Technology can make everyday life anywhere in the world so much easier. With just a few taps on your phone, you can literally plan everything. Vietnam is not behind on all these innovative advantages both for the benefit of locals and expats, far from it, which is why it’s a country you should move to next.
After living in Ho Chi Minh City for three months now (6 months in Hanoi before this), I have found a few phone apps that make my life easier especially since I don’t speak the language, yet. I’ve asked a couple of expats about the best apps they would recommend to help your everyday life in Vietnam.
You may use the table of contents below to navigate faster.
HERE ARE THE BEST APPS FOR VIETNAM FOR YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE
We’ve listed apps for a range of uses; transport apps, online shopping apps, and even services on demand like cleaning, food delivery and more.
ALSO READ: A guide on how to move to Vietnam
There are various ways to move around Vietnam, from buses, cars, motorbikes, bicycles, and even boats are fairly useful depending on your location.
Grab & Taxi Mai Linh
Offers services for both cars and motorbikes. Grab is the most popular transport app in Vietnam and now even includes food delivery with regular discount codes and rewards. Grab and Taxi Mai Linh also offer delivery services where they can pick up the goods you need and bring them to you or goods that you need to send to someone. You can set up your payment method through your card too for easy cashless travel. These apps are used massively in big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.
TripGo and BusMap
If you often take public buses, TripGo and BusMap are two apps that will definitely come in handy. These two can show you all of the route options, ticket prices, and even how to get to the nearest pickup point. Taking a bus is also the cheapest way to get around the city, incredibly cheap actually.
Not really an app (although they have one but not very reliable), 12.go.asia is one of our to-go websites to book our overland transportation. Whether you want to travel from one city to another within Vietnam or to other neighbouring countries like Cambodia or Laos or even throughout Southeast Asia. They pull out the cheapest to most expensive options for you to go around.
AhaMove is perfect for expats in Vietnam who are planning to move into or out of their accommodation and want to skip the hassle of hailing a taxi or renting a car. AhaMove can move big or small furniture across the city. The options are between motorbikes, tricycles, trucks for 500 kgs or 1000 kgs. You can book the help you need in advance and even make a note if you need help with stairs.
Skyscanner is a very useful phone app if you prefer to fly within Vietnam or to other countries. They show different options depending on your needs (cheapest, fastest, and most convenient way). You can also use this app outside Vietnam.
Nowadays, online shopping is a big part of our life. For expats in Vietnam, these online shops are a great help to be able to settle down and get through all our errands.
Some things are not available in physical stores in Vietnam or can be very hard to track down, especially if you do not speak Vietnamese.
Your next resort is to find them online. Most phone apps in Vietnam are conveniently translated to English, making online shopping much easier. Here are the apps we recommend to you for online shopping:
Chopp or MarketOi
Not into spending your Saturday or Sundays mornings in the supermarket? Well fret not, Chopp and MarketOi have you covered for your weekly grocery shopping. These apps are basically your own personal shopper, find what you need through their app, set up the payment method, click the time you expected it to be delivered and voila – you will get them straight to your front door! With a variety of different supermarkets, butchers and greengrocers listed on both apps, you can always find what you need and can even order items from multiple places in 1 shop.
Shopee and Lazada
These two phone apps are similar to Amazon as different sellers list their products and you can choose between different sellers for each item. They have almost everything you need. There are also shops from China and other Southeast and East Asian countries that sell their products here giving more choice to the buyers.
You can either use their phone apps or website. The best part is that you can pay by “Cash on Delivery” (COD). You can order the things and have them delivered to you and pay the moment you receive them, minimizing any risk of being scammed.
You can also set up a payment method through your Vietnamese bank or any international bank card.
FOOD, RESTAURANTS, AND SHOPPING
You’ve probably noticed by now that food is available almost everywhere and immediately in Vietnam. If you are feeling lazy to cook for yourself or too busy to go to the shop, there are phone apps that you can rely on.
Maybe you are hungover or just not in the mood to cook or to go out for food. Well, Vietnammm has your back. An app where you can browse through many different types of food, from kebabs, Italian to sushi, Vietnammm will bring it to you in no time. All you have to do is make it to your front door!
Are you a foodie yourself? Here’s the app perfect for you. Foody is a community app where users come together, share their experiences about restaurants, give their reviews and tips. Using this app will make it easier to find the must-try food and restaurants in the city!
Now is a food delivery app created by Foody. Unlike Veitnammm which caters mostly for western restaurants (which are more on the expensive side, well expensive for Vietnam anyway), Now includes a bigger range of local restaurants and street food vendors giving you much more choice. Whilst the app itself is in English, please note that many of the local restaurants and street food vendors have their menus in Vietnamese. This brings us on to our next section…..
Just like everyone who moved to Vietnam, the language barrier is something that will take time to overcome. To give you a helping hand, here are some phone apps that can assist you in communicating with the locals.
If you need help improving or even just learning basic Vietnamese, Duolingo can help you. This app will help you improve your speaking, listening, and reading ability with your preferred new language learn. Duolingo also covers different languages.
We get it, Vietnamese is not an easy language to learn. Even though Vietnam is striving to have every young person learn English, you will still encounter daily interactions with the older generations where the language is indeed a barrier. The great thing about Google translate is that you can download the translation, allowing you to use the app offline.
If you’ve moved to Vietnam then it’s a safe bet that you’ll be making some local friends or possibly be dating some too.
Whilst Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are used in Vietnam, they are not the preferred messaging platforms. WhatsApp is rarely used and you may not want to add people on Facebook as it can be a bit more private.
Zalo is perhaps the most popular messaging app used by Vietnamese. It also has social media and eCommerce functions alongside messaging. I would go as far as saying Zalo is used almost as much and possibly even more than Facebook among Vietnamese.
Unlike Zalo, Viber is purely for messaging and is usually used in a more professional capacity. Many Vietnamese businesses use Viber as their preferred messaging platform between colleagues. I have also been contacted by employers through Viber after submitting job applications.
While you are new in Vietnam and your network is still in the process of building up, at some point, you will need assistance in completing some work or errands so you’ll need to reach out to someone or service for help.
This is your go-to app if you need any cleaning to be done around your house. You can easily book the cleaning service you need in advance and get a discount depending on how many hours you want to book. You can choose yourself which cleaning personnel or company you prefer to get the job done.
If you are using MobFone as your sim card and data provider, they have an app where you can purchase the bundles and credits you need for your phone. This is a perfect way to save time instead of going to their shop for this errand. You can even see if there are any discounts or deals from them.
Local Vietnam Bank
If you managed to open a local bank account in Vietnam, most of their phone apps are incredible. Apart from the regular features like checking your balance and transferring money, you can also top up your phone credit there or buy eGifts or book a flight or pay bills.
I’ve travelled to quite a few countries and I have to admit that currency conversion gives me a headache! The most accurate and useful app for this that I can suggest you use is XE Currency. This works not only in Vietnam but everywhere in the world too.
I’m pretty sure there are more phone apps out there that can be very helpful during your time in Vietnam, if you know any then please let us know so we can add them here to help other expats and travellers in Vietnam.
I hope you find this list of best apps for Vietnam useful, if you have any questions, comment below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.