The Insider’s Guide to Doing Business in Ho Chi Minh

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A business trip to Ho Chi Minh promises to be unlike any other you’ve had before. Ho Chi Minh (HCM), or Saigon, as its often referred to by its old name, is a still growing city that has retained a strong cultural flavor that many modern cities lack. That is, however, one reason why business travel can be more of a challenge in HCM than other popular business destinations – it’s a bit less foreigner-friendly. So, we’ve prepared our picks for the top business-oriented spots in the city.

  • MEETINGS

You can’t miss the traditional Vietnamese coffee houses, which offer some of the strongest coffee you’ll ever come across, both in terms of caffeine and taste. Impress your clients by taking them to one of the most popular coffee houses in the city, an oasis in the bustling metropolis, Mien Dong Thao, where the lush greenery will make you and your clients feel as though in a tropical forest. Find it at 221A Nguyen Trong Tuyen, District Phu Nhuan; 011-84-8-3845-1357. Open 7 a.m.-11 p.m. daily.

If your clients seem like fun people, and your meeting looks like it might run into the night, take them to La Habana, where there’s delicious mojitos and Cuban cigars, and if everyone’s up for it, salsa dancing later in the evening! Perhaps you’ll be dancing to rejoice your new partnership.

Impress your clients by taking them off the tourist track to this posh two-story delight of a restaurant, Le Bordeaux. It’s well known amongst HCM’s affluent foodies, and there’s a reason – the French food is positively superb. Not only that, but it’s conveniently located within a 10-minute taxi ride from District 1’s Lam Son Square. Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 11:30 am – 1:30 pm and 6:30 – 9:30 pm, Sundays and Mondays 6:30 to 9:30 pm.

  • POST-MEETING FUN

The Saigon Saigon Bar (no that’s not a typo) in the Caravelle Hotel is an uber-popular spot to sit and enjoy a cocktail on a rooftop while watching the sun go down, and the city’s night scene comes to life.

http://www.caravellehotel.com/en/1/11/3/products.aspx

Ala Mezon is an imaginative bar with a wide selection of flavored sakes. This is a great place to take your Asian clients. You’ll find the Nintendo wii and Japanese manga cartoons on the walls may give this place a casual flair, but the rooftop garden revs up the class. Dine on French/Far Eastern fusion tapas while playing addictive yet somewhat sophisticated drinking games.

www.alamezon.vn

  • LUXURY HOTELS WITH BUSINESS AMENITIES

The Majestic Saigon is a favorite amongst business travelers to the area. Located conveniently in the heart of the city, this hotel boasts excellent meeting and event facilities, as well as free wifi and a smoke-free environment.

http://www.majesticsaigon.com.vn/

The Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon is the Marriott’s answer to business travelers looking for a comfortable five star business hotel with a stunning view and a pool with terrace to enjoy it on. Furthermore, there is a business center with full facilities, including copying, faxing, messenger service, network/internet printing, secretarial services, postage services, and translators.

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/sgnbr-renaissance-riverside-hotel-saigon/

The Park Hyatt Saigon is another top pick for business travelers. With meeting and event planning services, as well as complimentary butler service, and Mercedes limousine service, along with a 24-hour state-of-the-art business center that includes translation, copying, faxing, and internet services, it’s no wonder business travelers love to stay here.

http://saigon.park.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/

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