VietnamHo Chi MinhDistrict 8 in Ho Chi Minh City

District 8 in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City isn’t just about the fancy downtown districts like District 1 and District 3. Let us introduce you to District 8, a less touristy yet intriguing area among the districts of Ho Chi Minh City. Get to know how life is at the meeting spot of the old and the new in District 8.

District 8 Overview

Sprawling an area of approximately 20 square kilometers in the southern part, District 8 is divided into 16 wards and houses over 400,000 citizens. Sandwiched between the so-called “old town” (District 5 and District 6) and “new town” (South Saigon—Nam Sai Gon, including District 7), District 8 seems to enjoy the best of both worlds, driven by speedy economic growth and transport development.

The interruption of local river branches and channels does not prevent District 8 from connecting to its neighboring districts. The grandness of Dong Tay Highway, Nguyen Van Linh Highway, Pham The Hien Street, and Nguyen Quang Buu Street proves this, making commerce and service sectors the major driving forces of District 8’s economy.

How to Get to District 8

District 8 is 16 km away from Tan Son Nhat International Airport. However, public transport isn’t very convenient. No bus route goes straight from the airport to District 8, so you must hop on at least two buses to reach the destination. Besides the extra time of switching buses, the fatigue of waiting in the not-so-friendly weather of Ho Chi Minh City is another thing you should account for.

That’s why taking a taxi or calling a GrabCar is advisable, which will likely cost you between 200,000 VND and 250,000 VND.

Attractions in District 8

Overall, District 8 does not seem blessed by nature. Apart from the omnipresent branches of the Saigon River across the district, there is no particular natural beauty to marvel at. Instead, District 8 prides itself on the abundant cultural heritage sites that embrace the long-standing Ho Chi Minh City’s rich history.

Among the fascinating attractions of District 8, Binh Dong Wharf is the most prominent sight. See the table below for a breakdown of District 8’s favorite destinations.

NameEntrance FeeAddressCategory

Dong Dieu Amusement Park
(Kite-flying field and fishing lake)

VND 100,000 – VND 120,00033 Cao Lo, Ward 4Amusement Park
Hue Lam PagodaFree154 Tung Thien Vuong, Ward 11Religious Site
Vinh Hoi TempleFree46 Dinh Hoa, Ward 13Cultural Heritage
Binh Dong TempleFreeWard 7 (Cross Ba Tang Bridge and follow Ba Tang path until you see the temple)Cultural Heritage
Phong Phu TempleFree46 Phong Phu, Ward 12Cultural Heritage
Hung Phu TempleFree617/19 Ben Ba Dinh, Ward 9Cultural Heritage

Eating in District 8

Nowhere in Ho Chi Minh City is as easy to spot an eatery as in District 8. Not only are restaurants ubiquitous, but the cost of eating is so cheap that it leaves you in disbelief.

Vietnamese typical delicacies aside, it is almost impossible to overlook the plentiful sea snail restaurants. Sea snail dishes are what made the name of District 8 and are why residents from other districts flock here every evening. All those scallops, oysters, crab pincers, clams, and countless sea snails grilled with cheese or garlic and sauteed with coconut milk or spicy butter are irresistible. No other districts can rival District 8 regarding these oceanic gifts, not in terms of tastiness and pricing (20,000 VND for one generous portion compared to 40,000 – 50,000 VND in other districts).

Wonder what the buzz is all about? Go to the hidden alleys of Duong Ba Trac and Pham The Hien streets and see for yourself. Get ready to be animated by the sight of stunning dishes, the aroma of southern-styled seasoning, the chitter-chatter of crowded eateries. You will find it hard to believe those mundane-looking cooks behind the open-air cooking counter are making those stellar delicacies.

CategoryLocation
Vietnamese Sea Snails and ShellfishPham The Hien, Duong Ba Trac, Hung Phu, Xom Cui Market
Vietnamese Cuisine

“Banh beo dao tre” in Pham Hung

Ca Mau crab hot pot at 943 Pham The Hien

“Nem Nuong Da Lat” at 29 Street No. 16, Ward 4

Street EatsTa Quang Buu, Pham Hung, Pham The Hien, Duong Ba Trac
Fast FoodsDomino Pizza, Popeyes Chicken, KFC
Coffee Shops

Lu’s Coffee – 229 Pham Hung, Ward 4

Cafe Osaka – 907 Ta Quang Buu, Ward 5

Lang Cafe – 13 Street No.5, Ward 4

Shopping in District 8

The “cheap” attribute of District 8 again manifests itself in the shopping category. “Second-hand shops” offering hand-me-downs of diversifying sizes and designs abound in this district and are frequented by residents in the area.

As you can probably imagine, it is not an ideal shopping destination if you want to buy souvenirs or Vietnamese-spirited goods. If you are looking for these, check out your favorite streets for your Ho Chi Minh shopping.

That said, District 8 is exactly where you turn to when you want to buy all those Vietnamese fruits – coconut, mango, banana, watermelon, pomelo, to name but a few. You can find these at Binh Dong Wharf Floating Market and Phu Dinh Wharf Floating Market.

See the table below for more details.

CategoryAddressWhat to Buy
Seafood MarketsBinh Dien Seafood Market – Nguyen Van Linh, Ward 7Seafood
Floating Market / 
Fruit Markets

Binh Dong Wharf Floating Market – Ben Binh Dong Street

Phu Dinh Wharf Floating Market – Ben Phu Dinh Street

Flowers and tropical fruits, especially coconut, mango, banana, watermelon, and pomelo

Local Markets

Nhi Thien Duong Market – Hoang Minh Dao, Ward 5

Pham The Hien Market. – Pham The Hien, Ward 4

Rach Ong Market – Nguyen Thi Tan, Ward 2

Clothes, accessories, vegetables and other foods
SupermarketsCo-opmart Tuy Ly Vuong – 40-54 Tuy Ly Vuong, Ward 13Clothes, groceries

Nightlife in District 8

Following the norm of other Ho Chi Minh City districts, eateries and coffee shops in District 8 stay open for business until late at night. Sea Snails Streets even stay up until 3 AM to serve the hungry (or heavy-hearted) night owls, probably splurging more on beers than on savory dishes. Karaoke bars and clubs are also the go-to spots for the young and the old alike in the area. So it’s safe to say District 8 is active at night.

Find hotels around District 8 area:

Summary of District 8 in Ho Chi Minh City

It is the cheapest district to eat, shop, or live in, with an extensive range of things to offer. Turn to District 8 for cultural heritage sites, floating markets, or mind-blowing sea snail dishes. Knowing the less popular areas of a famous city like Ho Chi Minh City is always intriguing.

Check out more things to do in District 8:

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