Housing

Rent for houses in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City ordinarily range from USD 1,500 to USD 6,000 per month, with many of the larger houses featuring gardens and swimming pools. Houses can be either furnished or unfurnished.

In addition, many serviced apartments have been built in the last few years, resulting in good quality accommodation being available from between USD 500 to USD 5,000 per month, depending on location and service facilities.

In general, accommodation in Hanoi is slightly more expensive than in Ho Chi Minh City. Six months’ rent in advance may be required for some accommodation, but advance rent of one to three months is more common. Many foreigners choose to employ household staff, such as maids, cooks, drivers, or guards. Wages range from USD 100 to USD 400 per month, depending on the services performed.

Education

As of end of 2011, Vietnam had 57/63 provinces/cities under central management met standards for popularizing primary education within right age group and 63/63 provinces and cities met standards for popularizing junior secondary education.

Schools meeting national standard in 2010-2011 school-year rose 20.6% for pre-schooling level; 11.5% for primary schooling level; 22.3% for junior secondary schooling level and 24.3%  for senior secondary schooling  level from last school-year. The  number of teachers for 2010-2011 school-year was 830,900, rose by 12,000 teachers from last school-year. The rate of teachers meeting national standard was 97.6% for primary schooling level; 97.4% junior secondary schooling level and 99.0% for senior secondary schooling level.

About occupational training: As of end of 2011, Vietnam had 128 occupational colleges; 308 intermediate vocational schools; 908 vocational centers and over 1,000 other vocational establishments. This year’s newly recruited apprentice students were 1,860,000 times of persons rose 6.4% from last year, of which occupational colleges and intermediate vocational schools recruited 420,000 times of persons; vocational primary schools recruited 1,440,000 times of persons.

Several privately run international schools are located in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City for foreign children. These schools educate children of all nationalities from pre-school to high school and offer examinations under the International Baccalaureate program. Standard Aptitude Tests are also available at certain schools. Each school
establishes its own curriculum, but the Australian, American and French education systems appear to be the most common. Annual tuition at these schools ranges from USD 5,000 to USD 20,000.

Medical services

As of 2010, Vietnam had 13,467 state owned hospitals and clinics with  246,300 patient beds and over 61,400 doctors.

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are home to international medical facilities and foreign doctors operating in private practice, providing a range of services from general medical advice and medical testing, to gynecology, obstetrics and dentistry. The doctors are internationally trained and come from various countries.

Clinics can arrange medical evacuation, if required, at a cost of upwards of USD 30,000. As a result, foreigners living or traveling in Vietnam are advised to buy medical and medical-evacuation insurance.

Leisure and tourism

Vietnamese culture and civilization have existed for more than 4,000 years.

Traditional farming methods as well as traditional clothing can still be seen in the countryside; while Vietnam’s lively urban Street life remains one of its most characteristic features.

Tourism is a booming sector in the economy. Vietnam has over 9,350 hotels with around 184,830 rooms, including 25 five-star hotels, 85 four-star hotels, and 166 three-star hotels1.

As in much of developing Asia, the influence of Western culture is growing. Western compact discs and DVDs are available in local stores, and shopping malls and supermarkets continue to emerge. Sports popular in more developed countries, such as golf and tennis, are being played here. Cycling is a highly visible recreational pastime.

The Mekong River which flows for approximately 4,023 kilometers (2,500 miles) down through the Himalaya Mountains and the country’s 2,897 kilometers (1,800 miles) coast offers beautiful beaches and recreational opportunities. Vietnam’s tourism infrastructure, including first-class hotels and resorts, has been extensively developed. Over the last few years, resorts have opened in Dalat, Phan Thiet, Nha Trang, Da Nang and Sapa and numerous first-class hotels have also opened in these cities.