Apocalypse Now, The Infamous Nightclub In Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
The Infamous nightclub is named after the 1979 Francis Ford Coppola Movie, staring Marlon Brando and Martin Sheen. Apocalypse Now has been an institution in Saigon's nightlife scene for more than 2 decades. They cater to a diverse crowd of tourists, expats, locals and working girls, and this can make for some interesting happenings inside the club. You don't have to worry about a dress code or an uptight, pretentious atmosphere at Apocalypse Now, however the club has a slightly seedy reputation, and violence drugs and prostitution are all visible inside the nightclub. The downstairs area with the dance floor has your usual popular dance tunes, while the upstairs dance floor tends to play more trance type music.
Early in the night, you might be able to play a few games of pool on one of their pool tables (this is usually where the working girls hang out). Around 11pm the club begins to fill up, and playing pool might become impossible. They have a large semi outdoor area with fast food and picnic tables at the back of the club. When the club gets too crowded (it normally does), you can always escape outside and relax and take a breather.
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Apocalypse Now is located at 2C Thi Sach Street District 1, Ho Chi Minh City in the Pham Ngu Lao district. The club is just a few doors down from The Hosen Hotel. The area around the nightclub is known to be a particularly dangerous place after dark. There have been many reports of violent crimes and robberies in this area in recent years. It is not recommended to walk alone on the streets outside the club. Another concern is that the taxi drivers that mill around in front of the nightclub belong to one of the companies that is known for overcharging. When taking a taxi in Saigon, you should always use a reputable company, the two most reputable companies are Vina Sun, and Mai Linh.
On my first trip to Vietnam in 2009, I followed the recommendation of friends and visited Apocalypse Now. I enjoyed a few beers and played a couple of games of pool with one of the working girls. Early in the evening the club was a relaxing place to have a few drinks, but after 11 o'clock, the place filled up with tourists, locals and expats. I was told that this place is the closest thing to a pickup joint that Ho Chi Minh City has to offer. Well if that is the case (I am pretty sure it is), then compared to Thailand it is pretty disappointing. Overall I enjoyed my experience at Apocalypse Now, and I would still say that it is the best true nightclub in Saigon, however unless I am feeling particularly ambitious, I would still prefer The Crazy Buffalo.