Things to know before moving to Vietnam

Things to know before moving to Vietnam


It’s hot.

First thing to know prior to moving to Vietnam is its weather – the country can get hot depending on the season thus be prepared to sweat.

Most of Vietnam is hot all year round and much of that is brutally hot. Even during the rainy season, the heat can seem overwhelming. Taking humidity into account, you should be prepared for temperatures between 90-100 Fahrenheit.

Unless you plan on living in the extreme north, expect oppressive, sticky heat.

Pack light!

Vietnam is considered one of the most affordable countries to live in – everything in Vietnam is cheap and you can find pretty much anything you’d ever want or need in the country’s bustling cities.

There is no need to over-pack or over-shop before arriving. Instead pack what you need and then find anything else in the country.

You’ll be able to save money and, on account of the heat, most likely have a better understanding of what to wear.

Expat districts are easier, Vietnamese districts are more fun

In the business capital of the country – Ho Chi Minh, the majority of expats live in the Thao Dien neighborhood of District 2.

There are western malls, stores, restaurants, and gyms. For many, these amenities provide the comforts of home. These districts are all over Vietnam; they’re a selling point for many expats.

If comfort is what you’re looking for, then by all means find a place to live in one of these districts. However, if it’s fun and authentic you’re after, look elsewhere. Take a risk and move into a wholly Vietnamese neighborhood. It will be more difficult, but it certainly won’t be boring.

The currency might be confusing

One of the important things to know before moving to Vietnam is its currency, the dong. When you first move to Vietnam you have no idea what a ‘dong’ even is, let alone the fact that the smallest valid monetary division here is VND 200.

You have no idea what prices are reasonable or where you can buy most products, so at first, you tend to dish out the dong far more lavishly than you do when you’re a bit more settled.

In the first few weeks you’re a millionaire with a pauper’s bank account, but as time progresses you slowly learn to spend more wisely.

Making friends is easy

The Vietnamese, young and old, are always eager to welcome foreigners. Sit in a local street-side restaurant, and someone will start talking to you.

Half the country is learning English, and the Vietnamese are keen to practice.

Stay in a guesthouse, and you’ll find the owners take excellent care of you. Make friends, and you’ll discover first-hand that nothing is too much. Vietnamese hospitality is second-to-none.

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