Street life at night
I’m not normally one for the night life when I travel, using the assumption that it’s safer to be off the streets at night BUT I’ll make an exception for Saigon….I just loved walking the streets at night in this city.
Saigon at night is wonderfully zany and different than Saigon during the day and I totally adored walking the streets of Saigon once the lights go down…
Nights in Saigon fill all of your senses with new sights, sounds and aromas
At night motorbikes are locked safely away inside the buildings so the sidewalks are free (comparatively speaking) and on the side streets the road traffic slows to a quiet roar as strollers and vendors take over the street in an atmosphere that can only be described as carnival-like.
The air is permeated with wonderful smells as vendors come out and start charcoal fires on the side walk and begin roasting corn, meat on sticks, and chestnuts…
others pushing small wheeled carts patrol the area selling bags of popcorn and other hot goodies…each vendor has his own music playing to announce his location (much like our Ice Cream men in the US) the songs in my neighborhood were “happy birthday to you” and “Jingle Bells” all in Vietnamese instrumentals which I found delightfully charming…
still more vendors set up small displays selling cigarettes and alcohol,
the bars turn on the music until each bar is pounding out its own music in a cornucopia of sounds…restaurants turn off their TVs and turn their beach chairs to face the street so their patrons can watch the action outside….
Men advertising massage parlors walk around with a different wooden noise maker…chi shi …chi shi…..
Stores that were closed during the day open at night…usually selling bootleg CD and DVDs so tourists of all shapes and sizes cram into shops in gleeful buying sprees
Dress Code: The lady at our hotel said it was safe for me to walk the streets by myself...she did warn me to careful and don’t carry around too much money…I personally felt quite comfortable
Le Lio Avenue
I took a walk around Rex Hotel, Contienental hotel and all that central area. I found it very busy and alive in the evenings (from 19h) but what surprised me most was the amazing number of motorcycles (mostly couples) riding around that area... not going anywhere, just hanging around, I never saw so many motorcycles together, seemed like a race!Related to:
- Budget Travel
The hidden night spots
Well, like any other city, HCMC has their own style of partying the night away. There are quite a few night clubs in HCMC. To name a few: Spaceship, Liquid, 131, Number 1 Bar and Apocalypse Now. These night spot varies in function some are dances clubs and others are just bars with a DJ or live music performance. However, most of these spot close at 12 am except for a very few. Nonetheless, there are other night spots worth heading to, if you happen to know some local friends. There are plenty of restaurants open until the break of dawn. These spot are very popular with young and hip Vietnamese and also older locals. The food from these restaurants are usually very good and tasty, but the main purpose of these venues is to drink the night away (alcohol of course). HCMC is truly the city that never sleep if you know where to go. Visit www.elephantguide.com (good for address info only, nothing beat tips from VT members with first hand experience) for the nightclubs and bar's addresses and check with your local vietnamese friends for the locations of those late night drinking venues.
Dong Khoi, besides shopping, is the nightlife center of Saigon. Most of the nightclubs in the city are centered here.Related to:
Go2: Backpacker watching
Right on the corner of De Tham & Bui Vien, great place to sit and watch the street. Upatairs has some great music and open till late (or early depending how you look at it)
There are plenty of Karaoke Bars. Most songs are covered from China. Usually there is also an extensive menu of western songs, from soft to hardcore. Pay per hour.
Allez Boo Bar: Allez Boo
This place is filled with foreign backpackers. It's a good place to grab a drink and a meal. There is a pool table and the music is basically backpacker fare. It's a good starting point.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Another area for nightlife and restaurants is Pham Ngu. This is an area of cheap hotels frequented by the backpacking crowd.
Plenty of Bars & Disco's
Ho Chi Minh City is said to have more of a nightlife than Hanoi with bars and discos scattered all over the city. No shortage of places to check out.
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