In the last 2 months we traveled through South and Central Vietnam, spending most of the time in bustling Ho Chi Minh City where we lived in a local neighborhood. The city is divided by districts and we lived in district 3, a great choice for people who do not want to stay in touristy district 1, but still want to live in a walking distance of it. We lived in a small alleyway surrounded by local Vietnamese families, and it was a real treat to walk through the many alleyways in this neighborhood and witness everyday life of the people of Ho Chi Minh.
Everyone who visits Ho Chi Minh (or Saigon) for the first time talks about one thing: the crazy traffic. We have been traveling a lot, and this city definitely ranks number 1 in having a crazy and dangerous drivers attitude. The thousands of motorbikes really don’t give a shit about you as a pedestrian, even though you are walking on the sideway or cross the road when the traffic lights hit green. So walking is sometimes a bit of a hassle as you have to be super concentrated in order not to be hit by a motorbike. Thankfully you get used to it after a while and you even manage to cross the roads like a real local (just GO!).
Their were two places where we worked at on a daily base: Work Saigon cafe and Vietcetera. Work saigon is a nice co-working place with downstairs a cafe and upstairs a large working space. Vietcetera is a nice place to enjoy a good cup of coffee and it also serves as an airbnb. We had some really productive afternoons here and would really recommend the place to pay a visit when you are in the neighborhood. Want to read more about our time in Vietcetera cafe? Check out our post in our section ‘people and places’.
During our 3 weeks stay we worked at a numerous of assignments, mainly from clients in Phnom penh and the Netherlands. We designed a couple of print work and signs for Villa Samnang and we are busy with a book design for a photographer based in Amsterdam.
Would we go back to HCMC?
Considering the crazy traffic, pollution and never ending noise. No. But, we did really learn to appreciate the city after a week or so and we enjoyed our last 2 weeks. We met a lot of people that love HCMC, but we also met a lot of people that hate it. I guess, you either love it or hate it. We do think that it is an upcoming economy with lots of work opportunities and a lot of young entrepreneurs starting their own businesses. For this reason, it would be totally worth it to come back and discover more about the opportunities for us as creative entrepreneurs.
Drop us an email if you need tips about this crazy city!