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Healthcare in Vietnam
Practical Advice

Healthcare in Vietnam

Vietnam’s public healthcare system only covers about 30% of the population. This means that many Vietnamese have to use private health care.

Hospitals in Vietnam

Hospital Symbol

The quality and accessibility of health services differs considerably on whether you are in the city or in rural areas. The majority of hospitals and clinics are located in the larger cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Public hospitals in Vietnam are not the nicest of places due to a general lack of funding by the government in the health sector. Doctors and nurses tend to only speak Vietnamese so communication may be difficult.

However, private hospitals in Vietnam are a completely different story. With doctors and nurses usually speaking English and the quality of the hospital being much higher. This is usually the preferred place for travelers and expats alike.


If you are in Vietnam and need to get to the hospital as quickly as possible an ambulance may not be the best idea. Ambulances can take a long time to arrive so it is recommended to try and get in a taxi and take yourself to a hospital as quickly as possible.

Changes to healthcare

Vietnam is aiming to improve its health care system to public system which covers all citizens. Following the trend of nearby Thailand, Vietnam hopes to be able to provide a public health care system in the not too distant future.

Individuals, however, will still be able to add on additional private healthcare should they wish to do so.

Ho Chi Minh City has a wide selection of different private and international hospitals on offer.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), basic health indicators are better than those of other developing countries in the region with similar per campita incomes. By 2013, there were more than 11,000 health communes, and 1,040 hospitals.

Although Vietnam’s health status has improved over the years, it has still a long way to go. Vietnam still has three problems to solve. First, more Vietnamese are diagnosed with some sort of chronic disease and increases the cost burden. Second, the big difference on quality and accessibility of health services between urban and rural continues to be a big problem. Last but not least, overcrowded hospitals. This a big issue due to long waiting lists for surgeries.

Health Issues

By taking some basic precautions, people who are traveling to Vietnam can minimize the chances of experiencing a visit to the hospital.

Drinking tap water in Vietnam is not recommendable, even having ice in the drinks at restaurants and bars. In this case it is better to buy bottled water.

Temperatures in Vietnam can soar so sunburn, sunstroke and dehydration are significant problems for new arrivals.

Common diseases are tuberculosis and malaria. It is recommended to have all basic vaccinations up-to-date.

The boy who receives vaccination

Certificate of vaccination OMS
Practical Advice

Vaccines For Vietnam – What You Need To Know

While reading this, you are probably getting ready for your internship in Vietnam and checking everything off on your to-do list. Aside from all the usual important stuff you need for going abroad- your passport, visa, medicine, and clothes, you need to think about what vaccines you might need for Vietnam. This blog is here to save you time and will be a helpful guide for you to get over this last step.

Vaccine - Get ready !
Vaccine – Get ready !

This is something you need to consider before starting your adventure in Vietnam, and while vaccines aren’t necessary, you definitely need to speak to your doctor to see what they recommend!

It is recommended that you speak to your General Practitioner at least 6 to 8 weeks before your scheduled flight to discuss any health risks or vaccinations.

It is not necessary to be vaccinated before your arrival in Vietnam, however there are some recommended vaccinations for your stay in Vietnam: Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Tetanus-Diphtheria and Measles if you do not already have them.

The boy who receives vaccination
A boy receiving vaccination


Ask Yourself

  • What’s the risk of me contracting a vaccine-preventable disease?
  • How long am I going for?
  • What will I be doing?
  • Can I be protected without a vaccine?

What Countries Say

For more information about vaccines, please check the CDC’s website or read some more information here about traveling safely to Vietnam !

Our team is looking forward to meeting you soon in Ho Chi Minh City!

Before your stay, Learn about China, Travel

Vaccines for China: What You Need to Know

So you’re getting ready for your internship in China, and checking everything off on your to-do list. Aside from all the usual important stuff you need for going abroad- your passport, visa, medicine, clothes… you need to think about what vaccines you might need for China.
This is something you need to consider before starting your adventure in China, and while vaccines aren’t necessary, you definitely need to speak to your doctor to see what they recommend.

A list of travel vaccinations

It is recommended that you speak to your General Practitioner at least 6 to 8 weeks before your scheduled flight to discuss any health risks or vaccinations.

It is not necessary to be vaccinated before your arrival in China, however there are some recommended vaccinations for your stay in China: Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Tetanus-Diphtheria and Measles if you do not already have them.

Vaccines for travelling on top of a world map

Ask Yourself

  • What’s the risk of me contracting a vaccine- preventable disease?
  • How long am I going for?
  • What will I be doing?
  • Can I be protected without a vaccine?

What Countries Say

For more information about vaccines, please check the CDC’s website, or read some information here about travelling safely and healthily in China.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you to China soon!

Zhuhai's July trip tp Hezhou


Cultural, Events in Zhuhai, Internship Experience, Things To Do in Zhuhai, Zhuhai Nightlife

Improve your balance with TAI CHI太极, Tai ji

Since my stay in Zhuhai, I’ve already seen more than one person practising Tai Chi on the streets and in the parks. Even back home in my fitness studio they offer to teach Tai Chi. The word describes two different sites (kind of black and white). “Tai Chi,” the first known written reference appeared in the Book of Changes over 3.000 years ago during the Zhou Dynasty (1100-1221 BC). There it says that “in all changes exists Tai Chi, which causes the two opposites in everything.” Concepts such as attracting, softness/rigidity, formlessness/shape – feminine concepts are associated with yin, while concepts such as substance, repulse, rigidity and the male sex are associated with yang.

InternChina - Dr. Lam teaching TaiChi methods
InternChina – Dr. Lam teaching TaiChi methods

In the last month InternChina Zhuhai was invited to a TaiChi lecture with Dr. Paul Lam, who is a world leader in the field of Tai Chi for health improvement. He held a lecture himself in Chinese and English. It was fun, as he tried afterwards to answer all his questions in both languages. Even if though he seemed to be more familiar with English, as he used to be a family physician in Sydney; he was understood by the locals.

InternChina - The audience listens to and watches Dr.Paul
InternChina – The audience listens to and watches Dr.Paul

Tai Chi itself has two different meanings. It philosophical definition means “the origin of being from which everything emerges”. For Sports it means slow exercise and the smooth flow of movement.

InternChina - The interns have a try...
InternChina – The interns have a try…

All in all it’s a kind of aerobics from ancient China. Its primary purpose is to strengthen the body forces and health. The flowing movements are intended to raise awareness, imagination and breathing, which should be integrated harmoniously in order to exert a positive effect on body functions. Thus, Tai Chi can play an important role in stress management and in the regulation of your hormones. Dr. Lam told his audience that his program is easy to learn, enjoyable and noticeably improves health.

Dr.Lam and the TaiChi group he brought over, showed us after the lecture how to focus on the interchanging use of falling, rebounding and streaming weight as a source for movement energy.

InternChina - Dr. Lam and his tai chi group
InternChina – Dr. Lam and his tai chi group

Many people wonder what distinguishes TaiChi from QiGong. I never thought there is was a huge range of differences between the two forms. TaiChi is generally more complex, while in the meantime Qi Gong is focused only on breathing. Without mentioning their differences, Tai Chi has gained more notoriety than QiGong in the Western world.

If you want to learn TaiChi then apply now and come to China!

Cultural, Things To Do in Chengdu, Things To Do in Qingdao, Things To Do in Zhuhai

Cupping therapy – a Chinese form of alternative medicine

Some of our interns at InternChina told me about their experience in cupping. Some of them told me weird things. For example, that it left them with circles on their back, which intrigued me to find out more about cupping.
First of all, for all those who want to a know how cupping is said in Chinese and would like a new word for their vocabulary list, here you go: 火罐, huǒguàn.

I did some research and found out that cupping is an alternative medicine, which originates from China. The goal for the whole process is to create a local suction on the skin of the patient. Practitioners believe, it helps with blood flow which will promote healing. It’s often used to treat the common cold, pneumonia and bronchitis.

The cupping method is famous to stimulate skin functions and the metabolism of the connective tissue. As I read on some cosmetic websites, it improves the circulation to the collagen and elastic fibres, activates cell metabolism and strengthens the immune system.

InternChina – One of our Interns experiencing cupping

The method in detail

Cupping therapy can be done on the back, neck and shoulders. And afterwards, you will be left with round red bruised skin that is slightly raised.  A partial vacuum is created under the cups by the use of heat and then placed onto the skin. In general there are two different types: dry cupping or fire cupping. I will try to explain both of them as simple and short as possible.

Dry cupping   

A low air pressure is required which can be created by heating the cup or the air inside it with an open fire or a bath of hot fragrant oil. Once the pressure is produced, it will be place against the skin. When the air inside the cups cools, it drags the skin slightly inside. In practice, cups are usually placed on softer tissues, as they can form a good seal. As the picture shows, using a lot of cups can cover a larger area.

InternChina – Cupping

Fire cupping

For fire cupping a cotton ball is soaked in alcohol and then set on fire. It is placed into a cup to heat it up and then quickly removed to place the cup onto the skin, as the cup needs to be placed on the skin as quick as possible. As a next step, fire will be added continuously inside the cup, thus removing the oxygen creating a suction.

How often should cupping been done?

Users recommend to go for cupping regularly. What exact intervals depend on the severity of the patient’s condition. But as our Office Manager has said towards new arrivals in our InternChina office, that you must try everything twice in China. But keep in mind, cupping is not advised to the abdominal or special regions of pregnant women’s. And don’t be anxious about the spots, they should disappear in 2 to 5 days. However, the more marks you get, the more toxins will be removed. Last but not least, please make sure you go to a licensed acupuncturist.

InternChina – Two of our interns after cupping

After all my inquiries, I promised myself I would try each procedure once, during my stay in China.

Would you like to join later this year or experience this method as well? Apply now for an internship or send us an email for more information!


The Importance of Tea in China

Almost every business decision starts with a cup of tea here in China. Tea is a very important part of the Chinese culture and Chinese people drink it anytime and anywhere. Every restaurant will serve tea, almost every Chinese household owes a tea set, a small one or a huge tea table. Even in business meetings, usually the businessmen and women will sit around a tea table to discuss important business topics.

Chinese tea set
InternChina – Chinese tea set

Around 90% tea output is produced by Asian countries. The origin of all the tea trees in other countries is directly or indirectly in China.

Tea Plantation in China
InternChina – Tea Plantation in China

When it is warm tea brings on an instant cool, together with relaxation as it seems that it dispels the heat. Tea is good for your health as it is a stimulant for the nerve centre and even for smokers, it helps to discharge the nicotine out of their system.

Here in China there are a lot of tea houses and gardens where people can have enjoy a good cup of tea while chatting with friends and family. A day will never pass where the Chinese won’t have at least one cup of tea.

The famous tea house in the old city of shanghai
InternChina – The famous tea house in the old city of shanghai

Chinese tea can be classified in many different ways: quality, method of preparation or place of production. Fermentation, drying, heating and adding other ingredients like flowers herb and fruits are the main processing methods. All teas are originally from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant.

Types of tea:
Green tea – is the most popular tea in China. China is the world’s largest exporter of green tea. This type of tea can help to reduce the risk of cancer and slow down the ageing process.

Red tea (Black tea) – This tea is very popular in Europe and in South Asia. This tea is good for the heart and the vessels.

Oolong tea – This tea is a speciality of Guangdong Province, where Zhuhai is located. This tea has the characteristics of green and black tea. It helps to break down protein, and supports the body in losing weight.

Post-fermented tea (Pu´er tea) – Post-fermented tea can be aged to improve the flavour. It is a valuable tea and usually compressed into different shapes. It helps to lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and reinforce the immune system.

Pu´er tea
InternChina – Pu´er tea

Scented tea – this tea is made by mixing a base tea, usually green tea, with the addition of flowers, fruits or herbs. The most popular scented tea is Jasmine tea.

If you want to try some great tea then apply now for an internship in Qingdao, Chengdu or Zhuhai. You can then visit the plantations and tea houses in your freetime.



Before your stay, Cultural

Unusual things you might not know about China…

When you think about China a lot of different things will come to mind, but there are also some things you might never expect. Cultural differences are often bigger than expected, but we are here to give you a little bit of guidance so that you are not taken completely by suprise when you experience these situations.

The first strange thing I noticed in China was that people always share their weight in public, especially women!  In China it’s normal for people to talk about their weight and ask someone about her or his weight. And of course they answer very proud and are not embarrassed or angry about the question. So, if you get asked about your weight in China, dont worry… share away!

The second funny thing I’ve observed in China is that you can tell someone that he or she is fat. Usually in Western countries no one dares to say that someone is fat. Maybe only your doctor has the right to say that you have too much weight on, but he would probably just use the term “overweight” and not “fat”. So what is the reason for people in China to tell someone that they’re fat? Mainly because if you are considered ‘fat’, then it is a sign of wealth, health and general happiness in your life. For men it is a sign of strength and if you are fat then you may be called strong!
So, again, if a Chinese person calls you fat then please don’t take offense – it’s a compliment!

Another strange thing in China is that anyone can ask anyone how much money he or she makes. When you go out with Chinese people for a coffee and talk about your job for example, the question might pop up: “how much money do you make?”. For Westerners this question is not normal, in our countries it is not usual to talk about salary and if you talk about it, usually amounts are not mentioned. But in China it is a normal question and they are always willing to answer! Another topic that is usually discussed is rent. For example, when someone has to pay more rent for their apartment, the typical conclusion will be “you are so rich.” In contrast, the average Western person will feel very uncomfortable talking about money.

A final strange thing that I’ve noticed during my stay in China is that most guys carry their girlfriend’s/wife’s handbag when out in public together. Chinese men never have a problem carrying handbags; they are really happy and proud of it! In general it is not common in Western countries for a guy to carry his girlfriend’s handbag, except maybe if it’s too big or heavy. Another peculiarity of Chinese couples: they like to wear the same clothes as their partner as a sign of affection…

Do you want to make your own experience in China? Apply for an internship directly on our website or send us your application via email