Despite Vietnam’s dark past, Ho Chi Minh City glows with a surreal energy that’s hard to neglect. If you’re planning a trip, make sure you include Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, the Saigon Opera House, Ben Thành Market, and War Remnants Museum in your itinerary. The city has an assortment of new, classic, and boutique properties to choose from. Its variety of Japanese, Vietnamese, and European restaurants will keep you busy during the day, but don’t call it a night when the sun sets. After dark, head to these cool bars in Ho Chi Minh City and dance the night away. By Ananya Bahl
PUB CRAWL SAIGON
The ultimate way to meet other revellers, the pub crawl typically starts at the Lost in Saigon bar on Bui Vien street and works its way through five of the best bars in and around Pham Ngũ Lão. What’s more, partygoers get free shots at the first bar and a lot more surprises as the night progresses. US$25 per head.
SAX N ART JAZZ CLUB
Started by saxophonist Tran Manh Tuan, the club fuses contemporary jazz beats with traditional Vietnamese music. A premier jazz institution in the city, it distinguishes itself from imitators with quality live performances in an intimate and classy setting. US$100 for two. 28 Le Loi str, Dist 1; +84-8/3822-8472
CHILL SKY BAR
Located on the 26th and 27th floors of the AB Tower, this one leads the pack of rooftop nightclubs that hover over the city. The indoor section is intimate and the open air area offers spectacular views of downtown Saigon. Come here for the cocktails. On a lucky day, be prepared to spot a Vietnamese popstar or two. US$160 for two.
Tucked away in a lane, a lot of young people flock here for its contemporary vibe. Grab a Bia Saigon, sit back and let the world of Vietnamese pop take over. What’s special about the place is that most bands croon covers of popular Western numbers. US$100 for two. 6e1 Ngô Thoi Nhiem, P.7, District 3; +84-8/3930-7627