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Relocating to HCM May 1st - General ?s :) (Ho Chi Minh City)


Hello everyone

My name is John, originally from Detroit, MI USA. Long time expat being relocated by my company to HCM after spending the last 2 years in Shanghai. Flying into town this weekend for 2 weeks to shop for an apt for my May 1st move.

Lots of questions for you all :) Also hoping to meet some people and start making freinds as I only have 1 contact in the city at this moment.

- I work from home most of the time and have been told by friends that D2 Thao Dien is the most comfortable place in the city to live... heard that the Estella and Vista are nice, any other suggestions? My budget for an apt is $ Protected content . I'll be living alone but having friends from SE Asia come to visit frequently. The area and amenities are more important than anything, looking to be close to a gym, pool, good restaurants (vegan options if possible) and organic grocery shop (if any), movie theater, bars, etc..

- Do I need a Vietnamese drivers license to purchase and ride a motorbike? If so, where do I go to get that done? Looking to purchase a commuter bike and a weekend bike - any recommendations on a good shop that sells used bikes and is honest? How about theft? I would like to buy a nicer bike for going out or touring... is theft such a big issue that I should re-consider that?

- Any surfers or kitesurfers in this forum? I've traveled to Mui Ne a bunch of times and have some mates that live there who love to kite, but any surfers here who know of any good spots close by? Anywhere to wakeboard?

- Anyone here who owns a boat (sail or power) and knows the ins and outs?

- Any Vegan people here? If anyone knows of a shop or cafe that caters to Vegans that would be great :)

- any recommendations on a Gym w/pool, Yoga studio and meditation center/group would also be appreciated

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post and offer any comments/suggestions/feedback :) Hope to meet some of you this weekend/next week if you are around and up for a coffee or a drink.


John James
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