Are you tired of the hustle and bustle in District 1? Do you want to get away from Bui Vien Street? Then you should hop on a motorbike taxi and head to District 7! It’s a refreshing escape from the hectic streets of Saigon and offers a more peaceful experience in the big city. District 7 is known as the wealthier part of Ho Chi Minh City and hosts plenty of expats and wealthy Vietnamese. It’s a newly developed neighbourhood that was specifically designed for high-income families. In the area, you can find large villas with gardens, swimming pools and several international schools, Western supermarkets (great for when you’re tired of the local food or just missing something from home), and lots of trendy restaurants. It might not be as crowded as the other districts but that’s what makes it special. Here’s some of the things you can do in District 7:
Stroll by the Crescent Lake
One of the area’s attraction is the beautiful Crescent Lake, located in the heart of District 7. It’s a very relaxing area where you can walk in an open airy space. Bring a book, sit down, relax and breathe in some fresh air. If you come here at night, you can see the Star Bridge turn into a light spectacle.
If there’s one thing that Ho Chi Minh City does good, it’s shopping. There’s plenty of shopping opportunities here, everything from boutique shops to chain stores, you can find whatever you’re looking for here. Crescent Mall is a shopping mall with international shopping standards and is conveniently located in District 7. Here, you can find a vast array of choices in food, fashion and they even have a cinema, food court and entertaining events happening, especially on weekends.
Wining and dining
As was stated above, there’s lots of trendy restaurants in District 7. Some are a bit pricier than others, but you can find everything to your liking and budget. There’s a huge variety on food offerings here. You can find traditional Vietnamese dishes to Japanese cuisine to Indian. There’s also plenty of restaurants who open until late at night so why not treat yourself to some late night dining?
Discover new coffee shops
Coffee and Vietnam goes hand in hand. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Vietnam is the second main exporter of coffee in the entire world, with Brazil being the first. The locals love their coffee and you can see it when walking around the city. There’s thousands and thousands of coffee shops that each has their own personality. There’s the very local places where you sit in a plastic stool chair with your friends and sip on a Vietnamese black coffee with some condensed milk at the bottom. Then there’s the newer, more hipster friendly, cafés where you can get everything from the classic Americano to the Vietnamese specialty egg coffee or lychee tea. What’s better than to hop around cafés, listen to some relaxing music and try new exciting drinks? District 7 won’t disappoint you when it comes to the café scene.
Sing karaoke with your friends
You shouldn’t visit Vietnam without singing karaoke at least once. In District 7, there’s lots of karaoke bars where you and your friends can release your inner super stars.
After you’re done exploring District 7, perhaps you’ll be one of the newest expats who decides to move there. After all, Vietnam has become hugely popular amongst foreigners who not only loves traveling here but also likes the lifestyle. The cost of living is low in Vietnam, there’s already a well established expat community and life here is so much fun. If you live in Ho Chi Minh City, you’re also close to some of Vietnam’s main attractions such as the beach town Mui Ne, Phu Quoc Island and Mekong Delta which makes for excellent weekend trips.
If you’re ready to take the leap and explore Vietnam (perhaps even move there), you should first and foremost apply for a Vietnam visa. Most nationalities need to get a visa in order to enter the country, but if you’re unsure then contact your embassy. There are three main options to get a visa: Visa on Arrival, E-Visa or go to the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate and apply for a visa with them. The first two visas are acquired online and you can do it from wherever you are in the world. However, you must arrive by air if you get an online visa. If you plan to cross to Vietnam by land for example, you cannot enter with either of the online visas but must apply for a visa with the Vietnamese Embassy. The E-Visa is a 30 day, single entry visa, while the Visa on Arrival can be a multi-entry visa and it can be extended for more than 1 month. It’s the most popular option amongst travelers.