Living in Vietnam will be a new experience for expats, especially Western ones due to the uniqueness characteristic of this country. In case you don’t know, there are no two cities in Vietnam offer the same vibe from each other and there are some vast different between the North and South Vietnam. So choosing the right city to live is not an easy choice.
Although Ho Chi Minh city isn’t the capital of Vietnam, but it is the best destination for expats if you consider moving to Vietnam. The city has many drawbacks; however, its merit outweighs its demerit.
Here are several of reasons from my experience living in Ho Chi Minh city, or also called Saigon of why expats love to live here.
1. Friendly people
Southern Vietnamese for general or Ho Chi Minh city’s citizen for particular is well-known for friendliness towards foreigners. Expats would feel welcomed and warm-hearted once they live in Saigon since their community is filled with ready-to-help people.
But do you know why Southern people is said to be more friendly than the Northern people?
On one hand, Saigon residences are kinder to both Vietnamese and expats, make people feel like they are at home as they arrived in this city.
On the other hand, the Northern people of Vietnam sometimes act very bad. For examples, they overcharge Southern people as well as tourists simply because of their voices.
2. Jobs opportunity
As Vietnam is a developing country, the necessity of English is more and more important. And Ho Chi Minh city, the largest city in Vietnam as well as one of the fastest growing in Asia require employees with abilities to speak English to catch up with the development speed of the world.
The English teaching market is booming, and Saigon is no exception. From time to time, many education centers are founded and expanding with a tremendous speed such as ILA, ACET, VUS. They recruit new teachers to supply the need of their students. As a result, ESL teacher’s career is wide open for all expats in Vietnam.
IT, designers, tour guide, … are also popular jobs for expats living in Vietnam.
3. Low living cost
Vietnam is a low living cost country and when the well-paid salary from the jobs I mentioned before, expats can spend for their living comfortably.
A modern one-bedroom apartment is around 8,000,000 VND ($345). Or you could reduce cost by hiring share rooms with your friends.
If you don’t have time to cook, it is cheap to eat out. A local meal is only cost between 20,000 – 50,000 VND ($0.86 – $2.15).
Going to the cinema is about 150,000 VND ($6.46) for a movie with a large popcorn and a coke.
4. Well-developed city
In Ho Chi Minh city, you can find Wi-Fi everywhere and free – Wi-Fi in most public places or convenient stores, restaurants, etc. Unlike in many countries such as Singapore, where you have to pay for Internet connection, in Saigon, it’s free to use and 3G/ 4G data is very cheap.
If you are new in Ho Chi Minh city or don’t know how to drive a motorbike yet, there are many drivers who are ready to pick you up just by ordering in transportation apps such as Grab and GoViet. These applications also supply delivery from restaurants and food stalls for the convenient of their customers.
5. Ho Chi Minh city’s location
Living in Ho Chi Minh city, you won’t never have to worry about not having places to visit.
First of all, in Saigon, there are 24 districts that distinct from each other. Travelling around Saigon and discover all elements of all the districts by yourself is a very interesting activity.
Secondly, from Ho Chi Minh city, it only takes 2 – 3 hours to reach many famous tourist attractions as well as many beautiful beaches outside Saigon. A motorbike trip to these locations is very exciting and often held by youngster every month.
Finally, Tan Son Nhat airport, the biggest airport of Vietnam is situated in Ho Chi Minh city. If you want to travel elsewhere besides Vietnam, it only takes 30 – minutes ride from the city center to the airport. This is one biggest advantage of living in Ho Chi Minh city for those with a thirst for adventure.
6. Various types of food
Ho Chi Minh city serves almost every kind of food in the world as well as unique food of entire Vietnam. From the famous Pho to the weird meal of minorities of Vietnam, you will have the opportunity to taste them all. Or if you are a Western countries people and being homesick, Saigon’s restaurants offer you with all kinds of Western meals. This city’s menu has it all: America burger, Japan sushi, Greek desserts, etc.
But what attracts expats the most when coming to Ho Chi Minh city is the tasty street food. Walking on the street, you can easily find some street food stalls and carts. Get yourself a banh mi or a banh xeo from street food carts and enjoy. You will be shock because of the price compared to its deliciousness.
7. Expats community
Ho Chi Minh city have many big expats community, but the biggest one that I have to mention is in District 2. And the apartment for rent best prefer by expat is Masteri Thao Dien. In District 2, you can find a large population of English speaker and visitors from around the world. There are also lots of foreign restaurants for expats to relish their home country flavor.
Moreover, Ho Chi Minh is a youthful city and English have become the secondary language of the education. Expats don’t need to learn Vietnamese in order to communicate in most places abound Saigon.
8. Warm weather
Even though Ho Chi Minh have 2 seasons: wet season and dry season, the weather here is always warm throughout entire year. Unlike in Hanoi with 4 marked seasons, Saigon is the perfect place for those who enjoy the year-round summer.
This article is summarized by Modoho – a trusted agency in Ho Chi Minh city. If you need any help from a local expertise with free searching services (only landlord have to pay) feel free to contact us. Here is some listing for you:
- Masteri Thao Dien for rent.
- Vinhomes Central Park for rent.
- Estella Heights for rent.
- Apartment for rent in District 2 (Thao Dien).