I think I may have posted more about how cheap the beer was in Vietnam than anything else during my month traveling through the incredible country. Sure, Vietnam is home to countless (and very meaningful) museums, great macro-life diving, boutique cafes on every corner and the world’s largest cave. The people are generally very friendly, and the shopping can’t be beat. But above all else, I found 20 CENT BEERS. How does it get any better than that? The bars in Vietnam may be a tad run-down but they’ve got character!
I may not be a foodie or a shopaholic or a history/art buff. But if there’s one thing I know with confidence, it’s how to spot a good bar when I see one. After traveling from Saigon to Hanoi via train with stops in Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Phong Nha, I’ve put together my favorite little holes in the wall with the best deals on drinks. I can guarantee you wont find a lot of these in your Lonely Planet Book.
Stop #1 Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) – Our favorite corner bar in HCMC had to be Dune Cafe. It’s situated on a corner of Bui Vien and has 8000 VND Saigon Green Beer. You get a great view of party goers walking down the streets and if you’re lucky you get to chat with the funny Vietnamese owner.
Stop #2 Nha Trang – We really loved The Local. It’s more of a restaurant, but has cheap 7000 VND Saigon Beers and has really tasty food. It’s on the main strip near the beach as well. Another great bar is Crazy Kim’s Bar, which has nightly specials, but on the pricier side for Vietnam. They also have all of the Live Sports Channels, so if you are in need of watching your favorite team, they can sort you out!
Stop #3 Hoi An – Cham Cham Bar is located on the An Hoi side of the river. It has a great BOGO deal on Saigon Beer or serves the Hoi An “local” beer for 5000 VND. It’s in the middle of the main strip of expensive backpacker bars, and has a really chilled out vibe to it where you can actually have a conversation with the people you’re with!
Stop #4 Phong Nha – Well, there’s not much of a party scene in Phong Nha, which actually gives it a truly authentic feeling. But if you’re looking to relax with a beverage in hand and watch one of the best sunsets in the country, head to Phong Nha Farmstay. For 20-30,000 VND, you can grab a Huda Beer, and enjoy a beautiful sunset with some awesome people. Say hey to Ben for us if you go! We also took a boat ride to “The Pub With Cold Beer”, which has become famous in the area. It has stunning views and the beer is as advertised – very cold!
Stop #5 Hanoi – Hanoi is known for its famous “beer corners” or Bia Hoi’s. You can just grab a tiny stool on the corner and drink a home brew beer for about 20 US cents. It’s a great way to meet expats and other travelers. The most famous ones are on the corner of Luong Ngoc Quyen and Ta Hien. We also love Le Pub on Hang Be Street. Sam came here 3 years ago, and made friends with one of the bartenders. Not knowing his name or if he still worked there, we went to the bar with just a picture of the bartender, and found out he was still there! They have specials on every night and live Sports matches as well.
Best Beers In Vietnam – We really love Saigon Beer and 333 (pronounced Ba-ba-ba). Saigon is cheaper though so we usually went with that!
There’s a million little shops and bars in Vietnam that look similar and all have something to offer. Don’t just go with the usual bars you read in Lonely Planet or Rough Guides. Give it a shot, and I promise you’ll find something totally unique!
What is your favorite bar in Vietnam?