Not just bustling and energetic at day, Ho Chi Minh City, the biggest commercial city in Vietnam, offers a dynamic eventful nightlife. Daytime in this city is to explore historical landmarks, museums, pagodas. As night falls, the city becomes young with fun and exciting tours, theatre performances, and music clubs.
1. Drinking on top of Saigon
One way to enjoy Saigon by night is a combination of the stars and the glittering city atop a roof bar. In a city that never sleeps, rooftop bars provide a sight to last a lifetime. From the endless traffic action to the outline broad riverfront, there is so much to soak in as you may share a drink with a friend. Start the night off right by making way to a skyscraper or hotel rooftop bar as the sun sets in the distances just past the horizon. The sight is enough to make the whole trip worthwhile.
Air 360 Sky Lounge - photo from AryArena.com
Popular rooftop bars among locals and expats:
Chill Sky Bar, on 27th floor of the A & B Tower in District 1, right next to The Rex Hotel. Heli Bar, 52th floor of the country's tallest building Bitexco Financial Tower, is proud of its spectacular 360 degree overall views of the city. It definitely makes visitors feel like they are standing on top of Saigon. Located on the 13th of President Place Building is Glow Sky Bar, a new favorite chic place to hang out of many expats and uptown Vietnamese. Broma: Not a Bar despite the name, it does serve alcohol, pizza, bar snacks, located right on Nguyen Hue Walking Street. Saigon Saigon Bar on the rooftop of the 5-star historical hotel Caravelle, owning the bird-eye view to the Opera House and the heart of city’s center. OMG Bar, Air 360 Sky Lounge, and Shri are other locations worth looking at for your preference.
2. Dinner Cruise on Saigon River
Photo from bonsaicruise.com.vn
Looking for a romantic night out? Spend the night out on a dinner cruise of the Saigon River. This 2 hour tour is perfect with towering skylights, a splendid traditional show, and amazing cuisine to match. Feel immersed by combing through the city from a new vantage point and makes sea level the best way to appreciate all of Saigon's finest architecture. Guests are welcome to dress elegantly because this is one trip where you won't be taking a dip. Two of the widely known companies are Bonsai Cruise and Saigon River Tour.
3. Witness a unique cultural performance at Saigon Opera House
Teh Dar performs regularly at Saigon Opera House
The Saigon Opera House is one of the most must-see attractions that Ho Chi Minh City has to offer. Although tickets can be purchased all day, doors only open an hour before the curtain falls. The audience is allowed to tour the Opera house during this time. 3 performances currently showing are the A O Show, Teh Dar and The Mist. Each show portrays Vietnamese lifestyle and culture by different blends of theatrical arts. A O Show and Teh Dar use bamboo cirque and acrobatic. The Mist is specialised in contemporary dance and neo-classic. Either show you are going to, you hold a ticket to Saigon’s history in the 80s, conveyed through the interior French architecture, and an inspiring cultural spectacle.
4. Party on Bui Vien street
Photo from tuoitre.vn
Bui Vien Street, or so called ‘backpackers area’. As the name indicates, this area is a popular gathering place for budget travellers from all over the world. The cheap eateries and bars have boomed to meet this exquisite custom. Young Vietnamese locals also flock to the occasion, to meet travellers, practice English and learn about other cultures. The atmosphere is full of enjoyment, sitting right next to each other on classy plastic stools, sipping Saigon craft beer, and indulging street food. While it is fun to walk around and make new friends, keep a watchful eye on your belongings to avoid becoming a victim of pickpocketing.
5. Stroll the pedestrian only street
Automotives give way to Saigon’s first pedestrian only street, Nguyen Hue. This is the perfect place for visitors who just want to stroll the center of the city without being freaked out by the nation's infamous traffic. Opened since 2015, the street has become a renowned venue for people of all ages to enjoy the social outdoors, colorful water shows, live street performances and every kind of street food.
Fashion show on Nguyen Hue Street - Photo by Tran Gia Tien
Parades, street festivals and exhibitions are never in short supply, and occur mostly on the weekends. Events as stunning as this showcase the prime example of Ho Chi Minh City's nightlife.
6. Food tour and Vintage Vespa
Ho Chi Minh city nightlife experience would not be complete without at least hopping on a motorbike. Vespa Adventures has operated very successfully giving travelers the opportunity to see two unique scenes of the city, as well as a special food tour by taking guests to numerous Vietnamese restaurants, bars and live music cafes. Included in this special package, the participants get to sit on the back of a beautiful vintage Vespa, and entrust their safety in the hands of experienced drivers to take them through the flow of Saigon. It just may be the scariest 30 kph of your life.
7. Sleepless in coffee shops
Photo from Zing.vn
Vietnam is world-famous for its strong coffee. In fact, by 2015 it is ranked 2nd for the highest coffee bean export after Brazil. With coffee as good as this, it's no wonder Vietnam coffee culture is part of everyday life. Either as a morning jumpstart or an evening treat, cafes bring a wide range of customers from students to professionals and expats to foreign travelers for brainstorming or for pure enjoyment. Whatever the case may be, a cup of Vietnam's best will be available for 14 hours out of the day and some locations stay open late until 4am. Saigon by night is quiet and almost traffic free till that hour. Most of the shops are in the city center. Names of consideration are Thuc Cafe, Bon Cafe, To Go Coffee & Tea.
8. Craft beer trend
Taste flight from Pasteur Street Brewery
Craft beer growth in Saigon is taking off with its local breweries. For years, German and Czech beer houses predominantly owned the mug and ale scene in Saigon, but with new establishments like Pasteur Street Brewery and Te Te Craft Beer opening up, locals are turning a curious eye for fresh and delightful IPAs. These two companies are a proved success. Packed every night, each location offers 8-12 crafted IPAs and ales on tap. Straying from the norm, these breweries have authentic flavors of lemongrass, passion fruit, and jasmine. Ordering a flight sampler here would make this a top stop for a tastebud adventure.
9. Live music
Some of the greatest highlights of Saigon's nightlife are the live music bars. Whatever the preference, rock, jazz, indie, pop, there's always something for everyone.
Acoustic bar - photo from AnyArena.com
For alternative rock fans, Fang club (17 Nguyen Thi Dieu, District 3) is a place to be. Everynight from 9pm to midnight, the local bands will rock the stage with many US/UK hits. For rock fans look no further than RFC (25C Tu Xuong, District 3). It is home to many Vietnamese rock bands with several genres from ballads to punk and gothic to heavy metal. Other honorable mentions are Yoko Cafe and Acoustic.
Playing in the heart of Vietnam lies Sax 'N Art Jazz Club, which is the only pub that plays live jazz. The owner and main artist is a phenomenal saxophonist. Thi Cafe (224 De Tham, District 1) has talented Filipino bands performing the favorite hits of today every night of the week. Broma: Not a Bar (Rooftop 41 Nguyen Hue, District 1) is an amazing treat for people who enjoy Indie pop.
10. Dance the night away
Lush nightclub - photo from AnyArena.com
Ho Chi Minh City nightclub scene offers a large range of pubs and bars with live DJ music. Qui (22 Le Thanh Ton, District 1) or Martini (in Park Hyatt Hotel) is known for relaxing lounge music, pricey but tasty drinks, and luxury atmosphere. Blanchy's Tash (95 Hai Ba Trung, district 1) and Xu (71 Hai Ba Trung, District 1) is where expats and up-town Vietnamese are dancing to the beat of a live DJ. Cuba La Casa de Mojito (91 Pasteur, District 1) has a spicy selection of latino songs to sweep the night away. Then come to Lush (2 Ly Tu Trong, district 1) for some RnB and Hip Hop that entertains the crowd from the evening until the early morning hours. Apocalypse Now (2B Thi Sach, district 1) is a huge venue with loud music, sexy dance and discotheque. Last but not least, drop by Last Call (59 Dong Du, district 1) to complete your sleepless night in Saigon.
Ho Chi Minh city has a lot of interesting places to explore after dusk. We hope this list of recommendations may bring you extraordinary experiences in Saigon. If you are still hesitating of what to choose or when to go, consider the cultural show and tour package of Lune Production and Vespa Adventure Tours. With this package, you can experience cultural performance, local cuisine, live music and bars in Saigon. Book tickets to cultural bamboo cirque or contemporary dance performances at the Saigon Opera House A O Show, The Mist or Teh Dar, with online rate only from 565,000 VND ($24).
A vivid portrait of Vietnam in urbanization time, painted with unique stage visuals and a touch of humor.
The name ‘A O’ derives from ‘Lang Pho’, which means ‘village and city’. The show depicts the charming beauty and cultural richness of Vietnamese life in the countryside, in contrast with the nation’s racing urbanization. The show is a unique mix of bamboo cirque, acrobatic acts, contemporary dance, and theatrical visual art. The live music echoes Vietnamese Southern work songs. All in all, this beautiful blend of genres creates a unique stage language, which well captures the essence of Vietnam’s fascinating culture.
The poetic beauty of Vietnamese village life, recreated using iconic bamboo, breathtaking cirque and exotic live music.
Lang Toi (My Village) is a delicate merge of tradition and innovation, where poetic beauty of Northern Vietnam’s village life is presented under new cirque approach. Farming, building activities, traditional games, lifestyle of Northern villagers are recreated by ancestral bamboo props, breath-taking cirque and acrobatics, rhythmic dance, to distinct folk music from more than 20 musical instruments.
Embodiment of vigorous Vietnamese tribes culture thru cirque, dance, music from tribal instruments.
Teh Dar invites audience on a venture into the enchanting world of Vietnamese highlanders. Wild animal hunts, moonlit romance, jungle's tales of death and reincarnation, are all recreated with stunning bamboo cirque, daring acrobatics, and hypnotizing melody from exotic tribal instruments certified cultural heritage by UNESCO. Meaning ‘going in circle’ in the highland tribe K'ho's tongue, Teh Dar embrace and preserve beautiful and diverse Vietnamese tribal cultures. As the artists keep inspiring, the circle of tribal life keeps going, the cultures shall remain.
The essence of Southern farmers’ life expressed in sensual contemporary dance language.
The Mist tells a story Southern Vietnamese farming life, expressed through neo-classic and contemporary dance by skilled artists. Using rice cultivation as a metaphor to appreciate farmers’ dedication, from their misty dawn on the fields, their hardship and will power to rise up from humble muddy soil, to brace storms, to the moment they arrive joyously like shining pearls at harvest. The Mist is an hour of emotions, with myriad ups and downs, painted by sensational live music, splendid visuals, and colorful lighting effects.
This was an excellent show that depicts Vietnamese life in a most original way. If we had 1 more night in HCMC, we would definitely have seen the show again. It came highly recommended by my niece who had watched the show earlier this year (2016). We...Read more
“A O Show - Brilliant Depiction of Vietnamese life”
This was an excellent show that depicts Vietnamese life in a most original way. If we had 1 more night in HCMC, we would definitely have seen the show again. It came highly recommended by my niece who had watched the show earlier this year (2016). We would highly recommend this show. Only an hour long and very energetic. Well done to the cast.
I don't think we completely understood the story line, however the show was very well done! It was organized, well performed and included everything from funny moments, to acrobatics, to dancing. The opera house where it is held is stunning and in a...Read more
I don't think we completely understood the story line, however the show was very well done! It was organized, well performed and included everything from funny moments, to acrobatics, to dancing. The opera house where it is held is stunning and in a very french area of Ho Chi Minh city. I wouldn't call it a must see, but anyone who enjoys performance art will definitely appreciate it and I'm glad we went
This universal Form of art is an overwhelming display of the essence of Vietnam's culture. From the begining in natural atmosphere to the noisy urban-motorcycling. Beautyful poetic and HiPro Performance.
This exceeded my expectations, which were not low. Both my 19-year-old daughter and I really enjoyed this 1-hour show. Though we were certainly impressed by the performers, it was less "Aaahh" and "Ooohh" for us, and more interesting, fun and...Read more
This exceeded my expectations, which were not low. Both my 19-year-old daughter and I really enjoyed this 1-hour show. Though we were certainly impressed by the performers, it was less "Aaahh" and "Ooohh" for us, and more interesting, fun and entertaining.
Go and see the amazing ao show at the opera house in hochi min city. Great venue and amazing show. Lets you in on some Vietnamese traditions with fantastic music and acrobatics. Not to be missed.
It was a decidedly uneven performance: some moments of pure magic and at a very high level artistically, but also some numbers that are not quite so successful. Sometimes considered a Vietnamese version of the Cirque de Soleil, the troupe is not...Read more
A bit uneven, but the moments of magic alone made it worthwhile
It was a decidedly uneven performance: some moments of pure magic and at a very high level artistically, but also some numbers that are not quite so successful. Sometimes considered a Vietnamese version of the Cirque de Soleil, the troupe is not quite there yet in terms of overall technical brilliance and richness of overall experience but it more than holds its own in terms of artistry and substance for the best numbers. A bit pricey (but the Saigon Opera house is pretty small), but worth it just for the best scenes. Free drinks available before the show which is nice, but I would have preferred some program notes that will service as a momento for a memorable evening.
My family and i absolutely loved this show was mesmerized and amazad at the tallents these people possess . "Truly a cut above the rest" Thank you so much for the experience, the only down fall is it had to end. Hope you bring your show to...Read more
Truly a cut above the rest
My family and i absolutely loved this show was mesmerized and amazad at the tallents these people possess . "Truly a cut above the rest" Thank you so much for the experience, the only down fall is it had to end. Hope you bring your show to Australia one day...........from the Bailey family kalgoorlie australia
I went along with no expectations and I was blown away by the talent of the performers and the choreography. A must see for people in the area.
This is a wonderful 1-hour show, that includes modern acrobatics, Vietnam-style. The main theme of the show are traditional Vietnamese baskets and big sticks. The acrobats do an absolutely WONDERFUL job in entertaining the audience, while...Read more
A great show and VERY talented acrobats.
This is a wonderful 1-hour show, that includes modern acrobatics, Vietnam-style. The main theme of the show are traditional Vietnamese baskets and big sticks. The acrobats do an absolutely WONDERFUL job in entertaining the audience, while performing jaw-dropping acrobatic routines. While there is very little connection between the different acts, the enthusiasm of the dancers make up for it. We got seats C1 and C3, which are on the 3rd row of the theater (they are called "Ohh" tickets). The tickets were 840,000 VND (apx. 37US$) and were totally worth it. Notice that photography is not allowed during the show (distractions from the audience might literally endanger the acrobats). Do not miss taking a photo with the performers when the show is over - the entire cast comes down to the entrance of the opera house and is more than happy to take photos and selfies with the audience. Bottom line - an absolute MUST attraction to enjoy while in Ho Chi Minh.
One of the most fascinating shows i have ever seen. Well done!!
Despite some noticeable flaws, this show reflected Vietnam's modern culture with quirky and cheerful atmosphere to it. À Ố has the potential, if not one of the must-watch show if you ever come to Saigon. This show is recommended for families as this...Read more
A "new" type of circus
Despite some noticeable flaws, this show reflected Vietnam's modern culture with quirky and cheerful atmosphere to it. À Ố has the potential, if not one of the must-watch show if you ever come to Saigon. This show is recommended for families as this show have minimal to none verbal context, and at its core, a "new" type of circus
The Saigon show was splendid. It had a meditative quality. Haven't seen such choreography of late in India. The youthful energy was rewarding and inspiring