Digital Nomad Guide to Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)

By Yogi


Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is a vibrant and bustling city in Vietnam that offers a great environment for digital nomads. In this guide, we will explore the best neighborhoods for digital nomads, the cost of living, internet and coworking spaces, visa requirements, local culture and customs, must-visit attractions, safety tips, and more.

Whether you're a seasoned digital nomad or just starting out, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to make the most of your time in Ho Chi Minh City.

Introduction to Ho Chi Minh City

Introduction to Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam and a major economic and cultural hub in Southeast Asia. With its rich history, vibrant street life, and booming entrepreneurial scene, it has become a popular destination for digital nomads. The city offers a unique blend of traditional Vietnamese culture and modern amenities, making it an ideal place to live and work remotely.

Best neighborhoods for digital nomads

Best neighborhoods for digital nomads

When it comes to choosing a neighborhood in Ho Chi Minh City, digital nomads have several options to consider. Here are three of the best neighborhoods for digital nomads:

District 1: Downtown and business hub

District 1 is the heart of Ho Chi Minh City and the central business district. It is home to many coworking spaces, cafes, restaurants, and bars, making it a convenient and lively area for digital nomads. The neighborhood is also well-connected to other parts of the city, making it easy to explore and navigate.

District 7: A Paradise For Digital Nomads

District 7, also known as Phu My Hung, is a vibrant and rapidly developing area in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, that has become increasingly popular among digital nomads. This district stands out for its modern infrastructure, international community, and a plethora of amenities that cater to the needs of remote workers.

Phu Nhuan: Quiet and residential

Phu Nhuan is a quieter and more residential neighborhood compared to District 1. It offers a more relaxed atmosphere and is known for its tree-lined streets and local markets. Digital nomads who prefer a quieter environment will find Phu Nhuan to be a great option. The neighborhood also has a growing number of coworking spaces and cafes.

Binh Thanh: Up-and-coming area

Binh Thanh is an up-and-coming neighborhood that is becoming increasingly popular among digital nomads. It offers a mix of residential and commercial areas, with a growing number of coworking spaces, cafes, and restaurants. Binh Thanh is known for its riverside location and is a great choice for those who want to be close to the city center but away from the hustle and bustle.

Cost of living in Ho Chi Minh City

One of the main advantages of living in Ho Chi Minh City as a digital nomad is its affordability. The cost of living is significantly lower compared to many Western cities. Here's a breakdown of the cost of living in Ho Chi Minh City:


Renting a one-bedroom apartment in a central neighborhood like District 1 can cost around $500 to $800 per month. However, there are also more affordable options available in other neighborhoods. Co-living spaces and shared apartments are also popular among digital nomads and can be a cost-effective choice.


Ho Chi Minh City has a well-developed public transportation system, including buses and a metro system that is currently under construction. The cost of public transportation is relatively low, with bus fares starting at around $0.20. Motorbike taxis, known as “xe om,” are also a common mode of transportation and are affordable for short distances.

Food and dining

Vietnamese cuisine is famous for its delicious street food, and Ho Chi Minh City is no exception. You can find a wide variety of affordable and tasty dishes at local street stalls and markets. On average, a meal at a local eatery can cost around $2 to $5. If you prefer dining at restaurants, prices can range from $5 to $15 per meal.

Expense Category Monthly Cost (VND) Notes
Accommodation 8,000,000 – 25,000,000 Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center might be higher. Outside the city center, it could be lower.
Utilities (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage) 2,000,000 – 4,000,000 The cost depends on usage and the type of accommodation.
Internet 100,000 – 300,000 Basic internet package.
Groceries 4,000,000 – 7,000,000 Cost varies based on dietary preferences and where you shop.
Eating Out 3,000,000 – 6,000,000 Cost of dining in local eateries and occasional meals at mid-range restaurants.
Transportation 500,000 – 2,000,000 Cost of public transport or fuel for a scooter.
Health Insurance 1,000,000 – 3,000,000 Basic health insurance coverage.
Gym or Fitness 500,000 – 1,500,000 Cost of a gym membership or fitness classes.
Entertainment/Leisure 1,000,000 – 3,000,000 Cost of going to movies, events, etc.
Miscellaneous 1,000,000 – 3,000,000 Includes clothing, personal care, and other variable expenses.

Total Monthly Estimated Living Cost: 21,100,000 – 54,800,000 VND

Please note that these are rough estimates, and individual spending habits can significantly impact the total.

Internet and coworking spaces

Internet and coworking spaces

As a digital nomad, a reliable internet connection is crucial. Fortunately, Ho Chi Minh City has a good internet infrastructure, with high-speed internet widely available. Here's what you need to know about internet and coworking spaces in the city:

Internet availability and speed

Most apartments and cafes in Ho Chi Minh City offer free Wi-Fi, and the internet speed is generally fast and reliable. However, it's always a good idea to have a backup plan, such as a portable Wi-Fi device or a local SIM card with a data plan, in case of any connectivity issues.

Popular coworking spaces

Ho Chi Minh City has a growing number of coworking spaces that cater to the needs of digital nomads. Some popular options include Dreamplex, Toong, and The Hive. These spaces offer comfortable workstations, meeting rooms, and networking opportunities, making them ideal for remote work.

Visa requirements for digital nomads

Before traveling to Ho Chi Minh City as a digital nomad, it's important to understand the visa requirements. Here are the visa options for short-term stays and long-term stays:

Visa options for short-term stays

For short-term stays of up to 30 days, citizens of certain countries, including the United States, Canada, and most European countries, can enter Vietnam without a visa. This is known as a visa exemption. If you plan to stay longer than 30 days, you will need to apply for a visa in advance or extend your stay while in Vietnam.

Long-term visa options

For digital nomads planning to stay in Ho Chi Minh City for an extended period, there are several long-term visa options available. The most common options include the business visa, work visa, and investment visa. It's recommended to consult with the Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your home country for the most up-to-date information and requirements.

Local culture and customs

Understanding the local culture and customs is essential for digital nomads living in Ho Chi Minh City. Here are some key aspects to keep in mind:

Greeting and etiquette

In Vietnamese culture, it is customary to greet others with a slight bow and a smile. Handshakes are also common, especially in business settings. It's important to show respect to elders and people in positions of authority. Removing your shoes before entering someone's home or a temple is also a common practice.

Local customs and traditions

Vietnamese people value family and community, and traditional customs and traditions are still deeply rooted in society. It's important to be aware of and respect these customs, such as avoiding public displays of affection and dressing modestly when visiting religious sites.

Exploring Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City offers a wealth of attractions and experiences for digital nomads to explore during their free time. Here are some must-visit attractions and hidden gems:

Must-visit attractions

– The War Remnants Museum: A powerful museum that provides insight into the Vietnam War.
– Ben Thanh Market: A bustling market where you can find everything from local handicrafts to street food.
– Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon: A stunning French colonial-era cathedral that is a popular landmark in the city.
– Bitexco Financial Tower: The tallest building in Ho Chi Minh City, offering panoramic views of the city.

Hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path spots

– The Cafe Apartment: A hidden gem located in District 1, where you can find unique cafes and shops in a converted apartment building.
– The Secret Weapon: A speakeasy-style bar hidden behind a bookshelf in a bookstore.
– Binh Quoi Village: A peaceful oasis on the outskirts of the city, where you can enjoy nature and traditional Vietnamese cuisine.

Safety tips for digital nomads

Safety tips for digital nomads

While Ho Chi Minh City is generally a safe city, it's important to take precautions as a digital nomad. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

Scams and common tourist traps

Beware of common scams targeting tourists, such as overcharging for goods or services, fake taxi meters, and pickpocketing. It's always a good idea to research and use reputable services, negotiate prices in advance, and be cautious with your belongings.

Personal safety precautions

To ensure personal safety, it's recommended to avoid walking alone late at night, especially in dimly lit areas. Keep your belongings secure and be aware of your surroundings. It's also a good idea to have emergency contact numbers saved on your phone and to inform someone of your whereabouts.

Conclusion on Digital Nomad Guide to Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is a vibrant and exciting destination for digital nomads. With its affordable cost of living, reliable internet, and welcoming culture, it offers a great environment for remote work and exploration.

By following this digital nomad guide to Ho Chi Minh City, you'll be well-prepared to make the most of your time in this dynamic city. So pack your bags, grab your laptop, and get ready for an unforgettable experience in Ho Chi Minh City

Originally posted 2023-01-04 08:08:42.

About the author

Meet Yogi, the insightful author and resident digital nomad expert at! With a passion for exploring the world while working remotely, Yogi has embarked on a transformative journey as a digital nomad. Through firsthand experiences, Yogi has embraced the nomadic lifestyle and successfully blended work with wanderlust.



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