|During the war, Ho
Chi Minh City, or Saigon then, was famous
for its nightlife but that changed significantly after 1975.
Nightspots were forced to close, now, however, the city is once
again teeming with bars, and clubs
varying from tiny, gloomy dives to some very upmarket places.
Most nightlife is located in District 1, especially
around Dong Khoi and Hai Ba Trung,
even though some good restaurants and bars can be found in District
3 and Phu Nhuan District.
Most bars and clubs are usually close at 12 midnight but many stay
open until late or until the last group of customers
leave. Drinks that are imported are much more
than the local ones. Alcohol in the more upmarket venues is even a lot more
expensive. There is no cost to enter the bars but nightclubs charge
around US$5.00. The dress code is extremely relaxed with no restrictions
on jeans or trainers. More details on what is on can be acquired
in The Guide which is monthly published by the Vietnam
Perhaps the most popular bar is Apocalypse Now,
2C Thi Sach. Please note that it only comes alive after midnight. For
a peaceful drink with fantastic Saigon River views, try
the bar on the top floor of the Majestic Hotel, 1 Dong
Khoi. Other popular places are the Blue Gecko Bar,
31 Ly Tu Trong, with a pool table and darts board and Underground
in the basement of Lucky Plaza at 69 Dong Khoi, a good spot to
gather together after work. The Q Bar, 7 Cong Truong,
Lam Son Square, has made a welcome return after many years’
absence and it is still
fashionable, upscale and cool but much larger
Gambling in Vietnam is unlawful for the Vietnamese; however, it is permitted for foreigners. The only one casino is located in the north but several gaming centres
with slot machines are available in Ho Chi Minh City; such as Chats
Slot Gaming Centre; New World Hotel;
Le Lai; OV Club; Equatorial Hotel,
242 Tran Binh Trong, District 5; and Club 21, Omni
Hotel, 251 Nguyen Van Troi, Phu Nhuan District.
There were a few clubs in Ho
Chi Minh City but a selection of them currently appear more.
Various types of music which include pop, techno, and retro are performed.
In the New World Hotel on Le Lai, the Catwalk disco and karaoke bar is worth seeing. Popular with
Saigonese and ex-pats are the techno clubs, Hazards
on Hai Ba Trung and, Speed on Tran Hung Dao,
with its spectacular sound system, and Mua Rung
on Ho Huan Nghiep, which is built like an Amazonian rainforest.
Spaceship on Ham Nghi, the largest and most hi-tech club in Vietnam, keep drawing huge crowds with its extravagant
The regular live jazz, blues and country are performed at the Wild Horse Saloon, 8A1/D1 Thai Van Lung. International and local bands perform at many international hotels
every night, and these include the Caravelle< Hotel on Lam Son Square (the Saigon Saigon Bar provides a perfect combination of live music, city views, good food and relaxing drinks); the Equatorial Hotel, Tran
Binh Trong district 5; the New World Hotel; Le
Lai; and Sofitel Plaza Saigon, Le Duan. It's
even possible to find gypsy and flamenco music being played
at the Carmen Bar, 8 Ly Tu Trong.