Vietnam Area Guides: Ho Chi Minh City

District 2 Area Guide

Ho Chi Minh City
“Looking for the heart and soul of southern Vietnam? Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) – a city full of contrasts, memories of the past and excitement for the future.”
Carli Allan
Editor, International
District 2
Ho Chi Minh City, UAE
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District 2 offers the best of both worlds to families. As well as being close to the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh’s City centre, it has a more community, neighbourhood feel. This family-friendly district is home to several international schools, in addition to parks, open spaces, and larger Westernised housing options.

Popular addresses include Thao Dien, Thu Thiem and An Phu where you’ll find quieter streets lined high-end apartments and villas – some with pools and in walled compounds – at more reasonable rents than in District 1. Although life in this district certainly moves at a slower pace, there is a growing number of fashionable restaurants, shops, grocery stores and facilities you should need for day to day living. With its cleaner air, fewer people and lack of tourists, District 2 has quickly evolved into a vibrant and urban area with plenty of trendsetting places to eat, shop and simply hang out.

The Ho Chi Minh City Metro is due to open in 2019, which will improve accessibility in and out of District 2. If driving, motorists can use the Ho Chi Minh City - Trung Luong Expressway to Tiền Giang and the Mekong Delta, or the Ho Chi Minh City - Long Thanh - Dau Giay Expressway to connect to the southeast. Take the Dong-Tay Boulevard to get into District 1 in just 20 minutes.

International School Ho Chi Minh City, British International School Vietnam, Australian International School, European International School Ho Chi Minh City, The International German School, Anne Hill International School and EtonHouse International Pre-School.

As well as a chain of government-owned hospitals and medical centres, there are several private clinics including Family Medical Practice.

Days out in District 2 centre around riverside walks, bike rides through the parks, or maybe a visit to the monthly urban flea market. 

Boutiques and independent stores line the streets around An Phu and Thao Dien; there are also several shopping malls that are home to global brands and independent stores.

Bars and restaurants
There’s certainly no shortage of excellent street food, high-end restaurants and boutique cafes here, particularly in Thao Dien and its variety of trendy cafes and restaurants. This area also has a great reputation for live music.

District 2 Ratings





Family Friendly


Transport Links


District 2 Pros & Cons


Large choice of international schools
Lower rents
Excellent for shopping and eating out
Very family-friendly


Lack of public transport
Lack of attractions

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