District for Expats?


My boyfriend and I will be moving to Ho Chi Min within the next few weeks, for work.

Do you guys have any recommendations on what locations are best for social/expat communities?

Thank you kindly,

Hi and welcome to the forum.

These days expats are everywhere in HCMC.
To find social/expat communities you may choose to stay in D2 or D7.
Downtown D1 has the highest concentration of foreign tourists.

Welcome to Vietnam.  :cheers:

* D ==> District

Great, thank you! I'll check this out :)

Really depends on where you're going to be working because travelling can be a pain in the arse in the morning. Find that out first (if possible) and then work out where to live

VictoriaE :

...  for work ...  locations best for social/expat communities?

Like @1312j sez. It is a big city when it comes to measuring rush hour commute times. Where are you working? Both at the same place or different places?  (You don't have to say what business, but what area/streets on google maps?

Usually better to live near work since you will (I presume) be traveling there more often than you are going to socialize with expats. Unless it is an ugly neighborhood, or one under heavy construction! Also consider proximity to shopping, rental cost.

I just know so far that the office is 10 minutes from the airport, i believe it might be in district 1. My boyfriends work will likely based in district 8.

So we're trying to find somewhere in between which also has a social/ expat community.

Are there any accommodation websites you could recommend?

Thank you! … ricts.html

District 1 and 3 have plenty of venues for foreigners to hang out - churches, bars, pubs, coffee shops, parks, gyms, and shopping centers.

You should try to find a place in a less noisy and polluted area. That way you can spend more time at home and invite friends in, which is sometimes more convenient than going out.

Just my 2 cents' worth:
I think D2 and D7 are austere and without character, and also are quite far from D1. They have comfortable housing (especially lots of apartments) and are not too expensive (compared to D1/3), and many expats seem to live there. But I find them boring. No character. No soul.
It all depends on what you're looking for I guess.
I would vote for D1 or D3, there's just so much more going on there.

Pollution and noise are serious issues in HCMC.

As already pointed out by another user proximity to your work should be a top consideration in choosing a residence location. The airport area from D 8 is over 1 hour travel even under the best conditions. I might suggest trying to change one of the work locations if at all possible. I live in D7 which is between D 8 and the airport and it is quite nice for expats. It is a newer and cleaner area with wider streets. There are also 3 nice shopping malls within minutes. I'm not sure that the website allows it but I will certainly be more than happy to assist you and finding a location. I am not a real estate agent but just an expat trying to help.

As sanreza already said, the pollution and the noise should be also considered.
The air in D2 is much better than in D1 (until a few weeks ago there was also a measuring station in D2 in the App AirVisual).
This is more important to me than the long distances.

But if you like bars and party and have no problem with bad air, then D1 or D3 is the better choice for you.

D2 is like the baren wasteland full of apt buildings and gated schools.
When I first got to HCMC we walked around there as I was curious.

I would suggest that you can find temporary lodging for a month or two, that is not significantly more expensive than a year's lease.
That will let yo decide how and where you want to live.

Rick Hayward :

The airport area from D 8 is over 1 hour travel even under the best conditions. I might suggest trying to change one of the work locations if at all possible. I live in D7 which is between D 8 and the airport

Do you mean Nhe Be? D8 is actually about the same distance, about 25 mins by taxi to airport. My wife's family lives there. PMH can take longer because of traffic and bridges. For this couple, even though the guy will work in D8, I don't suggest D8 as a place to live for new arrivals. It is true inner city, quite poor, pot-holed narrow roads with trucks, motorbikes and vendors, one Coopmart, otherwise outdoor markets and street-side quan ans. D7 would be too far for the girl to commute to D3 from, so I vote D3, or the D5 side of D1, or D5 for a more gritty but interesting time !

Hey Victoria,

Moved here two months ago on an extended holiday with wife and 2 kids. Here for another 4 months.

I think everyone reply pretty much summed it all up.

I live in D7.

Expat areas are D2 and D7. I hear D2 has more of a community feel.

My thoughts so far:

- Get a good live in domestic helper, treat them with respect and pay them well because it doesn't cost you much if you are earning expat $$.

- Pollution is a big problem, kids are constantly sick.

- Stay in a quite area. D7 is not as busy other districts but still hectic, add to that the searing heat. It makes good for an afternoon swim at the pool though.

- Stay close to work, traffic in the morning is painful. I've picked up several guests from the airport (taxi and Uber). A little over an hour in peak traffic. At 5AM in the morning it took about 45 minutes.

- I can see traffic from a distance from my apartment and it gets congested at around 7AM. Its quite amusing to watch the organised chaos from 30 floors up.

- Live it up. Back home I am a poor person in a wealthy country. Here i am a wealthy person in a poor country.

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