Teaching in Uong Bi
The people without a doubt, you cannot walk along a street in the City without the locals saying hello, everyone is very friendly and welcoming, although the majority do not speak English, they go out of their way to be helpful and accommodating.
How busy is the city and how the quality of life?
The City is relatively busy with locals, however, tourists are not common here. There is a good quality of life, people are relaxed and happy.
Sowoon BBQ is probably the best place to eat if you are a Westerner, it is a buffet style restaurant, where they bring out several different cuts of meat for you to cook on the BBQ, you can also get Vietnamese hotpot here. Next door there is another BBQ restaurant which I believe is the same idea however, they cook the meat for you, at weekends particularly this is busy with locals drinking and eating and they often have a big screen up playing football matches. For a quick bite to eat their is a restaurant within a 5 minute walking distance which we Apaxers often frequent (although I am unsure of the name), it serves Pho and different rice dishes and they also do take away.
Any nice cafes around? What’s the nightlife like (if applicable)?
Underneath the center there is Nam Phong Coffee, it serves a number of Vietnamese dishes and different coffees/hot drinks, juices and ice creams. There are a multitude of Karaoke places in Ung Bi, which can be fun if you go with a group, there is also a night club, which I have only been to once but would definitely return.
In my free time I often travel to Hai Phong and Halong as they are only around 40 minutes away, there is a nice beach in Bai Chay if you like to sunbathe and Hai Phong has a bigger selection of Western restaurants, both also have cinemas. In Uong Bi there are also a few outdoor pools, a lovely lake to walk around and a small amusements park.
Are there any places that is a must see, any major tourist attractions?
Ba Vang Pagoda is lovely to visit particularly on a sunny day, it has great views of the City and picnic benches etc. outside, this is probably the main tourist attraction in Uong Bi.
The centre is in an ideal location, on the main street close to cafes and shops, everything you need is within walking distance.
Driving in Uong Bi is a little less crazy than other parts of Vietnam I have visited, the roads are not as busy and hectic, although in saying that it is still Vietnam so you do have to be cautious of other drivers.
The centre is a really nice environment to work in, all of the staff are very friendly and helpful if you ever need anything. The classrooms are well equipped and have air conditioning etc.
What’s the Vietnamese population like; do you have any Vietnamese friends, ever hang out with them or socialize?
The Vietnamese population in Uong Bi are very friendly and always want to talk, although for the most part are unable to understand you. At times the teachers and centre staff will go out for meals together and socialize.
Tell us anything you like about life in the small town.
Life in a small City is chilled out, you are within travelling distance if you want to go to a bigger more touristy city for the day, however, you can also chill at the lakes, pools and pagoda in the city if not. Everything you really need is within walking distance and the Apax home is only around a 3 minute walk from the centre (basically in the same street) which is a huge advantage.
Written By Graham