Yeah, it’s actually written on the sign like the TV show. Don’t expect to see Ross, Monica… ah fuck it I don’t remember their fucking names any more. But there may be a smelly cat or two hanging round.
Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City can be a strange one. Officially there are no girly bars (as there are in Thailand, Philippines, etc at least) but there are bars similar to hostess bars in Japan. You can walk right in, sit right down and baby let your hair hang down. Drinks flow easily and the girls basically practice their English on you and giggle a lot. Same deal as other places, you buy her a drink and it costs a kidney or two, but for you it’s cheap (or if you buy a lot, it’s free!).
Friends bar is in Ho Tung Mau St right opposite Game On, which is a great sports bar if you’re ever there. Look for the largest building in Saigon and it’s well within walking distance. Or check out Facebook (where I stole most of these images from) for directions.
The girls here (probably has nothing to do with the name of the bar) are by far the friendliest in the area and generally you don’t get ripped off too much. I *have* taken a girl home from here before but you generally have to wait for closing time, and you have to be really nice. Or if it’s quiet, go to an area in the bar that’s dark and you may get some hand action. Be prepared to spend a lot on drinks!
What I like the most about this bar (and Vietnam in general) is how consistently good looking the girls are. McDonalds has only opened up in the last few years and while they do have other burger joints and fast food places, the girls (and boys) have not started down the road of Western culture. I’m trying to say they’re tidy and very few fat ones.
Friends’ bar girls really do enjoy a drink and a laugh. The barman (I think his name is Russ) is a funny guy and does his best to make some great cocktails. The girls generally drink Saigon Tea, which is whiskey and ice tea or sometimes coke, but my recommendation is to splash out a bit.
Most places will not let local girls join foreign men in hotels. It’s important that if you are considering doing this to find one that does, and you’ll need to leave some money for the police (in case they check who is staying there) and the hotel may need her ID. It gets a bit messy, but there are some great friendly places.
If you start at Friends or end at Friends – short time or long time – or somewhere in between, it’s always a great time.