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  • Henna Tattoos

    Getting illustrated doesn’t have to be forever.

    Since ancient times, the henna plant has been used to make a special paste to colour hair, fingernails, and skin for women (and sometimes men) as well as leather, silk and wool. Henna tattoos are temporary skin designs made using henna paste products that resemble real tattoos and then fade away. Sometimes called mehndi , henna has a brown colour and lasts for two to four weeks after applying the dye, depending on how good the paste is and on the skin condition of the recipient. A mehndi may

  • Being Asked to Leave

    It can get much worse than a pink slip.

    Whether you’re a bigwig at a multinational corporation or a fresh graduate working your first gig as an English teacher, getting the pink slip is one of the least pleasant things that can happen. This is especially true in the case of Vietnam: since the work permits are issued for a specific workplace, losing your job will also mean losing your right to legally remain in the country on a temporary residence card. It is, therefore, important to familiarise yourself with the local laws governing

  • Eligibility to Adopt

    Procedures for the adoption of Vietnamese children by foreigners are now well-defined in law.

    International adoption from Vietnam has been a minefield in recent years, since allegations arose that the system was being abused to allow profiteering from selling children into adoption. Since Vietnam formally accepted the principles of the Hague convention and issued a new adoption law that came into effect in January 2011, tensions have eased. However, the reopening of Vietnamese international adoption has been slow, and at present only a handful of countries have a valid bilateral

  • Mortgages

    Long-term Expats – like anyone else – may need to face the necessity of taking out a mortgage.

    Ironically, it’s often the very people who first arrive in Vietnam trying to escape things like mortgages and real jobs who end up with both of these things here. It’s an old story – wide-eyed young idealist finds something in Saigon that resonates with him ; he casts aside his backpack, sets himself about learning Vietnamese, and eventually marries a charming local beauty. Reality finds him again like the Grim Reaper; he finds a job to support the new family – and then before too long, it’s

  • Vietnamese Classics

    A quick, comprehensive guide to Vietnamese literature.

    Literature plays an important part in the development of any civilised culture, and this is certainly the case in Vietnam. Folk literature in particular played a very significant role in the preservation and development of the national language. Folk literary works were written in a wide range of genres, covering legends, epics, humorous stories, mythologies, fairy tales, proverbs, songs and poetry ( ca dao ) and so on. With all the different cultures of the various Vietnamese ethnic groups,

  • Nha Trang: History and Attractions

    Beyond sand and sea, Nha Trang has something to offer to everyone... even on a rainy day.

    Looking at Nha Trang today, it’s hard to believe that the area used to be deserted until the 20th century. The city itself was established in 1924 by decree of the Governor-General of French Indochina, and since then it grew rapidly to become the bustling resort town it is today. Given Nha Trang’s short history, it’s not surprising that there are very few historical sites there – but whatever the city lacks in the sightseeing department it makes up for with its long sandy beach, as well as many

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