Best Places to Celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve 2018 in Saigon

By: Angee the Diva

It’s that time of year again. Christmas is just around the corner, and before you know it, here comes New Years! You might be wondering what to do and where to go in Saigon. Well don’t worry cause I’ve got a whole slew of options for you, regardless of your budget. Want a belly-busting meal? Check! Need to break in your new dancing shoes? Check! Tired of the run-of-the-mill holiday activities but still want to do...something? Check, check, check! I’ve got all the bases covered!

Unless otherwise marked:

One 🎉 = VND100,000 - VND1,000,000

Two 🎉🎉 = VND1,000,000 - VND2,000,000

Three 🎉🎉🎉 = VND2,000,000+


HOLIDAY GRUB

Now y’all know I like to eat! Obvi! Naturally, I’m starting with all the yummy food options. Whether you want a big Christmas dinner with all the trimmings or a scrumptious lunch before dancing into the New Year, Saigon has something for everyone.

Hotel Des Arts 🎉🎉🎉

Hotel Des Arts Saigon, 76-78 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St, District 3 
For pre-order and information: (+84) 28 3989 8888 or email h9231-fb7@accor.com

Hotel Des Arts Saigon has created a magical host of events titled “The Enchanted Journey” for the festive season! From afternoon tea to sumptuous buffets to 4-course gourmet dinners, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Advance reservations are highly recommended.

CAFÉ DES BEAUX-ARTS

Afternoon Tea - Mon-Sat in December | 2:30pm - 5pm

Luxury Paris Saigon – VND 550,000++
Tea and coffee selection, local drink based on kumquat juice and lemongrass

Business Class – VND 650,000++
Grand cru TWG tea selection, coffee, house made kumquat juice, one flute of Bottega Prosecco

First Class with Champagne – VND 750,000++
Grand Cru TWG tea selection, special Prestigio coffee selection from hand picked and hand roasted Arabica and Robusta from Vietnam, homemade kumquat juice, one flute of Barons de Rothschild champagne

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: Hotel Des Arts Saigon

SOCIAL CLUB RESTAURANT

Christmas Eve Market Evening Brunch:
24 December | 7:30 - 11pm
Monday, 24th December | 7.30pm – 11pm
VND 2,288,000++ with free flow of champagne
All prices are subject to 10 percent VAT and 5 percent service charge

Christmas 4-Course Set Menu Dinner: 
25 December | 7pm - 10:30pm
VND 1,288,000++ per set menu
Beverage on consumption
All prices are subject to 10 percent VAT and 5 percent service charge

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: Hotel Des Arts Saigon

SAIGON KITCHEN RESTAURANT

Magical Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet: 
Monday, 24th December | 6.30pm – 10.30pm
VND 1,888,000++ Dinner Buffet (Food only)
VND 2,088,000++ with free flow of house wine and sparkling wine
VND 944,000++ Children (age 6 to 12)
All prices are subject to 10 percent VAT and 5 percent service charge

Family Christmas Day Lunch Buffet:
25 December | 12pm - 2pm
VND 888,000++ Lunch Buffet (Food only)
VND 1,288,000++ with free flow of wine
VND 444,000++ Children (age 6 to 12)

Family Christmas Day Dinner Buffet
25 December | 6:30pm - 10:30pm
VND 1,888,000++ Dinner Buffet (Food only)
VND 2,088,000++ with free flow of house wine and sparkling wine
VND 944,000++ Children (age 6 to 12)
All prices are subject to 10 percent VAT and 5 percent service charge

New Year’s Eve Lunch Buffet:
31 December | 12pm - 2pm
VND 888,000++ Lunch Buffet (Food only)
VND 1,288,000++ with free flow of wine
VND 444,000++ Children (age 6 to 12)
All prices are subject to 10 percent VAT and 5 percent service charge

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: Hotel Des Arts Saigon

Caravelle Saigon Hotel 🎉🎉🎉

19 - 23 Lam Son Square, District 1; +84 28 3823 4999
Reservations: +84 90 690 0523 or email culinary@caravellehotel.com

Enjoy the Christmas and New Years at Caravelle with a host of activities, meals and entertainment. Try the daily Afternoon Christmas Tea at Cafe de l’Opera or enjoy lunch or Christmas tapas at Tapas Kitchen. If you’re looking for a more upscale meal on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Years’ Eve reserve a space for the buffet at Nineteen or dinner at Reflections Restaurant. Fine dining meals are accompanied by live music or a classic carol choir. If you want to enjoy your meal at home, Caravelle can prepare a delectable catered meal for you as well.

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: Caravelle Saigon

TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS TEA

7-26 December | noon to 5:30pm

VND 380,000++ per person
Including unlimited order of freshly brewed Lavazza coffee or Ronnefeldt tea

VND 590,000++ per person
Including unlimited order of freshly brewed Lavazza coffee or Ronnefeldt tea and one flute of Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial

CHRISTMAS AT TAPAS RESTAURANT

17-31 December | 10am - 11pm
VND 229,000++ per portion of tapas

EARLY CHRISTMAS DINNER BUFFET AT BUFFET NINETEEN RESTAURANT

23 December | 5:45pm until late

VND 1,990,000++ including unlimited flow of champagne, craft cocktails, selected house wines and beers
VND 1,690,000++ including unlimited flow of selected sparkling, craft cocktails, selected house wines & beers
VND 1,490,000++ including unlimited flow of non-alcoholic cocktails, soft drinks and juice

Prices are subject to 5 percent Service Charge and 10 percent VAT

CHRISTMAS EVE AND NEW YEAR’S EVE DINNER AT REFLECTIONS RESTAURANT

24 and 31 December |6:00pm – 11:00pm
Christmas Eve Dinner: VND 1,880,000++ per person
New Year’s Eve Dinner: VND 2,380,000++ per person
Exclusive 10 percent discount applies for members of Caravelle Classique Club

Prices are subject to 5 percent Service Charge and 10 percent VAT

Cork & Fork 🎉

3/2 De Tham, District 1
Reservations: 035 686 5091
24-25 December | 7:00pm -11:00pm

Cork & Fork is offering a French Christmas Soiree with delicious platters of cold cuts, cheese, dessert and free flow sparkling wine. If you book in advance, they will even give you a 50K discount!

Festive Platters (savory/sweet) & Free Flow Sparkling - VND 850,000 per person
Festive Platters & Soft - VND 699,000 per person
Kids options (under 12) - VND 580,000 per kid
50,000 discount if paid in advance

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: Cork & Fork

East West Brewing 🎉

181-185 Ly Tu Trong, District 1; +84 91 306 0728
For pre-order and information: booking@eastwestbrewing.vn

Craft beer and holiday dinner? Yes, please! Head down to East West Brewing Co. for all of their festive season events. On 24 and 25 December, Christmas Dinner will be served from 6pm to 10pm including a live carving station of ribs and smoked ham. You can enjoy dinner on New Years Eve then stay late for the Countdown Party until 3am. Don’t miss out on their photo contest either! Three lucky winners will receive a limited edition holiday gift pack. See their page for more details.

Craft Beer Combo Dinners:

VND680,000 - VND980,000
Christmas Dinner: 24-25 December | 6:30pm - 10:00pm
New Years’ Eve Dinner: 31 December | 6:30pm - 10:00pm
Countdown Party: 31 December | 10:00pm - 3:00am
New Years’ Day Brunch: 1 January | 11:00am - 3:00pm
*Early purchases are strongly recommended and reservations are required for all festive dining events

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: East West Brewing

La Villa French Restaurant 🎉🎉🎉

14 Ngo Quang Huy, Thao Dien, District 2; +84 28 3898 2082; Hotline: + 84 907719879
For pre-order and information: reservation@lavilla-restaurant.com.vn

La Villa is hosting dinner on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve as well as lunch on Christmas Day by the renowned Chef Thierry Mounon. Guests will enjoy a 7-course French gourmet meal. Whether in the lush garden or the beautiful dining rooms, the fine dining experience will leave you satisfied.

Christmas Eve Dinner:

24 December | 6:30pm – midnight
VND 2,690,000 net/adult + VND 1,890,000 for optional wine pairing;
VND 2,020,000 net/child excluding drinks.

New Year’s Eve Dinner:

31 December | 6:30pm – midnight
VND 2,990,000net/adult + VND 1,990,000 for optional wine pairing;
VND 2,240,000 net/child excluding drinks.

Lotte Legend Hotel Saigon 🎉🎉

2A-4A Ton Duc Thang, District 1; +84 28 3823 3333

On 24 and 25 December, join the friendly staff of at the Atrium Cafe in the Lotte Legend Hotel Saigon for their Merry Christmas Buffet Dinner. Each buffet includes unlimited lobster, free flow drinks, and even a gift from Santa for each child. Dinner is accompanied by live music, a magic show and and a DJ performance on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve Dinner

24 December 2018
VND 2,150,000++ per person
VND 1,000,000++ per child (*)

Christmas Day and Night Gathering

25 December 2018
VND 1,500,000++ per person
VND 750,000++ per child (*)

Namo 🎉

74/6 Hai Ba Trung, District 1; +84 28 3822 7988

For Christmas, Namo Italian Restaurant offers 3- and 4-course menus starting at VND740,000 to delight your palate. Try it with wine pairings for a perfectly balanced experience.

Christmas Dinner

15 December - 5 January
3-course set VND 740,000 - VND 940,000
4-course set: VND 1,280,000 - VND 1,430,000
3-course wine pairing: VND 790,000
4-course wine pairing VND 990,000

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: facebook.com/namoitalian

Pullman Saigon Centre 🎉🎉🎉

148 Tran Hung Dao Blvd, District 1; +84 28 3838 8686

The Pullman Saigon Centre is pulling out all the stops for this festive season! All season long, patrons have a choice between Buffet or Brunch at Food Connexion or 4-course meals at Mad Cow Wine & Grill. The Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet includes stuffed turkey with all the trimmings, fresh seafood, and pumpkin pie as well as free flow drinks. This is a family affair with kids games, a DIY gingerbread station, live music and a lucky draw.

Christmas Weekend Dinner Buffet at Food Connexion

22 - 23 December | 6:00pm - 10:30pm
VND 1,800,000 NET per adult
VND 720,000 NET per child (6-11 years old)

Christmas Eve Dinner Buffetat Food Connexion

24 December | 6:00pm - 10:30pm
VND 2,200,000 NET per adult
VND 880,000 NET per child (under 12 years old)

Christmas Day Brunch at Food Connexion

25 December | 12:00pm - 3:00pm
VND 640,000 NET per adult (food only)
VND 320,000 NET per child (under 12 years old)
VND 350,000 NET per adult for free flow beverages

Mad Christmas at Mad Cow Wine & Grill

24 - 25 December | 4:00pm - 10:30pm
VND 2.380,000 NET per dinner and wine pairing

New Years’ Eve Dinner Buffet at Food Connexion

31 December  | 6:00pm - 10:30pm
VND 2,019,000 NET per adult
VND 880,000 NET per child (6-11 years old)

Mad New Years’ Eve at Mad Cow Wine & Grill

31 December | 4:00pm - 10:30pm
VND 2,800,000 NET per dinner & wine pairing

New Years’ Day Brunch at Food Connexion

1 January | 12:00pm - 3:00pm
VND 1,300,000 NET per adult (food only)
VND320,000 NET per child (under 12 years old)
VND350,000 NET per adult for free flow beverage

New Years’ Day Dinner Buffet at Food Connexion

1 January | 6:00pm - 10:30pm
VND 1,300,000 NET per adult (food only)
VND 650,000 NET per child (under 12 years old)
VND 350,000 NET per adult for free flow beverages

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: facebook.com/pullmansaigoncentre

Saigon Hot Wings Christmas Dinner 🎉

35 Ho Hao Hon, District 1; +84 120 459 5000

Saigon Hot Wings is hosting a fried turkey dinner with all the fixings for the holiday. Uniquely, they are encouraging guests to participate in their Secret Santa gift exchange by bringing a wrapped gift valued up to VND 150,000. Dinner and presents - what more could you ask for?

Christmas Dinner

24 December | 7:30pm - 9:30pm
VND 650,000 per person

Sheraton Saigon Hotels & Towers 🎉🎉🎉

Level 23: The Signature Restaurant, 88 Dong Khoi Street, District 1; +84 28 3827 2828 ext 82309

The Sheraton Saigon Hotels & Towers open the doors of all of their restaurants to welcome you this festive season. At Level 23: The Signature Restaurant, diners can enjoy a 7-course gourmet meal including foie gras, surf and turf, and a glass of Moet Chandon champagne. The dinner also comes with entry into the Nightspot Countdown Party on the upper level.

Christmas Brunch and Dinner Buffet at Saigon Cafe Restaurant

23 December| 6:00pm - 10:00pm
VND 1,688,000++ per adult
VND 795,000++ per kid (6 - 12 years)

24 December| 6:00pm - 10:00pm
VND 2,600,000++ per adult
VND 2,100,000++ per child (13 – 18 years)
VND 1,300,000++ per child (6 – 12 years)

25 December| 11:30pm - 3:00pm
VND 2,300,000++ per adult
VND 1,850,000++ per child (13 – 18 years)
VND 1,150,000++ per kid (6 – 12 years)

25 December| 6:00pm - 10:00pm
VND 1,800,000++ per adult
VND 900,000++ per kid (6 – 12 years)

New Years’ Brunch and Dinner at Saigon Cafe Restaurant

30 December | 6:00pm - 10:00pm
VND 1,688,000++ per adult
VND 795,000++ per kid (6 - 12 years)

31 December | 6:00pm - 10:00pm
VND 2,900,000++ per adult
VND 2,350,000++ per child (13 – 18 years)
VND 1,450,000++ per kid (6 – 12 years)

1 January | 11:30pm - 3:00pm
VND 1,688,000++ per adult
VND 1,480,000++ per child (13 – 18 years)
VND 740,000++ per kid (6 – 12 years)

1 January | 6:00pm - 10:00pm
VND 1,588,000++ per adult
VND 795,000++ per kid (6 – 12 years)

Christmas Special Buffet at Li Bai Restaurant

23 December| 6:30pm - 10:00pm
VND 1,300,000++ per adult

Chef’s Festive Specials at Li Bai Restaurant

24 December | 6:30pm - 10:00pm
31 December | 6:30pm - 10:00pm
From VND 158,000++ per dish

New Year Special Buffet at Li Bai Restaurant

30 December| 6:30pm - 10:00pm
VND 1,300,000++ per adult

The Signature Restaurant Level 23 An Enchanting Christmas Eve

24 December | 6:00pm - 10:00pm
VND 2,250,000++ per person

The Signature Restaurant Level 23 New Years’ Eve Special Dinner

31 December | 6:00pm - 10:00pm
VND 2,888,000++ per person


PARTY TIME

Now that we’ve got the food out of the way, let’s get on to the real reason for the season: An EPIC PARTY! Whether you like a good themed party, you want to dance all night, or you’re trying to forget 2018 with the best liquor money can buy, head out to one of these options for a good time.

Metal Christmas 🎉

39 Ba Huyen Thanh Quan Street, District 3; +84 93 724 0545; +84 33 343 5737 facebook.com/events/297702920861431  
21 December | 7:30pm to late
VND 120,000 per ticket for pre-sale
VND 150,000 per ticket when buying at the gate

Who wants to listen to boring Christmas songs? Not these guys! Woodstock Bar is hosting four heavy metal bands, Vehemon, Dark Escapes, Infecated, End of Road, for a night of headbanging and moshing. This is not your grandmother’s Christmas special!

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: facebook.com/DarkEscapesBand

Lighthouse

Level 6, 104 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, District 1; +84 1263 872603
facebook.com/events/1410998305734300
FREE | 24 December | 9pm - 3am

Get your dancing shoes ready for the Banana Hustle X-Mas Eve Party at Lighthouse. Saigon’s hottest tropical, house, and afrobeats DJs will be spinning from 9pm on Christmas Eve to 3am on Christmas Day. With FREE entry all night long, you’ve got nothing to lose but sweat!

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: facebook.com/TheLighthouseSaigon

Observatory 🎉

85 Cach Mang Thang 8, District 1 
facebook.com/events/412785532594990
25 December | 4pm onwards

Enjoy a Christmas lunch then dance away all the calories on the rooftop at Observatory. Wth a full lineup of DJs, two dance floors, and fantastic cocktails, this party may be just what you need for a Merry Christmas.

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: facebook.com/theobservatoryhcmc

Broma: Not a Bar 🎉🎉

41 Nguyen Hue, District 1; +84 28 3823 6838
facebook.com/events/715219972181024
31 December | 7:30pm to 11pm

Broma: Not a Bar sure knows how to throw a party, and New Years will be no exception. DJ Vincent Valentin will be there to keep the party moving with disco, house, and electronic beats. Customers will enjoy free flow drinks from 7:30pm to 11pm and have a spectacular view of the fireworks from the rooftop location.

Rooftop level: VND 1.4 mil/ pax including free flow of standard beers & mixed drinks.
VIP top loft ticket: VND 2mil/ pax including free flow of standard beers & mixed drinks. (very limited tickets)

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: Broma: Not a Bar

Gardenia: Eat, Play, Love 🎉

28 Tran Ngoc Dien, District 2; +84 90 810 14 61
facebook.com/events/270121626963376
31 December | 7pm - 3:00am

Don’t battle the traffic in District 1; come party in the jungle all night long! The New Year’s Jungle Boogie, hosted by SaigonFunnyPeople, is gonna be epic! Dress in your wildest jungle costume or get some glitter face paint by GlitterArty. Shake your booty to the hip hop tunes of DJ Knight. Or, drink away the last minutes of 2018 with free flow drinks from 7pm to 10:30pm.

VND 1.000.000/ticket when buying in advance
VND 1.200.000/ticket when buying at the door
750,000 additional for champagne service at midnight.

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: facebook.com/saigonfunnypeople

Hard Rock Cafe Ho Chi Minh City 🎉

MPlaza, 39 Le Duan St, District 1; +84 28 6291 7595
31 December | 8pm to 1am

Rock away the last moments of 2018 at Hard Rock Cafe Saigon. They will feature the V’Nez Band on their main stage with live music indoors and a DJ on the patio. This is a great value at VND 200,000 per ticket with a complimentary glass of champagne and balloon drop at midnight.

Maddie’s MAD New Years’ Eve Party 🎉🎉

Mad Cow Wine & Grill, Pullman Saigon, 30th Floor, 148 Tran Hung Dao Street, District 1; +84 28 3838 8686
31 December | 9pm to late

Towering over Saigon, the Mad Cow Wine & Grill has a New Years Eve party for you! With free flow drinks, complimentary prosecco at midnight, and DJs spinning the hottest tunes, you’re sure to have a great time rolling into 2019.

VND 1,300,000 NET per adult

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: Mad Cow Wine & Grill

Social Club Rooftop Bar 🎉🎉🎉

These are the most glamourous parties for New Year’s in Saigon. Get dudded up and enjoy free flow champagne and premium spirits as you dance on the 24th floor overlooking the heart of Saigon. Call +84 28 3989 8888 or email h9231-fb7@accor.com

Glamorous New Year’s Eve Party

31 December | 10pm – 2am
VND 4,888,000++ with free flow of champagne & spirits
VND 3,888,000++ with free flow of spirits
Dresscode: Fancy & Fabulous (Strictly 18 years old & above)
All prices are subject to 10 percent VAT and 5 percent service charge

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: facebook.com/socialclubsgn

Golden Night Party

31 December | 8pm till Late
24th Floor, Hotel des Arts Saigon, 76-78 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, District 3  
Limited Tickets Available.

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: facebook.com/socialclubsgn


THE OTHERS

Maybe you feel like parties are ok and dinner is gonna happen anyway but you want to do something a little different for the holidays? Look no further! Check out these unique experiences to make your holiday season special.

Paint Your Christmas Workshop 🎉

The Old Compass Cafe and Bar, 3rd Floor, Apt 11, 63 Pasteur St, District 1   
The Craft House, 53A Nguyen Du, District 1  
facebook.com/events/331325554348469
Sundays in December | 9am-12pm
VND 500,000 per person

Create original holiday decorations with The Yen Concept. Incorporate creative use of color and shape with the natural beauty of foliage.

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: facebook.com/theyenconcept

Christmas Kids Activities at Le Méridien Saigon Hotel 🎉🎉

Le Meridien, 3C Ton Duc Thang, District 1; hotline: +84 28 6263 6688
facebook.com/events/352310762187837
FREE with Sunday Brunch

In conjunction with their Sunday Brunch this December, Le Meridien is offering free Christmas Kids Activities. Book in advance for your children to take part in tree decoration or gingerbread house making. What a wonderful way to keep the littles occupied while you enjoy a glass of champagne or your favorite canapes!

Christmas Cookies Decoration class | 02 December
Making Festive Cards | 09 Dec
Christmas Tree Decoration | 16 Dec
Building A Mini Gingerbread House | 23 Dec

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: facebook.com/lemeridiensaigon

Thao Dien Christmas Market 🎉

Saigon Outcast, 188/1 Nguyen Van Huong, Thao Dien, District 2; +84 90 236 57 80
facebook.com/events/565302670549877/
22 December | 3pm - 7pm

Wander around the open space of Saigon Outcast to find unique Christmas gifts, home-baked foods, and an assortment of products. Enjoy a glass or few of beer while you dance to the music of the live bands from 3pm - 7pm. This is an event to enjoy with the whole family!

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: facebook.com/Thaodienflea

Christmas Potluck Dinner and Outdoor Cinema

Saigon Outcast, 188/1 Nguyen Van Huong, Thao Dien, District 2; +84 90 236 57 80
facebook.com/events/252862772048548; facebook.com/events/309199459686202 
FREE | 23 December | starts at 6:30pm

Saigon Outcast invites family and friends to bring a dish and share a meal this holiday season followed by a classic family holiday movie, A Christmas Story. This is a great way to meet new people and create some new holiday memories in a chill outdoor space in District 2.

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: facebook.com/saigonoutcast

Merry River Christmas/Happy New Year Cruise on Saigon Princess 🎉

Nhà Rồng Port (Cảng Nhà Rồng), District 4
For reservations call: 088 890 10 68

Hop aboard the Saigon Princess for a meandering cruise down the Saigon River on their French Colonial vessel. For Christmas, take advantage of a 30 percent discount off their food menu including a glass of rose wine and live music with 360 degree views of the nightime Saigon skyline on the Rooftop Sundeck. Note that the discount only applies to reservations made before 20 December.

For New Years, enjoy a delectable 5-course gourmet dinner, live music, and drinks on a special extended 4-hour cruise. Aboard their 360 degree Sundeck, you can watch the sky light up with fireworks at midnight with a complimentary champagne toast without battling the crowds and traffic. Please note that the promotional price applies to reservations made before 25 December.

Christmas Cruise or New Year’s Eve Cruise

22 - 25 December or 31 December
VND 910,000 per adult
VND 455,000 per children.

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: facebook.com/saigonprincessrivercruise

Merryoke

Soma Art Lounge and Cafe; 6b Le Van Mien, District 2  
facebook.com/events/317179832457670/
FREE | 22 December |  9pm - midnight

“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” - Buddy the Elf. I’m not exactly sure if this is what Buddy had in mind, but it is sure to be fun! Join low-key karaoke for their holiday edition on the stage at Soma. Dress up in your most festive gear, down some liquid courage, and belt out your favorite holiday tunes.

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: facebook.com/SomaSaigon

Bonsai Cruise 🎉🎉

5 Nguyen Tat Thanh, District 4 
For reservations: 091 810 05 06 
24 December | 7:30pm - 9:45pm

Why not enjoy Christmas on the water? Bonsai Cruise presents a 2-hour boat ride complete with live music, Christmas themed buffet, and free flow drinks. Even Santa will be there to give gifts to all the children on board.

VND 1,395,000/ ticket

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: theasia.imgix.net

The Snoop Dogg Christmas Special

Indika Saigon, 43 Nguyen Van Giai, District 1   
facebook.com/events/1236076443217209 
FREE | 24 December | 9pm - 11:30pm

Every Monday, Indika welcomes The Snoop Dogg Comedy Open Mic, hosted by SaigonFunnyPeople. But it’s the holidays, and we gotta do it up big! Join me, Angee the Diva and Laura of low-key karaoke as we join forces to bring you a wacky holiday show. The comedians will spin tales of holidays long ago and the audience will get to join in the craziest Christmas sing-a-long ever! You even have a chance to win a special holiday gift.

christmas and new year in SaiGonImage source: facebook.com/AngeeTheDiva

Banner Image source: irish-american.org


Golf in Vietnam

By: Simon Stanley


Golf in Vietnam. Great Experience

 


Although Vietnam has only 30 golf courses in operation, they are all very high quality and some outstanding designs by the top golf architects in the world. If you get the opportunity to play, you will not be disappointed and you will be made so very welcome wherever you go. As yet, there are no public golf courses in the country and golf is seen as a sport for the elite. Many of the top-position politicians and businessmen play golf as they see it as a good way to discuss business together.

 


Golf here is not as expensive as you would think. During the week, special offers mean you can play golf for around $60. This will include the green fee and caddie. Please note that caddies are mandatory and more about them later. Although many golf courses are ok for walking, due to the heat and the time taken to play 18 holes, it is wise to take a buggy. Prices vary from course to course, but a shared buggy charge will be around $15 per person.

 


golf in vietnam

 


Photo courtesy of Sea Links Golf Resort

 


When you arrive at the golf club, you will be welcomed by the Valet, who will direct you to Reception where you will book in. If you need rental clubs and shoes, the Receptionist will get them for you. Most golf clubs will offer acceptable rental clubs for about $25 for 18 holes or higher quality sets, such as Titleist or Taylor Made for $40. The price for shoes is usually $15. The Golf Shop will stock tees, gloves and golf balls and some clubs offer used golf balls for sale. They will also have a selection of shirts and caps for you to buy as souvenirs. You must be aware of the dress code. Each club will expect you to wear a proper golf shirt, golf shorts, not swimming trunks or very short shorts, golf shoes and each golfer must have their own set of golf clubs, Sharing is not allowed. All golf clubs have locker rooms and you will be given your own locker and key. Do not lose the key, otherwise they will charge you for a replacement.

golf in vietnam


Photo courtesy of Do Son Seaside Golf Resort


The caddie will help you on the golf course. When you book a tee time, insist on a caddie who can speak English. You will be spending 4 or 5 hours with them, so you do want to find out more about their life and you will find they are so interested in you. They will do everything for you except hit a golf ball. They will take care of your clubs, clean your golf balls, fill in divots, rake bunkers and repair pitch marks. They will describe each hole for you, tell you where the hazards are and even give you the line of the putt. As their salary is small, then you should give them a tip at the end of the round. The amount of tip is up to you, but the usual tip is 250,000 to 400,000 Vietnam dong per caddie ($13 to $20).



Make sure you are properly prepared for your round of golf. Drink plenty of water before you play and during the round. All golf courses have rest houses on the golf course and many return to the club house after 9 holes. Bringing your own drinks and food is a no no and should not be done.



After your round of golf, make sure you give yourself time to relax at the clubhouse with a welcoming and refreshing cold drink. Golf clubs are excellent places to eat, very reasonable in price and will offer both local and international menus.



Most of all enjoy yourself and take in the beauty of where you are. You are in a very special place with some friendly, smiling people who want to do their best for you and hope you will come back and see them again.


golf in vietnam



Other Golf articles by Simon Tinkler:
Golf in the North of Vietnam
Golf in Nha Trang
Golf in Da Nang
Golf in Phan Thiet and Mui Ne
Sea Links Golf Course - Heaven or Hell
Holes-in-One for BRG Group


Escape Hunt and Ubiquest in HCMC

By: Aleksandr Smechov

City Pass tries out two of Saigon’s most popular live detective games, Escape Hunt and Ubiquest, playing the role of a hard-nosed detective investigating a murder mystery.

Outside of theatre and video games, you don’t see much role play or interactive activities in Ho Chi Minh City. Luckily, we uncovered two detective games that drop you in the middle of a murder mystery, letting you live out those Sherlock Holmes fantasies (minus tobacco pipe and risk of death). Escape Hunt and Ubiquest are difficult (to an extent), immersive and rewarding – read on to find out exactly why they are some of the most fun you will have in Saigon.

Escape Hunt

Located somewhat furtively above The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is the quietly decorated lobby area of Ho Chi Minh City’s Escape Hunt office. Four rooms sit at various angles, blocked off by tall curtains. These are the escape rooms, and you will know nothing about them until you walk in, have the door shut and locked on you, and be given one hour to solve the mystery and find the key to unlock the door.

Escape Hunt HCMC

Escape Hunt is the brainchild of an English Psychologist who, after experiencing health issues and moving to Thailand, developed the idea of a detective game that has 2-5 players pitted against an intricate mystery.

Escape Hunt now has 25 locations, with a slew of others set to open in North America. The Ho Chi Minh City Escape Hunt branch was opened in September and has been popular with teens, universities, companies, tourists and expats.

Escape Hunt Saigon

Three of our staff stopped in for a 60-minute sleuth session. We were ushered into a low-lit room, explained the rules and left to solve the mystery and find the key to the door within an hour timeframe.

We heard the door sadistically lock and some moody music creep up. The game master was available for hints, but each time we asked for help from her we got minutes shaved from our remaining time.

Escape Hunt in Ho Chi Minh City

The puzzles are tricky, teamwork-oriented, and require some outside-the-box approaches. Few if any have solved the mystery and escaped the room without at least a few hints from the game master. Finding the next clue or coming upon an item you were searching for feels highly rewarding, and you get sucked into the role quickly. Time flies as you use a whiteboard to jot down notes and figures, collect pieces of evidence and nervously glance at the large LED clock ticking away.

It’s thrilling, addictive and relies on individual strengths working in unison rather than outsmarting the other person. As a team-building exercise or a rainy-day diversion, Escape Hunt is ace.

To check out available mysteries and booking options, check out the Escape Hunt booking page.

Ubiquest

Ubiquest Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City’s second live detective game takes players outside the claustrophobic confines of a room and throws them in the streets of Saigon.

This doubles as a self-directed walking tour, but you may want to do the tour part after the live game – you’ll be too busy role playing a hard-nosed detective, questioning actors in various roles, finding mafia-tied ancient artifacts or any of the other challenges Ubiquest presents.

For our experience, we chose the Urban Tales game, a murder mystery set in Cho Lon, Ho Chi Minh City’s China town. We were picked up by a cute yellow 1967 Citroen 2CV, a happy-go-lucky young driver creaking away at the ancient dashboard. We arrived at a dilapidated living space, escorted up to the top floor and into one of the rooms, a few curious residents peeking at us through open doorways.

We were briefed, told to search the evidence room and given our gear (map, notebook, water, etc.), including cell phones for further instructions from the head detective.

Urban Tales takes three to four hours to complete. Be sure to go when the wind blows and the sun’s behind the clouds – you can easily get exhausted walking around in the unbearable heat on a cloudless day. Sun block and a decently wide hat are all but mandatory. You’ll be provided water but it’s a good idea to bring a bottle of your own too.

Ubiquest detective game

For entirety of the game, we set out into the streets of Cho Lon with our map and collection of evidence, going from actor to actor, uncovering details of the murder. The characters drop you clues and hints when you press them for information, sometimes refusing you if you don’t put enough pressure or reasoning into your argument. The acting is hilariously campy, and the game would benefit from some natural English speakers with an acting background, but the campiness is tolerable in the grand scheme, and allows you to play out your own amateur detective fantasies without judgment.

Ubiquest Cho Lon

We were pitted against two other teams, and although we were the first to find out the murderer, another team found the sacred artifact before us. Afterwards we all took cyclos to a Chinese restaurant for free lunch.

Urban Tales is an eclectic way to discover Cho Lon – or any other part of Saigon – just be sure to go when the sun isn’t blazing.

For more games, check out the official Ubiquest page.


Best Things to Do with Kids in Saigon

By: Barbara

Many of Ho Chi Minh City's things to do are suitable for families with kids of all ages. If you are living in Vietnam as an expat or just visiting, we list the 10 best things to do with your children in Saigon.

Don’t forget to comment below to let us know what are your recommendations!

City Parks and their Playgrounds

The city's parks are places where childish exuberance, which can be hard to contain in a hotel room, can be unleashed. Van Thanh Park in Binh Thanh District has paths and a field for little people who just need to run, as well as a small playground and a swimming pool. While the kids are busy being energetic, adults can relax in a bamboo hut over a small pond or work up a sweat on the tennis courts.

Saigon Parks

Listening to Songbirds

Tao Dan Park in downtown District 1 also has room to move, making it a popular spot for city dwellers to take their morning and evening exercise. And it's not just people who visit the park. Songbirds are taken to the park's little cafe (fronting Cach Mang Thang Tam Street) every morning, their cages hung from purpose-built frames to encourage them to sing. It's a fascinating experience to visit the bird cafe, especially watching the bird owners take their beloved pets home by motorbike.

Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre

The park, which has large playground and an indoor play centre, is a short walk from the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre. The 55-minute water puppet shows, all in Vietnamese, need to be booked a few days ahead.

You could continue the bird theme with a visit to Pet Me Coffee in Phu Nhuan District. This small drinks-only cafe has a resident mini-owl and several parakeets, which can be petted, as well as some larger more exotic birds who hang out at the front of the coffee shop.

Photo Source: Golden Dragon Theatre

Family-Fun in Suoi Tien Amusement Park

One of the city's wackiest attractions in town is the Buddhist-themed Suoi Tien Amusement Park. Allocate a full day here, especially if you plan to visit the vast water park section. The amusement park can be quite baffling if you're not well versed in Buddhist stories because there is limited signage in English. Still, a stroll through the strange displays, which include a wish tree and The Royal Herbal Wine Palace, can be very entertaining. There is also an aquarium, 4D cinema, a dolphin show and the Snow Castle, the perfect place to escape Ho Chi Minh City's heat ... by plunging into a sub-zero world of ice and snow.

Photo Source: Suoi Tien - Andrea Hale

Pretending to Be Adults in Kizciti

Younger kids will enjoy learning about the world of work at Kizciti in District 4. The staff here usually has enough English to explain how each activity centre works. Each child receives a small amount of kizo, the Kizciti currency, on entry and they must decide how to manage it. Some activities cost kizo, and some earn it. A small open-air cafe serves basic food and coffee to sustain the "kiz" and their parents through a long day of "work", which can entail learning to be a pilot, a paediatrician, a delivery person or a firefighter.

Photo Source: Kizciti

Indoor Kid’s Play Centres and Playgrounds

Ho Chi Minh City has several indoor play centres and amusement arcades. In the city centre, Vincom Center has a play area and a game zone in its basement. In District 2, there's a play area in the garden of Snap Cafe and in District 7 there's an air-conditioned indoor playground inside Bee Bee Premium Kid's Cafe (4th floor, 96-98 Cao Trieu Phat, Phu My Hung).

Older kids can while away a few hours at Paintball Saigon, X-Rock Climbing, in the pool at Lan An Sports Club or at the bowling alley on the fourth floor of Diamond Plaza.

Photo Source: Snap Café

Visit a Witch-Themed Café

Younger kids can be entertained for hours at the witch-themed Ba Cay Choi (Three Broomstick) cafe on the third floor of The Vista Walk in District 2. Activities at the cafe, which can be entered via the stairs or a giant slide, include candle-making, baking, hat-making and painting. Make sure you order something with a suitably disgusting name from the food and drink menu, such as bug mud or ghost pumpkin spaghetti.

There are more cool cafés for you to bring your children to: A long rainy Saigon afternoon can be spent playing board games and snacking on poutine at Monopolatte Au Play Cafe, while a long scary evening can be spent eating ribs. (There's a pool in the outdoor section).

Photo Source: Witch Coffee

Playing Detective in Escape Hunt

Escape Hunt is a game played indoors with a group of two to eight people. You are locked inside a room with a mystery murder to solve. It is one of the best thing to do in Saigon for families with teenagers. You must work together to find clues that will help you find out who is the killer and how to escape.

Learning Arts in Vinspace

In the expat area of District 2, there is a range of activities for older kids. Some of the more interesting include taking a workshop or joining a summer camp at Vinspace art studio.

Photo Source: Vinspace

Saigon Reunification Palace

The Reunification Palace is a prime example of a must-visit family-friendly attraction that has a special appeal for kids. The roomy but slightly run-down public areas could be the backdrop for a princess fantasy, while the basement war rooms will appeal to hero-types. Making the palace even more appealing is its location, a short walk from the Haagen-Dazs ice cream cafe.

Families traveling to Vietnam with kids should not worry about things to do in Saigon. We only listed our top 10 attractions but there are many more great ideas that will make your stay memorable. You may also want to read our article What to Do in 24-hour in Saigon.


Arabian Night in HCMC

By: Quang Mai

Funds raised from the event will be donated to Nguyen Dinh Chieu School for the Blind in District 10 to renovate and buy equipment for a Multi-Sensory Room that supports 305 students here to develope their academic learning. Multi-Sensory Learning happens when more than one sense is used to acquire and retain information – so applicable for children with multi-disabilities.

Date:

Saturday, 15th September 2012

Time:

From 7pm till late

Venue:

InterContinental Asiana Saigon
Corner of Hai Ba Trung & Le Duan St., Dist. 1, HCMC

Ticket cost:

VND3,165,000 per ticket
VND31,650,000 per table of 10

Bookings:

events@auschamvn.org
Tel: (84-8) 3832 9912

Please click here to visit Arabian Night micro website

XO Tours: Much imitated but never replicated!

By: Barbara Dorothy Clarke

We all know that it is near on impossible to copyright an idea and protect intellectual property in Vietnam.

But what does that mean for your day to day business when you have an original idea and an excellent product?

Luckily although people can steal your ideas – in minute detail – and almost totally replicate your offering - it’s the little things that make a brand – and ensure that brand still stands head high above any pale imitations.

Spend 5 minutes with Tung who is the founder of XO Tours and his passion and enthusiasm for what he does is palpable. It is a simple idea – tourists want to see the real Saigon but not on the back of a grubby motorbike and behind an even grubbier driver. Step up XO Tours with female drivers with class, style and excellent English who are also able to provide a female perspective on life in Vietnam.

XO Tours was the first company in Vietnam to offer affordable motorbike tours with attractive female tour guides dressed in traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai. All the XO guides are handpicked and fluent in English but it is Tung’s focus on service that really sets XO Tours apart.

Tung invests heavily in every detail of his brand and his employees imbue the same high brand values. All his employees are trained to the highest standards – whether it is presentation, language skills, driving skills or personability . All employees are full time and their bikes are upgraded at Tung’s expense to ensure maximum comfort and safety for clients.

This is a business where the customer experience is king – people are buying memories and that is what he aims to deliver. Staff retention is key and bonuses and profit sharing make for motivated and loyal employees who are focused on growing the company by providing the best experience they can.

Customers come from all over the world and a high percentage of business comes from word of mouth – simply the best publicity you can get – being number 1 on Trip Advisor for 2 years can’t be bad either.

Bristling with new ideas, Tung started with basic tours – he was the first to do night tours – then first to do foodie tours. Now others are jumping on the bandwagon - some good -some not so good….

In spite of this, XO Tours is expanding and bookings are full – anything between 18-24 guests go out on any one night.

So competitors can steal his ideas, follow the same routes , and visit the same areas, cosy up to the same suppliers…..

Imitate they may – replicate never!

Do you know of any businesses with similar experiences?

IS THERE A STORY OR TIP

YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH US?

GET IN TOUCH