Three years ago, Peter Petracca was working as a consultant in New York, itching for a change.
Petracca, originally from California, decided to move to Hanoi, Vietnam.
"I was living in Brooklyn next door to a Vietnamese restaurant and would eat there three times a week," he told CNBC while in Hanoi. "I heard amazing things about the people, the architecture and, of course, loved the food, so I figured why not?"
He launched Chameleon City — an app that connects tourists and expats to locals, who can answer questions such as "Where can I get the best local food?" or "How do I get a business license?"
The rationale for going beyond Google and guidebooks: Petracca said, in a developing country like Vietnam, many platforms simply aren't reliable and up to date. For instance, a good local street food vendor may not appear on any website.