Living in Vietnam

Vietnamese cuisines: tasty food for you to try (part 1)


The first thing in the list is Phở 😊

Ingredients: broth (from beef stock/ chicken stock), noodle (“phở”), meat (beef/ chicken), herbs.

Way to eat: just add some lemon/ vinegar, chili, pepper and enjoy your Pho bowl. You can also eat it with bagel twists ☺️

Popular addresses: 

Phở Bát Đàn – No. 49 Bat Dan, Hanoi, Vietnam

Phở Thìn – No. 13 Lo Duc, Hanoi, Vietnam

Phở Lý Quốc Sư – No. 10 Ly Quoc Su, Hanoi, Vietnam

Price: VND 30,000 – VND 70,000

However, I prefer Pho Kao – a restaurant chain. Although this chain is quite new compared to the above restaurants, its quality is good.

Bún chả

Ingredients: grilled pork, rice noodle (“bún”), dipping sauce (diluted fish sauce with sugar, lemon/ vinegar, garlic, chili, pepper), fresh herbs.

Way to eat: eat one bite of grilled pork with rice noodle and fresh herbs dipping in the sauce; then chew it and enjoy the texture and tasty of the grilled fatty meat mixed with the fresh noodle and herbs in the funky sauce.

Popular addresses: 

Bún chả Hương Liên – No. 24 Le Van Huu, Hanoi, Vietnam

Price: VND 30,000 – VND 50,000

Bánh mì

Do you know that the word “Bánh Mì” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary on 24 March 2011?

Ingredients: Vietnamese baguette (with thin crust and airy crumbs), pate (pork liver or chicken liver)/ grilled meat/ fried fish cake, coriander leaves, cucumbers, pickled carrots, chili.

Way to eat: just take a bite and enjoy the crispy bread mixed with the tasty of pate, meat and vegetables.

There are various types of Banh Mi with other ingredients according to characteristics of each region.

Hanoi city

Bánh mì Pate: pate, pork, coriander leaves, cucumbers, pickled carrots, chili.

Popular addresses: 

Bánh mì Phố Huế: No. 118 Hue Street, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Bánh mì Phúc: No. 9 Yet Kieu Street, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Price: VND 20,000 – VND 50,000

Bánh mì chảo (served in hot cast iron pan): pate, steak, omelet.

Popular addresses: 

Bánh mì chảo Cột Điện: No. 104, 105B C3 Nghia Tan Dormitory area, Cau Giay District, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Price: VND 20,000 – VND 50,000

Hai Phong city

Bánh mì cay: pate with special chili sauce.

Popular addresses:

Bánh mì cay Đinh Tiên Hoàng: No. 37 Dinh Tien Hoang, Hong Bang District, Hai Phong city, Vietnam.

Bánh mì cay Bà Già: No. 57 Le Loi, Ngo Quyen District, Hai Phong city, Vietnam.

Price: VND 2,000 – VND 3,000

Hoi An city

Bánh mì Hội An: roast meat, grilled meat, fried eggs, etc.

If you come to Hoi An, you will definitely hear about the unique Bánh Mì here.

Here are the popular addresses:

Bánh mì Phượng: No. 2B Phan Chu Trinh, Hoi An, Vietnam.

Bánh mì Madame Khánh: No. 115 Tran Cao Van, Hoi An, Vietnam.

Price: from VND 15,000

Nha Trang city – a very well-known tourist destination of Vietnam

Bánh mì chả cá Nha Trang: fried fish cake (from basa fish or mackerel).

Ho Chi Minh city

Bánh mì thịt nướng Sài Gòn: grilled meat.

Well, it is a lot about Bánh mì. There are also many other types that I have not yet tried. I will update this list along the way 😊

Note: the food in the photos here were made by my mom or me 😊

I have no relationship with any address mentioned above.

Moving to and Living in Vietnam?

Are you going to work in Vietnam under a job assignment?

Are you planning to live in Vietnam?

Either ways, where should you start with?

There will be a lot of things to be taken care of when moving to another country for working and living. Below is the list of things for your information:

  1. Paper work

Paper work may include 3 main steps:


In order to enter Vietnam, a foreigner needs a visa issued by the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate.

There are several types of visa. Below are the 6 most popular ones:

  • Tourist visa (DL) – validity up to 3 months
  • Business visa (DN1, DN2) – validity up to 12 months
  • Student/internship visa (DH) – validity up to 12 months
  • Investor Visa (DT1, DT2, DT3, DT4) – validity up to 5 years
  • Working visa (LD1 – LD2) – validity up to 2 years
  • Diplomatic visa (NG) – validity up to 12 months

If you are citizens from ASEAN countries, you may receive a free entry visa that lasts between 15 and 30 days.

Work permit

If you work in Vietnam in more than 3 months, you are required to have a work permit. Normally, the work permit will be applied 15 days by the employer with the provincial Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) before the foreign employee commences their employment. 

There are some cases that you could be exempted from a work permit. But you still need to make a notice to MoLISA before working in Vietnam. The cases are as followings:

1. Capital-contributing members or owners of limited liability companies;

2. Members of the Board of Directors of joint-stock companies;

3. Chiefs of representative offices and directors of projects of international organizations or non-governmental organizations in Vietnam;

4. Those who stay in Vietnam for under 3 months to offer services for sale;

5. Those who stay in Vietnam for under 3 months to deal with complicated technical or technological problems that adversely impact or are at risk of exerting adverse impacts on production and business activities and these problems cannot be handled by Vietnamese and foreign experts who are currently in Vietnam;

6. Foreign lawyers possessing a professional practice license in Vietnam in accordance with the Law on Lawyers;

7. It is in accordance with a treaty to which Vietnam is a contracting party;

8. Those who are studying and working in Vietnam provided that the employer shall notify their employment to the provincial-level state management agency of labor 7 days in advance;

9. The workers are internally reassigned in the companies which engage in 11 service industries in Vietnam’s WTO commitments on services, including business, communication, construction, distribution, education, environment, finance, health, tourism, culture, entertainment, and transportation;

10. The workers enter Vietnam to provide professional and technical advisory services or perform other tasks serving the research, construction, appraisal, assessment, management, and execution of programs and projects funded by ODA according to the International Treaties on ODA between the competent authorities of Vietnam and other countries;

11. The workers are issued with the licenses for the practice of communications or journalism in Vietnam by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

12. The workers are appointed by foreign agencies or organizations to teach or do research in international schools under the management of foreign diplomatic missions or international organizations in Vietnam or the workers are permitted to teach or do research in educational and training institutions in Vietnam by the Ministry of Education and Training;

13. The workers are volunteers who have obtained the certification of foreign diplomatic missions or international organizations in Vietnam;

14. The workers enter Vietnam to hold the positions of experts, managers, chief executive officers or technicians for a period of under 30 days and an accumulated working period of under 90 days per year;

15. The workers enter Vietnam to implement international agreements to which central or provincial agencies and organizations are signatories in accordance with the law;

16. Students who are studying in schools or training institutions in foreign countries execute their practicum at agencies, organizations or companies in Vietnam upon agreements;

17. Relatives of members who are executing their functions in foreign missions in Vietnam upon the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, unless otherwise stated in the International Treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory;

18 Workers are holders of Official Passports for working in state agencies, political organizations or sociopolitical organizations;

19. Other cases decided by the Prime Minister at the request of the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs.

Resident card

After having the work permit valid for one year or more, you can be granted a Temporary Resident Card (TRC) issued by the immigration agency. Having a TRC may bring you some benefits. One of which is that you may enter and exit Vietnam without a visa within the valid terms of the TRC, saving time and money to apply for visa extension.

2. Housing/ Apartment

If you do not want to move your stuff regularly, make sure to check the apartment thoroughly before moving in. 

Beside the rental cost, there are some criteria for you:

  • Is the apartment near your work?

If not, is there a bus route that is convenient to get to your work? How long will it take to get to your work daily (including the traffic jam)? A hectic traveling to work may exhaust you in the end.

  • Is the apartment near the markets/ supermarkets, pharmacy or hospitals? 

You need to know this as this will be essential to you. You will not want to go to the supermarket that will then take you one hour to get to the apartment. Bear in mind that there may be a lot of convenient stores nearby, but buying from a supermarket is a lot cheaper.

  • Is the security good?

Security should be always in the top of the list. Vietnam is a safe country but you never know what will happen, right?

It will be better if the Company’s HR department could help you with the selection. If not, go to the forum of foreigners in Vietnam to get consults.

In the end, after signing on the leasing agreement, remember to check the number and quality of the furniture/ stuff in the apartment and have a detailed handover minutes regarding their status with the landlord to avoid any disputes later.

Then, remember these things:

3. Banking

You may need to have a bank card in Vietnam to receive salary and to withdraw money for consumption. It will be easier for you than using a foreign card with heavy fees for overseas transactions.

For a list of popular banks in Vietnam, you may refer to:

  • Vietcombank;
  • Vietinbank;
  • Agribank;
  • BIDV, etc.

You may also want to refer to some foreign banks in Vietnam such as:

  • ANZ;
  • HSBC;
  • Standard Chartered Bank;
  • Woori Bank, etc

There are several bank fees that you may need to take into account: transfer fee, ATM fee, service fee, SMS fee, internet banking fee, etc.

4. Tax

Personal income tax (PIT)

Whether you are a resident or non-resident in Vietnam, you will have to pay personal income tax from the work incurred from Vietnam.

You will need to:

  • Register a tax code;
  • Declare and make PIT quarterly; and
  • Make PIT finalization at the year end.

Nevertheless, firstly you will need to determine your resident status.

Under the current PIT regulation (Article 1, Circular 111/2013/TT-BTC), tax-residents are individuals that satisfy one of the following criteria:

  • Individual has been present in Vietnam for at least 183 days in a calendar year or for 12 consecutive months from the first date of arrival. The date of arrival and date of departure are based on the certification by the immigration agency on the passport when that individual enters and leaves Vietnam. If the person enters and leaves Vietnam within one day, it will be considered as one day of residence; or
  • Individual has regular residence in Vietnam in one of the following cases:
  • Having a regular residence as presented in Temporary Resident Card, Permanent Resident Card; or 
  • Having house lease contracts with aggregate term of 183 days or more in a tax year.

Tax-residents are subject to Vietnamese PIT on their global income at progressive tax rate from 5% to 35%.

Individuals who do not satisfy the conditions for being tax-resident are considered as non-tax residents. Non-tax residents are subject to PIT at a flat tax-rate of 20% on their Vietnam-sourced income, regardless of where income paid or received.

Double Taxation Agreement (DTA)

Vietnam has concluded DTAs with many countries. DTA provisions generally accord protection for residents [companies and individuals] of one contracting country against the taxes [mainly corporate tax and personal income tax] imposed on the income of companies and individuals by another country where double taxation issues arise.

You may get consult from a professional service firm to help you with all these things for your specific cases.

5. Food

We cannot live without food, right? And you may know that Vietnam has a lot of popular and delicious food for you to try (yummy yummy).

If you google, there are many Vietnamese cuisines in the top list. 

  • Pho;
  • Bun cha;
  • Nem;
  • Bun thang;
  • Cha ca, etc.

Well, I think that I will go into details in another post. It will be coming soon. Here are some photos for you while waiting.

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See you in the next post!

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