Nestled in the south of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, combines the country’s rich heritage with the influence from all the nations that have occupied the country. It openly shows the scars from the bitter Vietnam War, as well as bringing forward a semblance of French culture that derives from the country's past as the French colony Indochina. The best examples of this are the stylish French colonial buildings and elegant wide boulevards that exist in Ho Chi Minh City.
Once a small fishing village, this metropolis with nine million inhabitants is the modern center of business and services for all of Vietnam and is currently developing and growing at a rapid pace. The city is not the capital of Vietnam, but is the largest city and contrasts with other cities throughout the long narrow country, showing off its modernity in both appearance and attitude. Its namesake was a symbol of hope and power, and to this day the revolutionary leader is still revered by the native Vietnamese people.
The climate in Ho Chi Minh City is tropical, as with other countries in the region, and is divided into two clear seasons — the rainy season usually runs from May through to October, and the dry season begins in December and ends in April. Temperatures are usually about 25°C all year round, and do not vary greatly throughout the year, though the city is much more humid through the rainy season.
As with any city that is developing as quickly as Ho Chi Minh City, property prices have increased greatly over the past decade, and this is reflected in the rental prices. Apartments in the city center are very expensive, but in the suburbs surrounding the city it is possible to find some cheaper accommodation, and if you are moving to Ho Chi Minh City for work then your employer may be able to recommend a good location for your place of work.
Thousands of expatriates move to this city every year, and apartment listings can be found online before traveling out to Vietnam. If you are already living in the city, it might be worth asking around at expatriate bars which are plentiful in the city. Remember, locals can often get better rates as they know the areas and are more familiar with local prices, so ask your employer to help you to negotiate a good deal.