[aiesec ftu hcm] intern guide

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

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Page 1: [aiesec ftu hcm] intern guide


This file is created with the aim to provide interns a better preparation for their internships in Vietnam,

especially in AIESEC FTU HCMC.

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


Page 2: [aiesec ftu hcm] intern guide

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


Welcome message …………………………………………………………………………………………….2

Both sides/responsibilities…………………………………………………………………………………….3

Vietnam – the hidden charm…………………………………………………………………………………4

Celebrations in Vietnam………………………………………………………………………………….6

Ho Chi Minh city (or SaiGon)…………………………………………………………………………………9

General view and Sai Gon weather…………………………………………………………………..9

Destinations in Ho Chi Minh City …………………………………………………………………….10

Accommodation …………………………………………………………………………………………………14

Transportation …………………………………………………………………………………………………..16

By Plane and by Motorbike taxi…………………………………………………………………………16

By bus …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..17

By taxi and by Rented Motorbike………………………………………………………………………18

By Cyclo ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..19

Food and Drink ………………………………………………………………………………………………….20

Traditional food ……………………………………………………………………………………………..20

Restaurant …………………………………………………………………………………………………….25

Medical Information ……………………………………………………………………………………………27

Currency and Bank …………………………………………………………………………………………….29

Visa to Vietnam ………………………………………………………………………………………………….31

DO and DON’T …………………………………………………………………………………………………..32

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

AIESEC in Foreign Trade University

Ho Chi Minh City

In September 2008, AIESEC in Foreign Trade University Ho Chi Minh City

(or you can call AIESEC FTU HCMC) was established and became the first stable

university-based branch of AIESEC in Vietnam. For more information about our LC, you

can go to our LC’s website. To get to know more about our LC member, you can go to

AIESEC Zone – the internal forum of AIESEC in FTU HCMC

AIESE in FTU HCMC is very new and exciting. Our members are motivated and

eager to learn. We always try out best to help you here and we hope that you will have

an amazing experience and wonderful internship.

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


First of all, congratulation for being matched with AIESEC in Vietnam in general

and AIESEC in Foreign Trade University (FTU) in Ho Chi Minh city (HCM) in particular!!!

We welcome you with open arms and look forward to both learning from you

and helping you to understand more about yourself! AIESEC in Vietnam is a new

AIESEC country full of challenges and opportunities. We cannot wait to share it with


The purpose of this Guide is to help you in preparing yourself to come to this

beautiful country. However, the information in this Guide might not be complete.

Therefore, we recommend you to read up as much as possible about Vietnam through

guidebooks for tourists, websites, or information from Vietnam embassy before coming.

If you need any extra information, please feel free to contact us (we provide

information of all Intern Supporting team’s member in the last page of this Guidebook).

Every culture in this Earth differs in a way that we might never imagine. Prepare

yourself for the new challenge ahead. Open up your mind for any possibilities that you

might encounter during your internship!

We do hope that you will enjoy your whole duration in Vietnam!

We are looking forward to working with you soon.

Best regards,

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

Both sides’ responsibilities

Your responsibilities

as an intern

Facilitate the cultural exchange

and discuss your problems with

AIESEC members

Do your job with the best

attitude and to the best of your


Complete expectation setting

with us so we both can ensure

we are meeting with each

other’s expectations

Fill in the measurements survey

and give us your feedback

Help us help you this is only

possible if you communicate

with us about any problems,

concerns and expectations.

Many things may not be obvious

to us and we need you to tell

us. Ask us lots of questions!!!!

Never miss a party because this

is when you get interacts with

members and interns in LC and

many other interesting people.

Be well prepared before you

come to Vietnam

Our responsibilities as


Pick you up at the point of

arrival ( if you arrive here from

6 am to 9pm)

Help you with arranging


Help you with all the regular

daily functions (shopping, taking

the bus, getting a bank account,

how to use the telephones, how

to order food, etc.)

Take you to the organization on

the first day of your internship

Be there to answer questions

and provide support whenever

we can

Help you get integrated into the


Provide activities that can teach

you about the Vietnamese

culture and lifestyle

Provide you with names and a

telephone list of the AIESEC

members in your LC as well as

information about upcoming

events or activities

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

Vietnam (or Viet Nam) – The hidden charm


Vietnam is located on the eastern Indochina. It covers a total area of approximately

331,688 km2 in area, excluding the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa islands. The combined length of

the country's land boundaries is 4,639 km, and its coastline is 3,444 km long. Vietnam's land is

mostly hilly and densely forested, with level land covering no more than 20%. Mountains

account for 40% of the country's land area, and tropical forests cover around 42%.

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

Weather Because of differences in latitude and the

marked variety in topographical relief, the

Vietnamese climate tends to vary considerably from

place to place.

During the winter or dry season, extending

roughly from November to April, the monsoon winds

usually blow from the northeast along the China

coast and across the Gulf of Tonkin, picking up

considerable moisture. Consequently, the winter

season in most parts of the country is dry only by

comparison with the rainy or summer season.

The average annual temperature is generally higher in the plains than in the mountains,

and higher in the south than in the north. Temperatures vary less in the southern plains,

ranging between 21 and 28 °C over the course of a year. Seasonal variations in the mountains

and plateaus and in the north are much more dramatic.

Vietnamese Culture and Customs Vietnam has a very rich culture that has been shaped by many different civilizations

throughout history such as Chinese civilization. Through many long struggles, the Vietnamese

have created their unique culture.

The Vietnamese have many customs. They have a

great respect for their families and ancestors. Children obey

their parents, and wives obey their husbands. Many people

practice ancestor worship. They have shrines in their homes

where they burn incense for their deceased family members.

They believe that they must treat their ancestors well, or bad

things could happen.

Confucianism introduced a strict moral code,

formality, harmony with nature, and established a social

order centered around society, family, and male dominance.

Buddhism stresses self-improvement, and greatly influences

Vietnamese life. The French colonists brought industrialization,

the idea of individual importance and the equality of men and women.

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

Celebrations Certain celebrations are big parts of Vietnamese life. On holidays everybody dresses up

in their bet clothes to enjoy the festivities. There are parades (in some areas) and entire

villages can be decorated or special celebrations. Each holiday holds a special place in the lives

of the Vietnamese people.

The most important and most widely celebrated

holiday in Vietnam is Tet, the lunar New Year. Tet is

celebrated, usually in late January to mid-February. Tet

originally began as a festival before spring planting to pray

for a good year. People, from all over the country and of

all religions, travel with gifts to their hometown to bring in

the New Year. They decorate their homes and the graves

of ancestors with flowering branches and red and gold

paper. There is one belief that still exists: the status of a

family’s first visitor is believed to determine the luck of that

family for next year. Vietnamese people think that the

spirits of their ancestors return on Tet, so they pay

deceased friends and family members special respect during that time. Tet is a time for them to

enjoy life, review the past and plan for the future.

One of the most traditional special

foods for Tet of Vietnamese is Banh Chung

(Bánh Chưng) or foreigners can understand it

as sticky rice cake. Banh Chung is made of

sticky rice, pork meat and green bean, every

ingredient is wrapper inside a special leaf

which calls “Dong” in the North or a banana

leaf in the South. Banh Chung is a must among

other foods to be placed on the ancestors’

altars during Tet holiday. In the old time, one

or two days before Tet, every family prepares

and cooks Banh Chung around the warm fire. It is also the time for parents to tell their children

folklore stories. Nowadays, families which live in villages still maintain making Banh Chung

befreo New Year but the people in the city does not. They prefer to go to the shop and buy it.

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

In Vietnam, the Mid-Autumn Festival is

one of the most popular family holidays. It is held

on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month and parents

would use the Mid-Autumn festival as an opportunity

to show their love and appreciation for their


Appropriately, the Mid-Autumn Festival is

also called the Children’s Festival. Activities are often

centered around children and education. Parents

buy lanterns for their children so that they can

participate in a candlelit lantern procession at dawn.

Vietnamese markets sell a variety of lanterns, but

the most popular children’s lantern is the star

lantern. Other children’s activities include arts and

crafts in which children make face masks and lanterns.

Children also perform traditional Vietnamese dances for

adults and participate in contests for prizes and

scholarships. Unicorn dancers are also very popular in

Mid-Autumn festivities.

Like the Chinese, Vietnamese parents tell their

children fairy tales and serve moon-cakes and other

special treats under the silvery moon. A favorite folklore

is about a carp that wanted to become a dragon. The

carp worked and worked and eventually transformed

itself into a dragon. Parents use this story to encourage

their children to work hard so that they can become

whatever they want to be.

There’s also a story about how the Moon Lady

ascended to the moon. A man named Chú Cuội found a

lucky tree that had special healing powers. Because this tree was sacred, people were forbidden

to urinate at the foot of this tree. Unfortunately, Chú Cuội’s wife, Chị Hằng forgot the rule and

urinated on the tree. On day, while she was sitting on the tree’s branch, the tree started to

grow and grow. Eventually, it reached the moon. Since then, Chi Hằng lived on the moon for

the rest of her life as a punishment for desecrating the sacred tree.

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

Christmas in Vietnam is a huge event, especially in big cities such as Ho Chi Minh or Ha Noi and the Vietnamese Christmas celebrations here are like any other city in the western world. The Christians in Vietnam attend a Midnight mass on Christmas Eve and return home to a sumptuous Christmas dinner. The Christmas dinner usually consists of chicken soup while wealthier people eat turkey and Christmas pudding.

On Christmas Eve, Vietnamese people in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, especially young people, like to go into the city centre, where there is a Catholic Cathedral. The streets are crowded with people on Christmas Eve and in the city centre cars are not allowed for the night.

People celebrate by throwing confetti, taking pictures and enjoying the Christmas decorations and lights of big hotels and department stores. Lots of cafes and restaurants are open for people to enjoy a snack!

Vietnam used to be part of the French Empire and there are still French influences in the Christmas traditions. In some areas of Ho Chi Minh City, usually in Catholic parishes, people have big crib scenes in front of their houses and decorate the whole street, turning it into a Christmas area! These are popular for people to visit and look at the scenes.

The Hung King temple is located on the Nghia Linh Mountain, Hy Lang commune, Phong Chau district, Phu Tho province, 85 kilometers northwest of Hanoi. Every year, a national festival called Hung King temple Festival is held to worship the Hung Kings, who were instrumental in the founding of the nation.

The Hung King temple Festival is one of the most important and sacred festivals of the Vietnamese people, deeply embedded in the minds of every Vietnamese citizen, regardless of where they originate from. Hung Temple Festival not only attracts visitors from all over the country because of its special traditional cultural activities, but it is also a sacred trip back in time to the origins of the Vietnamese nation. People usually show their love and pride of their homeland and ancestral land.

From 2007, the 10th of lunar March becomes a national holiday to match with the significance of this festival in Vietnamese people’s minds.

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

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon,

situated in the southern part of Vietnam, is

still called Saigon by most of the natives.

This modern city used to be considered as

the Pearl of the Orient by the French.

The wide Saigon River, which takes a

huge turn from the east of Saigon, links the

city with the sea. Unlike Hanoi, the capital of

Vietnam, Saigon - Ho Chi Minh City may lack

charm and elegance, but the city with its

essential French colonial character has

enough to draw your attention. The city's

colonial villas, wide avenues and a lively

cafe society remind you the days of French


Over the last 10 years, Saigon - Ho

Chi Minh City has experienced a spectacular change in its cityscape. The once low-rise

landscape of the city's central area, District 1, is now marked with shining skyscrapers including

high-rise apartments, international hotels and companies. This bustling, vibrant, industrial hub

of the nation is the biggest city of Vietnam as well. Saigon is also the cultural center and

economic capital of the country.

Sai Gon Weather

Located on the southeastern part of Vietnam, on the right bank of River Saigon, Ho Chi Minh

City or Saigon has a tropical climate. There are mainly two seasons in this city:

The rainy season starts from May and lasts

till late November. Downpour becomes heavy from

June to August. However the showers are usually

sudden and stay for a brief period. So even during

the rainy season reappearance of Sun occurs fairly


From December to April, this particular time

period is considered as the dry season. The average

temperature during the dry season stays around 28

degree Celsius. April is the hottest month of the city and December is the coolest one. However

in general the climate of the city is hot and humid.

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

Destinations in Ho Chi Minh

Saigon - Ho Chi Minh City, the industrial hub of Vietnam, has huge resources to draw your

attention. This dynamic city being the cultural trendsetter constitutes the core of Vietnam. It is

also the biggest city of the nation and considered as the economic capital of the country. The

Ho Chi Minh City - Saigon features French colonial architecture mingled with Chinese influences.

Reunification Palace (135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia

St, Dist1). The once residence of the Governor

Generals of Indochina, the Reunification Palace in

the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, has a spacious

complex with 100 rooms and total area exceeding

2,000 square meter. Its finest decorations and the

rich collection of contemporary Vietnamese art and

craft, make it one of the most popular tourist

destinations in the city.

Notre Dame Cathedral: The famous church,

which was constructed during 1877 and 1833 by

the French, serves as the nation's Catholic

center. The history of the church says that the

materials used in its construction were imported

from France- Notre Dame with Virgin Maria. The

Archbishop of the Ho Chi Minh City is posted

here. Catholic followers of the city attend the

services offered in the morning and in the

afternoon. The New Year and Christmas

celebrations of the Notre Dame Cathedral draw a

huge crowd.

Central Post Office (2 Cong xa Paris

St, Dist 1). Located in the heart of the city, the

Central Post Office has been a prominent

feature of Ho Chi Minh city. This grand old

edifice was constructed between 1886 and 1891

by Gustave Eiffel. The architectural design of

this Central Post Office represents the French

colonial style. It is no doubt the biggest post

office in Vietnam and is an important

commercial center of Ho Chi Minh city.

This classic colonial structure stands right next to the Notre Dame Cathedral, at the

famous Paris Commune Square in Ho Chi Minh city

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

The Ho Chi Minh municipal Theater (7 Lam Son Square, Dist 1): This is an opera house

in Ho Chi Minh City which is an example of French Colonial architecture in Vietnam. Built in

1897 by a French architect Ferret Eugenen, the 800 seat building was use as the home of the

Lower House assembly of South Vietnam after 1956. It was not until 1975 that it was again

used as a theater, and restored in 1995.

The Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden (2B Nguyen Binh Khiem St, Dist 1) As

one of the oldest zoo in the world, the

Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden is famous

not only with Vietnamese but also with

foreigners visitors. It is the home for many

rare orchids, ornamental plants, and over

hundred species of mammals, reptiles and

birds Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden is a

cultural place of Ho Chi Minh city. It was

ranked eight among the oldest zoo in the

world. Up to now, it is 133 years old.

The Historical Museum (inside Botanical Garden) This museum has a rich

collection of data and objects belonging to some

ancient civilizations in the Mekong Delta. The

Botanical garden remains open to the visitors

daily. However in order to collect the essential

study materials for research work, from the

huge library of the museum, researchers need to

have special permits from the museum

authority. The live puppet show held in the

museum complex is a major source enjoyment

to the tourists visiting the Historical Museum

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

The War Remnants Museum (28

Vo Van Tan St, Dist 3). The weapons and

information on the recent wars of Vietnam are

kept in this museum. The museum displays

the war crimes, which affected the

Vietnamese. The models preserved in the

museum can give you an idea of the most

dreadful prisons and the most deadly weapons

used by foreign forces in Vietnam. It also

features a guillotine used during wartime.

Giac Lam Pagoda ( 118 Lac Long Quan St, Tan Binh Dist). Erected long back in 1744

with the fund raised by Ly Thuy Long, a native of

Minh Huong village, this is the city's oldest Buddhist

pagoda. The interior of this famous pagoda is

adorned with a rich collection of statues of old

Buddha and Arhat. Ancient furnishings and

decorations inside this pagoda are enough to charm

the visitors.

Thien Hau Temple (710 Nguyen Trai St, Dist

5). According to the Chinese folk, this site is devoted

to the Sea goddess bas. Other gods like Money God,

Mother Goddess and Mermaid are also worshipped in

this ancient Chinese temple. To offer prayer for good

health and business you have to buy an incense coil.

It is a common belief that offering money to the

Money God brings good luck in business.

Thien Hau Temple Giac Lam Pagoda

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

China Town - Cho Lon: It is a densely populated town with almost 5 million Chinese.

The Chinese, uprooted from the Ming Dynasty, established the China town in the 18th century.

Filled with markets, restaurants, pagodas, shops and family factories, it is one of the most

crowded places in the Ho Chi Minh City.

Dam Sen Park offers a wide range of exciting activities to choose from. The interesting

features of the park include a bird garden, a water park and a sports center. You can also opt

for fishing in a particular lake within the park, which resembles the West Lake in Hanoi. The

puppet show is very popular among tourists visiting the park. The restaurants in the Dam Sen

Park serve you with wide variety of delicious dishes. The Thuy Ta floating restaurant attracts

huge crowd. No doubt the Dam Sen Park is the right place for group entertainment in Saigon -

Ho Chi Minh City.

The address of this park is mentioned below: 03 Hoa Binh St, Dist 11.

The city is also an excellent starting point for excursions to southern destinations

including the Mekong Delta, the Cu Chi Tunnels, the Can Gio Eco beach resort and Vung Tau


The Can Gio Eco beach resort Mekong Delta

Dam Sem Water Park Vung Tau city

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

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

in Vietnam

1. Homestay

You will live with a Vietnamese family or a Vietnamese student in a private room or a

shared room. It is interesting and convenient since you can use the host’s facilities and

you can understand more about Vietnam culture. However, the host and you may have

some agreements (if any) with each other during your stay. Also, some may not ask for

your financial support, but it is advised to share with the host family electrical and water

bill. It will cost you around 150.000 – 200.000 VND per month (from 7.5 USD to

10 USD). You and the host may discuss about these with each other.

In addition, if you are hosted by a Vietnamese student, you might share bed with them

or you can buy a mattress to be more convenient.

In some hosts, there are some regulations that you must know before starting living


Development Trainees often prefer this kind of accommodation

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

2. Hostel

There are many hostels in backpacker’s street. If you choose this kind of

accommodation, you will share a room with other foreigners that you do not

know them and you must take care all of your properties by yourself. However,

you are very free because they do not have special regulation like closing time.

Price: 7 USD – 10USD/ night (including electricity, water and wifi. About

laundry, some hostels do not cover, some if you stay there longer than 4 – 5

days, you do not need to purchase)

3. Rental room

You will live in a room with full furniture. They have bed, wardrobe, television,

air- condition and a toilette in the room. Price is from 250USD – 300 USD per

month, including electricity, water and wireless. Some guest house owners cover

laundry cost but some are not. You are quite free because the owner will give

you a key so that you can feel free to come home late. However, you must

prepare a deposit which is equal to one-month rental fee to give the owner.

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


By Plane

Tan Son Nhat, located in ward 4, Tan Binh district, is Vietnam's largest

international airport. The airport is conveniently located about 8 km north of the center.

From the airport, you can fly directly to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Vientiane, Pakse,

Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bandar Seri Begawan, Manila, Hong Kong,

Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, Nanning, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai,

Kunming, Busan, Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Nagoya, Doha, Frankfurt, London-Gatwick,

Paris, Moscow, Perth, Darwin, Sydney, Melbourne, Yangon and Istanbul. Information

about flights is updated every day is on http://www.tsnairport.com/cms/en/filight-info.

There are two terminals: the shining, very pleasant new international terminal,

which took over all international flights in 2007, and the old but functional domestic

terminal 200 m away. Duty free items that you want must be purchased at your

departing airport if you are coming into Vietnam. Both terminals have limited food

offerings at double prices once you get past immigration on your outbound journey. To

exchange money, there is a very inconspicuous ATM on the right and the withdrawal

fee is 20,000 dong.


The “xe ôm” (literally 'hugging vehicle') is a common mode of transport for

Vietnamese as well as tourists. They are widely available and reasonably cheap -- about

10,000 dong for a 10 minute trip, which should get you anywhere within the city center.

Walk the city streets, and every couple of minutes a guy will flag your attention and say

"You !! Motorbike ?" Longer trips to outlying areas can be negotiated for 20,000-25,000

dong. Always agree on the fare before starting your trip. As with most things, a tourist

will often be quoted an above-market price initially, and you need to be firm.

Occasionally drivers will demand more than the negotiated price at the end, so it's best

to have exact change handy. Then you can pay

the agreed amount and walk away, end of


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


For travelling around in the city: Using the

bus for travelling is the cheapest way that you

are almost safe from complex traffic condition in

Vietnam. One ticket only costs 4000 VND per

person plus a 4,000 dong fee for bags. Try to

have exact change because bills with big face

value may not be accepted. You can get a

discount if you buy a set of 60 tickets for one-

month use in advance. Generally, buses in Ho

Chi Minh city are low qualified and crowded at

peak hours (6:30 am-8:30 am, 11:00 am-

1:00pm, 5:00pm-6:00 pm). Most of buses work

from 5:30 am to 7:30pm every day. There are

various bus stops on the way. The signage

indication a bus stop is blue and on the sidewalk.

You can go by bus from the airport to the

city center with buses numbered 152. It will drop

you off at the bus terminal on the south side of

the Ben Thanh Market roundabout. For the bus

map of HCM city, please visit:


Taking a bus is just a little complicated at

your first try. Remember these guidelines and

from the second time, you will find it no more difficult


Search for the location and bus

number from bus map in


Standing at the bus top is not

enough, hail the bus like you

would hail a taxi (wave your


Get on the bus quickly, it may

not stop for you. When it drives

slowly and the door opens,

simply jump on and hold on


Sit down and the conductor will

approach you. Give him the

money or tear one ticket you

have in half and give him one.

For both cases, you’ll get a

receipt, hold on to it as

sometimes inspectors check the


Keep an eye on your property.

Bus thieves need to be aware


Getting off is like getting on.

Before your stop comes, get up,

walk to the door … and get out.

The conductor will warn you.

When all motorcyclists have

passed away, you can get off

but still keep an eye out for

those motorcyclists

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


Taxis are much more expensive than bus and certainly much more high-

qualified. Travelling by taxi costs you about 12000-20000 VND per kilometer. You may

want to use them when you first arrives or leaves here with big and heavy luggage or

get lost anywhere in HCM city. Here are telephone numbers of some famous and most

reliable taxi company:

Be cautious of taxis which resemble the above mentioned reputable companies

with minor differences in the names (e.g. VinasOn or VinasuM instead of VinaSUN, MEi

Linh or Mai Lin or M Taxi instead of Mai Linh). To the unsuspecting visitor, they will

charge outrageous fares. Drivers generally speak limited English and do not speak any

other foreign languages, so it's wise to write the name and address of your destination,

preferably in Vietnamese, to show the taxi driver.


It’s the best way to experience the busy lives of locals but it can be extremely

dangerous for those who are not confident in their driving skills and traffic regulations.

You can find some motorbike rentals in every districts in HCMC at the price of around

100000VND/day/1 motorbike. Following are some places to hire motorbike:

Hai Au +84 8 224 724 25 Hai Ba Trung

St., Ben Nghe

ward, District 1

Fimexco +84 8 230 611 71C Dong Khoi

St., District 1

Tran Bao Tran +84 8.994.217 72C Bach Dang

Mai Linh +84 8 38 298 888

Vinasun +84 8 38 27 27 27

SaigonTourist Taxi +84 8 38 46 46 46

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

St., Binh Thanh


However, you must give them your original passport as well as paying the rental

fee. Therefore, if you want to have a rented motorbike, please contact Intern

Supporting team and we can support you without leaving your passport there.


If you are looking for pure fun while

moving around Ho Chi Minh city or Sai Gon,

you can opt for cyclo or Cyclos are pedicabs

and pronounced as “ see-klos” by the locals.

It is like a rickshaw but the driver instead of

sitting in front of occupies the back seat.

Therefore, you can gt the feelings of

pedaling through the waves of traffic. Cyclos

can take one passenger at a time. In spite of

being uncomfortable and slow, cyclos are

popular for their openness.

While getting around Ho Chi Minh

City, you can at once experience the pulse of

this vibrant city. Considering the increasing number of vehicles on city roads, which is

includes lawless cars, motorbikes, buses, bicycles and cyclos, the city authority, is

gradually banning cyclos on busy urban streets.

Usually cyclos cost around 2 USD per hour. However, near the tourist attraction

in Ho Chi Minh city, they charge higher rate but you can bargain to make the price

down . While moving around the city

in cyclos, be very careful about your

belongings like bags, cameras and

necklaces, as thieves passing by bikes

can snatch them anytime.

Above are some means of transportation

in the city. If you want to travel to

another province, you can choose plane,

bus or train. For bus, please go with

another Vietnamese because the sellers

cannot speak English.

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

Food and drink

Vietnam’s street food is some of the best in the world. The options are endless and the

dishes timeless. Even simply simplest fruit dish or baguette has a twist in this country. And, of

course, being the center of Vietnam’s economic and cultural activity, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

is the best city in the country to try street food.

PHO is the closest thing Vietnam has to a national dish, originally from Hanoi; this

brothy and hearty noodle soup is now popular national wide. Pho is mostly a breakfast dish, but

stalls, some quite crowded, can be found at any time of day.

Addresses: Pho 24h: 119 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai , District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

o Pho Hoa: 260C Pasteur, Ward 8, District 3

o Pho 2000: 01 – 03 Phan Chu Trinh, District 1

o Phở Hùng 1: Số 10 Nguyễn Thị Nghĩa, Bến Thành Ward, District 1.

o Phở Hùng 2: Số 928 Trần Hưng Đạo Ward 7, District 5

o Pho 5 stars: 304 Trường Chinh, Ward 13, Tân Bình District

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


Banh xeo are Vietnamese crepe-type pancakes made out of rice flour and coconut milk

(optional), and are pan-fried and stuffed with slivers of fatty pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts.

Served wrapped with lettuce leaves and stuffed with mint (optional) and other herbs, and

dipped in fish sauce.

Here are addresses of some famous pancake restaurant in Ho Chi Minh city

Banh xeo an la ghien

1. 100A Cao Thang street, District 3

2. 778 – 780 Dien Bien Phu street, District


3. 74 Suong Nguyet Anh street, District 1



Banh xeo Dinh Cong Trang

46A Dinh Cong Trang, district 1

Price: 40.000 VND – 60.000 VND

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

BANH BEO Banh beo ( literally “ water fern cake”) is a variety of smalls steamed rice cake or rice pancake

in Vietnamese cuisine. It is white in color and typically features a dimple in the center, which is

filled with savor ingredients including chopped dried or fresh shrimp, bean paste, crispy fried

shallots, fish sauce, rice vinegar and oil.

Banh Beo Thanh Nga: 45B Ky Dong street, District 3 (opposite Ky Dong pool) Banh Beo Vy Da: 62 Ly Tu Trong street, District 1.

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

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

CHA GIO (FRIED SPRING ROLL) A popular dish in Vietnamese cuisine and usually served as an appetizer in America and in

Europe countries, where there are large Vietnamese communities. The main structure of a roll

of “cha gio” is commonly seasoned ground meat, mushrooms, and dices vegetables such as

carrots and jicama, rolled up in a sheet of moist rice paper. The roll is then deep fried until the

rice paper coat turns crispy and golden brown


Ingredients includes liver soft boiled or fired pork, shrimp, chicken, beef, fresh herbs, lettuce,

sometimes fresh garlic chives, rice vermicelli, all wrapped in moistened rice paper, served cold

with dipping sauce or hoisin sauce. The salad roll is easily distinguished from a “minced pork

roll” by the fact that it is not fried, the ingredients use are different.

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

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


BANH MI It is a Vietnamese baguette made with both wheat and rice flour, but more popularly

known as a type of sandwich traditionally made with this type of baguette. The sandwich is

make up of thinly sliced pickled carrot and daikon, cucumbers, cilantro. Chili peppers, pâté,

mayonnaise and carious meat fillings or tofu

Popular “ banh mi” fillings include roasted or grilled pork, steamed or roasted pork belly,

Vietnamese sausage chicken, head cheese and ham

Banh mi can be found everywhere, usually around the crossroad, near schools, hospitals

or crowded areas

Average price: 6,000 VND – 12,000 VND

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

It is now a city where people can enjoy dining in sophisticated restaurants with

delightful surroundings and menus that encompass not only delicious Vietnamese

food but also cuisines from around the globe, include French, Indian, Mexican,

Italian, Japanese, Thai and Chinese.


French Camargue is in a beautiful villa with a lovely garden courtyard and attracts diners with

its romantic atmosphere. The restaurant’s bar is an ideal spot for a pre-dinner cocktail or two

Address: 16 Cao Ba Quat, District 1

Cantina Central

Mexican Cantina Central is the well-known among locals, expats and regular visitors to Saigon

for the fresh authenticity of its Mexican food. It also serves the best Margaritas in town, amid

attractive, relaxing surroundings.

Address: 51 Ton That Thiep Street


Vietnamese Lemongrass is a sister restaurant of Vietnam House and is just around the corner,

in a two-storey French-style building. The place is small but it is considered by many to be one

of the best restaurants in town.

Address: 4 Nguyen Thiep St


Italian Pomodoro is famous for its pizzas and Italian espresso, though the menu also features a

good range of vegetarian, fish and meat dishes. Popular both for business lunches and for

dining out at night.

Opening Hours: 10:00 to 22:00

Address: 79 Hai Ba Trung, District 1

Temple Club

Vietnamese Housed in an old Chinese temple, with beautiful woodwork and masonry, and a

terracotta floor, the Temple Club has a bar, a lounge and a formal dining room with a menu

featuring Vietnamese food from all over the country.

Address: 29-31 Ton That Thiep St, District 1

Vietnam House

Vietnamese This popular, cozy restaurant is in a nicely redecorated colonial building and has

welcomed many world-famous people, including former US President George Herbert Bush. It

has a selection of Vietnamese and international dishes and an excellent lunch buffet.

Address: 93-95 Dong Khoi St

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


Japanese, Indian, Mexican A small restaurant with a sushi bar, Zen has an eclectic choice of

Japanese, Indian and Mexican dishes. It is also one of the best places in Saigon for tasty

vegetarian food.

Address: In Saigon Sky Garden Service Apartments at 20 Le Thanh Ton, District

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

Medical Information You will find all the medical assistance you could need in Vietnam. There are a couple

of international clinics, but it is cheaper to go to Vietnamese hospitals and they are just

as qualified. However, we cannot ensure whether they can speak Vietnamese or not

International clinics in Vietnam:

1. International SOS

167A Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 3

Phone: 08 3829 8424

Website: http://www.internationalsos.com/en/asia-pacific_vietnam.htm

2. FV hostipal

6 Nguyen Luong Bang Street, District 7

Phone: 08 3411 3333

3. Family Medical Practice

Diamond Plaza, Dist. 1 Ho Chi Minh city

Phone: 08 3822 7848

4. Victoria Healthcare International

79 Dien Bien Phu, Dist. 1 Ho Chi Minh city

Phone: 08 3910 4545

Website: http://www.victoriavn.com/index.php/lang:English/

5. Westcoast International Dental Clinic

27 Nguyen Trung Truc, Dist. 1 Ho Chi Minh city

Phone: 08 3825 7999

6. CMI – Center Medical International

1 Han Thuyen St, Dist, 1 Ho Chi Minh city

Phone: 08 3827 2366

7. Columbia Gia Dinh International Hospital

1 No Trang Long St, Binh Thanh Dist, Ho Chi Minh city

Phone: 08 3803 0678

8. Columbia Sai Gon – 24 hours Clinic

8 Alexandre de Rhodes, Dist.1 Ho Chi Minh city

Phone: 08 3823 8888

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

9. Dental Dental clinic

179 Le Van Sy, Dist. 3 Ho Chi Minh city

Phone: 08 3844 1487

10. Sai Gon Tower

29 Le Duan, Dist. 1 Ho Chi Minh city

Phone : 08 3823 5918

11. Lotus Clinic: This Clinic mainly serves Japanese

3rd floor, The Lancaster, 22 Bis Le Thanh Ton Street, district 1

Phone: 08 3827 0000

Website: www.lotus-clinic.com

In addition, you can easily find small drugstores on the road where you can buy

some popular medicine, such as: Urgo, Becberin, Salonpas, Efferagal, Multivitamin,

Nautamine, Natriclorid 0.9%, Orezol, insect gel,…Make sure you buy health insurance

which covers you for your whole stay in Vietnam. Scan and email yourself a copy of

your health booklet in case you lose it. Also bring it with you to Vietnam. Ensure that all

appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date. For further information on vaccination

requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you

should visit the websites of the National Travel Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

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

Currency and Bank You cannot ignore money when coming to Vietnam. In this country, people did

not get used to using electrical money like credit card. Cask is very popular in

Vietnamese modern life. However, in some restaurants or shopping mall in the city like

Tous Les Jours Bakery, Diamond Plaza shopping mall, etc, you can use credit card.

Because of this fact, in this part, we would like to introduce you the Vietnamese

currency so that you can prepare your mind

The exchange rate between US dollar and Vietnamese currency: 1 USD is around

20.000 VND, between Euro and Vietnamese currency: 1 Euro is around 28.000 VND (for

an exact number, please visit website of banks to update information)

Picture Nominal value

500 VND

1.000 VND

2.000 VND

5.000 VND

10.000 VND

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

20.000 VND

50.000 VND

100.000 VND

200.000 VND

500.000 VND

Some international banks in Ho Chi Minh city


Headquarter in Vietnam: Metropolitan Building, 235 Dong Khoi St., Dist. 1 Ho Chi Minh


Other branches: Etown 3 Building, 364 Cong Hoa St., Ward 13, Ho Chi Minh city

82 Le Dai Hanh St., Dist 11, Ho Chi Minh city

2. Citibank

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

3. ANZ

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

You can also find some Vietnamese banks which are very popular like

Vietcombank, ACB, etc

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

Visa to Vietnam

Vietnam is now open and welcomes all travellers and business people to

Vietnam. Thanks to the fact, getting visa to Vietnam is very easy and simple!

There are two ways of applying for Vietnam visa:

1. Through Vietnamese embassy Visit Vietnamese Embassy in your own country

to get the details on how to apply for VISA to Vietnam.

2. Applying online (Visa on arrival)

Visit www.visavietnam-online.org or www.myvietnamvisa.com to apply with four simple


of US$20/person online.

-approved letter and attach two passport-sized photo (4x6cm)

for boarding the airplane

he pre-approved

letter for checking at the “Landing Visa Counter” then pay the Visa Stamped Fee of

US$25/person for single-entry visa or US$50/person for multiple-entry visa to Vietnam (

the stamped fee can be changed base on your nationality also)

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

DO and DON’T


Greetings are no different to western countries, there are no cultural formalities that as a foreigner you would be expected to know or practice.

Vietnamese dress conservatively. Despite the heat, it’s best not to show off too much skin. If you do, especially girls, you’ll only draw stares from the locals.

Dress well when visiting pagodas. No shorts or tatty beer t-shirts. Shoes are fine, and rarely will you have to remove them. If unsure, just follow what the locals do.

Drink plenty of bottled water, especially when walking around sightseeing. No need to carry huge bottles around with you, a vendor is never far away and no doubt they will find you before you find them.

Keep your cash, credit cards, airline tickets and other valuables in a safe place. Have a copy of your passport and leave the original one at home. Only carry your real

passport with you when it’s really necessary. Always bargain. Especially when you are in famous places like Ben Thanh Market.

Tourists, especially foreigners are usually charged double or triple price.


Wear a lot of jewelry or take a bag with you. Violent crime is highly unusual in Vietnam, but petty crime is more apparent. If you have a bag, or tout a digital camera around your neck, you are a potential target.

When taking a ride by motorbike taxi (xe om) make sure your bag, if any, is not on display or easy to grab. Bag snatches, although still rare, are probably the most likely crime a tourist would encounter, and it raises the probability immensely if you are tailing a camera or a laptop in the wind.

Don’t wear singlet, shorts, skirts or dresses, or revealing clothes to temples or pagodas. Physical displays of affection between lovers in public are frowned upon. That’s why you

may come across couples holding hands but not hugging or kissing. Losing your temper in Vietnam means a loss of face. Keep a cool head and remain

polite, you’ll have a greater chance of getting what you want. Remember, this is Vietnam, a developing country, and things don’t quite work as you

are maybe used to. Don’t be paranoid about your safety, just be aware of your surroundings.

Vietnamese have quite strict thinking about people who have tattoo, smoke or club too much so be careful about this point.

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

This is the end of the Intern Guide. We do hope that it is useful for you and can

support you to have a great internship.

Beside this Guide, we also give you the right to log in in AIESEC Zone, an internal

forum of all AIESEC members in AIESEC FTU HCMC. You will have a sub-forum, called

Intern Corner and you can update more information about Vietnamese life in this


Below are personal contacts of all Intern Supporting team members in term of

alphabet. We always welcome you to our Local Committee: AIESEC in Foreign Trade


1. Nguyen Thanh Danh - VP ICX


[email protected]

Phone number: +84 902 856 997

Skype: danhnguyen.aiesec

2. Kieu Thi My Duyen

Email: [email protected]

Phone number: +84 978 214 537

Skype: duyen.kieu

3. Vo Thanh Giang


[email protected]

Phone number: +84 938 772 901

Skype: isabella.vo1

4. Nguyen Truc Huan

Email: [email protected]

Phone number: +84 909 261 110

Skype: medoly.brighton

5. Luong Thi Ngoc Thanh

Email: [email protected]

Phone number: +84 916 019 095

Skype: jenny.262

6. Le Song Anh Thu


[email protected]

Phone number: +84 1676105 952

Skype: meomeoletsgo2711

Wish you all the best!!!