Expat Districts in Ho Chi Minh let you feel less all by yourself surrounded by somewhat like-minded individuals forming a support group!
Vietnam is a vast country with plenty of different individuals, race and ethnicity. If you’re an expat looking at finding some common people to mingle or perhaps your next travel gang, better know to start looking!
Situated near the city centre, District 2 is one of the most notable expat districts in Ho Chi Minh. It is a preferred settling down place by families and young professionals.
The district is separated by two neighbourhoods: Thao Dien and An Phu. The area is quieter than neighbouring Binh Thanh and District 1, and yet there’s hardly a shortage of things to do in town.
The streets of District 2, namely the Thao Dien part of the district, are lined with Instagram-worthy cafes and restaurants, Western-style storefronts and several import grocery stores.
There are a significant number of foreigners living in District 2 thus the rental fee in the area costs higher than that of other parts of the town.
Larger families can either purchase or rent wide-capacity villas; a more common option is to rent within one of the neighbourhood’s luxury apartment buildings.
Of all the neighbourhoods on this list, this has to be the most residential expat district in Ho Chi Minh.
District 7, particularly the Phu My Hung area, is a haven for families seeking quiet streets, large sidewalks and less air pollution. Although this tranquil part of town is seemingly undisturbed by the chaos of Saigon, it’s quite secluded from the rest. Many expats who choose to live in this neighbourhood do so because they also work within District 7.
It is rare that people living here would take the long commute into the city to and from work each day. One interesting fact about District 7 is that it’s home to the city’s best Korean restaurants – many of the expats here are Korean families!
Catering to the higher-income population of Saigon, District 7 is rife with high-rise apartment blocks, sweeping tree-lined streets and beautiful modern villas.
Like District 2, it is a hotspot for expat families and executives. A downside to choosing this area is that it is quite far from the city center.
However, if you fancy clean roads and a bit of peace and quiet, this is the best area for you.
Most of this district is hiding down tiny alleys, which don’t look like much, but the inside of many of the homes would amaze you. There are so many cool places to live, and most landlords are more than happy to have foreigners.
This is about as close as you can get to District 1 without inflated rents — but it doesn’t have the feel of a downtown metropolis.
If you want to live in an actual Vietnamese community, rather than one that’s overflowing with foreigners and/or tourists, this hip district is for you.
District 5 , considered as the Ho Chi Minh City’s “Chinatown”. This district houses the largest population of native Chinese in all of Vietnam, and is a fabulous fusion of Mandarin and Vietnamese culture.
Famous for pagodas, temples and its local markets, District 5 is less expensive to live in than District 1, but is very close to town.
Public transport to District 1 is convenient, and a motorbike ride to the center of town will take from 10 to 15 minutes. If you speak Cantonese or Mandarin make sure you at least visit this area, and if you’re on an adventure to find the best wontons then make sure to drop by!
District 1 is the most preferred amongst the expat districts in Ho Chi Minh. It features a number of hotels, schools, restaurants, hospitals, shopping malls, markets, government offices, and various tourist sites.
District 1 is perfect for individuals who want to enjoy the comforts of the big city and the variety of choices in residential deals from condominiums to villas and apartments.
You will find most corporate offices and commercial complexes here, making it an ideal district to settle in if you’re looking for a job in HCMC.
However, living in District 1 has its catch. Basically, you will have to keep up with a higher cost of living. City streets are also crowded, and nightlife can be rowdy.
District 1 has plenty of world-class and upscale hotels and residential apartments, but there are areas, too, for travellers and tourists who are on a budget as long as you know where to look.