Just a Few Reasons Why Saigon is Better than Danang

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Saigon is quickly becoming a popular destination for expats looking to move abroad. There are many reasons for this, but chief among them is the city’s vibrancy and energy. Saigon is constantly alive with activity, while still offering all the amenities and comforts of a modern city. The city has a rich history and culture, which is evident in its architecture, food, and art. Sure, it doesn’t have a beach like Danang, but it more than makes up for it with its many other charms. If you’re looking for an exciting and diverse city to call home, Saigon is definitely worth considering. Here are just a few reasons why Saigon is better than Danang.

Get another point of view. Here are some reasons why

Danang is Better than Saigon

Job Opportunities

Saigon Bitexco District 1 Highway
Big buildings usually mean jobs, right?

Perhaps the single, most important factor in deciding whether Saigon or Danang is the better city to live in is job opportunities. Saigon has far more multinational companies and international organizations located there, providing greater opportunity for those looking for work. The cost of living might be slightly higher in Saigon, but salaries are also generally higher, so it evens out. The job market in Danang is growing, but it can’t compete with Saigon just yet.

Dining Options

Saigon Little Japan Tokyo Town - Mangetsu Shochu Bar
Does Danang have a Little Tokyo? I think not

Saigon is a much more diverse city than Danang, both in terms of its population and its culture. This is due in part to the city’s history as a major trading hub. You’ll find people from all over Vietnam and the world living in Saigon, which gives the city a cosmopolitan feel. This is evident in the city’s food scene, which offers a wide variety of cuisines from all over the world. Whether you’re in the mood for local food, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, or anything in between, you’ll be able to find it in Saigon. Unlike Danang, where you’ll only have one or two particularly good options for each cuisine, in Saigon each cuisine will have a highly competitive range of options to choose from. Besides which, Danang doesn’t have as vibrant a Foodies Group.

Japanese food is good. Japanese food in Saigon is very good.

Authentic Japanese Food in Saigon – A Short Guide to Little Japan


Saigon D1 Cocktail Bars Summer Experiment
Does Danang have cocktail bars? Plural? (it has at least one that’s nice)

Saigon is also the clear winner when it comes to nightlife. The city has a wide range of bars, clubs, and pubs to suit any taste, and the nightlife scene is always buzzing with energy. Danang might have a few good bars and clubs, but they can’t compare with the sheer quantity and variety that Saigon has to offer. The relaxed vibe in Danang might be a draw for some, but if you like to go out and party, then you’d be hard pressed to find a better city than Saigon. Roof deck clubs, cocktail bars, beer halls, karaoke bars, and more – whatever your nightlife poison, you’ll find it in Saigon.

Other Entertainment

Saigon Ho Chi Minh City HCMC Opera House
Saigon Opera House – I’ve never been inside

When it comes to other forms of entertainment, such as movies, theaters, and museums, Saigon again has the edge over Danang. This is to be expected in a larger city, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless. If you’re the type of person who likes to have a lot of different options for things to do, then move to Saigon. You can only enjoy the beaches in Danang so much before you get sunburn. How about you mix it up with a more steady supply of comedy nights, pub quizzes, concerts, and art exhibitions?

A Bigger Expat Community

Saigon Sports Clubs Irish Football Gaels
Saigon Gaels – Irish Football Club (just one of the few expat sports clubs)

As the premier destination for expats in Vietnam, Saigon has a much larger and more diverse foreign community than Danang. This is great news if you’re looking to meet new people and make friends from all over the world. There are also more organized social events and activities for expats in Saigon, so it’s easier to connect with others. In Danang, the expat community is smaller and more spread out, so it can be difficult to meet new people. For Saigon however, there are regular meetups, pub crawls, and other social gatherings that make it easy to widen your social network. If you’ve never lived abroad before, Saigon is a great place to start.

Looking to meet new people and stay fit? Read more about it:

Saigon Sports Clubs and Activities – with Men’s and Women’s Teams

Better Housing Options

Apartment Building
This is a stock photo if an apartment building which may or may not be located in Saigon

In terms of housing options, Saigon definitely has the upper hand. There are more apartment buildings and housing developments in Saigon, so you’ll have a wider range of places to choose from. And, as the city is more developed overall, you’re likely to find better-quality housing in Saigon as well. In Danang, there are fewer housing options available, and the quality is generally smaller and not as modern – though you can definitely find some hidden gems if you look hard enough. Would definitely want to live in a villa, but for the time being, a large comfortable apartment with a well stocked supermarket downstairs is more than enough.

Travel Hub

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Saigon Airport would be the main gateway for most travelers to and from Vietnam

If you’re keen on travel, Saigon is the clear winner. The city is home to Vietnam’s main international airport, which means it’s much easier to get in and out of town, when compared to Danang. Not only are there more international flights available from Saigon, ticket prices are also generally much cheaper vs flying out of Danang. In addition, the city is well connected by road and rail, making it easy to get around (weekend trip to Angkor Wat anyone?). Danang does have Hoi An, and people will still drop by to see you, but then most people from abroad will be flying into SGN and not DAD.

Healthcare and Education

MRI International Hospitals and Clinics in Saigon
Saigon will have the widest range of private clinics and hospitals

When it comes to healthcare and education, Saigon once again comes out on top. The city has a number of high-quality international hospitals and clinics, as well as a wide range of international schools to choose from. In Danang, the healthcare and education options are more limited, though there are still a few good hospitals and schools you just wont find the same selection as in Saigon. The premier schools and hospitals are all in Saigon, and you’d be difficult to find better options anywhere else in Vietnam. Perhaps schools might be more relevant to people flying in with families, but everyone needs access to good healthcare.

Looking for international hospitals in Saigon?

International Hospitals and Clinics in Saigon – A Short Guide for Expats


Aisle Supermarket
Danang does have Moonmilk – but it’s basically a glorified convenience store

From high-end malls to street markets, the shopping options in Saigon are seemingly endless. The city is home to some of Vietnam’s best shopping malls, as well as a wide variety of local markets where you can find everything from clothes to electronics. In Danang, the shopping options are more limited – though there are still a handful of malls, the shops are generally not as high-end. And, while there are a few local markets, they don’t have the same selection as what you’ll find in Saigon. You might also find that the cost of certain items like home appliances, and electronics might even be more expensive in Danang. And even smaller local retailers in Saigon offer a more modern shopping experience, and a wider selection than their Danang counterparts.

Conclusion: Saigon is Better than Danang

Saigon is quickly becoming the preeminent destination for expats looking to experience the best that South East Asia has to offer. With its vibrant culture, endless entertainment options, and ample job opportunities, it’s easy to see why so many people are choosing to call Saigon home. As the economic center of Vietnam, the city also offers more job opportunities than other cities in the country.

Danang, on the other hand, is a more laid-back city. It’s located on the coast, so there are plenty of beaches to relax on, and it’s also home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites. Danang is a great choice for expats who want to experience a slower pace of life while still enjoying all the creature comforts of a modern city.

While Danang might be cheaper overall, the cost of living in Saigon is still quite reasonable – especially when you consider all the city has to offer.

So, if you’re trying to decide between Saigon and Danang, the answer is clear (at least for this author) – Saigon is the better choice. It’s the more livable city.


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