The Travel Ninjas enjoying the night life in Saigon.

A Great Night Out in a Glittering Big City – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

If you are looking for a wild night out in a glittering big city, look no further than Ho Chi Minh City (more commonly referred to by tourists and locals alike as Saigon). While Vietnam might not immediately spring into mind when you think of a spectacular nightlife scene, this sultry Southern city is known for its fun nights out.

Whether you are looking for a backpacker blitz, a hipster hangout or a posh extravaganza, read ahead to learn about the best nights out in Saigon.

If you are looking for a wild night out in a glittering big city, look no further than Saigon.Click To Tweet

Saigon

The Perfect Backpacker Night Out

Pham Ngu Lao District - Backpackers District in Saigon

© Eldelik | Dreamstime.com Saigon, Vietnam: Nightlife With Bars And Pubs

The Pham Ngu Lao district is the main backpacker ghetto. The budget-conscious young (and not so young) travelers often stay in this area and frequent the bars and cafes along Bui Vien street. With a character similar to the Khao San Road in Bangkok, this riotous neighborhood is cheap and cheerful. It is great for meeting like-minded other backpackers to party with.

That said, the area is not very stylish. If you are looking for authentic local culture, an interesting arts scene or a unique Vietnamese perspective, the Pham Ngu Lao district will disappoint. It is also known as a red light district, so be careful before you purchase a massage! You are unlikely to meet many Vietnamese revelers here, as most of the bars are frequented solely by tourists.

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No matter what, this area can be a lot of fun. As long as you know what you are getting into. The most popular bar in Pham Ngu Lao is the Go2 Bar. It is famous for being open all night. Enjoy some drinks on the terrace (ideally located at the busy intersection on Bui Vien street) or head upstairs to the club. Nearby, Crazy Buffalo and Allez Boo attract a similar crowd. Just walk down the streets of this area and you will find plenty of other choices. All of these are filled with backpackers enjoying their night.

Hipster Heaven – An Alternative Night Out

 Start your night with a visit to one of Saigon’s many new craft beer bars and pubs. That way you will get to sample some of the continent’s finest hops and suds. Bia Craft and the Pasteur Street Brewing Company both come highly recommended. Swing by the latter for small plates and tasting flights of their locally brewed beer.

Afterward, you might want to stop by a few of the city’s many art galleries on your way to La Fenêtre Soleil. By day, this delightful Indonesian café serves food and coffee, but on the weekends it becomes a ‘chic house party’ with live bands and DJs. Expect to hear music from across the world – Jamaican dancehall, ‘60s psychedelia, and eclectic pop. Finish your night at Observatory, quickly becoming a hub for the Saigon’s alternative crowd. Part gallery, part dance club, part cultural space, the crowd at Observatory parties until the wee hours.

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Stepping it up a notch – A night out in luxury

Saigon at Night

If you have money to burn, Saigon will gladly help you spend heaps of cash. Though very affordable by Western standards, Saigon does have an elite glitterati and many high-end places.

Start your night with a meal at one of Saigon’s finest restaurants. Restaurant Bobby Chinn comes highly recommended. This famous TV chef of Chinese and Egyptian ethnicity was brought up in New Zealand, trained in France. He has traveled throughout the world. His food is a bold journey into Asian, Middle Eastern and Californian flavors.

After you eat some delicious food, you will undoubtedly want to head to Chill Skybar. It is the most exclusive rooftop bar in Saigon. Located on the 26th floor of the AB tower, it is the ideal place to see and be seen in the city. It is perfect for a date or a simple drink. Chill turns into a nightclub on the weekends, with pumping tunes from 11pm – 2am. If you want to continue the party, head to Glow. Another rooftop bar, it offers great music, a lovely design ethos, and a friendly crowd.

No matter where you head on your big night out, one thing is guaranteed in Saigon – you will have a great time!

Ho Chi Minh City is Very Affordable!

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16 Comments
  • Maggie
    Posted at 21:53h, 04 December

    I’m dying to go to Vietnam! I honestly had a quite different vision of the country without the bustling big city. I’d love to visit the city and the quieter areas as well, seems similar to Thailand in what they have to offer.

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 21:55h, 04 December

    Hi Maggie. The awesome part about Vietnam is that it has a lot to offer. Big, lively cities or nice, quite countrysides and several in between options. We haven’t had the chance to visit Thailand yet but it’s definitely on our list. Hope you get the chance to visit Vietnam in the near future. 🙂

  • neha
    Posted at 22:50h, 04 December

    I will like to have this view when I go to Vietnam. The pics look so stunning and luxurious

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 22:54h, 04 December

    Hi Neha. Thank you for your kind words. Ho Chi Minh City can be quite a beautiful city. I hope you make it to Vietnam someday soon. 🙂

  • Crazy Dutch Abroad
    Posted at 09:08h, 05 December

    What a great way to explore HCMC. Last year I only spend the nights in the Pham Ngu Lao area, which I already loved. Now I want to go back for that hipster experience with craft beers! The Chill Skybars seems to be a great place, better than the Saigon Skydeck although it was very informative. 🙂

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 09:15h, 05 December

    Hi. Pham Ngu Lao is such a fun place! You would definitely really enjoy the craft beers and the view from the Chill Skybar is incredible!

  • Ashley Smith
    Posted at 09:33h, 05 December

    Well, craft beer pubs is certainly not something I would’ve thought of when you mentioned Vietnam but I’m digging it! What a good-looking city at night though!

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 09:35h, 05 December

    Hi Ashley. Yup, that took us by surprise too especially how cheap their craft beers are!

  • Sarah
    Posted at 15:48h, 05 December

    I love how you detailed areas for several different tastes! I tend to fall more towards the luxe side, with a quick stop in the backpackers area for a cocktail! I haven’t been to Vietnam, but would love to make it there in the near future!

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 15:52h, 05 December

    Hi Sarah. Thanks for your kind words. Each area has their own unique flair so it’s fun to visit them all. Hope you will get the chance to visit Vietnam in the near future. 🙂

  • Christina
    Posted at 22:28h, 05 December

    I have wanted to visit Vietnam. Top on my list would be tasting local food and Saigon sounds like the perfect place. The skyline looks amazing.

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 22:30h, 05 December

    Hi Christina. Oh you would definitely LOVE the Vietnamese local food! Hope you get to visit soon. 🙂

  • Medhavi Davda
    Posted at 01:10h, 06 December

    I’ve spent a couple of nights in Bui Vien street in my recent visit to Vietnam. The place is so lively and colorful, and a perfect way to start my holidays after quitting my job. I had awesome party nights here.

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 01:15h, 06 December

    Hi Medhavi. Bui Vien is definitely the place to celebrate. Glad that you had a blast!! 🙂

  • Tracy Chong
    Posted at 02:12h, 06 December

    Aaa…I skipped Saigon when I visited Vietnam 3 years ago. 🙁 If I were know then, I should have extended my stay! But anyway, gonna bookmark it for some ides if I go Vietnam again. 🙂

  • The Travel Ninjas
    Posted at 02:17h, 06 December

    Hi Tracy. Oh no! We completely understand, though. Vietnam is huge and has so many cool cities to see. Hopefully, you will get the chance to come back. 🙂

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