It can be hard to find time for yourself, let alone make time for romantic endeavors. Here, we’ve compiled a list of five ideas for an ideal date night in Ho Chi Minh City.
1. Take a cooking class
A cooking class with your partner will introduce a healthy dose of competitive spirit into your relationship, as it’s always exciting to find out who’s better than who at certain skills. You might even learn something new about your partner that’ll surprise you. We recommend taking classes at GRAIN Cooking Studio. At GRAIN, the instructors will start their lesson teaching you how to make fish sauce. Although fish sauce is the quintessential Vietnamese ingredient, it’s never easy to get it right. Learning the perfect fish sauce recipe, among other recipes, from GRAIN’s skilled instructors will surely help you receive praises the next time you cook a meal for your partner, family, or friends. Saigon Cooking Class by Hoa Tuc also offers an authentic Vietnamese food cooking experience with talented chefs from Hoa Tuc restaurant, guaranteeing an enjoyable time for you and your partner.
2. Visit a rooftop bar
Rooftop bars have an undeniable romantic atmosphere. You’ll both feel like you’re on top of the world, ready to be comfortable and open up to each other. We recommend visiting Blank Lounge, the highest lounge bar in Southeast Asia, located on the 75th and 76th floor of Landmark 81 in Binh Thanh District. With a balcony that resembles an outdoor paradise, spacious indoor spaces, and sweeping views of the city, Blank Lounge is the perfect destination for a romantic rendezvous. Not to mention, the Vietnamese furniture from District Eight also provides a pleasant, luxurious experience for customers. We also suggest spending a night out at Saigon Saigon Rooftop Bar at the Caravelle Hotel. The balcony offers unrivaled views of the Saigon skyline. While sitting indoors, the dancing melodies of the live music from the resident band, Living Cuba, will naturally guide you to the dance floor. For history lovers, Saigon Saigon also played a crucial role as a sanctuary for wartime journalists in the 1960s.
3. Laugh together at a standup comedy show
Laugh your hearts out with the best comedy in town. Laughing has been proven to increase life expectancy and quality of life, so why not do that with your date. Not only will you both have a great time laughing with each other, you can also share those jokes with friends, increasing that happiness. Saigon International Comedy (SIC) and Saigon Funny People (SFP) are two popular stand-up collectives based in Saigon. SIC brings world-class acts of international comedians to HCMC while SFP showcases the talent of local comedians, artists, musicians, dancers, and poets. You can even put your own funny bone to the test at SFP’s weekly Monday gig at Indika Saigon in District 1. Check the collectives out here and here.
4. Go restaurant hopping
While you can mix and match restaurants and bars any way you like, we’d recommend restaurant hopping, a tried and true route for many. Start at Qui Lounge and order a tapas plate of wagyu beef gyoza with foie gras, truffle oil, and kabayaki sauce. The tender meat and smooth, rich paste of fattened goose or duck liver, combined with the deep sweetness of the sauce, will entice you like no other dish. Pair the meal with a Banana Old Fashioned, a drink suitable for a mature palate.
Make a reservation beforehand at La Cuisine, a French restaurant that exudes glamour and sophistication, and order either the fettuccine “Salmon Duo” paired with Pinot Noir or lamb cutlets on a wild mushroom risotto paired with Grenache. Afterwards, head to Maison Marou, a gourmet dessert cafe from the internationally-famous Vietnamese artisan chocolate brand, Marou. Treat your date to the signature hot chocolate, a more adventurous chili and cinnamon flavor, or Mr. Dark Mousse to round out the night’s palate.
5. Listen to live music
Music connects souls, and so soulful jazz music would certainly make sense for a date night. Sax n’ Art Jazz Club prides itself on its high quality music. Owner Tran Manh Tuan, an outstanding saxophonist in Vietnam, and his band play smooth jazz every night. Visit Broma Not-A-Bar to sip on Bohemian Raspberry. Take in the stunning view of Nguyen Hue Boulevard as you listen to indie pop or elegant jazz. If you still have energy for the night, visit Kasho a local favorite and a sleek, luxurious Japanese-inspired club. Alternatively, the brand-new and chic Bam Bam nightclub has also already garnered a huge following each night, with DJs mixing deep house, tropical house, and techno.
Depending on the nature of your relationship, consider discussing the five love languages: physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gift giving and receiving, or acts of service. Gary Chapman conceptualized these actions as how people fundamentally express and experience love.
Everyone has a different love language, so it’s important to communicate your personal love language(s) with your partner. Miscommunication can occur when people do not communicate their expectations clearly with their partner when entering a new relationship; even long-term partners do not always truly understand each other’s needs. This small exercise will surely help you and your partner understand each other better and have a more fulfilling relationship.