Who is Owee?

Nha Trang beach
Nha Trang beach

Mai and I are in or early 50’s. a little too young to retire, but eager to start enjoying life. We are middle class Canadians and both were employed. Myself by the municipal government, and my wife by our provincial health care system. We have left our jobs as of Nov 12 2009. Our final destination is a city called Nha Trang in Vietnam. There we hope to grow new roots, and hopefully be able to travel back and forth in the future.

To keep ourselves busy, we have taken over a small hotel in a less touristy area and are offering a foreign run hotel with western standards in a local and enjoyable Vietnamese area. The hotel is busy with enjoyable people who are eager for a glimpse of real Vietnam.

Update:

After flying back and forth for the past 12 years, for almost the past year we have called Nha Trang home. Mai misses Canada but is a real trooper and making the most out of our life here. I on the otherhand have come to love living here. I am in a bit of a unique position as I can speak the language somewhat, and understand the culture and the people. I live among them as almost one of their own, and experience a whole different world than most expats in Vietnam. Part of what I enjoy about life here is that some people seek me out to learn or experience the truth about this country, and not what some people that are confined to backpack areas believe it the truth. I am enjoying my busy retirement this country and  am happy to help others to enjoy it also.

Update 2
It has now been two years and we have made full adjustments to the change in lifestyle,. Besides operating the hotel, I have now become a tour guide offering Central highland tours by motorcycle or car and have become more involved in the Vietnamese tourism industry. The theme of the blog has changed from a way to keep personal contact with friends and family into a travel blog where I try to offer honest and accurate advice to those who wish to travel here. Mai is looking forward to the day soon where she will be offering Vietnamese cooking classes. Altohough we miss friends and family, there are no regrets in moving here ( My darling wife does not 100% agree with me)

Update 3 (2015)

Since the last update, we have closed the hotel and opened www.homestaynhatrang.com My tours have become very popular and people from all over the world come to share in the adventure. We are still all about offering advice and tours of non touristy Vietnam. We are now in out late 50’s and still going strong.

I can be emailed directly at owee@live.ca

199 thoughts on “Who is Owee?

  1. Hi,

    We’re looking to travel to Nha Trang this coming July and you seem really well informed on how to get around Vietnam. Could we email you a couple of questions to get some advice?

    Thank you,
    Ben

    1. Hi,
      Yes you certainly can. At the moment I am guiding a tour in the Hoi An area so I might be a few days answering long form.
      Owen

  2. Good morning Owee. So thankful to have stumbled upon your blog. So much great information in here that has been helpful in planning a trip to Vietnam. I have three complete days to make my way from Dong Hoi to Hanoi and was wondering if there was anything in between that you might recommend seeing or stopping at? Still unsure of whether to take the train or bus at this point b/c if I needed to maximize the time in order to visit something, I would book transpo accordingly. Grateful for any rcommendations you may have. Thanks so much.
    Will, Ottawa, Canada

  3. Hi Owee,
    we found your blog while looking around online for English teaching jobs.

    Do you have any advice/ contacts about who where/ who can approach about reputable English teaching colleges/ schools in Nha Trang?

    My partner, of Vietnamese descent, thinks it is a good place to be because it is so pretty and there is a University in the town which may need experienced English teachers.

    I am a qualified Primary School teacher, as well as a CELTA certified and experienced English teacher. Currently we live in Germany where I teach Business ENglish etc. to German locals.

    Any leads would be very helpful,

    Thanks for your time

    Ben

    1. There are many foreigners here that teach English to make some money. Mostly tutors and unlicensed, but some are very qualified. I am sorry but I do not have connections in the education field. I do know some that may be able to offer advice but they are teaching after receiving online TOEFL certificates. I do not know any that work for the Vietnamese educational system……. As far as I know, the universities have very tight restrictions. I think you might have to come here on a holiday and check things out. PS….. most teachers I know are based on a 20 hour week at about 15 dollars an hour. Sorry I cannot be more help

  4. Hi Owee coming over to Vietnam in December 2015 is there any chance you could give me a helping hand with regard to itinerary i have looked at various web sites and all give there opinion on places to stay,see and do and all give different answers with regard to weather. We are planning a 3 week break and would like to travel from south to north starting at Mekong Delta would really appreciate your input from someone on the ground.

    1. Firstly check weather charts at http://owee58.com/2011/07/20/vietnam-weather-rainfall-temperature-charts You will find it much cooler as you head north from Nha Trang but mostly pleasant South. Rains season sometimes hangs on a bit long making Hoi An/Hue very wet and sometimes Nha Trang. Most forums and travel guides will send you to the same places. It all depends on the kind of traveler you are. I will be happy to help if I can. One of my functions in Vietnam is as a guide and tour designer so I know most destinations. I have sent you an email

  5. Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break.
    I really like the knowledge you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m surprised at how quick your blog loaded on my mobile ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, fantastic site!

  6. Hello Owee,

    I am currently in Vietnam with my boyfriend, and beforehand we were in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. This question might seem inappropriate as you work in tourism but I am really genually curious. I worked for as a receptionnist in Australia both in a resort and a backpacker and when we booked tours for the guests we always took commision on the tour companies and not the guests. Here they always give you a higher price (sometimes much higher) for everything including buses ticket and even a recommendation for a tailor in Hoi An is going to cost the costumer and not the tailor. Only Chiang Mai was different, everything was the same price and you get a discount if you book several things (but they are pushier with the tours). How does it work in Vietnam, do guesthouses/hotels receive a double commision or only on the guests ?

    Your blog has been really helpful, thank you.

    1. Most reputable hotels/tour companies/services are based on a commission that is paid by the service provider. In my hotel and homestay no charges are added to the customers expense unless a special condition is asked. Most places I have dealt with are the same. Small fees such as ticket services for transportation and other non commission paying suppliers might have a small value added charge to you for the service as often a tip will be given to the driver that delivers the tickets. Anything to do with Hoi An involves money of some sort…. Tailors in other cities including Saigon much more reasonable in my opinion.
      There are many people in Vietnam that are out for the quick dollar that will overcharge you but there are also many that work by reasonable business practices….. You should be able to spot the difference. Good luck, and thanks for the compliment

  7. Hi Owee, just want to ask, only Sinh Cafe got the bus from Dalat to Mui Ne? It just one bus per day. I saw some traveler advise that avoid taking bus service from An Phu. Is there any other way travel from Dalat to Mui Ne?

    Thanks

    1. Busses from ant to Dalat can make many people motion sick. Probably the best way is to use easyriders to give you a tour from Dalat to Mui Ne. Sorry but bus or private car are you only alternatives. Better to get to Nha Trang (so much to see there anyway) and then bus to Mui Ne for a much more comfortable ride.

  8. we want to visit July/August. Want to see tunnels/sites and swim in white sandy beaches. Is there any dry area this time of year? thanks

  9. Hello

    We would like to visit July/August. We would like to see main sights but also have swimming/sunbeathing time on a gorgeous white beach. Is it the worst time of year to visit or are there areas in Vietnam which are drier?

    Thank you

    1. July and August has nice beach weather in Nha Trang, Mui Ne and even Hoi An though it is not really a beach destination. If there is rain it will come in the form of an afternoon cooling shower for an hour or so. In the South and North including Phu Quoc, you will see heavy rainfall at times

      1. Hi Owee

        So which part of the country are these areas? Which white/sand beach and nice swimming ocean do you recommend? Thank you

        1. It is in the south central areas of Vietnam. Nha Trang is Vietnams most popular beach destination but you cannot compare to Thailand. Click on the Nha Trang links on the right to get information and view pictures.

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