Bui Vien Street has been dubbed the Backpackers Street because obvisouly lots of backpackers and tourists stay around this area. One stroll through the street and it is not hard to understand why. Bars, clubs, lightly dressed girls, lasers, vendors selling food everywhere and street performers regularly working here makes this place intoxicating to the senses.
The classic and ConBeo recommended method to enjoy this part of Saigon is to find a bar with small plastic stools facing the street, ordering a refreshing Saigon beer and watch the chaos unfold infront of you from the saftey of your plastic chair.
Loud techno music and laughing gas balloons is surely not cattered to everyone especially those that have moved on from their young wreckless early twenties. Nevertheless the sheer amount of madness and action that takes place here is a sight to behold for everyone. Not everyone who walks through the red light distric in Amsterdam is buying a hooker of course. Like so, Bui Vien is a spectacle that can be safely enjoyed from a far, without comitting any attrocities to your liver.
For the people reading that still havent had the pleasure of inhaling a laughing gas baloon in a Saigon techno club, you just might see yourself spending a considerable amount of time here. The clubs here will blast music every night until the early hours of the morning and food vendors will anxiously wait outside when your done trying to sell you an assortment of Saigon delicacies. Drug dealers are known to wander here but of course we highly recommend avoiding any confronation with Vietnamese law enforcement.
Of course behind the innocent fun being had on this street there is of course a darker side present here. The street performers are many under aged, the lightly dressed girls are certainly short of different careers options and the countless beggars wandering the streets here are most likely victims of human trafficing rings. Escaping dark realities like this is of course difficult in most countries that belong to the so called developing world.
Thankfuly in recent years nightlife in Ho Chi Minh has improved greatly in the past years. Trendy rooftop bars, exciting cocktails and a wave of local craft beers has taken off. Ho Chi Minh is gradually developing from a developing city to a cosmopolotian metropolisis rivaling the likes of Shanghai.
For a peek into the new wave of Ho Chi Minh nightlife destinations, head slightly out of backpackers street and hop into places like Broma Not a Bar, Indika or Lighthouse. Frequented mainly by expats living in Ho Chi Minh along with locals, these places often get overlooked by tourist who have the perception that all nightlife begins and ends with the infamous backpacker street.