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Vietnam is a long, narrow country in Southeast Asia. It shares its land borders with Laos and Cambodia to the west, and China to the north. Although it has been over 4 decades, many people from all around the world still associate Vietnam with war when they think about the nation. The truth is, while remnants of war can still be seen in some parts of the country, it has now transformed into one of the most peaceful and prosperous countries in the world.
Once a lesser-known destination for tourists around the world, Vietnam has become a premium tourist destination in recent years thanks to its staggering natural beauty and diverse culture. In 2019, the country welcomed approximately 18 million tourists. As more and more people recognize the country as a safe place to live and work, it has also become increasingly popular as an expat destination. Many expats fall in love with its beautiful weather, lively culture, relatively low cost of living, and the rapid growth of its economy.
Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is the largest and most populous city in Vietnam, with approximately 8,993,000 million people living across its area. It is the main economic center of the country. It is famous for its fantastic nightlife, delicious food, and wonderful historical buildings. Visitors can find many interesting attractions in this city, such as the War Remnants Museum, the Cu Chi Tunnels, the Museum of Ho Chi Minh City, and the Cao Dai Holy See Temple.
Hanoi, Vietnam’s vibrant capital, is also popular among international visitors. It has countless museums that offer visitors a chance to better understand the country’s history of war, revolution, and art. Most visitors flock in the Old Quarter, Temple of Literature, the Vietnam Museum of Fine Arts, Ho Chi Minh Museum & Mausoleum, and Hoan Kiem Lake.
Another favorite area for international visitors is Hoi An, mainly due to its slow-paced and relaxed lifestyle compared to the chaotic Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. This city is particularly popular for the tranquil beaches that are located not too far from the city center. Two of the most famous are An Bang and Cua Dai beaches. Both offer soft white sand, clear blue waters, and excellent beachside restaurants. Besides the beaches, Hoi An is also known for its ancient ruins, such as Mỹ Sơn, which is one of the most important sites relating to the ancient Kingdom of Champa.
Apartment types in Vietnam can be divided into two main categories: old-style local apartments and modern apartments. Old-stay local apartments are usually made in mid-rise buildings and have cheap rent. However, it is uncommon for foreigners to live in this type of apartment. Most foreigners in the country choose modern apartments, which have been springing up rapidly over the past decade.
Modern apartments in Vietnam have largely targeted the higher end luxury part of the market. They offer a wide range of amenities, such as swimming pools, gyms, 24-hour security systems, and even cafes or restaurants on the ground floor. Some of the most expensive apartments in the country are serviced, meaning it is fully furnished and provide amenities for daily use, cleaning service, housekeeping, laundry, and a range of other services, all included within the rental price.
In terms of room size, apartments in Vietnam have several different unit types, including a studio room, one to three-bedroom, loft, and penthouses. Studio room apartments are typically the smallest and cheapest type of unit. The size ranges between 15 and 40 square meters. The most expensive type is the penthouses, which offer spacious rooms and luxury amenities.
The standard of living in Vietnam has increased significantly in the past decades. However, it still is one of the cheapest countries to live in, even when compared to other Southeast Asian nations such as Singapore and Thailand. The most expensive cities in the country are Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, but most foreigners can still live a middle-class lifestyle for around 18,600,000 VND (about 800 USD) to 27,900,000 VND (about 1,200 USD).
Vietnamese Dong (VND) is the official currency used in Vietnam. 1 USD converts to approximately 23,245 VND. It is easy to find ATMs in the country, but credit cards are mainly only accepted in hotels. Therefore, it is wise to bring some cash with you while traveling around the country.
Vietnamese people are known to be hospitable, friendly, and love to smile. They highly value families and clans, so they will gladly help other people out. Buddhism and Catholicism are two of the biggest religions in the country. However, most of the population follows Vietnamese folk traditions or identify as irreligious. Vietnamese is the national and most widely spoken language in the country. English is not widely spoken yet, but you can find many people who speak the language in major cities and tourist areas.
The northern and southern regions in Vietnam experience different climates. The northern region (including Hanoi) has a monsoonal climate with four seasons. The temperatures in this region are generally colder than other regions in the country. In the winter, the temperature can be as cold as 7°C.
The southern part of the country enjoys a tropical climate with two seasons, dry and wet seasons. The dry season, from January to August is generally nice, while the wet season, from September to December is prone to typhoons.
A visa is required for foreigners to live in Vietnam. Most people apply for a business visa, then, once they are in the country, they can change their visa status and apply for an extension of stay. Most foreigners in the country apply for a Temporary Residence Card. This type of visa extension is valid for one to three years.
1. Convenient lifestyle – for those who are single and busy with work, renting an apartment offers more convenience than buying a house. Apartments are usually located within the center of the city, so you do not have to worry about commuting to your workplace. Besides, most modern apartments in the country offer a range of amenities, allowing you to live a 5-star-hotel lifestyle.
2. More freedom – If you wish to move apartment, have a change of plans, need to move out of the country, or have problems with your neighbors, you can just move out without being attached to the apartment. You do not have to worry about whose going to take care of your apartment or sell it.
3. Less responsibility – You do not have to find the best handyman or plumber to fix issues, as it is the responsibility of the landlord to maintain the property.