Eden: Gay-Friendly in Saigon’s Backpacker District

It was a common enough night at Eden Bar. Fishbowls had given way to a booze-fueled two step (Eden is one of the only bars off Pham Ngu Lao that seems to facilitate dancing). But through the haze of bodies there came a raucous group of forty-something gay men, a rare sight in a relatively straight bar.

What with the mix of sex-pats and the Vietnamese view of homosexuality (Isn’t that a Western thing?), it’s not so common to see gay men being, well, openly gay in public. I wrote it up as a rarity and helped clear space for our dancing compatriots.

Turns out this was no coincidence — the proprietor of Eden is gay. And he’s also a good-sized fella, so if some errant homophobe does find his or her way to Eden, any funny business will be dealt with swiftly. This puts Eden on the list of gay-friendly spots in Saigon.

Let the gay times roll!

1 Comment

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One response to “Eden: Gay-Friendly in Saigon’s Backpacker District

  1. Orlando Gotay

    How things have changed…..I visited Saigon (HMC) in July 1994…and the only gay guy I saw was this totally Isadora Duncan looking young French guy, an artiste, who rode a moped and sashayed along with scarf and all. I asked and he took me, where, accoring to his broken English, “guys seemed go to around but nowhere” I took that to be cruising.

    The young Vietnamese kept calling us “Mister, Mister” in hushed tones. I was too afraid to even approach one of them…as I did not relish even the possibility of being caught violating some law.

    I saw no one that even seemed remotely gay at Apocalypse Now nor across the street at the fake Hard rock cafe.

    Did find very insistent (but nice and handsome) gay guys who doubled as Cyclopousse drivers further north in Hue…..one told me he had a cousin “in San Jose” (CA)….

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