** Note: An updated article on the same subject has been published in 2014 at http://rockitreports.com/the-hostess-bars-of-ho-chi-minh-city/ **
Hai Ba Trung is a main road that stretches through the middle of Ho Chi Minh City. It is interspersed with a number of bars staffed with six to twenty-four women, most of whom are extremely attractive and well dressed. They are petite as you would expect, but many have amazing racks to go along with their pretty faces. And most of them are pretty sweet and equally good in the sack, which is further complimented by their ages which usually range from 19 to 25.
The bars are easy to find, hidden in plain sight as it were. The names match the location. So “91” is located at 91 Hai Ba Trung, “51” is at 51 Hai Ba Trung, etc. Not too difficult, right? You can reach any of these bars by taxi, motortaxi, or on foot. Be forewarned that if you take a taxi or motortaxi right to the door, they may try something suspect (like showing you another “better” bar, charging you more and then getting a cut from the bar for “bring you there,” or anything along those lines). It’s much better in my opinion to get dropped off on a nearby corner and walk to the bar yourself. The street numbering in Vietnam is ordered and rational, which can’t always be said for other countries in Asia. Hai Ba Trung is big, open, and safe, so you shouldn’t have any problems.
The bars all work on the same general principle. You walk in, pick a hostess or two to talk to, buy her a drink or two, then either get busy on location or head out for either short time or long time (all night) off premises.
These bars are nothing like the bear bars in Thailand, and are only a little like the hostess bars in Cambodia. Here the girls are often inexperienced and there are few customers.
If you walk in looking like a new jack newbie, you will probably have a hustler or one of the more unattractive women (sometimes the same person) latch on to you. They might start rubbing your little guy to get your blow flowing away from your brain. Before you know it, you’re buying dozens of overpriced lady drinks, paying $10 US for a bowl of bar peanuts, and heading to a small room to bang a girl who isn’t even hot (if you bang at all). This all needs to be avoided if you want to have a good time.
Walk in with a level head. Be cool and collected. Don’t push off any girl who approaches you, but don’t let her take control either. Order a drink for yourself and tell either her or the bartender that you’d like a lineup. Almost every bar will provide this. The lights will usually be turned up and the girls will face you. You can then pick the one you’d like to sit with. Buy her a lady drink and start having fun.
Your drinks should be about 30,000 dong ($1.45 US). A lady drink should be about 50,000. Usually this will all be rounded up into the barfine of around 300,000 dong ($14.50) anyway if and when you decide to take a girl out. Kissing, groping and roaming is all permitted and even expected. Let the girl take the lead for best service. Refuse any peanuts or snacks that are brought to your table as soon as they appear, unless you want to pay 5 bucks for them later. Sometimes the ladies will offer to play pool with you. If they win you give them 10 dollars. If you win, they show you their tits. When you’re ready, you can ask if they want to go with you. They will usually say yes. I like to wait until we’re comfortable with each other for best service. The Vietnamese are known for their need of negotiation. Expect girls to start high. Don’t pay the first price, but don’t haggle so much that you spoil the mood. The normal price is $50-100 US not counting the barfine you pay to the establishment. Long time of course costs more than short time. Try to get prices in Vietnamese dong if you can as they are usually lower than dollar quotes.
After you pick a girl and pay your fee to the bar, your lady will slip a very plain cover over her dress and then head out to a taxi where you will join her. You can then go to a safe hotel that won’t be bothered by the police. The girls will know where to go. These usually run $25-30. Unless you have some specific info, it’s usually best to avoid your own hotel. Not only is prostitution against the law in Vietnam, it’s also against the law for a Vietnamese national to be in a hotel room with a foreigner unless they are married. This is actually sometimes enforced, and most hotels won’t let you in because of it.
Bars are located at 91, 51, 49, 37 and 35 Hai Ba Trung. There are also a few more on nearby streets. Saigon NY is at the corner of Dong Du and Hai Ba Trung. Thien Loc is at the corner of Hai Ba Truong and Mac Thi Buoi.
Bar 29 at 29 Dong Khoi street often offers oral action right on premises, those the girls tend to be a little less beautiful. In most cases, I’d suggest you head to a blowjob bar like Ben Ny’s if you’re only after some head. A BJ in a bar will usually cost 400,000-500,000 dong. Some of the bars on Hai Ba Trung will occasionally let you get a suck job in a back room, but not always.
Bar 91 is the biggest of all and is often said to have the best selection of girls. I don’t think that’s necessarily true, and besides they are the worst at service and they like to hustle. I prefer other bars for that reason.
Getting laid in Ho Chi Minh City can be a little bit of a task even for those willing to pay for it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a difficult quest. But it takes a little more doing than in nearby cities like Bangkok and Phnom Penh.
Sure there are hot tocs, massage parlors, and even clubs filled with freelancers (who charge more than the bar girls while looking a lot less hot). But they all leave something to be desired.
Since the Hai Ba Trung bars are so easy and upfront, they can be rather stress free, especially for new visitors. I would guess that most punters who are attentive and able to keep their wits about them would normally have a good time, even if they have to spend a little extra than they might elsewhere.
This list of girl friendly hotels in Ho Chi Minh Citys sheds light on those sorts of quarters which can be difficult to locate.