Most of the apps on your phone will still be useful in Vietnam, and there is no need to download a VPN. Popular apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Uber will all work (although you can Uber a motorcycle as well as a car!) You can also use Google Translate and Maps to get around and speak to locals!
Grab is a Vietnamese Uber equivalent. Much like Uber, you can see the rate before you get in the car, and the app will also give you a driver profile so you can see who’s picking you up. Of course, you can also keep an eye on the driver’s route!
Cốc Cốc Map
This is the Google Map Vietnam equivalent. In this app, you can find your nearest restaurant, ATM or petrol station (if you ever need one.)
This super useful app will help you get around on public transport in Ho Chi Minh. With over 2,000 bus stops and 100 different bus routes, navigating public transport is made simple with this easy to use app.
Zalo is Vietnam’s answer to Whatsapp. With over 30 million users, nearly half of the country can be found on Zalo! It has group chat, video call and voice call features. You can also post to your profile and view the profiles of your contacts in order to stay up to date with your friends!
Foody is Trip Advisor and Deliveroo all in one, which gives you restaurant reviews as well as the option to order for delivery or reserve a table! This app does it all! Get 5 star reviewed food delivered to your door whenever you want – what more could you want?
Want to hop on a Grab Bike to your new favourite restaurant recommended by Foody? Apply Now!
The “Silicon Valley” of the future – “Tianfu Software Park”
As an intern at Internchina, we frequently go out for meetings in the city: introducing InternChina to companies who are looking for an intern from the West, finalising contracts with companies, visiting interns we have successfully placed and so on. It is (almost) always nice to get out of the office for an hour or so, because it is a nice change to the many hours a day we spend in there.
One of the places we quite frequently go for business meetings is the “Tianfu Software Park” in the Southern part of Chengdu. It is not far away from the so-called “Biggest building in the world”: the “New Century Building“. However, the “Tianfu Software Park” has a total of 2.2 million sq.m and hosts hundreds of IT companies: IT consultancies, game and app developers, IT designers and many more.
Chengdu’s software park is often referred to as the “Chinese silicon valley”. During my visits to China since my first time in 2006, I’ve encountered such denotations like the “Chinese Venice” (the city of Suzhou) or “the Chinese Las Vegas” (Macao) quite often. In Europe, we also have similar monikers for some places – think of the Polish capital Warsaw as the “Hong Kong of the East” due to its skyscrapers symbolizing the city’s importance as an economic hub for trade and investment from the East.
However, I think that Suzhou has little association with Venice and if the Chengdu’s software park will ever have roughly the same importance in the future as Silicon Valley has for the world now – we don’t know (A few Indians and I, I guess, have their doubts). Basically, it depends on how Chengdu and China as a whole cope with it’s main economic and social challenges ahead.
In Europe, I have the feeling that we talk too much about democracy in China (the “Chinese Democracy – there is it again) and way too less about the countries problems and (potential) instabilities. The main challenges that also pose barriers for “Chengdu’s Software Park” on its way to its goals to be the “the Chinese silicon valley”, are enormous; an aging workforce, a widening gap between rich and poor, social media challenging the ruling party, environmental degradation on a vast scale – just to mention a few.
Alas, if you want to experience living in a city that thinks it can boost it’s importance and reputation of software development sky-high; a city that is said to be THE place for software and IT that everyone in the world will know in ten years’ time; a city that smells and stinks at the same time of economic growth and aspiration – come to visit Chengdu! Now! This unique atmosphere won’t last forever.
Apply now for a real China experience, in Chengdu, Zhuhai or Qingdao.