What Can You Do As An Expatriate In Ho Chi Minh CityTips
April 05, 2016
- 1. Shopping
Ben Thanh market outside at night
Ho Chi Minh City has a number of shopping districts and is a fun place to shop, especially for bargain hunters. District 1 and the markets are the best places for those wanting variety and bargaining power. At Taka Plaza and Saigon Square, you can find clothes made for export that match up to western sizes. Both markets also have a good selection of purses, jewelry, belts, and sandals.
Taka Plaza is located at 102 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street. District 1. Saigon Square number 1 is within walking distance of Taka Plaza on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St. There is another Saigon Square, number 2, which has a slightly different selection. It’s not as packed as Saigon Square number 1, and it’s closer to District 2 on Ton Duc Thang Street next to Saigon river. The expectation when you shopping at these markets is to bargain. If you buy more than one item, you should be able to get a deduction from the stated price. See more: Tips for Expats
It is always best to browse a bit before buying as market vendors will mark up their prices for Western customers. Large department stores can also be found in District 1.
Diamond Plaza is a popular shopping choice for designer wear, leather goods, and interior decor materials. As far as clothing is concerned, most expats prefer to make use of one of the numerous, incredibly skilled and cheap tailors around town. However, traditionally the best tailors are found in Hoi An, in central Vietnam.
2. Plan a little getaway in District 2
Saigon Outcast - Playground for the youth
If your apartment or home doesn’t have a pool or you just want to have a getaway, District 2 is the great place for you. Located apart from the center of Ho Chi Minh City by Saigon River, the district with many serviced apartment for rent is a great choice. They offer everything, from room service to dining, and your choice is various.
3. Drink, dance and relax
Bar in Saigon Outcast
Ho Chi Minh City is packed full of clubs and bars which range from small, dark bars to very upmarket music lounges. Expats will find that most of the nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City center on District 1.
Party-goers will soon become aware that imported drinks sold in more exclusive bars tend to significantly more expensive than local beverages. The dress code at bars and nightclubs in Ho Chi Minh City is generally pretty relaxed with no restrictions on jeans or trainers.
4. Go to museums
War Remnants Museum
For those that enjoy cultural activities, Ho Chi Minh City is steeped in history. The city is home to a number of fascinating museums which document various elements of the country’s history and diverse culture. Expats with children should be sure to catch a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show which is great fun for the whole family.
5. Eating Out
Western Town Pham Ngu Lao
Expats in Ho Chi Minh City tend to head to Pham Ngu Lao Road for nightclubs, restaurants and bars. Ly Tu Trong Street in District 1 is another popular late night spot. HCMC has a wide range of restaurants catering to all palates, Vietnamese street food is often just as good as the food found in the more expensive restaurants.
For authentic street food, it's best to hit the markets and ask Vietnamese friends what their favorites are as word-of-mouth always wins. Some to dishes to try to include Saigon new (fresh spring rolls) and bun bo Hue (Hue beef soup). Saigon is a port city and the seafood dishes, particularly seafood spring rolls, are mouth-wateringly delicious.
6. Go to a café
Last but not least, Vietnamese coffee is potent and tasty. Coffee shops abound and it is easy see where the Vietnamese get their zing from. The best way to have coffee, according to the locals, is served with condensed milk over ice.
There are coffee shops or kiosks on just about every street corner and the coffee served is cheap and strong.