The final segment of the Saigon tour was to get an idea of what Saigon became at night.
Our guesthouse was located in Section 1, specifically off of Bui Vien Street, which is the backpackers area. We spent 4 nights there and didn’t venture out much past this neck of the woods, since most of the bars are packed tightly here.
In what is already a very congested thoroughfare of motorbikes, hawkers, and taxi’s during the day, it bottlenecks at night with backpackers and locals filling the streets drinking inexpensive Saigon beers on tiny plastic stools. The stools push out into the street and can be as deep as 10 rows, if not more. If you’re a paying customer, they’ll fit you in.
Interestingly enough one of the best ‘street meals’ we had in Saigon was a German bratwurst vendor located along the backpackers strip.
On advice of just about everyone, including the guidebooks, we took a trip to Apocalypse Now. Aptly named after the movie, and adorned with signage matching the style of the movie poster. This place is more of a club/bar type establishment, roughly 5-10 min away via cab. There was a $5-10 cover and that paid for one drink, so it was basically paying for an overpriced drink in Vietnam. The crowd looked pretty shady and the drinks very overpriced, so we didn’t stay long, and I wasn’t really impressed. Your money is better spent elsewhere.
As a whole Saigon definitely becomes more vibrant at night, in what is already a chaotic city. However it wasn’t a city I fell in love with. It’s certainly a must-see place, but only for a couple of days.