If you’ve ever found yourself in Ho Chi Minh City, better known as Saigon, you know that this is a fascinating city with a lot to see and do. There is beautiful French colonial architecture and a great deal of history to explore. But you may find yourself feeling a little bit lost when it comes to cigars.
This is because (to my knowledge) there really is basically just one decent shop. Thankfully there are a few classy bars, most of them located on rooftops (you might be able to buy cigars in some of those bars, but at higher prices). Here is the rundown so that you know where to go if you are ever in Saigon!
This is that one decent shop I mentioned, also sometimes called “Humidor Shop.” You’ll find it in District 1. It’s in the Sun Wah building—look for Citibank and you should find it right nearby. It's on the right side of the building. The shop isn’t very big, but don’t let that fool you; it’s very well-stocked. A lot of that stock isn’t actually on display, so you will have to ask for it. This may take some doing if you are not fluent in Vietnamese.
In terms of prices, these cigars are less expensive than those you’ll find at the Duty Free shop in Hong Kong, but still not cheap. Here are some prices that I observed in January 2016:
- Cohiba Siglo I - 335,000 dongs / ~$15
- Cohiba Siglo IV - 545,000 dongs / ~$24.5
- Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 - 560,000 dongs / ~$25
You can buy accessories at the store too if you need them. One word of warning—you may find the cigars are a bit moist. This is a problem country-wide so far as I can tell, so be prepared to air them out a bit when you get back to your room.
Address: Sunwah Tower, 115, Đường Nguyễn Huệ, Phường Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam (Google Maps >)
Rex Hotel: Rooftop Bar
This bar at the Rex Hotel is actually only five floors off the ground, so it is hardly the highest in town, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it offers an excellent view of the streets below. It’s also right nearby the People’s Committee Hall and Saigon Opera House, which both feature stunning French colonial architecture.
In terms of ambiance and nightlife, this place couldn’t be better. There is mood lighting and a big wood floor which includes a dance floor and a stage. There is music and dancing after 8:00 pm, and the drink list is huge. It’s an awesome place to relax with a cigar from The Humidor or party the night away.
Address: 141 Nguyễn Huệ, Bến Nghé, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam (Google Maps >)
Shri Restaurant & Lounge
If you are looking to get away from the crowds, head for Shri in District D3. You’ll be away from the city center, which has a couple of benefits. First off, the atmosphere is a lot more tranquil and laid-back. Secondly, you arguably get a better view of the downtown area since you’re just outside of it.
You won’t find as much trendy mood lighting here and the feel isn’t quite so contemporary, but it’s a really lovely spot to smoke a cigar and watch the sun set over Saigon.
Address: 72 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, 6, 3, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam (Google Maps >)
Social Club / Rooftop Bar
The Social Club is the rooftop bar for the Hotel des Arts Saigon MGallery Collection. It’s actually located right across from the Shri Restaurant & Lounge in the neighboring Centec Tower, so if you stay here, you can check out both of them.
This place is pretty much unbeatable when it comes to atmosphere and design. The look is minimalist; you’ll find a rooftop pool surrounded by glass walls which offer an unobstructed view of the city. Sofas and lounge chairs offer a variety of options for comfortable seating. There is also a bar in the pool where you can sit on stools with your legs dangling in the water. As with Shri, you will feel like you have really gotten away from it all here.
Address: MGallery Saigon, 76-78 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, phường 6, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam (Google Maps >)
A&B Tower: Chill Skybar
You will find the Chill Skybar on the 27th floor of the A&B Tower. Since you are high up in the air, you get quite a few of the surrounding city. You are directly overlooking the financial district, and can watch the cars driving through the Ben Thanh roundabout. This is a very popular and trendy destination which can get to be pretty crowded, but you will feel like you are on top of the world while you are smoking here. Make sure that you wear close-toed shoes and long pants—the dress code forbids both sandals and shorts.
Address: AB Tower, 76 Lê Lai, Bến Thành, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam (Google Maps >)
There are a ton of rooftop bars throughout Saigon, but those are the four that I am familiar with from my recent trip and which I’ve heard a lot of other smokers recommend as well. Head to the Humidor to shop, and then enjoy a smoke with a view!