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Shipping to Vietnam: A Guide to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

If you require shipping to Vietnam, this is one of the world's fastest growing economies and Ho Chi Minh City is right at the heart. It's a juxtaposition of souring sky scrapers, tumble down wooden shops, upmarket restaurants, shopping centres and street vendors selling local cuisine.

For those moving to a new continent, the first step is to choose the right removal company so you know that your household goods and valuables are in safe hands. With Greens Removals, you can rest assured that your move will go smoothly from start to finish as we have four decades' in the removals industry and undertake removals all over the world, including shipping to Vietnam.

Whether you require shipping to Vietnam in full or part load 20 ft. or 40 ft. containers, packing, unpacking, packing materials, short or long term storage, removals insurance, or assistance with customs paperwork, our experts at Greens Removals can help. For more information on international removals and/or shipping to Vietnam, call us direct on 01449 – 613053.

Meanwhile, see below to find our at-a-glance guide to Ho Chi Minh City, formally known as Saigon.

Shipping to Vietnam - click here for more information on the service we provide or here for a Shipping to Vietnam quote.

Shipping to Vietnam, Asia: Moving to Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam's hub of commerce and is home to 9 million people in the metropolitan area, making it the most populated city in Vietnam - and this figure is set to rise by another 5 million by 2025.

It's a far cry from ancient times when the city was just a small fishing village. Now the city, which lies on the banks of the Saigon River, is a major economic centre – and counts construction, crude oil, finance, trade, agriculture, mining, seafood processing and tourism among its chief industries.

In addition to this, the city has its sights on becoming an important high tech city in South East Asia and already has more than a dozen industrial parks, with more businesses to come. As a result, the city attracts many foreign investors; among them, Intel, which has already invested a billion dollars in a factory in the city. It's a growing city and there are all sorts of new businesses springing up all the time, including the emergence of several luxury hotels.

In fact, the importance of the city cannot be underestimated; Ho Chi Minh City is central to the economy of Vietnam. Its GDP accounts for a fifth of the country's total GDP and its industrial product value amounts to a third of that of the whole of Vietnam.

That said, if you are looking to move to Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City isn't a cheap place to live, as the average Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) is three times higher than elsewhere in Vietnam. However, it's still a long way off from topping the global league table as the city with the highest cost of living – as it ranks 132 on the list of the world's most expensive cities for expats to settle.

The city, which many people still refer to by its former name, Saigon, is very cosmopolitan with a sizeable expat community. Most expats live outside the city centre and, if you are moving here with family, several international schools are based here including Saigon South International School and Australia's Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

The language can present a barrier, so it's always a good idea to learn at least a few words and phrases of your host country to help you get out and about. In Saigon, there's plenty of opportunity to learn Vietnamese; just contact the Vietnamese Language Garden and the VNS University to find out about classes.

Shipping to Vietnam, Asia: Places to Visit in Ho Chi Minh City

As a tourist spot, Ho Chi Minh City has lots of attractions of note including museums, historic buildings, art galleries and underground tunnels. Independence Palace (now known as Reunification Palace) used to be South Vietnam's Presidential Palace and is a fascinating tourist destination as the interior hasn't changed since the 1960's. The entry fee is £1.

Not far from there is another former palace, Gia Long Palace, which is now the city's museum. It was built during the colonial era and was the last residence of the President of the Republic of Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem, before he was assassinated. The president moved here after Independence Palace was bombed.

If you like exploring underground tunnels, well worth a visit is the Cu Chi tunnels, which lie in the Chu Chi district. They were used as a hiding place by the Viet Cong guerrillas during combat. They had to undergo harsh conditions as food was scarce and infestations and disease were rife.

On a lighter note, if you want to take time out from sight-seeing, Ho Chi Minh City has some great restaurants to dine in, from the low priced ones, to the upmarket restaurants. Almost any kind of food you can think of is available in the city, from traditional Vietnamese food to international cuisine.

Shipping to Vietnam, Asia: Living in Ho Chi Minh City

If you are looking for accommodation in Saigon, renting is the best option as it is quite hard to buy in Vietnam if you are an outsider.

There are various expat communities where you can rent houses and rents can vary from between £2,000 to £6,5000 a month. Some of the more popular expat communities are An Phu and HCMC in Phu My Hung.

If you are looking for a cheaper place to live and want to live among the locals, there are all sorts of apartment blocks in Saigon. Rents for these can vary from between £325 to £2,000 a month. Or, if you are looking for a small house in the city, you can rent these for between £260 to £450 a month.

As with many Asian cities, if you are renting outside the expat communities, it is worth asking about air conditioning. Another top tip is to make sure that hot water is provided throughout the property as this is not always the case.

Shipping to Vietnam: Out and About in Ho Chi Minh City

Traffic is a nightmare in Ho Chi Minh City, especially during rush hour, and being a pedestrian at this busy time can be quite hair-raising.

There are several ways of getting about the city, from push bikes, to Cyclo (which is like a tricycle, although the passenger sits in the front) or motorcycle. The city is literally teaming with motorbikes and you can either buy or rent one, or travel as a passenger.

If you are looking for comfort, taxi or car is the way to travel and taxis can be found all over the city. However, for a much cheaper method of travel, buses are efficient, safe and comfortable, although it may take a while for you to master the timetable.

For travel further afield, Ho Chi Minh City is home to Vietnam's largest international airport which is just over four miles from the city centre.

Shipping to Vietnam - click here for more information on the service we provide or here for a Shipping to Vietnam quote.

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