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Living in Vietnam?

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Alain Nguyen

Living in Vietnam, from France

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Living in Vietnam, from India

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Vietnam at a Glance

Living in Vietnam

Are you interested in life in Vietnam? Vietnam’s society is comprised of various minorities and cultural influences. With our guide on living in Vietnam, its population, housing, healthcare, and education, you will quickly find your way around the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula.

Life in Vietnam is rife with elements of different cultures. Especially in Hanoi, traces of French architecture are still prevalent over half a century after the country won its independence from the colonial empire. Chinese influence on civilization, government, and other aspects of life in Vietnam can also be seen.

Expats living in Vietnam can experience an ancient culture, which is considered to be the oldest in East Asia. Centuries after the first Chinese invasion, you can still find the remains of the historic achievements of Vietnam’s golden era, in both the scenic, rural countryside and the big cities like Ho Chi Minh; or rather Saigon as it was known in the past and still is today by a large portion of the Vietnamese.

Vietnam’s Population

Vietnam has a population of about 93,421,000 people, 31% of them are living in Vietnam’s urban spaces. Vietnam’s biggest cities are Ho Chi Minh City (6.405 million) and Hanoi (2.955 million). However, Haiphong and Da Nang are also attractive locations, with urban populations of 925,000,000 and 834,000 respectively.

The biggest ethnic group in Vietnam is the Kinh, making up 85.7% of the population. In terms of religious affiliation, most people living in Vietnam claim none, although a mixture of Mahayana Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism remains important. Of those who do claim religious orthodoxy, 9.3% are observing Buddhists, while 6.7% are Catholics. The latter is a remnant of the French occupation, which brought Catholicism to those living in Vietnam.

Housing in Vietnam

Housing can be a tricky topic if you plan to move to a city. Urban spaces like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are often overcrowded, and the cost of rent can be rather high. The first step is to decide on the neighborhood you prefer.

Many expats work in industrial or business districts. These, however, often lack decent residential areas or are too crowded for expats living in Vietnam. For this reason, many expatriates choose to settle in suburbs or residential districts, facing long commutes to work.

Expat Neighborhoods

Expats on the real estate hunt also have to make another choice: Some prefer the high living standard typical in expat neighborhoods, while others would rather fully immerse themselves in Vietnamese culture.

For example, district 2 and district 7 in Ho Chi Minh City are full of expats working and living in Vietnam. Both offer peaceful developments with large houses and access to green spaces, the latter of which is rare in urban centers. Although these districts will not give you the typical Vietnamese living experience, international schools and nurseries are right around the corner. Thus, if you are planning on living in Vietnam with your family, these areas, far from the chaos of the city center, may be the right choice.

Types of Accommodation

As an expatriate living in Vietnam, you can choose between multiple different types of accommodation:


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