When travelling in Vietnam, it can be complicated on which District to stay in. Ho Chi Minh City is divided into 24 districts. These are the 5 Districts that most travellers and expats would be staying.
District 1, So What is in District 1 ?
Most travellers and tourists would stay in District 1. District 1 is strategically positioned, with most of the embassy and government office located here. Ben Thanh Market, The Reunification Palace, the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office are all located here. District 1 is similar to Orchard Road in Singapore, and New York City in the USA. District 1 is house to many 5-star hotels. Being the Orchard Road, and the New York City of Ho Chi Minh City, everything seems to be more costly at District 1 and it is considered as a “District that never sleeps” with tons of entertainment activities available.
Saigon’s version of the Bangkok’s Khao San Road is located at District 1 Pham Ngu Lao Street, this is the backpackers haven. (Which is also the place I took the coach to Phnom Penh)
District 2, So What is in District 2 ?
District 2 is located about 15-20 mins away from District 1, it is less crowded and a less expensive district to live in. District 2 is separated by the Saigon River, and in the past, it is one of the poorest areas. Now, District 2 house many international schools. If you are scared of crossing the road in Saigon, District 2 might be more suitable as it has lesser traffic and vehicles. District 2 is suitable for expats or for families with children, who doesn’t mind having any entertainment activities.
District 3, So What is in District 3 ?
If you are looking for a short-term stay with a tight budget, District 3 would be the right place for you to find accommodations. But you would need to take a taxi or rent a motorcycle to get from District 3 to District 1. District 3 has tons of interesting coffee house with various themes, movie theatres, parks. The War Remnants Museum is also located in District 3. But District 3 is notorious for its bad traffic, especially during peak hours.
District 5, So What is in District 5 ?
District 5 is also known as the Chinatown of Ho Chi Minh City. It has much ancient and oriental architecture, with many pagoda and temples. The cost of living in District 5 is lower than District 1 and similar to District 3. The best time to visit District 5 is during or near to Lunar New Year, where the place is thickened by the festival atmosphere. Most staying in District 5, do not speak any English, rather they are able to speak Mandarin and/or Cantonese.
District 7, So What is in District 7 ?
District 7 is a bit further away from District 1, this is the place where I went to VivoCity at Saigon, to watch my 4dx movie. Many expats from Korea and Japanese are located at District 7, which creates the mini Korean and mini Japanese town in the area. District 7 also has many authentic Korean and Japanese food. District 7, do not have much entertainment activities, and public transport is not convenient. District 7 tends to cost you more for the same services compared to other Districts.
So, Which District would you be keen to stay in?