Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Vietnam - Going Gay in Saigon

As I have mentioned before, Ho Chi Minh City, the great HCMC or Saigon (its original French name) is now a bustling cosmopolitan city that has adopted western ways and received investment from it's Asian neighbours, especially its Communist friend - China.

The Europeans educate in international schools, train educated Vietnamese in business, and develop a new economy for the nation. English, French, Spanish, Dutch, German, Americans, Australian, they are all serving in some capacity. Enjoying the great pay, cheap food, accommodation and excellent lifestyle of party and travel to discover Asia.

Therefore the city has had to adapt itself to being very Cosmopolitan, metropolitan, and embrace all things; although most Vietnamese just wouldn't openly argue or challenge anyone but quietly go about their own business mutely disagreeing.

So - yes - there is a gay nightlife. Though beware that it can be incredibly quiet on most nights, and if you have read my Vietnam - Hanoi gay nightlife story - the fact remains, the Vietnamese go out late, drink sheds loads of alcohol, then go home - they rarely dance or mingle! However these are the three places to check out:

Central Bar - by the Opera House.
It's busy on Friday / Saturday night, after about 11pm/midnight. They serve cocktails and beers, the cocktails are excellent in there and after three of them you'll be having a fantastic time. DJs on most of the week, and there are a few transgender people here. Gay male crowd who are rather mixed.

Apocolypse - just a couple of roads behind
This is a bar and dance club and the dancing area is where are the gays hang out - so it is very much mixed, and very western. There's nightlife all week and the cocktails are not too bad. Tends to be international pop music.

Windows - 
A popular gay hangout, there are two of these coffee shops in HCMC, one of them is near the Reunificaiton Palace. Large outdoor patio area serving fantastic frozen vietnamese coffee and cakes.