Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon) nightlife guide

Updated: 26/2/2018                1905 words            ⏰ 7 minutes 

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Nightlife in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) is the liveliest one in Vietnam. When talking about nightlife, it’s not only rooftop bars or luxurious dinners in a restaurant on top of a hotel but also the performances in which the Saigonese will tell you how Saigon in specific and Vietnam in general was formed from millions billions years ago and how beautiful their culture is. In this blog, Dichungtaxi will suggest you 10 unique places in Saigon so that you can spend the most enjoyable time there.

1. Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater

Dragon Water Puppet
Water Puppet Show (Source: Internet)

Water Puppetry was originated from Red River Delta of northern Vietnam thousands years ago and has become one of the symbols of Vietnamese culture. The puppets controlled and dubbed by puppeteers come to be livelier thanks to colorful lightnings and traditional live music. Water Puppet show symbolizes how the ancient Vietnamese found and grew the rice as well as protected the territory for a long time.  The Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre in Ho Chi Minh is a vibrant place to learn about the culture of Vietnamese life during your holiday. The show takes place every day in in Tao Dan Park, when visitors are entertained by puppets acting on a ‘stage’ of water accompanied by live old-fashioned music played on authentic instruments.   You can opt for a separate show which is performed twice a day: 17:00 and 18:30 or a evening tour which combines the cyclo tour around district 1, having buffet course on cruise along Saigon River and Golden Dragon Water Puppet Show. 

Opening Hours: Daily 18:00 – 22:00

Location: 55B Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

2. ‘A O’ Show by Lune Production

AO Show
AO Show (Source: hochiminhcity.platinumlist)

The name ‘A O’ has its origin in ‘Lang Pho’, which means ‘village and city’. The show depicts the charming beauty and cultural richness of Vietnamese life in the countryside, opposing with the nation’s moving swiftly urbanization. The live show is paired with traditional music performances by a troupe of talented local artists. Performers use a variety of props such as giant woven baskets and ropes. Some parts of the show get your heart racing as dancers perform gravity-defying acts such as balancing on top of real bamboos. The show is a distinctive combination of bamboo cirque, acrobatic acts, contemporary dance, and theatrical visual art. The live music reverberates Vietnamese Southern work songs. On the whole, this beautiful mix of genres creates a one-of-a-kind stage language, which well seizes the soul of Vietnam’s fascinating culture. A O Show by Lune Production is held at the iconic Saigon Opera House in Ho Chi Minh City.

Opening Hours: 18:00 & 20:00

Location: Saigon Opera House, 7 Cong Truong Lam Son, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

3. The Mist by Lune Production

The Mist Dance Show
The Mist Dance Show (Source: Lune Production)

The Mist illustrates a story of Southern Vietnamese farming life, conveyed through neo-classic and contemporary dance by skilled performers. Using rice farming as a emblem to value farmers’ commitment, from their hazy dawn on the fields, their poverty and will power to rise up from proletarian muddy soil, to prop harshness, to the moment they arrive with great happiness and joy like shining glory at harvest. The Mist is an hour of feelings, with myriad vicissitude, painted by sensational live music, magnificent visuals, and colorful lighting effects. The Mist by Lune Production attributes six outlines of the daily lives of rice farmers in the form of figurative dance movements and folk music. Offering a genuine experience for the audience, performers are dressed in traditional outfits and rural props that were used back in the olden days. The main theme of the show is rice cultivation in southern Vietnam. Scenes include farmers showing a tendency to rice fields, paired with contemporary and ballet dancing, as well as acrobatic performances.

Opening Hours: 18:00

 Location: Saigon Opera House, 7 Cong Truong Lam Son, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

 Price Range: VND 630,000 – VND 1,470,000

4. The Touch Of Masters' Hands: Vietnamese Authentic Cultural Show

The Touch Of Masters' Hands (Source: Ticketbox)

The Touch of Masters' Hands: Vietnamese Authentic Cultural Show serves to travelers who are fond of acquiring the knowledge of Vietnam’s many areas like history, music categories, and instruments. The show attracts more attention than other cultural shows in Ho Chi Minh City as it doesn’t use any kind of sound amplifiers, offering a truly genuine musical show. Catering to an international audience, an experienced host suggests clear explanations in English, French, Japanese, and Vietnamese throughout the show. Above all, you are also provided for three types of superior tea, wide range of kinds of Vietnamese desserts, as well as have a good time for the chance to learn how to play instruments the show is over.

Opening Hours: Saturday 19:30 – 20:45  

Location: Phuong Bao Music Center, 11 Bis Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City  Tel: +84 90 836 1368  

Price Range: VND 320,000 (standard seats) & VND 380,000 (front row seats)

5. Nguyen Hue Walking Street

Nguyen Hue Walking Street
Nguyen Hue Walking Street (Source: Internet)

If you want to do what the locals often do, maybe Nguyen Hue Walking Street will be a brilliant idea. Originally, it was famed as Nguyen Hue Flower Street, and now becomes the first walking street of Saigon. This seems to be a new breath for both locals and foreigners to relax and experience something new. Along with becoming the gathering spot and flawless walking street, it is also chosen as a place for major events in the city. Nguyen Hue Street is usually busy every night, especially at weekend. On Saturdays and Sundays, the street is always full of people, from the elders to kids. Young people like gathering together here to chat, singing in group, walking with pets, or simply taking “selfie photos.” For kids, this definitely a paradise for them to play and enjoy whatever they want. You can also find the elder simply roaming around to take exercise or having themselves loosened up at stone chairs. After all, Nguyen Hue Walking Street has truly become a hot venue enticing thousands of visitors. So, have you planned to escape the hot weather of Saigon by going for a stroll around the street yet?

6. Ben Thanh Night Market 

Ben Thanh Night Market
Ben Thanh Night Market (Source: toplist)

One of the popular spots to experience Saigon nightlife is to wander around Ben Thanh Market. Impeccably located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, it is said to give a panorama of the largest night market out of town. After dark, streets around the market will be full of stalls and booths. 
What makes Ben Thanh night market alluring and irresistible is the bright light of stallholders and the fragrant smoke of street foods. Therefore, it is easy to understand why the place not only satisfies your shopping favorite with lots of the different goods, but also makes your hunger under control with a wide choice of meals and dishes. Stepping inside, you can find almost everything your heart wants, ranging from shirts, shoes, and purses to local handicrafts, lacquer art, framed paintings, nodding golden cats and key chains. Don’t miss a chance to sample a wide selection of dried meats, local fruits, and fresh coffee. 

Wanna experience how the modern Saigonese entertain the lively atmosphere of Saigon by night? Here are nightclubs and bars where Vietnamese and foreign travellers usually pay their visit.

7. Lush Nightclub

Lush Nightclub
Lush Nightclub (Source: blog.christinas.vn)

Lush Nightclub in Ho Chi Minh is a streamlined and up-to-date nightspot where the young and beautiful celebrate the night away to various types of music, great DJs playing the most recent hip hop, RnB and pop music keep the mixed crowd of locals, expats and tourists bopping all night long. The bar gets packed to the brim after 10:00pm on weekends and drinks are a little on the big-budget side but still one of the best bars in Saigon anyway.  

Address: 2 Ly Tu Trong, District 1  Tel: +84 (0) 9 1863 0742

8. Saigon Saigon Rooftop Bar at Caravelle Hotel

Saigon Saigon Rooftop Bar at Caravelle Hotel
Saigon Saigon Rooftop Bar at Caravelle Hotel (Source: asia-bars)

Saigon Saigon Rooftop Bar on the ninth floor of the Caravelle Saigon will be once and for all keep alive the memory of its role in the Vietnam War as the location of the fighting that happened everyday correspondent orientation, and it was the professions’ watering hole of choice all through the decade long conflict. Back to those days – before the construction of the much taller Sheraton Hotel nearby – the sight from the rooftop bar looked unbrokenly across the Saigon River so the journalists had a clean view of the war as they relaxed with a few beers and shared stories about the war.

Opening Hours: 11:00 – 02:45  

Address: 19 Lam Son Square, District 1  Tel: +(84-8) 3823 4999

9. Bui Vien Walking Street (“Street for Foreigners”)

Bui Vien Walking Street
Bui Vien Walking Street (Source: Internet)

When talking about top popular places in Saigon, it is a big omission not to mention about the Phố Tây. The three key words of this area given by tourists are “cheap beer, busy street, backpacker street". Phố Tây is a common name indicates the area covering the streets of Pham Ngu Lao, Bui Vien, De Tham, Do Quang Dau and the neighboring areas, in Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, the heart of Saigon. If you like lively places, Phố Tây is surely for you! The living tempo in Phố Tây is always speedy and busy, especially at night. After a tiring day exploring far away locations, backpackers return to Phố Tây to relax, entertain and experience the pavement life of Saigon. The night in Phố Tây is colorful in lights and the colors of varied culture. “Pho Tay” is considered as a small town that does not sleep at night, with a lot of fun, sadness and happiness in the life span of Saigon. Opening Hours: All day

10. Chill Rooftop Skybar

Chill Skybar
Chill Skybar (Source: citypassguide)

Chill Skybar is one of the most famous night life venues in Saigon. Located in also District 1, this rooftop bar sits on the 25th storey of AB Tower. It is certified internationally as The World’s Finest Club 2017, Insider Guide (CNN): Best Nightlife of Vietnam, Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2017 and Winner of Wild Turkey – Behind The Barrel Competition 2017. Owing to its glorious fame, dress code there is strict. You are asked to wear something fancy, high-class-look-like and impressive. Flip-flops or Birkenstocks are definitely not allowed there. Besides, it is advisable for you to make a phone call for a reservation due to the popularity of this club if you would like to take a seat while you enjoy the party and sight-seeing. Chill Skybar Saigon is famous with sightseers who come for the great views, cool vibe, and to take photographs to share their experience.

Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday & Sunday 17:30 – 02:00, Friday & Saturday 17:30 – 04:00  

Address: AB Tower Saigon, 76A Le Lai. District 1, Ho Chi Minh City  Tel: +84 86 253 8888

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