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Saigon's Laneway Secrets

August 21, 2017

Some of Ho Chi Minh’s best bits are tucked behind the facades of its faded colonial-era buildings. If you're prepared to venture down the city’s back alleys and keep peeper's peeled, you'll discover gorgeous architectural wonders stacking cosy bars and hidden rooftop restaurants – many of which are unsigned. Here are five such secret treats. 

Hidden hotspot: Villa Royale Downtown

Where you’ll find it: Level 1, 25 Ho Tung Mau, District 1

Why it's worth scoping out: A sumptuous, chintzy antique-crammed tea room that offers elegant respite from the hustle of Ho Chi Minh. Step inside for tea and porcelain-plated dainties; leave with an antique or objet d’ah to add to your personal collection. villaroyaledowntown.com

Hidden hotspot: Secret Garden

Where you’ll find it: Top Floor, 158 Pasteur St, District 1

Why it's worth scoping out: Brave the back-alley entrance and glute-busting hike up five floors to discover one of Saigon’s loveliest eateries. Pull up a pew on the petite flora-spangled terrace for rooftop views and traditional family-style fare. facebook.com/secretgarden158pasteur

Hidden hotspot: Snuffbox

Where you’ll find it: 14 Ton That Dam, District 1

Why it's worth scoping out: A stylish and intimate prohibition-era imbiber tucked behind a non-descript facade with period drinks and regular live jazz to match the vintage decor. Like a real-deal speakeasy, it’s in a secluded part of town – bring along a friend. facebook.com/speakeasysaigon

Hidden hotspot: Last Call

Where you’ll find it: 59 Dong Du, District 1

Why it's worth scoping out: Like it says on the tin – this petite, clubby chandeliered loft and patio is the place to end your night. Slick drinks slingers, craft cocktails and a jetset clique. lastcallbarsaigon.com

Hidden hotspot: The Fish Sauce

Where you’ll find it:  Rooftop Level 6, 41 Le Duan, Ben Nghe, District 1

"Why it's worth scoping out: For simple, wholesome flavour-raves (MSG free – hooray!), beeline to this gorgeous, modern greenhouse aerie compete with stellar skyline vistas. It’s one-of-a-kind among its more buttoned-up neighbours. facebook.com/TheFishSauce

Lift the veil on more of Saigon's secrets with a copy of the LUXE Ho Chi Minh City guide...

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