Frequently Asked Questions about Ho Chi Minh City

Here are some of the most popular questions expats have about moving to and living in Ho Chi Minh City:

What are pollution levels like in Ho Chi Minh City?

While there is a fair amount of pollution in the city, particularly air pollution from the millions of motorbikes on the city streets, it is not unbearable. On first arrival many expats will notice the levels of air pollution as well as other issues of general cleanliness. For many locals the most popular form of garbage disposal is burning it on the street at night. However, the climate of the city seems to have an in-built cleaning mechanism during the wet season. Daily evening thunder storms and rain showers tend to clear the air magnificently well.

Are there a lot of expat families in the city?

Vietnam is a very family-centred culture and this seems to reflect in the amount of expat families living in the country. There are a host of quality international schools to choose from and a significant number of extra-mural activities that cater for the whole family.

How accessible are the beaches and weekend getaway options?

With Phu Quoc Island and Nha Trang beach cheap flights away it’s easy to get out of the city for a weekend. HCMC is also a major regional hub which means that flying to Thailand or Singapore for a few days is equally cheap. Other weekend getaways include Da Nang, Hanoi and the famous Mekong Delta.

What is the easiest form of transport for expats in HCMC?

Most expats choose to use motorbikes or motorbike taxis (xe om) to transport themselves around the city. There are also a number of trustworthy taxi companies, such as Mai Linh, that operate throughout HCMC. Some expats hire a car and driver, leaving the stress of negotiating the city streets to the more experienced.

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