Finding an Apartment in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Vietnam: A Complete How-To

by - May 19, 2018

Three months ago I made the biggest move of my quarter-of-a-century life. I packed up two suitcases (when I could have packed 7) and flew 8,648 miles to Saigon, Vietnam, with no place to call my own. Best decision I ever made.

Needless to say, apartment hunting may be a bit easier in Vietnam than it is back home, but it can still be tricky if you're going in blind. So, let's get this show on the road and dive into some helpful tips to make your move over here as graceful as a gazelle.

1. Don't Look for an Apartment Before Moving to Vietnam 

Not only will this completely stress you out, but because the market for renting apartments moves so fast you'd be wasting your time trying to set up appointments in advance. Trust me, I tried.

What you can do is go online look at different apartments, different areas, different districts and start familiarising yourself with where you think you'd want to live.

2. Book a Hotel for Your First Week

Book a hotel in the city's center a.k.a. District 1.  This way you have walking access to all the touristy places you'll want to hit as soon as you get here. And it's a good way to get to know the madness of the city! Having a temporary home base in D1 also means easy access to all the other districts when apartment hunting.

Tip: Only book your hotel for 1 week, you can always extend your stay if you haven't found an apartment yet. This let's you save money as well.

3. Venture Out to Different Districts

But first, get a sim card. Download Grab (Vietnam's version of Uber, which is totally safe, I use it everyday). This gives you the ability to venture out to all of the surrounding districts and explore where you'd want to live. You'd be surprised by the cute and cozy pockets you can find in D3, D7 and D2.

4. Join Facebook Groups and Book an Agent

The more apartments you see, the more likely you are to get one that you'll end up liking. Joining the Facebook groups is what landed me in the place I'm in today. Legitimately, all you need to do is conger up a post of what you're looking for, where you want to live and what price you're willing to pay and you'll get direct messages for days! The littlest amount of effort I've put into finding an apartment, ever.

Facebook Groups to Join for Apartment Hunting:


Facebook Groups to Join for Expats:

If Facebook groups aren't your thing you can always book an agent through They will take you around the city and show you different apartments based on what you're looking for.

5. Discuss Price

If you plan on staying long term, 6 months to 1 year, you can try your hand at bartering the price of rent down. Bartering is common, so don't feel you're being rude. If it's a no, it's a no, but it doesn't hurt to try!

Also, if you prefer to pay month to month you can try to sway the contract in that direction. This will allow you to see if you like the district and the rental you're living in.

6. What You Can Expect to Pay

Once you sign your contract you'll pay first months rent as well as the security deposit, which is typically another month's rent.

My 1 bedroom fully furnished, serviced apartment in D2 is $450 USD per month. And yes, there are many cheaper options out there, it just depends what you are looking for. This includes laundry once a week, cleaning twice a week, bed sheets changed once a week, internet, cable and drinking water.

This doesn't include water or electricity which is standard in Vietnam and you're going to have a hard time trying to find an apartment where this is included. But, for reference this is what I typically pay a month for both: water: $3-5 USD and electricity $20-30 (that's with using minimal AC).

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