Lifestyle in Saigon: $150 Health Clubs and $1.50 PHO

I'm starting to settle into Saigon.  Just moved into a new apartment (more on that later) and am getting used to avoiding giant holes and scooters on the sidewalk.  I also joined a gym...but it's really not any type of gym I would have normally have joined.

Ideally I would have joined a CrossFit gym, yet surprisingly there isn't one in Ho Chi Min City.  There used to be two CrossFit gyms, CrossFit Saigon, and CrossFit Tropics but both closed down permanently.

Vincharm Spa in Saigon

Networking and People:

A big part of the reason why I came to Saigon was for the networking, there are tons of entrepreneurs here at the moment including Anton who has become both a friend as well as my mentor over the past year.  There are two types of gyms in Vietnam.  Prison looking gyms and high end health clubs.

Anton had signed up for 3 months at Vincharm as he wanted a gym that wasn't too crowded and had a sauna so I joined in.

$10 a month prison gyms in Vietnam.

Why I'm spending $150 a month.

I was originally just going to try it out but at $25 for a day pass, I figured I might as well just join for a month.  The monthly cost? 3,150,000 Dong.  I'm still getting used to this crazy form of currency and wonder why Vietnam doesn't drop four zeros off of their currency and make things less confusing.  

I won't be getting great workouts, but the gym is in the heart of downtown within walking distance to my hotel, the co-working spaces and coffee shops and it's a great place to relax and start the day.

The indoor swimming pool at the gym.

Health Clubs, Sports Centers vs. Gyms.

I never would have been able to afford paying $150 a month for a gym membership back home, even though I know plenty of places in Los Angeles and New York such as LA Sports Club and Equinox charge at least that if not more.  But since all of my other expenses are so low here it's a nice way to treat yourself while still watching your savings grow every month.  

The best thing about a health club like Vincharm is the steam room, sauna and the ice bath right afterwards.

Steam room, Sauna, Jacuzzi and Ice Bath.

Hanging out again with Anton.

It's been hung reuniting with the man who taught me everything I now know about drop shipping and eCommerce.  It's because of Anton that I can even afford to travel around, fly to Vietnam, and have the freedom and money to hang out every morning at places like this.  

My current schedule has been, wake up, check what new sales I got for the day, reply to some emails, then meet up at the gym and relax for a few hours before lunch.  I've been working for about half an hour in the mornings and then really getting into to groove after lunch. Speaking of lunch...

After a light workout, time to relax and get a steam.

$1.50 PHO is Fantastic.

I think I'm addicted to Vietnamese noodle soup.  Even though I'm eating it without the noodles to stay paleo, it's so freaking good I can't stop talking about it.  Sure I could go to western steak houses, but there's something about a big bowl of authentic, local food that is incredible and priceless.  

Best of all, these restaurants are literally on every street.  I wish I still ate bread as well as there are even more vendors selling delicious looking Vietnamese sandwiches for just $1.

My favorite Pho restaurant so far, just down the street.

Today's Lunch, Pho'tastic.

What is Pho?  It's basically beef broth soup with rice vermicelli noodles, green onions, white onions, bean sprouts, herbs and meat.  It's cheap, fast, delicious and healthy, well expect for the MSG, but either way it's still a great meal that I plan to have daily while I'm here. 

Paleo Pho for me, Normal Pho for the 'Ton.

Today's Office of the Day:

So far the coffee shops in Saigon are great.  Really good vietnamese drip coffee, fresh coconuts, food, fast wifi, and the staff more than welcomes people to sit all day with their laptops.

Today's cafe is called M2C Cafe and it's my favorite so far.  The downstairs is a bit small, but go up to the second floor and it's awesome.

Macbook Air, Vietnamese Coffee and a Coconut.

Alright that's it for now, thanks for following along and see you in Saigon!

Warm Regards,


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  1. Dude, screw the Paleo for a day and try a proper Bahn Mi. When I stayed in Saigon, this is the best Bahn Mi shop I found:

    Swing by around 6PM and you cannot miss them - just look for the large crowd waiting for their fix :) I believe they cost around 25,000 VND each, but they are freaking awewome!

    1. Hey Jerrie, thanks for the tip. If it's really as good as the reviews make it look, I'll definitely try it once. I've always told myself that I'll drink a beer in Belgium, eat bread in Europe and I guess now it'll be Bahn Mi in Vietnam. Thanks for the suggestion.

  2. Hey Johhny,
    I just wanted to let you know that I just recieved my 1st unofficial sale today when I was eating some asian food with my gf at a place called ChopStix! While looking through my email I had a notification saying that I had an order place and it was my 1st sale. Unfortunately I am still in the process of getting my business license and calling manufactureres when I received the sale, but you are right though, it has ignited a fire in me that this is really possible! In case you are wondering...Sale was $612...profit would've been about $122-$185 I believe. I felt excited and then nauseous afterward lol! Anyway Johnny just wanted to share this with you bro! Enjoy your mini retirement in Vietnam and keep posting man! -DEXTER

    1. Hey Dexter, dude congrats on that first sale! Get approved with that manufacture ASAP so you can fulfill that order and make the profit from it. You can even tell your supplier that you have a customer who has been wanting to purchase and is waiting.

      No more Asian Food breaks. Get on it! Congrats though buddy, I'm glad you see the potential! If you're already making sales without the ads even running, your store should do super well once it's really live. Keep me updated and let me know how it goes!

  3. Latest guest on the podcast was good. I looked into that Startup Chile program. Would love to hear more about his experience with it...applying, living it, his venture, etc. You could probably do a whole episode on just that.

    1. Hey Yanne, glad you enjoyed the latest episode with Alan who went to Startup Chile. You're right, it definitely could have been an entire episode just talking about daily life there, his experiences, everything. But it was nice to touch base on a lot of topics as well, he was an interesting guy.

  4. Check out Saigon Sports Club in District 7. Complete Crossfit Cross Training, MMA, Fitness facility.

    1. Thanks for the heads up! Good to hear Saigon has a new gym.


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