I am a freelance travel writer who has been based in Southeast Asiafor the last decade. I have previously lived in Thailand and Cambodia but am currently residing in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. This is such a vibrant and exciting city that although I originally intended just to stayhere for a short time, I have found myself living and working here for 7 years and the time has flown by; I love the place.
Vietnam is a wonderful surprise to most new visitors. It is one of the most gloriously beautiful countries I have ever seen. The cities are exciting with lots to see and do, the beaches are exceptional and the countryside quite frankly matches anything, anywhere in the world.
I was recently invited to spend a weekend at events in the city centre and booked a short term stay at Seventeen East Homestay in the New City Development just 3 km east of the Central Business Districtand main entertainment area. I saw the property advertised on AirBnB.
The New City Development is one of the better new condo blocks and is situated right on the Hanoi Highway with direct access into Saigon’s District 1, home of all the major attractions, like the Notre Dam Basilica, the Reunification Palace, the Zoo and many bars and restaurants. A Grab Taxi will cost a mere $2.50 from here into the city centre.
District 2, where the apartment is located, is a fashionable district of the city, favoured by many expats. The trendy Thao Dien Ward is less than a 10-minute drive along the wide dual carriageway of Tran Nao, home to hundreds of shops and local style restaurants. In Thao Dien you will find restaurants offering many different cuisines, fashionable bars and artisan coffee houses. It is also home to trendy little diners and some of the finest craft beer bars, that the city has to offer.
Location-wise this apartment cannot be beaten, being close enough to all the main attractions that this vibrant Southeast Asian giant metropolis has to offer, but just away from the constant hustle and bustle of city centre life, ensuring you a peaceful getaway in perfect surroundings.
This delightful two-bedroomed apartment is beautifully appointed and tastefully decorated throughout. Situated on the the 13th floor of one of the city’s newest apartment blocks, it affords great views of the pleasant recreational area directly adjacent, the lush green park beyond and the magnificent Landmark 81, the tallest building in the country, which is truly quite breathtaking at night. The giant tower can be seen from both bedrooms and the lounge.
The host has paid particular attention to the needs of guests with an information card by the door, and a feeling of this being your home from home rather than an impersonal hotel space. The apartment benefits from a large flat screen TV connected to many channels, two extremely comfortable double beds, a fully equipped kitchen and two bathrooms; one en suite. The bathrooms are quite superbly appointed with ultra modern fittings, and are decorated with original designs painted on the walls. The en suite bathroom has a Japanese style heated toilet complete with bidet and drying facilities.
It is though; the attention to detail that makes this wonderful apartment a real winner. It genuinely feels like home from the minute one enters. Potted plants on many shelves, tasteful pictures on the walls and books and ornaments make this a very welcoming abode. The original artwork idea is carried on in the lounge where one wall is again tastefully painted with a floral design. Every room has an air-conditioning unit and a ceiling fan, my personal favourite. There is a small balcony with nice plants. It is large enough for two people to sit, taking in the evening air, enjoying sundowners and marvelling at the view.
The amenities at the New City are excellent with the well-equipped Miami Sports facility, a children’s play area and of course swimming pools. Among the local shops here within the complex are a supermarket and mini stores for all your small grocery requirements, a bank, a pharmacy, a tea room, and coffee bars a plenty. Security is assured by keycard admission to the apartment and 24-hour on-sitesecurity and reception staff.
This is a superb holiday location or indeed the perfect place to stay if on business. I cannot recommend the Seventeen East Homestay in the New City Development higher; it is one of the finest examples of how to make an apartment into a home that I have seen in the city. You will not be disappointed.