Written by: Jaii Fredregill
Destination: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Visited: October 2018
A youthful, flourishing city, Ho Chi Minh has some of the best nightlife in Southeast Asia, including an exceptional music scene. Each year the crowds grow thicker with travelers, expats, and entrepreneurs adding to the chaos and excitement of this surprisingly unpretentious destination.
Travelers and locals alike pour into local clubs, bars, restaurants, and other public spaces to hear musicians from all over the world who have come to perform. Here are a few of the most talked about places to find live music in Ho Chi Minh City.
Ben Thanh Street Market has become a trendy hot spot for food and music
Ben Thanh Street Food Market
26-28-30 Thủ Khoa Huân, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Find Ben Than Street Food Market on Facebook
Live Music - Tuesday & Saturday 7:30 pm
Ben Tahn food market is serving classic and reinvented street food as well as new concoctions from local artisans and cooks. The generous number of meal options makes this a great place to kick off your night out.
Tuesday and Saturday evenings live bands make this spot even more popular. The outdoor community tables are also ideal for enjoying a beer or a cocktail, both of which are available just next to the front of the market where bands perform, so come early and grab a seat.
Beer and jazz tops the venue every Saturday at Belgo.
Belgo - Belgian Craft Beer Brewery
159A Đường Nguyễn Văn Thủ, Đa Kao, Quận 1
Live Jazz 8 pm Saturday
Belgo has brought Belgian craft beer to Ho Chi Minh City and live jazz to Saturday nights. If you are looking for a spot to unwind and enjoy a leisurely supper, then check out this charming brewhouse and the soulful sounds that fill the house each week. The show starts at 8 pm, and the beer pours all night.
Bargoers are serenaded by Kuleen & D'Gang.
Thi Bar Saigon
224 Đường Đề Thám, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, HCMC
Thi Bar is located on one of the most hectic corners of District 1. Crowds pack in to listen to house band Miss Kuleen & D'Gang. This lady crooner belts out some of the best hits to top the charts over the past 20-years. Enthusiastic patrons who come to drink and dance the night away keep spirits high and late-night lively.
121 Yersin, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, HCMC (Correct Address)
Happy Hour Buy 1 Get 1, Daily 7 pm-9 pm
House band "Sound of Rock," also called simply "Philippine band" is one of the hardest working bands in Saigon. Ruling the first floor, they put on one hell of a show, so be prepared to rock. Seventeen Saloon is the place for headbanging, fist pumping and celebrating metal, hair bands, and rock from the 80s and 90s. You don't have to remember it fondly or at all, but you do have to be willing to have a good time.
Sound of Rock, house band at Seventeen Saloon.
Those who prefer pop music from days of old should head up to the second floor where an elaborate performance filled with song and dance draws a full house of sidestepping, hip shaking sing-along enthusiasts.
NOTE: The address for Seventeen Saloon is listed incorrectly on Google. The correct address is 121 Yersin, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, HCMC
The lineup is key at Woodstock.
Woodstock Bar - Live Music
39 Đường Bà Huyện Thanh Quan, Phường 6, Quận 3, HCM
The nostalgia created by the 1970s rock n' roll decor at Woodstock is a lot like a velvet Elvis rug, it can either be really fun or a little depressing depending on what's going on around it.
Located just a few minutes walk from both Yoko (2-mins) and Acoustic (10-mins) this fascinating relic has no cover charge, so it is worth popping your head in to see what's on for the night. The band sets the mood here so you could be in for a great time if the music is right.
Getting cozy at Acoustic Bar
6E1 Hẻm 6 Ngô Thời Nhiệm, Phường 7, Quận 3, HCMC
Phone: +84 8 3930 7627, You can try calling for reservations and lineup information
Acoustic Bar is one of the best-known spots for music in Ho Chi Min. Most bands who play this stage have already gained a fair amount of notoriety. This space quickly packs to the gills once the music starts, and though arriving early may get you a better view of the stage, those without a reservation should be prepared to stand. Smash in and enjoy the show.
The night is never dull at Yoko Cafe
22 Nguyễn Thị Diệu, Phường 6, Quận 3, HCMC
To understand the vibe at Yoko think 1990s coffeehouse or modern day beat bar. The perfectly placed stage commands your attention to the many artists from around the globe who perform upon it. Yoko attracts great bands and audiences, making it well worth the reasonably priced cover charge required for some shows with bigger headliners.
Whether you are staying long term or just passing through, Ho Chi Minh City's music scene is worth exploring.