District 1: The Best Place to Stay in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City

Where to Stay in Ho Chi Minh City? First time visitors to the city might well wonder where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City. Built around the River of Saigon, southern Vietnam’s largest settlement is still often known by its river’s name. Established from the 1620s, today Saigon is a showcase for French colonial architecture. It is also known as a place to discover the history behind the Vietnam War, which divided north and south of the country. As a result, This is one of the most visited cities in the Asia Pacific region. This has led to a good range of basic hostels and luxury hotels in Ho Chi Minh City. Let’s take a look and choose the Best Convenient Places to Stay:


Central Districts


Sub-urban Districts


Thủ Đức City


Bình Tân District


District 1


Bình Thạnh District


District 3


Gò Vấp District


District 4


Phú Nhuận District


District 5


Tân Bình District


District 6


Tân Phú District


District 7


Bình Chánh District


District 8


Cần Giờ District


District 10


Củ Chi District


District 11


Hóc Môn District


District 12


Nhà Bè District


Where to Live in Ho Chi Minh City

District 1 - The Best Places to Live in Ho Chi Minh City

District 1 is known as the most modern and exciting district to stay and visit in Ho Chi Minh City, This is a top-notch district to live in. The first reason for people to choose District 1 is its strategic position. Most foreign embassy or governmental offices are based in District 1. If visitors would like to have their visas, passports or temporary immigration documents, they can easily reach these offices within walking distances or 5 to 10 minutes by taxi.

Secondly, because this is the center district, there concentrate lots of recreational activities, like shopping malls, movie theaters, clubs, bars, restaurants, etc. That is the reason why District 1 of Ho Chi Minh is also regarded as a “sleepless district” where a great deal of entertainment keeps you awake all night.


Foreigners from around the world can be found here - so the chance for you to make new expat friends. Bui Vien Walking Street is touted as a Westernized Street, where there are a lot of Western-styled restaurants, coffee shops, night clubs, dancing bars and other services for foreigners.

Though life seems to be pink colour in District 1, there are reasons that deter expats from staying here. District 1 is considered to be the most expensive place to live and to visit, like New York City in the USA. Everything seems to be more costly here.

District 2 - The Second Best Places to Stay in Ho Chi Minh City

District 2, located a little bit outer from city center, is a less crowded and less expensive district to live in. A lot of expats choose to live and work in District 2 for the following reasons. First, it is not too far from the city center of District 1: just about 10 km or 6.22 miles away.

Thanks to the new Dong-Tay Boulevard project, it normally takes only 15 minutes to 20 minutes to travel between District 1 and District 2. Besides, there are many villas and high class apartments available for leasing at more affordable price. If an expat rents an apartment here and save at least $200/ month depending upon the size and amenities of the house.


If you are tired of crowded area with crazy motorbike riders in the city center, you may find larger roads with fewer traffic in district 2 so enjoyable. Traffic jams don’t usually happen as regularly as in center districts.

However, there are still some drawbacks you need to look at before making your decision. There are not many entertainment activities taking place in District 2. If you are a dynamic young person and can’t stand being home in the evening, you may think twice about living in District 2. It seems district 2 is more suitable for middle-aged people and elderly expats who prefer fresh air, fewer people and a peaceful life.

District 3 - Another Option to Choose in Ho Chi Minh City

Young people still have another option of accommodation to live and work near the city center at a cheaper price: District 3. Not so far from city center, people living in District 3 tend to use a Grab taxi or rent a motorbike as a means of transportation. District 3 is suitable for those who stay in Saigon just for a short time and travel on an economy basis. One advantage of living in District 3 in Saigon is various kinds of recreational activities: coffee shops, movie theaters, parks.

If you are a fan of coffee and want to discover different themes of coffee shops, District 3 is a good choice. Besides, if you are tired of going shopping at malls, you may try looking around some fashion shops on Streets of Vo Van Tan, Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Cach Mang Thang Tam, to name a few.


Jade Emperor Pagoda

Family with teenagers may prefer living in District 3 because the shops mostly sell clothes at their ages. If you are shoe lovers, you should not miss lots of shoes shops on Ly Chinh Thang street where extra sizes are available at much less price than buying those in district 1.

However, district 3 has small streets, therefore, traffic jams happen almost every day at rush hours. The only way to avoid being stuck in a traffic jam is try to get out/ get back home right before the peak hours.

District 5 - Chinatown District with a lot of Character.

Known as the China Town of Ho Chi Minh City, District 5 has the most Vietnamese Chinese Style living. Unlike District 1, District 5 is more ancient and oriental in its architecture and people’s daily activities. There are also more pagodas and temples in District 5 than other districts of Saigon. The cost of living in district 5 is not as expensive as that in District 1 and just about the same as living in District 3.

Chinese Cuisine sold in district 5 is authentic and yummy which satisfies even the toughest customers. Public transportation is also very convenient to travel back and forth between District 1 and District 5. From District 5, you can take the bus No. 1 at Cho Lon Bus Station to get to Ben Thanh Market in 40 - 45 minutes.


Thien Hau Pagoda (Empress Pagoda)

If you are travelling on Lunar New Year Celebration or Moon Festival, you should really consider District 5. It gives you chance to see truly festive atmosphere of celebrating these special occasions of the Hoa (Chinese) people community living here.

The only disadvantage of living and working in District 5 is not so many people can speak English; they can speak Chinese (both Mandarin and Cantonese) fluently, though. If you are good at Chinese, it won’t trouble you, then!

District 7 - Places for High Living Standard.

Just like District 2, District 7 is chosen as second homes by many expats. Though it is a little bit away from the city center, District 7 is touted as the future face of Ho Chi Minh City in the next couples of years in housing industry. Because it was planned to be a Western district serving high income people in Saigon long time ago, there are a lot of high quality villas available for long-term leasing. Phu My Hung area offers high living standard apartments which are available for either purchasing or renting.


Expats may find their familiar food at a local supermarket which has food from different countries, such as Indian, Korea, Japan, and the likes. Fast food restaurants, coffee shops, and drinking bars are also modified to be suitable for foreigners. You may feel less homesick when living and working in District 7. Recently, Domino Pizza just opened its first franchise in Vietnam in District 7. Besides, KFC, Lotteria and other restaurants can be reached within walking distance. Special dinner seafood buffet is available at Cham Charm restaurant during weekends.

However, there are some disadvantages of living in District 7. First, because it is a remote area from the city center, there are not many activities for nightlife here. Moreover, public transportation is not as convenient as in District 5. Second, higher cost of living is another drawback. Because of high quality standards characteristic, it may cost you more for the same service in comparison with other districts’.

Tan Binh District - Place for middle income people to live.

Tan Binh district is a good choice for middle income people to live. The district has lots of middle sized and small companies. Public transportation is convenient though it is often crowded in the rush hours (6:30 a.m. -8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m- 6:30 p.m.) There are lots of hotels and motels available for renting for short term or long term at cheap price. If you are living in Ho Chi Minh City for more than 3 months, you may try finding a room in some houses.


However, Roads here are too small to travel smoothly, especially during rush hours when traffic jams happen almost every day. Entertaining activities are also limited. There are not many movie theaters, shopping malls or fashion shops.

If you are an expat officer or a businessman who does not require a lot of means of entertainment, you can think of Tan Binh district to live for a long time due to low cost of living and convenient public transportation and Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

Thu Duc City - Place for People working in education field.

Thu Duc City is a bit far away from the city center (about 20 km ~ 12.5 miles), The District attract fewer foreigners to live. Most expats live in Thu Duc City because they are working here. People don’t have to worry about their budget when living and working in Thu Duc. It is much cheaper than living in the city center.

If you don’t care much about the architecture and are not too specific about your accommodation, a house in Thu Duc City is suitable for you. Besides, Thu Duc district has been planned to be an education district of Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City where most big universities in the city center expand its branches. Therefore, it will be suitable for you to live if you are working in education field.


The only matter of transportation is time. It takes about 1 hour to travel between the city center and Thu Duc City by bus or 45 minutes by grab taxi. There are not many exciting activities to do there, too! Therefore, it is not a good idea for young people who love enthusiastic and exhilarating urban life to live in Thu Duc City. Just imagine that the bus from the city center to Thu Duc City stop its service at 9 p.m, when the party is just about to start, is discouraging enough to make such a decision to live permanently here.

Adventure Journey

See Also:

District 1: The Best Place to Stay in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City District 1: The Best Place to Stay in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City

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