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March 24, 2014

Report 7-Contrasting Vietnamese Lifestyles

Analyst: Bui ThiThanh, Global Services Department, INTAGE Inc.


  • There are significant lifestyle differences between people in Hanoi in the North and Ho Chi Minh City in the South.
  • The utilization ratio of hair care services is 95% in Ho Chi Minh City, vs. only 41% in Hanoi.
  • When asked with whom they spent their free time, the overwhelming top choice in Hanoi was "With the family". People in Ho Chi Minh City selected "With the family" and "With friends or colleagues" at about equal frequency.


1. The services people use differ according to the climate

Vietnam, as a whole, is located in a tropical monsoon climate zone characterized by high temperatures and high precipitation. Yet as a long, narrow country extending far from north to south, Vietnam has considerable climatic variation even at the same time of year. Hanoi is located in the northern part, in a temperate monsoon climate zone similar to that of Japan. Ho Chi Minh City is located in the far south, in a tropical monsoon climate zone with only two seasons, a dry season and rainy season. The lifestyles of the Vietnamese people vary considerably according to this difference in climate.

Comparing our data on the "Utilization rate of beauty and cleaning services" in the two cities, we found that the utilization rate of hair care services, such as hair washing at beauty salons or hair salons, is higher in Ho Chi Minh City in the South of the country. This probably can be explained by the hot weather throughout the year in the south. Meanwhile, people use laundry services, etc. more often in Hanoi in the north, in a climate with four seasons.

[Figure 1] Utilization rate of beauty and cleaning services
Q. Which of the following do you use as a service, instead of doing it at home? (MA)

2. People’s values and principles differ between the south and north of Vietnam

People’s values and principles differ between Hanoi in the north, a region traditionally influenced by China, and Ho Chi Minh City in the south, a region strongly influenced by the USA. People in Hanoi adhere to collectivist principles and have higher regard for family values, while people in Ho Chi Minh City are more businesslike and sociable. Their lifestyles differ according to these differences in their values and principles.

Looking at the data on "How to spend free time," the percentage of people who responded "With the family" is very high in Hanoi. In Ho Chi Minh City, "With the family" and "With friends or colleagues" were selected at about equal frequency.

[Figure 2] How to spend free time
Q. With whom do you mostly spend your free time? (SA)


The results of this survey suggest that warm clothing such as sweaters and jackets may sell well in Hanoi, but may not be needed in Ho Chi Minh City. When a company plans to expand into a new city, it is important to develop an urban strategy to first determine which industries, products, or services that particular city needs.

Survey Overview

Survey Method Visits and interview survey, Viettrack
Survey Period October 2013
Survey Samples 200 Males and females, aged 18 to 40, in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (100 persons in each city)
Organizations Conducting the Survey FTA Research and Consultants, LLC


INTAGE Inc. publishes the "Asia Insight Report" based on spontaneous surveys conducted in the Asian region in collaboration with overseas INTAGE subsidiaries to identify trends in attitudes and behavior on various themes.
As Part 7 of the Report we are releasing a "Vietnam Market Survey - Comparison by City." FTA Research and Consultants LLC, our subsidiary in Vietnam, conducted a visit-and-interview survey called "Viettrack*" in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in October 2013. In total, they interviewed 200 males and females, aged 18 to 40 (100 persons in Hanoi and 100 persons in Ho Chi Minh City). Following is our analysis of the Vietnam market based on the survey results.

  • * Viettrack is a spontaneous survey conducted every month by FTA Research and Consultants, LLC, INTAGE’s subsidiary in Vietnam. FTA Research and Consultants, LLC is specializes in assessments of the opinions, values, and awareness of Vietnamese consumers in relation to the economy, trends, products, and services. The survey is conducted in compliance with ISO 20252:2006.