I am moving to HCMC for 2 years to work on volunteer project-- thus minimum income. I will be working in District 10. I thought I would stay in hotel or guesthouse for first month until I get my feet before finding something for the rest of my time. Any suggestions for something close to this district that is cheap and as I will be there for a month would be good to have a balcony or roof garden -- family run type place
Other suggestions for finding good long term accommodation also welcome-- thanks. ( limited budget).
PS do I refer to this city as HCMC , Saigon or either? Which is correct??
#1 mean684 has been a member since 28/11/2006. Posts: 4
Correct? Officially it's Ho Chi Minh City. A ridiculous monikier for a city if there ever was one - on so many levels. I'm averse to changing names of cities, I'm averse to communist nonsense, so I always refer to it as Saigon. I especially enjoy doing this on the very rare occassion I meet a Vietnamese who is actually some sort of government official. All the Vietnamese I know call it Saigon, even those from the North who are sympathetic to Uncle Ho. But I've never been to Vietnam, so I can't say how it shakes out there.
#2 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Thanks -- I was interested in why travelfish refer to it by both names -- guess it is to keep everyone happy.
Still any accommodation suggestions would be great.
#3 mean684 has been a member since 28/11/2006. Posts: 4
That is a long time for a volunteer work Mean684.
You can call both (Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon) but locals prefer it Ho Chi Minh City...
Tomdo is bit correct- around USD250-300 per month for an average quality....
Dist.10 is not a place for expats...It will be difficult for you,since most of the locals dont speak english....(You dont want to argue later re. house rent)...
There are some places along Pham Ngu Lao, where it is a little cheap...Have a lil research...
#4 JiroIsCounting has been a member since 23/12/2010. Posts: 24
Thanks- yes 2 years is a long time I do however a modest salary while there to assist with accommodation and food--( so not really a volunteer) however certainly not at the levels required for expat accomodation as advertised n the web. $300-$400 a month is about it so I guess will stick to my plan and go to a cheap guesthouse and find my feet and some cheap accommodation
#5 mean684 has been a member since 28/11/2006. Posts: 4
I think you will find the noise and hassle of Pham Ngu Lau difficult to put up with for 2 years. I have stayed near district 10 and love the area and met a longterm volunteer who was staying in district 10. You will need to get to know the local buses (map of routes available free from the bus depot near Ben Thanh market) and it would help to learn some Vietnamese before you go. I find even a little Vietnamese is very helpful in areas away from the tourist areas. I find the best eating is on the street or in little local places that specialise in one or two dishes.
While Vietnamese living overseas usually refer to Saigon, I think locals are more likely to use Ho Chi Minh City, though the centre might still be referred to as Saigon. HCMC is way bigger than it was when it was called Saigon.
#6 violets has been a member since 6/7/2009. Posts: 151
Just a comparison between Dist. 10 and Dist. 1 (particular in Pham Ngu Lao or Bui Vien Streets) for a first timer expat who will work in Ho CHi Minh CIty for a long term....
DIST 10 AREAS
-You can find cheap rooms, but the location is not strategic.
-Dist 10 is not really a place for expats
-Almost all locals here dont speak english (restaurants, stores, pharmacy, etc.)
-Dist. 1 is as noisy as Bui Vien and Pham Ngu Lao
-If something bad happen while walking along the streets from work ,even you call for HELP! nobody will listen to you since they dont understand you..
-You house owner may not speak english (maybe her daughter or son do speak english)
-You can eat along the streets if you are in a tight budget...
-This place is far from everywhere malls,church, hospital, pharmacy, stores, embassies.....
-You must master the art of reading the BUS MAP ROUTEs.
-Or be ready to pay hefty amount of VND to the taxi drivers.
-Evertyhing here closes early.
-This place is quiet ( quiet sad )
DIST 1 ( PHAM NGU LAO, BUI VIEN STREETS)
-You can find cheap, average and expensive rooms and house in this areas. Location is strategic.
-This place is near to everywhere emabssies, church, hospitals, pharmacies, stores and malls.
-This place is busy since this a commercial district. It is noisy since many expats stay here . It is not boring , sad and not definitely quiet.....
-Most locals on those streets mentioned, speaks averge English....It will be very convenient for you...
-If you pick a hotel, hostel,. guest house then you dont need to worry about cleaning and you place...If you pick a hotel there are some intricacies here - you might experience police knocking on you door (and they dont speak english) this has been experienced by expats in dist.10, dist 3 and phu my hung areas........
It is up to you to choose...but be smart when you choose...
Just one word....If you are working here - you need to get your papers done...work permits etc.....ask your employer to do it for you...........or else it will be a problem later on...
Hope the above helps and be safe..
#7 JiroIsCounting has been a member since 23/12/2010. Posts: 24
And lest we forget - there is salsa in Saigon!!! So if you are looking for a fun social outlett and to learn a new social skill (assuming you're not already a dancer), this is a great opportunity.
#8 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
I have stated Vietnamese Language classes so maybe by the time I get there in three months I will be able to count to 10 and say good morning-- (here hoping). I will have a close look at locations suggested and also get some bus map lessons when I get there.
Thanks for the advice.
#9 mean684 has been a member since 28/11/2006. Posts: 4
Three months? You'll do more than that. That's a good head start.
#10 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957