Embroidery in Vietnam

I was introduced to a Client in America via a connection on Feb 2nd, 2019. The Client was coming to Vietnam to learn about embroidery industry to make orders and was looking for a translator.

I helped the Client to do research before the trip, contacting the factories/embroiderers to make appointment in advance, arranging car service, as well as translating in the visit.

The Client wants to find people who are good enough to deal with complex designs, because all the designs will be custom. The design will be printed on paper with specs of what colors and all other details, then will be shipped to Vietnam. The Client wanted to learn in the trip about time frame, pricing, how payments and shipment are made.

We’ve learned a lot about embroidery in Vietnam, and following are some info:

+ Quat Dong is the most famous village in Vietnam in term of embroidery, however, it’s not the only one. There are other embroidery villages such as: Minh Lang at Thai Binh province, Van Lam at Ninh Binh province, Thanh Ha at Ha Nam province, Bao Loc province as well as other factories throughout the country.

+ Not everything the media/newspaper wrote about is correct.
The embroidery village is not located at Quat Dong commune but Thang Loi commune. They’re just next to each other. (Commune is bigger than village and contain village as administration units in Vietnam).

The reason Quat Dong is mentioned more is: the person who brought the embroidery job/industry to the community there was born in Quat Dong.
He also passed away at Quat Dong and buried at Quat Dong, so Quat Dong is known for embroidery because of that person. But embroidery is developed more at the commune next to Quat Dong, that is Thang Loi.

Also, at Quat Dong/Thang Loi nowadays, very few manufacturing facilities left for hand embroidery. Machinery embroidery is more popular. People at the Minh Lang village at Vu Thu district, Thai Binh province probably have better skills and diversity skills on different kinds of products, but they are less known about. Quat Dong/Thang Loi is better about marketing and Minh Lang is not.

+ I got info of around 15 embroidery services in the researching time, around half of them aren’t in Hanoi which is hard to visit. One of them from Minh Lang embroidery village was very enthusiastic and commuted to Hanoi to meet us (they brought samples of their products). We then visited 6 embroidery services at Thang Loi in person, we also visited Van Phuc silk village so the Client can understand more about silk.

+ Most embroidery services using silk or cotton as thread. Some of them using coma thread (on Japanese kimonos). With silk thread/fabric, many of them don’t buy from Van Phuc silk village, but from Lam Dong province or Ho Chi Minh city.

+ Machinery embroidery is much cheaper and faster than hand embroidery, and of course, less beautiful. Machinery embroidery requires only one layer, while hand embroidery requires several layers.

+ Pricing and timing of embroidery depends on:
– complexity of design
– fabric to embroider on (the harder it is to put the needle through, or the easier it is to break/make visible hole)
– thread to embroider on (the thinner it is, the longer it takes)

All embroidery services require a deposit of 50 – 70% before starting productions.

+ Currently, embroidery production in Vietnam are on:
– Ao Dai – Vietnamese national costume garment (mostly for Vietnam market)
– Hand embroidery painting (even hand embroidery portrait)
– Japanese kimono and Korean hanbok
– Bedsheet, pillowcase, blanket cover
– Souvenir products

Do you want to order embroidery products from Vietnam or need information about embroidery here? => Send us a message about the inquiry!

A visit to biogas project supported by SNV

Sustainable development is a global challenge. According to The Conversation (https://theconversation.com/is-it-possible-for-everyone-to-live-a-good-life-within-our-planets-limits-91421), there isn’t any country in the world meet the requirements of sustainable development. Vietnam, however, surprisingly, is the country closest to the requirements. (Whoever we had shared this information with couldn’t believe it).

This draws attention of NRC Handelsblad – a Dutch newspaper. Coming to Hanoi to attend the World Economic Forum, Anne carried an additional assignment from the newspaper. It’s to find a reliable story about this in Vietnam.

Anne asked my help on this and translation in the visit, and we’ve both checked and contacted various resources and channels. In which, we’ve selected two stories to visit/interview. However, in following content, I’ll only share about our visit to Vietnam Biogas Programme by SNV: http://www.snv.org/project/vietnam-biogas-programme

We were so fortunate to receive great support from SNV. They helped us to:

  • select and identify best/nearest place to visit

  • process the permit with Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and local police office at the area we would visit (Gia Lam district)

  • arrange the visit for us for free

In this visit, we received direct supports from:

  • Mr. Bastiaan Teune – Energy Sector Leader at SNV Vietnam

  • Ms. Ha Nguyen – Renewable Energy Consultant at SNV Vietnam

  • Mr. Duc Le – Leader at Biogas Project Vietnam

Accompanied us in the visit in the afternoon of Sep 13, 2018, there were Bastiaan and Ha. They invited us to visit their office and gave us a brief demonstration about the project. We then continued our conversation in the car to the project site. And Bastiaan was so open and willing to answer any question we had. When I asked him about what are their biggest challenges in biogas project, his answers were: 1) the biggest challenge is the meat price decreased, this made the farmers not much profitable and made them less interested in building a biogas tank; 2) training the older farmers to use their app for biogas project on smart phone – but this one is more fixable.

They also invited Mr. Tan – the chief mason who had done a lot of biogas tank construction projects supported by SNV. Mr. Tam drove his motorbike for a distance of 55km from his place at Soc Son district to the place we visited: Co Giang village, Le Chi commune, Gia Lam district.

We visited 4 families here: 3 already have biogas tanks and 1 is about to build it.

The 1st family has two mother pigs and two cows. They are among the first ones have the biogas tank installed in this village 3 years ago. How did they hear about it? At that time the speaker system of the village announced about the “Biogas Program for the Animal Husbandry Sector in Vietnam”, in which each family would be funded 1 million VND and a gas stove after the construction is finished and tested if they would join the program. The total investment to build a 18m3 biogas tank was 20 million VND. It means his family still need to pay for 19 million VND remaining. Though for a farmer’s family it was a big amount, they still invested for it. And then for them, it was well worth it.

C, the head of the family said: “Before the biogas tank was built, it took us lots of time for cooking. We had to collect the wood and burning them to cook. They were corn plant or anything we could find on the field. After having the biogas tank, we didn’t have to spend time for it anymore. We just need to open the stove to use the gas. The gas is enough for us to cook for whole day. It’s clean, save us money and effort”.

At the 2nd family, we met K. Her husband passed away 9 years ago, leaving her raising 2 children on her own. That was the reason she couldn’t afford to build the biogas tank earlier. It was built on Oct 2017, together with other facilities such as kitchen and pigsty. As the person in charge of the Women’s Union of the village, she is the one usually come to other families to campaign about building biogas tank, but it didn’t make sense when she herself hadn’t done it. The biogas tank had solved for her 2 major problems. Before she trashed the pig shit to the trench along the road of the village, it was both consuming her time and affected to cleanliness of the village, and people complained about it. It also took her lots of time for cooking, she usually cooked by burning rice husks. To cook a pot of food for the pigs, she need to come back from time to time to check and putting more rice husks. Having the biogas tank, she doesn’t have to trash the pig shit anymore, and when cook the food for the pigs, she just need to come back to check after 30 minutes, unlike before.

The 3rd family is the one who about to build the biogas tank. Q – head of the family, was convinced by the Farmer’s Union about benefits of having biogas tank, as well as seeing example of his neighbor – K, he had decided they would construct the biogas tank in the next couple of days.

At the 4th location, we met a farmer at the age of 27. The farm he is taking care of belong to his parents, who live at a different house. He stays at the farm whole day to take care of a garden planting fruits, 50 pigs and more than 100 chickens. It was a fascinating experience when we stepped into the garden to check the outlet of the biogas tank, we were immediately welcomed by 100 chickens. H – the farmer – showed us a small signboard stating that this construction was done by construction workers who were certificated by “Biogas Program for the Animal Husbandry Sector in Vietnam”.

Vietnam currently has around 4 million households raising pigs, 2.5 million households raising cows. However, there are total of only around 500,000 households have biogas tank installed, it is still a long way to go. We wish that there will be more and more effort and investment in installing biogas tank to reduce emission of carbon dioxide and protect the environment.

Moving house for C on Aug 29, 2018

This is the 2nd time C moved with us, but this time it didn’t go as smoothly as the first time. The recent rain in Hanoi made it more difficult for people, include us. When it rains hard, we usually can’t do the move due to it affects to safety of our people as well as things of Client. We need lots of communication about it. In term of profit-wise, we only earn the money after the move is done, so we don’t want to cancel any move because if affects our profit, but we also need to ensure safety.


At first we set the moving time at 1.30 – 2pm of Aug 29. However due to we worried it would rain hard later, we rescheduled to 11-11.30am. Normally we don’t set that time for a move of this size (a full truck and long distance) due to it would extend over lunch time, so our moving people can’t have lunch and rest before afternoon shift. But due to the rain, this is an exception.


Our moving people brought a trolley with them, but they didn’t need to use the trolley, due to everything was on 1st floor and the truck can enter the alley. They cover things by plastic cover. When they were about to cover the wooden shelves, C told them they don’t need to cover those. However, we explained for him that the rain water may enter the shelves and destroy it, so C let us cover.


The truck arrived at 12.40pm and the loading happen then. The move is done at Ngoc Thuy, Long Bien at around 2.30pm.


Posted under Client’s permission.


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Tent manufacturing in Vietnam

  1. I) Background story: A Client from Netherlands contacted me on Feb 8th, 2018 to ask help contacting tent manufacturing in Vietnam.


The Client is an expert in mining, oil & gas industry and he frequently need to stay overnight on the field because of his work. And he need to live in tent(s). However the tents he had experienced weren’t good enough for his needs. He knew that they can be improved, so he got the business idea why doesn’t he just make tents for himself and also selling. He asked professional people around him and they said it’s a good idea. People mostly pointed him to go to Vietnam, they said there are good manufacturers there who know what are they doing.


He was given 3 company names to contact, but he was able to contact only 1 of them, the two others he only had company names. The one he had contacted is actually a backpack manufacturer, not a tent manufacturer but they were willing to talk. At that time he had booked his flight to arrive on Feb 24 and leave on Mar 9th.


The Client mostly wanted to learn about tent manufacturing here and make some samples to test in some field trips in near future, then he will decide about ordering. He didn’t 100% decide on sizes, design and materials so he wanted to order several samples with difference to test.


Until we were able to get to know each other and the work he wanted to be done, as well as agreed on a payment for my service, it was already Feb 13th. Due to lunar new year holiday, all offices and businesses are off starting Feb 15th until Feb 21st, and in the last days before the holiday, they were also not very into business. So it was much difficult to get to talk to them and much longer to wait for their respond. Some only responded or able to contact after the holiday. Some said they will reply then never replied. Even some of them (who replied me) extended their holiday to Feb 25th, so I was only able to contact them again by then.


  1. II) Tent manufacturers in Vietnam:


I contacted 10 manufacturers in Vietnam, in which 2 of them are the names which the Client got from his contact (Mountech Co Ltd and Tai Viet)


1) Mountech Co Ltd:


They don’t have official website. Started operation on Apr 1st 1993. Business license issued Nov 12, 1998. The company is 100% German-owned and to make order/inquiry, Client need to contact mother company in Germany.


2) Tai Viet Camping Products Industries Co Ltd:


The factory in Vietnam is only for producing, they aren’t in charge of accommodating inquiries. To inquiry about producing, Clients should contact Mr. James – Taiwan office via phone number 00886 …. 0080, extension 54.


3) TL company: (website hidden)


Address: District 12, Ho Chi Minh city. Contact person: Mr. Hau

The company had been in the business since 1996. They mostly produced to sell to retail stores. So they don’t promote a lot on their website, because if they do that the retail stores – their Clients may lose their share.


He said many stores say on their websites that they have factory, but they actually don’t have and just buy from TL company.


He said their MOQ is 50 (on phone, without seeing photo of the product yet)


They don’t produce for exportation. They can produce but the Client need to take care of exportation.


4) Windtrip tent: website hidden


Address: District 3, Ho Chi Minh city.

They are having difficulty to find supplies for materials to produce, so they can’t accept order.


5) Viet Tent: website hidden


Office&warehouse: Bình Tân district. Factory: Go Vap district, Ho Chi Minh city


They don’t update their website, when I called them they gave me another email address with the one on their website. I also emailed them but they didn’t reply me yet.


They also have store in Hanoi and already produced similar product with the one Client wants to produce. They also don’t produce for exportation. They can produce but the Client need to take care of exportation.


6) Hoang Tan tent: website hidden

Address: District 1.

They said they haven’t done this style of frame before, so they can’t accept to help.


7) Guangxi Zepu: www.gxzepu.com


This is a Chinese-owned company, they don’t have factory in Vietnam, only office.

I’ve spoke with a Chinese guy who can speak Vietnamese very well.

His phone number is 0166 758 4030.

Office in Ho Chi Minh city: Ho Chi Minh city.


He said their MOQ is 1000 units.


8) www.leudulichgiare.com: Their website offer lots of tents, however, when I called them, they said they are no longer in this business.


9) Viet Idea company at Ninh Binh city (in the North): website hidden


MOQ: 30 (saying via phone without seeing photo of the product)


Their website for me is the most professional one which offering manufacturing. Other company’s websites which I can find are mostly to offer retail, but this company’s website offer manufacturing very well.


10) Vina Delta: website hidden

They mostly produce to sell (retail) with big quantity.

They can produce with any MOQ, but the smaller quantity, the more expensive it is.


III) Meeting and ordering samples:


I was able to set up 2 meetings for the Client: with TL company at 9am Feb 27th, and with Viet Tent at 2pm Feb 27th.


At each company, the Client was able to discuss and learn more about tent manufacturing, visiting the factory/production line, taking pictures and ordering samples. Here are some bullet points about ordering samples:


+ 2 samples at each manufacturer, make 50% deposit, time to complete: 7-10 days. The materials only cost less than 45% price of the sample, however it takes lots of time to make it the first time. One manufacturer said when the Client make the official order with their MOQ, they will refund the amount to make samples.


+ Frame by aluminum or fiber glass. Frame step 25 cm.


+ How many doors, bags, hooks and where to place them, how big are they, what are their materials.


+ Tent floor by water-proof cloth.


Want a similar service? => Send us an email via khuyen@lsfvn.com!

Bag/Backpack manufacturing in Vietnam (part II)

Following from my previous post “Visiting a bag manufacturer in Vietnam”, below are several things I want to share from the experiences helping Clients:


  1. Problems in finding manufacturers:


Common problems of suppliers to find a suitable manufacturer are: MOQ, quality and making samples/prototypes.


These problems happen mostly to Clients who are new/first time work in this industry of producing bag/backpack.


Since they are new, they want to produce a small quantity to test the market first. And when the sale is good, they will produce more. Of course, it’s ideal for the Client, but not for the manufacturer and the manufacturer mostly don’t want it. They usually want to work with big Client who order big quantity.


If you are producing for the 1st time, it’s understandable if you think that: “Why don’t they just accept small quantity? One day when I can sell a lot, I will order more and more and I will work with them forever (if nothing goes wrong)”. But I’ve spoken with the sales manager of a big manufacturer, and she said: “If we selected to accept small orders, we would be overload of work now. But we prioritize to work with big Clients”. And if they accept small orders now, when big Clients come, they may not be able to accommodate the big Client. Also as in my previous post, some manufacturers are already overload by the work from their big Clients.


The first time supplier also need to make samples. Even if you have made backpacks for years, you may still need to produce sample if you have a new design, upgrade version of the backpack and it’s not the same with the previous one anymore. And of course you are willing to pay for sample making, but that doesn’t entertain the manufacturer. They would like to process to production more than making samples. Also for complicate sample, it would take longer time to make. I have a Client who have been working with a manufacturer for a couple of months and the sample still hasn’t been made exactly, though the Client flew to Ho Chi Minh city and came to the manufacturer to discuss twice. He also sent detailed drawings and made cardboard sample to send them before he flew in.


However, it doesn’t mean that there are not supplier and manufacturer can work well with each other. It also doesn’t mean that things go smoothly and better with big Client. I’ve spoke with a person who in charge of manufacturing for Osprey, and he said that he himself need to constantly follow up with the manufacturer to make sure that they produce and send the products on time. He can’t just expect and depend on professionalism of the manufacturer.


Bag/backpack manufacturing sounds not easy, but because of that, it’s not for everyone, it’s for those who committed on it.


  1. Minimum of Quotation:


I’ve talked about Client usually wants a smaller MOQ than the manufacturer wants.

Well, so what’s the figure for the MOQ here?


To answer this question, we first need to identify type of manufacturers. I temporarily address them “High-end manufacturer” and “Medium manufacturer”. They aren’t exact terms, but let’s just call them like that.


So High-end manufacturer is the one who might:


+ has bigger factory & better facility

+ has more workers

+ had bigger initial investment

+ has more years of experiences

+ is more professional

+ serve more big Clients

+ has more experience in exporting

+ has more experience in making complicated products such as: hiking, mountain biking and skiing backpacks.

+ requires higher MOQ


Many high-end manufacturers in Vietnam are Korean-owned.


Medium manufacturer is the other way around of all above.


When I say about professionalism of the manufacturer, here is the picture:


+ High-end manufacturer has better website (if any) and brochure.

+ High-end manufacturer’s factory and production process are more tidy and neat. Medium manufacturer maybe more messy.

+ The workers of the high-end manufacturer mostly wear uniforms. Workers of medium ones may not.

+ You can expect to meet the English-speaking people in the management board of the high-end manufacturer to discuss with. For the medium ones, you should less expect about it.

+ The managers of high-end manufacturer may join more international conferences to learn and update about manufacturing in the world.


Many medium manufacturers are Vietnamese-owned.


And MOQ is really depend on each design/product, and each manufacturer, but let’s say, in average, MOQ of a high-end manufacturer is 2000 units and a medium manufacturer is 300 units.


III. Concern about your design:


I’ve received several inquiries who are very concern about their design would be stolen by the manufacturer and being produced and sold without them knowing.


Well, of course, you should be careful and protect your design, but while you are being too careful with the manufacturer, please also consider below factors:


+ Stealing idea/design may happen, but you should be worry about other suppliers steal your idea rather than manufacturer. In this case, they just need to buy your product, examine it, steal your idea and try to make it differently/better. (You may have done the same of examine other people’s product to enrich your idea).


+ With the manufacturers had been here around 20 years, if they want to do it,

they should do it with others who already have reputation (as The North Face, Osprey …) rather than steal idea of a start up.

(and people had done that, there are fake The North Face backpacks somewhere,

but no one knows if it’s from the factory The North Face works with directly or not).


+ You know your market, you know the people who want to buy your product, the manufacturer doesn’t know that. It would take them lots of time and effort to develop a market for your product in your country when they don’t know much. And you can see that they are either overload of work, or don’t market for themselves well enough (if they do, my service can’t exist), how can they market for your product.


If you produce in Vietnam, you can register the industrial design of your product in Vietnam to be protected within Vietnam market. But if you will sell your product abroad (for example, US), registering within Vietnam doesn’t help, you should register at the country you will sell it.


The manufacturer (if you get a bad one) may still produce your product and sell it in Vietnam or their home country (Korea), it doesn’t affect much your main market but you don’t want it, and when it gets bigger, it would affect your business. So it’s better if you register your design. However, to be fully protected, perhaps you should register at all countries or register in Vietnam but with international right, your product will be protected within countries which Vietnam had signed the agreement about industrial design with.


The best is still finding a manufacturer who mind their own business rather than your business.


If you have other question or would like request for service to help inquiring manufacturers, send me a message!


Thanks for reading,


Visiting a bag manufacturer in Vietnam

Summary: Below story is how I helped Fred to find bag manufacturer in Vietnam on Nov 2016. Some experiences I’ve encountered: some bag manufacturer didn’t welcome new potential customer, some of them set high MOQ.

About Fred: He is Founder and CEO of a backpack company. After a backpacking trip to Europe in 2009, Fred and his friend – now business partner found out that they loved the trip, but the backpack was suck. They decided to make their own backpack.

Fred is very clear about what he wants, with high standard. He provided very good information, explain clearly and understand his business very well. Fred is also very open in communication, and willing to share stories.

  1. I) Background story:

I was introduced to Fred by James. Fred and James joined a Digital nomad forum, Fred posted about looking for help in Vietnam, James read it and connected Fred to me on Nov 15.

Fred lives in California, but he was working with a factory in Shenzhen, China to produce backpacks. He visited Vietnam first time on Nov 20 – 28, meet a supplier here and would like to meet with a few backpack factories. He has found few companies that manufacture bags for large brands, but he didn’t know how to get in touch with them. He couldn’t find their websites or contact info.

They are:

1) Hieutien Sewing Co Ltd

2) Pungkook Ben Tre One Member Co Ltd

3) Sambu Vina Sports Co Ltd

4) Vina Duke Co Ltd

5) Vision Vina

6) Pungkook Saigon Co Ltd

7) Astro Saigon Co Ltd

8) Twinkle Vietnam Co Ltd

Fred found these companies through Import Genius. They already make bags for other similar companies like Osprey, Eagle Creek, North Face and Tumi. He wants to see their products and factories so that his company can consider them for future production. He didn’t want to visit random bag factories since Tortuga’s bags are complex, most factories can’t make, only skilled factories can make them.

He asked me to help to contact them, scheduling meetings and transportation.

  1. II) Implementation:

* I asked Fred to:

+ provide me description about the bag (dimension, material …) and drawings, so I can send to the manufacturers, for them to see if they can produce it.

+ provide me quantity he wants to produce (initial quantity and ongoing quantity, frequency)

+ tell me if he needs help with the exporting process.

+ tell me his available schedule to arrange a visit.

+ tell me if there is anything else I can help him with.

Fred then provided me all information I asked, and also tell me names and prices for the less common materials which he will provide for the manufacturer.

* My part:

I called to 6 manufacturers on Nov 18. Fred provided me their phone no from Import Genius, as well as I tried to find other ways to contact them. Some of them posted info to hire people, I then can find phone no of HR Department, and from that, ask phone no of Sales Department. Some of them have some info on Facebook, which I then can ask.

Here are some feedbacks:

1) Hieu Tien Sewing:

Called to 08 39 968 250 => Vietnamese automatic message => extension 104

=> no one picked up => gone

call 2nd time: someone picked up and said they can’t accommodate new order

2) Pungkook Ben Tre:

the one picked up the phone said she knows nothing, and I can call back by noon.

3) Sambu Vina Sports:

I got transferred to Sales Department => the one picked the phone call said:

the whole department go to a meeting, no one is there,

can call back later.

4) Vina Duke:

very long transfer and conversation, and at the end, they said they produce products monopoly,

can’t accept new Clients.

And they said Mr. Ki Young Sang is no longer there.

5) Vision Vina:

the person in charge is not there, but I finally got email address or someone named ‘Jason’.

(I then emailed Jason)

6) Pungkook Saigon:

extension number ‘0’ => no one picked up (I called to all 3 numbers)


As of Nov 19:

2) Pungkook Ben Tre:

said that they are just the factory and only produce as order of the company, asked me to search “Pungkook Saigon 2” online and inquiry them.

I found phone number of someone named “Hoa” online, I then sent email to her, she has forwarded to Sales Department. And they would contact me if they can/want to produce.

3) Sambu Vina:

I called again, the girl at the Sales Department said that they have enough order already,

so they don’t accept new order.

However, I wrote an email to Mr. NH Kim, and he said they are looking for customer who can place minimum order of $3M/year.

5) Vision Vina: Jason replied my email and welcome us to visit their factory.

He said that they have been in backpack industry for more than 30 years, their current buyers are Osprey, Kavu, Beanpole and so on.


7) Astro Saigon said that they have too much orders now, and currently can’t accept new orders.

8) Twinkle Vietnam:

I was able to get in touch with Ms. Phung (phone then email)

She said that their main office/factory is in Hong Kong. And to identify the price, she need to send the sample and info to the Sales Department there to calculate the price and do sampling. Then the bags can be produced in the factory in Vietnam.

She then sent me pictures about one of the products they produced.

As of Nov 21:

2) Pungkook Ben Tre:

Ms. Hoa forwarded my email to Ms. Thuy, and she said they can’t proceed the order since their MOQ is 2M USD per year.

I also contacted few other bag manufacturers, few of them didn’t answer me (include Kanaan). There were Shilla Bag, balotuixach.com, Archsquare replied me with their info and pictures.

Fred said he prefers: Vision Vina (very interested); Shilla Bags and Twinkle

As of Nov 22:

I then informed Fred about address, distance (by km and by time) from his address to the factories, price for one way ride via GrabCar Vietnam (4 seats).

I choose GrabCar since taxi and other car rental services are higher price.

When I check the price in the evening, the price is double in comparison with when we actually rode in day time.

The 3 factories are on different sides of Ho Chi Minh city, each of them takes an hour or more to come (one way), so Fred only selected Vision Vina to visit.

I then booked a meeting with Jason at Vision Vina at 2:30 to 3pm of Wednesday Nov 23rd. I also asked for his phone no and his assistant’s phone no to contact in case we get lost.


III) The visit on Nov 23:


I met Fred at Be & John coffee (187B Dien Bien Phu) on (earlier of ) 1:30pm Nov 23.

We then tried to book a GrabCar, and the first 2 times weren’t successful. The 1st driver said his car had a problem and he was fixing it. The 2nd driver said he was not willing to drive a far distance (to province) that time.

I continued to book Grab, but also be prepared to call to the car rental service I know, in case GrabCar doesn’t work.

Finally we had the 3rd driver accepted to drive us. He didn’t know the direction, so he just opened instruction on the Grab mobile app and followed it. When we got into the car, I told the driver that we would be there just around an hour, if he can wait for us to drive us back. And he said yes. I was able to negotiate a price lower than the price on the way to go there. On the way going there, he had to pay for the toll fee one time.

Vision Vina factory is at Thai Hoa commune, Tan Uyen district, Binh Duong province, 30 kms from our address to the North.

We got to the factory around 2:30pm. I registered for us at the security counter by submitting my ID, write company name and received two guest ID.

We then were instructed to go to 2nd floor to meet Jason. We followed Jason to get into meeting room, where many bags from other Clients of Vision Vina were hung there.

Fred and Jason then started to learn about each other as well as the business, the bags.

Vision Vina was established in Korea on 1984. 1996: the factory and production line were moved to Vietnam to reduce production cost, while the head office is still in Korea. The factory has 1400 workers and main business is backpack.

Fred shared that their backpacks are for people who travel to city, look like urban product, but more complex. One material on the bag was originally for the sail on the boat.

Jason introduced to us all examples of bags which are available in the meeting room.

We then visited the whole factory: Jason introduced us all departments, process: sampling, production lines, inspection, packing, ware house, canteen …

We came back to meeting room for few further discussion.

Fred then asked how does Vision Vina connect the edges of water proof material. Since some bag manufacturers told Fred that they would sew them. But sewing will make holes and lose the purpose of water proof. Jason said that they would tape then heat press, and showed us an example of a product.

After the productive meeting, we left the factory around 4pm. We were back to Ho Chi Minh city around 5pm.

Side note: Fred and me communicated mostly via email and whatsapp.

Helping a Client to relocate from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh city Aug 2018

G relocated from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh city for work. He wanted to move his personal items, include: furniture, household items, books and clothes, and 2 sport bicycles to HCMC. He contacted us on Aug 2nd to inquiry about this.

I’ve sent him an Excel file as the form for information we needed, and asked him to fill up. He needed to provide addresses, list of things, together with their dimensions, estimated weight, and their value in VND.

From that I sent him a quote for our door-to-door service. Some items were charged by item, and others (like boxes or suitcases) were charged by weight. G had two lamps which we advised him that it’s safer for him to try to sell them in Hanoi, rather than sending them, which he accepted. The quote was temporarily, since we only can send an exact quote after we brought his things back to the warehouse and have them weighed there. At that time we could inform him exact weight, which he agreed.

G also bought cardboard boxes and bubble wrap from us to pack his things. By the end he had 12 cardboard boxes weighed total of 195kg.

In the evening of Aug 17th, our truck came to pick up his things. Since the truck only can enter the city after 9pm (those trucks which can enter city in daytime, need to apply for a permit), it arrived at his place at 9.30pm, and his things were loaded then.

The truck brought his things to our warehouse at Thanh Tri district before sending to HCMC, and it arrived in HCMC 8.50am Aug 21.

Since G was looking for a place to rent and didn’t move in yet, his things were stored in our warehouse till delivered to him in the evening of Aug 23 at Thao Dien, District 2, HCMC.

Posted under Client’s permission.

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Helping Client from abroad to buy coffee beans in Ho Chi Minh city

Example of work: Help Client from abroad to buy coffee beans in Vietnam

T traveled in Vietnam last year, and she bought some roasted coffee beans at Thi Nghe market in Ho Chi Minh city . She was impressed with the coffee and wanted to buy some more coffee and try other sorts of coffee as well. However, she didn’t remember which shop was that, nor she knew their names and contact info.

She contacted us to inquiry for our service to help her to come there, gather information and buy the coffee beans, then send to her place in Europe. She also asked us to buy some coffee filters from a near by supermarket. She provided us some info such as price when she bought as well as when did it happen.

Upon we agreed on a service fee and I informed her other fees such as DHL service fee to send to her place, I sent my part-time assistant in Ho Chi Minh city to go to Thi Nghe market to check and buy.

We sent her photos and information such as sorts of coffee, retail price and wholesale price. We also asked for business cards from the shops, took photos of those and sent to her. There were 4 shops instead of 2 shops as T remembered.

After receiving the information, T told us her decision about which shop to buy from, which sort of coffee to buy and the quantity. My assistant went to buy those. She stick a note on each coffee bag for the name of the coffee and which shop sold that. She also went to supermarket T advised to buy coffee filters, however, that supermarket ran out of coffee filters a couple of days ago and didn’t know when would they have supply again. So we found for T a manufacturer and bought directly from them with a better price.

My assistant then packed everything together to send via DHL. She tried to make the smallest volume possible so the volume wouldn’t affect the service fee. The parcel was accepted at DHL Ho Chi Minh city on Aug 18, and arrived at T’s place on Aug 23.

Please note that to send coffee by postal service, you may need an import license. T had a license to import coffee, however she didn’t need to use it, due to the weight we sent was smaller than 20kg, and to T’s country (based on information from DHL).

Posted under Client’s permission.

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