Saigon is my favorite city in the world. Why? Let me share:
- First of all, life is simpler. I live in a hotel while in Saigon, which simplifies life. I cannot accrue and buy more stuff, because there’s literally no space to put it. No desire to buy a new car (it’s easier to taxi and ride Uber/Grab here), and no American fantasy dream of buying a house to distract me (I would prefer living in a hotel over owning a home, because of the complication associated with maintaining a home).
- I like how I can interact with so many people here on a daily level. For example when I wake up, and go walk to the park, I already wave and say hello to 5 hotel staff (all super friendly). I go walk around the park, smile at the beautiful verdant green trees and say hello to the other guys working out at the park. I enjoy my morning workouts, and also having small talk with the guys in the park in either Vietnamese or English.
- I love the youth culture here: Most of the young people are highly motivated, optimistic and positive! The youth culture in America is a bit weird; young people try too hard to be cool, look cool, or act cool. Here the young kids hustle hard, they all have part time jobs while studying at university, and many have big dreams to either live, study, or work abroad. So much more ambition here in the youth, and they’re open, friendly, smile a lot, and not pretentious.
- Cost of living is far cheaper, and the quality of life is better! After some basic economic calculations, my standard of living in Saigon is at least 4x more than that of America. The average college kid who studies banking might make a good salary of $500 USD a month, whereas an American kid might get around $2000-3000 USD a month. The biggest benefit for me is that I don’t stress about finances. I can eat anything I want, go anywhere I want, drink as much coffee as I want, which is good, because I am less distracted about money; I have more focus to create (write, philosiphize, make videos, write poetry, etc). I’ve discovered that happiness for me is the joy of creation; the more I create, the happier and more joyful I am! Philosophically I’ve made the greatest breakthroughs and innovations while living in Vietnam for about a total of a year.
- Saigon has a great culture. The people are open minded, there’s lots of new things being built (optimism in the economy), phenomenal food, super friendly people, and good weather (not too hot and little pollution!)
- WiFi is insanely fast: Helps me create faster with less lag and buffering time. I can think as fast as I can use the internet! I can upload a 1gb video to YouTube in 5 minutes at any public coffee shop or Cafe. I feel like with the internet here, I have no limits or throttle!
- Quite clean, easy to walk around, and the Saigon Center mall is super fun to hangout at. Kichi Kichi all tôi can eat rotating hotpot bbq, Japanese pastry Cafe and tea house, amazing dimsum and duck (Crystal Jade Kitchen), and Kubara (Japanese hotpot motsunabe).
- Super epic coffee shops: The Coffee House Signature, Maison Marou Chocolatier, VCR (Vietnamese Coffee Republic), 96B Coffee Shop Concept store. Super friendly staff, great coffee, and once again; insanely fast wifi.
- Public and communal culture: People here aren’t lonely. You’re always with friends, family and others. Thus people are less depressed and lonely. Compare this to Americans who watch Netflix alone at home, and just feel lonely. I do believe in individualism, but I think it must also be balanced out with collectivism and communalism.
- Unlimited range of experiences: You can go to super high end restaurants and shops or more traditional and local places. It’s pretty common for me to see Rolls Royce and Bently cars here, and other high end stuff. Ain’t not just rice patty hats here.
- Massages: We would get massages at least once or twice a week at Golden Lotus Spa here in Saigon (and got the 10 pack membership). I’ve read a study that getting vigorous massage increases “mitochondrial biogenesis” (increased generation of mitochondria in your body, which produces energy). In other words, massages give me more power! And here a 90 minute massage is only around $12 USD, which actually makes this affordable for me and Cindy!
- Currenly en route to Singapore for my workshop and Cindy’s conference at the national university of Singapore. I’m wondering and planning with Cindy; when are we coming back again?
Lumix LX 100 photos processed with iPad and vsco app: