Living in Vietnam
It is an adventure on many levels for expats moving to Vietnam. It is a destination that offers an
ideal combination of high quality of life and good earning potential. Vietnam also has a thriving
art scene, beautiful landscapes, a fast-growing economy and arguably the best food in Asia. On
its eastern border Vietnam has thousands of kilometres of beautiful beaches. To the west it has
a mountainous borderline shared with Laos and Cambodia while it shares its northern perimeter
Vietnam’s capital is the northern city of Hanoi, a fast-changing city filled with beautiful lakes,
bustling streets, new developments, restaurants and tens of thousands of motorbikes.
Vietnam’s most important economic hub is Ho Chi Minh City (previously Saigon) in the south.
Alongside old French-colonial architecture in Ho Chi Minh City, one can expect to see
skyscrapers, malls and modern restaurants.
Politics in Vietnam
Along with China, Cuba and Laos, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is one of the world’s four
remaining one-party socialist states officially espousing communism. A single-party socialist
republic framework, where the President of Vietnam is the head of state and the Prime Minister
of Vietnam is the head of government defines the politics of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in
a one-party system led by the Communist Party of Vietnam. The government and the President
of Vietnam exercises executive power. The National Assembly of Vietnam holds legislative
power. The Executive is independent of the Judiciary. The current Constitution of Vietnam was
adopted by the parliament its fifth, on 28 November 2013.
The National Assembly elects the President for a five-year term and acts as the
commander-in-chief of the Vietnam People’s Armed Forces and Chairman of the Council for
Defence and Security. The Prime Minister heads the government and has several Deputy Prime
Ministers and several ministers in charge of particular activities. The implementation of political,
economic, cultural, social, national defence, security and external activities of the state is the
responsibility of the executive branch. The National Assembly is a unicameral legislative body.
Economy of Vietnam
Vietnam’s nominal GDP reached US$138 billion in 2012 with a nominal GDP per capita of
$1,527. The Vietnamese economy will become the world’s 21st-largest by 2025 according to a
December 2005 forecast by Goldman Sachs, with an estimated nominal GDP of $436 billion and
a nominal GDP per capita of $4,357. Vietnam may be the fastest-growing of the world’s
emerging economies by 2025 according to a 2008 forecast by PricewaterhouseCoopers, with a
potential growth rate of almost 10% per annum in real dollar terms. That Vietnam’s total GDP
would surpass those of Norway, Singapore and Portugal by 2050, was predicted by HSBC in
2012. For much of its history, Vietnam has been a predominantly agricultural civilization based
on wet rice cultivation. Bauxite mining is an industry in Vietnam and is an important material for
the production of aluminum. The Vietnamese Communist Party shapes the Vietnamese
economy in Five Year Plans made through the plenary sessions of the Central Committee and
Buying and Renting Property in Vietnam
The process of finding a home in Vietnam is simple as seen by expats. Accommodation in
Vietnam can be found via word of mouth, through the expat’s employers and by using the
services of estate agents. There are numerous websites that cater specifically to the needs of
expats in cities such as Hanoi and HCMC. These sites are a great source of information and
have listings of available properties. For those people who haven’t got accommodation through
their employers the next best thing is to enlist the services of a real estate agent. These
professionals can assist expats in finding a property that meets their needs and requirements.
They also have a detailed knowledge of the local property market. Furthermore it can be
incredibly useful having an estate agent negotiate a lease on behalf of an expat who doesn’t
speak the local language.
Due to the often short-term nature of their assignments, most expats who relocate to Vietnam
opt to rent rather than buy property. Naturally, the number of rooms, the type of property and the
location of the property, will impact the rental price. Expats will usually be expected to pay at
least one or two months’ rent upfront as a security deposit to rent a property in Vietnam.
Visa and Immigration
Writer Relocations provides visa and immigration services for Vietnam and many other
countriesacrosstheglobe.Youcang etintouch withourexecutivesforfurtherassistance.
Schools in Vietnam
There’s been a growth in the number of private schools in Vietnam in recent years. Especially in
Ho Chi Minh City there are a number of prestigious international schools and these offer
top-quality education to both expats and wealthy Vietnamese families. Despite being a
developing country, Vietnam has a good standard of public education and a literacy rate of over
There are schools that are under-resourced and poorly staffed outside the country’s main urban
centres. To save on the extremely high costs of international school fees, in the cities many
expats choose to enrol their children at a good public school.
In Vietnam international schools are a relatively modern phenomenon. Less than 30 years ago
the oldest international school in the country was established – but over the past few decades
many new international schools have emerged to fill a gap in the market and cater for the
country’s rapidly growing expat population. In Vietnam the most popular international schools
tend to be oversubscribed and there are long waiting lists, so it’s best to make applications as
soon as possible.
Weather of Vietnam
The weather in Vietnam is generally humid and moderately hot -this is what expats will discover.
That said, there are large regional variations with the northern area being significantly cooler
than the central and southern areas. Average temperatures range between 22°C (72°F) and
27°C (81°F), and humidity is usually upward of 80 percent. The defining characteristic of
weather in Vietnam is the monsoon similar to other countries in the Indo-China area. Between
May and October the southeasterly monsoon brings a long, rainy season depending on the
location; otherwise, when it does occur rainfall is rare and light.
You can c heck the current weather of Vietnam here.