There are certain areas in Ho Chi Minh City where the streets are strangely clean, prices oddly high, and the sounds and smells have melted away. Nowhere better personifies this futuristic Saigon, largely inhabited by expats, than District 7. These are our top picks for a day or night out in a new Ho Chi Minh.
The Crescent Mall complex | © locnguyenlk1304 / Shutterstock
In a district largely void of nightlife
, shopping is king and the Crescent is the king of kings. Located in the ultra exclusive Phu My Hung area of District 7
, this is one of Saigon’s newest, fanciest shopping centers. High-end retailers and countless international brands target Saigon’s young well-to-do shoppers throughout the sleekly designed 45,000 square foot space. On occasion, the modern complex plays host to concerts, art shows and cultural exhibits. It’s a one of a kind experience in Ho Chi Minh.
Explore Crescent Lake and the Starlight Bridge
Just outside the shopping center, a large man-made lake provides a peaceful and refreshing escape from the madness of Saigon’s streets. Walk around until you meet the Starlight Bridge and the rainbow reflecting vibrantly through the mist of falling water to the lake below. It’s one the most romantic scenes the city has to offer and full of many young couples enjoying each other’s company. An evening lounging in the cool air, taking it all in, can feel like a vacation from Vietnam’s largest, wildest city.
Crescent Lake with the mall in the background | © luc chi can/Shutterstock
Lost HCMC Station
Escape the room | © Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock
Escape rooms have started popping up across HCMC and right now, no one’s doing it better than Lost. With a number of different options to choose from, including Aladdin, Horror and Zombies, this spot offers some of the most fun to be had in District 7. The concept is simple enough: escape the room. The practice is just a tad more difficult. In 45 minutes, about half of the participants in Lost manage to find their way to freedom.
Artinus 3D Art Museum
More optical illusions than your eye can handle | © Artinus 3D Art Museum
More optical illusions than your eye can handle. Artinus is one of Saigon’s most fun, funky new museums. The sprawling center is home to more than 100 pieces of mind-bending works by members of District 7’s growing Korean community. Prices are quite high — around $10 USD — yet that’s to be expected in District 7 these days.
Ho Chi Minh has become a karaoke mecca. Everywhere you look, drunken middle aged men, bouncing children and trendy teens are belting out tunes on handheld karaoke machines. District 7 happens to be home to some of Saigon’s best and swankiest karaoke clubs. If you’ve got the courage, or if you’ve consumed enough of the liquid kind, head inside and outdo the locals.