Reporter: Suresh Pushpananthan

Contact at destination: Professor Ton That Bach

Year of visit: 2000

Country: Vietnam

Region: Hanoi

Institution: National Institute of Paediatrics

Department: Various

Work / Study undertaken: Clinical Paediatrics + BCG scar prevalence study in local schools

Description of the service and department

Description of the destination

Hanoi is a large city with many large hospitals serving North Vietnam

Were the local people friendly?

Yes – very friendly and helpful

Did you feel safe and if not why not?

Yes. The traffic(or rather lack of traffic laws) was dangerous.

What did you do in your spare time?

Visited local museums/exhibits. Enjoyed the local cuisine.

Is there anything that you would particularly recommend others to do?

Do part of the elective in rural North Vietnam

What time of the year were you there? What was the climate like? August/September. Hot and humid.

What was your accommodation like?

Fine. It was a small guesthouse with air conditioned rooms

Was it provided?

No – we had to pay extra

If not who arranged it?

I arranged it by looking in a travel guidebook.

How much did it cost?

US$ 4.00 per night

Did you enjoy your visit?

Yes – very much

Did you find it useful medically? – in what way?

Yes – there was a whole range of pathology to see. Many clinical signs to be seen and felt.

Has it improved your French?

Yes – mainly from speaking to the doctors that had previously studied or worked in France. Very few other people speak French.

How has it increased your knowledge of French culture?

It has not increased my knowledge of French culture.

If you went back would you do anything differently?

I would not go to the same institute. It is a little too big – and they charge tuition fees.

How did you get there?

By air to Ho Chi Minh City, then overland.

What was the approximate total cost?


Is there any other information that you think may be useful?

For anyone wishing to do an elective in Vietnam – try to go through a hospital rather than a medical school. We were charged tuition fees – but I doubt whether it went to improve facilities at the hospital or the medical school.

Overall – it was very enjoyable, and I highly recommend Hanoi and Vietnam to anyone with a sense of adventure.