Korean things to do in District 7


If you have always dreamed of travelling to Korea but cannot due to the Covid-19 restrictions, strap yourself in and depart for District 7.

Home to the largest Korean communities in Southeast Asia, District 7, affectionately dubbed Little Korea, has much to offer those looking for a taste of the Korean way of life. From eating Korean food to unwinding at a traditional jimjilbang, there are many things to do in District 7 for an exciting Korean experience


1. Spend the day at jjimjilbang 



Image credit: Golden Lotus Healing Spa Land

Jjimjilbang, a public bathhouse where people indulge in spa-like activities wearing lamb head towels, is a place that you see a lot in Korean dramas or variety shows. 

If you’re keen to try out this activity, don’t hesitate to check out Golden Lotus Healing Spa, one of the most popular Korean bathhouses in Saigon. Decked out with hot tubs, massage tables, igloo rooms, showers, and infrared caves for detoxification, this is an ideal place to relax and unwind.


Herbal & mineral mud room
Image credit: Golden Lotus Healing Spa Land

Not only is going to a jjimjilbang a great way to experience Korean culture or feel as if you’re on an episode of Running Man, but it also brings a host of benefits to your health.

At Golden Lotus Healing Spa, a jjimjilbang package ranges from VND250,000 to VND350,000 (~USD10.77-USD15.08). If you come here during happy hour, the package drops to only VND150,000 to VND190,000 (~USD6.46-USD8.19). 


Foot soaking in a mineral basin
Image credit: Golden Lotus Healing Spa Land

The spa also has an in-house BBQ eatery where you can savor some hearty Korean dishes after a refreshing jjimjilbang session. 

Address: Golden Lotus Healing Spa Land, 139 Tôn Dật Tiên, Tân Phong Ward, District 7
Opening hours: 8.30AM-11.00PM, Daily
Telephone: 028 5410 7171

Website 


2. Eat authentic Korean food


Boasting an impressive roster of restaurants and street eateries serving traditional Korean dishes, District 7 is perfect for dinner dates and rowdy get-togethers. 

Since BBQ is an essential part of Korean dining, you’ll find plenty of grill houses here. Expect a parade of marinated meats and seafood platters accompanied by loads of complimentary banchan such as japchae and bibimbap. 

Some of the BBQ restaurants that are ideal for date nights by the grill include Sookdal Korean BBQ, WOW BBQ, and Matchandeul Korean BBQ.  

Gogi-guksu at Seoul Deli

BBQ aside, you’ll find plenty of restaurants specializing in other iconic Korean dishes such as kimbap, rice rolls wrapped with seasoned veggies and meat, and gogi-guksu, a pork noodle soup dish.


3. Hang out over chicken and beer


Koreans are Asian masters of chicken, as they’re always concocting new ways to play with seasonings to take their chicken dishes to the next level. Korea’s obsession with chimaek, which means a pairing of chicken and cold beer, is reflected in countless Korean movies and commercial ads. For this reason, don’t be surprised to find an overwhelming array of Korean restaurants specializing in chicken here.

Dak-galbi at Yoogane Chicken

From dak-galbi, a traditional stir-fried chicken dish to Andong jjimdak, a soy sauce-braised chicken dish to samgyetang, a nutrient-packed chicken soup cooked with ginseng, District 7 is a chicken mecca. 

Some of the most popular chicken houses in District 7 that you can check out are Daks Chicken & Beer, Yoogane Galbi, Don Chicken, Saeroi Chicken, Okkudak, and The Plate. 


4. Shop Korean merchandise


The Hưng Gia and Hưng Phước areas, home to many Korean residents in Saigon, plays host to a myriad of Korean merchandise. From golf shops selling training items to department stores selling Korean specialties such as ginseng, ramyeon, and kimchi, you’ll find a treasure trove of Korea-imported goods here.

Featuring tree-shaded roads lined with shophouses bearing Korean signs and always buzzing with people chatting in Korean, this place looks straight out of South Korea’s Myeongdong Street.

Apart from being a window-shopping spot, this area makes an unbeatable destination for a leisurely stroll. 

Find out how to get there here.


5. Exercise outdoors and cycle around


Exercising is not exclusive to Koreans, but District 7 has some of the most tastefully designed, tranquil, and safe parks in the city. 

Panorama Riverside Park, Lawrence Ting Park, and Crescent Lake Park are great choices for a run or yoga session, as they all boast spacious lawns, scenic trails, and close to a wide range of boutique restaurants and cafes.

If you have bicycles, don’t hesitate to hit the pedals in this area. Scenic bike paths are everywhere you look, from inside tree-shaded parks to roomy street lanes safe for urban cyclists.

Or, you can simply snuggle with a book or watch the world go by.


6. Play claw machines on the streets


Another thing in Phú Mỹ Hưng that reminds people about Korea is the ubiquitous presence of claw machines in every street corner. This is something that you can’t find in other districts. 

For movie-like date night inspo or merely the thrill of winning some fluffy plush toys with a joystick, insert VND10,000 (~USD0.43) to turn on the machine.

My only advice is to know when to stop if you keep losing since this arcade game can be highly addictive.


7. Play golf at Phú Mỹ Hưng Golf Course



Image credit: Golf Group Academy

It’s no coincidence that you always see rich people playing golf in Korean dramas, as golf is one of the most popular sports in South Korea. For this reason, don’t be surprised to find a scenic golf course in Phú Mỹ Hưng while there are just a few golf courses inside Ho Chi Minh City.


Image credit: Golf Group Academy

Laid out in a set of nine holes with long, tree-lined fairways, and gorgeous views over a river and surrounding skyscrapers, Phú Mỹ Hưng Golf Course is frequented by Koreans and Vietnamese. If you want a moderately challenging course to practice some swings with a view, this is a great place to be.

Charges for morning sessions, which are from 6AM to 5PM, are from VND535,000 (~USD23.16) per person, while evening sessions, which are from 5PM to 9.30PM, cost VND695,000 (~USD30.08) per person.

Address: 19 Tôn Dật Tiên, Tân Phú Ward, District 7, HCMC
Opening hours:
6AM-8.30PM, Daily
Telephone: 028 5411 2001


Enjoy a Korean experience in Saigon’s District 7


Over the past five years, Saigon has been seeing a constant wave of Koreans coming over and putting down roots here. Most of them reside in District 7, and that’s why you’re seeing a plethora of businesses catering to Korean people, from schools to housing to commercial services. Just like immigrants of other ethnicities, these Koreans bring with them their culture and lifestyles, which are most vividly reflected in their food and recreational offerings. 

Therefore, if you’d like to experience Korean culture in Saigon, head down to District 7 and you won’t be disappointed.

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Cover image adapted from: Golden Lotus Healing Spa Land and The Smart Local Vietnam

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