Vietnam is fast becoming a popular expat destination for a number of reasons, including its great weather, rich culture, and a much lower cost of living than most other South-East Asian countries. However, when planning a move to Vietnam, you should keep in mind that it is a developing nation, and some of the ordinary conveniences that you are used to in your home country may well be a luxury in that country. Here are ten essentials you should pack when you move to Vietnam.Electronic equipment: Do your homework on the differences in voltage in Vietnam and your home country, and ensure that you bring along the appropriate convertors for your mobile phone, laptop, e-reader, tablet, and any other gadget you own. You should also have all your data backed up securely, whether on an external hard drive or the cloud, to minimise any potential data loss during the move.
Documentation: This could range from your social security and ID cards to your children’s school reports. You should also take your driving license, birth certificate, and all educational certificates because you may need show original documentation in order to get a driving license or other official papers.
Kitchen items: If you or your family enjoy baking, it may be a good idea to bring at least your baking trays and moulds. You could also consider packing things like metal measuring cups and spoons and pastry brushes. You should also bring good quality knives, because while you can buy these in Vietnam, they tend to be at least twice as expensive.
Camping gear: Geographically, Vietnam is a densely forested and hilly country, and this provides many spots for you to go camping in. It’s also a wonderful way to explore the country. However, camping gear in Vietnam is usually imported, and as it is with most imported goods, it is also very expensive.
Sports gear: The most popular sport in Vietnam, by a large margin, is soccer, and you will be able to find soccer gear easily. However, for any other sports that aren’t very popular or are only just growing in popularity, such as golf, you may want to consider taking your own gear with you.
Books: Books in English are still not widely available though there are stores in both Ho Chin Min City and Hanoi that have decent collections of English language books.
Medication: It make take you a little while to figure out if any specialised medication you need is locally available or if there is a way for you to source it reliably without falling victim to counterfeit drugs. As a result, it is a good idea to bring at least three months’ medication with you.
Health insurance policy: The Vietnamese healthcare system is made of public and private sectors, and the public sector system tends to have a lot more pressure on it. You can find treatment for most medical conditions in the larger cities, and you should ensure that you and your family are covered adequately. For serious medical conditions, an emergency medical evacuation to Hong Kong or Singapore must be planned for.
Clothes and shoes: This is especially important for underwear because the average westerner is usually not in the size range in Vietnamese shops. Everything will be too small in size, and it is difficult to find larger sizes. The same applies to shoes, especially good walking shoes that you will need, since you will be walking a lot in Vietnam.
Baby items: Relocating to a non-western country with an infant can be a daunting proposition. Hence, you should carefully consider the things that you want to bring along for your child. These could include a high chair, a stroller, and even baby food until you settle down and find other alternatives.
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