August 20th, 2019 at 5:00 am
The purge is in full effect
The local staff are lovely and are very efficient and friendly. The working atmosphere was really nice last year. Work permits and pay have never been a problem for me here.
Slowly watching all the Filipino teachers pushed out of their contracts to please parents has been awful and so badly handled. My Academic manager suffered the same fate. My colleague had a few hours notice that she would no longer receive any teaching hours at the center. This is now not uncommon.
Staff turnover is huge at the moment and is getting worse. Most of my colleagues won't renew their contracts even if they are not pushed out, which they probably will be. The company culture has shifted and the only words I can describe it as is nonsensical, crass and shows signs of desperation. The decline in morale has been epic and stems from the people in charge (who are too above teachers to actually want to interact with them). The beginning of the end?
Management should Reverse every decision made in the last 6 months and hire a strong CEO or leadership team who won't bow to racist stereotypes that only white people can be native English teachers.
August 19th, 2019 at 3:10 am
Tue and his colleagues were very helpful in finding us an apartment in Hanoi. He had a great knowledge of the Hanoi real estate market. He was very helpful in negotiating with the landlord. He also helped answer all kinds of questions for us as we were new to Veitnam.
August 13th, 2019 at 6:12 am
I meant to write this review for these guys for a long time. After staying at a house for 2 years, our landlord decided to change a lot of the deals with our house, we started looking for a new house. After spending days looking on the internet, we drove around all the West lake area to find a new house. Nothing came up for us.
I came across Alpha Housing, I called Mr. Tue, told him what we wanted, and the day after we found our house after following him to see several houses. They were very patient and not pushy, helped us to negotiate the contract even though they represent the landlord.
I can recommend him and I will use him again if I need it.
August 8th, 2019 at 3:14 am
Ngoc is an awesome teacher who knows how to adapt to each student.
Always very responsive also outside class in order to help, I really enjoy class with her and see how my skills in vietnamese improved thanks to her teachings.
July 24th, 2019 at 3:53 am
I was lucky enough to see Ngọc with another student at a cafe and instantly saw she was a good teacher. I have studied with her for more than one year and she has helped me improve my level significantly. Ngọc is very patient and funny so the classes are never boring. She knows exactly what I need in class and supports me there. The most important thing is how she make me feel very comfortable and not pressured when speaking a new language. I can't imagine how hard it would be to live in Vietnam without her.
She's also very flexible with her schedules and will help you work as hard as you are willing to go.
I highly recommend!
July 23rd, 2019 at 9:38 am
Bad tour experience with an aggressive and dangerous driver
On the occasion of my 58th birthday, my wife and I planned a trip to Vietnam from 8 July 2019 to 17 July 2019, starting with two nights at the Oriental Jade Hotel in Hanoi, then a three-day cruise with Bhaya Cruises in Halong Bay and after another night in Hanoi from 13 July 2019 to 15 July 2019 a three-day tour in the mountains of North Vietnam to the Ban Gioc Waterfalls and Ba Be Lake. We requested an offer for this tour on June 23, 2019, at "Hanoi Transfer Service", the allegedly most professional tour provider in Hanoi and already one hour later we received the desired tour offer by an employee named Lily Ngoc at the price of 210 US dollars per person. Another hour later, we received another email from Lily saying, that she had mistakenly given us the wrong price. If there were 1-2 people in the group, it would be 270 US dollars per person. We agreed with the new price and Lily sent us an email with a link to a Vietnamese payment portal, where we paid the full price. A few minutes later we received confirmation from Lily that our payment had been received and that we would be picked up at 8 am on 13 July 2019 in the lobby of our hotel. Thus the booking of the tour was completed on 23 June 2019. Payment and tour details were confirmed by “Hanoi Transfer Service”. So nothing could go wrong, we thought.
But then, on 29 June 2019, we received an ominous email from Lily. She would be sorry that she could not “clarify” the tour for us. We could only participate in the tour on 23 July 2019 in a smaller group. I replied that we were only in Vietnam until the morning of 17 July 2019 and that the new date did not work for us. The tour had to take place as confirmed by her from 13 to 15 July, because we had no other time frame available for it. Then Lily wanted to move the date to July 12-14, which was not possible because of our cruise in Halong Bay, which ended on July 12 afternoon. We offered Lily to cancel the tour for a refund of our payment, as she was not able to deliver our booked tour. She replied that her manager could reimburse our payment, but that she would be punished for it. Therefore, she would now try to organize our tour as a private tour with a personal driver and tour guide, if we were willing to pay another 25 US dollars per person. We agreed, paid the additional 50 US dollars and received confirmation from Lily on June 29, 2019.
On July 12, 2019, Lily re-confirmed by email our pick-up from the hotel the next morning at 8 am. On 13 July 2019, in time at 8 a.m., we were picked up at our hotel by our tour guide and driver. The car was a dented little Toyota Vios with more than 400.000 km on the speedo and a worn-out backseat, for us no pleasant view on the upcoming 800 kilometers, but this was no reason for a complaint to us. However, already in the first kilometers, we noticed that our 29-year-old driver practiced very aggressive driving in the dense traffic of Hanoi. He put other road users under pressure, who was in his way, with horn, headlight flashes, and extremely tight drive-ups, before he passed them recklessly. This continued on the motorway but was now supplemented by constant abrupt lane changes between all three lanes. After 130 kilometers we reached the mountain area, where our journey became even more dangerous by daring overtaking maneuvers on winding and unclear roads. Several times overtaking maneuvers had to be stopped by emergency braking, because suddenly oncoming traffic appeared in front of us or it was just enough to retighten after overtaking, but only because the oncoming traffic braked to avoid an accident.
Meanwhile, we feared for our lives and asked driver and tour guide for a slower driving style as well as for omission of these dangerous overtaking maneuvers. The driver was visibly annoyed by our request and complained in Vietnamese. The tour guide said we should just relax, close our eyes and get some sleep.
Now the driver switched into a kind of inconvenience mode by reducing the speed on straight road sections to 20-30 km/h and alternating the steering wheel to the right and left, so that we were constantly thrown back and forth on the back seat. As soon as there was a curve again, he suddenly accelerated and let the car drift through the curve with screeching tires, followed by an emergency brake to tear the steering wheel again permanently on the straight track in creep speed. So it went on for three hours until we finally reached our first homestay overnight destination in a small village 50 km west of the Ban Gioc waterfalls at the end of our strength. The stay there was very nice, our hosts very friendly and caring. In the evening, in a relaxed atmosphere, we sought again the conversation with the tour guide and driver. We said that we experience the trip in constant fear, sometimes even in fear of death, and would, therefore, like to ask them to make the next day's trip safe and comfortable for us. The driver apologized for the inconvenience and promised us improvement.
Overnight it had rained heavily so that streets and villages were flooded up to 40 cm high the next morning. We drove off to the Ban Gioc Waterfalls and in fact we could enjoy for the first time a halfway safe and pleasant trip, which was probably less due to a mind change than to the flooded road conditions, because on the following trip to the Ba Be Lake with meanwhile better road conditions we had the same problem again.
At the next toilet stop, we refused to continue and said that we would not drive one meter more with this driver.
Our tour guide admitted that he understands us and that he would try to find a solution. After a phone call, he said that he couldn't do anything about it. He didn't have a driving license and therefore couldn't drive. I asked him if I would have to drive then. Yes, he said, that would be a good solution. He talked to the driver until he agreed after some nagging. The driver apologized by saying that he has his driving license already for eight years but had never driven in the mountain area before. So far, he had only driven the flat stretch of motorway from Hanoi to Halong. That was one more reason for us to refuse the driver. Fortunately, I had my national and international driving license with me. So I sat at the steering wheel, my wife beside me and on the back seat driver and tour guide, who enjoyed the remaining 150 kilometers to the Ba Be Lake visibly relaxed and sleeping most of the time. I hadn't imagined it that way, but it was better than being helpless at the mercy of this crazy dangerous driver.
Also the next and final day I took the driver seat again for the final section back to Hanoi. When we left the mountains, the driver wanted to take the wheel again. After weighing the risks of his already known highway driving style and the good persuasion of the tour guide, we finally agreed. But nothing had improved. The aggressive and dangerous way of driving culminated finally in the fact that the driver while operating his mobile phone did not recognize a traffic jam in front of us. After an outcry of my wife he noticed and after an emergency braking we came to the stop only a few centimeters behind a truck at the end of the traffic jam.
We were now completely at the end of our nerves and just wanted to arrive at the hotel. The further motorway trip was, as usual, pushing, needing, honking, abrupt lane changes. Finally, we reached the city limit of Hanoi, the last 20 kilometers to the hotel through the evening rush hour our final torture in the pouring rain.
Our tour would have been a fantastic experience in almost untouched beautiful landscapes, but this terrible driver has not only spoiled that experience for us, but he also ruined our whole holiday and the memories of it. We have done many tours in Southeast Asia with tour providers, but this tour with “Hanoi Transfer Service” was the worst and most dangerous tour we have ever experienced.
July 20th, 2019 at 1:38 pm
I have worked for this company for 4 years in Hanoi now and am happy to sign on for another year with them. They are friendly and supportive. They have always taken a great approach to dealing with any issues I have had and found a reasonable solution. I would highly recommend this company.
June 27th, 2019 at 9:11 am
Worked in Vietnam for a few years now and at some of the big schools. This is by far the better one I've worked at.
Pay is decent, schedules are good, nice holiday too. They have workshops and check in on you to ask how you're getting on so I've definitely learned some new skills while being here.
Quite a bit of test marking at the end but manageable. Management is friendly and helps out a lot. HR is really supportive.
June 27th, 2019 at 7:53 am
Working for Schools Link (not the language centers - this program works in public schools) means that you get a regular timetable of daytime hours (no evenings! no weekends! yay!) with roughly 18-20 teaching hours per week. Books and materials are all provided and lots of support is available to you from the management team if you need it. The books they teach from are easy to use and interesting too. As well as public holidays and Tet you get a week off for Christmas and also up to 12 days annual leave. You also don't have to write reports (other similar companies want you to do that every week) and you get observed twice a year to help with your teaching.
I worked for this company for several years and in that time have taught at multiple schools, the majority of which have been great working environments. They support your professional development and are always happy to help if you need further support. The pay depends upon qualifications etc and you do have to pay tax but that is because the company is legitimate and follows Vietnamese law, unlike many other less scrupulous companies that pay cash in hand so they can avoid contributing anything to the society in which they operate. If you do a good job and wish to stay with the company then your salary will increase every year and they have a very open system regarding pay scales. Overall it's been a really positive experience working for them.
March 11th, 2019 at 9:12 am
I had suffered a light pain at the left shoulder, because everyday I carried bag ony at this side. Comparing to the other side, it was hard and inflexible.
When came here I did not think that it could help but I was really satisfied.
The staff only used her hands, not just massaging, very thankful to her.
Nice staff and good service.
March 11th, 2019 at 9:07 am
Sau khi ngủ dậy lưng của tôi bị đau đột ngột, tôi hầu như không thể cử động được vùng lưng. Lúc ngồi, hay lúc đi tôi đều bị đau nhói vùng lưng. Tôi rất lo lắng. Rất may tôi đã được chữa khỏi đau ở lưng chỉ sau 4 buổi tới kinmaku. Tôi rất kinh ngạc vì hiệu quả bất ngờ.
February 9th, 2019 at 10:41 am
El pasado mes de Enero de 2019, efectuamos un circuito de 6 días por Laos, privado, hoteles 4 estrellas, media pensión y guía en español. Antes de comenzar el circuito nos subieron el precio unos 300€ , nos duplicaron el precio de alguna excursión, y el presupuesto de la comida , según el guía era de 10€ por persona....mejor no confiarse...
January 28th, 2019 at 12:48 am
My partner and I are dedicated to our yoga practice and are somewhat new to Hanoi. We found Amit and Yoga Cafe by chance and now feel like home in this studio. As a teacher Amit is warm, knowledgeable, and very encouraging. Off the mat he is ready and willing to share wisdom from his many years in study of the mind/body. The cafe is awesome and homemade chai is amazing!
January 5th, 2019 at 8:43 am
Ordering from their website is a nightmare. Avoid it.
The website doesn't reflect actual stock, so just because it says something is in stock, it doesn't mean it really is. "Maybe at the end of the month."
If they can't fulfil your order immediately, they will cancel any special offers or discounts that applied when you ordered and insist that you pay full price. (In many other countries this is called "Bait and Switch" and is illegal).
Then, they won't actually deliver on the day that they promise to. "We will be on time" they wrote but they didn't come at all. After a lot of back and forth, they agreed to come by 11pm the following day (yes, that is 11pm, not 11am).