There are so many smartphone applications nowadays that makes every aspect of your life easy – from shopping and transport to language translation and banking. In this article, we’ve tried and tested all, and have come up with this curated list of the best apps that will make your life in Vietnam so much easier.
Foody is the most popular food app in Vietnam. Although it’s home to a hundred thousand eating locations, the search engine works very fast. Search through the system with keywords, street names, food types, and many more. Are you hungry for pho? Just enter the word “pho” in the search box and select the city you live in, then thousands of pho restaurants will appear immediately. After displaying the results, you can choose the most appropriate pho store by filtering by distance, overall score, or the number of people interested in it.
What if you don’t know what to eat? Don’t worry, because, with its location-based scanning feature, Foody will offer you a list of nearby locations, and all you need to do is sort the options to find the best one. Another plus point is that it supports multiple mobile platforms, so whether you have an Android phone or an iOS, you’ll have no trouble.
Lozi is a multifunctional social network and a trustworthy delivery app. It not only does food but also books, music, and other billions of related things. In comparison with Foody, Lozi’s interface looks younger, friendlier, and cuter (seriously, who doesn’t love a cat icon?). While Foody finds food stores based on location, Lozi proactively suggests foodies a series of eye-catching dishes and drinks around. Therefore, Lozi is suitable for those who want to discover new dishes no matter how far they are.
You will probably notice that Lozi is surprisingly alluring and (of course) you’ll also find the mouth-watering food photos a little hunger-inducing. The reason is that Lozi was originally built based on the Instagram community. The most popular feature of Lozi is “Around” which allows you to discover the world of food, from authentic Vietnamese dishes to Asian or Western foods.
If you are currently in big cities like Hanoi or Saigon, take a look at the streets. Do you see the thousands of green helmets and clothes with the word “Grab” on the back? Grab is a mobile transportation app that you can use to book a ride or a delivery. Just enter the pickup point and destination, then the app will show you the price. After that, the driver will take you to where you need to go.
Grab is warmly welcomed in Vietnam for many reasons. The biggest plus point is the low cost. And the price is shown directly on the screen so you don’t need to worry about being ripped off. You will also know the route and the driver’s information – which makes your drive safer and more enjoyable.
After Uber withdrew from the Southeast Asia market, Go-Jek, a two-billion-dollar Indonesian transportation service jumped in and started an ambitious plan to rule this potential market. It also directly competes with Grab. Currently, Go-Viet only provides motorbike taxis, but I believe it has many more things to come.
The good thing about Go-Viet is that its interface is easy to use. Different from Grab, Go-Viet has studied user habits so it frequently picks the destination for the users. But the biggest benefit is the feature to book multiple rides at the same time. It means that while you are in the middle of the ride, you can also book another one from your phone. Isn’t it amazing?
One small inconvenience about Go-Viet is that it is only available in Vietnam. You will have to download Go-Jek when in Indonesia or Go-Get if you visit Thailand. This app is completely different from Grab, which allows you to download one version and use it in eight Southeast Asian countries.
Shopee is an online shopping app, which is probably obvious to you because of its name. The app was developed for mobile devices, so it’s best used on phones. Its strongest point is it’s super convenient. Only one touch and your orders will be ready to go.
Although it sells a wide range of products, Shopee specializes in personal-care goods such as cosmetics, jewelry, and fashion. If you want to update and upgrade your closet, Shopee is one of the best apps you can ever find.
Like Shopee, Lazada is also a well-known shopping app. One of the reasons that makes it different from Shopee is that it has a lot of discounts. Moreover, it has a huge number of electronics and technology products. Are you moving to a new house and trying to buy household appliances? Lazada will make the move easier!
Traveloka is like Skyscanner in the Vietnam market. It offers free travel information and allows you to book and compare airline tickets, hotels, and restaurants. Instead of finding tickets on the airline websites, booking on Traveloka will help you choose the most suitable ticket. And you know what, the price is even cheaper than the official price on the airline websites. Many people believe that Traveloka offers the cheapest tickets in Vietnam.
The first plus for Traveloka is the web and app interface which are visually organized. Good news is that it has a feature called “Smart Combo” that will make it easier for you to save money. Another great point is the price shown on Traveloka is the final price you will pay. Traveloka also allows you to pay by ATM, Visa, bank transfer, or payment at convenience stores.
Timo is a convenient digital bank with all transactions made via the phone application. With Timo, you have the comfort to optimize your time and money thanks to free-use ATM (all Smartlink & Banknet, total more than 17,000 ATM nationwide), free transactions, as well as free cash withdrawal at Timo Hangout and VPBank. Timo Hangout, where you can set up your account and ask questions, will also give you a free drink.
With the app you are able to do many things. You can pay your internet, water and electricity bills, top up your phone, and easily move money around without filling out fields of information.
Unlike Timo which is a digital bank, MoMo is more like an online wallet. The MoMo application allows users to easily pay bills from electricity, water, Internet, cable TV, landline, and postpaid. Users can pay multiple bills at once without the necessity of going to the place of payment.
The app lists the user’s transaction history and spending statistics at the desired time, making it easy to manage expenses or access charges from service providers. Moreover, MoMo is considered the best tool for movie fans, especially the youth. This app solves the long wait of queuing to buy tickets. You can also transfer money to friends or relatives who use MoMo just with a few clicks.
Online Contact Apps: Zalo
Zalo is an app for video calls, text messages, and connection that was developed by a leading gaming corporation in Vietnam. To be short, it’s like a Vietnamese version of WhatsApp. You can easily access it from your PC and mobile phone. It makes it easier to update information anytime and anywhere. It has many benefits, such as video message, finding friends nearby, share information with your friends, colleagues, and family in the most convenient way. Last but not least, it also integrates your friend list with your contacts. And if you feel bored, explore the game world in Zalo. Your tiredness will fade away in a second.
Reading News: VnExpress
VnExpress or Vietnam News is an online newspaper in Vietnam. This is the first newspaper in Vietnam to only have an online platform with no print. Like its name, VnExpress.net provides breaking news for readers quickly and in a timely fashion. This is also one of the rare web news providers that can be read in the English language, so if you want to update yourself on local news, this is the page that you need.
I know that adapting to a new country takes time, so I really hope these apps above will help you settle down into your desired lifestyle faster. And while you’re living in Vietnam, why not discover and understand this beloved country better by reading the articles below:
If you enjoyed reading this article and would like even more fun info about what to see, do, and eat (and a whole lot of unique memorable cafes!) all around Vietnam, follow us at the Christina’s Blog!