Ho Chi Minh, formerly known as Saigon, is the financial center of Vietnam and is famous for its vibrant atmosphere, diverse architectural styles, and friendly locals. Digital nomads choose that location because of the low costs of living, stable internet connection, great local food, and warm, pleasant weather.
When to go?
Ho Chi Minh is a perfect destination for those who prefer a warmer climate. There is a tropical climate in the city, with an average humidity of 78–82% and there are 2,400- 2,700 hours of sunshine per year. There are two seasons: the rainy season lasts from May to November, and the dry season begins in December and ends in April. The average yearly temperature is 28 °C. You won’t need to pack your heavy winter jackets since the lowest recorded temperature in January was 13.8 °C.
Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh?
Ho Chi Ming is a true metropolis which attracts foreign businesses, thus it is a home for a significant number of expats. If you want to feel the European vibe, you should choose to stay in Thao Dien suburb, which attracts foreign investors, businessmen as well as freelancers and backpackers. This option is reserved for DN who have a bigger budget though.
If you prefer a more affordable option, you can find a place in District 1, 3 or 4. Those areas have a more authentic atmosphere, so it’s a perfect solution for those who like to experience the local way of living. Those districts are also located nearby popular night-life areas, so they are a perfect choice for digital nomads who like to go out and do not spend time and money for commuting to the favorite bar or club.
Accommodation in Ho Chi Minh for digital nomads
Digital nomads can choose from plenty of flat options on Airbnb. There is a high supply on Airbnb in Ho Chi Minh and prices can be very competitive. The monthly price for a one-bedroom apartment is around $400- $500. If you spend enough time searching and will have a little bit of luck, you can find a good place for as cheap as $250. Flats usually are well-equipped and kept in good condition. To make sure you choose the right street and location we recommend to book only the first few nights at Airbnb or check in to one of the Ho Chi Minh hostels around the central districts!
Another solution is to look for a one-bedroom or shared flat via popular Facebook groups – Expat – Saigon and Ho Chi Minh City Expats. Locals and foreigners regularly post there flat rental offers. If you want to rent a flat via domestic websites, the best solution is to ask for a help local friend.
Coworking spaces and good places to work
Ho Chi Minh has a great offer of both coworking spaces and comfy cafes. Thanks to constantly growing number of remote workers, both local and international, coworking spaces pop up in almost every district. Officespot, located in District 7, offers one of the best, modern facilities. It has common space, longue, comfortable office desks and in-house café with a great selection of food and drinks. There are also plenty of event organized by the Officespot, so it’s a great opportunity to network, meet new friends and gain valuable knowledge.
The Hive, located in busy Thao Dien district is one of favorite coworking space for small business owners, creatives and digital nomads. Besides working stations, longue and conference rooms it offers office equipment such as printers and scanners. And if you need a quick break, you can relax on a spacious terrace with a stunning view. The Hive often hosts workshops, lectures and movie screening for its member. If you prefer to work in an informal, relaxed atmosphere you will definitely like WORK Saigon, which resembles rather café than “traditional” coworking space. Those, who like to work in a more elegant surrounding, should check CirCo Coworking Space. Pleasant interior full of natural light and spacious rooms will make your working day much more comfortable.
Digital monads who opt for working in cafes won’t be disappointed either – Ho Chi Minh City has a café on almost every corner. The Maker Concept is one of the most popular digital nomads’ spots, located in the famous Cafe Apartment building. The café offers a great selection of coffee, tea, healthy and fresh smoothies as well as tasty snacks.
Another cool place to work from is The Loft – a place which combines an art gallery, coffee shops and little shops. You can chill on its balcony with a cup of great coffee or tea.
L’Usine, a café and restaurant chain, is popular spot among digital nomads. Cafes are located in the city centre thus it is easy to reach them from any location. L’Usine offers a great selection of coffee, smoothies, tea as well as delicious, homemade treats.
Those who like to work in an environment which resembles an office will be satisfied with The Workshop, a place designed for remote workers. Inside there are long work tables as well as individual desks. If you need to totally concentrate, you can move to a special quiet room and work with no disruption.
The good thing is that Ho Chi Minh has café on almost every corner, so it’s easy to find a favorite spot close to the flat no matter in which district you stay.
Where to meet digital nomads?
The city attracts many foreigners, who come to Ho Chi Minh for both shorter and longer stay. If you use services of coworking spaces such as WORK Saigon, you will easily meet like-minded international remote workers. Every each of coworking spaces often organizes tailored events for digital nomads.
Another option is to join Facebook groups for expats – Expat – Saigon, Co-working Days in Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City Expats. Members of those groups are active and willing to give newcomers advice about the city as well as socialize over a coffee or beer. You can also find plenty of groups on Meetup website, which you can easily join and get to know new friends.
Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport is located 7 km away from the city and has both local and international connections. The taxi to the city will cost you around $5.
Public transport in the city includes a great number of buses, however, the most popular means of transport are motorbikes and bicycles. For short-distance commuting, you can choose “xe ôm”, motorcycle taxis. Tourists like to use cyclos, suitable for longer trips. There are also Uber and Grab operating in the city.
Mobile internet / SIM card use
There are three main mobile operators in Vietnam: MobiFone, Viettel and Vinaphone. Standard cost of a SIM card (internet package included) is round 200,000 VND ( around $10) for unlimited data.
Citizens of Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Laos do not need a visa if they stay in Vietnam for maximum of 30 days. Passport holders of other countries may require a visa, which can be obtained at the local embassy or at the airport upon arrival. Before going to Vietnam you should carefully read visa requirements on the embassy website or contact them directly.
- Freelancer’s Ho Chi Minh video guide – by Chris the Freelancer
- 2 weeks Vietnam travel itinerary by vickyflipfloptravels.com
How to spend your free time in Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh City is famous of its relaxed, yet vibrant atmosphere. There are countless cafes, bars, clubs, and restaurants with great local food, thus you can enjoy the local way of live to the fullest. Vietnam is famous of its delicious cuisine and street food culture. Street-food lovers should visit Ben Thanh Market, where you can try the best of local cuisine (pho, spring rolls or co tam) as well as tasty meals from other countries.
Ho Chi Minh has a great number of touristic attractions, so visitors won’t get bored even over a longer stay. Newcomers should definitely see 100-year-old Jade Emperor Pagoda. That multi-faith temple is visited each day by both locals and tourists and is a perfect place to observe local habits. The city has much more interesting attractions, and to get to know them you can join Free Walking Tours.
Short trips & adventures
Ho Chi Minh is located close to the most famous touristic Vietnam attractions thus it is a perfect spot for those who like to discover the country they stay in.
- Mekong Delta – It is one of the best spots for a short city break. Experiencing Mekong Delta’s stunning landscapes, green rice paddies and meandering, slow rivers will for sure be an unforgettable experience.
- Củ Chi Tunnels – digital nomads interested in local history can visit Vietnam’s war-related network of underground tunnels. The Củ Chi Tunnels are located around 2 hours away for the city. The best way is to buy a tour in a local travel agency.
- Con Dao Islands – amazing 15 islands with one of the best beaches in Vietnam away from typical tourist trails.
Ho Chi Minh City is great destination for remote workers. Low costs of living, relaxed, yet the dynamic atmosphere of a financial metropolis, tasty street food, countless cafes and warm weather each year attract significant number of digital nomads.