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: https://goo.gl/maps/YFsrmZZTFE22)
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:
Then when they call the landlord’s son on the phone to speak with you, ask them:
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.