Sex is on sale in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Vietnamese barbership workers

Believe it or, there’s probably nothing going on here other than hair cuts.

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon to many locals and foreigners alike, is a large metropolitan city with a population of more than 7 million people. Among these seven million people are millions of adult females. A large number of those women are looking for sex either for fun, remuneration or a combination of both.

Guys looking for quick hook ups may be either disappointed or elated depending on their expectations and their experiences. Ho Chi Minh City certainly isn’t New York City but it’s not some conservative province either. Anyone who travels the streets of Saigon at night will see more sexy ladies in short shorts than they can shake their stick at.

A major obstacle for any short time visitor to Vietnam looking for love would be the language. Most Vietnamese people cannot speak English and even many of those who do have a handle on the language can be difficult to understand. Because of this, foreign guys who end up in Ho Chi Minh City often end up in bars and clubs in the areas frequented by foreigners. There they can find numerous women who are either comfortable around foreigners or looking to be. There tend to be plenty of freelance pay-for-play gals mixed into these crowds but those looking for a little bit of free fun can also be found. Common haunts include Crazy Buffalo, Apocalypse Now, GO2 Bar and The Drunken Duck.

Guys who dislike the clubs and bars or just want to be more focused can check out any of the numerous dating websites online. These tend to attract more English speakers but language can still be a big barrier. Popular sites in Vietnam include Badoo, VietnamCupid and to a lesser extent Date In Asia. Some work better than others but in Vietnam it’s almost never as easy as a point and click arrangement. Finding fun in Saigon often requires a lot of chatting and even dating before there’s even a possibility of anything going down. There are always exceptions but they seem to be few and far between.

Although parts of Asia have become infamous for their large sex industries Ho Chi Minh City usually isn’t touted as a commercial sex center. Some have expressed the opinion that foreigners simply can’t find any paid action and should head for greener pastures in nearby Thailand. While it’s true that Vietnam doesn’t have any open areas like Pattaya’s Walking Street there are certainly a number of facilities in the city of Saigon that offer pay for play.

Foreigners are most likely to find themselves in one of the many hostess bars of Ho Chi Minh City. These are bars staffed with (mostly) pretty women who will sit with a customer when he buys them an overpriced lady drink. Tips may also be expected at places like 91 Hai Ba Trung and VIC. Many of the women who work in these bars will hit a hotel with a customer for the right price. Nowadays that usually means $100 US or more. There was a major crackdown back in 2013 that severely hurt the scene but several bars still remain and a few new places have even opened.

A number of barbershops and massage parlors catering to foreigners in the Korean area of town near the airport offer full service massage for 1 million Dong ($47 US) or less. They wouldn’t be the easiest places for temporary visitors to find or navigate but they are there and they have been there for quite a while. Some of these shops have been raided in the past though they keep on operating today.

Other kinds of barbershops are more common. While the hot toc is ubiquitous throughout the city most offer nothing more than an honest to goodness haircut or at most a manicure from a pretty woman in a sexy dress. Others offer anything from handjobs and handholding to oral services. The general rule in Ho Chi Minh City seems to be that if it looks like an obvious sex shop it probably isn’t. Most of the shops offering extras do their best to stay under the radar. Besides Ben Ny’s there are also a number of “special” barbershops located on Nguyen Phi Khanh Street and Thach Thi Thanh Street in District 1 and another on Ly Thai To Street near the intersection with Ho Thi Ky. In general the total cost for a ticket and a tip at these shops ranges between 300,000 and 500,000 Dong ($14-24 USD). There are many more of these shops located all around the city.

Most common of all are the massage parlors, although the street level shops that taunt tourists in on streets like Bui Vien aren’t likely to offer anything in the way of a happy ending, no matter how good the gals promoting the places look in their tight little uniforms (although rumor has it an exception to the “street level shops not offering extras” rule can often be found by single male customers who venture into the Flamingo Spa at 13B Le Thanh Ton Street in District 1). Large massage parlors located in even larger hotels spread around town that are more geared towards locals and foreign businessmen tend to be the ones that offer extra services. Some  places like Minh Minh Tam and Minh Tam 2 have already been reviewed on this site but there are plenty of others around. I’m aware of massage parlors inside of the Saigon Star Hotel in District 3, the Hon En Hotel in Go Vap District, Khach San Sao Vang Hotel in Tan Binh District and both the Liberty 2 Hotel and Du Xuan Hotel in District 1. The typical price for a ticket and a tip at these places comes out to anywhere between 30 and 40 USD.

There are other establishments around like caphe om, karaoke om and bia om which I have previously described, but these would be anywhere from tough to impossible for foreigners to don’t speak the local language to navigate.

Plenty of escort services are advertised online but none seem to be well established or backed up by reliable reviews which means that they’re probably more trouble than they’re worth.

Beyond all of the establishments there are also a number of street walkers and moto riders around. Single guys walking alone in the right (or wrong) places like Pham Ngu Lao, Le Duan and Ton That Dam streets at night will often be offered action by women on foot or motobike or by pimps pushing the same. The typical rate seems to hover between $50 and $100 US for a romp though it’s ultimately up for negotiation. There are a few reports of stolen goods and such but there are also stories of satisfied customers.

As is always the case I don’t advocate anything. I just pass on the information I have for the entertainment of my readers.

31 Comments

  1. Mat says:

    Good summary of what the “industry” has to offer today in HCMC. Following the crackdown of 2013, i couldn’t find the Korean places near the airport that i used to know before, it seems many of them have been replaced by restaurants or legit businesses. Are you sure some of them keep operating FS today in this area?

    • rockit says:

      Thanks for the comment. Quite a few places closed over the last few years but the industry is resilient. There are quite a few places open near the airport right now, and most of them have been open for a while. Cheers.

  2. smoothie says:

    Twenty years ago or so the trick in HCMC was to visit the hostess bars, make a deal with a young lady, then wait until the bar closed around 11:30pm and you had to follow her in a taxi while she rode a motorbike taxi to a private house off the main roads set up for such arrangements. Main reason for that was it was virtually impossible to find a hotel that would allow a foreign male to take a local female to his room for any purposes unless he could prove she was his wife. Even her being seen getting into a taxi cab with you triggered attention from the authorities. Sounds like things have loosened up quite a bit these days.

    In those days, the streets were essentially empty after 9PM…until 11:30PM, when the hostess bars closed. Then the streets were suddenly filled with taxi cabs following girls on motorbikes to secret rendezvous!

  3. patrick says:

    Hi, great site. I live up by the airport, not far from CT Plaza. I’m new to the city. I have tried a few places, spa type affairs, no luck. Do you have few clues to go on. I can see why you’d rather not mention places by name.

    • rockit says:

      Hi Patrick. I won’t get any more specific at this time but the places are not that hard to find for those willing to pound the pavement or do a little research online. Cheers!

  4. Sai604 says:

    there has always been crack downs ever since the early 2000’s. It’s nothing new and it’s not a bad thing as well. It makes it more fun and filters the adventurous type mongers from the lazy ones. HCMC and Vietnam is a hidden gem and can be super hard and expensive to crack. It’s just a matter of how bad you want that pussy, every chick has their price it’s a matter of bringing dongs or dollars. I love this place and pray to Buddha that it’s not going to end up like Thailand.

    • rockit says:

      While I understand where you are coming from I don’t think crackdowns are ever a good thing, especially for the working women who take the brunt of it. There are plenty of places where the trade is legal and “crack down free” that have a lot of great options. Cheers.

  5. Lee says:

    Visited Saigon Star Hotel after reading the write-up here. Here’s a quick field report. Went there, standard massage fee is affordable. Shown to the locker room. 2 guy staff were there. I told them I wanted a English speaking masseuse and asked them to recommend. They asked for tips and I agreed. In fact, the 2 guys were nice. They said if their recommendation is good, tip them at the end of my session. Sure enough, I have a good masseuse and she provided excellent massage and happy ending. Tip the masseuse VN500,000 and the 2 guys VN50,000 each. Both were happy with the tips. The massage charge is about VN270,000 for an hour.

    • rockit says:

      Thanks for the comment Lee. Cheers!

    • Name says:

      If that was a handjob, then lee is an idiot. Why fund the scammer viet women????

      Lol…especially if lee is chinese…

    • rockit says:

      I’m not sure what Lee’s ethnicity would have to do with anything but it seems that 500,000 is a common tip for foreigners in VIP rooms to give at these kinds of places even though locals and visitors in the know often give much less. Cheers.

  6. Lee says:

    Just wondering if anyone tried escort agencies in Vietnam? I am very skeptical when the agency asks for deposit first before the lady arrives. Sounds very much like a con job. Nonetheless, I found one FL lady. She accepts cash on arrival. I am totally disappointed. Firstly, the pictured used was when she is very much younger. Real person totally different from the photos . Secondly, we agreed on the price via email. Upon arrival, she wanted to cut short the time and haggle on price. Thirdly, did a rush job as she overbooked herself. If you goggle Vietnam escort, you will find her ads all over the www. Sharing my experience. Nonetheless, others may find her attractive. Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. My point is, as mentioned in this article, don’t have high hopes in escort agencies. If anyone had good experience, do share. : )

    • rockit says:

      As I mentioned in the original write up there are no well reviewed and established escort agencies in the city that I know of. That makes sense considering the environment. Cheers.

  7. Patrick says:

    Hello Rockit and his readers.

    Well following my earlier comments I put a bit of leg work in up by the airport. More precisely the area immediately to the east of CT Plaza. These places do indeed exist. One was a hotel, not a great massage followed by not a great hand/blow job. The second was a house that has no advertising, down a little side street. I was walking past and was asked pretty directly if I was interested.

    That place had a dozen or so girls who lined up for me to choose from. Maybe I didn’t choose that well. The service was very much a service. Both venues charged about the same 800K. I get the impression that unless one is very easily pleased, and I’m not, that it will take a good few visits ti find someone of real quality.

    • rockit says:

      Thanks for the report Patrick. As far I know there are still plenty of places around though they come and go and move from one place to another. Cheers!

  8. Lee says:

    Just came back from HCMC and a quick field report. Another way to find boom boom. Use WeChat. When I arrived in HCMC, I bought a local SIM card for VND175,000 with 3G. Used the local phone no. to create an account in We Chat. Then, I activated the “People Nearby” feature. You will be able to see a good mix of people. I was in the comfort of my hotel room and I had a good time looking through the “people nearby” list. Clearly there are boom boom providers. Their profile description say it all. If you keen in one, you can send greeting. If not, leave WeChat on. Someone will definitely text you.

    A few providers contacted me. The usual is that they will ask my hotel location and room number. I asked for their rates, usually US$60 – US$70 per hour and US$100 overnight. I also asked for the lady’s photo. Only when I am satisfied, I revealed my hotel and room no. (I already checked my hotel is not girlfriend friendly. So, all actions must before 10pm).

    Got one for US$60/hr. Came to my hotel room. A tall and pretty lady. Spoke good English. Nonetheless, be prepared that you will not get your full one hour. She just wanted to boom boom and get out to service another customer. No GFE. I think the most frustrating was that when she arrived, she continued to haggle for tips and more. Whats committed in We Chat is never honour.

    Here’s my conclusion with WeChat :

    1. Easy to find pretty and English speaking providers. Lots of providers will take the initiative to contact you.
    2. Don’t be conned by the WeChat profile picture. What you see is NOT what you get. Play safe and ask for photo.
    3. The lady will haggle for tips and more when she arrived.
    4. Don’t expect GFE. Its conveyor belt service. Once you release, she goes to service another. Time is money for her.
    5. You better standby your own condom. The lady I got gave me excuse she no condom. Fortunately I had mine.
    6. Whenever I asked for massage only and no boom boom, the provider ignored me and moved on.

    • rockit says:

      Thanks for the report Lee. Cheers!

    • Name says:

      Again, people like lee should NOT come to vietnam. Honestly though, NO PEOPLE SHOULD EVER COME TO vietnam!!!!!!

      Sadly most viet people have seemed to be the most impish in Asia. Not all of them…yet enough of them to make 95% of tourists NEVER come back to vietnam…EVER.

      According to the story, an impish greedy scum woman was supposedly getting $60 an hour for a quick session…that’s the average viet’s monthly salary…and yet supposedly the greedy little scum woman complained?! Aaaaaand she tried to leave before the hour was up???!!!!!

    • rockit says:

      There are scammers in most parts of the world. People may run into them more often in Vietnam because it’s a local oriented scene and most visitors don’t speak the language or understand the system. I have never had a real problem in Vietnam though I have occasionally come across places with poor service including one I’ve written about on this site. Cheers.

  9. Patrick says:

    Hello again Mr Rockit and other readers.

    I thought I’d try Lee’s approach, as mentioned in the last comments. I signed up to a couple of dating applications with geographical searches.

    Had lots of matches and replies within a few days. My photo and age are accurate on both sites and I’m not that young. I got a couple of direct offers but the money wanted was laughable in my opinion. from $100 to $150.
    After chatting to a few others I met one lady last night. Excellent English, well dressed and well mannered. Back at mine she was great fun, but shy, insisted on very low lights that sort of thing. I had a great time, very passionate, highly skilled. 1 million dong for an hour plus, agreed it can be regular at that price for two hours in the future. I’m still chatting to a number of others and went on one regular date too, with others in the pipeline.

    I’ve also been back to a house not far from CT Plaza I mentioned before and have been teaching a very sweet thing how to give a proper massage and generally pleasure me. Pleased to say she is learning well. At 800 000 dong for an hour, not bad.

    I also nipped into BEN NY, not my thing tbh.

    In my opinion, after for months here and not devoting that much time and effort, there is a lot out there. Much of it is overpriced and poor quality but with honesty, a bit of charm and some luck HCMC is good for this hobby.

  10. Johnny says:

    I just want to share my experience as follows: After reading some of the posts on this website I decided to try both options: I did visit the Saigon Star Hotel and signed up for WeChat. Saigon Star Hotel: I went there and paid about 200,000 ($9.20) for an 80 minute massage early bird special. Locker room guy hinted that my massage was going to be “special” but after getting my masseuse I was not that impressed as she appeared to be pretty average looking. Good massage and technique but I abruptly wanted to leave before she could perform her “hand job service”. She seemed dissapointed at my 100,000 tip because she expected more which is ridiculous because she only provided me with a massage. I asked for “boom boom” and she declined and declined oral service as well. There is a window in every door where the manager or staff can look through at any time. If hand jobs are your thing, then go to that place.
    Later on I signed up for WeChat. I tried to make contact with gals in the morning with no luck. I did connect with quite a few providers after 5pm. All were willing to come over for 60 bucks. I was able to offer 1,000,000 for short ttme ($46) and ended up with a nice chick whom pleasured me well and even provided me with her digits so I can call her next time without the BOSS involved. I also made friends with regular “non-pro” girls (most Hotel receptionists) who wanted to meet with me for “free english” lessons. I will meet with a couple later today. Hopefully this will lead to a “freebie” because there was a lot of flirting going on.

    • rockit says:

      As reported here the women working in hotel massage parlors usually offer nothing more than hand release and there are windows on every door. The usual tip is several hundred thousand Dong. Cheers.

  11. Luri says:

    Hi Rockit.

    Great article I was in Hanoi, it is pretty similar to your report.

    my friend and I gone out every single night, we tried to pick up from bar.
    before midnight the bar we went to was the BANK entertainment nightclub great music great people.
    and after midnight HERO night club as the other club close at 12PM do not go before to hero as it will be empty.

    Anyways, we had a lot of success in getting number, and making out. and we put a lot of work in to it.
    But closing the deal. and telling her to come with you is impossible !

    I am not here long enough to understand but you are right you need to text a lot and go on dates.
    In addition what we understood from the local people, you need to pay around 50$ even after you chatted her up
    or took her to date to get her to come with you.

    and you need to offer it in a nice way, like I will take care of you and give you some spending money … I don’t know I never did it, but I saw our guide do it.
    it is common in the culture even the Vietnamese guy pay.

    our guide also suggested go on dating website, but you need to start before and it takes time a lot of talking.
    and they seem all to work crazy hour… very hard to meet up with people.

    But regardless we had fun, no sex. but a the girl flirt a lot and they are beautiful. I suggest if you are planning to get laid go to Thailand.

  12. EuropeanGuy says:

    I just spent a week in Saigon, but I was there with a Thai girl(friend?) so I couldn’t do much other than have a look around. Not a problem, since my Thai bimbo is a freak in bed and made sure to drain my balls every day, but I don’t know when I’ll be back to Vietnam and I regret not checking out a hot toc or two. I saw some beauty salons and massage parlors but they all seemed “legit” businesses from the outside. I found Vietnamese girls to be generally attractive, if a bit on the colder side.

    I actually arrived here one day before my travel companion, so on the first night I managed to try out a Vietnamese hooker, courtesy of a hotel porter that offered to send her to my room. Unfortunately the girl was a head case and I didn’t enjoy the experience at all.

    • rockit says:

      Thanks for the report. There is a huge sex industry in Vietnam but foreigners don’t usually see most of it. The motorcycle gals and pimps along with freelancers and some club based freelancers are the group most Westerners are exposed to. I don’t know that I have ever heard of a hotel staff assisted hook up going any better than average. I think they mostly call in motorbike gals who are on the lower end of the spectrum. Foreigners from other Asian countries usually head to high end and specialized massage parlors, hostess bars and karaoke places and tend to see a better part of the industry. Locals have easy access to it all. I often hear that people think Vietnamese ladies are cold. In my experience that couldn’t be further from the truth but they don’t necessarily walk around smiling at strangers. I don’t see Thai people smiling all so often nowadays either. Cheers.

    • EuropeanGuy says:

      I agree that “Land of a Thousand Smiles” is more than a bit of a stretch. Cheers.

  13. Ganeskumaran says:

    Not a right place for sex tourist, had some great time traveling around, but to hook up its not a right place.

    • rockit says:

      It’s not a place like Thailand where places openly advertise services in the street but sex in on sale all over the country and bringing in millions of dollars. Cheers.

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