Vietnam is a relatively hassle-free place for gay visitors. Same sex relationships have never been explicitly illegal but modern criminal law prohibits acts that undermine public morality, a code that provides a legal basis for authorities to prosecute any behavior considered out of the norm, and the government is infamous for clamping down on gay venues. It is generally understood that one is 'born' gay and same sex relationships are quite common and accepted, as long as they are kept private. Most gay people thus keep a low profile. Although affectionate behavior in public between people of the same sex is very common, it doesn't mean one is gay and explicit 'gay' behavior in public is certainly frowned upon. Due to its close association with prostitution and HIV/AIDS, authorities have sometimes harassed gay men and often turn a blind eye to real crimes that target gay visitors, such as organized rip-offs in which homosexuality is used as blackmail by scam artists, usually posing as masseurs. Modern gay life has well infiltrated nightlife, but a real gay scene as in some other countries is in essence absent. Gay people generally meet in mixed places such as discos, pubs and restaurants.



  Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

A cute waiter in one of the many road side restaurants.





Ho Chi Minh City, also called Saigon, is a metropolitan of almost 10 million people. It is situated on the Saigon River, just a small distance North of where the Mekong Delta floods into the South China Sea. The heart of the city, also known as the 1st District, stretches from the river to the Opera House, along the Saigon river which is lined with 5-star hotels, trendy shops and fine restaurants. Most venues popular with gays are also located in this area.


2nd floor, 131 Dong Khoi, 1st District.

Trendy disco with tasteful music and handsome waiters, that are recognizable from their large cowboy hats and shirtless vests. Good mix of locals and foreigners. Crowded on weekend nights but, due to its location, closes rather early (around 1am).



  Samsara, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Samsara, probably the most trendy gay disco in HCMC with a good mix of locals, expats and visitors.




236 De Tham, 1st District.

A gay owned restaurant and pub in HCMC backpacker's district. It has two floors, with the upstairs being a stylish restaurant offering a bit more privacy. Very friendly and helpful staff.



Eden, a gay-friendly restaurant in Saigon with a mix of male and female staff.



  Eden, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)


Ly Thu Trung, 1st District.

Mixed, gay-friendly dance bar with two levels but without a dance floor. It also has pool tables and  there are couches all over. It also has outdoor dining. Very crowded on Saturday evenings.


America Club
Windsor Plaza Hotel, 5th District.

Fashionable discothèque with a mixed crowd of young Vietnamese and lots of gays. Hip and trendy music by DJ.


Apocalypse Now
2B-2C Thi Sach, 1st District.

Straight disco frequented by many gays, especially after other venues closed shop. Gay people tend to hang out on the patio outside or in the corner near the dance floor on the right side from the entrance. In the late hours it looks as it sounds and it requires plenty of security personnel to help with closing up. They also offer snacks.



  Apocalypse Now, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

The entrance to Apocalypse Now, a disco in Saigon, frequented by many young Vietnamese and some gays.




Ben Thanh
3rd Floor, Orient Club, 6 Mac Dinh Chi, 1st District.

Large and popular place for young gays to hang out amongst other non-gay Vietnamese. It has a dance floor with local pop music.


Palace Club
2nd Floor, Palace Hotel, 1st District.

A stylish but slightly pricey club, serving both beers and cocktails. The clientele is mixed. Also light snacks and food are available.


84 Tran Hung Dao,
1st District.

A small gay owned boutique selling smart and fashionable clothes. Very helpful and friendly service, beyond what is normally expected in vendor vs. clientele relations. If required can provide assistance and inside information on Saigon's gay venues.



  Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Casi collection, a fashionable gay wear boutique in Saigon.




Nang Xanh Cafe
Phan Xich Long, Binh Thanh District.

Very small, gay karaoke bar with a mixed clientele. Popular for singing and even some dancing.


Dong Phuong Bar
22 Ba Huyen Thanh Quan, 1st District.

Gay karaoke bar that also offers live performances of traditional Vietnamese folk songs. Liked by people who love singing.



Vietnam’s capital with a population of almost 4 million. Hanoi is a energetic city full of attraction. It has Hoan Kiem lake at its centre and many old quarters witness of its French colonial past. Official attitudes towards homosexuality are fairly conservative and many gays thus keep a low profile. Some are also trapped into marriage and family life. Notwithstanding a lively gay scene there are little gay venues and most activity therefore takes place in mixed venues and over the internet. This obscure existence has made gay visitors an easy target for scams and hustlers engaging in prostitution and rip-offs.


Mao's Red Lounge
7 Ta Hien, Hoan Kiem District.

Gay owned bar with a nice atmosphere and cool music. There are some friendly young Vietnamese waiters with a good command of English.


Apocalypse Now
Super Bowl Center, Pham Ngoc Thach, Dong Da District.

Popular disco with a young crowd. Especially popular with local gays. It offers great music and is frequented by a lot of gay guys who tend to hang out in the corner bar area. Very friendly service.


New Century Club
10 Trang Thi, Hoan Kiem District.

A mixed club with early on a variety show and later good dance music. It is frequented by some gays, in particular along the bar on the right.