Developing your social circle in Ho Chi Minh City
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Expats young and old may fear not being able to develop a social network when they relocate to another country. While no city is the same, some are simply more buzzing than others. Luckily with their sights set on Ho Chi Minh City, they will be pleased to discover that making new friends within Saigon isn't terribly difficult.

Although the city can feel isolating and overwhelming at times, a major benefit of living here is that there are so many different opportunities to meet people. The city is undergoing some significant changes at the moment, and is a multicultural haven, allowing for an array of activities and events that are regularly organised everywhere. Whether expats are interested in personal or business growth, family-friendly gatherings or want something more on the wild side, there are plenty of options for those looking to expand or develop their social network. Below are a few examples of how new expats can find their circle.

Work

Some expats may find many of their colleagues are also friends outside of the workspace. This might be more common among the younger crowd, but it is certainly one way for people to not only get acclimated to their new surroundings but introduced to people who might be potentially like-minded.

Workshops

Something expats may love about Saigon is that there are dozens of workshops held every week. The wellness company La Holista regularly hosts cooking and nutritional workshops such as kombucha-making courses and vegan dessert classes. The Hive Saigon has hosted a number of interesting classes such as organic lipstick making events to build-you-own-earring workshops; Famed restaurant L’Usine regularly hosts a paint and wine event; Girls on Craft holds events pretty much every night of the week for those interested in macrame, origami or embroidery. These niche-focused interest groups are perfect as they allow participants to chat with those around them while getting to partake in exciting, hands-on activities which promote bonding. It is really a perfect way to form friendships!

Exercised-focused groups

For those who are a bit more interested in getting their sweat on, there are lots of options. Women living in District 2 and District 7 who want to workout within a judgement-free zone can enjoy Girls with Guns Fitness workouts in the mornings and evenings. While it is a health-focused group, the women do tend to go out and socialise throughout the course of the regular five-week boot camps. The Bike Shop VN, located in District 2, hosts two events each month: Adventure Rides and Fun Rides. The Adventure Rides are a bit more intense, but both excursions are a great way to bond throughout the 30 to 40-kilometre rides. In addition to the foodie-centric workshops listed above, La Holista also hosts monthly hikes for those craving a nature fix. There are usually about fifty or so expats and locals on these hikes and walking for hours means plenty of time to get to know someone. Adventure awaits!

Family-friendly

Aside from attending one of the city’s kids cafes or jungle gyms, many of the international schools and pre-schools in town host kid-friendly events. Saigon Outcast, one of the city’s most buzzing social hotspots, hosts a child-friendly movie night at least once a month. While the children may not be as interested in the film as they are with play, it is an excellent opportunity for families to get talking and set up future play or coffee dates.

If none of these options looks appealing, expats should also check out MeetUp.com, where they can find a number of other niche-related activities and gatherings that may cater more toward their wants. No matter what, the most important aspect is to be vulnerable at times and put yourself out there!

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