A prime gateway to Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong province is earning attention from property seekers eyeing great connections and attractive deals
Ideally poised to capitalise on south Vietnam’s accelerating development, with its proximity to major roads and Tan Son Nhat international airport, Binh Duong province (capital city: Thu Dau Mot) is now considered the gateway to Saigon. A major industrial centre in its own right, Binh Duong‘s urbanisation, including dozens of industrial parks as well as many cultural centres, has attracted foreign direct investment, particularly from Japan. Alongside its fervent economic activity, the province also stages several festivals and has invested in attractions to help accommodate Saigon’s overspill, such as the economic/residential estate Binh Duong New City and Dai Nam Cultural Park (see below). These factors make it a primary target for house hunters.
The Habitat Binh Duong
A joint real estate venture in Thuan An City between Sembcorp and Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP), The Habitat is a lush, eco-forward project developed over eight years, with completion in early 2024. The high-end complex will include 1,520 apartments across 16- to 18-storey tower blocks, with plentiful green space such as Poladium Park and a tropical garden, plus a jogging track, landscaped waterfall, infinity pool and playground. Among the sustainability features are significantly reduced waste-water carbon emissions, with 48 percent of energy used to produce materials. The Habitat’s grounds lie adjacent to industrial zones and close to AEON Mall (see next page), Song Be golf resort, Becamex International Hospital and international schools.
Sun Casa Central
Another Vietnam-Singapore collaboration under the company moniker VSIP, Sun Casa Central in Thu Dau Mot has been the recipient of numerous accolades. A pandemic project likened to a “miniature Singapore”, its architecture is subdivided into towhouses, shophouses, single villas and semi-detached villas; the 30-hectare site also comprises a clubhouse with pool and gym, shopping centre, entertainment area (night market, food and music), sports complex and more than 100 retail booths. Despite all these amenities, 40 percent of Sun Casa’s total area is given over to green coverage; the landscaped Sun Park’s laserprojecting fountains, jogging track and central square help set it apart from other integrated resorts in its class. Its proximity to health, education, retail and sporting facilities only increases its desirability.
Jeepgo Tropical Speciality Coffee & Cocktails
By some distance the classiest, most highly regarded café/bar in Thu Dau Mot, six-year-old Jeepgo’s otherwise sober, industrial-style wood-and-brick interior is animated by lively tiles, stylish fittings, beautiful flower arrangements and trees. The creative serving style of founder Nguyen My Tien’s team offers numerous coffee iterations, desserts, pastries and cocktails that are as delectable to look at as they are to taste. (Even the menu looks beautiful.) Jeepgo sources its rich house-roasted arabica/robusta brews ethically from reputable suppliers in Vietnam, Kenya and Ethiopia, and makes them from fully ripe (not mass-farmed) coffee berries— accounting for both elevated quality and slightly higher prices. Flavoured fruit teas are also available, and signatures include an affogato made with coconut ice cream.
Francis Hoi Restaurant
A four-year-old venue in the heart of foodie-centric Thuan An, Francis Hoi’s versatile space adapts to the varying needs of the large local population, catering for garden parties, weekend buffets, weddings and conferences. But its Euro-Asian fusion menu is so all-encompassing, and its luxurious Euro-inflected design so appealing (both indoors and outdoors), that on quieter nights, it also makes a fine destination for intimate in-house dining. Culinary eclecticism at this ambitious dining powerhouse is reflected in dishes such as French duck breast with pepper sauce, potatoes and Thai spicy sauce; grilled beef bacon with enoki mushroom and teriyaki sauce; steamed sturgeon with Hong Kong-style bok choy; and fresh oyster with spicy Mexican sauce. Live music adds to the atmosphere on selected nights.
AEON Mall Binh Duong Canary
Unveiled in 2014, AEON Mall Binh Duong was the Japanese retail chain’s second Vietnamese regional shopping centre (there are now six, with several more in the pipeline), and is an essential retail stop equidistant from Thuan An and Thu Dau Mot. More than a mere shopping centre, AEON’s strong corporate-responsibility arm organises eco-focused community events such as Earth Hour, Green Consumer Day and World Environment Day, as well as lighter-hearted gatherings like Yoga Day. But Canary’s range of 133 outlets is no less impressive, running the gamut from fashion stores (Eva de Eva, Ecco); myriad local and international F&B stops (Trung Nguyen Legend); Japan-centric shops (Komonoya); and special zones like AEON Fantasy kids’ play area, Timezone’s gaming and leisure complex, and a five-screen CGV Cinemas multiplex.
Dai Nam Cultural Park
The largest amusement park in Vietnam, Dai Nam was unveiled in 2008 and comprises four main areas covering spiritual/ historical (themed altars honouring the country’s founders), animal (the country’s first zoo), entertainment (fairground rides) and aquatic (an artificial sea/beach) attractions. The zoo offers a chance to see rare white pigmentation variants of familiar wildlife species—white lions, tigers, hippopotamuses and peacocks—as well as several exotic birds. The park’s greener spaces reward exploration, offering a camping site among rubber trees, lake fishing and even a racecourse. Given the complex’s gargantuan size (21 hectares), many multi-day visitors choose to stay overnight since the park also contains a mall, cinema and hotels. Many national records were established upon Dai Nam’s opening, including Vietnam’s largest temple and largest square.
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