Sunday was the last day and I figured I would walk around and explore some more. The streets are full of hair salons and grooming places. For all of you trolls walking suk soi 4 with more ear hair than YP has pubes – might I suggest a little personal grooming. Even your p4p lovers will enjoy the fact that you had a shave. One of the cool places for this in HCMC is the HIS salon on Le Thanh Ton street – number 29 to be exact. Place is done up like an old shop and is full of charming little service girls. I had a shave but whilst they are shaving you get a little 2 person rub down. They kept encouraging me to go with the full body rub but I did not have time. My guess is some sort of rubbing and tugging happens upstairs but I doubt the full meal deal.
Speaking of full meal deals the town is littered with Health Spas and my guess is some sort of groin checks are happening but I did not have time to check it.
For lunch I met my service girl from Lush at Highland Coffee. HCMC is full of coffee shops and it seems on the weekends the hi-so white viet girls are lounging around them all day long. I must have seen 10-15 hotties I would love to jump but of course they had no interest in me whatsoever. Kind of like when YP walks into a hetero go-go bar. I am sure if one spent some time in HCMC it would not take long to start to hang with these girls. I think in general the laws of averages are much better in Thailand but the hotties in Vietnam are a thing to behold and so many of them have big tits. Kills me. Vietnam seems to win the tit wars in SEA but might tie with Indonesia. Thailand is out of the running for this game.
My date was a total bore so we went of for a foot massage. Find the chinese style ones for a good experience. Better than HK/China, they don’t break your feet, but a little less gentle than the put you-to-sleep type of foot rub in Thailand. The happy ending is a nice head shoulder rub. Good value all in all. I bid the lush girl goodbye and went to the hotel for a nap.
For the evening I wanted something a little different. Near the river, but out of district 1, you will find the yuppie/exapat don’t let the locals near me enclave of Ann Phu. I have never seen so many huge houses in one area in SEA. Huge pads but hidden among them on the river are little dead end streets tucked away with cool bars and restaurants. I chose the Deck on 38 Nguyen u Di – see website for how to get there. It was not easy but so worth it. http://www.thedecksaigon.com. A nice chill spot right on the river with great cocktails and food. A huge martini will set you back like 5 bucks. I ate dinner there and just hung by the river – would have been better with a date but not the p4p type. One street over, good luck finding it, is suppose to be the Zanzbar club – quite the place on fri/sat is what people say. I imagine the hip crowd but might be a nice change of pace.
I went back into town and started walking around the Le Thanh Ton area. All around this street and a few others in either direction, stick to the low numbers, there are tons of bars. Many Japanese hostess places and little watering holes with girls. My guess is there are some gems but you would have to explore.
I happened to stumble upon Smiley Bar on Thai Van Lung and realized it was on my list. Drinks are a reasonable 50k vnd and you can buy bottles. I had some 27 year old come up to me. A little chunky but a gorgeous face and fun demeanor. She told me she liked to drink hot milk. I assumed I knew what she meant and we started the negotiations. She said 700k and as much as I tried she would not come down from that. That is like 1200 baht – makes lolitas a total bargain. Generally this was my beef with Vietnam – there is no real value in it compared to Thailand. Maybe there never was but you get a sense how great Thailand is. I am sure there are HCMC regulars who will laugh at the prices or say you can do better but let’s compare. I don’t have to bargain walking into lolitas. Hell – I generally don’t even get a drink and if I paid her 1000 all in all she still takes the whole load and does not try to rifle through my wallet. Smiley was probably the better mid range hostess place in town but pales in comparison to Thailand. Also they have no real private spaces – just the pool rooms and the chairs. I think next time I will bargain to bang her on the pool table for extra effect. She was good though but they lack the extra touch of milking things to the very end. Her number btw the way is *&^.
With that I went back to my hotel to sleep. HCMC is fun but mongering is not the gem here. I think the eating, clubbing and chilling out are with the chance to throw in some action on the side. However there are other places I have yet to try, there are massage joints and I did not even crack the FL scene at all. I will be back for more but as a pure play I would not be chasing Vietnam for p4p.
For dinner. Very cool, kind of Old Colonial French feel, French/International cuisine
Great for dinner, lunch and drinks. Great food, very respectable wine list, cool people. A standard with Saigon regulars.
3. Au Parc
Chilled out Cafe/Restaurant located right on a park. Great international food, casual. Great for breakfast or lunch. If you go, sit upstairs in the front near the windows.
4. The Temple Club
Great atmosphere, a favorite of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (they rode a motorbike from their hotel to here apparently), good Vietnamese cuisine. Good place for lunch or especially dinner. I’d suggest a reservation if you are thinking of going. Old style French Colonial. Directly below this restaurant is Fanny’s Ice Cream, great French ice cream parlor.
5. Hotel Restaurant and Bars
There’s the Hyatt Saigon which has a couple of good restaurants. Square One on the second floor has some very nice Asian Fusion. The Intercontinental just opened and looks quite cool though I haven’t tried it yet. Apparently there will be a Hard Rock Cafe there soon. The Sheraton has a good rooftop bar which gives one of the best views of the city. All the major hotels are basically within walking distance of each other.
6. Clubs and Bars
– Apocalypse. For good and bad, all roads lead at the end of the night to Apocalypse. One of the few bars/clubs that goes for it and keeps going for it until very late.
-Lush. Good lounge/club. Cool design, young vietnamese crowd, usually good DJ
-Go2. Same league as Apocalypse. Located in the back packer area which is open very late (most other clubs and areas have to close by 2). Lots of drunk tourists and doginess. Have a few drinks in you before you attempt this place and watch your wallet!
-Qbar. Not quite as exciting as Qbar Bangkok but a good place for drinks. Incredible location. Usually a good scene but doesn’t really get going until the weekend after 12. During the week, great place to sit outside and have a ginger mohito, watching the organized chaos of Saigon pass by.
Saigon Hotel on Dung Du Street (same street as sheraton)
Bong Sen Hotel on 117 Dong Khoi Street (diagonal from the corner of the Sheraton building) Bong Sen is usually a bit more full service but not FULL service.