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Can a New York interior designer find a great place in Ho Chi Minh

Stacey Doyle's picture

Last night HGTV House Hunters International headed to Ho Chi Minh, formerly referred to as Saigon, to find a home for a New York City interior designer relocating to Vietnam.

On HGTV “House Hunters” last night, a New York interior designer decided to relocate to Vietnam to become the project manager for a casino. She is seeking an authentic apartment in Ho Chi Minh, formerly referred to as Saigon. Viewers wonder if Rebecca can leave her western ways for personal adventures in the Orient.

A New York Interior Decorator Goes To Vietnam

Last night on HGTV "House Hunters International," Rebecca Weinstein is an interior decorator from New York City who is ready to take a job far away. She recently discovered a position working as a project manager for a casino in Ho Chi Minh, formerly known as Saigon. With no other projects of this magnitude in the states, Rebecca is ready to relocate to Vietnam for a whole new cultural experience.

Rebecca is looking forward to immersing herself in Asian culture during her stay abroad. She wants to live in the city center to be close to work and in the heart of all the action. However, she is also on a limited budget and might be confronted with the realities of local living as she tries to part with her western ways.

Working With Dan the Man in Ho Chi Minh

The real estate agent who works with expats is known as “Dan the Man.” His specializes in finding suitable places for people relocating to Vietnam. He states there has been an unyielding pace of development in the past five years as Ho Chi Minh continues to grow quickly. Rebecca is looking for a one or two bedroom apartment on a modest budget of $1,000 per month.

This interior decorator also wants the home to be furnished and located in the city center, within walking distance to her job. Dan the Man lets her know the city center tends to be more expensive but he has three places to show her. One HGTV “House Hunters International” viewer comments on Get Glue, “House Hunters International. Ho Chi Minh City. The Vietnamese realtor goes by 'Dan the Man.' This NYC lady is every annoying person that I see on the subway.”

The first home is $1,000 per month and located five minutes from her job by cab. Rebecca is displeased she would need to travel to work in a cab. The apartment is in a luxury high rise that is often chosen by expats. The complex has modern western amenities such as a gym and pool. The living room is furnished with a low couch that has a striped back. There is a well-equipped kitchen though Rebecca does not feel she will cook much. The first bedroom with large with a great view. There is no air conditioner but Dan the Man says they will get one. The master bedroom is also a good size with amazing views.

Rebecca feels she wants to reside in a more authentic place so Dan the Man takes her to an apartment located just five minutes from her job. The colorful home is only $800 per month and includes a vintage blue refrigerator and a breakfast bar in the kitchen. The open floor plan is functional though the kitchen is rather small. There is a tile table and marble floor as well as zebra design in the living room. There is dated television but cable is included. The apartment has one attractive bedroom with air conditioners and natural light. There is an outside balcony with a table and blue chairs. Rebecca's neighbors would be Vietnamese and she feels the place is almost too charming and authentic.

Finally Rebecca views another apartment for $1,000 per month. It is ten minutes away from her job and has no furniture. The place is quiet and set back from the street with a beautiful courtyard. The apartment only has a refrigerator, television and bed. There is nice lighting but terrible views that look out to a wall or pavement. The small kitchen area has a rather modern granite counter. The bedroom is the nicest area in the apartment with a fabulous view of the courtyard. There is a balcony overlooking the courtyard, giving the place an authentic feel with a western flair. The residents also have access to a fantastic rooftop entertaining area. Rebecca loves the location but realizes she is on a budget and the place needs to be furnished.

Relocating To Ho Chi Minh

Rebecca realizes there will be a compromise when it comes to location, style or budget. The first apartment does not offer the immersion she desires. The second is too colorful and charming. The third one has the ideal location and she knows as an interior designer that she can furnish it attractively.

After moving in, Rebecca decided she really liked the convenient location of the third home. She furnished it with lovely orange and beige sofas and chairs. She enjoys inviting friends over to relax on the rooftop with a glass of wine before going out. The one part she needs to get used to is the rooster that wakes her up at 5:30 a.m. everyday. One viewer commented, “Vietnam – no thanks! That rooster would end up missing by the end of the first week.” Rebecca did mention she was stilll in her honeymoon period.

HGTV “House Hunters International” airs on weekdays at 10:30 p.m. ET

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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