Basic

Capital City: Hanoi
Largest City: Ho Chi Minh City
Populaon: 91,700,000 (As of 2015)
Time Zone: Indochina Time (UTC+07:00)
Electricity: 200 V, 50 Hz
Plug Adapters: Type A / C / G

Communities

The online communities below are useful for finding out more information about the city: buying, selling, events, tips, and general inquiries.

1. Apax Teacher Community Facebook Community

2. Vietnam is Awesome

3. Hanoi Buy, Swap and Sell

4. Hanoi Backpacker Sales

5. Hanoi Massive- a new era

6. Expats in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Currency

Vietnam's currency is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). Here is how it compares to other currencies:

1 AUD = 18,304 VND
1 CAD =18,303 VND
1 EURO = 26,716 VND
1 GBP = 29,877 VND
1 NZD = 17,159 VND
1SAR = 6,061 VND
1 USD = 22,732 VND

Oh, and
1 Bitcoin = 58,536,711 VND

* As of July 27, 2017

Round up your bill for a small price when paying your taxi driver or bartender. Don't be stingy! Vietnam is not a wealthy country and that extra 2,000 VND for your cab fare isn't much.

Weather

Vietnam is split into three regional climates.

The North of Vietnam, including Hanoi, is a monsoonal climate, with heavy rains in the late summer months and cold (but humid) winters. Some areas in the far North of the country, such as the Sapa valley and communities along the Chinese border, will even see some snow in December and January. Teachers in Hanoi and Hai Phong should pack a warm, waterproof jacket for the winter months and set aside some money for an air purifier or dehumidifier.

The Central of Vietnam is seen as the in-between climatic area between Southern and Northern Vietnam. Rainfall increases starting in October, typically lasting through December. Generally, this area experiences more rainfall than in the South or North. However, coastals cities such as Hoi An and Da Nang have hot and dry weather from January to September with temperatures reaching the mid-30s.

The South of Vietnam is a tropical climate, enjoying warm weather all year long. The average temperature in Ho Chi Minh City never dips below 25°C and the year is divided into wet (May – November) and dry (December – April) seasons. South Vietnam experiences most of its rain in the mid-summer months of June and July. It is highly recommended to pack light, breathable to accommodate for the hot weather and rainfall.

Cost of living

The cost of rent will vary based on your proximity to the city center in Ho Chi Minh or the foreigner-heavy Tay Ho (West Lake) district in Hanoi. These areas are slightly more expensive.

Housing
Bedroom in a Shared House: 4,500,000 – 8,000,000 VND ($200 – $350)
Studio/One Bedroom Apartment: 9,000,000 – 14,500,000 VND ($400 - $600)
Two Bedroom Apartment: 18,000,000 – 21,000,000 VND ($800 - $950)

Food
Local/Street Food: 30,000 - 100,000 VND
Mid-range/Western Food: 100,000 - 200,000 VND
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liters): 20,000 - 30,000
Cappuccino/Tea (Regular): 20,000 - 40,000 VND

Transportation
Motorbike Rental: 900,000 - 1,000,000 VND per month
Purchasing Used Motorbike: 4,500,000 - 10,000,000 VND
Petrol: 50,000 VND per week
Oil Change and Minor Repairs: 80,000 - 100,000 VND
Uber Moto/GrabBike: 4,000 - 5,000 VND per km
Taxi Car: 11,000 - 14,000 VND per km

Utilities
Electricity: 2,000 - 4,000 VND per kWh
Internet: 150,000 - 500,000 VND per month
Phone (2GB Plan): 50,000 - 200,000 VND per month

Recreation
Gym/Fitness: 300,000 - 1,000,000 VND per month
Cinema: 60,000 - 120,000 VND