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Interesting things to do outside of clubbing and eating?

What do you guys do out here in Saigon besides clubbing and eating out?
Any cool off-the-beaten-path workshops, places to visit, meet-ups, etc? Any intellectually stimulating activities?

I have been looking for poetry and stuff, but there seems to be none. Intellectually, I think that the best you will find is university English Clubs. It's actually quite fun.
Other than that, I have completely failed to find more than that.
To find the coolest people, move away from Pham Ngu Lau. I think Tan Binh and District 3 has some cool places. District 10 has some.


To be honest, i think Saigon is a bit bad in this aspect. It really doesn't have much for (non-locals) that don't know people. It's hard as a newcomer to get into cool "cliques".

Hell, maybe we should organise one? Hahah.

-  Conservatory of Ho Chi Minh City  (112 Nguyễn Du, Q1) often holds performances from their students as well as guests (established musicians and performance artists).

-  Indika House (43 Nguyễn Văn Giai, Q1) has live music/jam sessions. They held a great event called Old Saigon by For Many Reasons last April.

-  The Fig (15 Nguyễn Thị Huỳnh, Phú Nhuận) is a good place to be by oneself or with a group of intimate friends. Excerpt from one review: "The music is exotic and unpredictable- ranging from minstrel songs to sitar to new age. The greenery gives it a fresh scent and it’s amazing to sit under an umbrella on a rainy day, listening to the sound of the rain in the elevated pool."

-  Trúc Mai House (104 Phạm Viết Chánh, Bình Thạnh) offers hand-on mini lessons on Vietnamese traditional music.

-  Yên Cafe (9 Phạm Đình Toại, Q3). Local musical performances

A few years ago, I spent over a month in Saigon doing nothing except visiting local music/performance art venues. Can't remember all the names and addresses now, but there are many if you care to search, ask around, or check out flyers at local cafes.

The activities are not cliquey, since all of them are open to the public, but visitors to Saigon do not seem to have time for the local colours, and the locals are too busy making a living or too financial hard-pressed to extend the advertisements to tourist areas.

Most of the local artists are not paid for their performances by owners of the venues. Their payments derive from tips and a small percentage of entrance fee. Guest participation is always welcome.

Yogi likes to Photo bomb tourists.    It's fun.
Plenty of Chinese tourists here in Nha Trang.....just sneak up  behind em.

And for you folk that like a bit more action......just walk out into the middle of the busiest road  or intersection you can find and look up & point towards the sky.    I can guarantee that within 2 minutes you'll have about 500 Vietnamese doing the same thing.  Then just quietly sneak away. 🤓🤓

People watching, especially in the markets and market streets.
Fascinating, almost like being in a foreign country.

Church, coffee shops, English cafes, bread shops, shopping, anywhere in Phu My Hung...

Excellent recommendations. I know some of those places but not others and will seek those out. I've been to the Conservatory a number of times. It's not just students but a lot of international talent, as well.

I've lived all over SE Asia and one thing that I enjoy in Saigon is the growing number of bars and cafes where foreign musicians play, often together with locals. Couple of places I can recommend:
• Café La Fenêtre Soleil, 44 Lý Tự Trọng, Bến Nghé, Quận 1. French name, very good Indonesian food.
• Rogue Saigon Craft Beer, 13 Pasteur, Bến Nghé, Quận 1. Bit on the funkier side of music.
• Malt Saigon, 46 Mạc Thị Bưởi, Bến Nghé, Quận 1. Often has live music, especially on Monday nights.
• Heart of Darkness, 31D Lý Tự Trọng, Bến Nghé, Quận 1. Live music on weekends.

Some online resources:
• expat.com   of course.
• saigoneer.com has an events page
• citypassguide.com
• stickyrice.typepad.com is back up it seems
• vietcetera.com is a bit more eclectic (interesting piece on hip hop in Vietnam, esp. Sai Gon)

I'm always open to learning about more places.

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