Being a part of the LGBT community should never hinder your chances of exploring in any way. However, it is advisable to take down a few notes to get the best experience out of your travel without worrying about your identity being violated. Check out our post for LGBT friendly places in Ho Chi Minh City.
The excitement of Saigon Pride
VietPride is an annual event honoring Vietnam’s LGBT Community, which is celebrated in several cities across the country during pride months. VietPride in Saigon aka Saigon Pride is among the most festive parades. The event usually takes part in Nguyen Hue pedestrian street and the beautiful participants paint the street in rainbow color and delirious joy. If you happen to travel to Ho Chi Minh in the months of September and November, don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the local community and go into ecstasies with the crowd.
A carnival on Nguyen Hue Street
Address: 215/A1 Nguyen Van Huong, District 2
Opening time: 7:30 AM - 11 PM
The fancy decor of the restaurant
Owned by an interior designer - Thai Cong - and his partner, who are both members of Vietnam’s LGBT community, the restaurant takes great pride in its first-class service. The fancy yet cozy ambiance is created by the enchanting and intricate decoration, from fancy silverware to contemporary designing and furnishing. The menu is an intriguing fusion of Vietnamese cuisine and Western cookery, which delivers an extraordinary experience for an international customer. With the belief that considerate presentation adds to the unforgettable experience, Thai Cong’s restaurant strives for the highest quality service possible.
Breakfast for two at Thai Cong’s restaurant
Address: 6B Cong Truong Quoc Te, District 3 (Turtle Lake)
Opening time: 7 AM - 12 AM
Papa Cafe in District 3
A friendly neighborhood restaurant by day and a frenzied karaoke bar by sundown, this is one of the most popular gay-hangout in the city, where the LGBT people would gather and sings their hearts out. Downstairs is where live music party is at, but if you are searching for a location for a casual chat, go upstairs where the crowds are much more chill. This cafe gets especially packed at weekends nights, so it is not a bad idea to visit early and reserve yourself a seat.
The setting is super for drinking and small talks
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You can never leave Ho Chi Minh without experiencing the nightlife here. It is when the true soul of Ho Chi Minh comes to life.
Address: 224 De Tham Street, District 1
Opening time: 5 PM - 2 AM
Thi Bar is famous for enchanting live music
If you fancy good live music and refreshing beverages, then make your way to Thi Bar on De Tham Street. Situated in the backpacker street of Bui Vien, its customers are both local and international visitors, and of course, more than a few gay fellows frequent here. Although the bar is not particularly spacious and definitely would get full just a few hours after opening, the excellent drinks and the dynamic atmosphere are more than you can ever ask for.
The place gets especially crowded at late nights
Address: 196 De Tham, District 1
Opening time: 5 PM - 1 AM
The warm atmosphere inside the bar
One of the most LGBT friendly places in Ho Chi Minh, Whiskey and Wares welcomes all kinds of patrons, locals or tourists, gay or straight, everyone cannot help but be drawn in the electric vibes. It is best if you stop by with a group of friends and share the fun, or if you a solo traveler, do come down here also to make some memorable companies on your visit. The drinks here are super affordable for exquisite taste and quality, especially their craft beer. Just like any popular bars in District 1, you should pay attention to a suitable visiting time before it gets over-crowded with party-goers.
Address: 37 De Tham, Co Giang Ward, District 1.
Opening hours: 4 PM - 2 AM
Want to look for some LGBT Friendly Places in Ho Chi Minh and have an extremely upbeat night? Check out The Tipsy Unicorn and their events via Facebook. Only 5 minutes walk away from Bui Vien Walking Street, at this newly-opened gay bar, you can join different fascinating weekly events almost every day (except Friday) such as Rewind Rupaul’s Drag Race, Game Night, and more.
A night at The Tipsy Unicorn
Gender Funk creates several drag shows every month in Ho Chi Minh City. Just got started in 2018, it has gained rising popularity among the community and soon become one of the interesting LGBT friendly places in Ho Chi Minh City. It is a magnificent party series where everyone can be as fabulous as they want and show their best live performances. If you would like to involve more in their events, look for their project called Saigon is Burning.
Each show of them would have different themes and is organized at different Ho Chi Minh City bars or night clubs. You would not only be able to enjoy the lively songs but also feel the warming welcome from both the locals and expats.
Get funky at Gender Funk
To keep up with Gender Funk, check out their Facebook fanpage.
If you check out this crew, it might not appear to be the familiar scene that you usually imagine about drag shows. The concept seems different and more… Vietnamese, but it does share some resemblances with the definition of drag. And, their shows are surely LGBT friendly places in Ho Chi Minh and also give you a chance to know about a part of Vietnamese culture.
Lo To is the Vietnamese version of the game Lotto. What this crew does is instead of just calling out the chosen numbers, they would sing a song (can be improvised) before that and harmoniously show the result. Although it is a popular entertaining form in Vietnam, what makes Sai Gon Tan Thoi special is their members, who are all from the LGBT community. When the spotlight is on, they all put on splendid Vietnamese Ao Dai and sing with their full passion.
Sai Gon Tan Thoi brings an impressive collection of Vietnamese traditional clothes on their stages
They perform quite frequently, but since it is a truly local experience, we recommend you to have a Vietnamese speaker to help you with the show’s information and maybe to accompany you to see it so that you can enjoy it thoroughly.
Find LGBT-friendly hotels in Ho Chi Minh City:
Ho Chi Minh is a city of mixed cultures and possesses quite a welcoming attitude, so don’t be reserved to show yourself and find an experience that suits you the most. We believe that your identity should not restrict you to only specific places, but surrounding yourself in a favorable environment will never fail to give you the most memorable travel moments.
Take special notice: Although there are quite a few LGBT friendly places in Ho Chi Minh, in general, the locals aren't used to the public display of affection yet. That is to say, if you are traveling with your significant other, no matter how you identify yourself, take into account to be considerate out in public.
Learn more about where local couples meet in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and other LGBT travel resources through Utopia Asia.
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© Written by Kim Hoang and Mai Bui for itourvn.com