For the benefit of the family back home in the U.S., the following describes our rented house in the Phú Nhuan district (quan) of Ho Chi Minh City. Our house is located in a hem (a lane of houses off the main street) on Đuong (Street) Phan Xích Long. Here is a view of the street from the entry of our hem:
and here is the entry to the hem off the street:
50 meters into the hem, it looks like you have come to a dead end,
but not so -- you enter into a right turn only 3 feet wide between the houses and then take a left and you are back onto a 6-feet wide lane where our house is. Our house is the tall light-green house in the center.
Our hem goes on through to another major street, so we can go in either direction from our house. Here is the view of our house approaching from the south:
We have a little entry front yard to store motorbikes -- that is Hien's cousin's motorbike (we will get one eventually).
We have three floors -- the first room at the entry is the sitting room, where we receive guests.
The kitchen is in the back.
We have two bedrooms on the second floor -- this is our bedroom with a balcony overlooking the hem lane. As can be seen, the houses across the lane overlook us, too.
All of the furniture in the house was built for the house.
There is a bathroom on each floor. For some strange reason I haven't figured out, there are no lavatories in the bathrooms -- there are lavatories in the kitchen and on the third floor laundry roof deck. There are two sources of water in each bathroom, though, including the shower. The water goes down a floor drain.
On the third floor is our living room, or what will be my office as soon as we buy a desk and comfortable chair. It is cooler here at night where the breezes can run through. The laundry roof deck is in the back. This room and the second floor bedroom have air conditioners, but we do not use them that often since the ventilation is good with use of a fan.
This is the view down the hem lane from the third floor balcony:
Finally, we have a roof deck, with views to downtown Ho Chi Minh City in the distance.
There are some interesting houses to be seen from the roof deck.
Our house is plain by comparison with these highly decorative houses, but the size is right for us. Actually, we are wasting space. The house next to us is identical (built at the same time and rented by the same landlord), but that house has two families (brothers) for ten people. This seems to be fairly typical in Vietnamese houses.