Vietnam – Long Term Visas, Housing, Drivers License and Banking

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  1. 0:00 Weekly update from Vietnam – Just Chillin and answering questions.
    2:30 Meet up with George, YouTube Subscriber
    5:00 Glimpses of Da Lat
    6:30 Immigration in Da Lat, Time needed, Biometrics. Thai vs U.S. Citizens
    9:30 Bombs in Bangkok
    10:40 Vietnam as an option
    11:58 Visa Options requirements.
    17:45 “Cool” Place cool weather
    20:00 Rooms and Scooter rentals, Taxis, Buying a Motorbike, options photos
    25:00 Driver’s licenses.
    27:20 Long-term rental options and prices. 👍
    30:05 Opening Bank Accounts – Transfers
    34:34 Q & A recap: Long-term and retirement Visas, International Flights to Da Lat, Work Permits,
    36:40 Learning Vietnamese vs. Thai language
    40:15 New Members
    41:00 Just Chillin…

  2. Hi JC, Thank you for your informative videos and I’ve been thinking of relocating to Dalat because I like the cooler weather and it might be easier to stay in Vietnam long term than in Thailand. I hope Vietnam dosent make it harder to stay there for Americans. I like the 90 day, 1 year multiple entry visa like the one you have. I hope I can find a woman as nice as Nat if I do live there. Lol

  3. Hi guys, would you remember the name of the place where it had windows all around with loft for 6mil, any contact numbers, im moving there in a few months and that place is perfect for me, thanks guys, ps your wife is so sweet, she is so classy, your a lucky man. jc thank you for helping me out with info, peace to both of you guys happy new year , i live in fl also

  4. I got an account with Timo really easy I was there only 1 month you’ll find this on life beyond the sea Reekay you tube hope this helps keep up the good work JC love the channel

  5. I’ve been watching you for years, you have great and relevant information and I’m tempted, but as I’m financially comfortable in Australia it’s probably not going to happen. It’s clear that Thailand (under the new king) feels it no longer really needs expats. At the moment Vietnam does. I like both countries but would probably prefer Vietnam (even though the Thai temples are amazing) the hard working Vietnamese people seem more genuine, however with more tourist exposure that might gradually change. You provide a great service.

  6. Hì JC, Nat. Thank you for the information. I am planning to go to VN next year for a few weeks. I cant wait. Please keep making the video. I just subscribed!

  7. Why is basic food in the US so ridiculously expensive? No wonder so many Americans want to get out of the US, given housing, health and food costs. I’m a Brit. My colleague is a US citizen. She’s Native American, so she’s just back from the annual trip to the reservation near Baltimore. I’d been looking at Walmart prices, so I raised the issue, and she agreed. In the UK we get a really good wholemeal loaf for 36p, which is less than 50 cents. In Walmart less good bread is $3. I get half a gallon of milk for £1, so $1.27. What on Earth is going on in the US? Do the manufacturers or retailers conspire?

  8. crazy when you hear ‘ I paid 5.5 million for a motorbike’ and it turns out to be a bit over 200 US $… the money is mad in such denominations.. the expression ‘multi millionaire’ doesn’t mean anything in Vietnam ha

  9. Sometimes I think they’re yelling but that’s how Vietnamese talk. They talk that here at Vietnamese restaurants in California too. If you were born in Vietnam or your parents or wife/husband was born in Vietnam, you can get a 5 year visa.

  10. Jc thanks for sharing your experiences,my wife and I spend about 8 months out of the year in Vietnam and little bit in Thailand, the weather where your at is great compared to Saigon long an areas where my wife has her house,currently in Las Vegas / when I return I’ll contact you thanks for a very informational video for people what about a temporary residency visa

  11. As is in Thailand with English street signs ect why not just learn to speak English and stop messing about it would be easier to ask us for money

  12. Thanks for your and Nat’s view on learning the lingo, JC. I’m sure Nat will be chatting away with the locals in no time. Thai girls seem to have an aptitude for languages, unlike we Farang!

  13. JC, after living so long in Asia, why would you be surprised if people are not considerate or conscientious? I’ve been over here for 23 years and am only surprised when people ARE considerate or conscientious! Maybe Thai people are the exception? Definitely not the norm.

  14. Da lat looks real nice.Have you been to Sapa yet. I want to retire there in VN. I am a American. Thialand got to expensive. What do you think.

  15. Look forward to your Vietnam vids ,remember the very first time you went to Vietnam you weren’t too impressed with the noise and traffic but the crazy place has a way of growing on you .
    In the news they said the traffic police ( beige uniforms) will be cracking down on foreign drivers starting aug 16 for three months .
    For the most part the police leave foreigners alone even though they know most don’t have Vietnamese drivers licenses and would be an easy 1 million coffee money .
    Most don’t speak English so the government says they will have officers out that can speak English.Will see if they do come through with threat .
    The way it works in Vn is that traffic police are not the most educated of the population they actually have to pay money to get the job nothing to do with education.
    Once in the job the focus is to get as much coffee money as possible because to keep your job you must keep feed your boss and your boss has to keep feeding his boss on and on .
    So basically although 4 wheel cars are only 10% of the traffic the police spend 90% of their time pulling them over for nonsense things cause that is where the money is .
    Meanwhile every moving infraction known to man kind is going on around them but some guy in flip flops driving a 50 year old Honda cub with no lights loaded to the hilt will never get stopped cause you can’t get blood out of a stone .
    When they pull you over they pretty much expect to get 200,000 out of you so never show them your money ,take the keys out of the ignition and put into your pockets ,keep 50,000 dong in one pocket and tell him he can have to buy a coffee .
    So knowing all this as a foreigner if you do get pulled over Once they figure out Nat isn’t Vietnamese they will probably leave but if they do have basic English drag it out as long as possible you are retired and have all day they have to move on to the next victim.Actually if they do pull you over be sure to video it would make a great entertaining vid .
    I have heard it is getting hard to get a Vietnamese license .Before you would just translate and if your home license didn’t have motorcycle endorsement you would do a easy practical test .
    Some say now you need to do the written test as well and it’s in Vietnamese ? Not sure if true but I do know most expats don’t have licenses and just pay any coffee money however it is a serious thing if you do injure or kill someone you can go to jail.
    Recently a foreigner was sentenced to 3 years in jail for killing someone and not having a drivers lic , three years in a Vietnamese jail is a sobering thought .
    Have fun guys enjoy vacation.

  16. JC this is the second video i have seen of yours about getting a visa for VN. Just thought i would add a little more information. I live in the US and am married to a Vietnamese lady. My last two visas for Vietnam were 5 year visas. I am not totally sure of the exact process but my wife filled out the papers and i signed them and we went to the Vietnamese embassy in Houston and had them mail it to our home in Florida.

  17. Vietnamese and Chinese are loud and don’t tend to have awareness of personal space or how their actions affect others. She’s not trying to be rude. It’s all she knows.

  18. Glad to see that you are back in dalat. Its a beautiful place with good all year weather. Nice place to retire in. Only issue is that they is a hospital which is not fully equiped with the latest equipment, when i was there.

  19. I now have a Timo online bank account in Vietnam that allows me to deposit and withdraw Dong fee free. All you need is your passport to sign up for an account. It also enables you to get ultra cheap rides through Grab by paying for taxi and bike rides via an electronic wallet. I used it all the time on my last trip to HCMC.

  20. Hello JC and Nat, as an American you can direct deposit your Social Security funds into a Vietnamese bank, there is an international agreement. You have to register with the Manila Social Security Administration then complete the Direct Deposit change form, it takes about two months. Thanks for the Vlog, very informational.

  21. He JC! Can you investigate the healthcare in Vietnam? My neighbor came home today from a 1 month motor cycle holiday (driving from north to south Vietnam) and he got burned quite severe on his tailpipe. At some hospital in Cab Tho he got a quick look from a doctor and a “patch up” from some staff whom spoke 3 words of English, got a bag of medicine for 10 dollars with no explanation on how and when to use them and got send on his marry way…

  22. That cooler temperature would be great for me. I hate the heat in Thailand that always makes me feel drained with no energy why I’m there.

  23. Hey, JC its Harley in VungTau. I have been living in Vietnam for almost 9 months. You put out a lot of good info. If I may be so bold I would like to add some clarifications. This based on my living in HCMC and VungTau, may be a little diffrrent way up north. Ist is on visas, Getting an online letter from an online agency is the easiest and cheapest way and fastest. Using a Vietnam Embassy or Consult is time consuming and more costly. If you want to pay the extra for the business visa, keep in mind that you dont really have to be doing any, nobody checks. On the flip side, if you want to set up a business, there is a real minefield of regulations and paperwork. Best to hire a law firm or agency that is ecperienced in helping expats. You can run a small business with no local partners legaly. But again you will have a lot of problems getting permits etc. Also the current law is you have to put $30,000 minimum in a bank account to start a business. All the businesses run by expats that I talk to have a wife or girlfriend that fronts for them. Can state strongly enough about how cumbersome getting all the paperwork and permits is!!
    2, drivers license was easy peasy for me down at BaRai which is the provencial capital for VungTau. i went to the provencial office complex to the Foriegn Affairs office and got a translation of my Philippine license, my USA license has expired, d200,000 fee. Took that across the road to the library building. On the lobby level they have something calked the one stop shop. Cost d135,000 for license. This was on a Friday, they told me to come back the next Friday to pick up the license. I went back and picked it up, they were very nice and efficent at both offices. Yes, the license expires on the same day as your visa.
    3, Motorcyces: I talked to a lot of people at various rental shops and bike stores. My take away is that it is best to stick with Honda’s. Avoid chinese at all costs. Saigon Motors and Tigit have good comparison lists on their sites. My experience on the streets before I bought my bike is that prices are all over the place even for the same models. I bought new so pretty much the same every where but used is a crazy market. Talk to people, ask around the locals, talk to the shops, check on line and beat the bush. Ask if the engine has ever been opened and if Honda parts where used and not cheap Chinese parts. Stay away from the cheap backpacker market. A good late model, lower milage 125 or 150cc scooter will run you from $700 to $1000. A new Honda Airblade 150cc is about 42,000,000 dong to get it out the door. Always but always get a blue card and check the serial nubers against the bike. If you get stopped they will ask to see it and insurance card. Insurance is about$4, the policy is basicly worthless but a requirerment to keep from getting the bike impounded. They seem to pick on the younger backpacker types on cheap older bikes. I have yet to be stopped yet, i think because I am older and have a neat appearance and a nice bike an smile at them like I have my shit togeather. ( Honda Shadow 150 crusier) Who knows? I am informed that unless you seriously injure or kill someone that it is just best to settle it on the spot. I hear they are pretty decent about it if you keep your head. As oppesed to the Philippines where it is always the expats fault and they will suck you dry. I can testify to this personally. Serious accident injury or death here will be a big problem though. If you dont have a long visa and do not get a local license, have your license and a international driver permit. Kinda of grey area yet as to weather they will hassel you or not.
    4. Housing. I recommend that you check the online sites as you say but be wary.if you are looking at a 6 to 12 month rental lease. Always check out the place at vatious times of the day and night as the karaoke can really be a nightmare. Most places require a 2 month deposit plus 1st months rent. And most do not include electric. Most will refund the deposit. Feel free to dicker on the price by as much as 10%, especially in Saigon. Do it in a friendly manner and smile a lot. The best deals are not always online. Talk to the ladies on the street and at the hawker stalls if they know of anything for rent in an area you are interested in. I have found that if you take the time to be friendly and nice to the locals they will go out of their way to help you without trying to get over on you. Flattery and flirting goes a long way, Vietnamise woman are romantics. I suppose that rents are higher here because buying land here is very expensive. I do mean expensive!
    5. Banking: very easy to get an account here with a 12 month visa. As you said have your passport and rental contract. Also the minimum depoist to 1st open can come out of your pocket and fee for debit card. But to put money in the account requires that you have a customs declaration form that you get at airport in order to depoist cash. By law you have to declare anything at $5000 and over if carring cash and any gold if you want to sell it here. They kind of fuss a little if under 5000 but just explain that you need it for the bank. The other option is to wire it in. I opened a dollar and dong account. I wire $ in to the dollar account via transferwise and when i need more money in dong account I go to the counter and have them transfer some from dollar to dong account. When I want cash in my pocket i go to the counter and withdraw dollars and go to my favorite money changer. Changing money on the street or at goldshops is illegal here but everybody does it openly anyway. I personally stay away from ATMs usage due to fees and low withdraw limits. I always carry enough dong to last my daily needs for a couple of weeks. If you stay away from the night drinking spots and stay sober it is very safe to carry money around. I have never had anything stolen from me or my accomadations to date. Staying in cheap dives near party areas seems to be the red flag areas, such as around Bien Vieu street in Saigon. Personaly I think it is a crowded, loud shithole with a lot of drugs and hussler types. Overpriced drinks and food at the bars and many arguments over the bills. Best to pay for each round as you order them. Never run a tab! There is a really good Indian resto called the Bollywood for lunch though at the end of the street.
    Also Jakes bbq on Pasture is excellent if a little pricey.
    6: Just read the other day that the 3 big goals of the government for economic expansion are industry, food production and tourism. The government figures for tourism currently are that most tourists are from other east asian countries, read chines, korea and japan. 22% European and under 3% from North America. There are a dang lot of Aussies in VungTau though. Vietnamese are doing a good bit of touring around too.
    Sorry to ramble on so long but I hope this info helps someone.

  24. 16 year ago for 5 years going in and out of Thailand with my wife I went through with her as her husband has that changed now , we live here now as of 2002.

  25. About another thing. Don’t forget Vietnam is a communist governed country. They do want to know where you are. If you stay with a Vietnam citizen the Vietnam citizen has to go down to local police station each time you enter the country and show your passport to police telling them that you are stay with them. They will record where you are staying. If your host does not do this, they will be fined for you being in there home without notifying the local police.

  26. Hi J.C. How do you compare the prices between Thailand and Vietnam, especially now with the strong baht!?
    Sorry if you mention it in the video as I’m writing this as I watch.

  27. I will have to look at Zoom. I use western union to transfer funds to Vietnam bank. That cost me $7.50 for every $500 with debit card and $0 for account to account. Down side for account to account is, six day for transfer. The debit card once you have transferred for awhile, it goes from two days to almost immediate, for me anyway. I use Wells Fargo.

  28. Six million not cheap. Not even in America I think. Hard to say because I’ve been away, but I just got a small condo with a view for 220000 baht. Small view but nice. West Bangkok. Bank repro.

  29. I been in Vietnam for 6 and a half months now on a one year US citizen Vietnam visa. You have to leave and reenter Vietnam every ninety days. When you enter each time during the time of your one year visa, you will get a new stamp in passport for another ninety days. I have to leave Vietnam again by September 14th.

  30. cool. Great Vid. especially the folks around you and their interpretation of “common courtesy” and “personal space”… how do you say, “Mai Pen Rai” in Vietnamese 55555555
    re: Immigration in TH. for US citizens going in/out of BKK regularly, I *highly* recommend you research APEC Business Travel Card (BTC) – part of the Trusted Traveler program i.e. Global Entry. Allows for use of Priority Lane In *AND* Out of Thailand (as well as all other ASEAN countries)
    I must say the ‘pre- recorded’/produced weekly updates are a much better fit for me in the members site. its just me and the way I prefer to digest content… i know people seem to like the live ones so i guess i’m in the minority but sadly the result is i no longer check out the weekly updates. i encourage folks to Definitely check out the site though if they are think about heading to the land of smiles. TONS of good nuggets. Live the Dream!

  31. Hey JC. Thanks as usual for our vids, I always look forward to them. However something I’d love to see covered is…………. condos for sale in the best beach places like Pattaya/Phuket and maybe Vietnam/Cambodia. I’m settled now in Loksong Bangkok but still have a dream of a place by the water. It might speed things up if youtubers covered more condos for sale as well as good renters. I’m particularly interested to see if there is anything in walking distance to Pattaya or Patong beach or…..and how much?? Thanks again PV from Loksong. PS My budget is no more than six million baht.

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