at 20 Le Thanh Ton, District

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

27 Medical Information You will find all the medical assistance you could need in Vietnam. There are a couple of international clinics, but it is cheaper to go to Vietnamese hospitals and they are just as qualified. However, we cannot ensure whether they can speak Vietnamese or not International clinics in Vietnam: 1. International SOS 167A Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 3 Phone: 08 3829 8424 Website: 2. FV hostipal 6 Nguyen Luong Bang Street, District 7 Phone: 08 3411 3333 3. Family Medical Practice Diamond Plaza, Dist. 1 Ho Chi Minh city Phone: 08 3822 7848 4. Victoria Healthcare International 79 Dien Bien Phu, Dist. 1 Ho Chi Minh city Phone: 08 3910 4545 Website: 5. Westcoast International Dental Clinic 27 Nguyen Trung Truc, Dist. 1 Ho Chi Minh city Phone: 08 3825 7999 6. CMI – Center Medical International 1 Han Thuyen St, Dist, 1 Ho Chi Minh city Phone: 08 3827 2366 7. Columbia Gia Dinh International Hospital 1 No Trang Long St, Binh Thanh Dist, Ho Chi Minh city Phone: 08 3803 0678 8. Columbia Sai Gon – 24 hours Clinic 8 Alexandre de Rhodes, Dist.1 Ho Chi Minh city Phone: 08 3823 8888

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

28 9. Dental Dental clinic 179 Le Van Sy, Dist. 3 Ho Chi Minh city Phone: 08 3844 1487 10. Sai Gon Tower 29 Le Duan, Dist. 1 Ho Chi Minh city Phone : 08 3823 5918 11. Lotus Clinic: This Clinic mainly serves Japanese 3rd floor, The Lancaster, 22 Bis Le Thanh Ton Street, district 1 Phone: 08 3827 0000 Website:

In addition, you can easily find small drugstores on the road where you can buy some popular medicine, such as: Urgo, Becberin, Salonpas, Efferagal, Multivitamin, Nautamine, Natriclorid 0.9%, Orezol, insect gel,‌Make sure you buy health insurance which covers you for your whole stay in Vietnam. Scan and email yourself a copy of your health booklet in case you lose it. Also bring it with you to Vietnam. Ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date. For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you should visit the websites of the National Travel Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

29 Currency and Bank You cannot ignore money when coming to Vietnam. In this country, people did not get used to using electrical money like credit card. Cask is very popular in Vietnamese modern life. However, in some restaurants or shopping mall in the city like Tous Les Jours Bakery, Diamond Plaza shopping mall, etc, you can use credit card. Because of this fact, in this part, we would like to introduce you the Vietnamese currency so that you can prepare your mind The exchange rate between US dollar and Vietnamese currency: 1 USD is around 20.000 VND, between Euro and Vietnamese currency: 1 Euro is around 28.000 VND (for an exact number, please visit website of banks to update information)


Nominal value

500 VND

1.000 VND

2.000 VND

5.000 VND

10.000 VND

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

30 20.000 VND

50.000 VND

100.000 VND

200.000 VND

500.000 VND

Some international banks in Ho Chi Minh city 1. HSBC Headquarter in Vietnam: Metropolitan Building, 235 Dong Khoi St., Dist. 1 Ho Chi Minh city. Other branches: Etown 3 Building, 364 Cong Hoa St., Ward 13, Ho Chi Minh city 82 Le Dai Hanh St., Dist 11, Ho Chi Minh city

2. Citibank Sunwah Building, 115 Nguyen Hue St., Dist 1 Ho Chi Minh city

3. ANZ Ho Chi Minh city Branch: 39 Le Duan St., Ho Chi Minh city,

You can also find some Vietnamese banks which are very popular like Vietcombank, ACB, etc

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

31 Visa to Vietnam Vietnam is now open and welcomes all travellers and business people to Vietnam. Thanks to the fact, getting visa to Vietnam is very easy and simple! There are two ways of applying for Vietnam visa: 1. Through Vietnamese embassy Visit Vietnamese Embassy in your own country to get the details on how to apply for VISA to Vietnam. 2. Applying online (Visa on arrival) Visit or to apply with four simple steps: of US$20/person online. -approved letter and attach two passport-sized photo (4x6cm) for boarding the airplane he pre-approved letter for checking at the “Landing Visa Counter� then pay the Visa Stamped Fee of US$25/person for single-entry visa or US$50/person for multiple-entry visa to Vietnam ( the stamped fee can be changed base on your nationality also)

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

32 DO and DON’T DO’S    

  

Greetings are no different to western countries, there are no cultural formalities that as a foreigner you would be expected to know or practice. Vietnamese dress conservatively. Despite the heat, it’s best not to show off too much skin. If you do, especially girls, you’ll only draw stares from the locals. Dress well when visiting pagodas. No shorts or tatty beer t-shirts. Shoes are fine, and rarely will you have to remove them. If unsure, just follow what the locals do. Drink plenty of bottled water, especially when walking around sightseeing. No need to carry huge bottles around with you, a vendor is never far away and no doubt they will find you before you find them. Keep your cash, credit cards, airline tickets and other valuables in a safe place. Have a copy of your passport and leave the original one at home. Only carry your real passport with you when it’s really necessary. Always bargain. Especially when you are in famous places like Ben Thanh Market. Tourists, especially foreigners are usually charged double or triple price.


   

Wear a lot of jewelry or take a bag with you. Violent crime is highly unusual in Vietnam, but petty crime is more apparent. If you have a bag, or tout a digital camera around your neck, you are a potential target. When taking a ride by motorbike taxi (xe om) make sure your bag, if any, is not on display or easy to grab. Bag snatches, although still rare, are probably the most likely crime a tourist would encounter, and it raises the probability immensely if you are tailing a camera or a laptop in the wind. Don’t wear singlet, shorts, skirts or dresses, or revealing clothes to temples or pagodas. Physical displays of affection between lovers in public are frowned upon. That’s why you may come across couples holding hands but not hugging or kissing. Losing your temper in Vietnam means a loss of face. Keep a cool head and remain polite, you’ll have a greater chance of getting what you want. Remember, this is Vietnam, a developing country, and things don’t quite work as you are maybe used to. Don’t be paranoid about your safety, just be aware of your surroundings. Vietnamese have quite strict thinking about people who have tattoo, smoke or club too much so be careful about this point.

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

33 This is the end of the Intern Guide. We do hope that it is useful for you and can support you to have a great internship. Beside this Guide, we also give you the right to log in in AIESEC Zone, an internal forum of all AIESEC members in AIESEC FTU HCMC. You will have a sub-forum, called Intern Corner and you can update more information about Vietnamese life in this forum. Below are personal contacts of all Intern Supporting team members in term of alphabet. We always welcome you to our Local Committee: AIESEC in Foreign Trade University 1. Nguyen Thanh Danh - VP ICX 4. Nguyen Truc Huan Email: Email: Phone number: +84 909 261 110 Phone number: +84 902 856 997 Skype: medoly.brighton Skype: danhnguyen.aiesec 2. Kieu Thi My Duyen Email: Phone number: +84 978 214 537 Skype: duyen.kieu

5. Luong Thi Ngoc Thanh Email: Phone number: +84 916 019 095 Skype: jenny.262

3. Vo Thanh Giang Email: Phone number: +84 938 772 901 Skype: isabella.vo1

6. Le Song Anh Thu Email: Phone number: +84 1676105 952 Skype: meomeoletsgo2711

Wish you all the best!!!

Local Committee Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh city| Intern Guide | November 2011

[aiesec ftu hcm] intern guide