Looking to relocate or move to Ho Chi Minh City? Here are some top tips to get you started on your move.
Check Visa Requirement
Before flying out to Vietnam it is important you get the correct visa. While many countries are granted 15 days visa-free access on arrival, it’s best to organize a longer-term visa in advance if you are hoping to relocate.
Business visas and tourist visas are available as either multiple or single entry and vary in duration depending on your nationality. Typically it is possible to get 1 month, 3 months or a 1-year visa from a Vietnamese embassy in your home country.
Arrival and Getting Around
Ho Chi Minh City is a booming city and can be a bit of a culture shock for those who have not visited before, it is, therefore, advisable to arrange a hotel or apartment for your first few nights in advance.
The city airport is fairly central and has a range of options for traveling on to your accommodation. Taxi firms such as Vinasun and Mai Linh can be picked up at the arrival terminal and typically charge about 200,000vnd to the center of District 1. Alternatively, you can use the Uber app, or the South East Asian competitor Grab, to arrange a private car into the city.
Location is Key
Once you have arrived in Ho Chi Minh it’s time to start exploring the city and considering areas in which you might want to live.
The city is divided into districts and your experience of the city can change dramatically depending on where you choose to buy or rent. Typically the majority of ex-pats live in District 2 or District 7.
District 2 is positioned very centrally but remains quiet when compared to the hustle and bustle of District 1. In particular, the Thao Dien and An Phu areas feature modern apartments and villas with a great range of amenities; including everything from shopping malls to sports bars.
District 7 is a bit further from the center of the city and similarly boasts a mixed international community of longer-term ex-pats and wealthy locals. The area is very quiet with large green spaces and new, high quality, housing.
For those looking to live in and amongst the action, District 1 is a great choice. At the very heart of the city District 1 has a huge variety of restaurants, bars, and shops. Though busier and noisier than Districts 2 and 7, District 1 can feel like a more authentic Vietnamese experience.
It’s a good idea to start job hunting before you arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, giving yourself a head start regarding the opportunities available. While many foreigners arrive in Vietnam to teach, that’s far from the only possibility in Ho Chi Minh City. The Vietnamese economy is booming and there are opportunities to be found in a variety of industries, from small tech startups to big global corporations.
It’s worth checking websites such as VietnamWorks, Vietnam Online, and Craigslist to see what jobs are being advertised. Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, and even Facebook, can also prove valuable tools.