Looking for a new set of hobbies? The Girl’s Guide to Fun: Saigon Edition has got you covered! Here are ten of the best activities in Ho Chi Minh City that will have you filling up your calendar in no time!
SAIGON SOUL POOL PARTY
The rainy season will soon be upon us so grab that sunblock and your best swimsuit and make your way over the New World Hotel (76 Lê Lai, Bến Nghé, D1) to lounge by the pool with a crowd of expats, locals, and tourists all in need of some chill weekend vibes. It’s running every Saturday until May 14th and won’t resurface until November so hurry to the poolside. Don’t worry, you can grub and drink while you’re there too. There’s a 150,000 VND entrance fee but for this weekend only , ladies are free before 3 pm.
Find more information here: Saigon Soul Pool Party
SAIGON LEATHER WORKSHOP
Do you fancy yourself a crafting goddess? If the answer is yes, head on down to the Saigon Leather Workshop (116/19A Trần Quốc Toản St, D3) to work with ethically-treated leather making clutches, slim wallets, and even journals! If the answer is no, the doors at Saigon Leather are still open even to the most novice of crafters. By the end of any workshop, you’ll be artfully using the X-Acto knife. They also lead workshops on macrame, leather dying, bookbinding, and even Indian woodblock! Classes vary and prices differ but all the numbers can be found on their website.
Find more information here: Saigon Leather Workshop
WINE AND BOOKS
Once a month, a handful of ladies reserve a table at Shrine* (64 Tôn Thất Thiệp, Bến Nghé, D1) for a few happy hour cocktails and appetizers while they discuss their latest book pick. Some of the past selections include comedian Aziz Anzari’s sociological inquiry, Modern Romance, the Pulitzer Prize Fiction Winner for 2015, All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Guerr, and newcomer dramatist, Janice Y.K. Lee’s page-turner, The Expatriates. Want in? Join the Facebook group for updates on the book selection and next meeting. It’s free to attend.
Find more information here: Wine and Books FB
POLE DANCING AND TWERKING
Ironically enough, this lesson in femininity and owning your sexuality is lead by the most fabulous man, Mr. Anh. If his gravity-defying, rock-hard booty doesn’t intimidate you, then be prepared TO WORK in an intense hour-long, all-inclusive class. During his twerk class, you’ll work out your legs, stomach, thighs, and most importantly, your gluteus maximus. It’s a lot of pop, lock, and drop-it so make sure you don’t have any existing back problems. If you’re feeling up to the task, the pole dancing class tones your arms and strengthens your core. Twerk classes are 80,000 VND, Wednesday and Friday at 1 pm. Pole dancing is 120,000 VND per class, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Burlesque Dance Center has just moved to a new studio located at 29A Cao Bá Nhạ, Phường Nguyễn Cư Trinh, D1.
Find more information here: Burlesque Dance Center
SALSA AND BACHATA DANCING
Make your way on over to Cuba La Casa del Mojito (91 Pasteur, Bến Nghé, D1) to spice up your dance moves. On Monday nights, they offer free Salsa classes and on Thursday nights, they switch up the beat with free Bachata classes. Both classes begin at 9 pm. Stay pass the lessons to dance the night away! Or better yet, come early to sample some authentic Cuban cuisine served up by a Havana import.
Find more information here: Cuba La Casa del Mojito
Push Climbing’s newly-installed graffiti wall has made Saigon Outcast (188/1 Nguyen Van Huong, D2) even more of a hangout destination for expats in Ho Chi Minh City. Come try your open climbing skills from 10 am to 10 pm, Tuesday through Sunday at a very reasonable 150,000 VND plus 200,000 for equipment. Look out for their “Girls Got Power” events to get a free pass (if you’re a lady) and guys get free harness rentals!
Find more information here: Push Climbing
After you try your hand at leatherwork, go downstairs and visit the Hey Camel Ceramics space (116/19A Trần Quốc Toản St., D3) which is located right beneath the Saigon Leather Workshop. This ceramics brand is based in Saigon and has caused quite a stir among city dwellers looking for a creative weekend escape. They frequently host ceramic workshops and recently came out with a BLIND ceramic workshop, where the participant works on a piece of fresh clay — blindfolded. The classes start at 450,000 VND and are announced on their FB page. Materials, paint, baking, and glazing are included in the price. The studio also doubles as their shop so you can pick up home decor just in case you aren’t satisfied with yours.
Find more information here: Hey Camel Ceramics
JAPANESE COOKING CLASS
Blanchy Street (74 Hai Ba Trung, D1) is a concept restaurant that specializes in creative Japanese cooking. Want to learn the secrets of their kitchens? Join their two-part cooking classes where a 1,400,000 VND price tag buys you two classes worth of culinary instruction. The first session is all about appetizers whereas the second session teaches you more intermediate recipes (think: gyoza, wakame salad, and maki). If you book for more than two people, there’s a 10% discount advertised on the website.
Find more information here: Blanchy Street Cooking Class
If crafting, cooking, or fitness isn’t your forte, maybe your inner actress is waiting for a turn in the spotlight. The Saigon Players is a non-profit theater group that has been producing shows for the past twelve years. Their 12th season wraps up in May with a three-day long engagement of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. They are always looking for new talent so whether you are a seasoned veteran of the stage or a beginner with a penchant for dramatics , you are a welcome addition to the Saigon Players family! All of the proceeds raised from performances is donated to charity.
Find more information here: Saigon Players
There’s nothing better than taking the time to center your chakra. Now add strengthening your body into the mix and you’ve got Aerial Yoga! At Universal Yoga (35 Duong Noi, Hung Gia 4, D7), owner and founder Dr. Chandra has been teaching the art of suspended yoga for about five years now. This type of exercise blends moves taken from dance, pilates, aerial acrobatics, and yoga together to create a workout that builds confidence while helps to tone all muscle groups. It’s an invigorating class that can get very addictive. The class schedule changes monthly.
Find more information here: Universal Yoga
So there you have it ladies! Ten exciting activities that will rev you up, help exercise your mind, all while being surrounded by some potential new friends (hey, you made it to the same class right?!)
Do you have any more activities to add? Comment below!
*tentative venues that are subject to change