Different Different

Inspired by herdailydigest’s 15 Things U need 2 know about Vietnam, I present some differences between the Filipinos and Vietnamese way of doing things.  This is to also give my friends some insight on what’s it like living here — because they always ask me and like herdailydigest, I’ve become desensitized to the way things are done here in Vietnam.  It’s not like I have a choice anyway.

VN:  Make sure your bills are crisp.  Folds, tears, and creases can make your money void.  PH:  If you can still tape your money whole, it still has value — even if it looks like a jigsaw puzzle!

VN:  Banks take a break from 12 NN to 1 PM.
PH:  Banks are open during lunch hours as this is the only time office workers can do bank transactions.

Almost everybody takes a break during lunch here in Vietnam — well except for restaurants of course.


VN:  If you’re planning to bring home your food, you tell the restaurant, you want the food for “Take away.”
PH:  In the Philippines, we use “Take out” or “Take home”.

I remember buying at McDo in Manila when I told the cashier I want my food for “Take away.”  She looked at me as if I was a weirdo.

VN:  If it’s just a little rain, you don’t need to use an umbrella.
PH:  If you’re in the Philippines, even if it’s just ambon, you run for cover!  And for sure, umbrellas will pop open one by one.

In Vietnam, what’s a little rain when people drive in their motorbikes with only raincoats to ward off the rain and cold?

VN:  There are no 3-in-1 decaffeinated coffees sold in groceries — and hardly in local coffee shops.
PH:  There’s decaf!

VN:  Wi-fi connection is everywhere and for free!
PH:  Sadly, it’s not the case in the Philippines.  Even coffee giant Starbucks will ask you to pay for wi-fi.  Buti sana kung mabilis!

VN:  There are no city trains.  Trains in Vietnam get you from Ha Noi to Ho Chi Minh and everything in between.
PH:  There are city trains.

VN:  Public buses are managed by the government and runs from approximately 5:30 am till 8 PM.
PH:  Public buses are managed by private companies but operate almost round the clock.

VN:  Easy to get a taxi cab.  Hardly no cab will turn you away if you need one to get you from point A to point B.
PH:  You have tell the cab driver first where you’re going and he will decide if he can take you or not.

VN:  Pedestrian lanes are just suggestions.
PH:  If you cross the street without using the pedestrian lanes, you’ll die according to the MMDA!  Hehehe!

PH:  There is an abundance of U-turn slots that try the patience of drivers.
VN:  What’s a U-turn slot?

But honestly, I wish there were U-turn slots here in Vietnam.  It’s safer for vehicles and pedestrians.

Both VN and PH, sometimes use candy as “change”.  Question:  Can I collect the candies and use them all to buy something in the store?  😛

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9 Responses to Different Different

  1. danny says:

    u drive or ride a motorcycle?

  2. Kyle L. says:

    Hey Lyra, a little unrelated, but can you please tell me if there are any buses that stop directly in front of Sky Garden to and from District 1? I think there’s a bus stop for the 102 after Sky Garden but slightly before Nguyen Huu Tho Street.

    • Lyra says:

      Hi Kyle. If you want to get to D1, you take Bus 102 at KFC along Nguyen Van Linh. Bus 102 does stop at Sky Garden but that one came from D1 already and will proceed to another district. Haven’t tried that but my sis tried it once and she got lost.

  3. Kyle L. says:

    Hey thanks for the prompt reply, where does the bus coming from D1 stop exactly in front of Sky Garden – is it near the car parking entrance on Nguyen Van Linh? So in order to get back to District 1, I would have to cross the street and wait for the 102? Where does that 15,000 dong shuttle to Dong Khoi stop and where does it stop/ where do I wait for it if I’m in D1? Thanks

    • Lyra says:

      Bus 102 stops right after what used to be Fivimart. It doesn’t stop in front of Sky Garden parking entrance…. but sometimes it does — depends on the driver or if he sees the one going down is an elderly person.

      To get back to D1, you have to cross from Nathalie’s to KFC along Nguyen Van Linh. There’s a Bus Stop with a blue sign that says Bus 102.

      The Dong Khoi Shuttle starts at Garden Cafe at the side of Sky Garden. It stops along Dong Khoi right in front of Time Square Building (the one being built). It then picks up passengers at that same spot to bring to D7 again.

      Hope this helps!

  4. Kyle L. says:

    Is the Times Square Building near The Cathedral? And yes, this has definitely helped. I don’t know what Fivimart was, is that before or after the KFC? Is it easy access to climb the steps onto Sky’s walkway? Thanks again- I’m moving in at the end of this week.

  5. Lyra says:

    Time Square is a the other end of Dong Khoi nearer to the river… a few meters from Jaspas at the corner of Ngo Duc Ke St.

    Fivimart was situated at the corner of Sky Garden 1 next to the empty lot now under construction for a mall I think. Fivimart is next to PNC Bookstore. If you’re coming from D1 and you’re riding Bus 102, Fivimart will come waaaaaaaaaaaaay after KFC. You can definitely walk to the Sky’s walkway from here. There is an access road at the back that leads you to Sky Garden 1 as well so you need not walk to the steps where the parking entrance is.

  6. Kyle L. says:

    Thanks Lyra, I’ll have to ride it for myself to see. Thanks

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