District 3 in Ho Chi Minh City has ranked 18th among the world’s 50 coolest neighborhoods in the world to visit in 2019 by Time Out, a leading global travel magazine.
Based on a survey of more than 27,000 city-dwellers around the world on factors such as cuisine, beverages, culture, music, nightlife, friendliness, and happiness, the list hopes to allow travelers to experience a city as if they were a local.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest city, is a jewel that blends French colonial history with a robust street food culture and rapid modern development, according to Time Out.
Divided into 24 districts, with District 1 being the frenetic downtown area and District 2 an expat-heavy suburb of international schools and Western-style beer gardens, Time Out chose District 3 as the city’s crossroads of local culture and cosmopolitan flair.
District 3 is a buzzing but less well-trodden neighborhood where exciting new developments coexist with a sense of history.
Here you’ll find colonial-era churches and villas alongside Buddhist pagodas and some of the city’s most renowned street food stalls.
By night, head to one of the live music mainstays, which attract hip young locals and a few of the more adventurous tourists.
The district was also praised for having some of the best seafood you will ever eat, on Nguyen Thuong Hien Street, also known as “snail street” - a world-famous thoroughfare of fresh snails and shellfish in a variety of preparations from noodles to soup.
Vestiges of culture, meanwhile, remain at bars like Yoko Café, a favorite of locals and expats alike, where local bands take to the stage playing rock and jazz, revealing the Saigon of old and its rock ‘n’ roll bona fides.
Time Out also recommends a visit to the bright pink Tan Dinh Church, somewhat surreal and one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, built by the French in the late 19th century.
Beyond its eye-grabbing color, it’s worth a visit for its gorgeous Gothic architecture.
The top 3 residential areas on the list are Arroios in Lisbon (Portugal), Shimokitazawa in Tokyo (Japan), and Onikan in Lagos (Nigeria).
Other places include Wedding in Berlin (Germany), the Historic Filipinotown in Los Angeles (US), the Waterfront in Hobart (Australia), Strasbourg-Saint-Denis in Paris (France), Astoria in New York (US), Embajadores in Madrid (Spain), Pilsen in Chicago (US), Peckham in London (UK), and Soi Pridi Banomyong / Phra Khanong in Bangkok (Thailand).
Ho Chi Minh City welcomed about 6.2 million foreign visitors in the first nine months of this year, up 14.3 per cent against the same period last year. VN Economic Times/Time Out