What are the Best Travel Cameras

When you come to Vietnam you will want to capture those moments that are special. The sights of Vietnam will blow you away.

There is always something interesting and colorful to capture. Will your smartphone be enough to capture those moments of a lifetime? Let’s get into it.

Cameras vs Smartphones.

You might be thinking right now that you don’t need a travel camera because you already have one on your smartphone that goes everywhere with you.

Even while smartphone cameras are improving, there are still some times when they simply cannot match the quality of a good camera.

Sensors in cameras are larger than those in smartphones. Even cameras with a smaller sensor, such as Micro Four Thirds, have a lot more surface area to work with than a smartphone sensor.

This makes them ideal for low-light photography since they can record a wider dynamic range and more detail in the highlights and shadows.

The other major advantage of cameras over smartphones is that they can use an optical zoom lens. And this makes getting pin-sharp photographs of distant things considerably easier.

This greatly expands your shooting versatility and the variety of shots you can take.

Could you take a picture like this with a smartphone. It would not happen with the degree of sharpness in this picture.

Things to look for in a travel Camera.

Don’t get me wrong: I appreciate an excellent camera phone. However, a mirrorless camera, DSLR, or luxury compact camera will do a better job of capturing your once-in-a-lifetime moment.

Don’t limit yourself to a single-lens wide-angle lens if you can afford it.. Choose a camera and lenses that will allow you to photograph in a range of scenarios, such as a long-zoom compact or a mirrorless camera.

Size and weight: If you don’t want to lug around a heavy bag, a pocket-sized compact camera is a good option. If you’re going to be carrying your camera in a shoulder bag or backpack, a larger DSLR or mirrorless camera will produce superior results.

After size, the next thing you should think about is what you want to take a picture of.. A long zoom, for example, is useful on safari, whereas a tiny, light, and fast camera (preferably with prime lenses) is excellent for capturing quick photo possibilities in the city.

The best travel cameras combine performance and portability to enable you to shoot in a variety of situations and conditions.

Simplicity: When on vacation, not everyone wants to worry about fiddling with camera settings. Everyone can utilize the full auto modes on all of the cameras on this list.

If your vacation is likely to include a lot of bumps, water, and bad weather, you’ll want to look at durable compacts like the Olympus TG-6, or an action camera like the GoPro Hero 9 Black if video is your primary concern.

Price: The cameras on my list come in a variety of pricing ranges but choose wisely. Remember, you only get what you pay for.

My favorite toys.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

We focus on portability when choosing the best travel camera, and the tiny yet powerful Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is one of the best portable cameras available. It not only has a remarkably light body with tactile dial-led controls, but it also employs the Micro Four Thirds sensor.

While this has significant drawbacks in terms of low-light performance, it practically doubles the focal length of any lens attached to the camera; for example, a 50mm lens will behave like a 100mm lens.

This goes a long way in vacation photography, allowing you to keep your gear size down.  It has a lot to offer.

Its quick burst shooting, precise autofocus, and stunning 4K video makes it a fantastic camera in every way.


Type: Mirrorless Sensor: Micro Four Thirds

Megapixels: 20.3MP

Screen: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1.04million dots

Viewfinder: EVF

Max burst speed: 8.7 fps Max

Video resolution: 4K

Level: Beginner/enthusiast

Price. Check at  ==> Amazon <==

Panasonic Lumix ZS200 / TZ200

Panasonic’s solution to the rise of high-end compacts like the excellent Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V, which have stolen the thunder from compact travel zooms, has been to maintain the camera body at the same size as its prior ZS/TZ-series cameras but squeezing in a considerably larger sensor.

We saw this with the Lumix ZS100 (known outside the US as the Lumix TZ100), and Panasonic has continued this trend with the Lumix ZS200 / TZ200.

This physically larger 1inch sensor allows for significantly greater image quality than would otherwise be possible, but the lens’ zoom range isn’t quite as vast as some others with smaller sensors.

Despite this, the ZS200 / TZ200 has a very useful 15x zoom, as well as a helpful built-in electronic viewfinder that makes composing shots in strong light easier. Although it’s a little on the pricier side, this is still one of the greatest travel zoom small cameras on the market right now.


Type: 1 inch type

Megapixels: 20.1 MP

Screen: 3 inch touchscreen, 1.24 million dots

Viewfinder: EVF

Max burst speed: 10 fps Max

Video resolution: 4K

Level: Beginner/ Intermediate

Price. Check at  ==> Amazon <==

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII

The original RX100 redefined premium compact cameras by being the first pocket-sized camera to include a huge 1.0-inch sensor. They were always wonderful for travel, but because of the limited zoom lens, they may have been disregarded in favor of other models.

Things changed when we got to the RX100 VI, which paired a far longer lens than ever before – and now the RX100 VII has undergone some improvement.

The incredibly wide aperture of earlier generations has been sacrificed to make the lens longer, but if you’re mostly going to be shooting in sunny climates, it might not be such a huge concern.

Under the hood of the RX100 VII, there’s a lot of power. It has features you may never use, such as a ludicrous 90fps burst mode, as well as more usual features, such as 4K video.

The major disadvantage of this model is its  price, but if you want the best of the best for your travels, it might be the one for you.


Type: 1 inch type

Megapixels: 20.1 MP

Lens: 24 – 200 mm

Screen: 3 inch tilting touchscreen, 924 K dots

Viewfinder: EVF

Max burst speed: 90 fps Max

Video resolution: 4K

Level: Intermediate

Price.  Check at ==> Amazon <==

Panasonic Lumix GX80 / GX85

The Panasonic GX80/ GX85 is a tiny and light camera with a typical rectangular ‘rangefinder’ design. Make sure you purchase it with the Panasonic 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 G VARIO ASPH. retractable kit lens.

In 35mm terms, this is similar to 24-64mm, providing a slightly smaller zoom range than a standard kit lens in a much smaller compact.

The GX80 can easily fit into a large pocket, thanks to the Micro Four Thirds sensor, which allows for this shrinking.

Physical controls include a tilting screen with touch sensitivity and a pop-up flash alongside a hotshoe, most functions are handled via buttons and menus rather than dedicated dials.

If you have room in your suitcase for a small compact camera this will be perfect..


Type: Mirrorless Sensor

Megapixels: 16 MP

Lens: Micro Four Thirds

Screen: 3 inch tilting touchscreen, 1.04 million dots

Max burst speed: EVF Continuous shooting speed

Video resolution: 4K

Level: Beginner Enthusiast

Price.  Check at  ==> Amazon <==

Canon EOS M50 Mark II

Canon’s EOS M line used to feel like an afterthought, but it’s come a long way, and these lightweight, cheap mirrorless cameras are now a great choice for travelers.

Thanks to its high-resolution APS-C sensor, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II is a powerful stills and video camera. It’ll handle most shooting scenarios with ease, and its sleek design is attractive as well.

A clean HDMI out, the ability to shoot vertical video and the ability to live-stream to YouTube are just a few of the camera’s video features.

The only major drawback is that the camera’s 4K is subpar, with shaky autofocus and the 1.6x crop factor that has hampered so many Canon launches. This is a good buy if you don’t need to shoot 4K on your trips..


Type: DSLR Sensor

Megapixels: 24.1 MP

Lens: Canon EF- Mount system

Screen: 3 inch fully articulating LCD touchscreen

Viewfinder: EVF

Max burst speed: 10 fps Max

Video resolution: 4K

Level: Beginner to Enthusiast

Price. Check at  ==> Amazon <==

Nikon D3500

Nikon’s latest entry-level DSLR is the D3500. It misses a few capabilities, most notably a vari-angle rear screen and 4K video, as compared to the Canon EOS Rebel SLR/250D, but it’s a lot cheaper, so these differences won’t matter to many customers.

If you go with the D3500, make sure it comes with Nikon’s retracting 18-55mm AF-P VR lens .

And if you’re going traveling, you might want to consider Nikon’s affordable and lightweight 10-20mm AF-P lens as well – it’s great for narrow streets, expansive interiors, and tall buildings and landmarks.

The Nikon D3500 can only shoot full HD video, not 4K, and its live view autofocus isn’t as advanced as the Canon EOS Rebel SL3/250D’s, but if you’re only interested in stills and prefer to utilize the viewfinder over the rear screen, the D3500 is a great deal.


Type:  DSLR Sensor

Megapixels: 24.2 MP

Lens: Nikon F

Screen: 3 in one fixed

Max burst speed: 5 fps Max

Video resolution: 1080 p

Level: Beginner Intermediate

Price. Check at  ==> Amazon <==

Sony A6100

The Sony A6100 is arguably the finest blend of size, shooting power, and value right now if you don’t mind carrying something slightly larger than a pocket camera on your travels.

It isn’t perfect, but it checks most of the boxes for globetrotting photographers. Despite its small size, this entry-level mirrorless camera comes with a slew of handy features, like configurable buttons and a microphone input, as well as a flip-up touchscreen that, while restricted in functionality, is excellent for framing long-distance selfies.

The 24.2MP sensor, when combined with a suitable lens, produces decent shots with plenty of information, while the AF system which is shared with the flagship A6600  assures consistently accurate focus and outstanding continuous tracking.

Even while shooting on the move the A6100 can also take 4K footage at 30fps, albeit there is no IBIS. The battery life is good, as is the Wi-Fi, which works nicely with the companion app for sharing holiday photos quickly.

The relatively low-res EVF and LCD, as well as the Auto ISO, which might struggle with fast-moving subjects It’s preferable to shoot street action in full manual mode.

The A6100 comes close to achieving travel perfection, with decent value, strong features, and a bag friendly design..


Type: APS-C CMOS Sensor

Megapixels: 24.2 MP

Screen: 2.95-inch tilt-angle

Max burst speed: 11fps Movies

Video resolution: 4K

Level: Beginner Intermediate

Price. Check at  ==> Amazon <==

Sony ZV-1

The Sony ZV-1 is one of the best pocketable alternatives if you’re primarily interested in shooting trip video rather than stills. It brings together the best video-focused capabilities of Sony’s RX100 series.

Sony’s most recent autofocus system is arguably the best in a tiny camera. The ZV-1 is less convenient for stills shooters than the RX100 VII due to the lack of an electronic viewfinder.

But it’s still a decent camera and better than most smartphones thanks to its 20.1MP 1-inch sensor.

The ZV-1’s brilliant 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens and Real-time Eye AF are ideal for capturing professional, smartphone-beating vlogs, but it’s video where it really shines.

A 3.5mm microphone jack ensures that the audio quality matches the visual, and a built-in hot shoe allows you to mount a lot of extra stuff.


Type: Compact 1 inch sensor

Megapixels: 20.1 MP

Lens: 24 – 70 mm f1.8 – 2.8.

Screen: 3-inch tilting touchscreen

Viewfinder: None

Max burst speed: 24 fps Movies.

Video resolution: 4K

Level: Beginner/enthusiast

Price. Check at ==> Amazon <==

GoPro Hero 9 Black

An action cam should be at the top of your list if you require a small, pocketable video camera that can handle pretty much whatever your journey throws at it. Right now, the GoPro Hero 9 Black is the most powerful and versatile.

This is the only GoPro with a front-mounted color display, which comes in useful for framing your journey highlights. It also has a larger battery and several new software tricks when compared to the more cheap Hero 8 Black (which is also worth considering).

Hind Sight catches the action 15-30 seconds before you press the shutter, and Hyper Smooth 3.0 stabilization, which smooths out even the most juddery mountain bike footage, are two of these features. In addition, the 5K video mode captures more detail than any other GoPro, and the Linear shooting mode corrects wide-angle distortion to make film look like it was shot with a more traditional camera.

The sensor of the Hero 9 Black is smaller than those available in luxury compacts and mirrorless cameras, and it is geared more toward video than stills. However, if you primarily want to capture video, the compact size, 10m waterproofing, and compatibility with a variety of attachments all help you get shots that are otherwise impossible to achieve with other travel cameras.


Weight: 158g

Waterproof: 10m

Video 4K

Burst speed up to 60fps1080: up to 240fps 720: up to 240fps

Stills resolution: 20MP

Battery: 1720mAh

Price. Check at  ==> Amazon <==

Go-Pro Hero 12

I strongly recommend checking out the Go Pro updated version, Hero 12. 

This will be my next camera purchase, and I will be going for the “Content Creator” bundle. This is currently on a discount and is sub $500 mark.

Go Pro Hero 12

GoPro HERO12 Black – Waterproof Action Camera with 5.3K60 Ultra HD Video, 27MP Photos, HDR, 1/1.9″ Image Sensor, Live Streaming, Webcam, Stabilization

Olympus Tough TG-6

For some travelers, a camera that can withstand water, ice, dust, rain, and even collisions is all that matters. The Olympus TG-6 may lack the zoom range and huge sensors of the other cameras on our list, but if your trip photography focuses on adventure rather than tourism, the TG-6 is likely to be a better fit.

The TG-6 will survive a lot more punishment than the ordinary compact because to its waterproof, crush-proof, shockproof, and freeze-proof build, but it’s not just its tough credentials that excite.

Raw photography and 4K video recording are both uncommon on waterproof compacts, and the 12MP sensor’s pixel count was purposefully reduced over previous models to make it generate better results.


Type: Compact Sensor

Megapixels: 12 MP

Lens: 25 – 100 mm

Screen: 3 inch

Waterproof. 3 meters.

Shock proof.  2.1 meters

Freeze proof 10º C or14° F

Video resolution: 4K

Level: Beginner

Price. Check at  ==> Amazon <==


While I have tried to be as fair as possible in the comparisons it is sometimes like comparing apples to bananas.If you wish to leave any comments feel free to reply below.

Maybe you are thinking. What does Steve use. I have the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII. And it is a brilliant camera. if you want to look at some of the pictures I have taken in Vietnam, you can look ==> here <==


Any or all links on this site maybe affiliate links, and if you purchase something through those links I will make a small commission on them.

There will be no extra cost to you and at times due to my affiliation you could actually save money.

You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.

Can I retire in Vietnam



It’s time to relax and enjoy your retirement after years of hard work. Choosing where to spend this time is always a challenge. The information in this post will assist you in determining why you should retire in Vietnam.

In contrast to neighboring countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, which offer retirement visas for seniors, Vietnam has few retirement visa choices. However, foreigners can still retire and live in Vietnam if they take advantage of the long visas and flexible conditions.

Pros and Cons of living in Vietnam.

I have been living here for 15 years and am married to a Vietnamese lady. I am 63 years old and have an English school in Ho Chi Minh City. For me this was the best move I ever made. Let’s delve deeper.


Vietnam is one among the top ten countries in the world with the lowest living costs. With the money you’ve set aside for retirement, you’ll be able to enjoy exquisite meals, great holidays and comfortable living.

A lot of people think Vietnamese food is one of the most delicious and unique cultural elements of the country. Vietnamese food, like traditional Asian dishes, caters to all aspects of customers’ health and psychology. With the added bonus of tasting great.

Every Vietnamese cuisine combines five distinct flavors: salty, sweet, sour, spicy, and bitter. You will have a vivid and unforgettable experience as soon as you bite into that first Banh Mi or a bowl of Pho.

Also, Vietnam is a country that stretches over 2,000 kilometers from south to north with a rich abundance of beautiful beaches and cooler climes in the west. You can decide the climate you prefer and find a City to live in within that area.


Vietnamese culture and Western culture have many differences. Without first learning, you may be in for a cultural shock. The more you know about the differences between Western and Vietnam cultures, the easier it will be for you to integrate and make more friends.

Foreigners must adhere to a number of severe restrictions while applying for a visa in Vietnam. Foreigners who plan to retire in Vietnam, for example, are only allowed tourist visas with a duration of one to three months.

You can apply for a visa exemption for a maximum of 5 years if you have a Vietnamese parent or spouse. If you want to stay longer, you must apply for a new visa when your current one expires.

Also, Vietnam has a lot of traffic and pollution issues. These two issues are being worked on by the Government but it will take time to resolve them. You should psychologically prepare yourself if you plan to stay here for a long time.

How much does it cost.

According to a recent International Living rating, most foreigners can easily live in Vietnam on $800 to $1,200 per month. If you have $200,000 in savings, that would last you roughly 20 years. The following items are included in your retirement cost of living in Vietnam:

Monthly costs A quick overview.

Rent and costs for an average apartment/house go from $200 to $600 each month.

Meals range from $5 to $100 USD, and could be more if you want to eat in a 5 star hotel. Otherwise, food is cheap in Vietnam.

$100 for groceries a month or more if you want a lot of “foreigner food”

If you want to go out once a week to eat and have a couple of drinks, : $50 or cheaper depending on what you want to eat.

Vietnam’s best retirement destinations

The following destinations are great places to retire in and lead a peaceful lifestyle. These places have a relaxed atmosphere and slower pace of living than the major cities.

What are the best places to retire in Vietnam? I think these are the top 5 cities in Vietnam to retire in.

Nha Trang is a seaside city in Vietnam.

The ideal environment for you to relax and live happily. The beach city of Nha Trang is ranked as one of the most appealing places for retirees based on these criteria.

There are lots of local sites that are both interesting and fun to visit. Just remember to take off your shoes when entering any building, like a pagoda or someones house.

Ponagar Tower, Mineral Springs, Institute of Oceanography, Long Son Pagoda, Bao Dai Palace, and many other interesting and great places for the Ex Pat make this seaside city a great place to visit or live.

Phu Quoc is known for being a tranquil getaway.

A beautiful pearl in the center of the sea. You will find this Island off the South Coast of Vietnam. It has beautiful beaches such as Sao beach, Ganh Dau beach, Long beach, Ong Lang beach, Thom beach… and it is great for swimming or any sea and beach activities.

Meals here are fantastic because of the fresh seafood and the rich culinary tradition. Visiting Ham Ninh fishing town or visiting the semi-wild park, which opened at the end of 2015 is an amazing unique experience that will knock your socks off.

Da Nang, voted Vietnam’s most easy living city.

Da Nang provides a perfect living environment for the elderly Ex Pat. The city is clean and lovely, and the beaches are among Southeast Asia’s cleanest, safest, and most appealing. Despite its rapid development, this location maintains a tranquil atmosphere.

The attraction of Danang is a combination of wide highways, open sidewalks for pedestrians, and the Han River flowing through the heart of the city. This creates stunning scenery and along with a mild climate it makes Da Nang very livable. The standard of living is excellent, while the expense of living is low. You can easily travel from Da Nang to Hue, Hoi An ancient town, and My Son sanctuary. My Son is an Ancient site and can be hot, but well worth visiting.

Hue the Ancient Capital.

People’s lives in Hue’s old city are like the Huong River: leisurely and tranquil. In addition to the mausoleums and temples, the environment here includes historic residences and tree-lined streets. All of which contribute to a relaxed atmosphere. Because of this it is a very welcoming environment for the traveler in us all.

Most afternoons you can hear the Thien Mu bell or you can stroll into the old ruins and sit and listen to the stories about this historical city. You will have some fascinating experiences in Hue if you decide to live here. Also, the cuisine is unique to the region and very well-suited to the tastes of the culinary inclined.

Hoi An, some like it hot.

The weather is hotter in the center of Vietnam, but Hoi An has the advantage of being a great shopping town.

The quiet corners of the old town are the highlight of Hoi An and will provide a relaxing atmosphere for the people who wish to live here.

You will be living close to rural landscapes. The lifestyle here is very laid back and you can relax over a bowl of Pho or a coffee.

The Japanese historically chose the Dien Ban district of Hoi An as the location for their retirement. This can be a great place to retire to. However, it can be busy at times with foreign travelers.

Obtaining a retirement visa for Vietnam

In recent years, Vietnam’s visa policy has improved significantly. It is, however, still lacking. For foreigners who intend to retire in Vietnam, there is currently no specific visa regulation in place. Foreign retirees who want to live in Vietnam confront a slew of challenges related to official visa requirements.

Due to the lack of a Vietnam retirement visas, foreigners wishing to retire in Vietnam can only apply for a tourist visa, which has a period of 1 to 3 months or 5 years ( If their parents or spouse is a Vietnamese citizen). And you maybe subject to visa run requirements.

What is a visa run.

A visa run is when an ex pat has to leave the country and travel to Cambodia or Lao or Thailand to get another extension on their Visa.


In my opinion Vietnam is a great place to retire. However, you must be able to accept differences in cultural attitudes as well as some small societal challenges. If you can get your head around that you will find Vietnam and it’s people to be very welcoming.

Before you make up your mind check out some other things about Vietnam below.

Food in Vietnam.

Etiquette in Vietnam.

Maps of Vietnam.

The coffee culture.

Apartment rentals.

Also if you are looking for additional income while living in Vietnam check out my other website. Hope it helps. My other website..

If you have any questions about this please leave comments below.


Any or all links on this site maybe affiliate links, and if you purchase something through those links I will make a small commission on them.

There will be no extra cost to you and at times due to my affiliation you could actually save money.

You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.

What is a Chromebook.

What is a Chromebook?

Chromebooks are a new sort of computer that is designed to make tasks go more quickly and easily. They run Chrome OS.

A system that includes cloud storage, Google’s greatest features, and numerous layers of protection. When your Chromebook isn’t connected to the Internet, you can utilize offline-ready apps to keep using your Chromebook.

What’s the difference between a laptop and a Chromebook?

Chromebooks are laptops and two-in-one computers that run Google’s Chrome OS. The hardware may resemble any other laptop, but the Chrome OS’s simple, web-browser-based interface is a far cry from the Windows and MacOS machines you’re probably used to.

Whether you’re thinking about converting from a Windows laptop or MacBook to one, your child got one from school, or you’re just curious about Chrome OS, here’s all you need to know.

The History of Chromebooks.

Chrome OS was essentially Google’s Chrome web browser when it first launched. For people who are used to operating systems like Windows and Mac, the average Chromebook appears to be nothing more than a laptop that runs a web browser.

Chromebooks were widely mocked when they originally debuted in 2011 for their limited functionality and need on a constant internet connection.

This year marks the eleventh anniversary of the operating system, and while today’s Chromebooks are a long way from their origins, some things haven’t changed, and you may not be willing to work around the limits that they do have.

Access to Microsoft Office is one of the major roadblocks for many people. Although the entire Office software can not be installed on a Chromebook, Microsoft provides web-based and Android versions in the Chrome and Google Play stores.

But don’t buy a Chromebook if you require or desire a specific Windows or Mac application and there isn’t a good online or Android app equivalent and don’t buy one if you want to utilize VMware.

You’ll also need a Windows, Mac, or Linux laptop if you want an extensive photo and video editing feature.

Basic photo and video editing is good, but Chromebooks often lack the graphical horsepower required for difficult activities. And they may not have the ability to run Windows or Mac apps and games.

Chromebooks, on the other hand, may now be used for more than Android and browser-based games thanks to streaming-game services like Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce Now, and Xbox Cloud Gaming. You can also install and play Linux games, but this will require a higher-end Chromebook.

Additionally, various Android photo and video editing apps are available, including Adobe choices.

What is a good chromebook?

Several years ago, regardless of who produced them, all Chromebooks were pretty much the same. Now, a much wider range of laptops and two-in-ones are available to take advantage of Chrome OS present capabilities.

When it comes to Windows laptops, you’ll still find more sizes and styles, especially if you need higher processing and graphics capabilities, but the selection of Chromebooks is now much better than in the past.

If you just want a pleasant basic experience with a Chromebook then the compact, lightweight OS, as well as web apps, have low hardware requirements.

Quicker, higher-end processors, more memory, and more storage for files and apps are all advantages. but you pay for them.

I would recommend at least..

4GB of RAM or more Intel Celeron or Core i-series, AMD Ryzen or MediaTek CPUs

64 GB of storage space

Display resolution: 1,920×1,080-pixels

These suggestions are open to interpretation. You can purchase a display with a resolution of 1,366×768 pixels, for example, but the low-cost ones seen in low-end Chromebooks look particularly soft when compared to full-HD machines.

And if there’s a microSD card slot to augment it or you don’t expect to download a lot of Android apps, you can get by with 32GB of onboard storage. Unlike a typical laptop, a Chromebook stores files in the cloud rather than on the local hard drive.

It’s also worth mentioning that storage and RAM are frequently soldered on and cannot be upgraded.

Do Chromebooks need to be connected to the internet?

When Chromebooks originally came out, they were effectively paperweights when they were offline, which was a huge problem if you were in the middle of writing an important document and your internet connection failed.

Things have luckily improved since Google enhanced its offline capabilities, and popular apps such as Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify now have offline capabilities as well.

Are Chromebooks affordable?

Chromebooks can be lighter and smaller than the conventional laptop because to Chrome OS’s modest hardware needs, and they’re also generally less expensive.

New Windows laptops under $200 are hard to come by, and they’re rarely worth the money. On the other side, finding a good $200 Chromebook is relatively simple (or at least it was prior to COVID).

Even while paying more will bring you a higher build quality, more features, and faster performance, premium Chromebooks normally cost between $400 and $500, but can potentially cost over $1,000 depending on your needs.

Laptop vs Chrome book.

When it comes to Windows laptops, you’ll typically need to spend $700 or more to get a thin, lightweight model with adequate performance and battery life that will last for years.

Laptop.under $600

We’ve found the laptop deal for you if you need a workhorse in an amazingly beautiful shell. The MSI Prestige 14 Evo with an Intel Tiger Lake Core i3 costs $599 on ==> “>Amazon<==. That’s a savings of $200 off the regular price of this sleek Evo notebook. But it will not last long at this price.


My top 3 Chromebook choices.

Lenovo Flex 5 | Under $400.

If you require a laptop for all-day use, the Lenovo 13-inch Chromebook two-in-one is a better option than the Duet. Thanks to an Intel Core i3-10110U processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 64GB solid-state drive.

It features a full HD display as well as good performance and battery life for the money. But because of its dull display, the Lenovo Flex is not a good choice for outdoor use. Check it out here. ==> Amazon <==

Key Details

  • Processor : Intel® Celeron® 5205U Processor (1.90 GHz, 2 Cores, 2 Threads, 2 MB Cache)
  • Operating System : Chrome OS
  • Graphics : Integrated Intel® UHD Graphics
  • Memory : 4 GB DDR4 2400MHz (Soldered)
  • Storage : 32 GB eMMC
  • Display : 13.3” FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, glossy, touchscreen, 250 nits
  • Camera : 720p HD
  • Battery : 4 Cell Li-Polymer
  • AC Adapter : 45W
  • Pointing Device : Click Pad
  • Keyboard : US – English
  • WLAN : 802.11AX (2 x 2)
  • Bluetooth : Bluetooth® 5.0
  • Warranty : 1 year Mail-in
  • Color : Graphite Grey


Acer Chromebook Spin 713 | Under $700

Are you fed up with attempting to work on papers or spreadsheets on a small widescreen monitor? The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 has a 13.5-inch 2,256×1,504-pixel touchscreen with a 3:2 aspect ratio, which is one of Acer’s brilliant Verti View displays.

It gives you extra vertical workspace, as the name implies, but it still has the width of a conventional 13.3-inch laptop with a 16:9 ratio. You’ll be able to get more work done in a day thanks to this and its battery life, which lasts nearly 13 hours., yet it’s still small and light enough for everyday use. ==> Amazon<==

  • Processor : Core i5
  • Operating System : Chrome OS
  • Graphics : Integrated Intel  UHD Graphics
  • Memory : 8 GB Shared
  • Storage : 128 GB
  • Display : 34.3 cm (13.5″) CineCrystal (Glare) In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
  • Battery : 3 Cell Li-Polymer Lithium Ion (Li-Ion). Maximum Battery Run Time.10 Hour
  • AC Adapter : 45W
  • Pointing Device : ClickPad
  • Keyboard : US – English
  • WLAN : IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
  • Bluetooth : Bluetooth 5.0
  • Warranty : 1 year carry-in
  • Color : Steel Grey

Best Chromebook for playing games.

Asus Flip CM5

Chromebooks aren’t usually connected with video games. You now have a lot of options, with cloud gaming services like Stadia, GeForce Now, and Xbox Game Pass running on Chromebooks alongside Android mobile apps and Linux games.

And the Asus CM 5 is ready for them at ==> Amazon.<==.

    • Processor : AMD Ryzen™ 3 3250C Processor 2.6 GHz (4M Cache, up to 3.5 GHz, 2 cores)
      AMD Ryzen™ 5 3500C Processor 2.1 GHz (4M Cache, up to 3.7 GHz, 4 cores)
    • Operating System : Chrome OS
    • Graphics : AMD Radeon Graphics
    • Memory : Options.
      4G DDR4 on board
      8GB DDR4 on board
      16G DDR4 on board
      8GB DDR4 on board,Memory Max Up to:16GB
    • Storage : Options
      64G eMMC
      128GB M.2 NVMe™ PCIe® 3.0 SSD
      256GB M.2 NVMe™ PCIe® 3.0 SSD
    • Display :
      Touch screen,15.6-inch,LCD,FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9,IPS-level Panel,Glossy display,LED Backlit,250nits,NTSC: 45%,Screen-to-body ratio 81 %,With stylus support
      Touch screen,15.6-inch,LCD,FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9,IPS-level Panel,Glossy display,LED Backlit,250nits,NTSC: 45%,Screen-to-body ratio 81 %,With stylus support
      Touch screen,15.6-inch,LCD,FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9,IPS-level Panel,Wide view,Glossy display,LED Backlit,250nits,NTSC: 45%,Screen-to-body ratio 81 %,With stylus support
    • Camera : 720p HD camera
    • Battery : 57WHrs, 3S1P, 3-cell Li-ion
    • AC Adapter : TYPE-C, 45W AC Adapter, Output: 15V DC, 3A, 45W, Input: 100~240V AC 50/60Hz universal.
    • Keyboard : US – English
    • I/O Ports 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C support display / power delivery/1x HDMI 1.4/Micro SD card reader.
    • Bluetooth : Bluetooth 5.0
    • Warranty : 1 year
    • Color : Mineral Grey


A Chromebook’s simplicity is unrivaled. There’s little reason not to use a Chrome device if everything you do can be done in a web browser or with web or Android apps.

Although, thanks to support for Android, Linux, Parallels, and VMware, you can do a lot more now than you could when they originally came out in 2011.

These are great workhorses and even good game players.

But get in fast before they go.

If you want to ask any questions, drop it in the reply.


Any or all links on this site maybe affiliate links, and if you purchase something through those links I will make a small commission on them.

There will be no extra cost to you and at times due to my affiliation you could actually save money.

You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.

Vietnamese stories


Student Stories.

These stories were written by my students in Vietnam. And while not being perfect it gives an insight into what is popular and how they think. I admire their determination in learning English. To learn English as a foreign language can be very difficult.

The levels of learning range from Starters to Advanced and they are then tested through an English examination such as IELTS. But more on that later.

Lets jump straight in. All these stories are written by 13 year old children who have been in lockdown for 4 months. All names used are nicknames the children choose for themselves.


My life when the city just lockdown is normal. I usually spend most of my time playing games and watching TV. I usually sleep at 10:30 and wake up at 7:30. I have breakfast with my family, then I do the housework for my mother.

In my free time, I play games with my friends and brother, or listen to music or read comics.At ten-thirty, I will cook rice and help my mother cook.

Then around 11 o’clock I had lunch with my family. In the afternoon, I continue watching movies with my family or texting with friends.

On Monday, Wednesday and Saturday I have an English class from 7:30 to 8:30. At 9 o’clock I will spend my free time doing the things I like until bedtime.

The end(≧▽≦)


Because of covid 19 I had to stay at home, during that time, I stayed at home and slept a lot. I usually don’t eat breakfast because I wake up at noon.

I played the game on my phone with my friends. I stayed up late until 3-4am playing games with them. I also learned English online at home.

I read books in my free time and often listen to music during my nap. i played my rubik’s cube. Because I have a lot of time at home.

I have spent a lot of time practicing to play Rubik’s faster. It is very difficult. And I also lie in bed to surf social media. I’m too lazy to exercise at home. Every night, me and my sister, aunt and mother used to pray for the end of covid 19.




“Hi, i’m Jessica ( Tường )

My life when my city just lock down still very normal. I usually wake up at a quarter to eight. I have breakfast at eight o’ clock. Then i watch TV and play with my dogs :D.

At a quarter to eleven i sometimes help my mom to make lunch. I take a nap at twelve o’ clock. In the afternoon, ’cause i’ m lock down so i just turn on and watch TV again ;-;.

I take a bath at hafl past four and have dinner at half past five. At Monday, Wednesday and Saturday i have a English class from half past seven to half past eight in the evening. I play games with my friends and go to bed at half past ten .


Sorry if it’s bad 😀



In a normal day like before, in the morning at 6:30 I went out of the house to go to school and then I studied from 7 a.m to 5 p.m. I went home to eat lunch and next I went back to school.

But now during the lockdown, I can only stay at home and not go anywhere. In the morning, I get up at about 11 o’clock, have lunch, watch movies.

I will take a nap around 2 o’clock and get up at 4 o’clock to prepare for the extra English class. And finally, I started sleeping again at 3a.m because I like nocturnal type. Stay up late with out parents’ permission is interesting. Every day is the same, it can be said to be quite boring.


Levels of learning English.

Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment, abbreviated in English as CEFR or CEF or CEFRL, is a guideline used to describe achievements of learners of foreign languages across Europe and, increasingly, in other countries. The CEFR is also intended to make it easier for educational institutions and employers to understand the ability of these speakers of English.

There are seven basic levels of learning English. These can be broken down into Starter, Flyer, Mover, Pre – Intermediate, Intermediate, Upper Intermediate and Advanced.


Is for those who have a basic level of English or have just started learning English.


For the student who has successfully learnt the basics and is ready to move on to the next level of learning.


This level introduces the student to both the written and spoken side of English. It focuses on everyday usage of English and helps the students build confidence in their abilities.

Pre Intermediate

Pre Intermediate offers speaking practice to help students learn and practise useful phrases. This will help them to speak English clearly and effectively.


Intermediate students will be able to understand  the main points of  familiar matters that are regularly encountered at work, school, or in a leisure activity. They will be able to deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is predominantly spoken.

Upper Intermediate

The upper Intermediate section offers reading practice to help the student understand texts that have a wide vocabulary range. They will need to consider the writer’s opinion. Texts include articles, reports, messages, short stories and reviews.


Polish your English skills and explore different styles of writing and advanced vocabulary. This is what Advanced learning is all about. Students might look at various subjects such as Business, Analytics, Computer Science and much much more.


Learning any language can be difficult. And because of the structure of the Vietnamese language, learning English is difficult.

The Vietnamese language is a tonal language.There are six tones used in the Vietnamese language. These are mid level, low falling, low rising, high broken, high rising and low broken.

To learn the stress in English can be a challenge for any student. But there are also many other challenges as well.

It can be difficult to understand the differences between different varieties of English.

Think about the differences between formal and informal language, as well as the differences between spoken and written language.

This causes students to write words phonetically, that is, how they would pronounce them rather than how they are actually spelled.

And also using informal language, possibly even slang, in formal contexts. Easy for someone who has been brought up on English but considerably more difficult for those who use English as a second language.

Good luck with one of the most difficult languages to learn.

How do we learn languages.

As babies we listen to our parents and this is the way we learn. The first skill is listening. The second speaking, the third reading and the most difficult is writing. So it is with great admiration for my students that they can communicate, while not perfectly, at least understandably.

I challenge you to learn a language and set your mind free. Studies have shown that learning a second language increases your IQ and opens doors that would not normally be available to a speaker of only one language.

Michigan State University has an excellent article on the benefits of learning a second language. You can find the link here.

==> M.S.U <==

I hope you found this article interesting and please feel free to leave any comments.

Please check out my recommendations for tools to learn other languages on my website.  

Any or all links on this site maybe affiliate links, and if you purchase something through those links I will make a small commission on them.

There will be no extra cost to you and at times due to my affiliation you could actually save money.

You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.




Ho Chi Minh City | Apartment rentals


Renting in Ho Chi Minh City.

Ho Chi Minh is a city of delectable smells, auditory and visual experiences you thought could not exist.

A true sensory overload in every way.

Ho Chi Minh City offers everything from cheap rentals to top of the world class street food. Its colonial history mixed with its more recent tourist boom means Ho Chi Minh city is a very popular destination for expats and tourists alike.

Apartments for rent Ho Chi Minh City can vary in size, price and location. From suburbs, or districts as they are called in Vietnam, like Distict 1 to Go Vap, Hoc Mon and many more.

In such a huge city it is possible to live very cheaply amongst the locals, or very luxuriously in an expat community.

As an example, I am living in Go Vap in a 3 story house for which I pay less than $200 per week.But a friend of mine is paying the same amount to live in a 3 room apartment closer to the city center.

District 1, the main center  has some of the most expensive apartments for rent in Ho Chi Minh city because of its great location and closeness to the cities historical sights.

A locally built Saigon apartment is likely to be smaller than those in  North America or Australia and Europe. This is a relatively small country with a big poulation.so you pay for space.

Cheap apartments abound but tend to be very small and the more expensive apartments are larger with more space.

Expats come here for a variety of jobs, the main being to teach English.

Teaching Jobs.

High paying teaching jobs here allow the expats the income to afford great serviced apartments in affluent areas in the city like district 1 and 2 and district 7. But there are now a lot of teachers and expats choose to live in districts that are more Vietnamese in feel.

If you choose an apartment you will quite often find it comes equiped with  a pool, gym and sauna.

 Apartments in Ho Chi Minh City

Serviced and non Serviced apartments.

Serviced and some non serviced apartments in Ho Chi Minh City are more geared towards the expat community. The four main areas of Ho Chi Minh city for expats are District 1, 2 and 3, and 7 and District 9..

Modern and well built apartments have been constructed with expats in mind. And the properties are roomy and of good quality and design.

A  serviced apartment in Ho Chi Minh city, depending on price, will usually include facilities like underground parking and a 24 hour reception desk.

For people that value their privacy and security, and in a city with crazy traffic like Ho Chi Minh city  these things can be very important.


District 1.

Address: Nguyen Van Thu, Dakao ward, District 1.This is central snad it will only take a few minutes to get to more ex-pat areas like District 3,7. Abd about 15 minutes to District 2 .

40sqm – Type: big studio, spacious, breezy balcony. – Fully equipped kitchen, windows around with natural lights. – This is very clean, comfortable, and perfectly sized for one to two people

Rental: 10.3 million dong ( $450) per month includes some free services like TV cable, high speed internet, parking. and cleaning and changing bedsheet, laundry. plus Security 24/7.


District 2.

Located in Thao Dien ward in district 2 where a lot of foreigners are living and working .It is close to a lot of markets, supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants & coffee shops as well as medical centers and  international schools,…

75sqm, two bedrooms and two bathrooms – Large balcony with beautiful river views – Fully furnished, comfortable living & modern fittings.

Amenitites: swimming pool, gym, BBQ garden, playground for kids and small park.

Rental: 14.8 million dong per month ($650 US)

District 3

On  Vo Thi Sau street in district 3 which is close to the heart of  Ho Chi Minh City.. You would be close to banks, restaurants and coffee shops, supermarkets, markets..

35sqm, Type: big studio, spacious, breezy balcony. – Fully equipped kitchen and windows providing natural light

Rental: 10.3 million dong ( $450 US ) per month. It includes some free services like TV cable, high speed internet, parking.  Cleaning, changing bedsheet, laundry.and Security 24/7..

District 7

Design: 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms

Area: 91 sqm

The apartment is suitable for a  family. It s only one unit with 2 bedrooms at River view , fresh and breezy.

Rental fee: 13 million dong per month ($575.00 US)

Furniture: fully optioned

Public amenities of Riviera point: schools, universities, hospitals, and shopping centers are all close.

Security protection 24/24 with cameras and security.

Riviera point is one of the newer complexes in District 7. it is located on Nguyen Van Tuong street next to Long Ca Cam river. Riviera Point has modern facilities like a big swimming pool, fully equipped gym, a tennis court, children’s play ground and a sky garden…

Close by you will find super markets, restaurants, coffee shops and hair-salons

District 7.

Saigon South Residence is located in a peaceful and relatively green area, Saigon south Residence Nha Be is one of the more desirable residential complexes for many people.

From this Saigon south residence it takes 5 minutes drive to SC Vivo City, 10 minutes to RMIT, and 20 minutes to the center of District 1.

It has 3 bedrooms, and 2 bathrooms. Unfurnished.

Price is 20.000.000 million dong per month ( $880.00 US)


If you wish to find out where these Districts are have a look at my ==> maps <== page.


Moving to any Country has its own problems. I just hope this helps some people by providing information about the costs of living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

If you have found this helpful please check out my other blogs about Vietnam. They cover everything from what you need to teach, to the etiquette of the locals.

I am always happy to answer questions so please leave a comment.

Any or all links on this site maybe affiliate links, and if you purchase something through those links I will make a small commission on them.

There will be no extra cost to you and at times due to my affiliation you could actually save money.

You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.



Education in Vietnam


Vietnams commitment to education

Vietnams commitment to education can be seen by it’s huge investment in public and private schools.

The Government believes that a healthy mix of education and hard work is the key to success , both for the people and the country.

The bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City are normally packed with children who are seemingly always on their way to school or extra classes.

School and teacher quality

Lately Vietnam has increased enrollment of students while trying to work out and enforce some  minimum quality standards for its’ school facilities countrywide. Is it being successful, only time will tell.

Teacher quality is also a major concern, and Vietnam has laid a good foundation by trying to make its teachers more professional and accountable. Vietnamese culture holds teachers in high regards.

But It is still unfortunate that they are not paid as professionals should be.In a lot of cases the teachers have to provide private tuition outside of normal teaching hours to survive.

Is it getting better?

In a nutshell, yes it is. However there is still a long way to go. When you are teaching English in a classroom and see your classroom teacher, who is meant to be helping, combing a students hair you have to wonder about quality.

Vietnam looks for ideas from abroad. The ministry of education studies curriculum reform in high-performing countries like Korea and Singapore.

Vietnam have also introduced several initiatives from other countries that have developed new ideas. New teaching methods like the Escuela Nueva program from Colombia. And they have also introduced new reforms in K – !2 classes as well as some higher education reforms.

There are times when you bang your head against the wall in pure frustration but Vietnam education is heading in the right direction.


There is a lot to improve.

There are quality improvements that need to be fixed and a lot of gaps that need to be closed

There are still over thirty percent of children not moving up to secondary school and there are a lot of parents who still can not afford to send their children to school.

There is a huge challenge for the Government of Vietnam  to reduce absenteeism and early leavers .Low income families look to their children as providers and take them out of schools to work on farms if needed.

Another challenge for the Government is to stop bribe taking. The MOET was voted as the worst performing and most corrupt Government body in Vietnam.

As well as this a lot of the private schools ( Those that teach English) will provide certificates of attainment for cash.

On top of that a lot of the textbooks are very old fashioned and boring for the students. Apart from being incorrect in some cases. Quite often I find myself correcting the official Government supplied scholastic books.

So there are a lot of challenges, however in the 15 years I have been here it is improving. The Government of Vietnam is trying to improve the education market, but they have a lot of other problems as well.

The basic skills that have been provided in the past will not be enough for Vietnam to move ahead. There is a definite need for the introduction of a more comprehensive education system and a better reward system for its teachers.

Education in Vietnam

Pre-school or kindergarten (which is optional) is offered from the age of about 18 months, in Vietnam, with compulsory schooling from the age of six. Only five years of primary education are deemed mandatory.

After primary school, children move on to lower secondary education  and upper secondary education

Pre-school Optional for children aged between 18 months and five years olds .Fees may be payable, and kindergartens are more commonly found in major cities. Although child care centers are in most regional areas.

Primary School Compulsory from age six to 11 for all children Education at primary level is free for the morning however if the student learns in the afternoon the parents have to pay some money.

Secondary School Secondary education is divided into lower and upper programs. Not compulsory but parents want their children to succeed and will try their hardest to educate their children. Again there is a cost involved.

The Road Ahead. 

The next step for Vietnam is to provide better quality schooling that creates higher-order cognitive and behavioral skills (such as creative and critical thinking) for more young people.

Will it be achieved with the existing Government body, MOET., the Ministry of Education and Training. That remains to be seen. However they are working on designing more creative competence based programs for both students and teachers.

If Vietnam can clean up the internal structure of its official government department of education, that too would help.

While governmental reform is an important step, the other changes should be in how to deliver content in the classroom.

Better learning and teaching methods.

There are still a lot of Vietnamese and foreign teachers who are not providing good content in the classroom. This needs to change.

Many teachers are still teaching passively and not engaging the students. This really comes down to teaching style. 

Active student based approaches that are fun and entertaining are not common in the classroom. However there is change happening. Some teachers are realizing that to get the students attention and turn it into a learning activity, they themselves need to change.

If you look at the picture above you will see activities that make learning fun and easy to remember for the student.

When I have taught at different schools in Vietnam I have seen practises that have been out of date for a long time. Rote learning and teacher centred approaches are still the norm and the kids are bored. The teachers stand in front of the class, write on the board and say copy.

Is change going to happen? Yes and to help bridge these gaps policy makers have assured that there will be a comprehensive update of both books and teaching styles. Let us hope that it is sooner rather than later.

Change will only happen if it is implemeted by the Government. Teachers need better pay..Yes. Teachers need better resources..Yes. Teachers need to improve their skillsets..Yes.

Is it getting better.. yes.

Can I help?

Yes, and one of the best ways is to become a teacher of English in Vietnam. We provide so much, in and out of the classroom, that with your help we can change lives.

Teaching EFL.

English as a Foreign Language, or EFL, refers to learning and using English as an additional language in a non-English speaking country. It can be compared with ESL ( English as a Second Language ) and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages ), which mainly refers tolearning English as a new resident in an English-speaking country.

For more information about teaching in Vietnam and EFl please look at my website

. ==> Great teachers <==

In Conclusion.

Vietnam is a vibrant and exciting country and a joy to teach in. There are cultural differences and challenges that will face you if you come here. Whether it is for holiday or to work. you will never have a dull moment. I challenge you to come. It is an experience that will stay with you for your whole life.

I welcome all comments and reply to everyone. So if you have any comments please leave a comment.

If you want to find out more about me, look here. Steve.

Any or all links on this site maybe affiliate links, and if you purchase something through those links I will make a small commission on them.

There will be no extra cost to you and at times due to my affiliation you could actually save money.

You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.





Back to School | Computers and On Line Teaching


Teaching through Covid.

There are a lot of very hungry teachers. Around  Asia and a lot of other countries. There are Teachers suffering with lockdown. If you are not making money then this may help you.

First, let me tell you what is happening in Vietnam. We have been in lockdown for three months now with curfews from 6pm to 6am.If you are caught outside even within these hours without a “pass” the police can fine you. Three million dong, which is about $135.00 US.

My wife went to a supermarket outside our area and was pulled over by the police. Luckilly they understood that we can not get everything from our corner shop.

Prices are up in the shops and people are hurting.Not just the locals but the Ex Pats as well. So if this resonates with you, I hope this helps.

There are Jobs.

Jobs are being offered and most of them are on line. Some schools and companies are advertising for teachers .But it is doubtfull that you will be standing in front of any students.

Most of the teaching will be done on line. Are you prepared?  First you will need a job. I have provided a shortlist of  online schools that are actively looking for Teachers. If you need help in finding a job send me a message.

Some schools looking for Teachers.

Here are a few schools that are currently recruiting. I would get in fast because everyone is looking for income.


I also have a lot more that you can find with this link. ==> On Line Schools <==

What do I need?

There are three main things you need. A computer with a webcam, a comfortable chair and a headset with a microphone. Also you need somewhere quiet to teach.

Here are some of my favorite things.

A good computer. A thin and light laptop that you can use both on line and in the classroom.


 A comfortable Chair. Comfortable and cheap. Somewhere you can sit and teach.


 A Headset with microphone. Logitech, down from $70.00, what a bargain. Good sound all around. 

I have my own students.

I have been teaching in Vietnam for fifteen years and now have a lot of students. If you have your own students it is obviously much better. But what platform do you use to teach and how do you teach if you have only taught in the classroom.?

I have used a few different on line conference platforms. Skype, Messsenger but my prefernce is Google meet.

Why? Easy, It is free and gives you one hour of talk time. I have used this conferencing platform for one and a half hours without being kicked off. And all for free.

Google meet is very easy to use. Go to the Google browser and type in Google Meet and everything is explained. It only took me 30 minutes to fully understand how to use it and I am no Tech Savvy Whiz Kid.

How do I teach On line?

Teaching on line can be fun. Both for you and your students. But it does take a bit of skill and knowledge.

Keep it light and funny. Your students are sitting down so you do not want to bore them. I also do physical exercises with the younger students to wake them up. Stand up, sit down, stand up , sit down. Touch your nose, touch your eyes, touch your bottom, put your fingers under your nose ..smell that..yuck. Don’t do that. Remember, keep it funny for the younger students.

With the older students I do a lot of reading and they have to write what I say. But ask semi personal questions. “what time did you go to bed: Teacher, I went to bed at 3am. Ha ha, is your Mother there. Did she hear.

And do not just read from a book. Make up your own story. And base it on what the students have told you. Remember we are Teachers and we think on our feet.

When I heard a student tell me she went to bed at 3am because she was playing video games, I made up a story about what is healthy and what is not healthy. I then got the students to write a mini 10 minute essay on what they have done lately that is healthy and not healthy. I also joked along the way.

You only have one hour. ( This is my Max. time for teaching online) If you are comfortable teaching longer that is OK. But it might not be OK with your students. Especially the younger ones who have a shorter attention span. Also they might not have a comfortable chair or a quiet background.


I hope this gives you some ideas for Teaching on line.If you have any advice or comments please share them so others can benefit as well. Thanks for reading.


Any or all links on this site maybe affiliate links, and if you purchase something through those links I will make a small commission on them.

There will be no extra cost to you and at times due to my affiliation you could actually save money.

You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.



What is Vietnamese Food?

Vietnamese food.

Vietnamese food is spicy, fresh and full of flavor. it is an orgasm in the mouth. If you have never tried Vietnamese food you are in for a wonderful experience.

Noodles and rice along with meat, fish, vegetables and a dipping sauce are a staple of the Vietnamese people. But do not think it is bland or boring. The dipping sauce might be Soy sauce with chilies to spice things up.

The meat, quite often pork, might be wrapped in a lettuce leaf. Vietnamese herbs are also added along with cold rice noodles and dipped into the sauce. An amazing taste that will leave you wanting more. And there is so much more.

From the smallest food stalls to the fanciest restaurant you will always find something you will like. An exciting gastronomic experience awaits the foodie in us all.

Hungry and Homeward bound.

I was hungry. I was on my motorbike. It was 11o’clock at night. What could I eat? I was ravenous. I was thirsty and it was hot.

The Vietnamese have a vibrant dining culture that includes late night eating. You can be out late at night and see people sitting around on plastic stools. Slurping and drinking beer. This is heaven.

While driving down the backstreets of Go Vap. An area of Ho Chi Minh City not frequented by expats. I could see the small moveable carts surrounded by plastic stools.

The carts are moved at night to the same location by the owner and cook. Then moved back to their home later.

The smells were amazing. I had to stop. Eleven Vietnamese workers, on their way home after work, were sitting on plastic stools. Waiting for their food.

I pulled up on my motorcycle and sat down. Eleven friendly faces smiled at me and nodded.

Ordered my food by pointing and nodding. I asked for a beer. Then I looked around. No one else had a beer. Beer and food go together in Vietnam so I bought everyone a beer. It was instant love. Thumbs up from all, everyone happy. I had everyone come up and shake my hand. Little things count in Vietnam.

And then the food came out. I could smell it first and it was the nectar of the gods. Then a bowl of noodles with meat and vegetables was placed in front of me. Bean sprouts, noodles, mint and meat. A big soupy bowl made with love.

Chopsticks in hand, I attacked.  The tastes exploded in my mouth. I tried to take my time to enjoy the taste but I couldn’t stop shovelling it into my mouth. This is Vietnam food. An experience to be enjoyed and shared.

Must try foods.

Vietnamese food is becoming more recognized. Most have now heard of Pho and Banh Mi. But there is so much more to experience. Whether you are here on holiday or plan to work in Vietnam the food experience will excite you.

Here are a few of my favorite dishes.

The tastes from the humblest banh mi “sandwich” to the delights of soupy love will make you yearn for more.


The mainstay of Vietnamese food. Widely popular and largely eaten for breakfast. Pho is made with flat rice noodles and mixed with slices of beef or chicken. Beef being the most popular.

The beef can be added either cooked or uncooked. The boiling broth will cook the meat as you wait. I much prefer this style as it keeps the beef tender.

The broth is what makes the Pho either great or only good. Everyone has their favorite Pho shop or stall.Mine is in Go Vap made by an old man and his wife who always smile and say hello to me.

The broth is made with star anise and cinnamon and cloves and adds a sweetness to the mix.

Then add the bean sprouts, mint and basil along with a squeeze of lemon and a small amount of chopped and crushed chilli and you will be  in foodie heaven.

Banh Mi   

It’s morning and I am running late for work. I am hungry. What will I buy?. A Banh Mi sandwich

A crispy bread roll smeared with pat’e and margarine. The fillings will include pork and cucumber and pickled vegetables and fresh cilantro. Sometimes I put a soy mix onto it as well.

It sounds simple, but bite into it and you will discover joy. This has saved me from hunger too many times to count. Standing and waiting with the local Vietnamese is also a great experience.


 Com Tam.

Like Pho, everyone has their favorite Com Tam stall or shop. Mine is in Binh Thanh, close to a hospital. Which is a great idea for me as I eat so much of it that one day I will keel over with pleasure.

Com Tam is made with “broken” rice and a caramelized pork chop or a piece of chicken. For me the best is the pork.

The final touches include a side of shredded pickled carrots and daikon, slices of cucumbers and tomatoes, and fried pork rinds and shallots for garnish.

Add to this a drizzle of green onion oil and nuoc cham. Nuoc Cham is a mix of fish sauce and sugar and chilli.

Eat this and you will never want to leave Vietnam.


Bun Bo Hue.

Bun Bo Hue is both beauty and taste. This amazingly colorful broth is the first sign of its strong and likeable flavour.

This is the result of hours spent simmering beef bones and stalks of lemongrass to produce a citrusy bowl of love

Add boiled vegetables with tender beef shanks and you will get slurpy satisfaction.

Beef soup, the word “bo” is Vietnamese for beef, but don’t be surprised when you see slices of sausage lurking in the bowl.

Cha Lua is a sausage made of ham paste that has a texture similar to  tofu.

Delicious and delightful

Banh Xeo.

Now we are talking. Fresh and fragrant and if you have never eaten it, you haven’t lived. Banh Xeo is a flat eggy looking pancake mix of meat, prawns and Vietnamese herbs and vegetables.

But is it with eggs, no, the  batter is made from rice flour and coconut milk. The yellowish tint is due to the addition of turmeric.

This savory pancake is filled with slices of boiled pork, minced pork, bean sprouts and shrimp and then folded in the manner of a crepe. A  bahn xeo shouldn’t be too soggy and is best eaten fresh off the skillet.

And after this we must have dessert.


Che is a dessert but is often bought by students and adults as a yummy cooling snack through the day. After a morning in the classroom and feeling sweaty, Che will take you away to the beach.

Che can be served either hot or cold. my preference being cold. Cold che is filled with jelly and tropical fruits. Bananas, mango and longan being popular. Coconut cream, red beans, mashed mung beans, crushed ice and lotus seeds can be added to this rainbow of delight.

Che is a tasty textural sensation. it will have you on your knees begging for more.


These are my top five “go to” meals and one dessert. There is so much more to discover and try that it would lead to fifty pages or a book if I tried to document them all.

Vietnam, it’s food and it’s people are amazing. It is well worth the time to travel here. look at my other pages about Vietnam to discover it’s hidden secrets. I hope to see you here. www.vietnamesl.com

To find out more about the food of Vietnam, have a look at these books that I highly recommend.



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Expat in Vietnam | Teachers stories

 A view from up North.

Author: Dominic Fourie.

Where it all started.

I’ve been asked by my friend and owner of this website to give my perspective on living here as an ex-pat, ESL teacher, traveler, and aspiring freelancer to give my insight on my experiences in the Northern parts of Vietnam.

My name is Dominic, 34 originally from South Africa. I started my Vietnamese adventure in 2017, arriving in the largest and most bustling city of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City.

I did an intensive TESOL course that equipped me well for all of the challenges I was about to experience teaching Vietnamese students in classrooms, ranging from kindergartens, language centers as well as public schools.

I quickly settled in and made the lesser-known district of Go Vap in HCMC my new home for the next twelve months. Although it’s a district completely unknown to the majority of ex-pats, and could very well be compared to jumping into the deep end of the pool for any newcomer,

I can look back on some very memorable experiences there. Nowhere else in Vietnam have I met as many friendly and welcoming locals that were always eager to meet a foreigner, exchange language, and have a dozen of beers.

Broadening my horizons.

After nearly a year of living in HCMC, I decided that I wanted to explore what the rest of Vietnam has on offer. I landed a full-time job in the picturesque town of Hoi An and I immediately packed my bags.

The moment I arrived in Central Vietnam I could feel the vast contrast to the madness of Saigon. Everything was different and mostly for the best, but unfortunately some for the worst as well. Although the locals were very friendly, it quickly came apparent that in a touristy town like Hoi An, they had absolutely no interest in foreigners that went beyond his wallet.

I lived there for 4 months before eventually moving down 300km South to Quy Nhon city, the absolute jewel of the Vietnamese coastline. Quy Nhon is known for having some of the most pristine beaches in Vietnam.

So what was it like living in Central Vietnam?

So after having spent close to a year living in Hoi An, Da Nang, and Quy Nhon I can honestly say that this part of Vietnam is probably the nearest to my heart.

The food is absolutely fantastic. The landscapes are breathtaking and the local Vietnamese folk are extremely welcoming. Whether it’s beaches or mountains, seafood or BBQs, nightlife or daytime adventures, Central Vietnam has got something for everyone.

Some of the highlights included Da Nang and Hue city, as well as the breathtakingly beautiful and slightly scary Hai Van, pass in between.

Da Nang is still in my opinion the most liveable city in Vietnam, if not perhaps all of Asia. The lifestyle here is what dreams are made of; cheap cost of living, close to nature with beautiful mountains, waterfalls, and beaches, as well as a very vibrant and cosmopolitan nightlife. Last but not least the local cuisine here is also some of the best that Vietnam has on offer.

Unfortunately, the downside is that there are very limited career opportunities for aspiring ESL teachers in the Central region of Vietnam.  The hourly teaching rate here is also considerably lower than in Hanoi and HCMC.

The vast majority of the ex-pats living here are teaching online for international companies, digital nomads, or retirees. At least that was the case up until around May 2021, when the new visa regulations made it impossible to stay here long-term on a tourist visa.

This inevitably resulted in what some would call a mass exodus of foreigners leaving Vietnam.

Venturing further North

I spent the next 8 months of my life teaching English in Vinh city, the birthplace of the famous General Ho Chi Minh.

Vinh city is a coastal city in the Southernmost part of Northern Vietnam. It’s a rather small but very close-knit ex-pat community there, where I’ve made some lasting friendships.

The local Vietnamese community there is a rather eclectic bunch, yet extremely welcoming towards foreigners, however, there is some truth to the saying that people up North are perhaps a bit more stoic and cold compared to their Southern counterparts in and around HCMC.

Arriving in ‘le capitale’

I finally made my way up to Hanoi city at the end of the Tet holiday festival in 2020, having received a very promising job offer in an English language center here. Unfortunately, this was at the same time that Covid-19 started making headlines around the world.

Public schools and private educational institutions remained closed for the next 4 months. By the end of May 2020 everything slowly started opening up again and life returned to some sort of normality.

Unfortunately, this was short-lived as we started going in and out of lockdown again by the start of 2021. Nevertheless, I decided to stick around and make Hanoi my base for at least the next year or two.

North vs South Vietnam

What are the biggest differences between living and teaching in Hanoi vs HCMC?

The average hourly teaching wage in Hanoi is slightly higher than in the South, $20-23 p/h compared to $18 to$20 offered in HCMC. This of course depends on other variables such as experience, qualifications, and teaching technique demonstrated during your demo lesson.

Unfortunately, the continued lockdowns are wreaking havoc on the whole ESL industry and private institutions are certainly feeling it in their pockets. This could lead to lower salaries in the near future.

The economical effects of the pandemic is therefore also lowering the demand for learning English. In these uncertain times where a lot of local families are struggling to put food on the table, learning a 2nd language is not going to feature very high on the priority list.

If there is one thing I’ve learned in my 4 years in Vietnam is that the principle of supply and demand, is applied with a different sense of logic here. As is the case with most other things here. What would make absolutely no sense to a foreigner, would seem to make logical sense to a local and vice versa! We call it Vinalogic…

To get back on topic though, regarding the differences between Hanoi and Saigon. The most notable difference to me would be the weather.

Personally, I prefer the 4 seasons of the North compared to the 2 in the South. Autumn and Spring is an ideal time to go and explore the mountainous regions of Northern Vietnam. There are plenty of hiking and adventure trails as little as 30 mins away from Hanoi.

Hanoi is also slightly less chaotic than HCMC, with a little bit less traffic and noise. However, make no mistake…it is still chaotic and noisy as it is after all Vietnam!

A lot of foreigners would argue that the local population in Hanoi is less friendly than in HCMC and to a certain extent, there is a bit of truth to that. You are less likely to get approached randomly on the street or at a street-side beer stall, by a local who wants to take a selfie and down a couple of beers with a foreigner.

Hanoians are completely unfazed by foreigners for the most part….and I kind of like that. In contrast to that, in HCMC I used to get approached so often that at times it started to become slightly annoying. The novelty of the ‘celebrity’ status that a foreigner is given at times, soon wears off.

Final thoughts.

In conclusion though, what are my thoughts on teaching ESL in Vietnam and would I recommend it to anyone back home? Personally, I’ve found teaching in Vietnam extremely fulfilling, yet at the same time extremely frustrating and challenging due to the business culture and management style of the Vietnamese school administrators. The Covid-19 pandemic also added its own challenges to the mix.

Like most other foreign teachers here, I didn’t come to SEA with the intention of making a lifelong career out of teaching ESL. Be that as it may, I can honestly say that I was always committed to giving it my all, and I never half-arsed a single lesson.

Teaching English in Vietnam gave me the opportunity to explore one of the most beautiful and unique countries in the world, meet the most fascinating people, taste the most exotic cuisine….last, but most importantly it allowed me the opportunity to reflect on my own identity and life path. It made me realize what is truly important to me and what makes me inspired and motivated as a person.

In hindsight, if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. Every single day over the last four years turned out to be an adventure on its own. I’ve had some good days, I’ve had some bad days…but I’ve never had a single boring day in Vietnam.

Author: Dominic Fourie.

Dominic also added a lot of photos which I will be adding to my website soon.

Join the Hanoi Massive Community on Facebook to find out more.

For further information about Teaching in Vietnam please visit my site. www.vietnamesl.com 


Vietnamese Caf’e | strong as Superman

This is a picture of Caf’e sua da. Iced coffee with condensed milk and a kick that will wake you up instantly.

Vietnamese Coffee.

Vietnamese coffee is arguably some of the best in the world. And it has saved me time and time again in the classroom.

But let’s talk about Vietnamese coffee and the culture of coffee in Vietnam first.

If you think the major chains are producing good coffee you have a fantastic experience waiting for you.

Vietnamese coffee is strong. It is mainly made with Robusta and sometimes Arabica beans. It has a very high caffeine level with 200-300 grams per serve being normal. It will have you up and running in no time.

This coffee is as strong as Superman and can be bitter to those unaccustomed to the taste. Most Vietnamese put sugar in their coffee. Milk does not go in coffee in Vietnam. Condensed milk is the “go-to’ if you want white coffee. It also makes it sweeter.

There are three main types of coffee you can buy in the coffee shops. Caf’e Den ( Black Coffee), Caf’e Sua Da (Coffee with condensed milk and ice), and Caf’e Da ( Black coffee with ice). Try them all in one sitting and you won’t need your motorbike to get home. You can fly home.

Coffee shops in Vietnam are like the bars of the USA or Australia. You will never be far from a coffee shop in Vietnam. From the smallest village to the biggest city. Coffee shops, from the luxurious to street coffee stalls, are everywhere to be found.

The Southern Highlands.

Most of the Coffee plantations are located in the highlands of Vietnam. Places like Dalat and Pleiku.

I spent 9 months teaching the wonderful children and teenagers in Pleiku. Pleiku is an interesting city with a lot of Russian architecture. They helped Vietnam rebuild after the war. It is a very quiet city where most shops and businesses are closed by 9 pm.

If you come to Vietnam, I would recommend getting out of the major cities and exploring some of the less-traveled areas.

We went on a field trip in Pleiku and I could smell the coffee as we drove past the plantations.It was total sensory overload. Even on a bus with 50 sweaty students and teachers, I could still smell the amazing aromas.

What did the teachers drink for lunch, beer? Damn. Pleiku and Dalat are a lot hillier than the coastal cities. They are also cooler with fresh breezes that invigorate the soul. A perfect environment for growing and harvesting excellent coffee beans.

Coffee and the Classroom.

Coffee may be the second favorite drink of ESL Teachers in Vietnam. But it is the one allowed in the classroom. Coffee in the classroom is enjoyed by both the Teachers and the students.

OMG, I first thought when I entered a classroom and the kids, 8 and 9-year-olds, were knocking back coffee and Red Bull.

Just what you need when you have had a big night and the students are bouncing off the walls. “What are you drinking”, It’s ok teacher, it’s not beer.

How to make a Vietnamese Coffee.

I am going to talk about making a Caf’e sua da. Because with everything else you just leave out some ingredients.

You will need,

Course ground coffee. Trung Nguyen is a popular and trustworthy brand found in most supermarkets and shops.

A Phin. A small metal drip filter system. It takes a few minutes to prepare, so be patient. The phin comes in 4 parts. A larger circular “tray” fits over your glass. Then the main “bowl” where you put a teaspoon or two ( I like it strong) in the bottom of the bowl. Slowly pour a little boiling water over this. Then add the 2nd circular “tray” that comes with a handle, on top of this. Add more coffee, 2 more teaspoons, to the 2nd tray.  Yahoo. Then put the lid on the top. And wait.

Condensed milk. Yes condensed not the normal milk. Vietnamese coffee is bitter. let’s sweeten it up.

Ice. Or Da in Vietnamese. It is hot here. let us get our hit and stay cool at the same time.

Boiling water. Come on, you know how to do that.


Get a long tall glass, I like it fancy. Fill up with about 10 mills of condensed milk. Different regions of Vietnam use different amounts. I was in Tra Vinh, in the South, and they use a lot.

Next, boil the water.  While the water is boiling, or do it before, ( I am not the coffee police) put your coarse ground coffee in the Phin. Hang in there, I told you where.

Pour the boiling water on the top. The Phin should be on top of the glass with the condensed milk. If not, you got some cleaning to do.

Now, wait……   Wake up, it’s ready.

Now, add the ice. Not big chunky bits. beat it down a bit. Most Vietnamese have a small cloth bag they can break up their ice in. Civilization.


For caf’e den, no ice or condensed milk. For Caf’e Sua Den, no condensed milk.

Now you are an expert. Practice, refine to your taste, wear a Vietnamese hat, and freak out your neighbors.

If you want to try this at home, you will need these. To find out more about Vietnam visit my site.

Any or all links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through those links I will make a small commission on them.

There will be no extra cost to you and at times due to my affiliation, you could actually save money.

You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.