Walking Street Saigon is one of the most iconic nightlife areas of Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City, with bars, clubs, pole dancing,, freelancers and hawkers absolutely everywhere.
How though does a night out here work during one of he biggest migrations of people on the planet – Chinese, or Lunar New Year? Well it turn out not all that bad.
What the Walking Street Saigon?
Walking street is the epicenter of downtown Ho Chi Minh City and in fact the place that even locals still refer to as Saigon, rather than by the new name.
Formerly it was most famous fro the outside drinking haunts where you sit on chairs and watch the world go by, but this has seemingly changed over there last few years. Yes these are still there, as are the dodgy backstreets with places like “Reggae Bar” and other backpacker joints, but the downtown is now an eclectic mix of huge clubs with dancing girls and aggressive dudes trying to drag you in for expensive drinks.
This sublimated by expensive restaurants serving great seafood, but a t a premium.
It is also full of massage parlors, freelancers and ladyboys loudly and proudly practicing the worlds oldest profession. This is particularly prevalent just before new year when people really want cash to fill those redevelops with…..
Walking Street Saigon at Chinese New Year
In the run up to Lunar New Year you can see Saigon and walking street slowly start to wind down, with to becoming less and less busy, before the actual new year and then bouncing straight back into its own version of normality.
You will though still get plenty of weird thought which includes all the regular hawkers, but also women randomly eating fire on the street, something I wish I had gotten more photos of.
During the day time the streets is traditionally a bit lackluster, but on Lunar New Years day walking street is like zombie apocalypse. I sadly did not heed these warnings and instead headed to a restaurant on the main strip.
Amusingly this afforded me the chance to watch guy fight with a lobster, but also watch the waiters quite literally drive a motorbike to pick up food from another restaurant, which invariably came back wrong and, or cold.
In this instance I probably should have gone with Vietnamese Burger King, Lotteria, or even good old 7-Eleven.