Food, travel and chat: the must-have apps for anyone in Hanoi and Saigon

By Nhung Nguyen   June 15, 2016 | 05:57 pm GMT+7

Struggling to adapt to local life? These free apps might make it easier to settle into Vietnam's major cities.

1. Commuting: Grab and Uber

free-must-have-apps-living-in-hanoi-and-saigon

If you are always freaked out by the traffic and scared of getting lost here, look up these two e-hailing apps. In addition, you can make sure that you are not overpaying for the ride, which sometimes happens with the traditional 'xe-om'.

What’s more fun? You can also localize yourself with the two-wheel culture by choosing Grabbike or UberMOTO to enjoy the roads.

Form of payments for using the service: Cash and CreditCard

Available on:

Uber has apps for iOS and Android.

GrabTaxi has apps for iOS, Android, Windows and BlackBerry OS10.

2. Delivering: Ahamove and Grab

food-travel-and-chat-the-must-have-apps-for-anyone-in-hanoi-and-saigon-1

Screenshots of Ahamove App

Similarly to Uber but for goods, Ahamove can be helpful when you want to move heavy belongings such as furniture or even televisions from one place to another, and stay out of the tiring bargaining process at the same time. Depending on the size and weight of the goods, customer can choose between a motorbike, tuktuk, 500kg and 1000kg trucks, and have them loaded/unloaded or moved door-to-door by the driver as an additional service.

Grab Giao hang/Delivery is mostly for mail and small to medium sized parcels.

Form of payments for using the service: Cash and CreditCard

Available on:

Ahamove has apps for iOS and Android.

GrabTaxi has apps for iOS, Android, Windows and BlackBerry OS10.

3. Chatting: Zalo, Viber and Whatsapp

food-travel-and-chat-the-must-have-apps-for-anyone-in-hanoi-and-saigon-2

Screenshots of Zalo

While Viber and WhatsApp are popular among foreigners in Vietnam, it might be worth familiarizing yourself with their local competitors, including Vietnam’s likely most used chat app Zalo. This app provides similar features such as free text and voice messaging and requires a phone number to join.

With about one-third of Vietnam’s population on Facebook (35 million people), Facebook messenger is also widely used here.

Available on: Zalo has apps for Android, JAVA, IOS. Note: Zalo on the iOS is only available in Vietnamese, but Android users can select both English and Vietnamese versions.

4. Food: Foody and Lozi

free-must-have-apps-living-in-hanoi-and-saigon-3

Screenshots of Foodie and Lozi

They are known as Vietnam’s Yelp for connecting people and local businesses in most cities: Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Noi, Da Nang, Hoi An, Vung Tau, Hai Phong, Nha Trang ...., especially restaurants, and allowing users to share their experience online. You can search for a delicious establishment near you, or find menus and numbers to order a delivery or book a table, or even look for their wifi password. Foody applies a scoring system that rates food, price, service, location and décor separately for you to know what to expect before you get there. Both apps also introduce places to shop and tours to book.

What’s less fun? They both are not really friendly to English users: names of the dishes are badly translated and you can only guess from the pictures.

Available on: iOS and Android

Tags: apps Vietnam