Ludovic Tran, avid climber and the former co-owner of Decibel, to get some tips on how to get into climbing in Ho Chi Minh City

Photo Credits: Ludovic Tran

What’s your advice for people who want to go on climbing trips in Vietnam?

The climbing scene outside Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is not as developed as Thailand or France. It can be hard for them to find and vet qualified staff so it can be a bit dodgy sometimes, you need to be careful. If there were more regulation and help for climbing outfits in Vietnam it would develop a lot faster.

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Any other tips on climbing?

It’s also the psychological side of it that is really interesting and plays a big role. There is the fear of falling that can be very challenging and that you have to constantly try to overcome if you don’t want to get stuck at some point (the mind game becomes much harder in lead climbing outdoors). And then the perseverance is important, the concentration and confidence. Believing in yourself is fundamental and one of the strengths of good climbers. That’s why you’ll always see climbers cheering and supporting each other while in difficulty. I think it’s a very cool side of rock climbing. It’s always much better when you climb with friends.

Photo Credits: Ludovic Tran Ludovic goes to three different gyms in the city to mix it up and practice different skillsets.

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Where to rock climb in Ho Chi Minh City


X-Rock was one of the first climbing gyms in the city and has the highest wall available. It’s well-built with overhanging sections that are good for reproducing the conditions of climbing outside a gym. It’s known for being professional and good about safety standards. (All the places in the article are good about this, though). The offer both day passes and memberships. All new climbers need to take a safety and belay course to start out.

Location: 75 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Vertical Academy

Vertical Academy is indoors and has both wall climbing and bouldering. The wall is not super high but it offers variation as far as technical difficulty goes and the routes are changed often, which keeps it challenging. They host events and competitions where you can get to know other people of all skill levels interested in climbing.

Location: 18 Truc Duong, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Push Climbing at Saigon Outcast

Located at Saigon Outcast, Push Climbing is a great place to put climbing with friends into practice, even if they’re just having a beer and cheering you on. It’s a high outdoor wall, and they frequently have classes, events and competitions, including speed climbing, crate stacking, Girls Got Power on Wednesdays (free for ladies) and Man Up (free for guys) on Thursdays.

Location: Saigon Outcast 188/1 Nguyen Van Huong, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam