Bui Vien Walking Street: Perfect Place for Saigon Night Life
Bui Vien Walking Street in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) is known as the "Western Street" (Vietnamese: Phố Tây or Phố Tây Ba Lô - Backpacker's Streets) because of its Western culture-oriented features. This Night Walking Street is always crowded (like Nguyen Hue Walking Street) with young locals and backpackers who come here to have fun, try local cuisines, and explore new places during their trip to Saigon. This is also a perfect place for Nightlife Activities in Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam.
- Location: Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Walking area: Bui Vien, De Tham, Do Quan Dau, Tran Hung Dao, Pham Ngu Lao Streets.
- Opening Hours: 7:00 pm – 2:00 am (on Saturday and Sunday)
Bui Vien Night Walking Street is located on three main streets: Bui Vien, De Tham, and Pham Ngu Lao, which is known as the "Backpacker District" by locals, which refers to the large number of backpackers who visit this area of Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City. The western backpackers often compare Bui Vien Street to Khao San Walking Street (Bangkok's tourist street) and sometimes call it Khao San Saigon. It is not an exaggeration to say that this walking street has long been a hot spot for tourists from Asia, Europe, Africa, and so on. The factors mentioned above make a tourist area – Bui Vien Street.
1. Where is Bui Vien Walking Street in Saigon Located?
Bui Vien walking street is about 1,400 meters long and is in the heart of District 1. It is a backpacker district with many restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, pubs, and bars. Besides, the area is now equipped with public Wi-Fi, restrooms, and information desks to serve visitors better.
This walking street comprises 5 streets and you can get here by any means of transportation, including public buses and private vehicles. Besides, the walking street is only a 10-15-minute walk away from Ben Thanh Market. Locals call this Red Light Street as it is very colorful at night time.
No vehicles are permitted on Bui Vien Walking Street between 7 pm and 2 am on the weekends. Therefore, various amusement activities can be set up on the streets such as playing Vietnamese folk games, exploring the bustling and lively Saigonese nightlife, indulging in foods and beverages, and treating yourself to a massage service.
2. History of Bui Vien Night Walking Street in Saigon:
It was hard to imagine Bui Vien street Vietnam as such a busy and bustling area as we see today, even for its residents. Before 1975, journalists and artists referred to this area as the International Intersection, referring to the five streets surrounding the Nguyen Van Hao cinema (now called Ho Chi Minh City Drama Theater). The name was popular among journalists and writers because the area used to be densely packed with printing shops and newsrooms.
After 1975, the quarter became a tourist attraction, especially for backpackers, explaining its alternate name: the Western Street. At the time, most visitors to Bui Vien Street Ho Chi Minh came from the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. In 2009, the area became more crowded, attracting an increasing number of traders who came to do business.
On 15th July 2017, the street opened to pedestrians. On 20th August 2017, Bui Vien Street was officially designated as a walking street in Saigon. It is the second walking street in Ho Chi Minh City, following Nguyen Hue street. It is one of the most crowded streets in Ho Chi Minh City.
3. What Activities to Do & Things to See in Bui Vien Street?
Despite being shorter and narrower than Nguyen Hue Flower Walking Street, Bui Vien Street attracts many visitors and locals, especially young boys and girls to come for photography. And here are some of the best activities to do in Bui Vien:
3.1. Take a Walking in Bui Vien walking street:
Bui Vien Walking Street is a popular nighttime destination for foreign visitors and young Saigonese people, making it a crowded multicultural street with tourists from all over the world.
There will be street art performances, traditional and contemporary music shows, and other activities to meet the needs of the public while also facilitating interactions with non-Vietnamese friends and cultural integration.
Today, the streets and alleys surrounding Bui Vien have become a backpacker district, with restaurants, cafes, hotels, hostels, bars, and pubs. Even if you dislike the craziness and loudness of parties, visiting Bui Vien walking street is still recommended because you can go to a restaurant or cafe to quietly enjoy Bui Vien's nightlife.
3.2. Chill at Bui Vien Local Coffee Shops:
As a cultural intersection, Bui Vien is home to both branded coffee chains and local specialty coffee boutiques. If you are looking for convenience, you can't go wrong with Starbucks, Bobby Brown, Trung Nguyen, or Phuc Long.
On the other hand, if Saigon's hidden gems attract you, go off the beaten path to the tranquil midst of Hanoi Corner, Nha Co 3 Lau, and Ut Lanh Cafe. Each location exudes a distinct vintage, nostalgia, and serenity vibe. Still, you can completely escape the hustle and bustle of the never-ending crowd by sipping a fine egg coffee or Bac Xiu (Vietnamese white coffee).
3.3. Experience the dynamic nightlife in local bars & pubs:
Bui Vien, which has made a name for itself as a Western street, also has a typical characteristic of the Western world - the vibrant nights out - with a variety of unique and exciting pubs and bars. This street is also known as Saigon's most luxurious "never-sleep" street due to its sparkling lights.
The DJs at the bars are always working hard to create the best remixes of typical Vietnamese EDM music. Although often crowded, the bars on Bui Vien street strive to provide high-quality services.
Some prime-location bars also provide a panoramic, breathtaking view of the city at night. Beverages made by professional bartenders vary, and some are mixed to create new flavors to ensure that customers can always try something fresh. There are also bars where you can play exciting games like billiards and darts.
3.4. Enjoy Local Food at Bui Vien Street:
The later the night, the more crowded Bui Vien Street becomes, where most of those present are tourists. The streets are completely packed with walking tourists, the flavors and smoke from street food vendors, the sound of chatting, loud music,... making it one of the best nightlife destinations in Ho Chi Minh City.
There are many lively and colorful parties with many exciting things for you to see and try. You should come here to see and experience the most charming time of the day in Bui Vien.
3.5. Enjoy Bui Vien Walking Street Massage:
Visitors can find massage lining up the Bui Vien Walking Street, offering varied services. One can avail full body massages or manicures & padicures. Prices range from about VND 150,000 for the former, to about VND 20,000 for the latter.
4. What is Best Local Food to Eat in Bui Vien walking street:
One reason why the street is so popular among locals and tourists alike is the variety of Saigon's food, which comes from various places in the world, both in and outside of Vietnam. Here's a list of must-try tasty foods in the backpacker district:
- Try the Coconut sticky rice ice-cream
A snack from Thailand that is gaining fame among young locals and many foreign tourists who visit this place. It is a perfect treat in the hot weather in Saigon.
Because it is from Thailand, this delectable ice cream incorporates coconut syrup and soft coconut, which are the highlights of Thai street food. A glass of coconut sticky rice ice cream comprises coconut milk, sticky rice, peanut, soybean, corn, dried coconut, and coconut jelly. You'd never get bored with the perfect blend of the freshness of ice cream and the softness of sticky rice.
- Enjoying BBQ Stuffs in Local Restaurants:
Bui Vien street is a must-visit place if you are looking for some BBQ. Unlike what you have in mind, the BBQ is served by street vendors rather than restaurants. The recipe is simple, but some dishes in the skewers always make a great impression for Vietnamese cuisine.
Grilled food and BBQ vendors sell everything from chicken or seafood to goat and pork for a cheap price. The dishes here, served with dipping sauces, are delicious and flavorful. The space is airy, with low tables and chairs that create a sense of casualness and intimacy.
- Taste Tofu Dishes on Street Food Stalls:
Sweet and fresh tofu is a cheap and popular local dish. A bowl of tofu will contain jelly-like tofu, sugar juice, jelly balls, coconut milk, and a few slices of ginger. A bowl of tofu only costs 6,000 VND.
- Sample Snail Dishes
Boiled snail is another popular dish in Bui Vien. The most famous boiled snail shop is at the end of Bui Vien street and offers a variety of delicious boiled snails, crabs and clams.
- Try Colorful Rolled Pho
Still made from Vietnamese noodles, but the vegetable-based Pho has many colors this time. The color formula uses sweet gourd, mustard green, beetroot, black sesame, red cabbage, brown rice, and other all-natural ingredients to make Pho look nice while retaining the original taste and nutrition value. The rolled Pho is dipped in a light sauce made of fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and chili and served as an appetizer or main course.
5. Directions and How to Get to Bui Vien Walking Street?
Bui Vien Walking Street is located in City Center of District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City, a kilometre away from the central Ben Thanh market. You can easily walk to the street, or avail a bike or taxi. One can also take bus line 109 from Saigon Airport to September 23rd (23/9) Park. The backpackers' district is located a few metres away from the stop. The bus ride costs you around VND 20,000 only.
6. Travel Tips before visiting Bui Vien Night Walking Street
- Bui Vien Walking Street is always busy with people, so keep your belongings, such as cell phones, cash, and wallets safe. There have been a few thefts on this walking street.
- At Bui Vien Walking Street, with alcohol in the air, situations might get tense quickly. If provoked, just ignore it and proceed with the crowd and continue on your journey.
- Most of the local people sit on one side of the street and the expats sit on the other side. You can make more local friends if you would like to join them and locals love that!
- There are two parking lots, one near Do Quang Dau and Pham Ngu Lao streets and one at the intersection of Nguyen Thai Hoc and Tran Hung Dao streets. You can also park at the 23-9 lot at Sen Hong Theater on Le Lai Street. The parking fee ranges between 15,000 and 20,000 VND.
- If you enjoy singing or watching performances, come to the two small stages on Bui Vien street, where cultural art is exchanged.
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