It is true, everyone has an opinion and everyone has a stereotype of what Vietnam will be like to live and most of us (not all) will be surprised how things are not as they seem.
The truth is that yes, there will be problems like new culture aka culture shock, language and customs/ habits that people are used to are totally different than back home.
Moving from a place where one has more than enough friends to none or only few friends will be a shock, because the “support–network” that we have back home is gone. So like explorers and people who welcome opportunity to take this like breakfast (one bite at a time)
Then again someone is moving with their partner to a new environment like Vietnam and become spouse, who will according to statistics suffer most, due the fact that their partner leaves to work and they do not have any friends.
One easy way to avoid such things, is to be active and dive into unknown and meet new people: networking events, young professionals, chamber of commerce events or just local restaurants to meet new friends and make new stronger network to fight the loneliness.
Before renting an apartment as expat we feel that things like price, the house quality and service should be the same as where we come from, but sadly many times it is not.
If one wants to explore by themselves and negotiate the deal or find properties online, that is also fine, but be ready that (if you are not lucky) there might be issues like after the contract is done then the landlord does not help with anything, possible mold in your room, roommates or neighbors do not respect your personal space and make your life miserable.
Cost of living
When moving to Ho Chi Minh, one main concern is how expensive it is? Well, depending on your lifestyle, Ho Chi Minh can be surprisingly cheap or expensive. Unless you are willing to share an apartment with several flatmates, then Housing will probably be the most expensive item to consider; if you compare it with other cities in Vietnam, most likely you will be shocked once you find out about the housing market in Ho Chi Minh. Nevertheless, with some local guidance, it is still possible to find a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment for 650 USD or less. Food & transportation can be very cheap. Entertainment in popular bars or world-class restaurants can be expensive, but then again, if you embrace the local culture, then you would be able to have the same amount of fun in different local venues.
For those open-minded expats Ho Chi Minh’s local hospitals can be an attractive option as they are very cheap, specially compared with international ones. Consultation fees & medicine in this kind of facilities are surprisingly cheap, but the quality & service are terrible. On the other hand, Ho Chi Minh has a plethora of well-known international hospitals with international doctors that can make you feel like home, however, consultation fees can exceed the 100 USD mark and medication/treatments can be 3 times more expensive than those from local hospitals. If you count with insurance (make sure to check with the hospital to see wether your insurance is accepted or not) then international hospitals can be the way to go.
Registration for temporary residence (Must know)
Every newly arrived expat in Ho Chi Minh MUST, without a question, register at the local police soon after arriving and when moving into a new home.
As westerners we all hear stories about Asian people eating all kinds of weird stuff, however this is not entirely true, Vietnamese food is surprisingly good and most foreigners add it to part of their diet.
You can also shop at international supermarkets and get the same products you find back home.
For more information about life in Vietnam please contact me directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team of professionals will support you in finding the ideal investment opportunities in Ho Chi Minh City.