Moving to Ho Chi Minh City
The city offers a fast-paced lifestyle within a city steeped in history. The contrast is perhaps most evident in the juxtaposition of French-colonial architecture with high-rise buildings and skyscrapers, as well as in the traditional markets across the road from busy shopping centres selling the latest in designer goods.
While HCMC is the financial capital of Vietnam, the cost of living in this city will not burn a hole in the expat’s pocket. Local goods are cheap and while imported western goods are more expensive, they are readily available.
Transportation is a big topic in Vietnam, and the art of simply crossing the street is a skill that expats moving to Vietnam need to learn swiftly. There are buses and bus routes around the city but they are not fully accessible to westerners unless you learn a little Vietnamese. Taxis can be cheap provided you use a reputable company. There are also many xe om drivers (motorbikes) ready to speed you around the city. With a range of choices from shopping malls to small superettes to markets, expats moving to HCMC will love the variety of choice.
This goes for restaurants too, whether choosing to sample some of the famous Saigon pho from a street corner or eat at a cordon bleu restaurant the selection is sure to whet everyone's taste buds. With so much choice in terms of wining, dining, shopping and even accommodation, Ho Chi Minh City is an attractive option for many expatriates.
Despite having a fair amount of noise and air pollution HCMC offers expats living in the city a life full of charm, pleasant surprises and friendly locals. It is a business hub in its own right; complete with a stock exchange, high-rise buildings and some 300 000 businesses. Ho Chi Minh City is vital to the economy of Vietnam and accounts for over 20 percent of the country’s GDP. It is a meeting point between East and West and an exciting and beautiful city to explore and get to know in your off hours.