Bar Sixteen (or was it Seventeen?): Vietnamese Cowboys
The thing is that I can't remember too much about this place. It's funny, you go there sit down and take in the cowboy/western saloon theme of the place. The walls are log cladded; the waiteress (looking sixteen and all, probably the reason for the name) are cladded in their cowgirl outfits, billy bottoms mandatory; and the Phillippino band banging away in the fore ground.
Now you order a beer, instead a bottle of cognac comes out (courtesy of one's cousin). Every waiteress is offering to pour you the drink and before long you....(sorry, I meam I), I find myself on stage trying to play silly drinking games, dancing with stranger (who are trying to buy me more drinks) and talking plenty of ***.
So how did i get home again? Still can't seem remember.
As much fun as i think I'd had, the hangover the next morning was not one that any sane individual should have liked to live through. However, in saying that, the night must have being a sucess.
17 Saloon: Yee Ha!
On what was once a quiet, wide tree lined boulevard, you’ll find the new bar 17 saloon: it’s like the Wild West has been transported into Hanoi. This new-kid-on-the-block saloon strives towards authenticity: stride up some steps and through the swing doors and be greeted by a couple of smiling cow-girls dressed in checkered red and white shirts who will show you to your seat.
Besides the barrels and high stools set around round mock timber tables, looking out of mock windows that depict scenery of cactus and desert, it comes complete with oil lamps, Red Indian masks and a large wagon wheel, and a stage where the band plays from 8.30pm onwards. The resident DJ has a corner console from where he plays some some good ole Country & Western music and American classics. The music was loud but we could still chat and best of all, in a strange city, we still felt welcome and comfortable.
You may also choose to be seated at the huge central bar area and be entertained by the bar staff who juggle drinks and bottles (mostly with the empty ones-thank goodness!).
Dress Code: Service was attentive and friendly, but not pushy. Apparently this saloon has been operating on Ton Duc Thang Street in Ho Chi Minh City for the past 4 years and its owners decided to bring the concept and some of the staff to Hanoi.
Pricing was reasonable:
US$2-2.50 for Gin on the rocks, Bourbon, and Beer. Wine was available, but only in bottles. Happy hours before 8pm Buy 1, Get 1 free offer on some beverages.
Opening hours: 6pm till midnight (but we were there at 12.30 am…)
(See my Off-the-Beaten-Path tips for more pics and related stories on this place)Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
- Work Abroad
Emperor Pub: Cosy Jazz Joint
Chi-chi villa setting, cushy couches, pool table, and resident jazz band and a scrumptious restaurant upstairs. Need I say any more? Have a drink here after dinner.
Dress Code: Dress Code is Strictly Yuppie ! The expat scene gathers here
Highway 4: "One night five times"
How many times have you been to a night joint and drank one of those nasty concoctions with a stupid umbrella? Well, you won't have to worry about this if you're here. Despite bearing the notorious reputation of being the Minsk ( russian bike) HQ, this place is a good joint to try really good Vietnamese wine...
Dress Code: Of course, before you order anything, take a look at Highway 4's menu and have a good laugh. You'll find really rib-tickling monikers such as "One night five times" and "Sanh Dieu (Sex Machine) . Hmm, those were definitely potent Vietnamese Viagra! After hubby finished laughing, we ordered a tamer sampler of honey-egg wine, raspberry, aniseed and scent of 500 flowers. All gauranteed to warm us up on a cold winter's night.
Red Beer- Cafe illy: when in a red country, try the red beer
Dress Code: Though this was in the more touristy area of town and surely the prices were indicative of being a tourist trap, it was mostly frequented by Communist Party types. So, it was more interesting than it appeared from the outside. It was certainly a nice upscale place but the beer was run of the mill brewpub fodder, though for Vietnam this made it still one of the tastiest beers around. The Bia Do (Red beer) was a dryish hoppy beer and a nice change of pace from the bia hoi that had become my staple. The Bia Vang was lighter colored beer and not quite as tasty. They were pricey though at 15,000 dong ($1) a beer!Related to:
- Beer Tasting
Quan Nhac Jazz "Jazz Club": Tap your feet away
This is a extremely cool live jazz bar. They play really nice live jazz and its dark and comfortable setting inside makes its really cool to enjoy the music. If you are good, you can even be invited to play with them. Met the owner Mr Quyen Van Minh, who is a very pleasent and warm man. Not to mention, a great saxaphonist
Dress Code: No strict dress code. However, it may get a bit warm inside, be prepared with wearing something light. I do find the place a bit stuffy, but I guess thats the atmosphere of most jazz bars.Related to:
- Beer Tasting
TET street festival: TET by Night
TET or Vietnam’s New Year’s cum Christmas festival is crazy enough during the day but if you are in town when it is going on, you have to walk the market area at night to really experience its colorful splendor. The streets are buzzing with people out buying supplies for TET and motorcycles whiz by you constantly, with everything from kumquat trees to sacks of rice on the back. Red is the color theme and all that glitters is noticed.
Dress Code: It is generally cool outside at night during the TET so wear something warm and try and look smart. Most Vietnamese do!Related to:
Ankor: this Anchor is sinking fast
I spotted another beer joint near the train station and it looked very upscale compared to most of the bia hoi places I had been dragging D too so we stopped in for a quick one. Unfortunately, the beer was a bland tasteless lager that might satisfy those in need of a thirst quencher. In that case, I’ll take water. ;) I also came across a bottled beer across from the train station while waiting for our night train to Hue. It was called Laser Draft Beer (in a bottle?!) and though in a no-no green bottle, it was one of the tastier beers we came across in Vietnam.Related to:
- Beer Tasting
Funky Monkey Special
Beer in Vietnam is generally quite inexpensive, but cocktail fixes are not. Bigger cities such as HCM and Hanoi are packed with these hip drinking holes and prices are highly customized for tourist consumption.
Picture taken at Funky Monkey, Hanoi Old Quarters.
Ha Noi Ballet: Ve Xem Bieu Dien Nghe Thuat
I have never been to a ballet before, so this was new to me. There was the typical (see on TV) performances on what I would call European ballet. Then there was a part of the show which was uniquely Vietnamese. It was all great! There were no restriction for use of photographic equipment during the performance, so you sometimes got distracted by the pictures being taken. I took my photos without flash. If it is available when you are there…..go…
The best seat were under $10.00 (150,000 VND)
Dress Code: There were no special dress codes, so you seen the very formal to the very casual.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Theater Travel
Labyrinth: Its open late!
A few doors down from 'Little Hanoi', this is the place your parents probably warned you against -:)
Dark and dingy at first glance, this is something of a magnet to travellers and locals (both ex-pat and Vietnamese) looking for a late-night drink .
Most definately seedy, its nevertheless a friendly enough place (apparently the owner had wanted to develop it as a gay bar but too many travellers discovered it!). But having said that, the small room (its little more than that) rarely gets very full, and so a perfect place to sit and talk in the darkest place in Hanoi!
Dress Code: Anything goes
Nice night views
At the very north side of the Hoan Kiem Lake there is a rooftop terrace from where U can have a wonderful view of all the city by night.
It is a local bar, you will see it from the square that is right in the north side of the lake. Enter by the right side of the building, take the elevator and go right to the top.
There I sat to have a delicious papaya shake for less than 1 USD...Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
Terrace by the lake
Arund the hoan Kiem Lake you can find many quiet terraces in which to seat and relax in the lazy evenings.
From these you can see the calm waters and the endless activity of the people walking by the shores, exercising, sitting on the benches...Related to:
Pho Bao Khanh Street: Bar Hopping in Hanoi
Pho Bao Khanh is a street crammed full of bars and cafes. At night, locals and expats go here to blow off some steam and have a drink or two.... or three, or four... ;P
The street really doesn't start getting busy until late at night, but if you come during Happy Hour (1pm-8pm) you can find beer for around 10,000 dong.
Dress Code: Come casual or dressed to impress... it's all good!Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel
The Loft: Cool Bar
One of my colleagues discovered this nice little bar with live band (Filipinos). Cheap beer and friendly waitresses.
Dress Code: Come as you are.... I went there wearning shorts and slippers...
We booked 2 rooms and all of us simply loved it. We are given complementary drinks at the restaurant...more
We stayed here and loved it. Our room was large with a comfy bed, desk and chair, armoire, fridge,...more
This hotel is now called Hanoi Elegance Ruby. When I went to Hanoi in 1998, the only hotel I felt I...more
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