This ‘Pearl of the Far East’ city is always vibrant and bustling, even at night. Let join us to know what things you should do to enjoy the magnificent Nightlife in Saigon.
Saigon - known as Ho Chi Minh city - is the most extensive and populous city in Vietnam. This lively place is renowned for its modern and exciting life, but perfectly mixed a little old-fashioned and a touch of European. Moreover, under thousands of years of domination by the Khmer and French colonial, Saigon still preserves the much-sophisticated architecture and multicultural society.
In this article
Nightlife in Saigon with food tour
One of the most exciting things for tourists to enjoy nightlife in Saigon is having a food tour. Some local food specialties you may want to try are:
Mixed rice paper (Banh Trang Tron).
As the most renowned street food in Saigon among youngsters and adults, you must try rice paper dishes. Rice paper is cut into small pieces, sprinkled with dozens of ingredients such as beef jerky, quail eggs, mango, laksa leaves, and spices. When mixed well, the flavors are really mouth-watering. Moreover, the price only ranges from 15,000VND to 30,000 VND per serving.
Stew with organ meats (Pha Lau)
You can find many different versions of Pha Lau, such as Pork and Goat, but the most popular one is the Beef. The bowl is usually served with bread or instant noodles. Each serving is only 20,000 VND.
Fried rice flour cake (Bot Chien)
In Saigon, Bot Chien is often sold in the late afternoon. The dough is cut into small pieces, fried in a hot oil pan until it turns golden. The taste of this dish is indispensable with a bit of pickled papaya and a cup of dipping sauce prepared by the owner.
Fried fish ball
Perhaps, no street food is sold as much in the Saigon streets as fried fish balls. In any corner of Saigon, from small alleys to downtown areas, you can see trolleys selling fried fish balls.
Broken rice (Com Tam)
Coming to Saigon, just ask the people here which specialty dish should be eaten first; the answer will be "Com Tam.” Com Tam is made from brown rice grains, served with grilled pork ribs, steamed omelet meatloaf, and other vegetables.
Other foods you may want to give it a go are Banh Mi Chao (Bread with Combo Pan), Ngo Xao (Stir-fried corn), Com Chay Cha Bong (crispy rice cake with pork floss), Goi Bo Kho (Dried Beef Salad), etc.
As same as the Perfume River in Hue, Saigon River is a must-visit place to enjoy nightlife in Saigon. Along the river banks, there are many skyscrapers with the light reflected on the water. That reflection creates a magical picture.
Nightlife in Saigon with a cruise tour along the Saigon river
To participate in this cruise tour, you can find the tour online, or come to Nha Rong wharf in person to book. A cruise tour usually comes with a dinner buffet, with a variety of set menus. But as you are in Vietnam, you are highly recommended to try Vietnam’s delicacies. Furthermore, while enjoying a tasty dinner, watching magnificent Saigon, your experience will be pushed to a whole new level with live music bands.
Usually, a cruise tour lasts for two hours, but if you want to enjoy it longer, you can buy another package. The price for this activity is not economical, but believe us, it is all worth it.
One of the most prominent symbols when it comes to Saigon for tourists is Ben Thanh Market. Considered a historical witness observing the fluctuation of Saigon’s history over the years, Ben Thanh night market is a must-go place. In addition, almost every seller here knows English, so you can easily communicate with them.
Ben Thanh night market
You can nearly find anything here, from standard stuff such as clothes, shoes, to Vietnam’s specialty like handicrafts, ceramics, hand embroidery products, etc. If you desire to buy some souvenirs to remind you about Saigon or buys gifts for friends, there are plenty of unique local souvenirs.
The price for everything here is not fixed and always inflated. So before paying for any item, you should bargain with the vendors. A recommended discount rate of at least 30% should be applied.
● Location: Le Loi, Ben Thanh, District 1
● Opening hours: 6 pm - 11:30 pm
Although Saigon is a modern city, this place still strongly conserves old traditions, such as cultural shows, folk tales, etc. If you want to know more about Saigon’s traditional values, you should watch a live culture performance.
Watching a show to enjoy a nightlife in Saigon
Every performance is well-created, so the price is relatively high, ranging from $28 - $57. In the package, there is a complimentary beverage for each guest. Another thing to note is each show has a different showing hour. Therefore, you should book it in advance.
There are many shows for you to choose from. We will put them below for your preference.
The Mist Show is about the rice farming lives and cultures of farmers in Southern Vietnam. Everything on-stage is reproduced most realistically, with accustomed costumes and rural props.
Teh Dar show tells a story of the Southwest of Vietnam. It displays the everyday lives of tribal people in Central Highlands, how they are dancing, entertaining, etc. Everything is defined in artistic stage language.
Another performance of Saigon Opera House is A O Show. This show focuses on describing the transition of one countryside to a fast-paced city. Both traditional and state-of-the-art musical instruments are used throughout the performance to create a harmonize and magnificent space.
Saigon Opera House: 7 Lam Son Square, Ben Nghe
A bar for a wonderful nightlife in Saigon
Acknowledged as a ‘sleepless’ city, nightlife in Saigon is totally vibrant and exciting. Across Saigon, there are countless bars and clubs. But you should try the one in Bui Vien street, a “heaven” street for foreigners. We will list some suggestions of the best ones that locals recommend.
Hair of The Dog
● Location: 194 Bui Vien, Pham Ngu Lao
● Opening hours: 7 pm - 2 am
The View Rooftop Bar
● Location: 195 Bui Vien, Pham Ngu Lao
● Opening hours: 9 am - 1 am
Donkey Sport Bar
● Location: 119 - 121 Bui Vien, Pham Ngu Lao
● Opening hours: 3 pm - 2 am
● Location: 90 Bui Vien, Pham Ngu Lao
● Opening hours: 7 am - 12 am
All of the above places have a fantastic menu of cocktails and other beverages and exciting performances from talented DJs and singers. At Bui Vien, besides bar and clubs, you also can experience the ‘Bia Hoi’ culture.
If you feel pretty tired and want to do something with no effort, you should relax at a coffee shop. It is not challenging to find a coffee house in Saigon, but let’s have a look at our list first.
Discover nightlife in Saigon with egg coffee
Little Hanoi Egg Coffee
Egg Coffee is widely well-known in Vietnam, so you should try this famous beverage here to have the most authentic taste. Otherwise, they also have other different types of coffee.
● Location 1: 119/5 Yersin, Pham Ngu Lao
● Location 2: 212 Le Lai, Pham Ngu Lao
The Hummingbird Cafe
If you want to taste the best cold brew coffee in Ho Chi Minh city, Hummingbird Cafe is the right place. They also have tasty baked cakes that will perfectly match your coffee cup!
Location: 5H Ton Duc Thang, Ben Nghe
Cong Caphe is one of the largest coffee chains in Vietnam. The most signature drink of this chain is Coconut Coffee. Decorated following the army, communist style during Vietnam War, it is an exciting and photogenic place. Cong Caphe has 17 locations across Saigon so that you can choose any place near you.
Saigon Lao Qua Coffee
Saigon Lao Qua coffee is renowned among Saigon citizens thanks to its delicious Ca Phe Sua Da (Iced milk coffee). It has vintage decorations, with wooden furniture and Hollywood posters.
Location: 87 Truong Dinh, Quan 3
Ca Phe Do Phu
One of the unique coffee houses in Saigon is Ca Phe Do Phu. This house belonged to a Viet Cong supporter. So it is filled with many memorabilia, such as a classic car, a motorbike, a secret bunker, objects used in war, etc. Therefore, if you are interested in war things or something special, this one-of-a-kind coffee shop will not let you down.
Location: 72 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Quan 3
The nightlife in Saigon cannot be perfect if you forget to experience this activity: Exploring Saigon on a scooter. In Vietnam, people use motorbikes most of the time. Some visitors might feel overwhelming about the driving culture of Vietnam, but that is what makes the difference.
Enjoy nightlife in Saigon by Scooters
If you feel unsafe, do not worry, as the streets are not crowded at night. Therefore, it is the perfect time for you to drive around the city and explore every corner. You can hire a scooter at your hotel, or many shops have this service. If you do not have a motorbike driving license, an alternative choice is an electric scooter. The rental fee is really affordable, only around $5 per day.
Casino in Saigon
Different from casinos in the world, casinos in Saigon only have game machines. But of course, you can still have fun here, 24/7. Significantly, you will only see foreigners here. As Vietnamese people are not allowed to go to casinos due to the laws of Vietnam’s government. Some well-known casinos that you can come to try your luck are:
Club V e-gaming
Club V e-gaming has its own Membership Program with huge prizes. This program allows gamers to redeem for buffet, spa, or hotel services. Moreover, if you are hungry, they will serve you their tasty dishes.
Location: 148 Tran Hung Dao, District 1
Chat Slots Gaming Center
Chat Slots Gaming Center has the latest slots, including Roulette, Baccarat, and multi-level mystery JackPot. This place can satisfy any electronic game-lover.
Location: 76 Le Lai, District 1
Grand Club’s customer service is excellent, as it offers complimentary drinks (cocktails, beers, etc.). In addition, it uses the most modern machines and technologies.
Location: 8 Dong Khoi, District 1
Another thing to enjoy nightlife in Saigon is wandering Nguyen Hue Walking Street. During the day, this street this reasonably quiet. But when the sunset slowly falls, Nguyen Hue Boulevard is crowded with many people.
Walking in Nguyen Hue Street in Saigon
Actually, there is no specific activity here. Local youngsters usually gather here to do street performances, such as magic, dancing, singing, etc. So coming to Nguyen Hue walking street, you can enjoy the fresh air and watch Vietnamese’s talents. Moreover, you can taste street food from carrying peddlers. Aside from the street, there are several drinking and eating places.
If you like skating or want to try this activity, you can come to Vincom Ice Rink. The special feature of this skating rink is the use of an advanced and environmentally friendly cooling system. It uses a slide deck made entirely from natural water, not an artificial ice rink. This place also has skate shoes and protective equipment to bring absolute safety and an enjoyable experience to players.
● Location: Vincom Mall Thao Dien, 159 Xa Lo Ha Noi
● Price range: 170,000 VND - 220,000 VND/ adult
Mention about Saigon, people always think about the fast movement of life, modern skyscrapers, and the friendliness of people. Not much different than in the daytime, Saigon at night is always crowded and ‘sleepless.’ Expectantly, after going through this article, you can add some exciting activities to your travel itinerary. And certainly, you will have a memorable nightlife in Saigon.