Finding an Accommodation in Saigon, Special Tips for Dog Owners and Vegetarians

Each one of us would want to stay in a comfortable and reasonably spacious house that perfectly matches the amount of resources we have. However, it is sometimes a problem to find an ideal house to rent within your area. Ho Chi Minh City for example has a lot of houses ranging from the casually furnished apartments to the most luxurious but because most people do not have the knowledge on where to find one, they end up giving up on looking for a house in town. Identifying the best house for you in Ho Chi Minh can be easy once you have the information on where to find the houses and the price at which they are being rented out. The following are some of the ways that can help you look for a house for rent in Ho Chi Minh that will be comfortable and ideal for you.

Go online and make a short-list of the accommodations you like

Online based house or apartment rental sites are one of the best ways in which you can identify a house within the city which you would desire to live in. The sites are highly customized and they contain full property details in their house listings accompanied by photos that can assist you in making a decision on which house you consider the best. You can locate houses in District 1(city center) or district 3, Thao Dien ward or An Phu ward (District 2), Binh Thanh District, Phu My Hung (district 7) plus many others. You can select your given district and find out the kind of houses available and the price at which they are being rented out. Online searching is the best as you can conveniently identify an ideal house for you and go ahead to order it right from your sitting room. After ordering the house, a reservation is made for you and you can move in as soon as you confirm your payment. Here are some social media channels that can help you to search for an apartment or a house for rent in this city: Facebook, Google Group, etc. You can join some groups on Facebook such as Expat in Saigon, Expat-Saigon…to find ads related to apartment or houses and find your dream accommodations.

If you are looking for dog and pet friendly apartments or houses, use a real estate agent that will understand your needs and those of your pet. Many pet owners have had to move out of newly rented accommodations because they were never informed of some basic items, such as, a “no pets allowed” policy in some serviced apartment blocks. Snap real estate has been relocating and helping dog and pet owners find adequate accommodations by ensuring no future hassles will appear once you signed the rental contract.

Take time and compare the many houses within the city

There are many houses available in the different districts yes, but not all of them are rented out at the same price. Depending on the house specifications and level of furnishing, some might be cheaper while others might be expensive. Try visiting different Ho Chi Minh house rental sites before settling on one with the best offer. When you take time to compare the different houses, you will get the best option to go for, that is a reasonably spacious and furnished house that is relatively cheaper compared to the rest of the houses in the city. Usually, the rent of houses or apartment in central districts such as district 1, district 2 will be higher than the rent of houses in other districts such as Tan Binh district, Thu Duc district. However it does not mean that you cannot find affordable accommodations. If you want to the hustle and bustle life of Saigon, you can find houses in central districts. However if you want to enjoy the normal life of the native, you can find accommodations in other districts which are far from the city center such as district 5, district 6, Tan Binh district, etc. In these districts, you will have chance to taste and enjoy local food or traditional food of Vietnam such as Pho, Banh Mi, Bun bo Hue, Banh xeo,..

Vegetarians, consider the location of the house you are about to rent according to your lifestyle

When selecting a house within Ho Chi Minh city, ensure social facilities such as schools and hospitals plus other recreational facilities are found near your residence. This will reduce inconveniences that might come when you want to access these facilities. It is also important that you consider renting a house that is located near the city for easier shopping and access of other services.

When it comes to enjoying vegetarian street food, this can also require some knowledge about the best spots in the city.

In some central districts you can easily find big shopping malls such as Tax Trade Center (135 Nguyen Hue, Ben Nghe ward, district 1), Saigon Square (Nam Ki Khoi Nghia street-Le Loi street, district 1), etc. There are also many famous and wonderful restaurants in central districts. However, if you find your good accommodations in other districts, you still can find great places for shopping or eating. For example, if you are a vegetarian or you love vegetarian foods, you can rent a house or an apartment in district 3, district 5 or district 10 because you will satisfy your stomach with wonderful vegetarian food such as Com chay, Pho Chay, Hu tieu, etc. Here are some places that I would like to recommend: Trang Sen Quan (50, Hoang Dieu street, ward 12, district 4), Com Chay Phat Huu Duyen (527, Nguyen Trai street, district 5), Com chay Thanh Luong (545A, 3 Thang 2 Street, ward 8, district 10) or Com Chay Ba Hat (390, Ba Hat, ward 4, district 10), etc. If you do not how to get to these places you can book a bike tour with Back of the Bike tours, which specializes in food tours in Saigon and can organize a 100% vegetarian street food tour. You will be taken to vegetarian eateries in Saigon that are famous to locals and yet unknown to foreigners.

Besides considering renting your accommodation near shopping places and other services, you should ensure that there is enough security within the area in which you are about to rent a house. Do not take chances, simply go for the best.

Veggie Venue 11 – Loving Hut Hoa Đăng

A truly awesome find hidden towards the end of District 1 and Binh Thanh district. Although a bit on the pricey end of the vegetarian spectrum, the service is excellent and the sesame seed deep fried mushrooms are spectacular. Despite the bright fluorescent lighting, it’s very clean and they have a comprehensive menu with a lot of dishes you probably won’t find elsewhere in Saigon. Also, if you’re a strict or new vegetarian that wants some encouragement, there’s a huge list of famous people who were vegetarian spanning Gautama Buddha all the way to Albert Shweitzer and Richard Gere.

Address of Loving Hut Hoa Đăng is:
38 Huynh Khuong Ninh, P DaKao, Q1
Tel: 0848-38209702

Veggie Venue 10 – Quan Chay Dao Vien

I actually found this nice little gem via foursquare because Hoa Khai on Nguyen Cu Trinh (one of my truly favorite spots) was closed for renovation. A quiet little family restaurant tucked behind an alley between Tran Hung Dao and the river. The menu’s pretty simple and cheap but you really do get value for your money, you just have to know what to order.

In my opinion, there are restaurants that are good at “com phan” and there are restaurants that are good at “com dia”. This is a place that’s good at “com phan”. “Com dia” means a meal for an individual person and “com phan” means a meal that is shared amongst family and friends. Quan Chay Dao Vien is good at “com phan”, keep that in mind, don’t go alone, come with your friends! All in all, a great place to bring a group of people, especially with their huge menu selection.

Their “chay gio chien”  and deep fried mushrooms are excellent but their noodles leave something to be desired.

Address of Quan Chay Dao Vien is:
63 Tran Dinh Xu
P. Cau Kho, Q. 1
Tel: 0903373933

Summary of Saigon Vegetarian

Hi everyone, My name is Minh and I’m another vegetarian in Saigon. I’ll be writing new blog posts for Saigon Vegetarian from now on while Glenn is away and finding other folks that are interested in writing (Please let us know if you want to write too!), but before I get started with my first post, I’d like to summarize everything that Glenn has collected over the past year. Enjoy!

  • Veggie Venue 9 – Âu Lạc 2 – 530 Huỳnh Tấn Phát St. ; D7
  • Veggie Venue 8 – Thien Y – 36 Tran Quy Cap ; Binh Thanh District, Ward 11
  • Veggie Venue 7 – Âu Lạc – 60 Tân Vĩnh Street; D4
  • Veggie Venue 6 – Hoa Khai: 124-126 Nguyen Cu Trinh; D1
  • Veggie Venue 5 – “Ngoc Tho” ; 175/9 Pham Ngu Lao, D1
  • Veggie Venue 4 – “Thien Tan” ; Ton Dan Street, D4
  • Veggie Venue 3 – “Mandala” ; Suong Nguyet Anh Street, D1
  • Veggie Venue 2 — “Phap Quang” ; 31 Ton That Thuyet Street, D4
  • Veggie Venue 1 – “Sai Gon”; Bui Vien St., D1

Over the weekend, I’ll be writing a review on a little placed called “Quan Chay Dao Vien” in District 1 and then there will be a review of “Quan An Viet Chay” on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia in District 3. Thanks for reading everyone and happy eating!

Looking for a Contributor (and even co-owner) for the SaigonVegetarian Blog

Hi!

I no longer live in VietNam, therefore i would love to have someone contribute to the blog.  This person can even be a co-owner and moderator as well, if they would like.  I wouldn’t even have any big expectations.  If someone adds even small amounts of data a couple of times a month or so, that would be great.  Please write me an e-mail if you would be interested.

glennskii@gmail.com

Thanks..

glenn

Veggie Venue 9 – Âu Lạc 2 – 530 Huỳnh Tấn Phát St. ; D7

Âu Lạc 2 – 530 Huỳnh Tấn Phát Street ; District 7, Bình Thuận Ward

Âu Lạc 2 is  our next Veggie Venue blog entry.  This eatery is larger and more modern than most Com Chay eateries, yet cheaper and more informal than most vegetarian restaurants.  We might say that this place is somewhere between eatery/cafeteria and restaurant.  The prices are moderate to low  — depending on what you are comparing them to.  Probably most would consider these prices to be low, but in the world of veggie eateries in the city, we would probably classify it as moderate/affordable.

This place has modern, almost trendy, white tables and chairs.  The venue has  a clean and roomy environment.  It is located on a large, busy street in east D7.  The menu had many pages.  Therefore, I didn’t bother to take pics of the whole menu.  Also, I chose not to order from the menu,   instead taking the standard Com Chay dish with soup… only adding the vegan version of “those thingies” that they wrap in banana leaves.  (Sorry, I forgot the name of this — it’s Banh-something.)  The menu did not have an English translation at the time of the writing of this blog entry.  As you find in most Com Chay eateries, the “buffet” here is not self-service but you can often point at what you want and don’t want.

I can recommend this cafeteria-restaurant for people who are already passing through the area (eastern district 7 near the Nguyen Van Quy Highway).

Location on Diadiem Map Site   

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Veggie Venue 8 – Thien Y – 36 Tran Quy Cap ; Binh Thanh District, Ward 11

This new veggie venue is not of my creation.  This is a blog entry taken from Steven McGrath’s blog called “Channel Steve”.  Steve (a.k.a. RockPortrait) is a well-known and respected ex-pat blogger in VietNam.  He was kind enough to let me repost his post on Saigon Vegetarian.  Here is the link to his Blog:

http://www.channelsteve.com

and here is the link to the original posting:

http://www.channelsteve.com/2011/09/18/vegetarian-restaurant-surprise/

————————————————————————————————

and here is the pasted entry:

I was lucky enough to be invited to eat at the newly opened vegetarian restaurant, Thien Y, in Binh Thanh district. It’s owned by the family of one of the VAS students.

I wasn’t expecting much, being a meat eater, but the food, decor, cleanliness and ambience in this place blew me away. They used mushrooms in place of meat to create dishes like sweet & sour pork, and the difference was almost indistinguishable.

To top it all off, six dishes and two drinks came to a gob-smacking 200,000VND (just under $10). Well worth a taxi ride to this north-eastern district.

Address of Thien Y is:
36 Tran Quy Cap
P.11, Q. Binh Thanh
Tel: 0913 916 036

Photo 1 is a soup that updates and outdoes the ever so popular Sup Cua (crab soup).
Photo 2 is a dish with assorted mushrooms, so tasty with perfectly crispy greens and carrots.

Đậu hũ chiên sả ớt – Chili Fried Tofu Lemongrass

Sometimes you may find yourself with friends in a vietnamese restaurant that seems to have NOTHING meatless.  If you find yourself in such a situation (if they don’t have even salads or vegetable side-dishes), you may want to get some white rice and Đậu hũ chiên sả ớt.   This means Fried Tofu with Lemongrass and Chili.  I really liked this, and it was one of the most inexpensive choices on the menu.  The only downside is that you may get tired of the taste by the end  – the taste is exotic, unique, strong (but not spicy on its own).  I suggest you share this dish with others and try to find some other things to eat along with it like white rice, water spinach,  or even beer-nuts.😉

This Đậu hũ chiên sả ớt was from a canal-side garden restaurant/beer-hall on Tôn Thất Thuyết Street on the south border of district 4 (near the intersection with Tôn Đản Street).

Chili Fried Tofu Lemongrass

Đậu hũ chiên sả ớt

second dish from the top

tofu section of the menu

Map of Cơm Chay (Vegetarian/Vegan) Locales in District 4

Here is a little map of D4-Saigon and its Cơm Chay eateries.  There might be a few left that I haven’t discovered, but there can’t be many more than this (July 2011), because I have really searched hard by foot, bicycle, xe om —  you name it.  I have not included the cafes and restaurants that have some veggie items (or even veggie pages).  For sake of map clarity, only the true vegan/veggie places of the vietnamese variety have been included.  More info about these eateries are in the “Veggie Venue” list tab.

 

“Saigon Vegetarian” (and my other blogs/sites) Now Have “Google Translate”

You will notice in the links widget to the right,  that there is a new link related to Google Translation.  Click on it to have this website open in “Google Translate”.  After this, select the language you want to read.  Please tell your friends who have been waiting for translation into their language!

My other blogs also have a similar link in their links widgets:

www.machspeedwhippets.wordpress.com

www.depskillz.wordpress.com

and my website “MachSpeed Whippets” has a drag-down language-menu at the top of each page:

www.machspeedwhippets.com

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