Vietnam Hobby Time: Fun Stuff from Home During COVID-19

You’ve got so much free time now. So don’t spend all of it just watching TV. You can do everything from create a new recipe to learn a new language. Have fun!

A common question during English classes in Vietnam: “What’s your favorite hobby?” And the answer a student gives is usually about entertainment. Yes, listening to music is not a hobby! Playing an instrument, however, definitely is. That said, here are some suggestions of stuff you can take up from home while we’re mostly stuck indoors, no thanks to COVID-19.

We’ll try to list activities that are both fun and enriching. That way, you don’t spend too much time just watching movies while the coronavirus forces you to change your routine.

From Beethoven to Broken Bells


Staying in the house all day can create a bit of cabin fever. Well, music is known to soothe our anxieties and playing music rather than listening to it can be a whole lot better.

Time will seem to pass exponentially faster and imagine how much you’ll impress your family (and, after this corona madness ends, your friends) with your new talent. It doesn’t matter if you prefer classical music or indie rock.

The hard part is doing so if you don’t have any instruments in the house. We suggest looking online for people selling their used guitars, drums or anything else. Or maybe find a store that rents them.

Thanks to so many video apps, you can probably take lessons that way too. Or just find some YouTube tutorials.

Today’s special

Sure, delivery is convenient during COVID-19 lockdown but you’ll feel even better if you prepare a gourmet meal for your loved ones.

Google has endless recipes. That includes YouTube, which allows you to watch a chef (or at the least, a talented cooking enthusiast) prepare something yummy.

You could also find ways to make an old recipe new, or to combine two recipes into some kind of fusion dish. For example, I’m a big fan of boeuf bourguignon. This French beef stew has been a favorite of mine for a long time. But I also like bo kho, which many believe is the local adaptation of the French dish, a culinary offspring that came from colonization.

I prefer the beef the way the French cook it. But I like some of the spices the Vietnamese use that the French don’t. So I took what I like from each and created what you see in the photo above. Looks good, right?

A digital shift

Thanks to Wix, WordPress and other content management systems, almost anyone can have a personal profile that looks better and/or more professional than Facebook. It’s pretty easy.

You don’t need to know a lot of coding thanks to the platforms I mentioned. And if you get stuck during the building process, the software engineers who build the templates often offer assistance at a small fee, maybe $20 USD or so.

In the end, for about $100 USD, you can have a page that serves as a digital portfolio for job recruiters, a blog to highlight your travels, or just about anything you find interesting.

Maybe your site will become so popular, you can monetize it.

Winner, winner

Back during my university days, my roommates, friends and I used to have some epic video game battles. But we outgrew it before graduation, and I haven’t picked up a controller since then.

Therefore, I’m reluctant to call this a hobby.

However, a colleague feels so strongly about it, I did some research and read that playing video games really qualifies. Apparently, some people turn this into a career.

I’m still not ready to give video games my full hobby endorsement. But badminton is an Olympic sport, so…

Staying fit

The gyms are closed. So is Vinhomes Central Park, a popular place for exercise. But that doesn’t mean you can’t break a sweat at home.

All you need is a yoga mat and an Internet connection. Again, YouTube is your source. Or maybe your favorite yoga studio is offering online classes.

The point is, don’t let the lockdown force you to abandon your exercise routine. It’s important to maintain your health and avoiding COVID-19 doesn’t have to mean an expanding waistline.

You can stay virus-free, and still fit into your clothes when this is all over.

Language lovers

Last but not least, we come to linguistics. We’ll admit, it’s probably easier to take a class and learn from a teacher who creates a lot of interactive tasks. But you can still do it on your own.

Take English, for example. A former student of mine used his extra free time to prepare for his IELTS exam and he did quite well. Then there’s the guy who cut my hair last month. He learned on his own, mainly from watching YouTube videos and double-checking words and phrases on Google Translate. We had a great conversation. I was impressed.

And foreigners can take this time to learn more Vietnamese.

Don’t put limits on yourself. You can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it.

Ready to overcome the COVID-19 lockdown?

We hope you are. You’ve got a handful of ideas.

Again, we admit, a hobby is not always easy. It’s not always as relaxing as just curling up on the couch and watching TV. But it’s often a lot more fulfilling. So don’t let COVID-19 stop you from having fun during this lockdown. Seize the opportunities you have.