Moving to Can Tho for work: September-ish time frame

Hi everyone!
Nicole from the USA (and everywhere) here.

I've accepted a job offer in Can Tho and will be moving there when the border restrictions are lifted. (who knows when that will be)

I've done a ton of research about Can Tho and seem to see it's very difficult to find a place to live? Is this just a few peoples cases or is that the norm there? Also, is there a local place to learn Vietnamese?
Any significant expat hangouts and/or a good place to catch a rugby game? Any place with really awful flooding I should stay away from?
Lastly, do I need to get a scooter here or would a bike suffice?

Thanks for helping with my 1000 questions. I'm looking forward to building a community here.

Cheers
Nicole

Do you know the area in Can Tho you would like to live? If not, maybe do some research. Maybe somewhere downtown. I've only been there once so can't help with that. Some will say to go there first and stay at an AirBnB and then go search once there. There are websites that have listings but prices may be higher than if you're there in person.

https://www.dotproperty.com.vn/en/prope … ,apartment

So what happens if Vietnam doesn't lift restriction for Americans until next year since US has the most cases and deaths in the world? Will they wait for you? Maybe something you might want to ask them. Good luck!

NKM1314 :

Hi everyone!
Nicole from the USA (and everywhere) here.

I've accepted a job offer in Can Tho and will be moving there when the border restrictions are lifted. (who knows when that will be)

I've done a ton of research about Can Tho and seem to see it's very difficult to find a place to live? Is this just a few peoples cases or is that the norm there? Also, is there a local place to learn Vietnamese?
Any significant expat hangouts and/or a good place to catch a rugby game? Any place with really awful flooding I should stay away from?
Lastly, do I need to get a scooter here or would a bike suffice?

Thanks for helping with my 1000 questions. I'm looking forward to building a community here.

Cheers
Nicole

Welcome to the forum.

I recommend the Duolingo app to start learning some basic Vietnamese language:

Duolingo app in Android Play store

That, along with "Learning Vietnamese" by Donna on YouTube should give you a nice head start.

When you say you have "accepted a job offer", have you seen a copy of the work contract yet?

You will need to have a formal work contract in order to change your immigration document from a visa to the highly desirable Temporary Residence Card (TRC), so a legitimate employer shouldn't balk at providing you an unsigned copy now.

Ideally, your employer should provide a sponsor letter for a business visa.

Negotiate that they reimburse you on arrival for the cost of a 1 year business visa for U.S. citizens.

The 1 year visa will make it easier to establish bank accounts, and (it's currently assumed) will keep you from having to follow the upcoming July 1st restrictions on tourist visas (extending your "permission to remain" time on the visa every 30 days through Immigration).

You can apply for the business visa directly through the website of the Consulate of Vietnam in San Francisco

Avoid getting a business visa through a Visa on Arrival (VOA) agency, as you are only legally allowed to work for the sponsor of your visa.

It's a common tactic (it seems, based on numerous posts here) for employers to promise you a lot of things after 6 months of employment.

Negotiate that they will initiate the application for your work permit immediately on your arrival, and that they will pay all costs related to the work permit up front.

Your employer has 90 days to get a work permit for you (can legally employ you for 90 days without one).

You can legally ride a 50cc bike here without a license, and that may very well be enough power to fit your needs, especially out in The Delta.

Negotiate that your employer pays for it.

Cần Thơ has an airport (VCA) but currently there are no direct flights listed to Ho Chi Minh City (SGN airport) so you'll pay a higher price to connect to there through 1 of 4 other cities.

Look for forum members THIGV and JohnRoss (and others) to give you very reliable info specific for teachers.

Lastly, contrary to all the advice I've already given, many people would suggest that you come here first on a tourist visa and explore your employment opportunities on the ground, face-to-face, before committing yourself to anything long distance.

If you can afford to support yourself here for 1 to 3 months, it's really the ideal approach.

You'll get the best deal that way and avoid any possible illegalities.

Also, you won't need to have answers to those 1000 questions before you step on the plane.

Good luck!

I also meant to say that ideally, your employer will also pay for your Temporary Residence Card (TRC).

You'll want to have that as soon as possible, but if your employer hasn't filed for the work permit and it hasn't been received, then you won't be able to get the TRC.

So it's really important to get the work permit done along with the work contract within the first couple weeks.

If they start making excuses why they can't do it quite yet, that's a red flag.

Did you do some research on your new employer?

Is the job at a University or a language centre?

Many jobs are not what they originally offered and you may be dissapointed.

Thanks for the website!
We've talked about it and at the moment they are going to wait for me to get there. Now come January and no changes in borders- they may sing a different tune. I just am keeping confident at the moment that by September something will have shifted.

So far they are on the upside of everything you mentioned.

I've been learning Vietnamese through Duolingo and Rosetta stone for a few months now. I just know I won't be anywhere near conversational from speaking with my computer! Haha

I didn't know you didn't need a license for a 50CC. That gives me some options.

As far as my offer, we are "technically" in the negotiation stages which I've made sure they have included these visas, housing, and residence card options. I didn't ask for a motor bike but I feel like that may not be an issue.

I won't be a teacher but I will be working in a K-12 school as a Vice Principal. I still haven't nailed down the area the school is at though. I'm checking in on that next call.

THANK YOU so much for your insight. I really do appreciate it.

colinoscapee :

Did you do some research on your new employer?

Is the job at a University or a language centre?

Many jobs are not what they originally offered and you may be dissapointed.

I have done some pretty heavy research and lots of good things listed online.
It's with Aston if you have any additional insights to that one. It will be at their K-12 school.
I interviewed with a man in Florida, China, and two in Vietnam. I feel like I've met the interworking of the program and it seems straightforward.

NKM1314 :
colinoscapee :

Did you do some research on your new employer?

Is the job at a University or a language centre?

Many jobs are not what they originally offered and you may be dissapointed.

I have done some pretty heavy research and lots of good things listed online.
It's with Aston if you have any additional insights to that one. It will be at their K-12 school.
I interviewed with a man in Florida, China, and two in Vietnam. I feel like I've met the interworking of the program and it seems straightforward.

Working as a vice-principal is much better than working as a teacher. Do a search on Glassdoor, some not so glowing reviews, plus some decent reviews. Ask Aston  to send pictures of your accomodation just to make sure its decent.

Hello Nicole, i don't know Can Tho yet but i think that with the exceptions of known routes and safe times, bicycling is too dangerous. I live in Bien Hoa and walk at 04:00 (to beat the heat). I see a few bicyclists then (3). At other hours i only see the extremely old or poor peddling. Out in the countryside i have seen areas where bikes are used but even there it was mostly by students. Good luck with the housing, i don't find the familiar online methods very helpful here. Try Vietnamcupid or another site to meet locals they can help you. Good luck!

P.S. Nicole. Look at the app "agoda" you can get amazingly cheap hotels here to start out in. Have stayed for $4.50 with free breakfast! I usually budget $10 per night when traveling. I've been to half a dozen places with no problems finding a room. Just stayed in Nha Trang 2 blocks from the beautiful beach in a clean nice place for $7.70 (Moonlight House and Apartment). Remember it's going to be fun!

Barrboy :

P.S. Nicole. Look at the app "agoda" you can get amazingly cheap hotels here to start out in. Have stayed for $4.50 with free breakfast! I usually budget $10 per night when traveling. I've been to half a dozen places with no problems finding a room. Just stayed in Nha Trang 2 blocks from the beautiful beach in a clean nice place for $7.70 (Moonlight House and Apartment). Remember it's going to be fun!

At that price it must have been shared accomodation or a special price. Most sites are advertising rooms at double what you paid.

No it was a very nice room and private bathroom. I can't do hostels or homestays. They make me hate people hihi. I just checked it is a dollar higher on the 15th of July. Happy hunting!

NKM1314 :
colinoscapee :

Did you do some research on your new employer?

Is the job at a University or a language centre?

Many jobs are not what they originally offered and you may be dissapointed.

I have done some pretty heavy research and lots of good things listed online.
It's with Aston if you have any additional insights to that one. It will be at their K-12 school.

It looks like Aston is a not particularly large language school enterprise with two schools, one in HCM and one in Can Tho.  I don't see any indication that it is a K-12 general school as they are listed on Google maps as Trung Tâm Anh Ngữ Aston Cần Thơ which means they are an English language center.  Nothing wrong with that per se but I see no indication that they are a multi subject K-12 school.  Maybe I just missed it with a superficial search.  Perhaps they have a K-12 school at another location.

As OceanBeach92107 has said they should be helpful in assisting you in obtaining your Work Permit and TRC, however your part will be legalization of certain required documents.  If you were in HCM, I would recommend that you do this there but as Can Tho is a short plane ride or an all day bus ride away, you might look into doing it in the US.  I recommend the SF consulate:  https://vietnamconsulate-sf.org/en/2017 … -viet-nam/  You will need to have the documents notarized then certified by your Wyoming [?] Secretary of State.  An apostille is not required as it is not recognized by Vietnam.  Then send the documents to San Francisco per the website instructions.  Your employer should detail exactly what you need but it should include a Bachelor's degree (or higher), a TEFL certificate, and a local police check (State level is OK.)   Get the employer to give you a list as I probably forgot something.  Even if you are hired as admin, you may need the TEFL unless you have an Education degree.  Also having a TEFL certificate gives you a fall back if the school does not work out for you.  Not going until September or later may be a blessing in disguise.

Someone at the school should be able to assist you in finding a 50cc motorbike but they may be hard to find new.   I had a bicycle (xe đạp) which I frequently rode to work and believe me I got a lot of amused looks.  My students knew that I had an almost new motorbike and that I biked to work often for the fun of it, but in Vietnam bicycles are mostly only used by schoolchildren and the very poor.  There are a small number of serious riders in the country, mostly males below 30 complete with the spandex riding gear and $500+ bikes, but riding a bicycle to work will attract attention.  As long as you don't mind the amused looks, go for it.  Can Tho should be mostly flat and a locally made one speed bike should be less than $150 new and about half that used.  (My pricing may be dated.)  Have fun.

Barrboy :

No it was a very nice room and private bathroom. I can't do hostels or homestays. They make me hate people hihi. I just checked it is a dollar higher on the 15th of July. Happy hunting!

Can you send the link you get those prices, nearly everything I see is 400k a night, not  200k as you are saying.

Barrboy :

Hello Nicole, i don't know Can Tho yet but i think that with the exceptions of known routes and safe times, bicycling is too dangerous. I live in Bien Hoa and walk at 04:00 (to beat the heat). I see a few bicyclists then (3). At other hours i only see the extremely old or poor peddling. Out in the countryside i have seen areas where bikes are used but even there it was mostly by students. Good luck with the housing, i don't find the familiar online methods very helpful here. Try Vietnamcupid or another site to meet locals they can help you. Good luck!

Can Tho city is nothing like Bien Hoa with nothing like the traffic, industry or pollution & perfectly safe to cycle there as many tourists actually do or did before corona! The city has some wide open streets, avenues & even the small streets are nothing like as busy as HCMC & its suburbs.

NKM1314 :

Hi everyone!
Nicole from the USA (and everywhere) here.

I've accepted a job offer in Can Tho and will be moving there when the border restrictions are lifted. (who knows when that will be)

I've done a ton of research about Can Tho and seem to see it's very difficult to find a place to live? Is this just a few peoples cases or is that the norm there? Also, is there a local place to learn Vietnamese?
Any significant expat hangouts and/or a good place to catch a rugby game? Any place with really awful flooding I should stay away from?
Lastly, do I need to get a scooter here or would a bike suffice?

Thanks for helping with my 1000 questions. I'm looking forward to building a community here.

Cheers
Nicole

I have been to Can Tho many times & I am sure you will love it & the surrounding areas. Its a fairly modern looking city, quite clean by Vietnamese standards & pretty laid back. Most Westerners hang out along the river front as do the tourists (tourism is/was big there) taking the boat trips into the delta. There are loads of low costs places to stay as well as some very very upmarket ones. My advice for what its worth....book a room on a booking site say for a week & then get talking to some ex pats & you will get fixed up with a nice place at a good price no problems.

goodolboy :
NKM1314 :

Hi everyone!
Nicole from the USA (and everywhere) here.

I've accepted a job offer in Can Tho and will be moving there when the border restrictions are lifted. (who knows when that will be)

I've done a ton of research about Can Tho and seem to see it's very difficult to find a place to live? Is this just a few peoples cases or is that the norm there? Also, is there a local place to learn Vietnamese?
Any significant expat hangouts and/or a good place to catch a rugby game? Any place with really awful flooding I should stay away from?
Lastly, do I need to get a scooter here or would a bike suffice?

Thanks for helping with my 1000 questions. I'm looking forward to building a community here.

Cheers
Nicole

I have been to Can Tho many times & I am sure you will love it & the surrounding areas. Its a fairly modern looking city, quite clean by Vietnamese standards & pretty laid back. Most Westerners hang out along the river front as do the tourists (tourism is/was big there) taking the boat trips into the delta. There are loads of low costs places to stay as well as some very very upmarket ones. My advice for what its worth....book a room on a booking site say for a week & then get talking to some ex pats & you will get fixed up with a nice place at a good price no problems.

If you do choose a place, make sure you go there at dusk to check what the mosquitos are like.

Agoda is the name of the hotel app, for phone or computer. You type in the city, the dates and number in you party. A map and list with pics pops up. You can limit the search by price and facilities, parking, pool etc I've used it many times.

Glad to hear it Goodolboy! I love to bike but not here in Bien Hoa.

I see about 20 places listed now on agoda in Can Tho for $10 or less. Good luck with the move Nicole.

NKM1314 :

Any significant expat hangouts and/or a good place to catch a rugby game?

I just noticed this and had a good chuckle.  There certainly must be expat bars in HCM and Hanoi that cater to Brits and former colonials (AU/NZ) that show rugby games maybe by satellite, but I think you will find that interest in rugby in the local population is zero or close to it.  It is after all a sport of bigger people.  The biggest sports interest in Vietnam is international football with emphasis on the national team and the English Premier League.   I believe Can Tho may have its own professional or semi-pro team too.  Premier League games are shown in many bars and coffee shops but they come on quite late at night.

THIGV :
NKM1314 :

Any significant expat hangouts and/or a good place to catch a rugby game?

I just noticed this and had a good chuckle.  There certainly must be expat bars in HCM and Hanoi that cater to Brits and former colonials (AU/NZ) that show rugby games maybe by satellite, but I think you will find that interest in rugby in the local population is zero or close to it.  It is after all a sport of bigger people.  The biggest sports interest in Vietnam is international football with emphasis on the national team and the English Premier League.   I believe Can Tho may have its own professional or semi-pro team too.  Premier League games are shown in many bars and coffee shops but they come on quite late at night.

I was afraid of that.  I guess it looks like I'm going to get into football. Id love to see a local game!

THIGV :
NKM1314 :
colinoscapee :

Did you do some research on your new employer?

Is the job at a University or a language centre?

Many jobs are not what they originally offered and you may be dissapointed.

I have done some pretty heavy research and lots of good things listed online.
It's with Aston if you have any additional insights to that one. It will be at their K-12 school.

It looks like Aston is a not particularly large language school enterprise with two schools, one in HCM and one in Can Tho.  I don't see any indication that it is a K-12 general school as they are listed on Google maps as Trung Tâm Anh Ngữ Aston Cần Thơ which means they are an English language center.  Nothing wrong with that per se but I see no indication that they are a multi subject K-12 school.  Maybe I just missed it with a superficial search.  Perhaps they have a K-12 school at another location.

As OceanBeach92107 has said they should be helpful in assisting you in obtaining your Work Permit and TRC, however your part will be legalization of certain required documents.  If you were in HCM, I would recommend that you do this there but as Can Tho is a short plane ride or an all day bus ride away, you might look into doing it in the US.  I recommend the SF consulate:  https://vietnamconsulate-sf.org/en/2017 … -viet-nam/  You will need to have the documents notarized then certified by your Wyoming [?] Secretary of State.  An apostille is not required as it is not recognized by Vietnam.  Then send the documents to San Francisco per the website instructions.  Your employer should detail exactly what you need but it should include a Bachelor's degree (or higher), a TEFL certificate, and a local police check (State level is OK.)   Get the employer to give you a list as I probably forgot something.  Even if you are hired as admin, you may need the TEFL unless you have an Education degree.  Also having a TEFL certificate gives you a fall back if the school does not work out for you.  Not going until September or later may be a blessing in disguise.

Someone at the school should be able to assist you in finding a 50cc motorbike but they may be hard to find new.   I had a bicycle (xe đạp) which I frequently rode to work and believe me I got a lot of amused looks.  My students knew that I had an almost new motorbike and that I biked to work often for the fun of it, but in Vietnam bicycles are mostly only used by schoolchildren and the very poor.  There are a small number of serious riders in the country, mostly males below 30 complete with the spandex riding gear and $500+ bikes, but riding a bicycle to work will attract attention.  As long as you don't mind the amused looks, go for it.  Can Tho should be mostly flat and a locally made one speed bike should be less than $150 new and about half that used.  (My pricing may be dated.)  Have fun.

You are right on not seeing a k-12 school yet. They are moving their language center and opening a new k-12 center based on their model in china. The expected opening date is in September which is my very tentative date I will be arriving. They are going to help me do all of the paperwork necessary and have told me the same thing regarding san Francisco. One of their branches is in San Diego actually.  I don't necessarily need a new motorbike either but the bike seemed the healthy way forward without walking everywhere.
They sent me accommodation photos as well. My contract says my accommodation is covered.  THe photos were both of the old language center and their new k-12. I have a PhD and TEFL as well as 10+ years of teaching. I figure the worst case scenario is it's not what I think it is and I just have to job hunt in HCMC.

Are there many Grab drivers in the area or is that just a larger city thing?

I sounds reassuring that

NKM1314 :

They are going to help [you] do all of the paperwork necessary and have told [you] the same thing regarding san Francisco. One of their branches is in San Diego actually.

The fact that they had the same impression about the SF consulate compared to the Embassy is reassuring.  It shows that they are on top of the Work Permit procedures.  It looks like this may be a fair bit bigger outfit than their presence in southern Vietnam would indicate.

Where are the Can Tho expats or local residents for questions like this?   :/

NKM1314 :

Are there many Grab drivers in the area or is that just a larger city thing?

There is a fellow named Howie that used to be a Can Tho regular on this forum but he tends to come and go for fairly long periods.  I believe he was born in Can Tho but is also a US citizen and splits his time with the US.

Are there many Grab drivers in the area or is that just a larger city thing?

Can Tho has around one-million in population, and yes, there are grab vehicles.

NKM1314 :
THIGV :
NKM1314 :

Any significant expat hangouts and/or a good place to catch a rugby game?

I just noticed this and had a good chuckle.  There certainly must be expat bars in HCM and Hanoi that cater to Brits and former colonials (AU/NZ) that show rugby games maybe by satellite, but I think you will find that interest in rugby in the local population is zero or close to it.  It is after all a sport of bigger people.  The biggest sports interest in Vietnam is international football with emphasis on the national team and the English Premier League.   I believe Can Tho may have its own professional or semi-pro team too.  Premier League games are shown in many bars and coffee shops but they come on quite late at night.

I was afraid of that.  I guess it looks like I'm going to get into football. Id love to see a local game!

If you can find an Aussie bar, that's your best bet for Rugby on TV (based on my limited experience in multiple cities)

colinoscapee :

Are there many Grab drivers in the area or is that just a larger city thing?

Can Tho has around one-million in population, and yes, there are grab vehicles.

I'm finding that cities not covered by the government authorization for Grab rideshare in private cars/bikes are still allowing the app to be used to get a "grab taxi".

In that case, a recent grab app update popup pointed out that the rates appearing in the app are just estimates, and riders must pay the final meter reading, even if it's higher.

Apologies, but I can't find a link to that info in my Grab app.

Vũng Tàu and Qui Nhơn are two places I know of where that specific situation applies.

Hi Nicole, I lived in Can Tho and would recommend a motobike, not a bicycle.  You can get a used motobike cheap and if you want to travel, you will thank yourself later.  Can Tho is a decent size city (largest in the Mekong area), but you will want to travel, trust me.

Don't worry, internet is everywhere so you can use your cellphone without issue to stay connected.  Once you find a place, getting wifi in your place is easy and cheap compared to the USA.  You might need a local phone for local phone calls or get a local sim card.

If I were you, I would stay in hotel and look around for a home, unless the school provides one for you.  Even then, you might want to look around, just in case you don't like what the school provides.

Can Tho is a nice and safe place to live.  I just hope you the school is good to you, but don't be surprised that things are not what is presented to you.

I live in Can Tho. It is a very nice place to live. After traveling all over Vietnam for 6 months I settled on living in Can Tho.

Never had a problem finding a place to rent. Landlords usually expect at least a 1 year contract and 2 months rent held for bond/insurance. Hotels are quite cheap, and some offer long term rental, so that could be an option. Internet is available everywhere too.

Duolingo, books and other resources can certainly help you learn Vietnamese. However I recommend getting formal help or going to a language school. Reading and writing Vietnamese is easy to learn but you probably will need help to speak and listen.

As for expat hangouts I believe there is a cafe at Ninh Kieu Warf, which is the main entertainment and tourist area. However I have not been to the cafe, and I am not even sure if is still in business. I am actually thinking of starting a cafe myself sometime with a friend. However COVID is basically destroyed any plans of mine for 2020.

You should buy, borrow or rent a motorcycle. A bicycle is not safe or practical for Can Tho. Grab Taxi does operate in Can Tho city. Availability of drivers seems to be good now. If you cannot find a Grab taxi, you can get help from someone to call you a regular metered taxi.

Anyhow. I wish you well on your negotiations. I'm sure you will love Can Tho.

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