Living in Vietnam

With many year experience on helping expats rent house in Vietnam, we know lots of information about expats life when living in Vietnam. We also know almost the landlords and leasing properties in District 2, especially in Thao Dien Ward, District 2. Let us help you with some useful information for living in Vietnam and please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any help. Hope that you enjoy your relocation in Vietnam.

Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home when you move to Vietnam.

Brought-Cutlery, wine glasses and bedding. Left – Leather jacket, old family photos (just bring copies) and dried foodstuff

How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment when living in Vietnam?

Through an agent and talking to friends, but I think professional agent is the most important because we need support for some small things and it takes time if we do it ourselves

What type of housing should we choose for the first time living in Vietnam? Is this typical for most expats you know?

It’s depending on your plan, but I think you should rent short term in service apartment or hotel (1or 2 months), while you are finding a good house and waiting for your stuffs and belongings arriving to Vietnam if any. You can stay in District 1 or District 2 as there are many service apartments / hotels with short term leasing. Almost expats I know do the same.

Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?

The property market in Vietnam now is stable than two years ago when the economic crisis was going on. You can find more local style housing for US$500-800 a month, but really you need to think about paying around US$1000-1200 for something decent. The Embassy type housing goes for US$1800-4000 and most good quality houses are up to US$5,000 – US$7,000. The most expensive place I have heard of is around $10,000 a month! But the cost for others services when living in Vietnam are not too high

Where to Live in Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City?

District 2 – An Phu / Thao Dien District 2 is a huge area, much of which is currently undeveloped marsh land, so generally when expats refer to District 2 they are talking about An Phu and Thao Dien wards, where much of Saigon’s western expatriates settle, as well as wealthy Vietnamese. Despite being split in two by the massive Highway 1, the roads around An Phu/Thao Dien are fairly peaceful and not too scary to negotiate by bicycle. Many of the houses here are very large – villas with pools designed for those whose housing is included in their contracts – and some are within walled compounds – but there are still affordable houses available for rent. The number of eating and drinking options in An Phu is growing, with a number of nice bars, riverside cafes, Western bakeries, shops and multinational restaurants (Western foods, Thai foods, Japanese, Vietnamese, …), which is a good thing since the commute to District 1 is generally around 15-20 minutes, and there are several major international schools and nurseries in the areasuch as: British International School (BIS), Ho Chi Minh International School (HIS), The American International School (TAS), Australian International School (AIS), ACG, French School Antonia, Smartkids, …. An Phu is certainly a friendly area, referred to as ‘the village’ by residents, and while some may find it rather Westernized and a little far removed from a genuine Saigon experience, others will relish the peace and quiet and safety it provides for their children.

District 7 – Phu My Hung / Saigon South, the massive Asian people, Phu My Hung development, around 30-40 minutes to the south of District 1, was conceived as a ‘satellite city’ for Ho Chi Minh, and has been designed from scratch with wide, tree lined roads and towering apartment blocks and villas. So far there is little other development in the area which means unparalleled access to green space, and there are a number of sports clubs, swimming pools, and international schools and universities in the area. There are many expatriates living here, the biggest group of which are East Asians such as Koreans and Japanese, but there are a growing number of Western expatriates too. The area used to receive a bad rap for being something of a ‘toy town’ – the area certainly appears sterile when compared to some of the inner city areas with little to no street life and a small but growing number of shops and restaurant, but over the years it has become a more lively place, and in the late afternoons being able to sit on the grass and appreciate the breeze is great after a hot day in the city. District 7 is certainly not your typical Vietnamese experience, but if you can’t take the noise and chaos of the centre or wish to raise your kids with a bit of space to run around it is not a bad option.

District 1, District 3 – Central Districts of Saigon- Ho Chi Minh City where there are many tourists and expatriates living and working here. Ho Chi Minh City welcomes the tourist people to come here to visit the sign-seeing of Saigon, telling as Notre Damme Church, lines of Museums, classical structure building such as Hochiminh City People Committee, Grand Opera, Central Post Office, Unification Palace… Emphasized symbol is Ben Thanh Market and business centers : Saigon Trade Center, Diamond, … together with entertainments, shops, bars. The system of restaurants, famous hotels which are managed by international groups: Legend, Renaissance Riverside, Sofitel, Park Hyatt, Majestic… In addition, system of hotels, apartments for rent, 1 or 2 bedrooms with the rental from US$400 – US$2,000/month and other luxury service apartments: Somerset Chancellor, Somerset Ho Chi Minh, Sherwood, Kumho Asiana, Landcaster… with the rent from US$2,000 – US$4,500/month. District 1 and District 3 have not many villas with garden, private swimming pool, rather than the town houses which are narrow, multi-floors without outdoor spaces and surrounding terraces.