YOUR GUIDE TO THE SAIGON DISTRICTS
Moving to your new home in Saigon is always exciting! Whether coming from abroad or moving locally, all of the potentials waiting for you create a sense of adventure and opportunity. The anticipation of meeting new neighbors, exploring an unfamiliar area, and meeting the local vendors are all things to look forward to. Need to know more about the districts? Here, we have compiled a brief overview of the most requested Districts for accommodation- to match every lifestyle.
District 1 is considered the Heart of Saigon. Even if you will not be living there, it is indeed the ultimate Saigon must-see! As the urban center of Ho Chi Minh City, it is an exciting location. You will find a wide selection of international shopping malls, bustling markets, and an unlimited supply of Vietnamese and Western restaurants, clubs, bars, and cafes. It is super-busy day and night.
At the center of what is known as the reverse L-shaped District 1 lies the long stretch of walking street – Nguyen Hue street. This iconic road stretches from the old French town hall and borders Bitexco tower – HCMC’s iconic skyscraper. This part of D1, from Ly Tu Trong and Le Thanh Ton streets to the Saigon River, includes most of the dining, shopping, and nightlife. One of the highlights in District 1 is Little Japan on Le Thanh Ton and Tai Van Lung streets, where a thriving Japanese community resides. Rent here can be expensive as many of the more high-end buildings are in D1. However, there are some cooler and cheaper accommodation areas available around Bui Vien and Pham Ngoc Lao. If being among the hustle and bustle of a city is your style, then you will adore D1. In D1 everything you could ever need is at your fingertips!
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District 2 is known as the more Western part of Saigon and maintains a high standard of living. Thao Dien and An Phu specifically are home to both expat families, due to the concentration of International Schools, and long-term western expats, due to the slower pace lifestyle. Separated into two parts, District 2 is synonymous with the Thao Dien ward on the north side. Thao Dien includes many of the most prestigious international schools available in HCMC and boasts many modern high-rise apartment buildings, villas, and compounds. On the south side of the Hanoi highway, there are many established apartments, with new buildings emerging all the time. The Thu Thiem New Urban Area, facing District 1, will soon redefine District 2.
Thao Dien is a hamlet that radiates a particular laid-back ambiance compared to the other districts. It has a variety of organic markets, craft beer bars, and Western delicatessen shops. You can also visit your regular collection of Vietnamese street food stalls, restaurants, spas, and malls. If you like to cycle around with your family on Sundays and keep your kids’ school close at hand, then Thao Dien is your place. Thao Dien and An Phu offer quieter lifestyles with convenience to a small number of western stores and bars. D2 is one of HCMC’s more liveable districts.
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Due to the proximity to D1, District 3 is considered one of the best areas to live in by many expats. It is contiguous to District 1, so a quieter life is possible whilst still giving you the ability to pop over to all of the incredible bars and restaurants in D1. D3 sits in a perfect location that is quickly accessible to the whole city while still experiencing the traditional Saigon local life. Most apartments in this area are in smaller buildings and nestled away in timeless hems. These hems experience some traffic congestion at times as hems are traditionally narrow. District 3 is a cheaper option than living in District 1. You will also find many markets, restaurants, street food, coffee shops and parks. Fair rental prices and the convenient location makes District 3 an incredible place to live.
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BINH THANH DISTRICT
Bang in the middle of D1 and D2 lies the Binh Thanh District. This area is a mix of densely populated apartment buildings and some quiet and confidential small alleys. High-quality bars and restaurants are tucked away in the most unexpected places in Binh Thanh.
This District is the perfect place for you if you want to avoid the larger expat areas. It is also easily and quickly accessible to D1. The rental prices in Binh Thanh are fair. The older and larger expat-centric buildings offer great value for money with all the facilities to make life here extremely pleasant.
On the north end of Binh Thanh District is Thanh Da Island. Here you can catch a glimpse of traditional rural Vietnam resplendent with rice paddies and lotus fields.
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District 4 is the best place to try the most amazing street food in HCMC. It also has an incredible history as long ago it was an area run by a well-known mafia boss. Back then, it was filled with illegal gambling dens. This area is notorious for its past of organized crime and the infamous Năm Cam, the Godfather of Saigon. Although D4 still has loads of character, thankfully, not quite as much as it had in its more illicit times. Today, District 4 is far safer and is well-known for its cheap but delicious street food, particularly seafood. Cross the Saigon River and you are right in the middle of all the action. D4 also borders D1 and D7. It forms a small island with District 1 on one side and District 7 on the other. D4 is an excellent place to live that is very close to the city centre.
>>> Search Apartments in District 4, HCMC
Known as the China Town of Ho Chi Minh City, District 5 is densely populated by the Chinese/Vietnamese community. District 5 is more ancient and oriental in its architecture. People here live more traditional lives. Home to many pagodas and temples, visually it is extraordinarily beautiful. The cost of living in district 5 is low with every purchase offering an incredible bargain. D5 rests on the other side of D1 and is known as HCMC’s Chinatown, or Cholon. Most inhabitants don’t speak English, but if you are working on your Vietnamese or Chinese language skills, then D5 is a great choice. If you love Chinese food, then it doesn’t get any more authentic than D5.
>>> Search Apartments in District 5, HCMC
District 7 is an expat area that hosts a large Korean community. At the center of D7, the Phu My Hung area is the most sought-after neighborhood with modern shopping malls, international schools, and residential areas. This part of town feels different from the other districts. With its wide and traffic-free streets and open-plan spaces, life is simple. If you appreciate a more suburban lifestyle, away from the hustle of the city center then, District 7 is a good fit for you.
>>> Search Apartments in District 7, HCMC
HCMC is the largest and most populated city in Vietnam. Divided into 24 Districts ( nineteen urban and five rural), each offers its own unique experience. Deciding on which area to reside in usually comes down to a few standard variables. For one, consider where you will work as commute times should be factored into where you decide to live. Consider the vibe you are looking for. Do you prefer skyscrapers and an inner-city vibe or a more peaceful area? Where do you like to socialize? Do you have children? Being close to schools is often preferred. Regardless of which District you choose to call home, accommodation is abundant for every budget here. Naturally, when selecting your home, your agent will be the best one to advise on what’s available to you. But wherever you choose to live, your stay in HCMC will certainly never be boring!