Keeping in Touch in Vietnam
Internet in Vietnam
It is simple enough to get Internet access in Vietnam either through a service provider (Dial-up or ADSL) or at a post office or an Internet café (mainly found in the more touristy areas. The Vietnamese government is still wary of the effects of the free flow of information and certain topics or sites are fire-walled from time to time. In general the expat population within Vietnam remains unaffected by these restrictions although Facebook was blocked for a few days at the beginning of 2010. Skype is easy to access and use, but video Skype can overload your Internet line at times and so it is best to stick to voice chat.
Cell phones in VietnamSetting up a cellular telephone is incredibly easy in Vietnam. Vietnam uses cell phones using the SIM Card system. In order to get a SIM card all it takes is going to the local 7-11 type store and buying a SIM card for your cell phone.
Choosing the correct service provider is important as some only allow prepaid customers to make international calls whereas others will also allow you to receive international calls as well. Viettel and Mobiphone are popular and quality service providers.
It is also relatively easy to set up a cell phone account, but you may need a Vietnamese speaking colleague to assist with translation. You will need copies of your passport, visa, place of residence and place of work and a copy of your employment contract.
International diallingLocal and international phone calls and SMSs are cheap and there are a multitude of international calling cards available from street vendors which offer discounted rates depending on which country you are calling.
Post service in Vietnam
Vietnam has a trustworthy and fairly efficient postal service.
Receiving mail at your home address is relatively easy as is using your work address, just be sure that street addresses - including the obliques if you live down one of the infamous alleyways - are written legibly on the package.
In general it’s simple to stay in touch with friends and family back home and it’s cheap and trustworthy to send gifts and postcards which will ensure that you are never far from their thoughts.