Vietnam is arguably the cheapest place on earth to live well. This is a land of beautiful, world-class beaches, cool mountain retreats, and cities seething with vitality. Many Westerners head to Vietnam and love it. Others complain about the hustle, the noise, and the lack of Western influence, particularly in the northern part of the country (Hanoi).
Vietnam is an emerging market that has only recently moved beyond the dark transition following the war. The population is youthful, and an energy permeates everything. The Vietnam that existed in the 1960s and early 1970s exists only in memories. The country has moved on toward a much brighter future. According to the Global Peace Index, Vietnam is the 45th most peaceful country in the world (as a point of reference, the United States ranks in the 101st position). According to HSBC Holdings, Vietnam is among the most optimistic countries in the world in terms of business expectations. Today, the atmosphere in the country is energetic and optimistic and the infrastructure is developing rapidly.
Vietnam is an extremely foreigner-friendly country. The government sincerely wants Vietnam to attract more tourists, and it has taken measures to see that foreigners who come here want to return again and again. The country is emerging from the grips of war and economic depression and is eager to join the global community.
Residing in a communist state has its challenges, but modern Vietnam is more capitalist in practice. After spending about one minute in Hanoi, anybody can see that this city is first and foremost the epitome of capitalism on steroids. The majority of Vietnamese are self-employed entrepreneurs. They usually own and operate hotels and restaurants, sell vegetables and fish at the markets, fix motorbikes and appliances, promote their tour companies, shine shoes, and create