Thinking of moving to Vietnam with your family? Do it!! It’s amazing!! Take a look inside our journey to pack up our lives and start a new life in South East Asia. It is quite the journey but well worth it.
We are coming up to our 2 year anniversary of moving from Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I thought I would take a look back at our journey in those early days
The Opportunity Arises
Back in 2017, the opportunity to move to HCMC with my little family came by and we jumped at the chance. My husband works for a design agency and they wanted to expand and have an office in South East Asia. With a lot of hard work and countless trips back and forth from Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City, the business was set up and established and we were ready to take on this adventure in June 2018. The experiences we would be able to have does not compare to our life at home in Melbourne Australia. I absolutely love my home but it will always be there. Our home will always be home.
A new life where we could meet new friends, travel South East Asia and of course the taste all the delicious food. It was a relatively easy decision. It was the decisions that we face once we moved to Ho Chi Minh that would prove more difficult.
Our New Life Begins
Once we arrived we were bombarded with our new environment. The sights and smells smack you in the face! Not only that but you have to navigate a new way of life with the kids. There are not as many parks and natural environments to let them roam free and it is often too hot to be out in the middle of the day. You slowly discover another way for the kids to be kids. We enjoy loads of swimming, visits to play cafes and indoor play centres for children and restaurants. I later discovered that there are playgrounds and outdoor spaces to take the kids. It just takes a while to settle in and find them! I will explore and share all of this in upcoming posts.
Finding a Place to Live
Amongst getting used to our new city the pressing task of finding an apartment and a school for the kids was at the top of our list. We had already decided on the suburb of Ho Chi Minh that we wanted to live, Thao Dien. Thao Dien is in district 2 is only 15 minutes for the city and is littered with other ex-pat families. It has amazing schools, restaurants and gourmet grocery stores. The other main area of the city that many ex-pats decide to live in is District 7. It is not as convenient to get to the city centre but a lot of people prefer it as is a little quieter and has a slower pace than District 2. It is a more modern suburb with tree-lined wide streets, modern apartment options and great international schools. For us, the proximity to the city and the village atmosphere of Thao Dien won us over.
We Found It!
We rented an Airbnb for two weeks and hoped to secure an apartment within this time. So off we went seeing a handful of apartments. We all know how exhausting this is and we also had to drag the kids along for the ride. There are huge apartment complexes throughout the area all with their pros and cons so you just have to way it all up. Most apartments have a pool, playground, indoor kids room and gyms. Pretty amazing compared to our little townhouse in the suburbs of Melbourne.
In the end, we decided on a great apartment at Tropic Garden. It is in the quiet end of Thao Dien and the apartment was nice a big for the kids to play and muck around. A year down the track we decided to more as the commute to the kid’s school was a bit of a mission. We are now living at The Vista An Phu which is closer to the school and freeway to D1.
Deciding on a School for the Kids
Then the daunting decision of what school to send the kids to. I had done a lot of research before we came so I had narrowed it down to two schools which made it much easier. It was still the hardest decision we had to make. Above all you always want your kids to be happy! In the end, I decided on Aurora International School of the Arts which is Reggio Emilia inspired school. It is a beautiful school and I am so happy with this decision.
The decision to pack up our lives and move to Vietnam was an easy one. We were so up for the adventure. Our little family has settled in and we are definitely making the most of being in this incredible country.
Tips to make the process easier:
- Do your research before you move (Facebook groups and the web) this is also a fine line because sometimes the more information you have the more confusing. The main Facebook group for families is Saigon International Families.
- Talk to new friends about their experiences.
- Always go with your gut instinct.
- Always know that if it’s not the right decision you can always change it later. Try not to stress over it.
To find out more about must-see landmarks in Ho Chi Minh be sure to visit here.