HCMC Dining Guide

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The 'Burbs: Part 2

Last week, I wrote about some of the large-scale housing projects going up in District 2's An Phu area. Below are a few of the developments under construction in Phu My Hung, in District 7.
This one is actually in District 8 - I have no idea what it's called.

Up next is Dragon City, a massive mixed-use development that includes 5 condo towers, houses, and a number of recreational facilities. It is projected that over 20,000 people will live on the grounds upon completion. The condo towers are so big that getting a good picture of them is almost impossible.
Down the street from Dragon City is the Kenton Residence, yet another city-within-a-city. The development is made up of 9 buildings, which will house luxury apartments, supermarkets, and retail stores, while the grounds will include tree-filled parks, lakes, and open areas for recreation.
A few minutes away from Dragon City and the Kenton is Sunrise City, which will consist of 12 35-story towers, and feature a movie theatre, bowling alley, tennis courts, restaurants, shops and, most importantly, a karaoke lounge! As of right now only a third of the project is under construction, but this place will be enormous once it is completely finished.
This is the Riverside Residence, which is obviously nearing completion. Located down the street from The Crescent, which I covered in my previous post, these towers sit next to a ton of green space, as well as a small river. (Although it's probably terribly polluted.)
Ok, just two more: this is Star Hill, across the street from The Crescent. It will feature a gym, community center, shops, townhouses, luxury apartments, and a park.This clearly still has a looong way to go before completion.
The last project I'll mention here isn't a housing development, but a mall: The Crescent mall, to be specific. This 45,000 square meter shopping mecca is supposed to open later this year, and it will be home to 6 floors of shopping bliss. Once this opens, The Crescent will really start to look like its own city.

If you find all of this talk about construction boring, I apologize, but I've been on a bit of a development kick lately, and since I now have afternoons off, I have loads of time to drive around taking pictures. I think it's really interesting to be able to witness the growth of a major city, especially coming from the U.S., where almost nothing new is being built. The scale of the construction is just amazing: I left out several other projects that I took pictures of, and there are at least half a dozen other, huge, developments, ranging from condos to office towers to schools, in the planning stages. In 10 years, visitors to Phu My Hung will be forgiven for thinking they are in a rich Asian country like Japan or South Korea, not Vietnam.

There is, however, a downside to all of these projects: they all feature everything you could possibly need to go about your daily life - grocery stores, restaurants, places to exercise, day cares, etc. What this means is that the people living inside them will rarely venture out of their little enclave, creating multiple, exclusive communities, a concept that doesn't really mesh with Vietnamese culture. Not only will these places not look like the rest of Vietnam, they won't feel like it either. And that isn't necessarily a good thing, in my opinion.


  1. On the topic of Phu My Hung:
    I was out that way the other day for the first time to buy a motorbike. I didn't know, but the entire district is owned and developed by the Phu My Hung Corporation. When I see one developer undertaking a project of that scale and speed, I have to be concerned about production quality, especially as the land was/is a swamp. Turns out the guy we bought the bike from as well as a local mechanic are literally having their floor tiles popping up off the concrete floor (they live in different buildings). I've never seen anything like it, even being from Dallas where foundation issues are the norm. I'm curious how those building's will hold up to a flood.

    I too am concerned about the lack of Vietnamese culture out there. I'd almost bet that if a street vendor tried to set up shop, some sort of security agent would boot them out. Too bad.

    Anyways, I enjoy the blog. Keep it up.

  2. I'm wondering how a lot of the new buildings around here will hold up to weather and time - so many are going up so fast that corners HAVE to be getting cut somewhere...guess we'll see in the next few years. Thanks for the compliment!