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  • After I moved here, I had built a small group of locals that could really help me with everything.

  • This is Peter. He's originally from California, has lived in New York,

  • but he's spent the past three years in Vietnam.

  • I'm meeting him in Hanoi to see what it's like to start a company in a completely foreign country.

  • I bet this is the one.

  • He started an app that matches expats and tourists to locals who can answer questions like,

  • "Where do I find the best local food?"

  • "How do I get a business license?"

  • Today we're using his app strictly as just users.

  • The first question I ask is,"What's some good street food nearby?"

  • An insider, as they're called, tells me about a local bun cha place

  • and you can't find it on Google.

  • You're going to put the noodles in the broth, pick some herbs, get some chilli.

  • And some garlic, mix it all up.

  • And that's it.

  • Peter wants tourists and new expats to experience Vietnam like a local.

  • This lady makes the best pork patties. These things melt in your mouth.

  • And no one knows about it like, no one would be able to find it?

  • Yeah, tourists walk by. You'll see tourists walking by from the Temple of Literature constantly.

  • but nobody ever stops here.

  • In a developing country like here, Google, guidebooks and review sites just aren't as effective, he says.

  • One thing this app can't help me with? My chopstick game.

  • Lunch costs us $3.

  • I open up the app again to ask about a cool local coffee shop.

  • So, we're now gonna go try that coffee place that was just recommended.

  • Peter says the recommendations all come from firsthand experience of the insiders.

  • Do you tell a lot of your staff like your favorite list or --

  • No, I've learned from them, this is a place that I found on Chameleon.

  • We're not busy looking things up online and reading reviews to find a good coffee shop.

  • We're just like, you just ask and a few minutes later, get a response and then just go.

  • These business owners have no special deal with you guys,

  • no sort of partnership, they probably don't even know what your know what your app is?

  • Exactly, he probably has no idea what Chameleon is.

  • At coffee, I ask him how he ended up in Vietnam.

  • I was living in Brooklyn next door to a Vietnamese restaurant.

  • I would eat there three times a week. I had heard amazing things about the people,

  • the architecture, and of course loved the food so thought, why not?

  • Peter says he's seen a rapid growth here in Vietnam.

  • The amount of people I see coming in and increasingly the amount of friends

  • that are even contacting me that are saying, "Hey I'm moving to Vietnam, how did you do it?"

  • It's incredible.

  • He's hoping to capitalize off of it as companies bring more and more foreigners into Vietnam.

  • There is so much smart talent in this place, bilingual, well-educated.

  • I think this is the next frontier of Asia and the world.

  • We make our way to one of the co-working spaces, where I meet some of the people powering the app.

  • The Bun Cha place ...

  • Yeah, I did.

  • Ah, that was you. That was amazing, that was excellent.

  • That's good.

  • Peter leads a meeting with his team.

  • I want to implement in the next few days.

  • We end the day at one more place. This time, it's Peter's recommendation.

  • Peter left Brooklyn to try something new in Vietnam.

  • In the process, he's building his business and experiencing a new culture as an American, abroad.

  • Thank you.

  • Cheers.

After I moved here, I had built a small group of locals that could really help me with everything.

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A2 US vietnam app chameleon local coffee shop place

How one American is capitalizing off his move to Vietnam | CNBC Profiles

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    Samuel posted on 2018/07/28
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