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.

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