Advice

Living in District 2 of Ho Chi Minh City, why not?

Tired of the crazy life in District 1? Yes, well many people are. For a lot of people the endless hubbub of Saigon’s center is just too much after a while, and to retreat to a more quiet, slower pace of life is a welcome relief. They like to be able to hear birds, to share the street with bicycles rather than roaring mopeds, to sit by a quiet river or relax in a local cafe where everyone knows everyone because there aren’t that many people in the area. Therefore, living in District 2 will be a favorable option!

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  1. Accommodation:

District 2 is the ideal neighborhood for your family home. Many expat families live here due to the high concentration of international schools and the comparative safety of its streets. Facilities are aimed at the expat community – from shopping malls to small businesses and hair salons – and the majority of people here are foreign. There are a various types of accommodation including apartments, serviced apartments, houses, villas and rooms for rent. Almost of them are brand-new, modern and full of utilities.

  1. Transportation:

It’s quite convenient and less traffic jam as the center of HCMC. Once one of the poorest districts in the city, District 2 is now a fast-developing hot spot. Passing under the Saigon Tunnel on Mai Chi Tho Street and seeing the cranes in the distance will give an indication of the city’s plans to create a second CBD. With its close proximity to D1, D2 will also be the first stop on the city Metro Line.

  1. Facilities:

The facilities of District 2 have developed very quickly recently with many supermarkets (Big C, Mega Mart, etc.), shopping centers (Vincom Mega Mall) or hospitals like the Family Medical Practice. Especially, the district’s expat enclave, Thao Dien Ward, has two of the most prestigious international schools, as well as villas and compounds and a fair few Western restaurants and bars. Because of its international schools, D2 is home to many expats with young families. Its ambience is more suburban than big city, despite rapid development, and the streets are less crowded than in the CBD.

  1. Where to eat:

District 2, particularly Thao Dien Ward, is home to a variety of coffee shops and restaurants. It’s a great area of town for a nice family dinner, or a nice ladies’ brunch. Check out the restaurant and bar at Thao Dien Village, which offers a range of Italian, Vietnamese and Thai cuisine as well as a delicious tapas menu.

  1. Things to do and nightlife:

Saigon’s arts hub and one of the city’s best spots for live music is located in Thao Dien Ward, District 2. Saigon Outcast offers a variety of workshops from figure drawing to cooking contests, hosts a number of festivals and events, nurtures Ho Chi Minh City’s hottest up and coming musicians and celebrates the arts in this city. Their monthly urban flea market is a great day out for the kids, with its variety of boutique clothes stalls, artists, delicious foods and cute little gifts.

 

hellovietnamese.com

September 18, 2017 / by / in
Useful advice for the foreigners to own the property in Vietnam

According to the Housing Law, the foreigners can buy and own the property in Vietnam. However, they have to know well about the regulations. These are 7 tips for them to consider carefully.

First, the buyer must be qualified under the applicable laws. According to the Housing Law, the condition is now so relaxed that a foreigner who lawfully enters Vietnam can be eligible to own residential housing. As such, the buyer needs to prove that his entrance is legally permitted.

Second, he should keep a track record for the money he brings to Vietnam for buying the house. This would make it easier for the buyer to remit the money back after selling the house at a later date. For this purpose, he should open an account at a bank in Vietnam to which the money will be transferred, and from which the payments for the house should be made. In case the money is his salary or income earned from working or doing business in Vietnam, he should keep documents that track his/her income.

Third, the buyer should get to know which property projects that he or she is permitted or not permitted to buy in order to avoid future risks. Please note that foreign buyers are only permitted to buy houses from new housing development projects, not in existing residential quarters. This job is not difficult for foreign buyers if he or she consults with a reputable property agent.

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Fourth, foreigners should make sure that the property developers they are contracted with are qualified to sign housing sale and purchase agreements with buyers. In principle, the property developers are allowed to enter into housing sale and purchase agreements once (i) the housing project is properly approved; (ii) the foundation work of the house is completed, and (iii) the terms and conditions of the agreement for selling a condo have been registered at the Vietnam Competition Authority (under the Ministry of Trade and Industry). An agreement may be void if failing to meet one of these conditions, and thus, the interests of the buyer may not be properly protected.

Fifth, buyers should pay careful attention to the implementation of a housing sale agreement with housing development projects, since this may be not similar to the transaction practice in his native country. He should seek advice from lawyers to avoid risks.

Sixth, according to the Housing Law, foreign housing owners have the same full rights as Vietnamese over the house, such as leasing, donation, a capital contribution, etc. However, it should be noted that the foreign owner can exercise these rights only after he or she has obtained a “land use right certificate and/or property ownership” for the real estate. Therefore, in the respective contract, the obligation to apply for the certificate of ownership and/or the land use rights by the seller should be clearly stipulated. Also, when leasing the real estate, the foreigner owners must register the lease agreements with the local government (district-level administration committees), and properly declare his/her income tax for the earned rents. By complying with these requirements, the foreign buyers’ incomes will be treated as legitimate income which can be remitted abroad. In addition, when renting out a house, it is also required that the owners must register the temporary residence of tenants with relevant local authorities.

Seventh, if the foreign owners no longer want to own the house, what can they do? They can sell it. However, currently there is no clear guidance from the State Bank of Vietnam on how foreign owners can remit the sale proceeds from selling the house. Again, to navigate through such procedures, buyers should consult with a lawyer specializing in real estate.

Source: VIR

June 29, 2017 / by / in
How to rent a motorbike in Vietnam?

If you live and work in Vietnam, renting a motorbike is a great opportunity to get off the beaten track and discover on your own. Especially, there are many agents in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi having bikes for rent. You will need to fill out a form to rent the bike along with leaving your passport as a deposit. Besides, most places usually offer a selection of manual shift and automatic shift motorbikes. The rentals will also come with a helmet. Remember that using helmet is mandatory in Vietnam.

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Here are 5 tips of renting a motorbike for you:

  1. Check your bike

Test the your turn signals and lights and take a quick test drive around the block. When you park in a public area, don’t lose that ticket. If you lose it, you will need to verify the ownership of the bike, which means contacting the place you rented the bike. In Vietnam, people usually use Honda, Nouvo, Lead, etc. from 100cc to 250cc.

  1. Get the contact details

The contact information of the agency is very important if you rent their motorbike. This could be a lifesaver if your bike breaks down or something likes that. Please take the details into account when you decide which bike to hire, ask about bike model and year of manufacturing and don’t just look at prices.

  1. Make sure your helmet is good

Generally, the agency will give you the helmet because using it is compulsory in Vietnam. You should check the condition of this helmet and ask for alternative one if it is not good.

  1. Anticipate your surroundings

Vietnamese drivers don’t really use their wing mirrors so watch out for the traffic ahead of you. Also, slow down through intersections as stopping at a red is more like a guideline as opposed to a rule. The traffic in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi is quite busy and narrow, therefore, you should drive carefully.

Hellovietnamese.com

June 2, 2017 / by / in
Top 3 best reasons for doing business in Vietnam

Vietnam is a developing country in South East Asia. It is not only challenging but also advantageous for doing business here. Three following reasons will be useful for the businessman to choose Vietnam in his career:

Profound integration

Vietnam is in a profound integration process which results in many huge opportunities for foreigners doing business in Vietnam. Up to now, Vietnam is a member of ten free trade agreements. Five more agreements are still under negotiations. Significantly, European Union and Vietnam reached agreement on free trade deal on August 4, 2015. That is a milestone in financial, economic and investment corporation between Vietnam and EU. This agreement supports European investors doing business in Vietnam to expand their production and business activities. Thanks to the trade deal, the inefficient economy of Vietnam is hoped to have more reforms.

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Administrative reform

Most foreign investors find that complicated procedures are the most irritating when doing business in Vietnam. However, the government has determined to reform institutions and administrative procedures dramatically. That shall bring the better conditions for production and business activities. In fact, most of administrative procedures in finance sector have been reformed thoroughly, especially in taxation and customs procedures.

Geopolitical advantages and labor market conditions

Vietnam has geopolitical advantages in the region when locating on the sea route connecting Europe and North-East Asian countries. There are many main point habors such as Hai Phong, Da Nang, Cam Ranh and Sai Gon. Goods can be delivered from Vietnam to many places in the world. Besides, labour market with 54 million young workers is another attractive point to foreigners doing business in Vietnam.

Hellovietnamese.com

 

May 18, 2017 / by / in
Top 3 best apartments for rent in District 2

Need a new accommodation? Find a comfortable living space in District 2?
With these apartments, that no problem!

1. Masteri Thao Dien (Ha Noi Highway, Thao Dien Ward, District 2)

With 42 floors designed modern and friendly environmental, Masteri Thao Dien was honored in top 10 of the best real estate projects in Vietnam by Vietnam Investment Review. Its worth of remark is the prime location which just take 7 minutes to reach the central districts of city and easily access to other areas.

Masteri Thao Dien, Masteri for rent, Masteri Thao Dien District 2, apartment for rent

2. Lexington An Phu (Mai Chi Tho Highway, An Phu Ward, District 2)

Lexington An Phu is located in the new urban area – An Phu, where is recognized as one of the most modern infrasture in Ho Chi Minh City. It is a prime position that is on Mai Chi Tho Highway and easily connects to Thu Thiem Tunnel and Thu Thiem administrative center. The design of Lexington not only has the mark of Asian Classic style but also bears the application of European art.

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3. Imperia An Phu (Mai Chi Tho Highway, An Phu Ward, District 2)

Imperia An Phu is the only apartment created about 72 percent of the area for green trees. It also is a group of luxury apartments, which built observed the international standard in the urban area City Horse, District 2. Therefore, residents can experience a high level of modern living conditions but still in harmony with nature.

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hellovietnamese.com

May 12, 2017 / by / in
How to find an apartment in Ho Chi Minh City?

If you are planning to move in Ho Chi Minh City for more than a few months, your options for accommodations are extremely varied. However, at first, you will have difficulties in finding an apartment in Ho Chi Minh City.

3 following ways will help you:

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  • Connect a Real Estate Agent

This is the best way to find your accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City. A quick Google search will deliver many useful results to you. All you have to do is send them an email (or a text message if you’re in the country) with details of what you’re looking for (location, kind of apartment, size, budget, etc.) Then they will get back to you with some suitable options to choose. Finding a local agent is absolutely easy and quick for you to find an apartment in Ho Chi Minh City. It is necessary to connect them at least 1 week before you come to Vietnam.

  • Join in Facebook Group

Facebook is the most favorite social network which is popularly used in Saigon. You can join in some expats group such as Expats and locals in Ho Chi Minh City, Expats in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) or Saigon Expats & Locals-Internations Friends. These are very helpful for you to find an apartment because the news of accommodation can be posted every day. Many of real estate agents also suggest or give you advices about renting/leasing properties. Therefore, Facebook group is a good media for the expats to look for a favorable place to settle down.

  • Friends in HCM City

It is another option for the expats to find an accommodation in Saigon. If you have your friends living or working here, you can share the rooms of apartment together. Or they are able to help you find it. The expats community in this city has been developing and expanding, so you will not feel alone with its new life.

Hellovietnamese.com

 

May 5, 2017 / by / in
Be careful with the challenges of doing business in Vietnam

Vietnam is a developing country in South East Asian with the economy having many challenges and advantages. If you want to do business here, should prepare carefully for some challenges to come over.

Infrastructure

You may encounter basic infrastructure in the more regional parts of Vietnam. Ensure that your plans account for this, and you should have a decent understanding of the limitations. In urban centers, infrastructure is relatively modern and convenient. Especially, there are some modern traffic projects such as Metro Lines, rapid bus, bridges, etc. which are constructed to push the economic development.

Laws and regulations

There are numerous ‘grey areas’ in Vietnamese laws. This may cause difficulties in interpretation, application and compliance. It is possible for you to find a local partner early who can help you understand and deal with the regulations, permits and laws.

Do research and plan carefully

In most emerging markets, the level of bureaucracy can be challenging. This impacts many investors when they consider the business in Vietnam. It is better if you do your research beforehand to get an understanding the most critical permits you’ll need. Ensure that you fully understand how to comply with all the local regulations.

Being patient

It’s necessary to be patient when you deal with Vietnamese people. You need to know that negotiations can take some time, and most decisions have to go through group consultation. The processing of official documents and permits can also take a long time.

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Meeting etiquette

When someone disagrees with you, they are likely to remain silent. This is a cultural trait typical of several Asian countries that means to save face of the partners. Besides, kiss and hug are not popular in Vietnamese community, especially the traditional people.

Relationships

In Vietnam, the relationships in business are extremely critical to success. The businessman should invest time in building solid relationships based on both personal and business lines. Eating and drinking together is an important part of business introductions.

Vietnamese names

The order of a Vietnamese name is family name, middle name and then given name. Therefore, it is quite difficult for the foreigners to call your local partner’s name. Thus, just use his or her given name with the appropriate title or ask his/her English name to communicate easily.

Hellovietnamese.com

April 27, 2017 / 1 Comment / by / in
Useful tips for renting a favorable apartment in Saigon

Do you have difficulties to find an ideal apartment to settle down and enjoy the new life in Saigon? Don’t worry!

Just consider these following tips:

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1. Start early

As Ho Chi Minh City is such a big city, it’s important for the expats to start doing their research before they arrive, for example which districts they prefer. Generally, you can also contact agents to set up appointments for you to go and see the apartments once you’re in town. The real estate agents are the locals, therefore, they are convenient to list the suitable apartments for you to choose.

2. Know your budget

It is the most important step of renting an apartment. At the moment, a decent fully furnished 1-2 bedroom apartment is rented out between $400-$600, which is suitable for singles or couples without kids. For families, a 3-bedrrom unit ranges from $700-$1,000USD in Phu My Hung Area, District 1 and especially District 2. Generally, you need to spend at least $150 for the utilities such as electricity, water, gas or management fees.

3. Double check facilities and amenities

When you start viewing your apartments, you should double check what is included. Many serviced apartments will include internet, cleaning, use of laundry machines and cable TV as a part of the rent. You will usually have to pay for electricity separately. If you are offered very cheap rent and it doesn’t include any services, be sure to check how much additional services (like electricity, laundry, water) will end up costing you.

4. Consider the contract carefully

Once you have decided to rent an apartment, you will have to sign a contract. This is combined with the agreements between the property’s owner and you and other rules. It’s important to read carefully your contract before signing. Make sure that everything discussed is included in the rental contract and if something is missing, don’t hesitate to question it.

Hellovietnamese.com

April 25, 2017 / by / in
How to adapt culture shock in Vietnamese workplace

One common issue that Vietnamese and foreigners are often different in the workplace is bringing the relatives to business affairs. While relationship-oriented Vietnamese are usually more comfortable to work with someone they already know, foreigners think that it is unprofessional to involve someone’s family or friend in business. These are the experiences of Mr Oliver H. Meeker, Senior Investment Analyst at Vietnam Investments Group.

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The differences cultures in workplace

The second difference is about the time management and conflict management. Besides being unable to meet a deadline or coming to the office late, Vietnamese employees tend to keep silent instead of expressing their disagreement to avoid direct conflict. On the other hand, disagreeing, speaking up, or challenging other ideas is welcomed in the foreign working style. Foreigners expect their staff to be more pro-active, ask questions and be result-oriented, asserted Meeker.

Another problem in workplace of Vietnam is that greeting culture is seen as important. It means that the Vietnamese workers will feel slighted if they are not greeted by their boss. While the foreigners put more importance on the ability of the boss to manage the workplace, instead of their friendliness. Employees are recommended to take time to build deep relationships with their colleagues and adapt to different cultural aspects. Moreover, both Vietnamese and foreigners should respect and try to understand the manners and ways in which each other live.

Regarding organizational development, one crucial key for companies which involve both foreign and Vietnamese employees is to train cultural competence for managers and workers to create mutual cultural understanding and tolerance in the workplace, emphasized Meeker.

Source: Tuoitrenews

April 25, 2017 / 1 Comment / by / in
Do you understand tipping culture in Vietnam?

The custom of tipping varies widely between countries, but it is usually the standard of service that determines tips. Nowadays, tipping is especially common in Vietnam, so the following advice will be helpful for the expats to understand this culture.

Restaurants

Many of the eateries include a service charge in the bills, and this could be from 5% to 10%. However, this amount rarely reaches the service staff. If the management does send some of it their way, it’s most likely to be a meagre amount. An extra tip of 100,000VND/person is customary when the service has been outstanding.

Sampling Vietnamese street food is something that all expats really enjoy during their stay. In fact, some of the most delicious food in the country can be found at street stalls. It is not customary to tip at street food stops, but you can still leave a tip if you receive excellent service. This would generally be a tip of about 20,000VND.

tipping, tipping in Vietnam, tipping cultureHotels

As an expat, you may need to stay at hotels in Vietnam either during your initial days in the country or while traveling around it later. When it comes to tipping at hotels, the level of service is the determining factor. If you’re not particularly happy with the service, you are not obligated to leave a tip at all. But in other cases, leaving a couple of dollars for good housekeeping service is appropriate. You can also give the bellman a dollar for each bag he carries. If you have been satisfied with the overall service at the hotel, you can leave a small amount at the desk before you check out.

Taxis

You are not required to tip taxi drivers in Vietnam, and so your driver will not be offended if you don’t leave a tip. However, many foreigners do decide to round off the total amount and request the driver to keep the change, if they feel that the driver was very helpful or polite.

Spas

Spa services in Vietnam are not as expensive as they are in Western countries. This actually makes it confusing for foreigners who don’t know whether to tip or not in such situations. The common custom is to leave just a few dollars at the less expensive spas. The more upscale ones will most likely include the 5 to 10 percent service charge in their bills, which essentially covers your tip. If you feel your refreshing spa experience deserves a small reward, go ahead and leave an extra tip.

Hellovietnamese.com

April 24, 2017 / by / in