Vietnam still has a lot to achieve with regard to internet accessibility and download speeds, but keeping in touch with friends and family back home is still relatively easy and inexpensive. International calls are cheap, Vietnam has a great postal service and the internet is generally easily accessible.
Internet in Vietnam
It is simple enough to get internet access in Vietnam either through a service provider, at a WiFi hotspot or at an internet cafe.
The Vietnamese government is still wary of the free flow of information and certain topics or sites are firewalled from time to time. But government censorship has eased in recent years and the expat population within Vietnam remains largely unaffected by these restrictions.
Messaging and video-calling applications such as Skype, WhatsApp and FaceTime are easy to access and use in Vietnam.
Mobile phones in Vietnam
Getting a mobile phone or local SIM card in Vietnam is incredibly easy, and thanks to stiff competition, mobile data is reasonably priced.
Choosing the correct service provider is important as some only allow prepaid customers to make international calls, whereas others will also allow users to receive international calls. Viettel and Mobifone are popular service providers.
It is also relatively straightforward to set up a mobile phone account, but expats may need a Vietnamese-speaking colleague to assist with translation. In order to set up the account, expats will generally need to provide copies of their passport, visa, proof of residence and place of work, as well as a copy of their employment contract.
Postal services in Vietnam
Vietnam has a trustworthy and fairly efficient postal service. Receiving mail at a home address is relatively easy, as is using a work address. Make sure street addresses are written legibly on the package – especially if a building is located down one of Vietnam's many city alleyways.
English-language media in Vietnam
Cable and satellite television are available in Vietnam, so expats should still be able to watch many of their favourite channels from home.
It’s also easy for expats to stay informed of both local and international news thanks to a host of English-language print publications, such as The Saigon Times, as well as many online publications, including Nhan Dan Online.