How to quickly find an apartment in District 1 of Saigon

Finding anything in Saigon is a pain in the ass, but with this method you’ll be able to find a decent studio apartment within a couple of afternoons.

You’re unlikely to get a particularly flashy place or a particularly cheap place ($250-$350 USD/month is about the price range), but for apartments in District 1 it goes fairly well and the nightmare scenarios you hear about, where a landlord totally fucks over a tenant, is less of a common story here.

First thing is just to show up to 18a Nguyen Thi Minh Khai in District 1 (here:

Then walk up and down the alley and knock on the doors which have the “room for rent” sign on them.

Half of the places will say they are actually full and they merely have the sign there because… reasons.

For the ones that do have a room for rent, whoever is there will probably show you around the room even if they don’t speak english.

You will want to check that:

– the water is hot
– the air conditioner works
– the bed is decent
– the wifi is fast (get the wifi password and load a youtube video on your phone to see how quickly it loads)

Then when they call the landlord’s son on the phone to speak with you, ask them:

– if you can park your scooter here or not
– how often the maid cleans the room and does laundry
– if you can use the kitchen downstairs
– how much the rent is
– how much the rent actually is when you include all the extras
– what the security deposit is (hopefully nothing)
– what the “rules” are
– if you’re allowed to have a “friend” stay overnight (many won’t allow it, especially if the friend is Vietnamese and thus will ruin any hope of a sex life you foolishly envisioned)

Then once you’ve found like 3 places that are good, meet with the landlords one at a time to ask the same questions you asked the son, discuss anything further with them and look at the housing contract, then say you need to talk to your Dad or whatever and don’t agree to anything.

Then whichever Landlord feels the least likely to be a pain in your ass is your best bet.

But expect to have your first experience be awful, because anything they tell you is unlikely to actually be true. So if you can avoid paying a security deposit that would be great, then you can just move out and move in somewhere else, which is what I did.

I’ve been living in the same building for over a year now and it’s been pretty good so far.

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