Vietnam is a rising dragon in South East Asia. With a young workforce and a vibrant market, the country is on its way to becoming one of the best destinations in the world for businesses, having already attracted big names including Uniqlo, Nike, Adidas, and more.
Situated in the centre of the country’s southern region, Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City, is the economic powerhouse of Vietnam. Boasting a population of 9 million with a predominantly young demographic in a fast-pace lifestyle, this city is perhaps the best place in the country to rent an office and start a business.
Furthermore, Saigon’s office rental costs are comparatively lower than in other cities such as Singapore, Hongkong, and Taipei.
With as many as 19 districts in the city’s urban area, each with very different characteristics, it’s no easy task to choose the right place to settle in. This short guide is designed to give you a better idea of the popular districts to help you find the ideal place to set up a branch office in Vietnam!
District 1 is the heartbeat of the city. Almost all major cultural and economic activities take place in the Ho Chi Minh District 1, hence one can expect a lot of commercial entities and offices here, including Compass Offices at the district’s most iconic building, the Bitexco Financial Tower. As most governmental institutions and bureaus are located in the area, renting offices in district 1 will give you easy access to manage administrative tasks within a short time.
If you are looking for shared office space in Ho Chi Minh City where it is high in density, District 1 has plenty of foot traffic and exposure to potential customers.
One of the pitfalls of this area is the rental cost. Being in the core of the city, the rent can be on the higher spectrum, making it less favourable for small- to medium-sized businesses. Due to the density, the district can also be prone to traffic congestions, more so during rush hours.
Dubbed the "expats' quarters" by locals, District 2 features a large community of expatriates and numerous condominiums as well as upscale apartments. The area has less traffic compared to District 1 and therefore less in rental cost; consequently, there are less crowd in the area compared to the other districts like 1 or 3, and some businesses, depending on their nature, may lose out on some opportunities.
A huge plus of District 2 is its proximity to District 1, with the Thủ Thiêm Bridge connecting the two. It brings working at District 1 that much more convenient, if one were to reside here. However, as the area is still developing, infrastructure is still catching up, which leaves some streets laden with potholes and dust. Those who frequent the area also ought to watch out for floods during heavy rain.
As the largest district in the city, Bình Thạnh district covers a vast tract of land with a very diverse population. The district presents a very good mix of local and expat communities, so businesses can easily maximise exposure to both groups.
Despite not being known as a cultural centre of the city, Bình Thạnh is among the fastest-developing districts with plenty of upscale condos and apartment complexes, along with many great restaurants, bars, and clubs, making it a top contender to District 1 in terms of business and lifestyle relevance.
Rental prices are generally lower compared to District 1, but the prominence of the Vincom Landmark 81 Tower draws a great deal of attention from the world. Landmark 81 in Bình Thạnh is a top residential-office complex area in the city. If you seek to position your office next to big brand names in Southeast Asia’s tallest building, you can look toward Compass Offices Landmark 81 here on the 72nd floor of the skyscraper.
Do keep in mind, however, that Bình Thạnh is an extremely large district, and its wards are progressing in different rates - some that are further from central Bình Thạnh can have fewer public amenities.
Compared to the vivacious District 1, District 3 is a calm oasis where most consider to be one of the best residential areas in the city. It is extremely close to the central area and there are plenty of interesting hidden eateries for those who are adventurous. District 3 is good place for someone prefers a less intense environment but still enjoy proximity to the key areas.
As with District 1, the rental cost for offices in this district can be on the higher side, but the surrounding amenities will certainly make up for it. The surrounding Ho Chi Minh City hotels are also in the world class range with top-quality services.
District 4 & 7
District 4 acts as a bridge between Central Saigon and South Saigon, a newly-developed area around District 7. This district has recently seen a rise in real estate projects; with its short distance to Districts 1 and 7, it can be ideal for small and medium businesses to set up shop.
On the other hand, most industrial companies set up branch offices in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City. If you are in a relevant industry, setting up an office here can help expand your network. The area is frequented by affluent locals, along with a sizable Korean community that works in Vietnam. The district’s popularity is also reflected on the real estate prices.
District 5 is where Saigon’s Chinatown, Cholon, is, and the district is in a league of its own. It features a distinct look and a whole different lifestyle. Buildings tend to be built close to one another, and most shops feature Chinese writings alongside Vietnamese characters, making this area even friendlier for those fluent in these languages. There are also plenty of great restaurants around, and the rental cost is not as costly compared to other central areas, but it is quite a distance from District 1, which can hinder tasks you need to fulfill at that region.
Admittedly, it is a bit difficult to choose your office location in a big city like Saigon. However, it is best to have more choices for office rent in Ho Chi Minh City than having little to explore. Costlier locations can be a good deal if it would give your business the edge you’re looking for. Consider what your business needs and which address can yield the best plus points (business prominence and stability, affiliated costs, proximity from home and work, accessibility for employees, surrounding commercial and lifestyle amenities) and you should be moving into your own space in no time.
If you need help choosing an office location in Saigon, let us help you. Call +84 28 6287 6199 or email VNsales@compassoffices.com for more information about Compass Offices’ flexible office space in Ho Chi Minh City.