Nowadays, living in Vietnam is more and more popular for expats around the world. Vietnam has attracted a lot of foreigners moving to and setting their lifestyle in the country. However, moving anywhere new is bound to offer some unique challenges, and Vietnam is no exception. Wolo Tours will give you some detailed information on tips for foreigners living in Vietnam. Let’s get started!
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1. Is Vietnam safe for Living?
Living in Vietnam is certainly safe for everyone. This country rarely experiences terrible natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis. However, Vietnam is a one-party communist country with a mainly agricultural economy. It also ranks low in terms of religious freedom with religious acts suppressed by the government if they violate the so-called “national interest” and “public order”.
2. 5 Tips for living in Vietnam as an Expat
Vietnam has entered the top 10 best countries for foreigners to live and work for the first time according to the recently released HSBC Expat 2019 report. Besides, some social evils such as theft or pickpocketing are still taking place but are not too terrible. In case you have any problems while living in Vietnam and need the intervention of the authorities, here are some tips for you.
Vietnamese is considered by many foreigners a difficult language to learn. Therefore, it is still a long time for foreigners to communicate with Vietnamese people. There are very few Vietnamese who know foreign languages, including international languages such as English. This makes it very difficult for travellers and people who want to live and work in Vietnam.
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Vietnamese people mainly travel by motorbike because this is the most mobile means of transport possible to every corner of Vietnam. Many foreigners feel unsafe when travelling by this vehicle, but there are many foreigners in Vietnam who have also become proficient motorcyclists after a few years. Moreover, transport infrastructure is difficult and has not been invested in remote areas yet.
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2.3 Weather Conditions
Vietnam’s climate is tropical monsoon. It has a rainy season, very hot summers, and cold winters. Although not too harsh, it is also not easy to adapt, especially during the season change. Many foreigners living in Vietnam feel unable to adapt to the weather here.
2.4 Vietnamese Cuisine and Dishes
Living in Vietnam as a foreigner is always an experience. You will have the best memories of warm evenings sitting on small plastic chairs on the street with friends enjoying a big bowl of pho and a few beers. Vietnamese street food is similar across the country with slight differences in the North, Central and South regions.
2.4.1 Street food
Most Vietnamese people have their meals on the street. It is only in the last few years as tourism has increased that the restaurant scene has begun to explode. If you live in big cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, or Da Nang, you will have no problem finding Western restaurants.
There are also many luxury Vietnamese restaurants. They are usually geared towards large groups of tourists. However, the best Vietnamese food you will find is served on the street such as banh mi, bun cha, pho, dumplings, and more.
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2.4.2 Groceries, Supermarkets and Markets
When you live in Vietnam as a foreigner, you can buy groceries in two ways. You can visit the local food markets dotted throughout the city or you can buy them from major supermarkets. During your time in Vietnam, you may eat some strange tropical fruits that you have never tried before.
Arriving at the Vietnamese traditional market at 6 am is a pleasant experience. The people, the noise, the smells, the sights, and the variety are pure madness. Do not be shocked to be pushed aside because everyone is trying to get the best products. At first, you can be fooled by the market, but once you get used to the face, you will know the local prices.
2.5 Health & Wellness in Vietnam
Conditions for receiving health care services of Expat living in Vietnam
Overall, Vietnam has a very good health system that is rapidly improving. The industry’s focus on prevention rather than cure is one of the reasons for Vietnam’s rapid response to the coronavirus pandemic. Most preventive health care services are free in Vietnam, including vaccinations and maternal and child health care.
Besides, Vietnam has a mixed public-private healthcare system, although it is slowly transitioning to a fully-public model. The healthcare model is far more advanced in metropolitan urban centres but is slowly reaching the countryside too.
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Insurance for Foreigners living in Vietnam
Foreigners often choose to go to private hospitals in Hanoi or Saigon, as these hospitals are more likely to be staffed with English or French-speaking doctors. For this reason, you should purchase private health insurance, especially if you live outside of urban centres.
You may also want to consider adding medical evacuation insurance. The reason is you may find certain specialist treatments that require you to travel to Bangkok, Singapore, or Seoul. However, Europeans cannot use GHIC or EHIC in Vietnam.
Vaccination against covid 19
People who are not Vietnamese on arrival must adhere to a mandatory two-week quarantine period upon arrival. You will also need to submit a health declaration. However, the Ministry of Health is currently debating whether to allow visitors with Covid passports to enter without quarantine.
If you intend to come to Vietnam soon, you need to consult the local news or your embassy for advice, and prepare for the quarantine period when you arrive, such as arranging accommodation. In case you need a vaccine after arriving in Vietnam, you should be able to get one for free through your state’s health care system.
3. The area where the majority of foreigners live in Vietnam
Which city to choose to live in really depends on your lifestyle. Choosing between Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi is the most common decision but you can consider going to Da Nang. If you are a corporate expat, you will not have a choice in this regard. On the other hand, if you are a teacher, you may have more freedom in choosing where you will live, so you can think of some lesser-known cities.
3.1 Northern area (Hà Nội)
Hanoi is less built-up than Ho Chi Minh City and feels much more spacious. The city is now becoming more modern with hundreds of cafes, bars, restaurants, clubs, and festivals open all the time. You can find most expats hanging around the area of Ho Tay by the big lake drinking coffee with friends, reading books, and studying.
If you are an offshore company and have a family, you may also want to live in the Ho Tay lake area. If the big city is not for you, you can consider Ecopark, 18km from Hanoi. This is a special residential area for those who want to live in a more peaceful and less polluted area. Hanoi offers an incredibly relaxed experience with a good community of like-minded people. It’s a great city with lots of activities, meetings, and seminars.
3.2 Central area (Đà Nẵng)
This city is the perfect mix between the city, beaches, forests, and mountains. Among these sides, there is still give off a strong relaxation vibe with coffee shops everywhere, promenades, and spaces for leisure. The city also has close access to a huge national park. This provides access to hiking, waterfalls, camping spaces, and motorcycle trails.
You may not be able to find better seafood in another Vietnamese city. Due to the large number of tourists coming to the resort, the beaches have many seafood restaurants. There is also a thriving street food area, offering a variety of Vietnamese foods that you cannot get elsewhere in the country.
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3.3 South area (Hồ Chí Minh)
Ho Chi Minh city is formally known as Sai Gon. This is also the most populous and busiest place. At first, when you visit, you may be shocked by the crowds but it just takes a while to settle in. Renowned for its chaotic yet laid-back atmosphere, you will find many benefits to living here. There are many foreign companies here because many large corporations have offices in HCMC.
It is also home to some of the best and cheapest street food in the country. Furthermore, choosing a place to live in Ho Chi Minh City depends a lot on your job location. There are 24 counties and traffic can be heavy across all of them. It is important to live somewhere where you can easily get to work. Spending 30-45 minutes travelling in the inner city is not interesting.
4. Cost of living in Vietnam
According to the largest website in the field of global price data – Numbeo, Vietnam ranks 86th in the world and 6th in Southeast Asia in terms of cost of living. The survey results presented in the report titled Expat Insider show that Vietnam ranks in the position with the lowest cost of living for expats. Some foreigners say that the average cost of living in Vietnam ranges from 700 USD to 1,400 USD per month, including:
- Average apartment/house rent and bills: 200 – 600 USD (Shared).
- Meal fee: 100 – 300 USD.
- Transportation (Motorcycle rental plus petrol): The cost of the transport is 60 USD. This cost may be lower if you use public buses. You can also buy a used motorbike for about 250 – 250 USD to save on monthly motorbike rental.
- Grocery: 100 USD.
- Leisure: 100 USD if you go out or eat out once a week.
- Mobile phone bill: 5 USD (Use Wi-Fi for chat apps for communication needs to save your money).
5. Career opportunities for Expats in Vietnam
The top three reasons why expats move to Vietnam are to advance their careers, seek new challenges and improve their quality of life. Many experts find the working environment in Vietnam very favourable. The average annual salary for a foreign expert coming to Vietnam is 78,750 USD, higher than the global average of 75,966 USD.
Thanks to the colourful culture and friendliness of the Vietnamese people, this is a great choice for young professionals and experienced people from all over the world. Foreigners living in Vietnam can take on many jobs, including Researcher, Businessman, chefs, teachers, etc.
6. The prestigious Visa address in Vietnam – Wolo Tours
With more than 10 years of experience in the visa and travel industries, Wolo Tours is a prestigious address in Vietnam that helps you get a Vietnam visa and also gives you advice before moving. The business can handle almost all cases. They have a reputation for providing high-quality services which makes them become a preferred choice for those who need help. Coming here, you can have:
- Expert consultation: You are supported in every process as detailed as possible by a team of experienced and enthusiastic staff.
- Free initial assessment: You can get a quick application processing.
- 24/7 support: This business has 24/7 supporters, so you are not worried about your concerns.
- Timely delivery guaranteed: There are accompanying services such as direct airport shuttle support by car (Fast track service and Car Pickup).
- Complete whole process: The information about the route and procedures is provided clearly, completely, and in detail.
If you need any support from the Wolo Tours team, you can contact them now with the following information.
- Address: 2nd floor No 02, Alley 232, Yen Hoa street, Cau Giay district, Hanoi, Viet Nam
- Website: https://vietnamvisatourist.com/
- Hotline: (+84) 918 21 2468
- Email: support@Vietnamvisatourist.com
Following this article, you can get more information and advice about living in Vietnam as an expat. It may be more difficult to live in a foreign country like Vietnam, but this opportunity will help you broaden your horizons around the world. If you want to find a company with whom you can go through this process carefully without any errors, do not hesitate to contact Wolo Tours using the contact information above.
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