In the past few years, Ho Chi Minh City - or Saigon, the city's pre-reunification name still used interchangeably with its current name - has exploded in economic growth and attracted a diversity of expatriates, most notably the digital nomad scene. Second only to Chiang Mai as Southeast Asia's digital nomad hub, Saigon is better suited for the cosmopolitan type who is more inclined to yell "COME AT ME, TRAFFIC!" at the onslaught of motorbikes than stay glued to the sidewalk, awaiting a pause in the unrelenting flow.
Certain areas outside of the city center do offer a more tranquil reprieve from the chaos where vast French villas can be rented affordably. However, the growing entrepreneurial crowd tends to converge in District 1, where the cityscape is a meld of utilitarian apartment buildings, Vietnamese style "tube houses," soaring skyscrapers, and labyrinths of alleyways. Here the rhythm of local life reflects an integration of tradition and modernization with an attitude of great hospitality towards foreigners.
There are innumerable types of accommodation to choose from and finding what you're looking for in an excellent location is easy and cheap, whether you want to live like a local in a single room in a Vietnamese house, go in on a house share with other expats or nomads, or enjoy the city from above in a modern serviced apartment. Any option will leave you enough dong (darn right that's the name of the currency) to dine on some of the world's best street food and at the occasional high-end Western joint, as well as live up Saigon's excellent and varied nightlife scene.
Chicken noodle soup (Pho Ga) wih fresh coriander for breakfast? Yum, yes please.
This city has a powerful magnetism that has swept up so many nomads in its spell, and we're pretty sure there ain't no stopping it now.
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