Ho Chi Minh For Digital Nomads: Nomad Guide

The thriving city of Ho Chi Minh is a famous tourist attraction and a desirable digital nomad destination. Not only is it the largest city in Vietnam but also the most populated one. It’s also a hub of culture, history, food, and adventure. 

Ho Chi Minh is home to tons of cafes, restaurants, and a growing expat community. If you have been intrigued by this city then make sure to read this article and learn all the essentials. Let’s discuss what it’s like to live in Ho Chi Minh as a digital nomad and the different aspects of that lifestyle.

Where is Ho Chi Minh located?

Ho Chi Minh, the largest city in Vietnam, is located in Southeast Asia. The city lies in the southern part of the country, right on the banks of the Saigon River. It is situated about 60 km away from the South China Sea near the Mekong Delta. 

Fact: Did you know that Ho Chi Minh City was previously known as “Saigon”

Why Choose Ho Chi Minh as a Digital Nomad? Pros and Cons

Ho Chi Minh City offers a lot to those who are willing to take a chance and settle here as a digital nomad. However, there are some flaws to be considered. Let’s delve into some pros and cons to see whether this place is a good fit for you.

Pros Cons 
Affordable cost of living Crowded  
High-speed internet Low education quality 
Safe Dangerous roads
Warm weather Language barriers
Vibrant atmosphere 
Good air quality 
Good healthcare 
Friendly people

However, please make sure to note that Ho Chi Minh’s political condition isn’t that good. There is little to no freedom of speech in the city and democracy isn’t that strong either. While the city is safe for women, it is extremely hostile towards lgbtq+ members. 

Ho Chi Minh is not the most family-friendly place but you can enjoy a lot of advantages as a solo traveler. Make sure to consider these factors before making a decision. 

How to Get to Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh City caters to international flights on a daily basis. Here’s how you can get to the city.

By Air 

The best way of getting to Ho Chi Minh City from abroad is via air travel. This form of travel is not only comfortable but efficient as well. You can get connecting flights or a direct flight to Vietnam depending on personal preference, availability, and costs. You can land at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport which caters to both domestic and international flights. This is HCMC’s main airport, located only 7.4 km away from the city center. 

By Train

You can also get to Ho Chi Minh by train but this option is only viable in certain circumstances. If you are in nearby regions such as Hanoi, you can easily get on a train and enter Ho Chi Minh. Train travel is one of the most comfortable and fun ways of traveling. 

While air travel is most suitable when you are flying in from abroad. There are various options when you are traveling to or from nearby cities. Buses and boats cover short distances as well.

Transportation and How to Get Around Ho Chi Minh

Once you have entered the city, there are plenty of good ways of getting around. 


Bikes are one of the most common and efficient forms of transport in the city. You can either hire a motorbike or purchase one to drive on your own. Bike rentals are easily accessible, widely available, and affordable in the city. Some of the common bikes in Ho Chi Minh include Honda Airblade, Yamaha Nouvo, and SYM Attila. Additionally, Vietnam also has national motorbike taxi systems such as Grab and Xe om! 


In addition to bikes, car taxis are also available in the city. You can get local taxis from the main streets but reputable services such as Grab are much more recommended. Grab can help you avoid language barriers and safety issues at a great rate. While car taxis are a great option, the high traffic makes the journey long and tedious. 


You can also opt for public transport and travel via public buses. HCMC has a reliable and well-connected bus network that can take you almost anywhere in the city. Bus travel is convenient, safe, and affordable as well. 

4 Best Accommodation Options in Ho Chi Minh

When it comes to accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City, there are plenty of options. To be more specific, the city is divided into 24 districts; each special and unique in its own way.

District 1 

District 1 is undoubtedly one of the best neighborhoods in Ho Chi Minh for digital nomads. This area is quite literally packed with cafes, restaurants, and coworking spaces. You’ll also find rooftop bars, architectural heritage buildings, and tourist attractions to keep you entertained. District 1 is most popular among digital nomads and tourists so you are likely to interact with like-minded individuals.  

District 3

District 3 is essentially an extension of District 1 but it’s so much more charming. This neighborhood is home to tiny local markets and the streets are lined with colonial-style houses. You’ll come to appreciate the stunning architecture during your time here and find it quite refreshing. As a bonus, the famous turtle lake is located nearby as well.

District 4

For those of you who are looking for cheap accommodation, District 4 is a great place. While the residence is affordable here, this area is relatively smaller than other districts. Rest assured, you can have an amazing experience here thanks to the strong sense of community and bustling culture. 

Internet Connectivity in Ho Chi Minh

When it comes to internet connectivity in Ho Chi Minh City, remote workers don’t need to worry at all. The city has a high internet speed and 50+ Mbps is easily available. Ho Chi Minh City also has the highest fixed broadband download speed of 96.55 Mbps. The city’s internet is reliable and accessible which makes remote workers very easy.

You can also get a local SIM card to take that extra step towards reliability. Local providers offer great packages that are known to be budget-friendly. 

Most cafes, restaurants, and coworking spaces offer free and reliable internet as well!

E sim

You can also opt for an e-sim and avoid the hassle of physical SIM cards altogether. Take a look at some of these packages below to compare prices and suitability. 


Data validity Days Price 
Unlimited data 7 days 29$ (27€)
Unlimited data 10 days 37$ (34€)
Unlimited data 15 days 51$ (47€)
Unlimited data 20 days 62$ (58€)
Unlimited data 30 days 75$ (70€)


Data validity Days Price 
1 GB7 days 4.50$ (4.20€)
2 GB15 days 7$ (6.54€)
3 GB30 days 9.50$ (8.88€)
5 GB30 days 13$ (12.15€)
10 GB30 days 21$ (19.62€)

5 Best Places to Work from in Ho Chi Minh

As a thriving digital nomad destination, Ho Chi Minh is home to various cafes and coworking spaces. You can expect fast wifi and a good working environment from most places but here are the best ones.


Dreamplex is one of the best coworking spaces in Ho Chi Minh City. They have 4 branches located all over the city and each offers an extraordinary experience. You can evaluate their 12 working styles and choose the one that suits you the best. Their unique interior and cafe attract digital nomads from all over the city.

The hive

The Hive is a popular coworking space that has branches all over Asia. Whether or not you are already familiar with the place, you must visit it at least once. Their Ho Chi Minh branch has plenty of modern amenities including a Skype room, printing equipment, private rooms, and conference rooms. You can also join their weekly social events and network with fellow digital nomads.


Located in the heart of HCMC, CirCo is a great coworking space for digital nomads and remote workers. Not only do they offer fast internet and free drinks, there are additional facilities as well. Circo is one of the oldest spaces in Ho Chi Minh City but that doesn’t mean it’s outdated. They have a gym on-site as well as meeting rooms and an innovative lighting system.

Beenthere coffee

For those of you who prefer working out of a cafe rather than coworking spaces then The Beenthere Coffee is the perfect place for you. Despite being a cafe, it offers a good working environment and promotes productivity. The Beenthere coffee offers fast wifi, comfortable seating, and amazing food. You’ll appreciate the spaciousness and flow of light as well.

Highlands coffee

Another good place is the Highlands coffee. Although this coffee shop chain has plenty of locations, its landmark 81 branch is most recommended. You’ll find good wifi, friendly staff, and mouthwatering coffee here! 

Cost of Living in Ho Chi Minh

One of the reasons for Ho Chi Minh’s popularity is its low cost of living. This digital nomad destination is a lot cheaper than other major cities. In fact, you can access excellent facilities at low costs. Here’s a rough breakdown of prices in Ho Chi Minh City.

Nomad’s cost of living$1072/month (€1001.49)
Cost of living for a family$1896/month (€1771.30)
hotel$652/month (€609.12)
Studio in the city center (1br rent)$436/month (€407.32)
Airbnb$864/month (€807.17)
Dinner $1.96 (€1.83)
Beer $0.98 (€0.92)
Taxi $2.13/trip (€1.99)
Coca-cola $0.43 (€0.40)
Coffee $1.93 (€1.80)
Coworking desk $149/month (€139.20)

As evident, the average prices in Ho Chi Minh are extremely low. Digital nomads can save a lot of money and live luxuriously even on a tight budget. Please note that these prices are estimates and the cost of living can change based on a person’s spending pattern. 

Currency fluctuations may also affect these costs. 

Culture, Nature, and Food in Ho Chi Minh

Vietnamese culture is an intricate mixture of several cultures including but not limited to Chinese, Indian, cham, and Khmer influences. The diversity in the local culture makes it even more unique and distinct. Digital nomads from all over the world will feel right at home in Ho Chi Minh and find familiarity in one part or another. The friendly locals celebrate this vibrant culture through various traditions, festivals, ceremonies, and cultural events. Vietnam is a cultural tapestry and Ho Chi Minh is no different.

While the city is considered a metropolitan place in general, there is still some natural beauty left. Most neighborhoods are surrounded by lush greenery and tree-lined streets which add a refreshing touch to daily life. There are a lot of parks that allow you to engage in outdoor activities and connect with nature. Other than that, there are also nature reserves in the city. 

As for the food, it’s pretty much the same as Vietnamese culture. The food is influenced by different cultures so there is a lot of diversity found in it. However, the local and original Vietnamese food is very unique and delicious. Additionally, the city is home to a huge number of restaurants, street food stalls, and cafes. You can find almost anything around here! 

Best Time to Visit Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh has warm and sunny weather all year round which means you can expect pretty much the same temperature whenever you come. However, the city’s climate can be divided into two main parts; dry season and rainy season. 

The best time to visit the city is between December and March i.e. the dry season. While there is a possibility of rain during these months, the downpours won’t be nearly as bad as the monsoon season. This is a good time for exploring the city and enjoying the pleasant weather. 

12 Best Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh

Here are the 12 best things to do during your time in Ho Chi Minh City!

1. Visit the Ben Thanh market

The Ben Thanh market is a bustling hub that promises an unforgettable experience. When in Ho Chi Minh, make sure to visit this market and dive into the local culture. There are numerous stalls that sell everything from clothing and antiques to food and handicraft items. You can browse, people-watch, purchase souvenirs, or simply people-watch! 

2. Visit the Notre Dame Cathedral 

If you are someone who appreciates dazzling architecture then make sure to visit the Notre Dame Cathedral (commonly known as Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception). This famous landmark holds a lot of value for the locals and houses the country’s oldest piano. 

3. Visit the War Remnants museum

The War Remnants Museum is one of the must-visit sites in Ho Chi Minh City. This museum houses remnants from the Vietnam War and pays tribute to its rich history. You’ll see various military aircraft such as jets, missiles, and even helicopters. If you want to appreciate Vietnam’s heritage then make sure to buy a ticket and explore the collection properly. 

4. Visit the landmark 81

The landmark 81 is also one of the most popular destinations in the city. Vietnam’s tallest building is pretty hard to miss, even from a distance, but a close view is simply astonishing. Landmark 81 has a bar on one of the top floors, allowing you the chance to enjoy the city view with a drink in hand. Apart from that, it lights up every evening at 6 pm and turns into a beautiful sight.

5. Visit the Independence Palace

If you want to explore all the iconic landmarks then consider visiting the Independence Palace. Commonly known as the reunification convention hall, this palace accommodates the president. However, tourists and locals are allowed to visit and explore it as well. You can admire the beautiful building, furnishing, and interior of the palace.

6. Take a riverboat tour

One of the best ways of exploring Ho Chi Minh is by taking a riverboat tour. As the boat floats over the Saigon River, you’ll get to see some of the most stunning and unforgettable views of the city. Riverboat tours come in various forms and you can choose between private cruises, speedboat tours, and floating river tours. 

7. Motorbike food tour 

It is no secret that motorbikes and street food are two of the most important things in HO Chi Minh. The best way to enjoy both simultaneously is by joining a motorbike food tour. Not only is it the most interesting thing to do in the city but it’s also a great way to experience the local lifestyle. Be prepared to try out the authentic traditional recipes and experience the foodie culture.

8. Visit the famous temples

Vietnam is home to some of the most ancient temples in the world. When in Ho Chi Minh, make sure to admire the majority of temples and admire their beauty. Some of the famous ones include:

  • Jade Emperor Pagoda
  • Mariamman Hindu Temple 
  • Giac Lam Pagoda
  • Thien Hau Temple
  • Nghiem Pagoda, 

9. Browse the Bui Vien street 

Bui Vien Street, also referred to as the western street, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. This street houses bars, clubs, and various other forms of entertainment. You can go here to enjoy the bustling atmosphere and spend time among fellow digital nomads. We recommend you explore this street by trying out street food, going to bars, and enjoying the hustle. 

10. Drink Vietnamese coffee

Since the city is famous for its coffee, it’s only fair to drink plenty of it! There are a lot of coffee shops located in the city that offer delicious coffee. We recommend cafe hopping and trying different types until you have found the best one. 

11. Visit the Binh Quoi 1 tourist village 

Reminiscent of the Mekong Delta, this famous tourist attraction is a family-friendly place. You can go here to enjoy the tranquility of the countryside and the refreshing greenery. In addition to that, you can enter the park for free and enjoy beautiful river views. Binh Quoi 1 tourist village also houses stunning bridges, blooming gardens, and walking paths. 

12. Explore the Chinese quarter 

If you want to spend a day surrounded by rich culture and a vibrant atmosphere then make sure to explore the Chinese quarter. The Cho Lon Chinese neighborhood in Ho Chi Minh is a walkable area that you can explore on foot. Make sure to visit the Binh Tay market and Thien Hau pagoda. 

Is Ho Chi Minh safe?

When it comes to safety in Ho Chi Minh City, we are confident in saying that this city is very safe. While petty crimes such as pocket-picking and minor thefts are not unheard of, violent crimes are very rare. Tourists, visitors, and digital nomads can travel around with ease of mind. 

However, you are still recommended to abide by general precautions in a foreign country. Make sure to stay vigilant and cautious at all times to avoid uninvited trouble. If you encounter any criminal activity, make it a priority to inform local authorities as soon as possible. Apart from that, avoid carrying flashy items, showing off digital devices, and walking alone at night.

No place is perfect which is why you are advised to stay on your guard but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. The locals are very welcoming and their friendliness will make you feel right at home.

Visa Requirements in Ho Chi Minh

Even though Vietnam doesn’t have a digital nomad visa as of yet, alternative options such as the tourist visa and e-visa are just as good

Apart from that, Vietnam has an easy visa policy that varies based on an individual’s nationality and citizenship. Most countries are allowed visa-free entry for 15-30 days upon arrival and others can get visa-on-arrival for the same duration. You’ll need the following documents for a visa-on-arrival in Ho Chi Minh. 

  • 2 passport sized photos
  • Application form 
  • Valid passport

However, if you plan on staying for a longer period in the city then a pre-approved visa would be required. You can also extend your 30-day visa from local embassies within the country. A Vietnam embassy or consulate can best guide you on the application process and visa options. 


Ho Chi Minh is one of the most famous digital nomad cities in Vietnam that has the potential to develop even more. While the city has always been contemporary, It has been gaining popularity over the recent years because of various reasons. Ho Chi Minh offers an attractive combination of a low cost of living, a thriving digital nomad community, and a promising tech scene. If that’s not enough to lure you, the rich culture and bustling atmosphere will certainly do the trick. 

This ultimate guide discussed the precise lifestyle in Ho Chi Minh. We hope this article answers your questions and clears any doubts. If you have further queries, feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to help!

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