Reliability of Vietnam Internet Connection
Dear GoMad Nomad,
Could I ask you what the internet is like in Vietnam?
I want to go and stay in Hoi An for a while, not as a tourist, but for a bit longer.
I plan to be a digital traveler as I have an online job teaching English.
I need a very reliable internet connection as I can’t miss my booked classes or I lose my job.
I am semi-retired and plan to wander the world where there is a good internet connection.
The quick and simple answer is that Vietnam has reliable connections to the internet. Every hotel and guesthouse that I stayed at for the one month I traveled through Vietnam had wireless internet. Connections from cafes and coffee shops are also quite common. The more tourism has been developed, the more common it is to find Wi-Fi (tourism is well established in most of the country). Furthermore, I remember the connection to be fairly reliable in most cases.
Hoi An is very touristy so there are plenty of available connections there. It’s also a quite laid back and friendly place, so you’re bound to have an enjoyable experience. Most visitors like Hoi An. Read my recommendations in Hoi An. There are plenty of other great cities for the digital nomad: Ha Noi, Hue, DaNang, Nha Trang, Vinh Long, and Saigon, just to name a few.
I don’t think any place in the world has 100% reliable internet. Even in Europe this year I found a lot frustrations with connection reliability and speed. Generally speaking most places in southeast Asia have good internet connections. I worked temporarily as a digital nomad in Chiang Mai, Thailand and in Luang Prabang, Laos. Malaysia, Singapore, and parts of Indonesia have good connections as well.
My advice would be to check around and see which connections at which cafes or guesthouses are reliable before depending on them for work. Nothing is ever 100% certain in this part of the world, and the same goes for internet access. But personally, even if my job depended on it, I would trust Vietnamese internet enough to attempt to move there.
As is true with internet in China, the government of Vietnam restricts internet freedoms. Facebook in particular is not altogether “banned” but experiences “technical difficulties”. In addition, websites critical of the Vietnamese government and international human rights organizations, among others, are censored. But these things are unlikely to affect your English teaching if all you really need is Skype.
Vietnam in general is good place to live a location independent lifestyle because of its inexpensive living costs. Read my post on what $1.25 buys you in Vietnam. Plus the food and coffee is good. (and the beer is cheap!)
Good luck on your digital nomad quest! Enjoy Vietnam!
Stephen Bugno edits the GoMad Nomad Travel Mag and blogs at BohemianTraveler.com