Saigon is one of the best cities to stay in Vietnam. Some foreigners are not able to live in the crowded and busy local district in Ho Chi Minh City. They would rather prefer a more balanced and expat-friendly district providing them on the spot western cuisine, craft beer places, ease to access to gym and modern condominiums.
Many foreigners choose to live in Thao Dien or An Phu, in Saigon’s District 2 for various reasons that we will try to discuss in this article.
Each expatriate will have his or her personal reasons for preferring this district as a place to live: quality of life, close to amenities, shopping centres, being able to go for a walk or cycling, access to international schools and hospitals. Let us list these points in detail:
District 2 : affordable housing for accomodation
As District 2 has a lot of accomodation, it is quite easy to find very affordable housing while living in this expatriate district. Families can choose to access great and modern facilities (gym, swimming pool, outdoor kid area …) that are very well suitable for foreign families.
Condominium and apartments are safe for families
Saigon usually quite safe. However, it is always advisable to be careful when you are close to a main street to avoid using your phone to make a call. Pickpocketing is frequent in Saigon, so better not to tempt some thief to steal your phone while you are calling someone next to a road. More and more vietnamese families will tend to choose condominiums to live in as they will like to have all the facilities around and be in a safe building.
A district dedicated for families
What people like in Thao Dien is the mix of lifestyle they can get. There are plenty of western restaurants, bars for the people who like to go out as well as a lot of commodities : international schools, parks, hospitals … that are very convenient for expatriate families.
As Truc said in this video, Thao Dien is a place that is also very trendy for foreign investors who wish to find a place close to the new metro line, amenities with high end condominiums to support their lives. Having this great lifestyle is one of the reason expatriates like to move to Ho Chi Minh City.
Thao Dien : relaxing & enjoying
One of the benefits of living in this area is that you will enjoy big and small streets that are more quiet during the weekend for walking, cycling or just relaxing at the corner of a coffee shop. There are many green areas where you can exercise, have a picnic, relax, read a book or the newspaper, meditate, or only enjoy the nature and beauty of the parks and rivers.
Besides, as there are a number of places to chill out : coffee shops, bars, foreign shops with imported products, convenient stores, bakeries, foreigners can feel a bit living in a bubble with some of the habits they used to have in their home countries. This district will be from most of them the perfect combination between having a life as an expat while having all the benefits and convenience around themselves.
Foreign and vietnamese cuisine
Expatriate districts will provide a variety of delicious food and amazing tastes from western to local dishes. You can enjoy all of these from restaurants to small streets sellers directly on the street.
The expats districts will tend to have more expensive restaurants with a higher price even for a very small and an average meal. Nevertheless, the fact that foreigners can access almost any kind of food also makes this area very convenient for expatriates living with families.
Friendly english speaking environment
The residents of the expat districts are usually friendly and will be more open to speak english. If you are facing challenges learning the vietnamese language, living in such a neighbourhood can make your life easier. You won’t need to struggle making yourself understood by the locals.
There are plenty of jobs you can find as a foreigner around District 2. For instance, it is quite common to see many foreigners working as English teachers in many well-known international schools, english centers or different foreign corporations hiring foreign staff. Since education is an important topic for most of the wealthy vietnamese families, they will tend to invest a lot in providing their kids top-education from foreign teachers at school or through tutoring. Moreover, those expatriates with good teaching skills find it easier to be employed in Vietnam with a high salary and competitive working environment.
In brief, the expat districts such as District 2, District 7 or An Phu are absolutely top recommendable places to stay if you like to be living in a less local district, with direct access to amenities and close to all the international schools. Because they have so much to offer in terms of education, entertainment, and general activities. Those districts are very well suitable for an expatriate experience with comfort, quietness, enjoyment, and pleasure.