Saigon is the first stop on most Vietnam golf tours and naturally golfers ask about the nightlife options. While nightlife in Vietnam does not compare to nightlife in Thailand, it is nevertheless still pretty good and there are many options for those who like to party after golf. Here are three popular Saigon night clubs that can satisfy even the most spirited persons golfing in Vietnam.
I usually stop by here when in town, and then leave wondering why I went. It is located on Thi Sach Street about 1 block from the river. Apocalypse Now is an OK place to chill out in the early evening, maybe shoot some pool or watch some sports. However around 11 pm it quickly gets packed. If you like crowded clubs with loud music and lots of entertainment options, this place is for you. A bit hard to find as there is no sign outside – look for a club with about 5 steps up to the doorway, security guards standing around outside and some taxis hanging out nearby .Apocalypse Now claims to be a foreigner club and the music is western pop, though the crowd is mainly young Vietnamese ladies mixed with male foreign tourists and expats. .
Zan Z Bar
This is trendy and upscale and where you will find the ‘dressed in black’ crowd. Wide selection of drinks and the first floor gets very crowded with many locals looking for a fun night out. However, there is also a 2nd and 3rd floor both with bars. This place attracts both young locals and a mix of young and middle aged foreigners. To get there, walk out of the Caravelle Hotel, turn right, then another right at the corner and it is a few steps down on the right.
Long a popular dance club with a mix of tourists and young locals, this club switched from Filipino pop bands to a Cuban salsa band about 3 years ago and is now more popular than ever. The rooftop club in the old wing of the Caravelle and is frequented by locals and visiting businessman. Good service and a wide selection of drinks including various wines by the glass.
So Saigon is not Bangkok, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying the night scene after your first round golfing in Vietnam.
Customer service in Vietnam’s hospitality industry is fast improving. You now see more smiles, better English speaking and understanding capabilities, and better understanding of how to serve Vietnam golf holidaymakers than even just 3-4 years ago.
There is a new government policy that all prices should be stated in Vietnamese Dong only, and other currencies should generally not be accepted. Hotels and golf courses though still accept US dollars; however prices are often posted in Dong.
In the Saigon international airport terminal building, stores and restaurants quote prices in US Dollars (USD), and accept payment in both USD and Vietnamese Dong (VND). But in the Domestic terminal building 200 meters away, prices are only quoted in VND, and vendors ONLY accept payment in VND. Making it worse, there are NO money exchangers in the Domestic terminal and the ONLY ATM machine in the entire building is often out of service. If you want something to eat or drink but do not have VND, you need to go back outside of the secure area, walk back to the International terminal, and either exchange money or use an ATM there.
Domestic travel between Vietnam golf destinations is all on Vietnam Airlines and golfers have to be concerned about golf bag costs. Checked luggage allowance is 20 kg. Though the airline website does not state it and it may not be an ‘official policy’, the person at Saigon airport in charge of check-in said golf clubs are ignored for calculating luggage weight. Otherwise overweight luggage is charged at $5 US per kg. On my return trip I was 8 kg over the limit, but the check-in person only charged me for 4 kg.
Tourism and the tourism industry in Vietnam are developing fast. Vietnam golfers are advised to check with a Vietnam golf tour operator on the ground to find out the latest rules, regulations, and golf travel tips.
Golf in Vietnam is an experience to remember for a lifetime. From short breaks at championship Vietnam golf courses to explorations of golf, history and culture, Vietnam now has it all. One of the best up-and-coming golfing destinations in the world, the country is dynamic, safe, and affordable. From the excitement of modern Saigon to the thousand-year-old streets of Hanoi, from the sea and sand in Danang and Hoi An to the mountain fresh air of Dalat, the choices are endless. Combine this with world-class Vietnam golf and accommodations to suit every golf traveler and you have the foundation of for the ultimate Vietnam golf destination.