Rooms For Rent In Ho Chi Minh City


What if I told you that, with a couple of top tips, you could rent a great room in Saigon for $150 US per month all inclusive?

Maybe you wouldn’t believe sầu me. Right? You’re shaking your head right now. But with my 3 million per month accommodation slap bang in the center of District 1, complete with private bathroom, TV, air conditioner, fridge and a nice big window, I am living proof that my clayên ổn is absolutely legitimate. The question is, how?

Renting in Ho Chi Minch City is like leaping into a jungle. The possibilities are almost endless, but unless you know exactly what you’re looking for and how lớn find it, chances are you’ll never get past those first, very obvious obstacles.

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I’m talking about the share-houses on the first few pages of Expatblog & Craigsdanh sách, the agent who inboxes you as soon as you post on the Ho Chi Minch City Facebook page, or that room your colleague told you about that used khổng lồ house your other colleague và is in a house with four other colleagues. I mean those options that slap you in the face, almost before you get a chance to breath the Saigon air and hint that you’re looking to rent!

The reality is that the best đơn hàng in Ho Chi Minc City often require a bit of digging. But how bởi you start?

Top Tip 1: Know your Goals

If you’re honest with yourself you know the kind of place you’d be happy lớn live sầu in, the kind of budget you can afford và the kind of area you’d lượt thích khổng lồ Call your neighbourhood. So write it all down.

Too many people come to lớn Saigon and sort of want khổng lồ rent a room, sort of don’t really know how or what, & sort of just kết thúc up somewhere… They don’t take the time to lớn consider what it is they actually want! And they tover to settle, rather than fix a clear goal in their head và aim for it.

And then there’s the question of money. People usually think about their budget first, but it’s actually better khổng lồ put it last. You can mold a budget to lớn a dream, but if you mold a dream to lớn a budget you’re bound to be dissatisfied! Line up a list of the things you need in a home page, be brutally honest, và then figure out if you can pay for them. Prioritize things, cut some non-essential features out, & figure out your budget based on your requirements.


To start this whole process, ask yourself these questions:

Do I like people? Sounds strange, but if lượt thích me you are a bit of a hermit, a quiet house where you’re not required khổng lồ socialize can mean the difference between homeliness và a life of constant bít tất tay. And vice versa! Socialites need friends, and share-houses are good.

Do I want lớn cook? Will you eat outside or inside? What sort of cooking facilities vì chưng you require? I have one friover who just orders in every night và has no kitchen, but another frikết thúc of mine cooks up oven-baked bonanzas every night! I myself have sầu a portable stove sầu & a rice-cooker in my room, and I cook simple Vietnamese food.

What sort of curfew can I work to? When I first came here I lived a few months in a place where you had to be inside by 11 p.m. or get locked out. And oh my I spent a lot of nights cursing on my doorstep! I now live sầu in the most flexible place ever, & whether I stagger home roaring drunk at 3 a.m. or tuchồng myself inkhổng lồ bed with hot milk before eight, my landlords don’t bat an eyelid.

What kind of facilities will I prioritize? From experience I will always prioritise a private bathroom và fast, reliable Wi-Fi. Other friends need air conditioning, a TV, a fridge, etc… It all depends on your lifestyle.

Do I need light? If my room didn’t have sầu two windows I would feel lượt thích a clam, stuông xã inside my shell all day. Are you a light person? If so, rent a light room because believe sầu me this will bug you endlessly.

Where is most convenient for me to lớn live? Where bởi vì you work? How vì you get to lớn work? And where is the best place to lớn live sầu khổng lồ make that “getting to lớn work” process easiest?

Do I want khổng lồ rent long-term or short-term? Often if you rent longer term your monthly payments will be less. Landlords often offer 12 month, 6 month & 3 month deals. See if you can bargain! That’s always fun.

Also consider these factors:

- Will you need parking/security for your vehicle? What will you drive?

- Do you want a private bathroom? (Yes you bởi vì trust me)

- How much of a clean freak are you?

- Is the landlord friendly & vì they live there?

- Do you need furniture, or will you bring your own?

- Do you smoke? Have a pet?

- Is there a contract? I live sầu without a contract which is great because I can leave sầu when I want, but some people like the security of having a giảm giá.

And now, only now can you think about money. How can you mold your budget to lớn your dream home?

Top Tip 2: Make some local friends

Make friends with people who speak the local language, know the đô thị well and are willing lớn help you network. Make friends with them anyway because they’re more than likely great people! But don’t forget lớn use them shamelessly as your “in” lớn the rental sector. Go lớn 23/9 Park in District 1 lớn hang out with local students, chat with people at your workplace, relax at some of the city’s popular bars lượt thích Broma or Blanchy’s Tash, and get talking!

I rent my current room from a good friover of mine who owns a restaurant here. We met almost a year ago, and the rate for my room is very much due lớn his kindness and the trust we have sầu as long-term chums.


Top Tip 3: Drop your agent and get on the internet

Let me give you a nice, tangible example for this one.

I rented a room through an agent in the first 6 months of being here. I paid VND 7,000,000 per month for a nice little pad, with bathroom, fridge and cooking facilities included. The usual! He was an English bloke and he treated us very fairly. I paid a bond, & I held a contract through his agency. It was all very easy và nice. But in the same building, in a room with exactly the same facilities as me, exactly the same layout & even the same owners, a Vietnamese frikết thúc of mine lived for VND 3,500,000 per month. Simply because he had gone straight to the owner!

So how vị you bypass the agents và successfully navigate an owner khổng lồ renter agreement, in Vietnam, in a language you don’t understand?

Step 1, websites. Chechồng out Batdongsan, Expatblog & Craigsmenu và make sure you browse past the first few pages! Get one of your newly captured local friends to help out, and make as many calls, emails & house visits as you need. Make sure you buy them a beer after...

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Top Tip 4: Walk the streets

Have you ever wandered around Ho Chi Minch City và looked at the walls? I mean the walls of houses, telegraph poles, things lượt thích that. Have you? I would recommkết thúc it anyway because some of those walls are pretty darn interesting, but apart from anything else they often have signs on them with rooms khổng lồ rent.

Not that you would know it without knowing Vietnamese! These signs are often on A4 Trắng pieces of paper, and they usually have sầu a big “phòng cho thuê” or “thuê mướn phòng” slapped across the middle. These three words mean “room for rent,” and they are typically big fat advertisements for the kind of room you pay $150 US per month for, no strings attached. That’s how I found my last room, a VND 2,700,000 per month beauty at the top of an ancient Vietnamese town-house in District 1. So stare at walls, people!


Top Tip 5: Learn some Vietnamese will help you find a cheap room in Saigon

This one is a bit difficult and, as mentioned above sầu, you could also very easily just invest in a Vietnamese chum. But the idea of using the local language is that you can then access the local real estate market.

With Vietnamese you can search the local version of Batdongsan, where prices are lower và the range is wider. With Vietnamese you can chat with landlords, negotiate prices, và fully underst& things like registration, bond & the rate for electricity. With Vietnamese the price will also always be lower. Because I am a foreigner, a room that goes for VND 3 million khổng lồ my Vietnamese friover Trang will be rented to lớn me for VND 5,000,000. If I ask the landlord “why?” in Vietnamese he might drop a million, & if I physically turn up lớn view his room with Trang by my side he will likely quote me the “real” price! Vietnamese language or blood gets you Vietnamese prices. Fair enough I suppose.


Here are some useful words to lớn get you started:

House - nhà (n-yaa)

Room - phòng (f-awm)

Rent - mướn (tt-u-ey)

Buy - download (moo-ah)

Deposit - Tiền đặt cọc (teeng dat cop)

Contract - phù hợp đồng (herp dawm)

Water và electrithành phố - Nước cùng năng lượng điện (nurc va deeng)

Top Tip 6: Sign long-term contracts for your room

I bet you know this one, but I’m going to put it in this menu anyway because let’s face it - it’s a top tip. If you can commit khổng lồ a long-term contract then it is often a super good way to lớn save money! As mentioned above, landlords often offer 12 month, 6 month và 3 month options & the longer you plan to lớn stay the less you have to pay. Simple.


Top Tip 7: Live short-term in a hostel, deal

If contracts aren’t your thing và you’re a bit of a hipster at heart, why not consider renting a hostel bed for a month? I rented a bed in District 1’s Rou Hostel for one month, & at the end of the month I handed over a measly $110 US. The wifi was excellent, the bathrooms clean, the company was pleasant, the beds where huge & the location was prime!

I have also rented a room at the top of a guesthouse. This room was not part of the guesthouse itself, but an extra room that the owners like to rent out for more long-term visitors, and I paid USD $180 a month. I was literally right on the strip, in an alleyway off Bui Vien. For that little stipover my roommate & I got a TV, a big comfy bed, a private bathroom, a tín đồ, a fridge and a balcony for washing clothes. Sweet! Have sầu a wander through Pham Ngu Lao’s back-alleys & vì chưng a bit of wall-watching to find gems like this one.

Top Tip 8: Ask around if they know about affordable rooms for rent

I will never forget the time I sat down to lớn wontons & hủ tiếu thô, và got baông xã up again with a new landlord & a room viewing the next day. I had just started nibbling at my noodles when a man plonked himself down next to lớn me & asked in startlingly good English how long I’d been in the city & what I did. He’d seen me around often, & he wanted to know what the khuyến mãi was!

We got talking và the topic of rooms popped up - I needed a cheap, nice room in town. He asked our street vendor about rooms, they chatted a bit, someone called someone else & everyone spoke in very fast very serious Vietnamese. And, at the kết thúc of it all, he offered me a room with a local woman just two streets over.

Now, I am not stupid. I did not give sầu this man my full name or any liên hệ details other than a phone number, & I did not intover on visiting the room alone with him - I would bring a frikết thúc. Safety first guys.

In the kết thúc I didn’t even get the room because someone else rented it first! But the point I’m trying lớn make is this - talk. Ask people. Ask street vendors if they know anything, ask salon workers, ask that man who tried to clean your shoes even though your ancient sneakers are obviously well beyond the clean-able stage! Ask, & ye shall find.


Top Tip 9: Make sure you"re registered

Did you know that the dwelling for every foreigner here in Vietnam giới has lớn be registered with the government? And if you’re a foreigner your landlord must also have sầu a special permit to lớn rent to lớn you!

Ok, so I’m pretty sure the owners of my last room had no permit và just paid someone to be quiet because they never took my passport, but legally speaking it is an absolute must! Just make sure that’s dealternative text with when you rent, whether legally or not...

Top Tip 10: Tips khổng lồ make it cheaper

And finally, some sneaky rent-saving tips straight from a professional budgetter lớn you.

- Live above a restaurant - If he is doing it right, the owner already earns enough lớn pay his rent và more, so he can charge you less for your room. Be firm, bargain hard & stvà your ground. You’d be surprised!

- How much for electricity? - Some places charge you as much as VND 5,000/KW which is absolute daylight robbery! The best rate I have sầu found is VND 3,000/KW but the standard is somewhere between VND 3,500/KW & VND 4,000/KW.

- Rent for work - reduce your rent in exchange for English tutoring, help with renovations, cleaning, whatever takes your fancy! Work part-time for your landlord in exchange for lower rates.

- Rent without furniture - Sounds scary but it is totally feasible. Actually, a lot of my Vietnamese friends vì this, & in my last room I did it too. You rent a bare room, và then you buy a mattress & some coat-hangers. The rent is lower & your mattress will cost you a one time fee of up to VND 1,000,000. Mine was VND 110,000, but it’s a very poor excuse for a mattress. I also purchased a stove sầu and a rice-cooker! It’s like camping but in a room.

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- Don’t use your air-bé or TV! - Read a book instead of watching that mindless box, và use a người rather than the air conditioner. It dries your skin out anyway!


This guide lớn renting cheap rooms in Saigon can also be used for those looking for affordable studio or apartments. Please tóm tắt your own tips about finding the perfect place lớn stay by commenting below.