Once the darling of Vietnam’s penchant for nightlife, nightclubs have taken a battering at the hand of beer clubs. Yet, some of this country’s late-night establishments still manage to pull in the crowds. Not just in their ones and twos, but in their thousands. Here are the top three nightclubs (according to you, the reader) in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Ho Chi Minh City
Saigon seems to be the Vietnamese city that never sleeps. So where is everyone way past their bedtime? Apparently a lot of you are still frequenting Apocalypse Now, a club that opened in 1991, so is probably older than most of its patrons. That it’s top of the list suggests that the music policy is not so high on the party-going agenda. But hey, with a run that long, they must be throwing their parties right.
The list hasn’t changed much since we tallied up the numbers last year. Your second favourite place to be a wastecase is Lush, 10 years young and credited with bringing some of EDM’s bigger names to Vietnam.
And last but probably most interesting is The Observatory, the youngest club in the line-up, detouring from the high-heeled untz-untz vibe of its predecessors in search of a more cultured experience. We loathe to say things ‘hipster’ and ‘underground’, but when a club brings in the leftfield roster of DJs that ‘Obs’ does, it’s kind of hard not to.
Compared to its southern cousin, Hanoi’s nightclub scene is somewhat of a pubescent 16-year-old, sneaking out through the window and giggling about getting away with staying up so late. But oh, is she growing up fast.
Did you see those Instagram pics she posted of the Skrillex show at Hero Bar? It’s apparently Hanoi’s new favourite place to let loose. She likes to climb up in those cages hanging over the crowd and dance like nobody’s watching. (Except everyone is. You can stop now, table of entrepreneurs in the corner. Okay, it’s getting weird.)
On Saturdays she rides the backpacker bus to Eden Garden (yes, they ship them in by the busload). The cover is 100K, but it includes two free drinks of whatever the hell is in that unmarked bottle. And when she’s in the mood for velvet ropes and laser lights, she hits The Bank. Three rooms of varying genres makes this as close as Hanoi can get to a megaclub, though it’s fallen a few places since last year in favour of those raunchier newcomers.