• Ho Chi Minh City
  • Hanoi
  • The capital city of Vietnam is Hanoi with nearly 6.5 million people. It is the centre of politics, culture, trade and society of the whole country. Vietnam is a Socialist Republic with a single party-state, the communist party.

  • The population is at 92.48 million. 85% are ethnic Vietnamese with the remaining 15% made up of ethnic Chinese, Khmers, Chams and members of more than 60 ethnic groups living mostly in the mountainous areas in the Central Highlands and northern regions.

  • Vietnam has a tonal language that uses the Roman alphabet together with tone and diacritical marks. Much of the language is Sino/Vietnamese, though influences from French and English are also apparent. Today, English has replaced French and Russian as the most studied and spoken foreign language and is widely spoken in the major cities.

  • Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate. The seasons vary depending on latitude and elevation. In general, the dry season runs from November to April, though for the Central Highlands this period is the wettest part of the year. The best time to visit the north (Hanoi) is from October to January, the central highland (Danang) from February to April and the south (Ho Chi Minh) from December to March

  • Expat areas: Hanoi Capital and Ho Chi Minh City

  • Housing: There are numerous house types, from villas (with large gardens and swimming pools), detached houses (with smaller gardens or yards), semi-detached houses and townhouses. Most semi-detached houses and townhouses especially in the city centers are narrower in width and could have up to 4 storeys. Flats and international branded serviced apartments are available. It is also common to find partially serviced apartments where furniture, electricity, water, Internet, housekeeping, security and reception service is included in the rental

  • Cost of housing: Housing in Vietnam is considered to be expensive and varies based on type of residence, location and standard of renovation. Of course, villas with large gardens and swimming pools are more expensive than the others. The local currency is Vietnam Dong (VND). However expatriate rental properties are always quoted in USD and now converted in VND as per a new regulation from the Vietnam Ministry of Finance.

  • Schools: Several reputable international schools are available in the main cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and offers International Curriculum. The International School (, the Saigon South International School (, the British International School (, the United Nations International School UNIS in Hanoi ( , Concordia ( the Hanoi International school (, are some of them and offer education from pre-school to grade 12. They are co-educational and multicultural and provide a high quality of education. The French College, and the Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese international schools are the other options

  • Transportation: Public transportation in the city centre relies mostly on buses and is of medium quality. Taxis are widely available and convenient, and cost about VND 13000 per km. Permanent car hire with driver costs between USD800 and 1,800 per month depending on car’s model and terms & conditions of the lease.

  • Healthcare: The healthcare system in Vietnam for foreigners is mainly through clinics. The 3 main International clinics are International SOS, Family Medical Practice and Columbia Asia (Ho Chi Minh City). International hospitals are available in Hanoi (L'Hopital Français, Vinmec International Hospital) and Ho Chi Minh City (FV Hospital). Insurance schemes for foreigners often require payment first and reimbursement from the insurance carrier. Healthcare professionals are trained in both local and western practices.

  • Work permits and visas: The foreign immigration and labor policy require a Business Visa or Temporary Residence Card and Work Permit.

  • Banking and currency: There are number of international banks in Vietnam but only a few of them are able to offer personal banking services (ANZ, HSBC, Citibank). The banks are open from Monday to Friday.

• Is Vietnam a safe country?
Vietnam is still a developing country and lavish displays of wealth only encourage petty theft. This said, your personal safety is at low risk in Vietnam as violent incidents against foreigners are rare.

• Are rents negotiable?
Rental terms and conditions are often negotiable but you may lose your chance to get a property if you negotiate too hard for one that’s in high demand.

• Are there reputable International schools available in Vietnam?
There is a large choice of reputable international schools in Ho Chi Minh City, and a fewer number in Hanoi. Schooling is generally not an issue in Vietnam, although the waiting list for the most popular ones may be up to 6 months. It is advised to secure the schooling before everything else.