Frequently Asked Questions about Ho Chi Minh City

Expats are sure to have all sorts of questions about their future home, from weather and schooling to transport and safety. Here are a few answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about 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 thunderstorms and rain showers tend to clear the air magnificently well.

Are there a lot of expat families in the city?

Vietnam has a very family-centered culture and this seems to be reflected in the number 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. Ho Chi Minh City 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?

Most expats choose to use motorbikes or motorbike taxis to get around Ho Chi Minh City. There are also a number of trustworthy taxi companies, such as Mai Linh, that operate throughout the city. Some expats hire a car and driver, leaving the stress of negotiating the city streets to the more experienced.

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