After a long day visiting Ho Chi Minh City and exploring the Mekong Delta, backpackers will come back for “chillaxing” at the backpacker area of Pham Ngu Lao, District 1. It is such a waste to spend your whole holiday-evening in your 20sqm- hotel room. You should go out to enjoy cold beer during hot summer or maybe socializing with fellow travelers in a bar in sharing some experience or getting travel tips from them. Backpackers’ area never sleeps early. The scene still continues after 12AM with more noise and massive backpackers’ crowd daily.
Go2 Bar and Crazy Buffalo
These two bars with the same owner, with cafe, pub and nightclub concept. Go2 Bar is an open-concept place, with pool table at ground floor level with chairs facing to Bui Vien and De Tham intersection. Meanwhile in the Crazy Buffalo, the outlook is cleaner and more luxury than Go2 bar. Both places are playing loud brand new dance music around the clock. When ordering any food or drinks, you need to check the price in advance because sometimes they will have a midnight price. In front of these two clubs, there will be many young promoters (mostly guy) trying to get more customers for their club. There is a dance floor at first floor of Go2 bar and you can dance up to 5am.
Broken Rice with Grilled Meat & Aroma of Grilled Squid
After 12am, there are many food hawkers still busy with their business. Go out for supper and enjoy your broken rice with grilled meat or locally called as “com tam” at 45 Bui Vien. This meal will cost around VND20,000 to VND30,000 depending on what are you ordering. If you out for beer on the street, match it with grilled squid served with garlic by bicycle vendors. The price for this grilled squid is varies depending on the size between VND60,000 to VND150,000.
Local Fruits, Sinh To or “Smoothies” and Soya Milk Vendors
Vietnamese eat fruits every time, even in the middle of the night. Somehow, sour fruits like mango and pineapple can help them from getting drunk when drinking beer. Normally one serving of fruit will cost around VND15,000. You also can get fruit smoothies or locally known as “Sinh To” with price between VND15,000 to BND18,000 along Bui Vien street. You also can have cups of soya milk or “Sua Dau nanh” at 169 Bui Vien and its sold by a lady vendor. The price for 1 cup is only VND4000. This is extremely fresh and cheap.
VND10,000 beer Scene
This is one of the things that you cannot miss when staying in the backpacker area. There will be a very big crowd of foreigners along 175 – 180 Bui Vien on the both sides of the street. The beers here are among the cheapest. Besides Saigon Beer, they also serve other alcoholic drinks as well.
American Style Bar, Heavy Make up Hostess and Last Call for Massage
The American style bars and cafes are still alive after 12am. Most of the customers are westerners from 30s to late 60s and the heavy makeup girls’ hostess always try to make a sale from them. Not all are prostitutes. Just some of them maybe do extra for you and wishing to have American husband. Walking along Bui Vien Street, there will be girls’ promoter will chase you for :special” massage services. Backpacker area never stops.
It is good to enjoy the scene, making some new friends and in the meantime, spend wisely. Always take care your belongings and ignore anybody who offers prostitute and marijuana if you don’t want to be locked up abroad.