31 Ly Tu Trong St. D.1
T: (08) 3824 3483
Besides having cafes and street food, Saigon also has a fair share of bars and clubs, I guess you need something to do once the cafes close. Since there are so many bars sometimes it can be hit and miss to find a place with people without walking all over town. The best way is to try an event night, but those seem to be a bit repetitive and sometimes gender biased. So, if you’re looking for something less sexist than a ladies’ night but more personable than just showing up at a random bar you could be looking for the Saigon Pub Crawl. Started six months ago by Christaan, a resident expat and pub lover, the crawl takes place on the first Saturday of each month and now has quite a following.
The crawl usually starts at the Blue Gecko, a smaller bar on Ly Tu Trong in District 1, at 20:00. After an hour or so, the house really starts to fill up as the normal number of pub-crawlers rarely dips below 60. The crowd is mostly filled with expats but Christaan wants the group to be inclusive of all. He says, “Everyone is welcome; expats, backpackers, and locals too. It’s a great way to meet people.”
It really is a great way to mingle with travellers passing through, bragging about where they have been or where they are going, or expats that are in it for the long haul who are looking to chew your ear off about how great things used to be when there were fewer expats in the city. Just stick on your nametag and start introducing yourself. I happened to come on a good night as there were several other first-timers looking to make new friends. If it is more about the drink than the company, you can rest easy knowing that the crawl also gets different drink specials depending on the bar. The specials are usually nothing crazy — think happy hour prices — but are better than nothing on a Saturday night.
After an hour or so the group will move to a new location and after an hour or so there they will move again. Generally, the night will end at the infamous Apocalypse Now on Thi Sach where the stragglers can dance until the early of hours of the morning. Plus, as an added bonus for sticking with the group all night, you get to skip the cover charge to get in.
If you’re in Saigon on the first Saturday of the month, this is a pretty sweet way to spend the night and make new friends. The Facebook event states that the official time is from 20:00-23:30 but the majority of the group won’t start showing up until 20:30 and, unofficially, the night can last much longer. To stay up-to-date on possible venue changes, or information on where to meet the group if you’re going to be late, you can check their Facebook, or Twitter pages. So, have some fun socialising with fellow travellers and maybe I’ll see you there too.
By Angela Schonberg
Last updated on 16th December, 2014.