Move To Ho Chi Minh City-Expat's Favorite Places To Live

Move To Ho Chi Minh City-Expat's Favorite Places To Live

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Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon is Vietnam's largest  city and the commercial capital of the country.   It's one of Southeast Asia's most dynamic cities  and one of the fastest growing metropolitan   areas in the world. If you're coming to live  here life can either look like it has more   or less for decades or be as contemporary  as any of the world's modern urban centers.   As a resident you get to decide  how you want to experience it. 

Join me as i explore its very diverse and unique  districts and wards where most of Ho Chi Minh   City's expats call home and where you might too.  I'm John Saboe, and these are my Far East Travels. i've lived and traveled throughout Asia for  several years now and for the last two I've been   in Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon. I'm beginning this  journey of expats favorite places to live where   i currently reside and that's in District One's Da Kao Ward, home to the famous Jade Emperor Pagoda.  

Built in the early part of the 20th century by  the Cantonese community it gained international   attention in 2016 when U.S. President Barack Obama  paid it a visit. There are 24 districts in all of   Ho Chi Minh City and each one is broken down by  wards to make managing addresses and locations   easier, especially within the larger districts. District One is the heart of the city and it's   where many expats tend to stay or live when they  first come to Ho Chi MInh. Many people by the way  

still refer to the core of the city as Saigon,  its official name before reunification of the   north and south. Da Kao Ward is located in the  northeast section of District One and is home to   many consulates as well as international offices  and is within a short walking distance to some   of the city's most important historical sites, including the Jade Emperor Pagoda as well as it's   best restaurants, five-star hotels, and a  staggering variety of cafes, bars, and clubs. This is also where almost all of the city's big  cultural events take place including fashion week.

If you like nightlife being close  to cultural events and activities   and walking as opposed to riding a motorbike or  taking taxis all the time, then District One is   a good option, especially if you work here. This is  however not the most pedestrian friendly district   with many sidewalks either overwhelmed  with motorbike drivers during rush hour   or cluttered with park bikes, so you'll need to be  extra careful than you might in other cities. Maybe   not the most family-friendliest district but there  are parks and of course shopping malls close by.

Like living in any other core of a city prices  are generally on the higher side for rooms or   apartments but it is still possible  to find something for 5 million dong   or just over $200 a month. This will probably  be a small room possibly above a shop.   For a proper serviced studio apartment  with cleaning and laundry service and   English speaking management expect  to pay approximately 10 million dong   or $450 dollars a month which may or may  not include electricity and other services.   You can find property managers online or an agent  through a referral from a social media group   but it's also possible just to walk around  the streets of Da Kao and find room for rent   signs posted. This is how you might stumble across  one of those two to three hundred dollar a month rooms.

if you're someone that wants even  more nightlife options close by,   some Saigon daily street life inspiration and  lots of great sidewalk cafes and street food   options our next stop Nguyen Thai Binh on District  One's Southside could be the place for you.   Nguyen Thai Binh is definitely a ward or neighborhood  in transition. Close to Ben Thanh Market and what will   probably be the biggest Ho Chi Minh City Metro Station there are several high-rise projects   underway and new and interesting restaurants  popping up all the time from craft beer joints   to mexican restaurants and a cafe that also serves  as a retail outlet and bakery for a chocolatier.

The old standards of course are still here as  well and there are some fine examples of French   Colonial architecture and atmospheric places  like the "Antique Street" and Co Giang neighborhood. You're also close to Bui Vien Walking Street and Pham Ngu Lao if you want to feel   like a backpacker again or just enjoy the many  bar and club options and you're still close   enough to walk or stagger to the core of saying Nguyen Hue Walking Street for all that it offers.  There's a good selection of rental apartments  in this area and even hostels or hotels if   you just want to go day to day until you  figure out where you want to be long term. If you're working in District 7 but want  to live in One this wouldn't be a bad   option for you. It's a great area if you're  new to Ho Chi Minh or single or both.  

If you still want to be close to District  1 and all the action but are looking for a   slightly quieter option with character then our  next stop, District 3 just might work for you. District 3 has some of the best street  food options around and some great   atmospheric streets and neighborhoods  and French Colonial Villas and buildings.   Even a music street where you  can buy a custom-made guitar   and a cafe with a secret basement the Viet Cong used to stash weapons during the war.   "It comes out into the bathroom on the second  floor".There are also some prominent temples in   District 3 and where there's temples you'll easily  find vegetarian or vegan restaurants in Vietnam. 

District 3 is also closer to district 5 for  exploring it's many markets and food options. You'll find interesting apartments down  quiet alleys that are visited by street   vendors selling everything from banh mi to coconuts.  If you find a place near the canal you'll have  options for daily walks away from the bikes.   Another area expats live right across the canal  is Phu Nhuan which has its own unique neighborhood   of alleys filled with cafes and great local  food as well as budget living accommodations.  Our next stop is one of the top places for  expat families to live in Ho Chi Minh City.  Phu My Hung in District 7 is a planned community  approximately 8 kilometers south of the heart   of District 1 or 20 minutes by car or motorbike  in non-rush hour traffic. Once a wetlands the Phu My Hung Corporation's project is a joint Taiwanese/Vietnamese venture strikingly different in  

so many ways from the traditional core of Ho Chi Minh. Wider streets, clean uncluttered   sidewalks, and plenty of parks and green spaces  for outdoor activities. This is a choice location   for families or people just looking for a quieter  alternative to the hectic pace of urban Saigon. Many expats are also attracted to the area  for job opportunities as there are many   international schools located in District 7,  and Phu My Hung and stretching further south to   the River Park area. If you're looking for a two or  three bedroom apartment or home you'll have lots  

of choices but prices are high and can easily  exceed 20 or 30 million dong a month or more.   You can find studios and other apartments  in the lower price ranges if you hunt around   and depending on the location of course. There  are other options like renting in District 7   near Nguyen Thi Thap Street on the fringe of Phu My Hung  however you'll probably be dealing with much more   traffic congestion and noise but you'll be close  enough to access Phu My Hung's amazing amenities and shopping.

So I really enjoy the heritage, the  architecture, the tradition of District one   but after spending a couple hours out here and  walking around seeing these wide streets, the   slower pace, pedestrian friendly places to walk, I'd be very tempted to make a move out here.   One of my favorite vegan banh mi's by  the way in like all of Ho Chi Minh. Moving back up closer to the core  of Ho Chi Minh City our next stop is   Binh Thanh District which appeals  to a wide variety of expats.  Less than two kilometers from Nguyen Hue Walking Street in District 1, the eastern end of Binh Thanh   is close enough to make nightly trips into the  core but far enough away to save some money   on rent you'd fork out for the same size place  in District 1. You're close to the Thi Nghe Market  

and canal for local shopping and daily walks and  everyday life that hasn't changed much in decades. There are lots of places here always  advertising service departments or rooms   for short stays or longer term leases. You  can easily pay a visit to the neighborhood,  knock on a few doors make some calls and have a  place lined up within a couple of hours. I've never   lived here but I've visited Binh Thanh many times and I  sense this area is super friendly for foreigners.   There are some high-rise complexes that  are favored by expats as well in the area.  

Lots of little Japanese restaurants  and bars here as well as the ubiquitous   Vietnamese barbecue places and cafes so there's  probably enough to keep most people happy with   the nightlife and dining opportunities close by. It wouldn't be hard to find a   studio apartment here starting at around  5 million dong or just over $200 a month. "So I found a little sushi place here that's very  nice and cozy and inexpensive. The sashimi and sushi  

is absolutely delicious. People are so friendly  here. I think this would be a really easy place   to integrate. I think the local people that  live here like to talk to foreigners, they're   talking to me right now. And it seems like  the people that own the shops and businesses   around here can speak English so they're used  to foreigners, obviously because there's so many   japanese restaurants in the neighborhood.  There's a lot of Japanese people that stay    or live in Binh Thanh as well. But  it's very foreigner friendly here  

and this food is just amazing, fantastic. Cheers!" Moving east two kilometers by foot a little more   by car or motorbike is one of Ho Chi Minh City's  most impressive new city within city developments.   Vinhomes Central Park anchored by the Landmark 81  skyscraper, the tallest building in Southeast Asia.   Inspired by New York City's Central Park this  series of high-rise and low-rise condos is   convenient for expats that need to access District 1 with about a five and a half kilometer by car  or fifteen to twenty minute ride without traffic  delays. Expats that move here will have access to  

a huge park alongside the Saigon River plus  convenient shopping, entertainment, including   a skating rink in the mall, schools and an  international hospital all within walking distance. With lots of options for families a four bedroom  fully furnished condo can easily go as high as   60 million dong plus per month. You can find one  bedrooms in the 13 million range plus. This area is   really for people looking for convenience, safety, plenty of places to walk or run without worrying   about traffic and modern high-rise living  with gym and pool facilities in many cases.   "Well one of the huge benefits of living in a  place like Vinhomes Central Park is this massive   gorgeous green space they have here. Ican picture  myself walking here at least a couple times a day.   Not at 11 o'clock in the morning right now when  it's scorching bloody hot but probably in the   early morning or later in the evening. Just be  a wonderful place to come and relax and unwind   and enjoy these beautiful views of  the Saigon River and the park here."

Close enough for short commuting to District 1  and District 2, late 2021 is expected to bring Ho Chi MInh City Metro service with its first line  to the area. What a relief for people of Central   Park. A stop near the park will take you right to Ben Thanh Market in District 1 on the new Line 1. The last stop on this video takes  us to District two's Thao Dien area.   Nicknamed "Western Town", you'll find one of  the highest concentrations of Western expats   living here along with expats from other  Asian countries and of course Vietnamese.

Many expats have been attracted to Thao Dien  for several years now for work opportunities,   many international schools are found here, and the  lifestyle which is one of Ho Chi Minh City's least   traditional neighborhood areas. In Thao Dien although  high rises have sprung up over the years and more are being developed many of the streets are  filled with low rise and villa style   buildings or houses creating a unique  atmosphere that immediately feels more spacious.   You won't see anywhere near as many of the "tube"  style buildings or shop houses that you'll come   across in the core districts. The area is also  not a traffic through way like Districts one,   three, or five where you'll find hundreds of  thousands of motorbikes on the road during   the day, giving it an especially different  environment with the lack of that Saigon din.   It also probably has the highest density per  square kilometer of pilates and yoga studios as   well as courtyard style shopping squares which are  not typical in other districts let alone in all of   Vietnam. When traffic isn't at its peak it takes  about 20 minutes by car, maybe a little faster by  

bike to get to Nguyen Hue Walking Street in District  one, with a distance of approximately eight kilometers. "It seems like almost  every little cafe and restaurant   around Thao Dien has a vegan option or  a few vegan options which is very nice,   very convenient. Now full disclosure, i'm at this  place called Simple Place, Mexican place and I've   ordered here before but I've had it delivered  to District 1. So it's kind of nice to have   this pumpkin burrito alfresco right out  here at the restaurant. Let's give this a try. That is so good! The avocado in there, pumpkin,  wonderful! One of the reasons Thao Dien has seen such   a rise in development in recent years is because  it will also be one of the first communities along   with Vin Homes Central Park that will be served by  Ho Chi Minh City Metro's Line 1 in late 2021.  

Again being an attractive area for expats to  reside prices are comparable to other areas   like Phu My Hung and Vinhomes Central Park. "So  it's really true what they say about Thao Dien,  it's unlike anywhere else in Ho Chi Minh City.  The combination of less traffic, these low-rise   buildings everywhere, these little courtyards  that feature artisan shops and cafes that are   very vegan-friendly. This is a really convenient  place for vegans. Lots of baked shops that have   vegan products, cafes. And then I just bought some  cashew cheese from this place here that makes   their own cashew cheese. So I'm looking forward  to going home and making some grilled cashew   cheese sandwiches. So very convenient if you're  vegan but of course if you live in District 1, 3, or maybe even 7 you can have this  stuff shipped out there, or have it delivered as well.

I think most expats that move to Thao Dien either  immediately are attracted by something more   familiar to them or they have lived in Ho Chi Minh City or Vietnam for an extended length of time   and relish the less hectic environment and the  conveniences of shops that stock Western and   health foods and restaurants cafes and services  that cater to their specific needs and perhaps   a more family-friendly area as well. I  certainly could get used to this, vegan   food options everywhere, nut milk or soy milk with  my coffee in almost any cafe and vegan ice cream.   I will certainly have to join a pilates class  with all that good living if I move here.   For now though I'm staying in District 1 but  who knows what the future holds. This video has   made me once again contemplate the options  that are available in this city that is   honestly sometimes intoxicating and exhilarating,  other times absolutely maddening, but I do love it.

I've still got some thinking to do..... Hey this is John Saboe, thanks so much for  watching the video. If you enjoyed it, found   it interesting or even mildly entertaining  thumbs up please. Don't forget to subscribe   to the channel for more videos from here in  Vietnam, East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia.  

and don't forget to turn on the notifications bell  as well. Thanks again, please stay safe, take care,   and in the future safe travels  to you! Namaste, Tashi Delek, peace...

2020-12-20 17:48

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