Moving to a new country is always a tough thing to do. If you’re an expat who is only starting out in Vietnam, more specifically if you’re moving to Saigon, chances are you need this guide to help you figure out the best place to live.

Properties in District 1 and District 3 are sought after for their good schools, offices and markets, but District 2 and 7 are becoming hubs in their own right. And as traffic congestion and property values rise in town, the less congested districts of Bình Chánh and Nhà Bè are increasingly popular among wealthy Vietnamese.

When choosing a place to live, take into consideration its proximity to good schools, family, commercial centres and work, along with the character of the neighbourhood, quality of life and the available infrastructure.

Another element that should be considered is flooding. With Saigon’s long rainy season and inadequate drainage system for rivers and street overflow, heavy rain or high tides can cause extensive flooding in the streets. When choosing your new home, it is important to ask whether it will flood on your way to work. If you don’t ask this seemingly bizarre question, you may find yourself pushing your beloved motorcycle through a street of black water with a drowned carburettor and exhaust. This is one of the reasons taxi drivers in HCMC love the rainy season.

Note also that while it’s cheaper to rent in outlying districts, most businesses function in the Central Business District (CBD). So the savings you make on rent - could be negated by your then extensive commute to work.

For more information on Saigon go to Will You Recognise Saigon in 2020?

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