A Night Out In Saigon, Where To Go For A Drink In Ho Chi Minh City
Where To Go Out In Saigon?
I will give you a few ideas where to go out for a good time in Ho Chi Minh City. I will list a few of my favourite places and things to do. I hope some of you out there will find this information helpful.
HO CHI MINH CITY
Ho Chi Minh City is the biggest city in Vietnam, and is located in the southern part of the country. Formerly known as "Saigon", this was the capital city of South Vietnam, before the end of the Vietnam War. Many locals in Ho Chi Minh City still call their city "Saigon". In recent years, Ho Chi Minh City has become an increasingly popular destination for tourists travelling through Southeast Asia. The city itself is very impressive, far more modern and much cleaner than other major cities in South East Asia. There is an abundance of historical monuments from the Vietnam War and previous French occupation. Ho Chi Minh City is often referred to as "The Paris Of The Orient". Nightlife in Saigon is world class, and I will give you a few recommendations on where to go out if you are travelling through Ho Chi Minh City.
THE BARBER SHOPS
Before you go out for a night out on the town, you will want to make sure you are well groomed. I suggest a trip to one of Saigon's famous men's only barber shops. If you have never had the pleasure of visiting one of Saigon's barber shops, this is something you need to check out. These shops mainly cater to men, however it is not what you might think. You might have heard that these barber shops are a front for houses of prostitution, and I have read that in the past they might have been. This is certainly not the case today in Saigon. If you come across a barber shop in Ho Chi Minh that is filled with 10-20 beautiful young women wearing uniforms and looking similar to airline hostesses, I suggest that you go in and check it out. The girls are very friendly and they treat you like a rock star (no they are not prostitutes). You can have a shave or a haircut, a manicure, pedicure, and I would recommend finishing off with the massage. This might sound a little expensive, you would be amazed at how affordable it is to be pampered by beautiful women in Saigon. This kind of royal treatment in your home country is probably normally reserved for the rich and famous, or professional athletes and rock stars!
You never want to go out on an empty stomach, so first I suggest dinner at Huong Viet (Vietnamese Aroma). This is probably the most popular restaurant in district 1, and it is also one of the most expensive. You don't need to worry though, I don't think they have anything on the menu that costs more than 5USD. The staff are incredibly friendly and they all speak reasonable English. There is a wide variety of Vietnamese and foreign foods, I have never had a bad meal at this place. Also I have always gotten good information from the staff here, so if you are looking for anything just let them know.
THE CRAZY BUFFALO
A great place to start out your evening is The Crazy Buffalo. This is one of Saigon's newest and most popular night spots. The Crazy Buffalo offers outdoor open air seating at one of the busiest intersections in the city. The view of the chaotic traffic is enough to keep anyone entertained while enjoying a cold drink. Aside from the traffic, the Crazy Buffalo has the best music of all the bars in the area. When I say "the best music", I am talking about classic rock, not hip hop or house music that I do not consider to be worthy of being classified as music. The front of the building has a giant neon sign that is a 4 story tall head of a violent looking buffalo. This sign is recognized as one of the most extraordinary neon signs anywhere in the world. Above the open air bar on the ground floor is a seldom used nightclub that rarely has any customers. The Crazy Buffalo is open 24/7, even though most bars in Saigon close just after midnight, so you can always come back here to finish off after trying out some of the other nightclubs.
THE REX HOTEL
Before we get too carried away, we will want to go for a relaxing drink at a nice historical venue in the Ho Chi Minh City business district. The Rex Hotel is one of many buildings with historical significance from the Vietnam War. The very first guests in the Rex Hotel in December 1961, before it finished construction, were the 400 U.S.Army soldiers, from Fort Lewis, Tacoma, Wa. The rooftop bar at The Rex Hotel in Saigon is a must see for any tourist travelling to Ho Chi Minh City. This is a little more laid back and sophisticated than The Crazy Buffalo, they often have live music, and the view of the city from the rooftop patio is amazing. Drinks here will be far more expensive than most of the bars in Pham Ngu Lao, so you may want to have 1 or 2 and just carry on.
When you think it is time to crank things up a notch, it is probably time to go to Apocalypse Now. Named after the Francis Ford Coppola movie "Apocalypse Now", with Marlon Brando and a young Martin Sheen. Apocalypse Now is one of Saigon's oldest and most popular night spots. This place is full of local affluent Vietnamese as well as foreign tourists, and the occasional freelance bar girl. The layout of this club is not as great as it could be, but there are always a lot of people here and the atmosphere is great for a party. You need to be careful, the area surrounding Apocalypse Now is a bad neighborhood. There is a potential for serious problems if you are not careful, there is often a rough crowd inside and outside of the bar.
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