Nightlife In Vietnam And South East Asia
Vietnam is not traditionally a place with a great nightlife scene
. For centuries, the local people followed a policy of early to bed, early to rise. The arrival of American troops in what was then Saigon temporarily gave rise to a somewhat seedy nightlife scene which disappeared when Saigon fell to the Vietcong. Today, however, the renamed Ho Chi Minh City is rapidly changing and providing the many visitors with more entertainment venues. There are an ever-changing number of discos and bars. However, bars and clubs are officially required to close at midnight, although some seem to manage to keep going later.
Perhaps the most famous club in Ho Chi Minh City is Apocalypse Now which can be extremely busy at weekends. It is mainly frequented by international travellers and ex-pats. Don't expect a Vietnamese crowd.
Saigon Saigon on the 9th floor of the 5-star Caravelle Hotel has live music and offers the best view in Ho Chi Minh City. The bar is more expensive than most, but the view compensates.
A favourite venue is the Underground Bar and Grill. Again this is mainly used by ex-pats and international travellers. Good beers and good western food the pizzas and barbecue buffet come highly recommended.
Popular beach resorts such as Nha Trang have a nascent nightlife scene, again catering for the visitor rather than the local people. The Red Apple Club is a loud club playing indie music and selling cheap beer. A more sedate venue is The Sailing Club. The ancient Imperial capital
, Hue, has a lively scene with many bars. The DMZ bar gets good reviews and features free pool tables and free internet on the second floor. But there are many more. Explore.
Hanoi is a more traditional city and at first sight may seem to have little going on, but there is nightlife there. The best way to sample this is by visiting the old quarter and look out for anywhere selling bia hoi. This is the draft version of Vietnam's beer and is freshest you will find. Not only is it tasty but it is also ridiculously cheap. Sitting in a small pavement bar sipping a bai hoi is a tradition all over Vietnam, but especially in Hanoi.
Of course, nightlife doesn't just mean drinking!
In Hanoi, a real must see is the Water Puppet Theater. The Water Puppet performance is unique to northern Vietnam. They give four performances a day with the last being at 8 pm. Each performance lasts around an hour. Many people have reported going along reluctantly, but coming away delighted.
Ho Chi Minh City also has its, less famous, version of a Water Puppet Theatre and has a number of theatres.
The nightlife situation is constantly changing, so it's best to ask locally, but it is certainly there if you look for it. You can visit http://www.indochinaodysseytours.com to get more information about this.
by: Vincent Ruan
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