Living in Ho Chi Minh City
Weather in Ho Chi Minh City
» Ho Chi Minh City is a city of heat and humidity so give yourself time to adjust.
o Drink plenty of water
o Wear a hat and a light jacket
o Wear sunglasses for the bright sun
o Powders and antibiotic soap (readily available) prevent prickly heat.
o Don’t forget an umbrella or a rain coat for the rainy season (April to November)
o Ranging from 23 °C to 35°C
o Hottest months: March to May
o Most rain falls from April to November
o Ranging from 55% to 80%
o Highest humidity: May to December
» Sudden changes in weather are to be expected.
Cost of living in Ho Chi Minh City
» The cost of living in Ho Chi Minh City ranges from low to high depending on your lifestyle. You can eat a bowl of soup on the street for US$2 or a European dinner with wine for US$ 150.
» The living standards in Ho Chi Minh City are variable in different areas. For example, in the city center and newly developed areas (District 1, 3, 10, and 7), prices are usually higher than other places (District 4, 6, Binh Thanh, Tan Phu and Tan Binh) and our campuses are in Binh Thanh and Tan Phu district.
The exchange rate (July 2021) is approximately US$ 1 = VND 22,870. Please follow the website to have updated exchange rate www.sacombank.com.vn
Supermarkets (Co-op mart, Lotte mart…), restaurants, and most 24/7 minimarts have fixed prices. The products sold at large department stores are also not up for negotiation.
Living in Ho Chi Minh City
1. Baguette (Bánh mì): VND 15,000 – VND 35,000
2. Beef Noodle (Phở bò): VND 35,000 – VND 50,000
3. Black coffee (café đen): VND15,000 – VND 25,000
4. Coffee with milk: VND 15,000 – VND 25,000
5. A beer bottle: VND 15,000 – VND 25,000
6. A mineral water bottle: VND 7,000 – VND 15,000
7. Lunch/Dinner set: VND 45,000 – VND 70,000
The trendiest way to get around is by motorbike.
You can rent a bike, or for individual trips you can call a motorbike taxi. To ride a motorbike of more than 50cc you need a license, and helmets are compulsory.
Buses and taxies are also available, and fares in Vietnam are unbelievably cheap.
Longer distance travel to other Vietnamese cities or into the countryside can be done by long-distance bus, train, and by air.
Unlike many typical college towns that can be found throughout the USA and other parts of the West, Ho Chi Minh City is jam-packed with activities, day and night. There are plenty of events going on each night, and the amount of things to do in Ho Chi Minh City is quite astounding. Whether it’s reading a book or catching up with friends in Turtle Lake, enjoying a coffee within Saigon’s apartment complex cafe on Nguyen Hue Walking Street or clubbing it up on Bui Vien, this city never sleeps.
There are modern, air-conditioned shopping centers with top brands and cheap food courts throughout HCMC, and most items are readily available.
However, it’s best to bring your own medications and special toiletries. One problem is buying clothes in larger sizes, but this can be overcome cheaply by having your clothes made to measure at one of the many tailors.
If you love shopping in markets, then you’ll love Vietnam. Admire fresh flowers, colorful lanterns and foods and spices that you’ve never seen before!
Be ready to bargain!
» Most things you buy on the street or “wet” market must be bargained for. Foreigners will often be charged a higher rate, but considering the difference in income between you and the vendor, it is understandable – life is too short to worry about a few cents! It is expected that you will bargain and you will look like an easy mark if you don’t. However, be good natured about it.
» If you can, try bringing along a Vietnamese friend when you go shopping for the first time at any place so that he/she can advise you not only where to buy good quality products but also how to purchase them at a reasonable price.
Cash & Banking
There are many throughout the city. They accept transactions for Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Maestro, and Cirrus. Only Vietnamese Dong is given from ATMs. You must go into the bank if you require other currency. There are two ATM machines in our campus.
Money changers can be found in tourist areas and are usually safe to use but can charge a fee for the transaction.
Meanwhile, major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard) are accepted at upscale restaurants, hotels and other services
The official currency is the Vietnamese dong (VND). US dollars (USD) are also accepted throughout Vietnam (but not popular) and prices are often quoted in dong rather than in dollar.
The Vietnamese dong is available in the following denominations:
Notes: 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, 200,000 and 500,000 VND
Choice of banks
There are many banks in HCMC, but some are more efficient than others! Sacombank
is recommended as they have many ATM machines throughout the city. HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank has more efficient English speaking customer service, but fewer ATMs. Both banks handle international transfers.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT SUPPORTS
Please ensure you have the necessary telephone numbers to call in the event of an emergency.
in case of police, fire or ambulance, please call:
113 or 114 or 115
HIU STUDENT CENTER
in the case of Students services, Students advisors (housing, career), Student Activities
or Agent Support Call: 0916888034
in case of visa support, student can contact directly to International Relation Office.
or Agent Support Call:
in case of HIU Portal Account, Student’s email account or E-learning flatform