Saigoneer | Society Sun, 27 Nov 2022 04:46:43 GMT FeedCreator 1.8.0-dev ( Wednesday Jameson Jam: Acoustic Open Mic @ Saigon Outcast

 Calling all musicians and lovers of music, come hang out and jam out at the Jameson Jam, an acoustic open mic for all.


]]> (Saigoneer.) Wed, 17 Feb 2016 03:51:34 GMT
Sunday Side-Up @ Saigon Outcast

 Sunday side-up is the best way to fully enjoy your Sunday whatever the generation you represent. Bring your family and friends, let us share delicious BBQ and Hoegaarden while we run a round bare footed, getting dirty, chicken chasing, boardskating, meeting new friends and get amazed by the three resident DJs Cheezy Gangztaz + Nick Simon founder of The Magic Pinions ready to rock with some deep, surprising and bababoom tracks!


]]> (Saigoneer.) Tue, 16 Jun 2015 06:24:33 GMT
Saigon Dub Station: Weekly Dub Station @ Saigon Ranger

The only weekly Reggae & Dub Sound System Party. 14th of April : Special Dance Battle Edition


]]> (Saigoneer.) Mon, 13 Apr 2015 04:37:59 GMT
Wednesday Jameson Jam: Acoustic Open Mic @ Saigon Outcast

 Calling all musicians and lovers of music, come hang out and jam out at the Jameson Jam, an acoustic open mic for all.


]]> (Saigoneer.) Mon, 09 Mar 2015 04:32:00 GMT
Optimist Club 121 @ The Observatory

 This week, 2 of The Observatory's DJs resident will rock the dancefloor at Optimist Club Saigon.


]]> (Saigoneer.) Tue, 17 Mar 2015 03:55:07 GMT
Tuesday Life Drawing Classes @ Saigon Outcast

 Something new at Saigon Outcast!! Join us in an evening of Life Drawing every Tuesday. Whether you are an artist who wants to have some practice or someone who has never drawn before wanting to try something new, this class suits everyone. Spend the evening drawing and drinking beer in the outdoors!


]]> (Saigoneer.) Mon, 06 Jul 2015 08:22:31 GMT
Screening Of 'Pride' @ deciBel

 Pride (UK 2014) (7.8/10·IMDb - 93%·Rotten Tomatoes). A group of gay activists in London and a South Welsh miners’ community are the “odd couple” in Pride.


]]> (Saigoneer.) Mon, 16 Mar 2015 03:59:41 GMT
Free Food - Dad's Dinner @ deciBel

 Tonight only from 8.30pm! Chefs Adeline, Augustin & Etienne will cook "Dad's Dinner" : marinated chicken skewers with sweet mash potatoes.


]]> (Saigoneer.) Mon, 16 Mar 2015 03:44:26 GMT
Ahoy! Maritime Music Sunday @ The Observatory

 AHOY! Our Sunday resident EL CAPITAN plays a large spectrum of groovy tunes that he likes to call MARITIME MUSIC.


]]> (Saigoneer.) Mon, 15 Jun 2015 09:00:20 GMT
Plant a Family Tree @ Nado Outdoors

Upcoming classes for kids yoga in June via hotline 0969 841 079 or inbox on Facebook.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 05 Jul 2016 08:51:45 GMT
Friday Acoustic Sessions.: Rawney Plays Outcast! @ Saigon Outcast

This week’s acoustic artist, Ciarán Calnan aka "Rawney", is a big name on the Irish music circuit with his band Setmaker and one of the country’s most fascinating solo artists.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 05 Jul 2016 09:10:44 GMT
Monday Jazz Project @ La Fenetre Soleil

From the organizer: MONDAY JAZZ PROJECT created for Jazz lover in Saigon. Those who are interested in Jazz, enjoy listening live music and bring the Jazz level higher here in Saigon.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 27 Feb 2017 03:34:05 GMT
OCTO Late Night Happy Hour @ Octo Tapas Restobar

Feeling peckish during the late hours? Ladies and gentlemen, OCTO at your service!


]]> (Saigoneer.) Wed, 24 Aug 2022 04:32:07 GMT
Bringing Back the Green

Green bedroom. Source: New York Times

The idea of “going green” is gaining popularity in our fair Vietnam, and while the government talks about it on a national level, there are plenty of good examples of individual applications of the concept.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:39:33 GMT



Saigoneer is an English-language online lifestyle magazine which covers topics related to food, society, development, history, culture and the arts in Saigon. We strive to provide both foreign residents and English-speaking Vietnamese in Saigon with engaging content which informs and entertains. Whether providing context to local affairs, showcasing the best of Saigon's arts and culture scene, discovering the story behind a decades-old street food stall or delving into the city's fast-paced development, Saigoneer prides itself on producing well-researched, informative and up-to-date content for local and international readers alike.


As a digital media outlet, Saigoneer believes in using the internet to harness the power of storytelling. Whether through words, photos, videos or graphics, we aim to bring readers the best content in the best possible medium.


Freelancers interested in writing for Saigoneer should fill out and email this pitch form to, along with a writing sample. On-spec pieces will not be accepted. Please label the subject line 'Freelance Pitch.' We accept feature stories ranging from 800-1,200 words, though exceptions for shorter or longer pieces can be made if warranted. Photo essays include about 200 words of intro text and captions accompanying around 15 images. We pay competitively and on time. Before you pitch, be sure to look through our site to make sure your angle hasn't been covered recently. We look forward to seeing your ideas!


To have your event listed on the Saigoneer events calendar, shoot the Facebook event link to

Thu, 19 May 2022 04:04:05 GMT
Past Saigon ]]> Thu, 01 Mar 2018 09:43:14 GMT Arts & Culture ]]> Thu, 01 Mar 2018 09:42:32 GMT Eat & Drink ]]> Thu, 01 Mar 2018 09:41:19 GMT Society ]]> Thu, 01 Mar 2018 09:39:47 GMT Featured news
Trung Nguyen Coffee Eyeing the International Market

Trung Nguyen Coffee Eyeing the International Market

While some local companies shake in their boots as Starbucks gears up to enter the Vietnamese market, the country’s largest coffee grower, Trung Nguyen, is taking the offensive and setting its sights on the international coffee market.

Tue, 08 Jan 2013 09:28:25 GMT
Featured Scenes
Health Awareness: Gynecological Cancer

Old Vietnam - With a Twist

If you love old Vietnam photos as much as we do, you’ll get a kick out of these photos which contrast the present and past of some of Vietnam’s most famous sites.

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 09:26:45 GMT
Featured Arts & Culture
ff nuclearwar opener

Beautiful Hoi An

Vietnam has no shortage of tourist destinations and while we usually try to avoid tourists, there’s one place where I’ll always make an exception: Hoi An.

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 09:13:38 GMT
Featured Eats & Drinks
Nuoc Mam: Ketchup’s Great-grandfather

Nuoc Mam: Ketchup’s Great-grandfather

What if I told you ketchup is the great-grandson of fish sauce? That’s right - America’s favorite condiment came right out of Asia’s cook book.

Sun, 27 Jan 2013 11:17:51 GMT
SaigonPhoto {module [155]} abc]]> Tue, 16 Oct 2012 13:17:25 GMT Power Players: Hydroelectricity

Hydroelectric plant.

This is the first article in our series “Power Players” which examines the different paths Vietnam is pursuing to feed its power-thirsty cities and industrial centers.


]]> (Brian Letwin. Image from Thiago Marra's Flickr) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:39:38 GMT
Contrasting Past & Present

Old bridge. Photo by Khánh Hmoong

If you love old Vietnam photos as much as we do, you’ll get a kick out of these which contrast the present and past of some of Vietnam’s most famous sites.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 26 Sep 2019 03:40:48 GMT
Beautiful Hoi An

Vietnam's first truly international port, Hoi An was developed by Chinese and Japanese merchants who believed that the "heart of Asia" lay beneath the small town. While that has yet to be proven, there's no doubt that Hoi An is a unique place - one of those rare instances when beautiful architecture, delicious food and floating lanterns can render you almost blind to the hoards of tourists.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 09 Apr 2013 08:24:21 GMT
Abandoned Temple in District 2

Abandoned Temple.

Parts of central District 2 are currently a mish-mash of leveled neighborhoods where all that remain are the skeletons of old buildings.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:52:33 GMT
Old Saigon: Pictures from Life Magazine

When looking at old pictures of big cities, what usually strikes us is how different yet similar things are today. Back in the 50s, Time Magazine ran some great pictures of Saigon, capturing its initial rise as “Pearl of the Orient”.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 20 Sep 2019 08:50:20 GMT
Video: Classic Vietnamese Rock

Hoang Oanh.

We're not huge fans of Americanization but there are some rare exceptions.

Concidering the current state of Vietnamese pop music, it's hard to believe there was a time when it was, to put it bluntly, good. A time before K-pop and obnoxious electronic music (you know, where every song has the same baseline).


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 15 Jan 2013 04:37:40 GMT
Video: Đi uống - Always

Đi uống - Always.

Check out this track from some of our brothers and sisters up north: Đi uống - Always.

Frankly, we're always down to watch a video where the band performs on a motorcyle and sidecar.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 15 Jan 2013 04:43:23 GMT
Pho Real? Wassup Pham

Pho Life.

When the masses of refugees from southern Vietnamese arrived to the US after the American War, they brought their traditions, music and food with them.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 09 Apr 2013 08:34:42 GMT
Nuoc Mam: Ketchup’s Great-grandfather

Ketchup has an interesting lineage.

Nuoc mam, or fish sauce, is a staple condiment in Asia where it has been used for hundreds of years. Its flavor-enhancing characteristics make it akin to ketchup in its ability to instantly elevate a dish. But what if I told you ketchup is the great-grandson of fish sauce? That’s right - America’s favorite condiment came right out of Asia’s cook book. Don’t believe me? Check out this article from Slate.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 09 Apr 2013 08:30:41 GMT
Vietnam’s Long Road to High-Speed Rail: Past & Present

While we dream about subway systems in Saigon and Hanoi, another major project is on the minds of engineers and urban planners – high speed rail. Already the standard in Japan, China and Europe, there are two projects in the works that could bring the technology to Vietnam. But before we look at the future, let’s take a look at the history and present state of Vietnam’s railway system to see why so many are pushing for a complete overhaul.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 26 Sep 2019 03:40:48 GMT
As the City Stretches – Part 1 - The Pursuit of Sustainable Development

Over the past decade, Saigon has outgrown its traditional boundaries, forcing development not only vertically but horizontally. As the sky above District 1 becomes increasingly crowded and land scarce, city planners have been looking for ways to expand Saigon’s business center.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 09 Dec 2021 14:24:33 GMT
Skyline Update: Eximbank Tower

Rendering of Eximbank Tower.

Get ready for a major addition to the Saigon skyline – the Eximbank Tower. On December 17th, Eximbank announced the 40 story project, led by Turner and Nikken Sekkei design consultants.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:39:42 GMT
Skyline Update: Eximbank Tower

Rendering of Eximbank Tower.

Get ready for a major addition to the Saigon skyline – the Eximbank Tower. On December 17th, Eximbank announced the 40 story project, led by Turner and Nikken Sekkei design consultants.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 09 Apr 2013 08:39:09 GMT
Street Figures: Nguyen Thi Minh Khai

Nguyen Thi Minh Khai.

We’re kicking off our Street Figures series with one of the city’s busiest streets which spans Districts 1 and 3 – Nguyen Thi Minh Khai.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 23 Sep 2019 06:23:23 GMT
Saigon's Airports in Transition

Rendering of Long Thanh Airport.

It’s no secret that Saigon aspires to be the commercial and tourist hub of Southeast Asia. Even as the economy has slowed, tourism in Vietnam is growing at a pace of 11% annually. Government officials expect the economy to bounce back and for growth in the tourism sector to continue. To accommodate the rising number of visitors, plans for additional International airports across Vietnam are in the works.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:46:46 GMT
Organic Vietnam: A Step in the Right Direction

Organic produce has gained massive popularity in the West over the last few decades. Given the importance of agriculture in Vietnam – both from economic and health standpoints – there are those who are working to improve the country’s diet and overall health by focusing on cultivating organic fruits and vegetables.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 21 Jun 2013 06:23:02 GMT
Trung Nguyen Coffee Eyeing the International Market

Vietnam is now one of the world's top coffee exporters.

While some local companies shake in their boots as Starbucks gears up to enter the Vietnamese market, the country’s largest coffee grower, Trung Nguyen, is taking the offensive and setting its sights on the international coffee market.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 09 Apr 2013 08:41:34 GMT
Escape to Hong Kong

Traditional masks in Hong Kong. Photo by Jon Sanwell

While we don’t get to travel much, many local bloggers do and frequently post articles about their recent adventures. Photographer Jon Sanwell recently returned from Hong Kong and posted some great pictures and information on his blog, Without an H.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 09 Apr 2013 08:26:50 GMT
The War That Never Happened Continues in Laos

The Diplomat recently published the story of the Hmong, a Laotian ethnic minority group recruited by the CIA to counter the influence of communism in Laos. This compelling article chronicles not only the role of the Hmong during the American War but their current struggle for survival in the dense jungles of northern Laos.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 19 Apr 2013 07:29:47 GMT
Silent Mics? Heavy Fines for Liquor in Karaoke Rooms

Ain't no liquor in the karaoke room.

To the dismay of ballers across Saigon, a new decree from the Ministry of Culture Sports and Tourism will raise the fines for drinking liquor in karaoke rooms. So if you’re downing bottles of Hennessey whilst belting out Billy Jean, you’re looking at a VND3 million fine.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 16 Jan 2013 07:31:52 GMT
History of Vietnamese Cinema: 1898 - 1995

Long Van Cinema.

Vietnam is producing high-quality films faster than ever before. While the country is not known for its cinematic pedigree, the film industry in Vietnam has been active for over 100 years. With growing budgets and influence from the Viet Kieu community, Vietnam could be entering a Golden Age of film. 


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 09:46:13 GMT
Bugs & Flowers

On a typical day in Cai Lay District, about 90 KM outside Ho Chi Minh City, farmers toil in the field tending to their rice paddies. But today is special, and like any special day in Vietnam it will end with rice wine and feasting. It begins, however, with bugs and flowers.


]]> (Lindsay Allen) Tue, 23 Apr 2013 06:52:49 GMT
Pullman Saigon Center Tops Out

The concrete skeleton  at the corner of Tran Hung Dao and Nguyen Cu Trinh topped out just before Tet and is set to open later this year.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:39:48 GMT
Fire-Breathing Dragon Bridge Opens in Da Nang

For all the importance placed on dragons in Vietnamese culture, I’m sure at one point, we’ve all wondered to ourselves, “Why hasn’t Vietnam built a badass fire-breathing dragon bridge?” Well, wonder no longer because the world’s largest dragon-themed bridge has just opened in Da Nang.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 09 Apr 2013 07:36:11 GMT
UPS Becomes Vietnam's First 100% Foreign Owned Shipping Company

UPS has officially become the first 100% foreign owned shipping company in Vietnam. Concidering the state of shipping serice in Vietnam, this may symbolize a big step forward.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Sat, 13 Apr 2013 10:27:41 GMT
VietJetAir Expands Bangkok Service and Celebrates with Free Tickets

VietJetAir has just announced a new route from Hanoi to Bangkok, set to open on June 1, 2013. To celebrate and promote this new service, the company is offering free tickets if you book between April 10 and April 20 for travel between April 15 and December 20.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 11 Apr 2013 03:29:38 GMT
A Look at Hong Kong's Cramped Apartments

There are plenty of small rooms here in Saigon, no doubt. But Hong Kong is notorious for it's cramped living quarters. These overhead photos were commissioned and released by The Society for Community Organization (SoCO).

The goal of this project is to highlight the ongoing housing problems in one of the richest cities in the world. For the most part, the residents in these urban slums are low-income families, elderly and unemployed.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Sun, 21 Apr 2013 08:58:20 GMT
Massive Transportation Plan for Saigon Revealed

We’ve heard a lot over the last few years about proposed improvements to Saigon’s transportation infrastructure. These include the new Long Thanh International Airport and expanding the city center into District 2.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:36:30 GMT
Sex Scenes Becoming More Frequent in Vietnamese Films

In a recent VietnamNet op-ed, Lao Dong takes a deeper look into the increasing eroticism of Vietnamese cinema.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 09:37:44 GMT
H&P Unveils Low-Cost Bamboo Home Design

When it comes to construction in Vietnam - from one-story shops to luxury office towers - one will find bricks on every site. For more than a century, these unassuming orange squares have literally laid the foundation for Vietnam’s cities, factories and commercial hubs. But local architecture firm, H&P, has released a new bamboo-based housing design that will address the multitude of housing challenges facing communities in flood-prone areas.

Bricks are the obvious choice for construction in Vietnam and in many countries around the globe. According to


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 26 Apr 2013 11:30:31 GMT
With $100 Million in the Bank, CocCoc Looks to Unseat Google in Vietnam

There’s no doubt that Google is the global leader in search engines, owning a 67.5% global market share. But if the tech behemoth has one 'chink in the armor', it’s the inability to effectively handle non-English language searches. Russian national, Victor Lavrenko, identified this weakness and saw an opportunity to pick up the slack where Google would/could not. Enter startup CocCoc which plans to invest $100 million in the next 10 years to master the art of search in Vietnam.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:36:37 GMT
District 8: Architectural Treasure Chest

Stumbling upon old buildings is one of the best things about living in Saigon. While many are in a state of disrepair, some have retained their original character. Photo blog, Old Saigon, highlights some of the best remaining colonial architecture in the city like the photo above.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:52:33 GMT
Another Step Forward for Gay Marriage in Vietnam

Vietnam is on the path to becoming the first Asian nation to legalize same-sex marriage. This week, in Hanoi, Deputy Health Minister, Nguyen Viet Tien, told the press:

“[A]s human beings, homosexuals have the same rights as everyone else to live, eat, love and be loved. As citizens, they have the right to work, study, receive health care, register births and deaths, marry and discharge their duties to the state and the society.”


]]> (Saigoneer.) Fri, 07 Feb 2020 04:36:16 GMT
Saigon's New CNG Busses to be Produced in Vietnam

Locally-produced CNG (compressed natural gas) busses may be an increasingly common sight over the next 12 months.

On April 18, Duong Hong Thanh, deputy director of the City Department of Transport, announced his recommendation to add another 300 Samco-built CNG busses within a year.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 02 May 2013 02:11:50 GMT
The Ghost Town of Thu Thiem

As we’ve written about before, there are big plans to re-develop Thu Thiem into Saigon’s new business and finance center. For the last few years, the city has demolished entire neighborhoods to clear the site, turning part of District 2 into a ghost town. While the grand re-development is at a standstill, there are those who live in its shadows, amidst the rubble and half-standing houses.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:36:56 GMT
Apple Returns Millions of Substandard iPhones to Foxconn

According to sources in a China Business report, Apple has returned up to 8 million iPhones to manufacturer, Foxconn, on the grounds that they were not fit or sale. The gaffe could not only result in lower supply, but delay the release of the next iPhone which is scheduled for later this year.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:36:44 GMT
Hanoi Man Arrested with 53 King Cobras in His Car

While snakes are awesome, the idea of being with one in closed quarters is less than appealing. Well, one Hanoi man felt differently and was arrested transporting 53 of them in his car. Did we mention they were king cobras?


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 01 Oct 2018 12:06:46 GMT
Could This Vietnamese Startup Overtake Dropbox?

Dropbox has long been the biggest player in the cloud storage game, but this may soon change. Local startup, Kleii, has just secured its first round of seed funding and has its eyes on the international stage.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:23:08 GMT
Incredible Thai Version of the Iron Man 3 Trailer

Iron Man 3 hit theaters last week grossing a whopping $195.3 million internationally. With numbers like that, there’s no doubt that the film will be one of the most illegally copied of all time. But pirated copies are not the only bi-product of the blockbuster.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 29 Apr 2013 10:50:40 GMT
Forget Motorbikes. Smoking is Vietnam's #1 Killer

No matter where you’re from, smoking cigarettes is a killer. While Vietnam has started to feel the effects of this long-ignored but serious public health issue, perhaps a recent report from the Ho Chi Minh City Health Education and Communication Center will shake things up a bit.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:37:05 GMT
Korean Schoolgirls Blame Manga Comics After Destroying Classroom

Koreans sure love their video games and manga comics. They have penetrated the psyche of the country’s children to the point where kids are shipped off to video game addiction camps. Every now and then, these fantasy worlds get a bit too real. Like when students cause $5000 worth of damage to their school after taking a cue from a manga comic book.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 03 May 2013 06:44:46 GMT
Home Has Shifted

For just over a year now, I have been living on the edge of district one, on a street named Tran Khac Chan. It is an unremarkable street on the face of it, a typical bustling hive of activity, of which there are an uncountable amount of in Saigon. Only by living there can you start to unearth the hidden gems it holds and start to understand the lives of the people here.


]]> (Sean Boyle. Photo by Galen Stolee.) Wed, 15 May 2013 11:25:58 GMT
What to do Along the Mekong

There are many things that set Saigon apart from other sprawling cities – the laid back lifestyle, the food, the people. But no matter how unique, the hustle and bustle of rush hour traffic and heat permeating from the concrete jungle are inescapable reminders that you are truly an urban dweller. Luckily, if one travels a few hours in any direction, they are likely to encounter one of Vietnam’s magical natural settings. One of these places is the Mekong Delta, only a stone’s throw from Saigon.


]]> (Brian Letwin. Photo by Quinn Ryan Mattingly) Sat, 04 May 2013 04:59:02 GMT
Forget the Fockers, Meet the Nguyễns

Meeting the girlfriend’s parents is an intimidating experience in any culture. So what’s the best way to add even more awkwardness to an already awkward situation? Meeting the parents of a girl from a different culture, of course!


]]> (Brian Letwin) Sat, 04 May 2013 08:38:52 GMT
For Foreigners, Eating in Vietnam not Always as Easy as it Looks

Vietnam is world renowned for its food, confirmed by the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsey who have dedicated entire TV specials to the country’s culinary soul. And for those of us who live here, we can wholeheartedly confirm this. But while street food is all around us, for foreigners, the intricacies of the local fare can sometimes be elusive. Matt Gross, a former English teacher in Saigon, just wrote a fantastic article for the New York Times detailing his obsession with Vietnamese food. In it, he muses about various street food no-nos such as eating pho for lunch and the linguistic and social barriers that sometimes curtailed his gastronomic exploration. Perhaps this sounds familiar?


]]> (Brian Letwin) Sat, 04 May 2013 05:18:50 GMT
Digital Media/Art Project Launching This Month

If you’re a creative, digital-minded person who is passionate about Indochina, here’s a great project for you. Riverorchid Digital, an agency specializing in branding, PR and media, is embarking on a project to discover and celebrate Indochina through digital media and creativity. They want to find out what Indochina really means to a modern, digitally connected world by asking its people to share their views; creating a crowd-sourced integrated online and real world art event unlike anything seen before in this region.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 06 May 2013 02:55:12 GMT
Saigon Opens ‘Smile School’ for Traffic Police

Saigon’s traffic police just underwent rigorous training sessions to help them gain knowledge on "cultural behavior and moral behavior of traffic police officers" while on duty. The program, chaired by Professor Dr. Vu Gia Hien, a social psychologist at the Ho Chi Minh City Education Psychology Association, took place from April 8-15.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 22 Jun 2016 03:11:21 GMT
Budweiser to Set up Production Facilities in Vietnam

The past decade has seen a plethora of international brands enter Vietnam’s fertile consumer market. As Vietnam’s average income has risen, brands from Pizza Hut to Starbucks have taken advantage of the country’s brand-minded consumers. Following this trend, Budweiser, one of America’s most popular beers, is setting up production facilities in SE Asia’s top beer drinking country.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 07 May 2013 04:19:30 GMT
A Brief Look at Catholic Funeral Rites in Saigon

For me, as most of us non-nationals living here in Saigon, the word funeral only evokes ideas of dreadful sounds emanating from a tent set up halfway in the street and haltering the flow of traffic. They can be bad enough to drive by, god forbid having one posted outside your own window. Three days of disturbances can seem like an eternal punishment at times. There is, of course more to the story than just making noise, as it can tend to seem sometimes.


]]> (Quinn Ryan Mattingly) Wed, 08 May 2013 07:02:05 GMT
Stunning Street Art in Saigon

French street artist, Julien Malland, AKA Seth Globepainter, travels the world using buildings as a canvas for his huge murals. Collaborating with local artists, he tries to learn new artistic techniques while creating pieces that are aesthetically and socially contextual. A graduate of the National School of Decorative Arts in Paris, Julien Malland has painted murals in Vietnam, India, China, Cambodia, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and many other countries.


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 19 Feb 2014 09:29:56 GMT
Vietnamese Celebrities Flaunt Their Wealth

It’s no secret that for most in Vietnam (and most of the world for that matter), success is measured by accumulation of wealth. For the country's celebrities who live in the spotlight, showing off their expensive cars and jewelry is a necessity for creating and maintain their image. But in a country where the average GDP per capita is $1407, these ostentatious displays of wealth are rubbing some people the wrong way.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:40:06 GMT
Rumors of Highlands Plant That Provides 100% Effective Birth Control

Put away the condoms and birth control pills. According to Tuoi Tre, there is an ethnic minority group (Van Kieu) in the central highlands that uses a special leaf, anăng, in place of typical contraceptives. That's right! Now you can eliminate the hassles of taking pills and putting on condoms. With anăng, simply put a leaf of it in your pocket (who's wearing pants?!?) or lie on it and you’ll stay baby-free! Well, that’s the story anyway.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 09 May 2013 04:17:06 GMT
"Fucking Ugly" Websites Plague Vietnam

Design is subjective; ‘good’ design changes by region, city and individual. Design elements that may seem antiquated to one, may be fresh or reinvented by another so we try not to judge - except when it comes to websites that are “fucking ugly.” These were the words Techinasia editor, Anh Minh Do, used to appropriately describe the state of Vietnamese website design.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 14 May 2014 03:58:03 GMT
Arsenal Confirms Vietnam Pre-Season Game

Arsenal Football Club has announced that it will become the first ever Premier League team to play a match in Vietnam, with the first-team squad visiting Hanoi in July as part of the Club’s pre-season Asia Tour 2013. According to their press release, the match against the Vietnam national team will take place at the 40,000 seat My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi on Wednesday, July 17.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 09 May 2013 09:43:52 GMT
As Thu Thiem Stalls, City Rushes to Lure Investors

Development of Thu Thiem was supposed to be the crown jewel of Saigon’s urban expansion. Since 1996, plans have been in place to turn this green swath of land, directly across from District 1, into the city’s new center. Although the city has cleared most of the land, a faltering economy, lack of infrastructure and high leasing fees have stalled the project.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:37:13 GMT
Local Director Heading to Cannes Film Festival

Vietnamese director, Tran Dung Thanh Huy, will be showing his short film, 16:30, at the Cannes Film Festival in May. The film follows a group of street kids who sell lottery tickets in Saigon’s streets and alleys starting at 4:30pm every afternoon.

Following his five awards at YxineFF 2012, Huy was chosen to participate in Voyage A Cannes, a program that brings Vietnamese artists to the Cannes Film Festival.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 09:37:44 GMT
Massive Changes Approved for Saigon's City Center

Sometimes wishes do come true. The city government has approved a plan that will completely redefine the layout and borders of Saigon's city center. The highlight of the plan will see the conversion of some District 1 streets into pedestrian-only areas.

Under the new plan, the existing downtown area, covering Districts 1 and 3, will be expanded to five quarters, including an area along the Saigon River in District 4 and Binh Thanh District, the ports along Nguyen Tat Thanh Street and the Tau Hu-Ben Nghe canals. The new downtown ‘core’ will cover 930 hectares including wards where many streets including: Le Loi, Nguyen Hue, Dong Khoi, the roundabout in front of Ben Thanh Market, and part of Huynh Thuc Khang Street will be converted to pedestrian-only areas.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:37:19 GMT
Asia's Social Media Boom

A macro-economic expert could view social media as a good economic development indicator. Social media fever is fading a bit in the US after the mini-bubble, encouraged by the highly criticized purchase of Involver by Oracle, and the unfortunately premature acquisition - according to WWP's CEO - of SalesForce by Buddy Media. But, on the other side of the Pacific, social media is booming in a way few could have predicted.


]]> (Victor Ramirez) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:21:42 GMT
Vietnamese Actress Gets Airline Crew into Hot Water

As the rest of the country goes about its daily routine, Vietnamese celebrities continue to make headlines. This time, it’s actress, Ly Nha Ky, whose celebrity status served as a golden ticket to the cockpit on a recent Vietnam Airlines flight. While the pilots and flight attendants were happy to have the former tourism envoy up front, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) was less than thrilled about the incident and has finned the crew.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 13 May 2013 06:05:29 GMT
Vietnam Delays Introduction of 4G Service

Even as Vietnam becomes increasing connected by mobile devices, don’t expect 4G service any time soon. According to Vietnam News, the government wants to maximize the existing investments made by telecom companies.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:37:24 GMT
How Saigon Plans to Avoid the 'Car Age'

“A developed city is not one in which the poor get around by car but one in which the rich get around by public transit” - Enrique Peñalosa, former mayor of Bogotá.

It seems like every time I’m stalled in traffic, cars and buses are to blame. Nimble motorbikes can easily navigate hectic traffic patterns (and drive on sidewalks) and buses get a pass since they’re the city’s only form of public transportation (and their numbers are fairly static). In a city designed without cars in mind, their increasing numbers are becoming a serious obstacle for the flow of traffic. But, while some curse cars, others are buying them at a record rate – the number of new cars sold in the first quarter of this year was higher than the total sold in 2012. Can Saigon complete its public transportation network fast enough to avoid “the age of the car”?


]]> (Brian Letwin. Photo by Galen Stolee) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:40:10 GMT
Old Vietnamese Sports Center in District 5

Here’s another gem from the Tumblr blog, Old Saigon:

"This house is located on Hai Thuong Lan Ong Street, District 5. It is used as a sports and gymnastics center in District 5 for all kinds of popular Vietnamese and Chinese sports, such as badminton, table tennis, sepatakraw and lion dancing (a traditional Chinese ritual performed to bring good luck, especially during the Lunar New Year, in which two men dance while wearing a large ornamental lion head and body)."


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 20 Sep 2019 08:50:20 GMT
Airport for Mui Ne in the Works

Saigon might not be the only one who’s getting a shiny new airport - developers have submitted plans to the Phan Thiet central government to construct a $270 million regional airport. Russians, rejoice!

The airport, scheduled to open in 2017, will span around 500 hectares and will be located in Thien Nghiep – a coastal area near Mui Ne Beach. According to Vietnam Airlines Corporation (VNA), the airport is part of the grander picture of connectivity between Saigon and Nha Trang:

“The development of Phan Thiet airport should be considered in the context that there are also many other transport methods to the area, including road, sea, railway, and high-speed railway between Saigon and Nha trang.”  


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:19:54 GMT
Lotteria Announces the Ramen Burger

Lotteria, the Korean version of McDonalds (in Vietnam at least), has joined the likes to Taco Bell and KFC in offering a dish that certainly qualifies as ‘thinking outside of the box.’

Here’s a breakdown of the ramen burger from Kotaku’s Brian Ashcraft:

The noodles are lightly fried into a ramen patty, which is placed between two burger buns along with tender pork cutlet and mayonnaise. The burger is also served with "katsuo dashi" (a type of Japanese broth) soup.”


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 15 May 2013 04:21:22 GMT
Record Profits for Vietnam's Cinemas

For those whom frequent movie theatres, it’s probably not a surprise to learn that 2012 was a record year for ticket sales in Vietnam. The country has seen massive growth in this industry with a 514% increase between 2008 and 2012. And, of course, this doesn’t include the enormously popular Iron Man 3.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 09:46:53 GMT
Vietnam's Ancient Villages Face Serious Problems

Vietnam realized long ago that its ancient villages and towns would be big hits with foreign tourists. Over the last 15 years, the country has rushed to protect its historical heritage by anointing some locales as national relics and others as UNESCO world heritage sites. With these titles come tight restrictions on land use, building and repairs which can make things a nightmare for locals who don’t have the funds to work within these constraints.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 16 May 2013 07:05:22 GMT
A Look at Vietnam's Love Hotels

Walk through any urban public space in Europe, South America or the US and chances are you’ll encounter a young couple doing…couple’s things. Public spaces are an escape from the oversight of family and parents, who, no doubt, would disapprove of their shenanigans. But, in Vietnam, public displays of affection are generally taboo. So where do couples (and cheating husbands) go to spend alone time?


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 17 May 2013 04:07:40 GMT
City Center Overhaul to be "Harmonious"

For those skeptical about the recently announced changes to the city center, Nguyen Trong Hoa - Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Institute of Development Studies and one of the plan’s authors – explains that unlike previously overambitious plans, the new one is measured and harmonious. Take this with a grain of salt, of course, but at least the city is aware of why previous plans failed and are taking a more cautious approach this time around.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:37:32 GMT
Gangsters of Old Saigon: Binh Xuyen

In the final days of French occupation, the struggle for power in Vietnam, and Saigon in particular, was a free-for-all. As French control waned and the influence of Communism was identified as the “state’s” biggest enemy, private militias and warlords jockeyed for position, hoping to take advantage of the instability. While downtown Saigon was relatively quiet, just south was the Wild West – gangs, kidnapping, piracy, murder and gambling. At the center of Nha Be’s illicit prosperity was the Binh Xuyen, a powerful gang that directly influenced Vietnam’s post-colonial history, especially in the South.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 12 Jun 2020 04:57:07 GMT
Big Changes for Online Advertising in Vietnam For Google staff, today should prove to be slightly more relaxing following a week of big announcements. For many of them, the week started with a cup of coffee at the annual I/O developer conference in San Francisco, where Google’s heavy hitters spent dozens of hours announcing new products and improvements. These included a master plan to beat Spotify with Google Play Music, revolutionary updates for Google+ in order to compete with Facebook and Twitter (they were able to convince me) and new features for Google Maps and Gmail. Back in Asia, the Google staff in Saigon had something important to present as well. After a long wait, Google Display Networks service has finally arrived in Vietnam, something many digital marketers have had high on their wish lists.


]]> (Victor Ramirez.) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:22:05 GMT
“Little PSY” Stirs Cultural Tensions Between Vietnam and Korea

As “Gangnam Style” continues to pulsate from speakers all over the world, controversy surrounding Hwang Min-woo, or “little PSY,” has engulfed the Vietnamese and Korean online communities. Woo, seen performing the “horse dance” alongside the Korean megastar at the start of the music video, is half Vietnamese and half Korean. Derogatory comments stemming from Woo’s Vietnamese roots have flooded Star Zone Entertainment's website and have caught the attention of the Gangnam Police Department (no, they don’t dance. Yes, Gangnam is a neighborhood in Seoul).


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 24 May 2013 04:10:26 GMT
A Look Back at Saigon's Streetcars

As Saigon eagerly awaits its first metro line, we look back at the city's original rail-based transportation - streetcars.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 19 Sep 2019 09:00:04 GMT
[UPDATE] Broken Wire Leaves Southern Vietnam Powerless

Tuoi Tre is reporting that a section of the 500 KV wire that connects the power grid between north and south, “fell apart,” cutting power to 22 provinces in southern Vietnam. While power has returned to much, if not all of Saigon, state energy company, EVN is still investigating the cause:

“According to Nguyen Anh Vu, an official at the national power supply corporation Vietnam Electricity (EVN). Vu said this is force majeure and EVN is trying its best to fix the situation as soon as it can. His firm is still examining the cause of the breakdown, the official said.

Huynh Minh Hai, director of EVN’s branch in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang, said that this was the first time such a huge incident had occurred in Vietnam over the last 100 years."


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 22 May 2013 13:19:52 GMT
Incredible and Edible Japanese Latte Art

You know when you go to the café, and the barista draws a fancy leaf or heart in the foam of your cappuccino and you’re all like, “wow, that’s artistic!”? Well, after viewing the slideshow below, that might never happen again. Unless you go to Japan.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 23 May 2013 02:44:20 GMT
Hanoi Train Travels Though Narrow Gap Between Houses

Just as in Saigon, Hanoi is a dense city where, outside of downtown, little attention was paid to details like infrastructure planning. This can result in some impactful visuals such as this video of a train traveling through a narrow alley.

The train makes its way through the tight path every day at 4pm and 7pm, barely clearing houses and motorbikes. As there have been accidents in the past, residents seclude themselves in their homes as the train passes by.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 23 May 2013 07:24:15 GMT
China to Build the World's Tallest Building - In Only 7 Months

The Chinese economy may be slowing down, but that’s not stopping Hunan developers from breaking ground on the tallest building in the world – Sky City. The project will not only be taller than the Burj Khalifa, but will be completed 5 years faster.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 24 May 2013 03:58:44 GMT
Starbucks CEO Says Company Will Open Hundreds of Stores in Vietnam

On the heels of a successful launch in Vietnam, Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, announced that the American coffee chain will open hundreds of stores in the country.

Before opening its 2-story flagship store on Le Lai St., many thought that Starbucks would face serious challenges due to Vietnam’s long and rich love affair with coffee.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 27 Jun 2016 03:22:51 GMT
Nifty Old Map of Saigon

For history nerds like us, there's little better than an old map of Saigon. So here's an old map of Saigon, French street names and all. We're guessing it's from the late 1940s.

View the full size version here.

]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:46:46 GMT
Vietnamese Painting Fetches Record Price at Christie’s

Nguyen Phan Chanh’s painting, entitled “La Marchand de Riz,” set a new record for Vietnamese art at Christie’s International in Hong Kong this past Saturday.

Originally valued at $75 due to a case of misidentification – a trainee labeled the piece as an unsigned Chinese work before experts identified Chanh’s signature – the winning bid was a record $390,000.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 27 May 2013 04:11:46 GMT
Chinese DIY Projects: A Fine Line Between Ingenuity and Hilarity

Whether it's building the world's tallest building or shadily acquiring a Russian aircraft carrier, the Chinese government, while facing many shortcomings, dreams big. But what about its people? Surely, in a nation of a billion people, there must be those who use ingenuity to address pressing issues or shortcoming in their day-to-day lives. An article in The Atlantic earlier this month, took a look at some of China's craziest/most brilliant DIY projects. We put our favourites in the slideshow below:


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 27 May 2013 07:12:39 GMT
Morning Links: Criticism and Confusion over Recently Announced TV Laws

Here are your morning links:

- Current business environment uninviting for foreign graduates (Vietnamnetbridge)

- Criticism and confusion over recently announced TV laws (ThanhNien)

- Vietnam to review its Visa exemption policies (ThanhNien)

- Banks are starting to increase their loan rates (Straigtstimes)

- Vietnam and Italy strengthen trade ties (businesstimes)


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Vietnam to Invest $287 million in a Taller, Stronger Population

It seems like everyone wants to be a little bit taller (and a baller) these days. A recent report revealed that Vietnam’s neighbors are not only taller, but enjoy a faster growth speed amongst their populations. To win the ‘war on short’, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has announced a $287 million plan to raise Vietnam’s average height by 4cm.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:37:36 GMT
How Vietnam’s Rich Earn Their Millions

Two words: Real estate.

Citing an unnamed report, VietnamNetBridge found that nearly 30% of Vietnamese millionaires made their money from real estate investments and development.

As living standards began to raise in the early 1990’s, the first wave of local businessmen, who made money abroad, began investing in local properties. With Vietnam’s economic boom, real estate values skyrocketed.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 28 May 2013 08:52:58 GMT
Morning Links: Another Rare Plant Faces Extinction in Vietnam

Here's the latest and greatest Vietnam news:

- Rich Vietnamese are into eating endangered species. (VietnamNetBridge)

- According to a recent survey, energy security is a growing public concern. (Viet Nam News)

- The investigation into the bribe-for-visa scandal has started. (Tuoi Tre)


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Why Vietnamese are Boycotting Coca-Cola

When Coca Cola announced a $300 million expansion plan for Vietnam last October, the company faced greater scrutiny of its local operations. Investigators found that by reporting losses since 2010, and questionable loan practices, Coke has avoided paying corporate income tax. The structure of the company’s loans and accusations that the company is taking advantage of transfer pricing has sparked outrage among Vietnamese with many calling for a boycott of the world’s most popular soda.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 29 May 2013 11:34:12 GMT
The Remarkable Tale of Ben Thanh Market

Large markets have been the cornerstone of many Vietnamese neighborhoods for over a century. When Saigon was still a collection of small towns, central markets acted as vital commerce centers where locals sold everything from tomatoes to blankets. While the dynamics of shopping in Vietnam have changed a great deal over the last 20 years, these markets still serve as important commercial arteries, especially outside of District 1. In this series, we’ll take a closer look at the history of these important buildings starting with the big boy, Ben Thanh Market.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:56:21 GMT
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Saigoneer is the largest English-Language (and Korean-Language - lifestyle publication in Vietnam. We have a diverse suite of product offerings including banners, paid content, business listings, event coverage, newsletter/podcast sponsorship. Drop us a line at to request our media kit.

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To submit an event to upload to our calendar, email:

]]> (Saigoneer) Sat, 21 Dec 2019 06:24:34 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam is Ready for Mobile Banking

Here's what's making news this morning:

- VietJet Air plans to open a Thai subsidiary (Bangkok Post)

- Intel hesitant to expand in Vietnam due to power risks (Tuoi Tre)

- The unemployment rate is growing in urban areas (SaigonGP Daily)

- “Little PSY” welcomed back to HCMC (Tuoi Tre)


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Saigon Announces Plan for Waterway Development

Well, Saigon is really trying to cover all the bases for its 2020 rebirth. Another massive project has been proposed to redevelop Saigon’s 1,000km of rivers and canals at a cost of more than $500 million. The city hopes that this will boost tourism, and that its waterways will become Saigon’s main attraction.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:37:44 GMT
Chinese Tourists Get a Bad Rep Abroad

It’s been a bad week for the reputation of Chinese tourists. It started with a Chinese vice-premier lamenting the behavior of his countrymen abroad and culminated with news that a Nanjing teenager had defaced an ancient Egyptian temple.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 24 Mar 2016 04:07:30 GMT
Morning Links: France to Help Vietnam to Develop its Urban Railways

Good morning, Saigon. Here's a roundup of what's making headlines: 

- Vietnamese stocks at 5 year high (Bloomberg)

- Authorities released 205,000 fish into newly cleaned Saigon canals (Tuoi Tre)

- Vietnam's sea tourism has yet to be developed (VietnamNet Bridge


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Hoi An Shipwreck Yields Thousands of Precious Artifacts

Once an international trading hub, ancient pottery from Hoi An has been found as far away as Africa. But a recent, local discovery has proved to be more impressive than the long distances some pieces have travelled. This week, a salvage company announced that they have successfully excavated a 15th century trading vessel containing 16,000, highly-prized artifacts.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 31 May 2013 03:31:02 GMT
Blackouts Across SE Asia Spark Conspiracy Theories

Last week’s blackout was one of many across SE Asia in recent weeks, with large-scale power outages in Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam. While the blackouts in Vietnam and Cambodia have been attributed to a crane accident, the circumstances in Thailand and the Philippines were less clear, causing some to suggest that they were politically motivated.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 31 May 2013 06:50:14 GMT
Vietnamese Language Garden 'Green City' Photo Contest

About the Contest

We are now accepting submissions for the Vietnamese Language Garden photo contest.

Use your creative eye to shoot photos that capture nature in Saigon - tree-lined streets, a day in the park, overgrown weeds swallowing the skeletons of abandoned houses in Thu Thiem.

The winner will receive free, personalized Vietnamese classes at Vietnamese Language Garden and have their photo featured on


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 11 Jul 2013 08:15:28 GMT
Morning Links: How to Travel Across Vietnam Without Spending a Dong

 Here's what's going on this morning:

- PetroVietnam expects profits to increase by 29% in 2013 (Bloomberg)

- New book explains how to travel across Vietnam with no money (Tuoi Tre)


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Quang Nam Principal to Defend his Honor with Genital Examination

Well, it’s Monday so let’s keep things light this morning. A Quang Nam school principal, rumored to have had an extramarital affair, has requested a genital inspection by “relevant agencies” to prove his innocence.

The principal, identified only as H, has been accused of engaging in an affair with a subordinate whose husband, in a fit of jealousy, cut H’s penis. He says these rumors have seriously damaged his relationship and reputation:


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 03 Jun 2013 02:58:44 GMT
Saigon Lifts Ban on Public Bus Advertising

Saigon’s 2002 ban on public advertising has been lifted, allowing for advertisements on public buses, taxis and trains. The move has been welcomed by advertisers, seeking to expand their reach, and the city, which estimates that bus ads will fetch nearly $5 million in annual revenue.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 03 Jun 2013 08:11:06 GMT
Call for Submissions: Ho Chi Minh MEGA City

If you love Saigon, it’s time to grab your camera and take some shots of the city! The photo book, “TP. Ho Chi Minh MEGA City,” is currently being assembled and the authors are seeking submissions.

Check out the information below to better understand the project and see how you can play a vital role in its creation:


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 11 Jul 2013 07:48:10 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam's Mobile Ad Market is Booming

Here's what's making news this morning:

- New updates on the bribe-for-visa scam are emerging (Tuoi Tre

- Teachers and students happy with graduation exam day (SaigonGP Daily

- Lack of investment dashes plan for Vietnam/Cambodia/Thailand tourist circuit (TR Weekly)


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Event: Art House Cinema Presents “The Night James Brown Saved Boston”

Tonight, Art House Cinema will screen the 2008 film, “The Night James Brown Saved Boston.” The film covers a James Brown concert which took place after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and helped to quell a potentially volatile situation.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 04 Jun 2013 04:24:36 GMT
E-commerce Sales to Hit $1.3 Billion by 2015

VECITA, the Vietnam E-Commerce and Information Technology Agency, released a report last week which revealed that Vietnam’s e-commerce sales will hit $700 million by the end of 2012 and $1.3 billion by 2015.

Even as e-commerce becomes more popular, there is an interesting paradox wherein Vietnamese are comfortable buying products online, but uneasy about paying for them there, even though it’s the same platform - only 11.7% of e-commerce transactions are paid for via online payments as these services are still developing in Vietnam. 


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:30:01 GMT
Kowloon - City in Darkness

We’ve seen some of Hong Kong’s tightest living spaces in a previous post but nothing compares with the notorious Kowloon Walled City. From the 1940s to 1993, this fortress of darkness and poverty housed as many as 50,000 residents, making it one of, if not the most densely populated places on earth. On the occasion of the 20 year anniversary of Kowloon's demolition, lets take a quick look back at its history. 

Originally a military post, the British took control of the then open-air settlement after the 1889 Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory which gave Britain a 99 year lease on Hong Kong.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 04 Jun 2013 05:07:28 GMT
VNA A330 Engine Catches Fire After Landing in Saigon

Yesterday at 3:55pm, a Vietnam Airlines Airbus A330, arriving from Melbourne, landed at Ton San Nhat International airport. Soon after, smoke was observed coming from its no. 2 engine.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 04 Jun 2013 06:34:33 GMT
Morning Links: New Council to Decide on Minimum Wage

- CocCoc trying to differentiate itself from Google (Tech in Asia)

- Gambler siezed for trafficking elephant tusks (Tuoi Tre)

- Experts say Vietnam should focus on improving the standard of living, not height (Thanh Nien)


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Who Does Hoi An Exist For?

Ancient houses, beautiful beaches, great restaurants and plenty of places to take long strolls have given Hoi An a reputation for being one of Vietnam’s most charming destinations. But as the number of foreign tourists has exploded, there are some who remember the “old Hoi An” and want nothing to do with the new one. These were the feelings of Barbara, writer of the Dropout Dairies, who just published a post titled, “What the Hell Happened to Hoi An?” where she complains about the town's noise, tourists and commercialization. But Hoi An is a paradox - these complaints stem from the same root that has helped to preserve the old houses and culture. Simply put, the cultural heritage displayed in Hoi An has been carefully tailored to the tastes and nostalgias of foreigners.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 14 Aug 2013 05:59:30 GMT
Nguyens Set to Conquer Australia's Cities

With over 4,000,000 Viet Kieu, it’s not surprising that Vietnamese culture has made its way across the globe. Vietnamese culinary heroes, such as Pho to Banh Mi, have been popularized from Sydney to New York. But there’s one Vietnamese export that’s taking Australia’s metropolitan areas by storm - Nguyens.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 09 Apr 2015 04:45:09 GMT
Nixon’s Plan to Nuke His Way out of Vietnam

B52 Stratofortress Taking Off. Source: US Government

Remember that time Nixon gave orders to drop nukes on Moscow to end the war in Vietnam? No? Well neither did I until I came across this article written by University of Wisconsin History Professor, Jeremi Suri.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 07 Jun 2013 06:09:02 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam Considers Ban on Lip-synching and Skimpy Clothes on Stage

Here's what's making news this morning:

- HCMC to address plethora of unsold apartments (Saigon GP Daily)

- Many of Saigon and Ha Noi's Gas Stations are Unsafe (Tuoi Tre)

- Cocodile exports set to double (Saigon GP Daily


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Da Nang to Get Free WIFI Network

In the works since 2003, Da Nang’s $2 million city-wide WIFI network is set to come online this September. The system will rely on 400 transmitters, allowing access so 10,000 users at any given time.

Mr. Pham Kim Son, Director of the Da Nang Department of Information and Communication, said that the project was proposed in 2003 but has been slow to develop due to lack of capital.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:29:53 GMT
Diabetes Rates Skyrocketing in Vietnam

As Vietnam continues its march to a free market economy, the country is not only importing new brands, but new health problems as well. Even as some begin to embrace organic produce, there are far more who prefer the arms of Colonel Sanders and his heart-clogging delights. But, as Vietnam’s healthcare system is quickly realizing, there is a high cost associated with the influx of fast food – diabetes.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 13 Dec 2013 07:20:56 GMT
Botched Penile Implants on the Rise

Well, we started this week with the story of a Quang Nam principal who had his penis inspected by local authorities to disprove rumors of an affair. And now, a spate of botched penile silicone implants is making their rounds in the local press. Within the last week, five patients have been admitted to Saigon hospitals due to complications with the liquid silicone injections used in the attempt to enlarge their penis size.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:23:00 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam Losing $400 million per Year to Computer Viruses

Here's what's going on this morning in Saigon:

- Thieves are getting technologically savvy (VietnamNet Bridge)

- "Got to Dance" coming to Vietnam (VietnamNet Bridge)

- Vietnamese Teloco to deploy cloud computing (Future Gov)


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Saigon Pushes for One-Visa Policy

To better connect the tourism of SE Asian countries, Saigon authorities have pressed the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism to adopt a one-visa policy with Thailand, Cambodia, Loas and Mynamar. This would allow tourists to travel between these countries without having to secure visas for each.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:42:44 GMT
Saigon’s Citadel - Part 1

Hue was neither the first nor only Vietnamese city to house a citadel. Built in the late 18th century, a few years before its counterpart in Hue, the citadel in Saigon proved to be the key to Vietnamese hegemony over all of Vietnam and the establishment of the Nguyen Dynasty.


]]> (Saigoneer.) Thu, 27 Feb 2020 07:23:31 GMT
Vietnam Ponders Name Change

This October, the National Assembly is expected to make some major changes to Vietnam’s constitution for the first time since 1992. One of the biggest modifications that may take place is a slight change to the country’s official name.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 14:00:28 GMT
Rolls-Royce Coming to Vietnam in 2014

Apparently Mercedes, BMWs and Bentleys aren’t enough for Vietnam’s growing upper class. But not to worry! Starting next year, British luxury carmaker, Rolls-Royce will set up shop in Vietnam.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars general director, Torsten Muller-Otvos, is confidant his company will successfully enter the Vietnamese and Nigerian markets in 2014: “I’m strongly confident to say we will open our agencies in Vietnam and Nigeria next year.”


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:43:08 GMT
New Report on Vietnamese Online and Mobile Trends

The market research firm, Cimigo, just completed their most recent report on Vietnamese online and mobile trends. The numbers revealed that consumers are becoming increasingly engaged online.

The study included 5,800 people and spanned across 12 cities. Here are some of the highlights:


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:43:15 GMT
Morning Links: For expats, cost of living in Hanoi higher than Saigon

Here's what's making news this morning:

- Drunk Vietnamese official causes fatal car accident in Da Lat (Thanh Nien)

- Coca Cola transfer pricing charges (VietnamNet Bridge)

- Tata winning bidder in huge power project (Business Line)


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Can Saigon Preserve its Historical Architecture?

The Ho Chi Minh City’s People’s Committee has launched a program aimed at preserving the city's architectural gems. Unfortunately, the focus is on the city's famous buildings rather than sites that are seriously threatened by unchecked development.

The program, with the intent to list and preserve Saigon’s artistic, iconic and collective architectural items, will rank sites based on the results of the Cultural Heritage Law, expected to be completed by the end of the year.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:52:33 GMT
Dog Thief Beaten to Death by Angry Mob

Yesterday, residents of the north-central province of Nghe An brutally attacked 2 dog thieves, leaving one dead and another seriously injured.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 11 Jun 2013 04:42:17 GMT
Authorities to Crack Down on Showing Skin in Public

If the Ministry of Public Security has its way, there will be a lot less skin showing on Saigon’s streets. The ministry has introduced a draft decree that doubles fines for people appearing in "undergarments" or without clothes in public places.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 11 Jun 2013 06:54:49 GMT
Hitachi Selected to Build Vietnam’s First Urban Railway

Japanese mega-corporation, Hitachi, has announced their winning bid to build Vietnam’s first urban railway in Saigon. The $381 million project is slated to begin operation in 2018.

Under the contract, Hitachi will provide trains, ticketing machines, communications and signaling systems in addition to a 5-year maintenance contract after the line is operational.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 12 Jun 2013 04:13:00 GMT
New iPhone Feature May Deter Thieves (But Probably Not)

Yesterday's WWDC saw some major product announcements, highlighted by an updated Macbook Air, re-designed Mac Pro and new versions of iOS and Mac OSX. Major changes aside, there was one element of the new iOS which is of some relevance here in Vietnam – Activation lock.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 12 Jun 2013 04:11:59 GMT
Vietnamese Man Dead After Slashing Himself Over Plane Ticket

Last Saturday, a Vietnamese man in Dagupan, Philippines killed himself when he was unable to borrow money for a plane ticket home.

The man, identified as Nguyen Tan Lap, was found bleeding heavily in front of the West Central Elementary School at 9:30 a.m.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 12 Jun 2013 06:58:33 GMT
Electronic Components Now Vietnam's #1 Export

As electronics companies look for cheaper labor, many are moving their production facilities to Vietnam. Electronics production has grown so quickly that in only 2 years, electronic component exports now surpass all others including textiles, oil and footwear. And this is just the beginning.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 13 Jun 2013 04:07:41 GMT
New Ho Chi Minh Statue for Downtown

The iconic statue of Ho Chi Minh, which has made its home in front of the HCMC People’s Committee building, will soon be moved and replaced by a new bust of Vietnam’s most beloved national hero.

The new statue is set to be completed by April 30, 2015, to mark the 40th anniversary of the end of the American War. It will stand 6.3 meters tall with a 1.8-meter base, nearly double the size of the current one and will cost VND30 billion ($1.4 million).


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 14 Jun 2013 03:04:13 GMT
Saigon Graffiti - Part 1

Saigon has quite a bit of graffiti but not much of it is of particularly high quality.

These refreshing pieces by local bombers such as Tom, KD, Ares, Mur, K Dee, YCP are a few years old but show a high level of skill.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 14 Jun 2013 06:42:23 GMT
Chile to Assist Vietnam in Growing Quinoa

Rice has certainly cornered the market in Vietnam but a new pilot program conducted by Chile's Institute for Agricultural Research and Hanoi University of Agriculture hopes to add quinoa to the country’s diet.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 14 Jun 2013 06:51:10 GMT
Interactive Saigon Bus Map

Believe it or not, buses are a great way to zip around Saigon. They're cheap, reasonably fast (unless it's rush-hour) and service nearly every corner of the city. But for non-Vietnamese speakers, taking the bus can be slightly intimidating as there are not always bus maps and timetables at bus stops.

Luckily, one of our readers tipped us off to an online interactive bus map!


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 14 Jun 2013 07:25:56 GMT
Friendly Between Arsenal and Vietnam in Jeopardy

The friendly between Arsenal and Vietnam is in a state of limbo after stadium owners raised fees for the match.

Touted as the first Premier League team to visit Vietnam, Arsenal had planned to play the Vietnam national team at the 40,000 seat My Dinh stadium in Hanoi on July 17.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 17 Jun 2013 04:23:42 GMT
Vietnam May Embrace Cars After All

Japanese companies, some of Vietnam’s largest investors, are playing an interesting game these days.

For the most part, Japan has taken on the role of older brother to Vietnam, supporting the development of the country’s major infrastructure (bridges and tunnels) and transportation (subways and urban rail networks) projects.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Sun, 23 Jun 2013 09:56:10 GMT
Morning Links: New Plan to Curb Drunk Driving Unpopular

Here's what's making news around Vietnam this morning:

- Power outage at Tan Son Nhat airport affects 1,000 flyers [Tuoi Tre]

- Vietnam Stocks Fall to Three-Week Low on Gasoline Price Increase [Bloomberg]

- Vietnam new plan to curb drunk driving far from popular [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Call for Submissions - Ho Chi Minh MEGA City

If you love Saigon, it’s time to grab your camera and take some shots of the city! The photo book, “TP. Ho Chi Minh MEGA City,” is currently being assembled and the authors are seeking submissions.

Check out the information below to better understand the project and see how you can play a vital role in its creation:


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 11 Jul 2013 07:47:46 GMT
Amazing Vietnamese Origami

This is the work of Hanoi-based artist Nguyen Hung Cuong who creates his beautiful pieces with paper called Do.

Nguyen Hung Cuong has been making origami since the age of six when he received his first book - Prehistoric Origami and is currently an active member of Vietnam Origami Group (VOG), a community of origami enthusiasts in Vietnam.


]]> (Saigoneer.) Wed, 01 Jul 2020 09:39:14 GMT
Morning Links: 701 Vietnamese Travelers Abandoned in Thailand

Here's what's making news around Vietnam this morning:

- Prostitution ring targeting foreigners busted in Vietnam metro [Thanh Nien]

- Gold Premiums in Vietnam Hit $217 Over Spot In Heavy Demand [Goldseek]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Downed US Plane in Binh Phuoc

Earlier this year, Quinn Ryan Mattingly made his way through Binh Phuoc Province. Eventually reaching Phuoc Long, he stumbled upon some interesting history, a downed US plane, slowly decomposing in the center of town.

There wasn't much information available about the plane, but after a little digging around, it’s likely that it was a casualty of the Battle of Phuoc Long.


]]> (Brian Letwin. Photo by Quinn Ryan Mattingly) Sun, 23 Jun 2013 09:51:17 GMT
The Sad Story of Da Lat’s Disappearing Pine Trees

Known as “the city of a thousand pine trees,” unregulated deforestation and development have taken their toll on Da Lat’s forests and pine tree population.

There was once a time when many of Da Lat’s thoroughfares were lined with tall, majestic pine trees.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Sun, 23 Jun 2013 09:50:25 GMT
Lost Cambodian City Found Using Frickin' Laser Beams

Apparently Ankgor Watt is a piece of a larger puzzle. Using frickin' areal lasers, archaeologists have identified a sprawling city around the 1,200 year old temple complex, revealing how the area’s network of temples were once connected.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Sun, 23 Jun 2013 09:49:43 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam Drags Feet on Single Visa for Mekong Region

- Alarming rise in accidents by drunken drivers in HCMC [SaigonGP Daily

- Vietnam drags feet on single visa for Mekong region [Thanh Nien]

- Agency questioned after travelers left stranded in Thailand [SaigonGP Daily]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Thai Monks Traveling on Private Jet Cause Uproar

Three Thai monks have landed in hot water after footage of the trio flying on a private jet, wearing sunglasses and earphones and carrying Louis Vuitton bags emerged on YouTube.

The video has caused backlash in Thailand as the images in the video are completely at odds with the clergy’s principles - high on that list is living without possessions (save for a few robes).


]]> (Brian Letwin) Sun, 23 Jun 2013 09:47:42 GMT
7 Old Pictures of Saigon Street Vendors

The buildings and streets of Saigon can change in the blink of an eye. Gone are the streetcars, French street names and ox-drawn carts. As the economy continues to develop, the old Saigon is being replaced by skyscrapers, metros and Burger Kings. However, there are elements of the city that have barely changed over the last century, one of these are street vendors.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 19 Sep 2019 09:00:04 GMT
Morning Links: 550 Houses Built Illegally in HCMC in One Month

- Vietnam to reduce corporate income tax rate to help businesses [Bloomberg

- Vietnam planning new north-south air route [Thanh Nien

- UNESCO vows help for Vietnam’s sustainable development [Nhan Dan]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Don't Panic: SuperMoon is on Its Way

It’s about that time again. On June 23, the year’s largest supermoon will be visible above the Saigon skies.

A supermoon occurs when a full moon lines up with the Earth and the sun at a specific point in its orbit, called the lunar perigee. That's the point at which the moon is nearest to Earth as it traces its elliptical path around our planet.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Sun, 23 Jun 2013 09:46:10 GMT
Event: Green Drinks Returns on June 25

Every month people who work in the environmental field meet up at informal sessions known as Green Drinks.

With a lively mixture of people from NGOs, academia, government and business, it's a great way of catching up with people you know and also for making new contacts. Everyone invites someone else along, so there’s always a different crowd, making Green Drinks an organic, self-organising network.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 21 Jun 2013 03:16:01 GMT
Weapons Workshop Uncovered in Hai Phong

If there's a will, there's a way. When you own a workshop and are a drug addict, this could lead you to running a gun-making operation as in the case of Duong Minh Nhat.

The 38-year-old and his wife were arrested on Tuesday when authorities stormed his workshop and found numerous pen guns and ammunition. The couple sold the guns to local gangsters and used the proceeds to feed their drug addiction.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Sun, 23 Jun 2013 09:45:34 GMT
What the Phở Happened This Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

While you were busy this weekend checking out the Indochina Project and waiting for the SuperMoon to appear, you may have missed this weekend’s news:


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 24 Jun 2013 01:55:32 GMT
Ode To Saigon

When Mark Batchelor found himself in an all-to-familiar power outage, he was left with no internet and decided to spontaneously pick up a pen a paper and whip together a poem/rhyme about his first impressions of living in Saigon.


]]> (Mark Batchelor) Mon, 24 Jun 2013 04:28:30 GMT
Beware of Fake Beer in Saigon

After words of caution from Oi Magazine about fake alcohol in Saigon, a Thanh Nien expose has revealed that beer is also being counterfeited as well.

In an alley in Tan Binh district, a Thanh Nien reporter found men sitting in a 20sq meter room, taking empty bottles of Heineken and Tiger, filling them half-way with the original product and the remainder with Saigon beer.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 24 Jun 2013 04:25:21 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam Cops to Mass Produce Fishnet Launchers to Catch Traffic Violators

Here's what's making news around Vietnam this morning:

-Vietnam cops to mass produce fishnet launchers to catch traffic violators [Thanh Nien]

-Drug makers accused of collusion [Vietnam Net Bridge]

-Party chief helps police catch thief at central Vietnam festival [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Vietnamese Artists Mix Electronic, Hip Hop and Traditional Music

There are complaints that Vietnamese pop music is bland and lacks variety and musical ingenuity. Pop ballads, usually indistinguishable from one another, dominate Vietnamese TV and radio.

Fortunately, there are local musicians who are breaking the mould, such as DjGiang Nguyễn who partnered with blind Đàn Bầu (traditional monochord instrument) musician, Hà Chương and Mrt Beatboxer, to create a unique track that fuses contemporary electronic and hip hop with traditional Vietnamese music.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 25 Jun 2013 05:06:45 GMT
Phở-Flavored Cocktail Makes Its Debut. Seriously.

Pho is a universally adored dish (yes, even aliens love it), a melody of simple ingredients that yield abundantly complex flavors. Bottom line - it's goddamn delicious. So it's no surprise that people across the world have attempted to put their own spin on the traditional soup. There have been pho burgers, pho salads and now, a bar in Philadelphia, US, is serving up a pho cocktail.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 25 Jun 2013 02:46:51 GMT
Morning Links: A Look Inside Male Brothels

Here's what's making news around Vietnam this morning:

-A look inside male brothels [Tuoi Tre]

-Clean cafés emerge in city, outplay sidewalk rivals [Tuoi Tre]

-HCM City: River “swallows” seven houses at midnight [Vietnam Net Bridge]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
8 Old Pictures of Cars in Saigon

Bentleys, BMWs and Mercedes are all over Saigon these days. Though cars have been present in the country since the turn of the 20th century, decades of war (1941 – 1975) and an economic stagnation (1975 – 1986) drastically reduced the number of vintage automobiles in Vietnam. One will sometimes see an old Ford Mustang or VW Bug around town but they are very rare and often imported. For many, it’s hard to imagine sweet old Citroens and ’57 Chevys puttering about town. That’s why we’ve put together this awesome slideshow of Saigon’s vintage transportation methods!


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 19 Sep 2019 09:00:04 GMT
Vietnam Airports Charging Premium Prices for Low-Quality Products

We’ve all been there – in the rush to get to the airport on time, you forgo a necessary meal. You arrive only to find that your (insert budget airline here) flight has been delayed 2 hours. Maybe there’s one or two American fast food outlets to choose from, but you don’t feel like a greasy burger before your flight.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 26 Jun 2013 06:21:20 GMT
Amazing Motorbike Choreography by the Rome Police (1953)

Think Saigon motorbike drivers are hardcore? You have no idea.

Check out the video below of a 1953 performance of the Rome motorbike police. If Saigon’s traffic is organized chaos, then this is, well, just organized.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 26 Jun 2013 07:42:08 GMT
Morning Links: US citizen caught at airport with giant heroin haul

-US citizen caught at Vietnam airport with giant heroin haul [Thanh Nien]

-Heineken ‘absolutely on top’ of fake beer threat after Vietnam gang bust [Beverage Daily]

-Drunken man sleeps on highway, causes major accident in Vietnam [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Emerging Vietnamese Artists at Craig Thomas Gallery

In celebration of Craig Thomas Gallery’s 4th anniversary, the works of 15 young Vietnamese emerging artists will be displayed from June 29 – July 21.

Among the artists are Ngo Van Sac, Bui Thanh Tam, Bui Tien Tuan, Nguyen The Hung, Tam Minh, Tran Quoc Tuan, La Huy, Lieu Nguyen Huong Duong, Le Kinh Tai, Bui Hai Son, Nguyen Thuy Hang, Mac Hoang Thuong, and Luong Luu Bien.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 27 Jun 2013 02:56:40 GMT
Japan Eases Visa Requirements for Vietnamese

The struggles of Vietnamese applying for visas to European and North American countries are well documented and probably won’t be changing anytime soon. But it will soon be easier for Vietnamese to visit Japan as the island nation plans to ease its visa requirements for most ASEAN countries.



]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 27 Jun 2013 04:49:37 GMT
A Vietnamese View of Photography: Artsy vs Trendy

Over the past four years, young Vietnamese have been paying more attention to photography. They’re not only keen on the qualitative aspects but are also eager to learn how to create these images by themselves. As a result, they are buying photography equipment and are quickly finding out that it is a ‘luxury hobby.’


]]> (Jas Huynh) Tue, 02 Jul 2013 06:38:31 GMT
Morning Links: Reckless Driving Turns Vietnam's Highways into Horror Show

Two Africans expelled from Vietnam for conning locals [Thanh Nien]

Lethal injection “is still being prepared” [VietnamNet Bridge] 

Vietnam Economic Growth Quickens as Investment Aids Exports [Bloomberg]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
What the Phở Happened This Weekend? 9 Stories You May Have Missed

While you were busy this weekend checking out emerging Vietnamese artists and trying to stay dry, you may have missed this weekend’s news:

Vietnam Devalues Dong for First Time Since December 2011 [Bloomberg]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 01 Jul 2013 04:40:38 GMT
Latin Music With Soul

With many options available, it seems that a large number of Vietnamese youth are getting more and more into Latin music - Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia and Reggaeton. From Salsa clubs like La Salsa and Xsalsa to live bands at the Caravelle, Hard Rock Café and other bars, Latin fever seems to be sweeping Saigon.


]]> (Alfredo de la Casa) Tue, 02 Jul 2013 07:28:18 GMT
8 Old Pictures of Saigon's Canals

Saigon has long been a city of canals; even Nguyen Hue Street used to be one. 

But today, as the city's infrastructure continues to prioritize roads, many canals have ceased to function as commercial routes. 

Let's look back at some pictures of the city's canals when they acted as highways for people and goods.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 19 Sep 2019 09:00:04 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam Introduces Digital Textbooks at Select Schools

Foreign giants hunt for retail space in HCM City [VietnamNet Bridge]

Vietnam introduces digital textbooks at select schools [Thanh Nien]

US: Vietnam's weapons-grade uranium removed [ABC]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Weapons Grade Uranium Removed from Da Lat

A joint American and Russian program has removed the last remaining, highly enriched uranium from Da Lat’s nuclear research facilities.

Over the last 6 years, the US and Russia have shipped out 35 pounds of highly enriched uranium, which officials feared could have fallen into the wrong hands and used as material for a nuclear weapon.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 03 Jul 2013 08:20:48 GMT
Vinamilk Gets Approval to Export Dairy Products to US

Vinamilk, Vietnam's favorite dairy brand, has been given the go-ahead by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin exporting products to the US – a first for the Vietnamese dairy industry.

Under the licensing agreement, the FDA can randomly inspect Vinamilk production facilities at any time.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 03 Jul 2013 05:58:15 GMT
BarcampSaigon Returns on July 7th

BarcampSaigon, a great knowledge-sharing event returns to Saigon this Sunday at RMIT. Try to make it if you can! You can even register to speak on any topic of your choice (relating to tech in some way, of course). 


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 03 Jul 2013 07:05:09 GMT
The Oldest House in Saigon

While Saigon houses many wonderful examples of colonial architecture, there are few buildings standing that predate the 1880s. After all, the city isn’t particularly old, having been a fishing village for much of its early history. So what is the oldest building in Saigon?


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:56:21 GMT
Morning Links: Sidewalk Nước Mía Sellers Earn $2,500/month

Vietnam cops accused of beating man with cerebral palsy [Thanh Nien]

Street children inspire paintings [VietnamNet Bridge]

Vietnam military deploys vehicles to help college applicants [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Dekotora: Japan's Truckin' Subculture

The Japanese really know how to take shit to the next level. Next level brothel? Check! Next level hamburger? Check! Blinged-out transformer trucks? Double check! The pictures in the gallery below showcase Dekotora, the Japanese subculture of truck drivers adding as many lights and metallic objects as possible to their vehicles.

And the results are spectacular.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 05 Jul 2013 06:05:20 GMT
[Updated] Cops Bust Out Net Launchers to Stop Traffic Violators

Our strategy of avoiding eye contact with traffic police to evade tickets may soon be rendered useless.

Authorities in Thanh Hoa Province are planning to mass produce fishnet launchers to catch those who don’t pull over when flagged down by police.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 08 Jul 2013 04:13:23 GMT
Vinh Gang Busted for Stealing 4,000 Cats Over 2 Years

Apparently dogs aren't the only pets you need to watch out for. Police in Vinh City have arrested 6 men for allegedly stealing and selling the meat of up to 4,000 felines.

Picking up four to six cats per night, the crew used their profits (VND60,000/kg) to play online games according to police.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 05 Jul 2013 05:05:20 GMT
Police to Crack Down on Noisy Pham Ngu Lao Bars

We’re sure nothing will come of this (other than some hush money) but the District 1 People's Committee has set up a joint inspection team address the late night noise from Pham Ngu Lao’s bars.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 05 Jul 2013 06:11:49 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

Vietnam’s 2nd Russian-made sub completes sea trials [Thanh Nien]

Southern hub embraces CNG bus fleet [VietnamNet Bridge]

ADB gives $500 mln loan to HCMC metro project [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 08 Jul 2013 01:56:31 GMT
11 Old Pictures of People in Saigon

We spend a lot of time writing about old buildings and changes to Saigon's skyline, but today, we take a closer look at the people of past Saigon.

The clothing and hair styles may seem a bit antiquated but it's clear that day-to-day life in the city has changed less than one may think.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 19 Sep 2019 09:00:04 GMT
Dutch Lady Versus Vinamilk - A Foreigner and a Local Battle it Out (But Not Really)

Humor doesn't require much knowledge of each other’s language, especially in Vietnam.

On a recent sweltering day, I went to a minimart to buy a Coca-Cola just as the store was being supplied. They didn't have a bottle in the fridge, so they had to get it from the back – a task which took some encouragement on my end. 


]]> (Diana van Oort) Mon, 08 Jul 2013 10:48:55 GMT
Video: What Traditional Vietnamese Music Would Sound Like in English

For many foreigners, Vietnamese is a tough language to master due to its many tones. As hard as it may be for them in daily conversation, understanding music lyrics is a herculean task.

So what would a traditional Vietnamese song sound like in English? Famous Vietnamese singer, Manh Quynh, took a crack at an English version of cai luong, traditional Vietnamese opera, in the hilarious video below.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 08 Jul 2013 08:24:37 GMT
Morning Links: Where Driver’s Licenses are Bought

Vietnam losing shine in attracting FDI to regional rivals: Minister [Tuoi Tre]

Vietnam, Laos complete border demarcation [Saigon GP Daily] 

Where driver’s licenses are bought [Tuoi Tre] 


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Chicken Smuggled From Vietnam to China Had Been in Storage Since 1967

If you’re eating, you’ll probably want to stop for a moment. Chinese authorities have raided a food storage facility in Nanning, China and found tons of substandard meat, imported from Vietnam. Oh, and some of the chicken feet in question date back to 1967. What the actual f*ck


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 09 Jul 2013 03:53:36 GMT
Famous Japanese Rockers to Play Saigon

Looking to an alternative to the typical Saigon music scene? On Sunday, July 28th, the Onion Cellar will host a night of Japanese-dominated indie, progressive rock and electronic music ranging from single acts to group performances.

The Onion Cellar is a Vietnam-based independent organization that aims to promote alternative music and films to the local audience - and ultimately to inspire them to go on their own exciting adventures in sounds and visuals.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 11 Jul 2013 07:49:50 GMT
Saigon’s New Airport to Cost $4 – 5.6 Billion

Yesterday, the Transport Ministry held a seminar on the development plan for Long Thanh International Airport which is set to replace Tan Son Nhat by 2020, TuoiTre reports. With a total investment of US$4 billion in its current design, the ministry warned that the cost could rise significantly if the project is expanded.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 19 Feb 2019 07:32:14 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam Bigwig to be Charged in Fatal Drunk-Driving Accident

New shrew discovered in Vietnam forest [Mongbay]

Vietnam bigwig to be charged for fatal drunk-driving accident [Thanh Nien]

Vietnam faces challenges of increasing work force [Saigon GP Daily] 


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Street Signs - Ton Duc Thang

In our last addition of “Street Signs,” we took a look at Nguyen Thi Minh Khia. Today, we’ll tackle the name of one of Saigon’s oldest streets, Ton Duc Thang.

Ton Duc Thang was born in 1888 in An Giang Province. During his formative years, he received tutoring in Chinese script, history and philosophy from an ardent, anti-colonialist tutor.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 23 Sep 2019 06:23:23 GMT
The Collapse of the Vietnamese Gaming Industry

“It’s becoming unbearable,” said VNG CEO, Le Hong Minh when discussing the current state of the Vietnamese gaming industry.

Since the Ministry of Information and Communication stopped issuing licenses for local gaming companies in 2010, they have seen a sharp decline in profits, only able to stay above water by distributing their software illegally.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 10 Jul 2013 07:55:57 GMT
Morning Links: The Real Owner of Highlands Coffee

China remains largest rice consumer of Vietnam [CRIEnglish]

The real owner of Highlands Coffee [Vietnam Net Bridge]

576 undocumented people granted Vietnamese citizenship [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Logging Into Facebook in Vietnam - The Elegant Solution

For many of us, words like DNS, proxy and VPN are familiar due to the difficulties of logging into Facebook from inside Vietnam.

At Saigoneer, we are aware of this problem and have found a few solutions to help you easily and consistently access Facebook no matter your ISP or location.


]]> (Alberto Hùng) Thu, 11 Jul 2013 04:04:29 GMT
Why Vietnam is on Apple's Shit List

Apple is arguably the most influential luxury brand in Vietnam. When it comes to status, having the Apple logo on the back of your phone can make or break you. The brand is also one of the most copied and diluted as thousands of stores – from cafes to computer shops – use it to legitimize their business. It’s the Vietnamese version of “put a bird on it.” But as Anh-Minh Do over at TechinAsia points out, this behavior may have landed Vietnam on Apple’s shit list.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 11 Jul 2013 08:07:54 GMT
Beware: The Face-Kini May Come to Vietnam

While the Western World spends huge sums of money on tanning, in the East, things are reversed. Seemingly every cosmetic cream promises to whiten ones skin while many hibernate during the day to avoid bronzing their skin. 


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 15 Jul 2013 03:29:46 GMT
Interview with HCMC MEGA City Organizer - Part 1

Dr. Michael Waibel, along with Hilbert Henning, have launched the TP. Ho Chi Minh - MEGA City project to visually document Saigon’s rapid urban development. The project is currently being assembled and the authors are seeking submissions. For more information, click the link above.

We spoke with Michael about the motivation behind the project which has both personal and academic roots for its organizers.

Here is part 1 of the interview. 


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 11 Jul 2013 06:22:33 GMT
Poor Logistics Threaten Vietnamese Exports

Even as Vietnam’s exports reached US$114.6 in 2012, a key factor in the country’s economic growth, high logistics costs are limiting the profits and development of the industry.

According to Thanh Nien, economists and experts such as Pham Minh Duc of the World Bank say that while the country has seen strong growth in exports over the past 20 years, they are “reaching their limit.” In other words, Vietnam must tackle inefficient logistics to continue this rate of growth.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 11 Jul 2013 07:40:28 GMT
Morning Links: Obama Invites Vietnam President for Rare Trip

Bonus marks for Vietnam Heroic Mothers at university exams [Vietnam Net Bridge]

Italian communist leader on visit in Vietnam [Tuoi Tre]

7 arrested in Vietnam for fatal brawl over clam fishing between 2 communes [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Driven to Distraction: New Motorbike First to Use iPhone as a Dashboard

Japanese startup, Terra Motors, is releasing two new motorbikes to take advantage of Asia’s iPhone addiction. Oh, and they’re electric too so they’re good for the environment and stuff.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 12 Jul 2013 03:22:33 GMT
Slideshow: When Capitalism Returned to Vietnam

When Vietnam opened it's doors to capitalism and the free market in the mid 90s, almost overnight, multinational corporations such as Coca-Cola, Visa, Kodak and Pepsi rushed to exploit the country's untapped market.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 28 Nov 2016 10:03:47 GMT
Ministry Proposes Nonsensical Fines for Psychological Abuse

Well this is…something.

The Ministry of Public Security is considering levying fines up to VND2 million for domestic psychological abuse.

Under the proposed legislation, acts of domestic psychological abuse are split into different categories of severity, each with a corresponding fine.

Good stuff, good stuff. The thing is there doesn’t seem to be much logic behind the ranking of various abuses.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 12 Jul 2013 08:22:45 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 9 Stories You May Have Missed

Vietnam's Economy to Grow 5.3 Percent in 2013 [Malaysia Sun]

Vietnam concerned over HIV donor funding cuts [IRIN]

VN firm wins management contract for Myanmar skyscraper [Vietnam Net Bridge]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 18 Jul 2013 10:01:30 GMT
Interview with HCMC MEGA City Organizer - Part 2

Dr. Michael Waibel, along with Hilbert Henning, have launched the TP. Ho Chi Minh - MEGA City project to visually document Saigon’s rapid urban development. The project is currently being assembled and the authors are seeking submissions. For more information, click the link above.

We spoke with Michael about the motivation behind the project which has both personal and academic roots for its organizers.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 15 Jul 2013 03:01:48 GMT
No Love for Fans or Vietnamese Food as Arsenal Arrives in Hanoi

Arsenal’s much published friendly with the Vietnam national team will take place at Hanoi’s My Dinh National Stadium on July 17th. While the club’s first visit to Vietnam will bring premier football to the country, the team’s players are being shielded from both Vietnamese fans and local food.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 15 Jul 2013 04:38:21 GMT
Morning Links: ‘Cow Bank' Project Assists Poor Farmers in Escape From Poverty

‘Cow Bank' project assists poor farmers in escape from poverty [Vietnam Net Bridge]

Japan leads in FDI projects in Vietnam [Saigon GP Daily]

Granny’s Gold Bars Are Key to Vietnam Dong Plan: Southeast Asia [Bloomberg]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Vietnam is Turning into a Country of Yogurt Addicts

At the rate yogurt is gaining popularity in Vietnam, it soon may be the preferred currency in the black market.

According to VietnamNet, the Vietnamese yogurt market is expected to reach VND12.4 trillion in 2013, up from VND5.7 trillion in 2012. This two-fold increase has made yogurt the rising star of the Vietnamese dairy industry.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 16 Jul 2013 02:07:10 GMT
Beautiful Japanese Rice Paddy Art

The slideshow below features examples of tanbo, a ingenious Japanese style of rice paddy art, popularized by the village of Inakadate.

The tradition began in 1993 when the villagers were looking for ways to boost their economy. The art also has a deep connection to rice harvesting which had taken place on their land for thousands of years.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 16 Jul 2013 04:14:37 GMT
It’s Official – McDonald's Coming to Vietnam in 2014

The Big Mac cometh...

After years of speculation and rumor, it appears that McDonald's, the world’s largest fast food chain, will open up its first location in Vietnam in 2014. McDonald's will join other American companies such as Burger King, Dominos and KFC, which have seen success in the Vietnamese market and are quickly expanding.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 16 Jul 2013 12:16:51 GMT
Morning Links: Diabetes in Vietnam Surges

Vietnam airports fill up fast [TTRWeekly] 

Viet Nam Steel giant reports large losses in H1 [SteelGuru]

Traditional markets make Hanoi special, why eliminate them? [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Fan Chases Arsenal Team Bus - Gets Invite to Come Aboard

Well, it looks like Arsenal wasn't able to avoid fans after all.

After spending most of their trip in quarantine conditions, not meeting with fans or eating local food, the British football team allowed one lucky local on their bus. Dubbed ‘Running Man,’ this unnamed Vietnamese super fan chased the Arsenal team bus for 5 km through the streets of Hanoi before being invited on board.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 17 Jul 2013 03:15:41 GMT
Vietnam’s Youth Environmental Movement Takes off

At a ceremony to mark World Environment Day on June 5, Vietnam’s deputy prime minister, Nguyen Thien Nhan, added a sober warning that his country is facing grave environmental problems, and called on citizens and the government ministries to act.


]]> (Nguyen Van Nga) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 04:13:24 GMT
[Video] Dozens of Drivers Tripped Up by Pothole

Driving in Saigon becomes truly hazardous when it rains - flooded streets disguise potholes, and breaks are rendered ineffective at short distances. These are the elements that came into play last week when the footage below was shot.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 17 Jul 2013 04:39:08 GMT
Vietnamese News Sites Targeted by Hackers

As some may have noticed, over the past two weeks, many Vietnamese news sites have been slow or inaccessible. Hacker Vietnam Online (HVA) has announced that they have found the source of the constant stream of denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 17 Jul 2013 08:11:53 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam to Invest Over $300m in Cinema Industry

Good morning, Saigoneers! Here's what's making news around Vietnam this morning: 

McDonald's faces challenges in late entry to Vietnam [CampaignAsia]

Police find 3 behind banker arrest rumor [Thanh Nien] 

Climate change impacts on health and livelihoods require a private sector response [CSR Asia]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Future Shorts Returns with 2 Screenings

90 Countries, 325 Cities, 6 Continents, 1,700 screenings – Future Shorts is the world’s largest short film festival. This season’s short films explore the grief; the joy, and the memory of living and breaking with the familiar.

Returning to Ho Chi Minh City, Future Shorts showcases electrifying short films from filmmakers around the world.On Sunday, July 28th, Future Shorts will screen at Snap Cafe following the monthly art showcase, Creative Shake.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 18 Jul 2013 05:07:47 GMT
Saigon Bridge 2 Set to Open in November

If your commute takes you over the Saigon Bridge, you may have noticed a massive concrete frame rising next to it. This is Saigon Bridge 2 which, when completed, will ease congestion on Highway 1.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 18 Jul 2013 07:30:28 GMT
[Video] What Saigon's Streets Looked Like in 1993

Last week we saw some pictures of Hanoi from the mid-90s. Today, we're treated with a video which shows Saigon street life in 1993 captured by Dung Hua.

As with all the old Saigon pictures and videos, some things have changes but more has stayed the same.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:56:21 GMT
Slow Going for Vietnam’s First Nuclear Plant

Vietnamese planners and their Russian counterparts are rushing to complete the first stages of Vietnam’s first nuclear power plant. While construction is scheduled to begin in 2014, slow land clearance, miscommunication and incomplete design are threatening the projects timetable.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 18 Jul 2013 08:20:56 GMT
Saigon Couples Encouraged to Make More Babies

Even though Vietnam’s population has been steadily growing the last few decades, a declining birth rate has prompted HCMC officials to encourage couples to have more than one child.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 19 Jul 2013 03:47:16 GMT
Slideshow: 12 Old Pictures of Advertisements in Saigon

Before 1975, large advertisements were commonplace in Saigon. But after the American War and the fall of capitalism in the South, ads were considered a vestige of the old order and were heavily regulated.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:46:46 GMT
Campaign Launched to End Vietnamese Demand for Rhino Horn

Well, better late than never, we suppose. 

While rhinos have completely disappeared in Vietnam due to poaching, many Vietnamese are still buying and consuming illegal rhino horn for supposed health benefits and its powder has become a status symbol for many of Vietnam’s elite.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 04:09:30 GMT
Video: Foreigners Race Mini Bikes Around Saigon Traffic Circle

Ever wonder what it would look like if two foreigners undertook a 250 lap race around a Saigon traffic circle on 49hp mini bikes and full racing regalia?

Do you have 14 minutes to spare? That's rhetorical, of course you do.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 19 Jul 2013 08:22:18 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

HCM City: Explosion at U.S. Consulate General store kills one [Vietnam Net Bridge] 

Vietnam 'Running Man' says he was invited by Arsenal to UK [Global Post]

American businesses “like” Vietnam most in ASEAN [Vietnam Net Bridge]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 22 Jul 2013 01:44:34 GMT
Is the Internet Changing Vietnam’s Perception of Sexuality?

Over at Vietmeme, one of our favorite local blogs, Mai Huyen Chi takes a closer look at the recent scandal surrounding the bra-less Facebook sensation, Bà Tưng and how the web is shaping sexual discourse in Vietnam.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 22 Jul 2013 03:45:43 GMT
Slideshow: Saigon Past and Present in a Single Image

As we've seen in our slideshows of old pictures, while Saigon is rapidly changing, some things and places stay the same. And what better way to illustrate this change than by overlaying the old with the new?


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:52:33 GMT
Event: Thrift Shop @ Saigon Outcast

Saigon Outcast is preparing for another great event, this time with the theme ‘Thrift Shop.’ So this Saturday from 10am – 10pm, be sure to stop by and update your wardrobe!


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 22 Jul 2013 09:29:19 GMT
City Authorities to Demolish Hundreds of Illegal Homes

Over the next three weeks, city authorities will demolish 500 illegally-built houses in Binh Chanh, Thu Duc, Binh Tan, Cu Chi, Hoc Mon, Go Vap and Tan Phu Districts.

A few weeks ago, city authorities discovered hundreds of illegal homes had been built without construction licenses or on lands not zoned for housing. The demolitions have come quickly to dissuade residents from building illegally in the future.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 22 Jul 2013 04:48:05 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam Cops Using Thugs for Protection?

City moves to alleviate overcrowding in bus stations [VNS]

Overseas Vietnamese wins TV's Master Chef [VietnamNet Bridge]

Vietnam province opens world’s largest cave to tourists [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
12 Old Pictures of Saigon Canals

Canals used to serve as the Saigon's main commercial highway, connecting the city to the Saigon river and in turn the web of rivers that traverse Vietnam.

Before the construction of large urban markets, trade was conducted on rivers and canals, allowing farmers and fisherman to easily offload and sell their wares.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 19 Sep 2019 09:00:04 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam Traffic Violator Seized After 4km Chase, Cops Criticized for Endangering Road Users

A struggling Vietnamese rock music industry in a booming economy [Astroawani]

Vietcombank CEO named Vietnam central bank deputy governor [Thanh Nien]

US federal agencies banned from buying Vietnamese garments [Juststyle]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Saigon to Implement Bus Rapid Transit System

Transit authorities recently conducted feasibility studies for the Saigon’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system and hope to complete the project by 2017.

Duong Hong Thanh, Deputy Director of the City Department of Transport, told Saigon Giai Phong Newspaper that the first of 8 proposed routes will provide service from Ben Thanh Market to An Suong Bus Station in District 12.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 24 Jul 2013 03:17:31 GMT
Serious Flaws Plague Vietnam’s Higher Education System

Thanh Nien recently published a very well-written and well-researched article about the state of higher education in Vietnam. From numerous interviews with education professionals, it’s abundantly clear that the system is inefficient at best.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 24 Jul 2013 09:09:47 GMT
9 Taiwanese Face Charges for Anal Gold Smuggling

Well, this is impressive. South Korean customs officials have announced that they have broken up a gold smuggling ring. The kicker? The mules would bring in the gold through their anuses.

According to reports from China and Japan, mules were recruited in Taiwan and offered free travel and accommodation in Seoul. Once arriving in the South Korean capital, they would meet their handlers in a subway station where the gold would be…unloaded.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 24 Jul 2013 09:13:07 GMT
Morning Links: Bigwig’s Son Arrested for Attacking Cop

Vietnam Stocks Fall the Most in 4 Weeks as Inflation Accelerates [Bloomberg]

Another prostitution ring for foreigners busted in Vietnam hub [Thanh Nien]

Vietnamese footballer to play for Japanese club [Business Standard]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Webinar: How to Setup a Business in Vietnam

Viewed as the land of opportunity for those coming from countries with sagging economies, It's not uncommon to find foreigners who want to open a business in Vietnam. But with so many regulations and red tape, it's not always clear how to accomplish this.

To this end, we've stumbled upon a webinar hosted by Alberto Vettoretti, Managing Partner at Dezan Shira & Associates, an expert on best business practices in Asia.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 25 Jul 2013 04:29:21 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam Gets Tough on State Firms in Economic Growth Push

Vietnam gets tough on state firms in economic growth push [Thanh Nien]

New Vietnam Airlines route is good news for Asia explorers [Easier]

Vietnam Devalues Its Currency, the Dong, to Aid Economy [WSJ]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Silk Painting Exhibition at Phương My

From the organizer:

‘PAEONIA DREAM: LE HOANG BICH PHUONG’ is the inaugural exhibition launching ‘San Art Productions x Phuong My’ in Ho Chi Minh City – connecting the local cultural community through fashion and contemporary art.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 26 Aug 2013 02:15:36 GMT
Big Changes Proposed for Driving Fines

When news broke that new regulations would fine those driving vehicles not registered in their name, many were confused and unhappy. For Vietnamese, motorbikes are often shared among numerous family members and foreigners sometimes rent their bikes and are lucky to have any paperwork for their bikes. Public outcry has forced the Ministry of Transport to abandon these fines as revealed in the latest draft of the decree.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 26 Jul 2013 04:46:41 GMT
Old Songs and Album Covers from Vietnam's Musical 'Golden Era'

Vietnamese pop music in the 60s and 70s was awesome. Inspired by folk, country and rock & roll, scores of local singers created their own, Vietnamese take on these genres with fantastic results.

While obvious events ended this era of Western-influenced music, many albums are still around and can bring us back the the era when Vietnamese pop music was...good!


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 26 Jul 2013 07:04:08 GMT
Looking for a Toilet? There's an App for That!

My grandfather, like George Costanza, used to boast that, given a location in New York City, he could tell you where to find the nearest public restroom. With the emergence of smartphones, numerous developers have released apps to aid those looking for a toilet in an unfamiliar place. Now this concept has been applied to Saigon with the app – Toilet Finder.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 12 Aug 2013 04:03:18 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

Vietnam to have unmanned military aircraft [VietnamNet Bridge]

Urban Apartheid in Vietnam [New York Times] 

Vietnam symphony orchestra to tour Japan [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 29 Jul 2013 02:23:32 GMT
Asia's Largest Underground Mall Opens in Hanoi

On July 26, Owner of Vinagroup, Pham Nhat Vuong, opened the doors to Asia’s largest underground mall, Royal City.

The new megamall, covering 230,000 square meters, has already filled 95% of its retail space (600 shops). In addition to an ice rink, water park and theatres, the mall features a food street with around 200 restaurants.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 29 Jul 2013 06:37:25 GMT
Study: Majority of Street Drinks Contain Harmful Bacteria and Heavy Metals

Fake coffee isn’t the only think you need to worry about when having a drink at a street café in Saigon. A joint report released by Healthplus in collaboration with the Center for Evaluation and Conformation found that nearly all unbolted beverages contain high levels of bacteria, heavy metals and fungi.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 29 Jul 2013 08:36:34 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day

When Saigon was the city of bikes.]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:46:46 GMT
Saigon Proposes Ban on Shisha

The Ho Chi Minh City government has submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Health that shisha be banned from businesses to protect the public’s health.

Shisa, a water-based tobacco pipe, traces its roots back to the Persian aristocracies of the 16th century. The practice of smoking shisha has made its way to nearly every corner of the globe and has become popular in bars and cafes across SE Asia.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 30 Jul 2013 08:55:24 GMT
Morning Links: New Species of Toed Lizard Discovered in Tuy Hoa

 Good morning, Saigon! Here's what's making news around Vietnam today:

Vietnam to launch micro satellite [SpaceDaily] 

Vietnam failing to combat coastal erosion [VietnamNet Bridge]

Forest police to be set up [VNS]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
[Updated] 75% of Pho Noodles in Saigon Found to Contain Cancer-Causing Chemicals

[UPDATE BELOW] On the heels of yesterday’s news that nearly every street drink contains high levels of bacteria and heavy metals, a new report has found that 80% of rice noodles tested contained a banned, cancer-causing chemical.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 14 Aug 2013 03:13:56 GMT
Why You Should go to Future Shorts Tonight

Don's miss out on Future Shorts, tonight at Decibel. Our Arts & Culture contributer, Zelda Rudzitsky, caught the first showing last weekend at Snap Cafe. Here's what she though of this month's lineup:  


]]> (Zelda Rudzitsky.) Wed, 31 Jul 2013 04:41:31 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Art Deco

When the French occupied Vietnam, they brought many elements of their home country with them. Even today, from architecture to food, the colonial footprint can still be seen.

At the height of French influence in the first half of the 20th century, downtown Saigon exemplified this influence as seen in the picture above.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 20 Sep 2019 08:50:20 GMT
Event: Pow Annual Graffiti Competion this Sunday

Sunday, 4th August 2013

8:00 - 21:00

Saigon Outcast | 188/1 Nguyễn Văn Hưởng, Thảo Điền, Quận 2

It has been 6 years since party Reborn, the last Graffiti battle at Saigon. Since then, Graffiti Saigon has been going strong but the competition amongst writers and groups has ceased. Graffiti, at its root, is a competitive art, it is beautiful only when there are fighting and battle by which writers can express their strong personality, their unique character in their graffiti pieces.

In order to revive the competition amongst the writers and to refresh the graffiti picture at Saigon, The Saigon Projects is proudly present the First annual contest "POW". This will play as a major playground for young writers in Saigon and nearby cities.

“POW” is the first annual graffiti competition in Saigon and Vietnam as well. The objective of the project is to draw a clearer picture of graffiti scene here, to know what is going on, who is writing and how they are writing.

Therefore we hope that “POW” will be an opportunity for writers so that they can meet, compete and have fun together from which they will know more about their skills, their styles or even tags. Besides, we will bring some local DJs, Rapper, Dancers to make it more engaging and exciting. 


8am - 10am : Start 1st Elimination round (16 writers). Djs will play during the event (Jase, Jin, Demon Slayer,..)

11am - 1pm : 2nd Elimination round (16 writers). Sketch battle.

1pm - 2pm : Break-time

2pm - 4pm : Final round for 8 writers who win Elimination round

4pm - 6pm : Tag - Throw up round. Live music (RapSoul, Dat Maniac, Tofu,…)

6pm – 7pm : Djs (Jase, Demon Slayer, Jin ...). Prepare for announcement

7pm : Winner announcement


Brought to you by The Saigon Projects and Saigon Outcast 

]]> (Alberto Hùng) Fri, 12 Oct 2018 06:17:48 GMT
Vietnamese Businessman Buys US Town with Plans to Create Coffee Empire

In April 2012, Pham Dinh Nguyen, a Vietnamese businessman, bought the town of Buford, Wyoming at auction for US$900,000. If you’re wondering why the sum is so small, 1) it’s in Wyoming and 2) the population of the town is 1. But the town’s non-existent population and middle-of-nowhere location aren’t stopping Nguyen from dreaming big.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 31 Jul 2013 08:26:20 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam’s Power Price Goes up by 5%

 Good morning, Saigon! Here's what's making news around Vietnam today:

Bank lay-offs in Vietnam could continue for two years [Thanh Nien]

City Museum ranked among most attractive museums in Asia [SGGP]

Buses report fake passenger numbers to get subsidy [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Video: A Little Vietnamese Hip Hop For Your Thursday Morning

Check out this dope cut, Resurrection Cypher Pt.1, from DC, YunoSk, V-Soul, BlackMurder and Pain.

The flow is definitely there but our Vietnamese isn't quite good enough to catch the lyrics. If anyone wants to provide a translation, feel free! 


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 02 Aug 2013 09:39:28 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Crossroads

]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:46:46 GMT
Morning Links: The 50 Vietnamese Most Effective Businesses of 2013

Good morning, Saigon! Here's what's making news around Vietnam today:

The 50 Vietnamese most effective businesses in 2013 [VietnamNet Bridge]

ECF Asks Vietnam to Look Into Coffee Tax Dodge Before Next Crop [Bloomberg] 

Vietnam's Manufacturing Activity Contracts In July [RTT]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Standard Radio (1970)

]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 20 Sep 2019 08:50:20 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

Good morning, Saigon. Here are some of the top stories you may have missed this weekend:

Vietnam man almost choked to death by live fish [Thanh Nien]

One dead, 8 missing in Vietnam boat accident [Thenews]

Vietnamese LGBT Advocates to Celebrate Benchmark Year [Voice of America]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 05 Aug 2013 02:10:26 GMT
Starbucks Opens Second Store in Saigon

Last Thursday, Starbucks opened the doors to their second location in Saigon (and Vietnam), just 6 months after the company arrived in the Vietnamese market.

According to Patricia Marques, general manager of Coffee Concepts Viet Nam, a subsidiary of Hong Kong Maxim's Group which operates Starbucks in Vietnam:


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 05 Aug 2013 02:49:09 GMT
Insane Timelapse of Saigon Traffic

This insane time lapse video, created by Rob Whitworth, is a culmination of 10,000 RAW images and multiple shoots and perfectly captures the energy and spirit of our fair city.

The film won Best Experimental Film at Tiburon International Film Festival 2012 Official selection at: DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon 2012, Mudfest 2012 and ANIMAYO 2012.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 05 Aug 2013 03:34:46 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Go Vap (1930)

There's little to be found in English about the development of Saigon's outer districts. Like much of the city's colonial urban history, if records do exist, they're likely buried in some Parisian archives.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:46:46 GMT
Inspiring Green Building Planned for Da Nang

We love green design and Vietnam is a great place to put it into practice. While we’ve covered some awesome green residential designs in the past, a planned ABBANK building in Da Nang is taking a slightly different approach to bringing nature back to the city:


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 05 Aug 2013 05:01:38 GMT
Morning Links: Lam Dong Scam Facilities Make Tea from Buffalo Dung

Good morning, Saigon! Here's what's making news around Vietnam today:

American doctor frees many Vietnamese from tumors in short visit [Thanh Nien]

Lam Dong scam facilities make tea from ‘buffalo dung’ [Tuoi Tre]

New contemporary art centre opens [VietnamNet Brdige]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
The Saigonese

When it comes to the city’s moniker, the people here prefer ‘Saigon’ to ‘Ho Chi Minh City’ since ‘Saigon’ evokes greater emotion and connection to the city’s history. As an introduction, may I take the liberty of quoting researcher and Professor Nguyen Dinh Dau’s statement that if there were no Saigon, the innovative and integrated Vietnam we know today wouldn’t exist.


]]> (Jas Huynh) Tue, 06 Aug 2013 04:03:59 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: 33 Export

]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 20 Sep 2019 08:50:20 GMT
Street Signs: Trần Hưng Đạo, Warrior Poet (Part 1)

Trần Hưng Đạo Street is a major thoroughfare, stretching from District 1 to District 5. Let’s take a closer look at the street’s namesake and see why he is one of Vietnam’s most famous historical characters. The picture above should give you a pretty good idea of his general badassery.  


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 23 Sep 2019 06:22:17 GMT
Morning Links: Unable to Flirt with 10-year-old Girl, Man Sprays Acid on 5

Good morning, Saigon! Here's what's making news around Vietnam today:

Special team to investigate fatal accident [VNS]

Foreign investment shifting to new locales in Vietnam [Thanh Nien]

Vietnam, a promise land for luxury products [Tuoi Tre] 


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Casinos in Vietnam: Boom or Bust?

As Vietnam continues to hand out investment licenses for massive casino projects, some wonder whether they will help boost tax revenues as the government hopes or become development albatrosses, sitting empty like a Pyongyang 5-star hotel.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 06 Jul 2016 03:26:09 GMT
Creative Shakes - Where Art Comes to Life

Who defines art? Who can make art? Who is an artist? These questions have been explored, dealt with and talked about by artists and critics since the beginning of the 20th Century. The perception and relevance of the figure of the artist has also evolved over the centuries: it spans from the pre-Renaissance vision of a medium between God and the mere mortals, to the Andy Warhol “commercial-popular artist” and anything else that comes in between.


]]> (Zelda Rudzitsky. Photos by Pierre Espardeille) Wed, 07 Aug 2013 06:46:16 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Majestic Hotel (1920s)

The Majestic Hotel has occupied its current location along the Saigon river since 1925.

Commissioned by Chinese businessman Hui Bon Hoa, the hotel has undergone a number of major renovations over the years and will undoubtedly see more (In July 2011, Saigon Tourist, the hotel's current operator, announced a massive expansion project including 2 20+ story towers).

The picture above captures the hotel in it's original glory.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 20 Sep 2019 08:50:20 GMT
New Online Services are Changing the Face of Tourism

Over the last decade, the tourism industry has been learning how to better leverage the internet to provide unique services for customers. First came online reviews and bookings, allowing us to gather information and search for the best available deals. Recently, a number of websites have taken things a step further, throwing traditional models by the wayside, instead relying on locals to guide tours. This not only allows for a more personal experience but ensures that profits go directly to your guide instead of a large company. One such site is which just recently launched and offers tours across SE Asia.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 08 Aug 2013 03:20:23 GMT
Event: PechaKucha Returns on August 15th

PechaKucha is exactly the kind of event Saigon needs - a place for forward thinkers to meet other like-minded indiviguals, share expierences and network.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 09 Aug 2013 04:03:47 GMT
Awkward Allies: North Korea and Vietnam

A recent article from NK News examines the slightly awkward relationship between North Korea and Vietnam since the beginning of the Cold War. Starting in the 1950s, Hanoi and Pyonyang became uneasy allies, united by their political ideologies. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the countries began on decidedly different paths: North Korea became completely reliant on Bejing, while Vietnam opened its doors to capitalism and, in turn, South Korean investors.


]]> (Saigoneer.) Sat, 26 Dec 2015 06:13:01 GMT
Morning Links: Downtown HCMC Statue on Brink of Collapse

Good morning, Saigon! Here's what's making news around Vietnam today:

Vietnam's auto industry faces crossroads ahead of Asean trade pact [JakartaPost]

Emerging Vietnam: The Big Challenge Regarding Business Education [ValueWalk] 

Vietnam's hotspot hotels going for the gold online [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Event: Japandroids Bringing Euphoric Rock to Saigon

From the Organizer

For the 4th installment of Loud Minority, the Saigon based club night will host acclaimed Canadian rock-duo, Japandroids at Cargo Bar.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 16 Aug 2013 08:50:45 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

Vietnam can’t afford to switch to newer, safer vaccines: official [Thanh Nien]

Vietnam authorities lax over hydrofoil safety [Thanh Nien]

No further dong devaluation, Vietnam central bank assures [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 12 Aug 2013 01:56:08 GMT
South East Asian Portraits - A Documentary Series

Sunday 5 p.m - I have just finished work and I look outside the window like a child on Christmas morning, hoping that the rain has stopped. No luck. I prepare myself for yet another ride under the rain to District 2 to meet with filmmaker Mudfish aka Davide Domenici for a chat/informal interview.


]]> (Zelda Rudzitsky.) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 09:43:55 GMT
Trouble-free Travel with Flight Travel JSC

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, we all hope for a trouble-free experience either to be able to relax or conduct business as planned. However, experience has taught me that in general, and in Vietnam in particular, this is not usually the case! With very few exceptions, I have had nothing but horror stories when making bookings through Vietnamese travel agencies or even directly through Vietnam-based airlines.


]]> (By Alfredo de la Casa) Mon, 12 Aug 2013 10:56:15 GMT
Shanghai's Rapid Development Captured in a .Gif

Prior to World War II, Shanghai, like Saigon, was a major trading port, controlled by foreign powers. Following communist victory in 1949, most international firms relocated to Hong Kong to protect their assets.

With China's move toward globalization in the early 90s, Shanghai returned to its former glory, reaping vast economic benefits.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 13 Aug 2013 04:20:07 GMT
Proposed Plan Would Completely Reorganize Saigon’s Districts

A new urban administration plan proposed by the HCMC People’s Committee would completely reshape the city’s urban structure. Say goodbye to Districts 2 and 7!

According to city authorities, Saigon has outgrown its current administration model and needs to be re-organized to better serve its residents. Under the new plan, the city would contain 13 central districts, surrounded by 4 satellite cities.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 12 Aug 2013 04:10:54 GMT
Vietnam Contemplates Opening Real Estate Market to Foreigners

To boost investment in the ailing real-estate sector, the Ministry of Construction has proposed that foreigners residing in Vietnam be given the opportunity to purchase property. Thanh Nien reports:


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 12 Aug 2013 06:37:15 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Nước Mía

This old school nước mía cart looks pretty sleek...


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 23 Sep 2019 06:22:17 GMT
Morning Links: ‘Ba Tung’ Closes Facebook Page After Nationwide Ban

Can Vietnam become a gambling getaway? [Thanh Nien]

Land for industrial parks lies abandoned in Mekong Delta [SGGP]

Foreigners with over-3 month visas can buy houses in VN: Proposal [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Saigon Railroad Building

Not too long ago, the park across from Ben Thanh Market was the location of the city's main train station.

Even though the station moved to District 3 following the American War, remnants of the old station, such as the the former Vietnam Railways headquarters seen above, still remain.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 20 Sep 2019 08:50:20 GMT
Morning Links: Civilization Fails to Lure Vietnam Men From 40-year Jungle Home

Thirty Russian Firms to take part in Tourism Expo in HCMC [SGGP]

Vietnamese school children are 'years ahead' of Indian pupils []

Vietnam to cover costs of bridge delay [Japan Times]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Massive Fire Drill at Diamond Plaza this Morning

If you're wondering why emergency crews, including 2 helicopters are running around Dimond Plaza this morning, fear not, for it's only a drill!

The city fire, police and health departments along with Military Zone 7 are participating in this simulation to prepare for high-rise fires.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 22 Aug 2013 07:36:46 GMT
Thai Villagers Detain Google Maps Car Believing Driver is a Spy

While many wish that Google Street View were available everywhere, a Village in northern Thailand does not share this opinion. Yesterday morning, A Google Maps car, mounted camera and all, was stopped in Phrae, a small village in northern Thailand.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 22 Aug 2013 07:36:00 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Check Out This Badass

In the time before Ducatis and Yamaha FZ16s were the hottest things on two wheels in Saigon, the Honda Cub 67 reigned supreme with local cool kids.

Even though many of the old 67's are still around, the guy in this image not only perfected today's hipster look but made some badass improvements to the bike itself.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 23 Sep 2019 06:22:17 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnamese and the “$1billion Business Ambition”

Binh Chau shipwreck: discovery area to be expanded [Quanhnai]

Price hike to ensure electricity supply [VEN] 

Violence, capitalism and dodgy cops... [Thanh Nien] 


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Vietnam's North-South Railway Set for Major Upgrade

Vietnam’s North-South Railway has been in need of a major upgrade for a long time. Beyond issues of speed and comfort, the system’s infrastructure is in poor condition, causing chronic delays and inefficiencies. While Vietnam recently put plans for a high-speed rail system on the backburner due to massive costs, the Ministry of Transport has released a blueprint to overhaul the system’s main line.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 22 Aug 2013 07:35:22 GMT
Saigon’s Citadel - Part 2

This is part 2 of our series on Saigon's citadel. You can read part 1 here.

Nguyen Anh (AKA Gia Long) would never use his citadel for military action as hostilities only resumed after his death in 1831. Shortly before he expired, Anh selected Minh Mang, his youngest son, as heir to the throne rather than his older son, Prince Canh.


]]> (Saigoneer.) Sun, 26 Apr 2020 03:55:22 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnamese Man Pays Russian Boy $12,000 for Smashing Teeth with Golf Club

Over USD6 billion suggested for five PPP projects [dangcongsan]

Vietnamese forest devastated by Agent Orange restored to health [ajw.asahi]

Vietnam bid to stop traffic police bribes [Bangkok Post]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
[UPDATED]Plan to Move Saigon's Electrical Wires Underground Facing Major Delays

[Update Below] In an effort to clear Saigon’s skies, in 2009, city authorities signed off on a plan to move messy electrical wires underground. But the project, scheduled to be completed by 2015, is facing a plethora of technical and financial obstacles.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 22 Aug 2013 07:33:34 GMT
Da Nang Taps IBM to Design Advanced Traffic System

Why is it that Da Nang keeps getting all the cool toys? As if free, city-wide WIFI weren’t enough, the city has signed a deal with IBM to install a high-tech traffic management system.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 22 Aug 2013 07:31:45 GMT
VietJetAir Offering (Nearly) Free Tickets to Celebrate Milestone

A few times per year, VietJetAir offers insanely low ticket prices and one of these promotions is fast approaching.

From August 21 – September 19, the budget airline is offering VND3,000 (US$.14) tickets for travel between September 5, 2013 and December 31, 2014.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 22 Aug 2013 07:31:26 GMT
Lush Pajama Party

From the organizer:

Time to dress up again! Ladies and gentleman get ready for the sexiest and funnest pajama party ever.

Join us for an amazing evening as Mr. Jolly and the Pajama Jam Sexy Dancers will rock the house all night long.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 16 Aug 2013 13:58:25 GMT
12 Color Pictures of Saigon from Before WWII

With each passing day, Saigon's future becomes a bit more clear, and its past a bit more distant.

But fear not, for we've assembled a slideshow of colorized images from Saigon's colonial past.


]]> (Saigoneer.) Sun, 26 Apr 2020 03:56:28 GMT
The Flaming Lips - Zaireeka Listening Party --AND-- a Special Screening of the Rockumentary, The Fearless Freaks

An evening of music and cinema.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 16 Aug 2013 10:41:05 GMT
Vietnam in the Frame for New Season of BBC World News Programmes

The BBC will be televising a number of stories relating to Vietnam starting August 24.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 22 Aug 2013 07:30:46 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

Reporter charged for taking bribe from bar owner [Tuoi Tre]

VN pearls have the world as their oyster [VNS]

Vietnam cops arrested for receiving bribes from criminal [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 19 Aug 2013 01:52:34 GMT
[Updated] 2 ‘Jungle Men’ Found Living in Vietnam Forest for 40 Years

[Update Below] You may have heard the stories of Japanese troops, hiding on on small, secluded Pacific islands, unaware that World War II had ended. A similar situation played out this month in Quang Ngai where 2 men, scared by war, fled to the vast depths of the province’s remote jungles.

Earlier this month, villagers in Tay Tra District observed two men deep in the forest. Surprised by their behavior and dress, locals reported the sighting to authorities who set up a search team and found the pair five hours later.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 19 Aug 2013 04:37:24 GMT
Beautiful, 100-year-old Water Paintings of Vietnam

You know how much we love to post old photos of Vietnam. But every now and then it's nice to switch up the medium a bit, so today, we present some beautiful, turn-of-the 20th century water color paintings from French artist, Marius Hubert-Robert.


]]> (Saigoneer.) Wed, 06 May 2020 07:46:48 GMT
Vietnamese Tech Startup of the Month – August Edition

As Vietnamese tech startups gain popularity and increased funding, the potential for growth in this market is massive.

TechinAsia, our favorite source for tech-related content in Vietnam, does an excellent job keeping us updated on the local startup scene.


]]> (Saigoneer.) Wed, 20 May 2020 04:42:26 GMT
Harley-Davidson Finally Opening Shop in Saigon?

For a country with a motorbike obsession, this counts as huge news - iconic American motorcycle maker, Harley-Davidson, is finally opening a showroom in Vietnam according to a set of job postings on Vietnamworks (hat tip to Vietnam 720 for finding them).


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 19 Aug 2013 09:17:20 GMT
Morning Links: Casinos to be Fined up to $10,000 if Serving Vietnamese Players

Ministry backs new airport plan [VNS]

Viet Nam's first female film director dies [VNS] 

Overseas students’ series on life in US stirs Internet [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Films Coming to Vietnam This August

We know we’re a few weeks late, but here’s a list of films being released in Vietnam this month. Descriptions from IMDB.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 09:36:32 GMT
Wine, Grapes and Relaxation

Although there are many reasons to visit Spain, including good weather, history and food, wine tourism has become one of the latest trends with foreigners and locals alike. You may enjoy drinking wine, but the next step is visiting the cellars.


]]> (Alfredo de la Casa Photos by Thoa Kieu.) Thu, 22 Aug 2013 07:25:03 GMT
The Story of Saigon’s Opium Refinery

Many of you have probably enjoyed a meal in the courtyard at 74 Hai Ba Trung, which currently houses a number of high-end restaurants such as Vasco’s, Hanayuki, Annz and The Refinery; the latter being the most noteworthy as its name connects to the original use of this area – an opium refinery.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:56:21 GMT
Morning Links: Fire Rages Next to HCMC Backpackers’ Quarter

Vietnam Sends Plan for Relaxing Foreign Ownership Limits to Dung [Bloomberg]

Vietnam court sentences Nigerian man to death for drug trafficking [Thanh Nien]

Vietnam tourism to grant labor cross-ASEAN work certificates [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
"Encounter" @ San Art

“Encounter” kicks off this Wednesday with a lecture by renowned mathematician Professor Ngo Bao Chau. He is the fourth Asian to be awarded the Fields Medal (2010), the highest honour in mathematics, and the Simons Foundation recipient (2013).


Wed, 20 Nov 2019 09:24:26 GMT
How Much Do You Make? New Report Finds Growing Salaries in HCMC

Ever wonder what you're worth?

The recently released 2013 Robert Walters Global Salary Survey shows moderate growth in salaries for workers in the financial, supply chain, engineering, HR, IT, sales and marketing industries in Saigon.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 22 Aug 2013 07:23:21 GMT
Vietnam Ponders Regulations on Free Chat Apps

Free chat apps such as Viber, Wechat, Whatsapp and Line have become extremely popular in Vietnam. Providing free chat and calls, domestically and internationally, these tools appear on the majority of smartphones in the country. But there’s one group that isn’t particularly happy about this trend – state-owned telecommunication companies.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 22 Aug 2013 07:22:34 GMT
Saudi Man, Exiled for Being Too Đẹp, on His Way to Vietnam

You may recall hearing the story of Omar Borkan Al Gala, a Saudi man deported from his home country for being too handsome.

Well, luckily this is no crime in Vietnam and the exiled, really, really ridiculously good looking artist announced he would be traveling to our fair country this month.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 22 Aug 2013 07:21:04 GMT
Today is Vulan, the Day of Mother Worship and Welcoming Ghosts

If you're wondering why the Buddha flags are out and why all your Buddhist friends are eating vegetarian today, that's because it's one of Vietnam's coolest holidays - Vulan.


]]> (Tai Talento, Photography Alberto Hùng) Thu, 22 Aug 2013 07:20:28 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam Plans Over 110 Television Channels by 2015

Vietnam police deny recent memo banning people from filming cops [Thanh Nien]

Bus carrying Vietnamese robbed in Moscow [Tuoi Tre] 

Century-old temple inside bodhi tree slowly collapsing [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Can Coffee Save the Vietnamese Economy?

As inefficient state-owned business drag down Vietnam’s economy with bad debt, other sectors must pick up the slack. In times of economic stagnation, the country has one fallback - agriculture.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 22 Aug 2013 03:07:15 GMT
HCMC Schools Introducing Balanced Meals to Fight Obesity

McDonalds might not have opened its first Saigon outlet yet, but growing youth obesity rates are already a major public health issue. To combat the epidemic, HCMC schools are instituting standard lunches to ensure students are receiving adequate nutrition.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 22 Aug 2013 07:17:07 GMT
Large Bomb Uncovered in Dak Ru

A massive, 300kg bomb was discovered by a resident of Dak Ru Commune, Dak R'lap District in the central highlands province of Dak Nong.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 22 Aug 2013 09:23:37 GMT
New Web Series Captures the Vietnamese Diaspora Seeking a New Life in Vietnam

A new web series, Employed Identity, explores the phenomenon of the Vietnamese diaspora returning to the country of their parents’ birth, to find both themselves and successful careers. Directed by Bao Minh Nguyen, it is one of three webseries funded by CAAM’s Web Innovation Fund.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 09:48:58 GMT
From French Villas to Slums, Da Lat's Lost Charm

Da Lat, once a sleepy French vacation town, full of ornate villas and majestic pine forests, is in danger of losing what charm still remains. Earlier this year, it was revealed that the city’s pine trees are disappearing at an alarming rate and now, according to Thanh Nien, its colonial villas are facing a similar fate.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 22 Aug 2013 09:02:34 GMT
Morning Links: Plastic Food Wrappers Found Contaminated with Toxic Substances

Banks warned not to hide debt [VNS]

Tears at Smile restaurant [VietnamNet Bridge]

Many famous discotheques in Saigon raided [VietnamNet Bridge]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: The Original Sửa Xe (1890s?)

Before the age of motorbikes, Saigon's streets were characterized by ox-drawn carts and horse-drawn carriages.

And, just like motorbikes, everyday wear and tear would take their toll, requiering small repairs here and there to keep them going.

Who would play the role of hero when your carriage broke down?


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 23 Sep 2019 06:22:17 GMT
VietPride Arrives in Saigon

Tomorrow, August 24th VietPride - "share the pride" will arrive in Saigon for the very first time.

The LGBT community has prepared a series of activities and events to raise awareness about sexual diversity and LGBT issues as well as to create an open dialogue about equal opportunities and sexual minorities in Vietnam.


Fri, 23 Aug 2013 06:09:22 GMT
San Art Laboratory: Open Studio Session 3

Have you ever been in front of a painting, a photograph, a video installation or any other form of artistic creation, for that matter, and asked yourself “What was the artist/author thinking?”, “What is he trying to say?”?


]]> (Zelda Rudzitsky.) Tue, 12 Apr 2016 03:12:09 GMT
Ministry: Shops Must Use Vietnamese Signs

Following last year’s passage of the Vietnamese Advertisement law which requires that advertising content, spoken or written must be in Vietnamese, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism recently told cultural departments nationwide to exercise greater control over the many shop signs featuring only foreign languages, or signs where Vietnamese is not the focus. Shops that have only or predominantly foreign-language signs will face fines up between VND1 – 5 million.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 23 Aug 2013 05:57:37 GMT
Vietnam Struggling to Keep Treasure Hunters in Check

Since 1998, numerous ancient vessels have been found of the coast of Quang Ngai Province. The ships hold thousands of ancient artifacts, mainly ceramics as these waters were once part of the ‘Ceramic Road’ which linked East and West. Unfortunately, these sites are mismanaged and unprotected, leading to mass looting and the destruction of centuries-old artifacts:


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 23 Aug 2013 07:59:22 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

Coffee bean price continues to plummet [SGGP] 

Taxis scheme offers hope for the handicapped [VietnamNet Bridge]

Invaluable fossils in Vietnam [VietnamNet Bridge]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 26 Aug 2013 02:04:00 GMT
Experts Reject Plan for New Saigon Airport

As plans move forward for Saigon’s new Long Thanh airport, a pair of former aviation officials are questioning the need for such an investment.

Associate Prof. Dr Nguyen Thien Tong, former chairman of the aviation engineering department of the HCMC University of Technology and Le Trong Sanh, former head of the management department at Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat Airport, favor upgrading Thanh Son Nhat as opposed to building a completely new airport. Tong compared the project to other, ambitious yet short-sighted infrastructure plans:


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 26 Aug 2013 03:33:03 GMT
Construction Restart at Lavenie Crown?

The Lavenie Crown was one of the many victims of Saigon’s real estate crunch. Slated to begin construction in 2012 on the site next to Diamond Plaza, the project came to a halt as the main investor, Kinh Do Corporation (yes, the bakery) pulled out, leaving the site to become a parking lot. But over the last few weeks, there has been a buzz of construction activity on the site. Has the project found a new investor?


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 26 Aug 2013 05:50:49 GMT
Dope Vietnamese Rap Mix

Over at Bodegapop, Gary has assembled a dope mix of Vietnamese hip hop tracks.

Gary, always on the hunt for unique international music, was driven to find some Vietnamese hip hop at his local Vietnamese media store in Chicago.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 26 Aug 2013 10:13:03 GMT
Vietnam Enjoying Tourism Growth in 2013

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), Vietnam has reeled in more than 677,000 foreign tourists in August, a 22% increase from last year.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 12 Sep 2013 07:47:12 GMT
“Long way home” - Asia - Europe Short Story Contest

"They called her The Big Girl, sometimes The Lost Girl, but among themselves The Strange Girl. In her own world she was a little girl. But she stopped being little when she went travelling and decided to stay for a while in another world?"


Tue, 27 Aug 2013 07:45:26 GMT
Saigon Players Are Back and Calling for New Cast Members

Saigon Players” will celebrate its 10th anniversary as a community theatre in Saigon. It is a non-profit theatrical group composed by amateurs and professional foreigners and Vietnamese who share the same passion for theatre. All its cast and crew are volunteers and the profits from the shows go to charities chosen by the members themselves.


Tue, 27 Aug 2013 03:05:38 GMT
Morning Links: English Teaching: Is White Right?

Vietnam ministries pass the buck on controversial driving regulations [Thanh Nien] 

Phishing increasing in Vietnam [VietnamNet Bridge]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Saigon's Old Bridges in Danger of Collapse

Saigon is a city of bridges. They criss-cross the city's rivers and canals, allowing for the flow of goods and people.

But time, wars and poor maintenance have not been kind to many of the city's old bridges, some of which are over 100 years old.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 27 Aug 2013 03:11:49 GMT
The Coolest House in Binh Thanh?

Green building is slowly but surely gaining popularity in Vietnam. For Saigon in particular, the tropical climate provides many opportunities for design firms to implement efficient, green designs.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 27 Aug 2013 07:41:20 GMT
The Coolest House in Binh Thanh? (2)

Green building is slowly but surely gaining popularity in Vietnam. For Saigon in particular, the tropical climate provides many opportunities for design firms to implement efficient, green designs.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 27 Aug 2013 07:41:20 GMT
The Story of Tan Son Nhat Airport

As the plan for Saigon's massive Long Thanh Airport moves forward (despite some objections), we thought we'd take a minute to look back at the long history of old standby, Tan Son Nhat. 


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:56:21 GMT
Morning Links: The Last Farmers in Saigon

Land subsidence creates hole that swallows bed, woman [Tuoi Tre]

Abusing wage fund, directors pocket $123,000 as yearly salary [Tuoi Tre]

Japanese investors eye Vietnam’s real estate market [VOV]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Crazy Buffalo Up in Flames. Again.

For the second time in two years, Pham Ngu Lao hotspot, The Crazy Buffalo, saw its neon sign go up in flames.

At 4pm yesterday afternoon, passersby warned the restaurant that smoke was rising from their large neon sign.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 28 Aug 2013 03:00:17 GMT
‘Flat-Chested’ People May Face Driving Ban

Another week, another interesting law - a 2008 decision which proposed to ban drivers based on height, weight and chest size due to safety issues is gaining steam again.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 28 Aug 2013 07:06:10 GMT
Working Multiple Jobs: A Trend for Foreigners in Saigon?

It’s been almost a year since I first arrived in Saigon. Now, when looking back on my search for jobs in the city, I think that my personal experiences carry some value and may come in handy for those who plan to live long-term in Saigon.


]]> (Carlos Martin Bregon) Wed, 28 Aug 2013 06:38:21 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Gánh Tàu Hủ (1926)

While I'm not the biggest fan of chè (Vietnamese sweet soup) in general, gánh tàu hủ (tofu with ginger, caramel and optional coconut milk) has a special place in my heart (even if it's not technically chè).


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 23 Sep 2019 06:22:17 GMT
Morning Links: School Mulls Banning Female Teachers From Donning Short Skirts

Dried shredded squid as elastic as plastic seized [Tuoi Tre]

School mulls banning female teachers from donning short skirts [Tuoi Tre]

Promoting e-government model in Vietnam [VOV]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
How Much Does Vietnam's Prime Minister Make? Less Than You Might Think.

With the news that some state officials are making outrageous salaries, the Vietnamese press has started to probe a bit deeper into exactly how much the country’s officials make.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 29 Aug 2013 06:35:39 GMT
Bitexco Tapped to Develop Thu Thiem Urban Area

After years of land clearance delays, lack of investors and stagnation in the real estate market, the Thu Thiem new urban area project may gaining steam as Bitexco has been assigned to manage the project.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 05 Mar 2014 06:42:24 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam Battles with Poor Quality Education

FDI bottlenecks in Mekong Delta [VOV]

Vietnam anticipates US$2,300 GDP per capita in 2015 [VOV]

Bad debts fall from previous month [SGGP]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
'Beautiful Saigon Project' Explores Saigon Through HipHop

Hip hop has a special place in our hearts so when we see the style gaining popularity in Vietnam, we get pretty excited.

We just stumbled upon this extremely entertaining and well-produced hip hop video "Beautiful Saigon Project" which includes two of hip hop's main elements - the MC and b-boys/b-girls, while capturing the city's personality.


]]> (Saigoneer.) Wed, 20 May 2020 07:51:35 GMT
Vietnam’s Development Through the Lens of Iron Chef

The Atlantic recently published a piece on Vietnam’s increasing development and westernization. Instead of looking at economic statistics and trends, they chose to examine this through the lens of one of the country’s most popular TV shows, Iron Chef.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 30 Aug 2013 03:43:47 GMT
New Vietnamese Food App Delivers Instant Gratification

Taking advantage of the Vietnamese love of food and photos, Tran Quang Vinh, a former fashion designer, has released iOS app - Foodshot.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 30 Aug 2013 04:00:04 GMT
H&P Completes Bamboo–Earth–Stone Pavilion

Local architects, H&P, have long focused on the use of environmentally-friendly materials for their designs. Earlier this year, they released a set of renderings of low-cost bamboo housing designs that looked pretty amazing. To increase awareness about sustainable buildings, the firm built the BES (Bamboo–Earth–Stone) pavilion with focuses on bringing art and culture closer to the inhabitants of Ha Tinh.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 30 Aug 2013 04:24:20 GMT
A Look Inside a Saigon Rice Noodle Plant

Over the past month, the news has been full of reports about chemically-laced bun noodles.

Though recent tests have shown a decrease in the cancer-causing additives, the issue is still top-of-mind for many. Saigon Tiep Thi recently visited a bun plant that claims its products are chemical-free.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 30 Aug 2013 08:29:14 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

The secrets of Saigon’s night clubs [VietnamNet Bridge] 

Vietnam urged to boost retirement age to save pension fund [Thanh Nien]

Vietnam Says New Internet Decree Good for Business [VOA] 


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 03 Sep 2013 01:53:57 GMT
Free WIFI Coming to Saigon Buses

In a bid to increase the ridership on Saigon’s 270 bus routes, the city will implement free WIFI for passengers.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 03 Sep 2013 02:31:03 GMT
World Startup Report @ Saigon Hub

From the organizer:

The World Startup Report is a social project to help understand and connect the different startup ecosystems in the world.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 03 Sep 2013 04:31:52 GMT
How Vietnam Got its Name

Le Minh Khai, a researcher of SE Asian history, found that there was a lot of misinformation on the interwebs relating to the origin of Vietnam’s name, especially in English sources. Khai jumped into a plethora of historical documents to set the record straight.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 26 Sep 2019 03:40:48 GMT
A Musical Journey with Henry Saiz

You wonder through the deserted landscape…it’s not a dream, not a nightmare, your mind is empty of memories as if you have always been here, since the beginning of are afraid of yourself, you just know you have to keep walking, keep walking. Try to lose yourself follow my voice.


Tue, 03 Sep 2013 06:05:00 GMT
Chợ Bà Chiểu - Past & Present

Chợ Bà Chiểu, located on Bach Dang St., has been the central market for Binh Thanh District since 1942.

While it's been upgraded and expanded numerous times, most recently in 1987, you can still feel the history when walking through the market.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:46:46 GMT
Morning Links: $2 Million Weasel Coffee Farm in Da Lat

Cambodian import turns a Saigon staple [Thanh Nien] 

Journalist jailed for fatal road accident [Thanh Nien]

Vietnam Stocks to Climb 12% by Year-End on Valuations, PXP Says [Bloomberg]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Why Sustainable Development is Vital For Vietnam's Future

Green building is starting to take off in Vietnam. Over the past few months, we’ve seen a number of ‘green’ homes sprout up across Saigon, using open floor plans, sustainable materials and plants that accommodate the city’s tropical climate. As buildings represent one the largest consumers of energy in the country, it’s vital that green building practices are adopted on a large scale, especially since Vietnam faces massive energy deficits in the coming decades. But Saigon’s skyline continues to develop in an increasingly ‘international style,’ where sleek design trumps sustainability.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 02 Oct 2013 03:48:02 GMT
Has Da Nang’s Bubble Burst?

After a decade of breakneck development, Da Nang’s luster is starting to wear off. Overly reliant on a once-booming real estate sector, the city’s coffers are drying up as investments slow and large-scale development projects stall.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 04 Sep 2013 08:49:26 GMT
Morning Links: Two Drunken Foreigners to be Expelled for Disturbing Acts

Vietnam expects 6 pct GDP growth in two years [xinhuanet] 

Foreign firms in Vietnam complain about deteriorating business climate, consider quitting [Thanh Nien]

More Vietnamese men using silicone to enlarge their penises [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Six Suffocate in Fish Oil Tank

Well this is a sad story. Yesterday morning, six employees of the IDI Fisheries Factory in Binh Thanh Commun, Dong Thap Province suffocated from catfish oil fumes while taking samples.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 05 Sep 2013 09:53:06 GMT
Everyone's A DJ Presents: Shimmy Shimmy Coco Pop

Everyone's A DJ presents 'Shimmy Shimmy Coco Pop' - a 50s/60s rock'n'roll/motown dance party!

From the organisers:


Thu, 05 Sep 2013 02:52:24 GMT
Vietnam: The Land of Nike

According to AmCham Vietnam, 98% of Nike footwear is produced in Asia with Vietnam leading the pack followed by China and Indonesia.

In the 2013 fiscal year, Vietnam, which houses at least 10 Nike factories, accounts for 42% of total footwear manufacturing while China and Indonesia account for 30% and 26% respectively.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 13 Jan 2016 15:50:41 GMT
Saigon From Above

Photographer Gian Thanh Son is completing a book and preparing a special exhibition, "Discovering Saigon from the air."

With the help of special forces helicopter Regiment 917 (Air Division 370), Son was able to capture his home city from the air, a dream of his for many years:


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 05 Sep 2013 04:56:29 GMT
Saigon Hotpot Charity Auction

Sky Lantern is Saigon Hotpot club’s most famous annual charity event, whose mission is to help underprivileged children by bettering their living and studying conditions. We would like to cordially invite you to the Auction Day – a charity event of Sky Lantern 2013 that is aimed to raise fund for supporting disadvantaged children studying in Tan Cang Primary School, Tan Cang Hamlet, Phuoc Tan Commune, Long Thanh District, Dong Nai Province. The auction products are souvenirs around the world that hold the countries’ cultural traits.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 05 Sep 2013 06:29:11 GMT
Vietnam Set to Become World’s Largest Motorbike Producer

Slowly but surely, Vietnam is becoming the favored location for large scale motorbike manufacturing. If the trend continues, analysts predict that within 10 years, Vietnam will become the global leader in the industry.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 06 Sep 2013 04:25:57 GMT
Slideshow: Vintage Vietnamese Hairdos Recreated by Top Stylists

When we posted an article featuring Vietnamese album art from the 60s and 70s a few months back, we found the singers’ hair styles to be some of the more intriguing details.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 28 Nov 2016 10:05:19 GMT
Vietnam, Neighbors Pledge to End Dog Meat Trade

At a recent meeting in Hanoi, the four governments agreed in principle on a strategy to end the trafficking of dogs between Vietnam and its neighbors, which is estimated at 5 million animals annually.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 06 Sep 2013 16:48:05 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: City of Bikes

A slower mode of transportation for a slower time.

]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 23 Sep 2019 06:22:17 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

State firms pay highest wages [VietnamNet]

Tony Blair strikes new deals to advise Vietnam and Peru [The Telegraph] 

Authorities revoke license of clinic with Chinese 'doctors’ [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 09 Sep 2013 01:59:51 GMT
A History of Vietnamese Banknotes

These days, you’d be hard pressed to find Vietnamese coins as with a maximum value of VND5,000, inflation has rendered them virtually useless. However, even though banknotes have existed in Vietnam since the 14th century, coins were the country’s preferred currency until 1947. 


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 09 Sep 2013 07:16:00 GMT
Three of Saigon’s Oldest Banh Mi Shops

Banh mi has been an iconic Vietnamese staple since French colonization brought bread to the region in the 18th century. Though the French have come and gone (and come and gone again), the soft, airy baguettes remain one of the country’s most popular foods. With its lengthy history, it’s no surprise that there are a number of banh mi shops in Saigon that have endured the ages, some serving the same sandwiches for more than 50 years. Here are three of the city’s oldest shops, profiled by Vietnam Net.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 09 Sep 2013 04:33:31 GMT
Minimalist Nest House in Binh Duong

The Nest house was designed for a middle-aged architecture writer. The house, located on the outskirts of the new city in Thuận An, Binh Duong Province, seeks to blend urbanism with a variety of architecture styles that match its surroundings.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 21 Sep 2016 03:29:55 GMT
Vietnamese Tech Startup of the Month – September Edition: Digi-Gps

Digi-GPS, a local Vietnamese startup, seeks to apply high-technology to our decidedly analog motorbikes. The company has launched two security-minded products to help bike owners feel secure - SmartBike and the SmartLock.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 09 Sep 2013 07:03:01 GMT
American Teacher Killed by Truck in District 7

An American English teacher was hit by a truck and died this morning on Luu Trong Lu st. in District 7.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 02 Oct 2013 16:17:11 GMT
Environmentalism and Sustainability Gaining Steam in Vietnam

Vietnam is slowly but surely understanding the need for sustainable development and a clean environment. We’ve recently seen the erection of green homes, establishment of green-focused youth clubs and a new fleet of CNG busses. But there’s a great deal of work to be done to reinforce these mentalities on a national scale.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 04:13:24 GMT
"Volver" by Almodovar @ Saigon Outcast

This Thursday, Saigon Outcast continues to offer us high quality world cinema. This time is Pedro Almodovar's turn with 'Volver" (2006). 


Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:26:09 GMT
'Brother' by Takeshi Kitano @ deciBel Lounge

Mutli-talented Japanese director, Takeshi Kitano (also known as Beat Takeshi) has truly done everything that could be done in showbiz and in the world of culture: film director, film editor, poet, actor, singer, screenwriter and much more. However, outside of his native country Japan, he is mostly known for his films.


Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:26:09 GMT
A Day in the Life of a Saigon Drainage Worker

As much of Saigon was built on swampland, drainage is vital to the city’s development and progress. Yet with each heavy rain, large swaths of the city become inundated and streets come to resemble small rivers. Though Saigon’s drainage system leaves much to be desired, there are those who toil underneath the streets, doing their best to keep the sewer clean while wadding thorough toxic waste and hypodermic needles.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 10 Sep 2013 09:04:31 GMT
Morning Links: Unfinished Billion Dollar Casino Projects

Shiseido Vietnam builds US$30 million plant in Dong Nai [VoV]

Bulgarians held for stealing money using fake ATM cards [Tuoi Tre] 

PM flags off work on 2.9km cable-stayed bridge [VNS] 


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
5 Arrested in Massive Saigon Nike Theft

Vietnam may be the land of Nike but the company’s pricey shoes make them a prime target for thievery. Earlier this week, A Ho Chi Minh City court sentenced five men to up to 15 years in prison for stealing huge shipments of shoes on their way to international markets.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 14 Jan 2016 04:35:17 GMT
Decree: Foreign Workers Without Work Permits to be Deported

Following in the footsteps of other ASEAN nations like Malaysia, a new government decree, set to go into effect on November 1st, includes provisions for deporting foreign workers in Vietnam who don’t have a work permit. While it seems to be targeting unskilled laborers and medical practitioners, it also specifically calls out those working in education.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 11 Sep 2013 06:15:24 GMT
Slideshow: Gang of Taxi Drivers Destroys Truck Driver After Accident Near Tan Son Nhat

Yesterday at 11:30, a battle royal occurred near Saigon’s Tan Son Nhat airport between a truck driver and gaggle (we’re pretty sure this is the technical term) of taxi drivers.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 28 Nov 2016 10:05:36 GMT
China's $1.9 Billion Mooncake Industry

Vietnam might consume a lot of mooncakes during the mid-autumn festival, but it has nothing on China.

The country of over one billion has more than 10,000 mooncake manufacturers which produce over 280,000 metric tons of the holiday staple annually, valued at $1.9 billion according to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. 2 million of the cakes end up in the garbage each year.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 11 Sep 2013 07:29:43 GMT
Morning Links: Crime on the Rise in HCMC

Vietnam lifts radiation inspection on Japanese food imports [Global Post]

Vietnam’s farm produce exports remain precarious [VietnamNet]

Will threat to pull out of Vietnam give more power to corporate lobby? [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Bill: Job-Seeking Foreigners Must Have Work Permit Before Entering Vietnam

Vietnam seems to be overhauling their immigration policies this week. In addition to yesterday’s news that foreigners working in Vietnam without a work permit will be deported, Tuoi Tre is reporting that foreigners planning to work in the country must secure a work permit prior to arrival.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 12 Sep 2013 10:58:42 GMT
Bill Gates Posts Picture of Vietnam Wires on Facebook, Sparks Fly

American billionaire, Bill Gates, recently took to Facebook to express his concerns about rising electricity demands in developing countries. To illustrate this, he used a picture of tangled electrical wires on a Hanoi street, a common site across not only Vietnam, but much of the developing world.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 12 Sep 2013 03:35:02 GMT
Video: Hanoi Hustle

Check out this Video, Hanoi Hustle, featuring music from Touliver and LK with choreography by Oliver and performed by Handi crew.

Nice to see more hip hop and less kpop!


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 12 Sep 2013 04:05:50 GMT
Video: Vietnam's 'Miss World' Pick Has Some Work to Do...

Meet, Lại Hương Thảo, Vietnam's representative to the 2013 Miss World competition. Thảo recently took to Youtube where she posted a video to showcase her "underestimated beauty, shape, fashion sense and even the ability to communicate in foreign languages."


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 12 Sep 2013 05:22:15 GMT
H&P Concept, ‘Pavilion of Dream Terraces’ for Milan Expo 2015

H&P Architects is proving to be one of Vietnam’s leading sustainable architecture firms. From airy, bamboo huts in the country’s rural heartland, to the recently completed, Bamboo–Earth–Stone Pavilion in Ha Tinh, the firm’s designs show a clear understanding that it’s better embrace and work within the context of one’s environment rather than destroy it. Now they’re bringing their creative designs to Milan for Expo 2015.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 12 Sep 2013 05:45:10 GMT
First Phase of Metro Line No. 5 Fully Funded

With construction is already in full swing on Saigon’s first metro line, the city is close to reaching its funding goal for the first phase of line No. 5. Most of the funding will come from the Asia Development Bank, the European Investment bank and the Spanish government.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 12 Sep 2013 07:14:29 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam Airports to Cut Fees by Half to Attract Foreign Carriers

Vietnam airports to cut fees by half to attract foreign carriers [Thanh Nien]

Deal between Tony Blair and Vietnam gov’t not yet finalized [Thanh Nien]

Hue specialties to come on foreign markets [VoV]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
[Updated] Vietnam Moves Closer to Joint Visas with Thailand, Cambodia, ASEAN

[Update Below] After years of discussion, Vietnamese, Thai and Cambodian foreign relations authorities are getting closer to a joint visa agreement.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 13 Sep 2013 03:53:20 GMT
Crowdsourcing Startup, Flitto Seeks to Make Google Translate Obsolete

Whether you’re a native English or Vietnamese speaker, chances are, you’ve used Google Translate at least once. The tech behemoth’s translation service, which relies on an algorithm, is notorious for hilarious mis-translations. But what if you actually need a correct one?


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 13 Sep 2013 06:09:45 GMT
Slideshow: Henry Saiz, Live From Saigon

Henry Saiz brought his rolling drums and electronic soundscapes to Cargo Bar last night and did not disappoint.

Here are some of our favorite shots from the night:


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 28 Nov 2016 10:05:47 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

Vietnam up in FIFA rankings [VietnamNet]

Vietnam's auto import continues to slide in August [East Day] 

Vietnam’s rice productivity may reduce 10% on climate change [VietnamNet] 


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 16 Sep 2013 02:22:57 GMT
German Film Festival Coming to Saigon

This year the Goethe Institut brings some of the most interesting German films of the year to silver screen enthusiasts in Vietnam; both by famous directors and young, new filmmakers. And it's free!


Tue, 24 Sep 2019 09:36:32 GMT
Images of Destruction and Restoration: Hue Citadel

The Hue Monument Conservation Centre has just launched a poster exhibition that captures the long history of the imperial citadel at Hue. Due to its importance, the monument has been witness to many of the events that make up Vietnam’s modern history and is an icon of the country’s post-war resilience.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 16 Sep 2013 04:03:41 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Colonial Corner

Just as it is today, Dong Khoi St. (formerly Rue Cantinat under the French and Tu Do from 1954 - 1975) has long been of Saigon's busiest and most important boulevards.

Due to it's history, the street provides us with some of the city's best examples of colonial architecture as seen in the picture above (along with a bunch of wonderful classic cars and art deco neighbors).


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 20 Sep 2019 08:50:20 GMT
Snakes and Rats and Scorpions, Oh My! The Unique Offerings of the Mekong

During the typhoon season, the women of the West River hunt for bounty in the wildlife-filled swampland. For most of us urban dwellers, the idea of eating scorpion, rats and snakes probably isn’t on the top of our to-eat list (we would try anything once though!).


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 16 Sep 2013 08:53:36 GMT
Morning Links: 1 Dead, 7 Missing at Ship Collision Offshore Vietnam

Tax incentives likely for tech-savvy enterprises [VNS] 

Vietnam wants US contributions to Asian security, development [VoV] 

Japan investment in Vietnam metro climbs to $1.27 bln [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Hundreds Confess to Killing Dog Thieves in Bac Giang

In an act of solidarity with their fellow villagers, hundreds have signed a petition confessing to the murder of 2 suspected dog thieves who were caught and beaten to death on August 27 in the Hiep Hoa District of Bac Giang province.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 17 Sep 2013 08:23:37 GMT
[Updated] Nha Trang Effectively Bans Motorbike Rentals for Foreigners

[Update Below] On August 21st, the Khanh Hoa Province Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism issued a decision to ban tourist companies from renting motorbikes to foreigners who don’t have Vietnamese licenses.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 17 Sep 2013 10:15:29 GMT
San Art Laboratory - Open Studio2 Session 3

On September 21, artists Nguyen Hong Ngoc (Hanoi) and Phan Thao Nguyen (Saigon) will open their studio to the public one more time before their final exhibition in November. Thao and Ngoc are two young artists selected by San Art for its residency programme - San Art Laboratory - which aims at supporting upcoming Vietnamese artists as well as funding projects that otherwise would not be brought to life.


Tue, 17 Sep 2013 07:52:37 GMT
Morning Links: Severe Power Shortage to Hit Next Dry Season

Vietnam vehicle sales up 20% in August [Justauto] 

Forests destroyed to grow rubber [VietnamNet]

Authorities fail to tackle pollution woes [VietnamNet]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Police to Fine Parents Blocking Traffic Outside of Schools

Packs of parents, idling on motorbikes, waiting for their children to finish their school days, are a common sight in cities across Vietnam. Hundreds of parents jockey for position, yelling and waving to their children, often blocking the sidewalk and street. To make matters worse, the end of the school day often coincides with rush hour, creating traffic jams. To address this problem, HCMC authorities will begin to fine parents as opposed to giving ineffective warnings.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:20:32 GMT
Pecha Kucha Global Night @ Saigon Hub

From the organizer:

Join Pecha Kucha Nights HCMC for Vol. 5 and also Pecha Kucha Global Night!

Not only will you hear awesome presentations as usual, but we will also be joining a GoogleHangout room with the original creators of PechaKucha, who will be in Tokyo, and other PK Nights from around the world!

If you’d like more information on what all is going on during Global Night, visit Pecha Kucha.

Tickets will be 100,000VND at the door, which includes finger foods and the first drink! 


Friday, 20 September 2013

7:00pm - 9:00pm

Saigon Hub | 27B Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Block C, 3rd Floor, Da Kao Ward, District 1

]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:28:16 GMT
Map: More Than Half of the World's Population Lives Within This Circle

It’s well-known that Asia is the world’s population center (thanks, China and India!) with 51% of the global population. But this fact is slightly mind-blowing when illustrated visually. Reddit user, valeriepieris, created the image above which shows just how little space this huge number of people occupies.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:08:30 GMT
The Toxic Legacy of Agent Orange

As the US government claims to be worried about the use of chemical weapons all over the world, one question is still waiting for an answer in this country. Although the major issues causing tension between US and Vietnam governments have been resolved over the last few decades, there is still one unresolved issue: the legacy of Agent Orange.


]]> (Lidia Gallardo. Edited by Cindy Barrilleaux) Wed, 18 Sep 2013 08:19:12 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Water Delivery!

In the days before indoor plumbing and bottled water were the norm, like most of the world, Saigonese relied on wells to provide water (and in many areas still do).

During the early 20th century, water made its way around the city by hand, wherein people would fill up their buckets at their local well and deliver it to business and wealthy residents as seen in the picture above.

]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 23 Sep 2019 06:22:17 GMT
Morning Links: Vinashin to Lay Off 14,000 Workers

Mass evacuations ordered as storm nears [VoV]

Prehistoric traces found in Thai Nguyen [VNS]

Big names set to draw crowds at motor show [VNS]

11 Vietnamese trained in aerospace technology in Japan [VietnamNet] 


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Vernissage @ Shop 100%

Shop 100% is a great new shop that just opened in D2. It prides itself on being able to trace the sources of its produce to ensure that they are 100% organic. In addition, they are supporting Vietnamese artists by highlighting their work at their shop. The first such event will take place this evening.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 19 Sep 2013 03:20:52 GMT
Rhino Horn: Instant Status Maker

Even as the illicit rhino horn market gets more and more negative press, it’s not stopping status-seeking Vietnamese from consuming the horn’s powder. In a recent piece in Times Live, a New Zealand-based newspaper, Schalk Mouton interviewed users of the horn and found little remorse, even with the knowledge that an endangered animal was slaughtered for it.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 04:09:30 GMT
Nhabeo House: Bringing Green to the Concrete Jungle

The Nhabeo House, located in Saigon was designed by Trinhvieta Architects with interior design by Quach The Vinh. The house was designed to connect with the outside environment and utilizing the space as efficiently as possible by employing “intermediate space.”


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 19 Sep 2013 04:35:33 GMT
Beware of the Dog...Napper

Hien Pham, a 29 year-old Vietnamese woman still wants to cry whenever she remembers Gina, a pomerian dog kidnapped one year ago.


]]> (Eric San Juan) Thu, 19 Sep 2013 06:48:32 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam Achieves 2013 Foreign Investment Goal

5 missing after car swept away in Vietnam flash flood [Tuoi Tre]

Vietnam achieves 2013 foreign investment goal [Thanh Nien]

Vietnam’s 1st ao dai museum to open in HCMC [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Lead Dust Choking Vietnam's Cities

Break out the facemasks. A new report has found that lead dust pollution is on the rise in Vietnam’s cities and is currently 2 – 4 times higher than accepted levels.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 20 Sep 2013 03:23:18 GMT
Awesome 24 Hour Time Lapse of Saigon

We've seen some cool time lapse videos of Saigon in the past, many of which focus on the city's chaotic traffic.

This video, produced by Jan Niederhumer, takes the high road, setting up his camera to overlook the Saigon river.

Turns out boat traffic is just as mesmerizing as bike traffic!


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 20 Sep 2013 04:00:41 GMT
Saigoneer @ Saigon Flea Market

Hey Saigoneers! Just a head’s up that we’ll be at the Saigon Flea Market this Sunday at the Crescent in Phu My Hung.

If you’d like to pick up one of our super cool t-shirts, you can find us outside, near the entrance from 1 – 3pm.

Or just stop by to say hello!


]]> (Brian Letwin) Sat, 21 Sep 2013 06:54:21 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

Vietnam students give history a modern twist [Thanh Nien]

The most famous family run economic groups in Vietnam [VietnamNet]

Foreigner commits suicide by jumping off auto salon building in Vietnam metro [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 23 Sep 2013 01:45:27 GMT
Foreigner Dies After Jumping Off Roof of Ford Dealership

Last week an unidentified foreigner snuck into the Ford showroom on Cao Thang Street in District 1 and jumped to his death in what authorities are calling a suicide.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 23 Sep 2013 02:48:14 GMT
Hue's Refurbished Airport Reopens

As Saigon waits for its new, massive airport, some of Vietnam’s smaller cities are focusing on renovations rather than starting from scratch. Hue’s Phu Bai airport, which was reopened yesterday after 6 months of repairs and upgrades, falls into this category.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 23 Sep 2013 03:39:56 GMT
Heart Beat Saigon Presents "Breaking Blanchy’s"

Heart Beat Saigon is taking over all three floors of Blanchy's Tash on Monday, October 14.

From the organizer:

"Breaking Blanchy’s"

This time presenting UK Techno legend Oliver Ho aka Raudive. With support from Saigonites Nic Ford // Deep Booth records and Chris Wolter // Heart Beat Saigon, with deep & minimal Techno taking over the Main Floor. (Level 2)


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 08 Oct 2013 06:50:45 GMT
10 Old Pictures of Saigon Cyclo Drivers

Even though Saigon has gone through many changes over the last century, there are certain characteristics of the city that have endured.

Before the age of the motorbike, cyclos were one of the most common modes of transportation for locals and foreigners alike.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 19 Sep 2019 09:00:04 GMT
Morning Links: Cops Accused of Torturing Suspects in Dog Thieves Murder Case

7 arrested for robbing Ukrainian in central Vietnam [Thanh Nien]

Vietnamese favor super-expensive mobile phones [Vietnam Net]

Vietnam intends to grant husbands paternity leave [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
'Frida' - screening @ deciBel

From the organizers:

‘Frida’ is a 2002 Miramax/Ventanarosa biopic which depicts the professional and private life of the surrealist Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.

It stars Salma Hayek in her Academy Award nominated portrayal as Kahlo and Alfred Molina as her husband, Diego Rivera.


Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:26:09 GMT
VNA Flight Attendant Arrested for Smuggling 50 iPhone 5s

Vietnamese airline employees have been known to cause a stir from time to time. Earlier this year, actress Ly Nha Ky got a VietJet flight crew into hot water when she was invited into the cockpit mid-flight. Now, it’s Vietnam’s national carrier, Vietnam Airlines that is enduring a bit of controversy after a flight attendant was caught brining 50 iPhone 5s into Vietnam without declaring them.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2013 03:12:33 GMT
Authorities to Crack Down on Illegitimate Diplomatic Cars

You know all those fancy diplomatic cars speeding around District 1? Well, as it turns out, chances are the occupants are not diplomatic officials, but rather locals who bought the car and never transferred ownership to their name. Apparently, this is common enough that authorities are planning to crack down on the practice by seizing and auctioning off incorrectly registered cars.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2013 03:56:06 GMT
Vietnamese Exec Beats Caddy Unconscious. Keeps Golf Club Membership.

Even with its slow pace, golf can bring out your competitive side. A missed putt or journey to a sand trap can boil the blood of even the most patient player. But that’s no excuse to beat your caddy with a golf club, people! Nguyen Duc Son, director of a state-owned housing company did just that earlier this month in the northern province of Vinh Phuc.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2013 10:31:54 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Cho Lon Streetcars

From Cho Lon to Ben Thanh Market, streetcars were once a common sight on Saigon's main thoroughfares.

While their tracks have long disappeared, their memory lives on in old photographs like the one above.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:46:46 GMT
Morning Links: Traffic Cop Allegedly Shoots Colleagues in Vietnam

Vietnam’s bad debt attractive to some investors, but regulations still unclear [Washington Post]

Typhoon Usagi kills 24 in Vietnam [IOL News]

Little good news as Vietnam reviews economic growth [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Is Saigon Losing its Soul?

In a recent article for Metropolis Magazine, Carl Robinson reflects on the massive changes to Saigon’s urban character over the last 15 years. He found that the city’s colonial buildings, designed with the area’s tropical climate in mind, are being torn down in favor of shiny new office towers. Saigon’s rich architectural history is being erased and replaced with characterless structures that ignore the city’s natural environment.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 25 Sep 2013 04:21:22 GMT
Free Barbecue Sunday @ Saigon Outcast

Sharing is in the air in Saigon and I like it, especially if the sharing in question is about food. 

The crew at Saigon Outcast invites you on Sunday to a free BBQ (limited, first come first served) for any drink purchased. You are also welcome to bring their own dish and share it with other people.


Wed, 25 Sep 2013 04:58:01 GMT
Facebook Enjoying Massive Growth in Vietnam

A few years ago, it was not always an easy task to log into Facebook in Vietnam. Changing DNS settings, installing HotSpotShield or using a VPN were your best bet to log onto the site. My, how times have changed. A recent Socal Backers report shows that Vietnam currently enjoys the greatest Facebook growth rate in the world having added 14 million users in the past year.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 25 Sep 2013 08:39:09 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Before Bridges and Tunnels

Think it's inconvenient having a car in present-day Saigon?

As many of the French living in Saigon during the first half of the last century were fairly well off, they often brought with them the comforts of their home country.

But sometimes, their beloved imports didn't exactly match the realities of their new environment.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:46:46 GMT
Short Film Screening - Vietnamese Family Life

From the organisers:

Mê phim - passionate about films and Sàn Art Laboratory are pleased to present a film event this time at Déjà Vu Cafe Two short films by two film makers one in Vietnam, one from Australia who bring two stories from two different geographical locations, but showing the same concerns about family life of Vietnamese.


Wed, 25 Sep 2013 15:28:00 GMT
Morning Links: Gender Inequality in Vietnam at Alarming Rate: Official

Economic growth at 5.14 percent in first nine months [SGGP] 

Vietnam's VietJet seen close to major Airbus order [Reuters]

Vietnam city to apply new English language testing system [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
London Restaurant Trademarks ‘Pho.’ Social Media Battle Ensues.

It may be hard to comprehend how a company can trademark a word as generic as ‘Pho.’ Apparently the British Intellectual Property Office disagrees as 6 years ago, they allowed a glitzy London chain, ‘Pho,’ to do just that.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 26 Sep 2013 08:18:16 GMT
Video: A Taste of Vietnam

Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine took a trip to Vietnam last year and brought along with some pretty sweet filming equipment.

After editing what was presumably hours of footage, the duo condensed their 2 week trip into a three and a half minute video that does an excellent job of capturing Vietnam's character from Hanoi to Hoi An.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 26 Sep 2013 07:11:45 GMT
Vietnam Tourism Struggles to Keep up with ASEAN Neighbors

It’s long been known that Vietnam is lagging behind its ASEAN neighbors when it comes to the quality of tourism workers. With the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreement on mutual recognition of tourism professionals set to begin in 2015, government officials fear the country isn’t ready to compete in a shared tourism labor market.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 26 Sep 2013 09:17:45 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam has More Than 300,000 Obese Children

Nok Air has Vietnam in sights [Bangkok Post] 

Vietnam man arrested for car accident that drowned 5, including 2 kids [Thanh Nien]

HIV/AIDS transmission rate in Vietnam kept under 0.3 pct [xinhuanet]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Video: Gordon Ramsay Explores Vietnam and its Cuisine

Gordon Ramsay has made it clear that Vietnamese cuisine is on the top of his list. His love was on full display in the most recent season of Master Chef US, where he tasked the final 5 contestants to prepare a bowl of Hủ Tiếu (they did surprisingly well). So where did chef Ramsay's passion for Vietnamese food come from?


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 27 Sep 2013 04:01:16 GMT
Vietnam as Seen From Space

If it were up to us, the majority of America's $700 billion annual military budget would be funneled to NASA (Neil Degrasse Tyson would likely agree). While this may be a pipe dream due to America's self-proclaimed role as the global leader in freedom and democracy exports, at least NASA's budget allows for some pretty sweet pictures like the one above.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 24 Mar 2014 11:28:51 GMT
Vietnamese Airlines Struggle with Cigarette Smoking, Mobile Phone Using Passengers

So, apparently smoking on flights is a thing in Vietnam.

Vietnamese airlines are struggling with flagrant abuses of standard, in-flight safety regulations as customers have been found smoking in bathrooms and talking on mobile phones. When caught in the act, flight attendants say they are offered ludicrous excuses.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 27 Sep 2013 04:36:45 GMT
Vietnam’s Rich are Getting Richer

Vietnam’s economy may be slowly recovering but for the country’s rich, things are better than ever. 


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 27 Sep 2013 07:59:47 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: How to Arrive at Your Wedding in Style

The tradition of covering your wedding car with flowers and regalia is not new in Vietnam.

Today, most couples who can afford it, opt for a middle-of-the-line Toyota or Kia while those with deep pockets enjoy the luxury of a BMW or Mercedes.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 23 Sep 2019 06:22:17 GMT
"The Motorcycle Diaries" - Screening @ deciBel

I grew up surrounded by teenagers wearing T-shirts with ‘Che’ Guevara face stamped on them. It is undeniable that he is one of the most iconic ‘political’ figures of our time, so much so that I often had the feeling that the people walking around with the ‘Che’ face on their torsos might have not truly known who he was. He has become (unfortunately) a logo, an icon out of context.


Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:26:09 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

Hanoi hosts first street performance festival [Nhan Dan]

40 years on: When Fidel Castro came to town [VNS]

“White gold” plants encroach on forest’s territory [Vietnam Net]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 30 Sep 2013 02:06:32 GMT
Saigon to Implement $155 Million Bus Rapid Transit System

The HCMC Traffic Works Management and Construction Board has just announced plans for six Bus Rapid Transit Systems (BRT) to meet growing demand. The first line, which will run from District 6 to District 2 should be up and running by 2018.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 30 Sep 2013 03:33:47 GMT
Short Film: My Journey to Work

As many of us struggle with motivation on Mondays (or any weekday for that matter), it’s not always easy to get yourself going. Sometimes, it takes a dose of external inspiration, like the video below, to push us along.

My Journey to Work, created by Paul Zetter for follows Mai, a Vietnamese woman who has overcome both physical and social challenges to become a successful graphic designer.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 09:30:39 GMT
'Melting Pot Art Festival 3' @ SGOC

It’s back! ‘Melting Pot Art Festival 3’ will be at Saigon Outcast this coming Saturday and Sunday, and as always it will bring to Saigoneers a wide range of art and entertainment including poetry, henna tattoos, paintings, photo booths, dancers, live bands and DJs.

It is all for a good cause since the festival will raise money to help Tephan School (physically impaired children) in D.3 and Thien An School (visually impaired children) build their dance programmes and facilities.

Te full schedule of the festival as written by the organizers:





- ART EXHIBITION (all weekend) -

Amanda Wotring (handmade jewelery)

Oji Valencia (digital illustrations)

Vy Hoang (key chains, wooden picture , bags and scarves)

Nareun Kim (photography)

Huynh Tan Phat Foundation (Miryokarpa Handicrafts)

Henry Nguyen (paintings)

Kane Nugent (wood cut prints, illustrations)

Jack Clayton  (wood cut prints, illustrations)

Tariq Kinani (wood cut prints, illustrations)

Sammy Eastwood and Amy Pons (lamp shades)

Hong Dinh (handmade posters, drawings, ceramics and bracelets)

Freddy and Martha - Peril Apparel (clothing, graphic design)

Stefanie Gendera (live art sessions)

David Dredge (photography & photo booth)

AQ Art (graphic t-shirts, badges)



13:00 - 14:30 THE 67'S

1430 - 16:00 cRime coAch w/ Third Wife + baylinbeats feat blecBlec

16:00 - 17:30 DJ JOEY T (VINYL SET)


18:30 - 20:00 THE MARMALADES

20:00 - 21:30 UGWAE



13:00 - 14:30 FUTUREPROOF

14:30 - 16:00 DAN LO

16:00 - 17:30 FRECKLED GYPSYS

17:30 - 19:00 WHITE NOIZ


20:30 - 22:00 SPACE PANTHER


Sat - Sun, 5 - 6 October

12:00pm - 10:00pm

Saigon Outcast | 188/1 Nguyễn Văn Hưởng, Thảo Điền, Quận 2

Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:26:09 GMT
Central Vietnam Braces for Superstorm Wutip

Superstorm Wutip, currently around 200km off Vietnam’s central coast, is expected to make landfall at 4pm this afternoon.

With maximum winds of 149kph, local authorities in Ha Tinh are in the process of evacuating 22,000 residents from vulnerable areas and converting schools into shelters.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 30 Sep 2013 05:01:18 GMT
"Pussy Riot: a Punk Prayer" - Screening @ Snap Cafe

Art house cinema’ by ‘Me phim – passionate about films’ will screen the documentary ‘Pussy riot: a punk prayer’ this Tuesday at Snap Café.


Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:26:09 GMT
Can Vinyl Make a Comeback in Vietnam?

According to online retailer,, vinyl is its “fastest growing music medium.” With a 745% increase in sales since 2008, many are proclaiming the comeback of our favorite analog audio (sorry 8 tracks). Now, some Vietnamese artists are looking to vinyl to increase “musical sophistication” in the local market.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 30 Sep 2013 08:12:58 GMT
Free Food Tuesday 'Arancini' @ deciBel

It all started innocently enough. It was about 6 months ago when the deciBel guys and a group of friends, after complaining that it was often too complicated to match working schedules to arrange a dinner all together, decided to combine work and pleasure AKA every week friends would take turns to cook a meal at deciBel for the others.


Mon, 30 Sep 2013 09:46:45 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam Cop Arrested for Shooting Boss Dead

Tropical storm Wutip brings rain and winds to Vietnamese coast, leaves 75 fishermen missing [Washington Post] 

Vietnam ranks 7th worldwide for economic growth potential [Thanh Nien]

Vietnam’s inflation rate may exceed the 8% threshold in 2013 [Vietnam Net]

Vietnam's agriculture under threat from climate change [China Post] 


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Video: The Differences Between Saigon and Hanoi

Earlier this year, Graphic designer, Nhat Le created a book depicting the many cultural differences between Hanoi and Saigon.

Now, the Pho Team has taken the regional battle a step further with the hilarious video below.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 01 Oct 2013 04:12:04 GMT
Japanese National Killed at Ben Thanh Bus Station

In what seems to be a worrying trend, another foreigner has died in Saigon, this time a Japanese lecturer on her way home from school. The 50-year-old victim was a teacher of Oriental Studies at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 01 Oct 2013 04:38:03 GMT
Going Abroad Soon? You Might Want to Pick up a Couple iPhones.

It looks like Vietnam’s rich may be using some of their rhino horn money to obtain the world’s newest status symbol, the iPhone 5s. Prices of the phones are skyrocketing in Vietnam with the coveted gold version fetching up to VND33 million.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 01 Oct 2013 09:06:41 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam Builds First Power Plant Fueled by Rice Husks

Vietnam builds first power plant fueled by rice husks [Vietnam Net]

Vietnam reports 124 mln USD trade deficit in 9 months [Global Times]

Big test for ageing economic system [Vietnam Net]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Video: Perhaps the Best Saigon Time Lapse Yet

We've seen a number of great Saigon time lapse videos recently. With the city's streams of constant movement, it's a natural location for this cinematic technique.

A new time lapse by Pierre Ogeron goes a step further than some of the other videos, filming in dozens of locations around the city over a 4 month period.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 02 Oct 2013 02:41:47 GMT
Vietnam’s Challenges with Educational Technology

In yet another example of keeping up appearances and style over substance, many schools around Saigon are calling on parents to fund their further forays into technology in the classroom. All this comes despite education laws firmly stipulating that students are required to pay tuition and enrollment fees only.


]]> (Peter Cornish) Wed, 02 Oct 2013 06:16:56 GMT
What Will it Take for Green Building to Take Off in Vietnam?

Though more and more green buildings have been sprouting up across Vietnam over the last few years, the practice is far established. Subsidized electricity, price gouging and low awareness are major obstacles that must be overcome before green building can be standardized in the country, according to a new piece in Ecology.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 02 Oct 2013 04:57:53 GMT
New Campaign Seeks to Curb Drunk Driving in Vietnam

Though drunk driving is a well-known problem in Vietnam, it is still prevalent, resulting in not only in the loss of life, but serious economic ramifications. To address this, the National Traffic Safety Committee has launched a three-month campaign to stop drunk drivers in their tracks.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 02 Oct 2013 07:50:18 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Cho Lon Opium Den

Have you ever been stuck in Saigon traffic and wished that you were on comfy couch in Cho Lon, chilling with some Chinese guys 'chasing the dragon' instead? Yeah, probably not (but for those who answered yes, stay awesome. Just kidding, drugs are bad).


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 23 Sep 2019 06:22:17 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam’s Coffee Industry Rumored to be Collapsing

Vietnam’s New Crop Coffee Premium Seen 58% Below 2012-13 Beans [Bloomberg]

Vietnam considers selling a bank to foreigners [Vietnam Net]

Vietnam state firm chief cops golfing ban for whacking caddy [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Profits and Contradictions: Inside SE Asia’s Dog Meat Trade

Though eating dog has long been part of Vietnamese culture, the illicit dog meat trade in SE Asia has been growing rapidly over the past few years. Recently, cross-border smuggling of the animals has become so prevalent that Vietnam, along with 3 other ASEAN neighbors have been working on high-level agreements to stop the trade which is estimated at over 5 million dogs per year.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 03 Oct 2013 04:51:50 GMT
'Unlimited Letters' Exhibition @ Palpitation Cafe

The recently opened Palpitation Cafe will host their first art event this Sunday.

Organised by ‘Unlimited letters', the exhibition involves 35 artists from different backgrounds, who will express their individual creativity around the letters of the alphabet.


Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:26:09 GMT
Opening Exhibition - "Red Thread" by Bui Tien Tuan @ Craig Thomas Gallery

Women in Vietnam are often depicted in art wearing the traditional Ao Dai and conical hats, or at least this is what misleading collective imagination and popular culture want us to believe.

This stereotype could not be overturned more easily than by the work of Saigon-based artist Bui Tien Tuan.


Thu, 03 Oct 2013 06:00:31 GMT
Interview: Pierre Ogeron, Creator of the 'Saigon Sail' Time Lapse

Yesterday, we posted Pierre Ogeron’s awesome time lapse film of Saigon which proved to be quite a hit.

We got in touch with Pierre who was kind enough to answer some of our questions about his motivation, production techniques and future plans.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 03 Oct 2013 08:41:41 GMT
Vietnam to Remove Ban on Same Sex Marriage

A new government decree, set to go into effect on November 11, 2013, will remove the current fines associated with same-sex marriages in Vietnam. While an important step for LGBT rights in the country, the decree stops short of legalizing same-sex marriage.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 03 Oct 2013 09:00:41 GMT
Hydropower Plants Breaking Promises to Locals, Destroying Their Livelihoods

When investors approached locals in Quang Nam about building a large hydropower plant, they promised fair resettlement compensation, shared water rights/ownership, infrastructure improvements and environmental protections. But since the plant opened, residents say that managers and investors are not only ignoring these contractual responsibilities, but releasing vast amounts of water without warning, destroying homes and fields.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 04 Oct 2013 04:27:07 GMT
Spain, Land of Churches, Castles and Wine - Part 1

Although I grew up in Spain, it’s been nearly 20 years since I left the country to overseas, so this summer I decided to go back and visit family and friends while showing the country to my Vietnamese girlfriend.


]]> (Alfredo de la Casa.) Fri, 04 Oct 2013 04:58:50 GMT
Video: The Perfect Cafe Sữa Nóng?

Yes, we know that Saigonese take their cafe sữa with đá (ice) and that the background music is from Thailand. Nonetheless, this playful video by food videographer, Eric Slatkin is well done and worth a watch.

Honestly, since we buy most of our coffee from street cafes, this was quite helpful in case there's ever a time we actually make a cup of our own.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 04 Oct 2013 08:44:17 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap dies [Tuoi Tre]

Efficiency Needs to Play a Bigger Role in Vietnam’s Fast-Growing Cities [GreenTechMedia]

MetLife Expands Asian Growth Ambitions To Vietnam [Nasdaq]


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 07 Oct 2013 02:12:54 GMT
"Oldboy" - Screening @ deciBel

The image of Korean art in Vietnamese popular culture seems to revolve around K-Pop music, boyish looking pop stars and girl bands that seem to have come out of a giant cupcake.


Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:26:09 GMT
Vietnamese Hero, General Vo Nguyen Giap, Dead at 102

It's been all over the news this weekend but in case you missed it, General Vo Nguyen Giap, who ousted both the French and Americans from Vietnam died in Hanoi last Friday at the age of 102. Later in life, he advocated for closer economic ties with the west and warned about the environmental costs of industrialization.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 07 Oct 2013 03:26:29 GMT
"Stoker" - Screening @ Saigon Outcast

Halloween is coming soon and Saigon Outcast is dedicating the entire October programme of their ‘Thursday outdoor cinema’ to horror and thriller films.


Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:26:09 GMT
Mayhem: The Age of the Thrift Shop Begins in Saigon

In Vietnam, the land of cheap clothes, western-style thrift shops have yet to take off. Mayhem, a new shop located just behind Ben Thanh Market is looking to change this, offering up stylish, imported used clothing from Japan.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 07 Oct 2013 08:33:56 GMT
ANH House of Light and Wind

Just past the Saigon Bridge in District 2 lies this lovely house built by Vietnamese architects Sanuki + Nishizawa. Built in the ‘tube-house’ style, the open design allows for fresh air and light to travel through its walls and floors.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 07 Oct 2013 04:48:00 GMT
Vietnam Announces Plan for 8 Line, $16 Billion Railway

Taking the train in Vietnam is set to get faster and more convenient by 2020. Last Friday, the Vietnam Railways Administration (VRA) announced plans to change the face of rail in Vietnam with eight new railways, at a total estimated cost of VND341,261 billion (US$16.1billion). Most of the lines will focus on the country’s southern corridor with the central hub located in Saigon.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 07 Oct 2013 06:54:50 GMT
The Story of Saigon's Floating Hotel

There was a time, not too long ago, when Saigon wasn’t full of tourists and backpackers. In the late 1980s, Vietnam had just opened its doors to the west and was rushing to renovate its decrepit colonial-era hotels. With few local options available, international investors found an ingenious way to fill the need for 5 star accommodations in the city – a floating hotel.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:56:21 GMT
Morning Links: Foreign Ship Spills Oil into Reef Off Vietnam

Vietnam, Myanmar agree upon visa exemption [VoV]

Vietnam workers indifferent to minimum wage hike, employers fret [Thanh Nien]

Thousands pay respects to Vietnam's General Giap [France24]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
South Korean Man Found Dead in HCMC Apartment

In what's becoming a seemingly weekly occurrence, another foreign national has died in Saigon. Korean Kim Tea Sik was found dead in his HCMC apartment yesterday morning.

Sik's naked body was discovered by relatives who told police they visited his apartment after attempts to reach him by phone had failed.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 08 Oct 2013 04:26:20 GMT
Interview with Award-Winning Filmmaker Ham Tran

"Am Muu Giay Got Nhon" ("How to Fight in Six Inch Heels") is an upcoming, fashion-focused romantic comedy directed by Viet Kieu filmmaker, Ham Tran, his first in Vietnam. Saigoneer sat down with Ham do get the lowdown on his new film.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 09:36:32 GMT
Video: Saigon in 1945

1945 was a tumultuous year for Vietnam. After the Japanese were defeated by the Allies in 1945, Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnamese independence from France, unaware that Allied leaders had agreed at the Potsdam Conference to divide the the former French colony at the 17th parallel. Under the agreement, the British occupied the south and the Chinese nationalists the north until French colonial authority could be reestablished.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:46:46 GMT
Morning Links: EVN Posts Massive Losses Over Non-Core Investments

Vietnam Government Clarifies its 'Buy-Local' Policy [FutureGov]

Toxic waste continues to flood into Viet Nam [Vietnam Net]

Refinery investment to double [VNS]

City prepares supply of commodities for Tet holiday season [SGGP]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
[Updated] Vietnam Releases First Domestic Smartphone

[Update Below] Well, we may be a step behind North Korea but Vietnam has just released its first, domestically produced smartphone fittingly named the Lotus.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 09 Oct 2013 02:35:49 GMT
98-Year-Old to Continue his Hunt for $100 Billion Treasure

98-year-old Tran Van Tiep of Ho Chi Minh City has been given permission to continue his hunt for Japanese treasure he believes is buried at Tau Mountain in Binh Thuan Province.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 09 Oct 2013 04:17:28 GMT
Win up to VND20 million for Your Short Film on Vietnamese Street Food

If you enjoy making short films and have a place in your heart for Vietnamese street food, a new competition, "Vietnamese street cuisine" should be right up your alley. Oh, and the winning films will fetch VND20 million in prize money.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 09:36:32 GMT
Colorful Old Map of Saigon

Though we can't pinpoint the exact date for this map, we're sure it's from before 1954. This was the year when the French ceded control of Saigon and south Vietnam in accordance with the Geneva Accords. When Diem's government took office, they switched out the French names for Vietnamese ones.

Whatever its date, it's a pretty sweet map.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:46:46 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnam Seizes Nearly 2 Tons of Elephant Tusks Smuggled From Malaysia, Labeled as Sea Shells

General Vo Nguyen Giap to be laid to rest at Dragon Cap [SGGP] 

A new phase of poverty reduction [VoV]

Two hospitals violate regulations, suffer great losses [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Beware of Fake Doctors in Vietnam

Quality is always something to be aware of when living in Vietnam. From motorbike helmets to pho noodles, shoddy products can profoundly affect your wellbeing. Now you can add doctors to this list – people are buying and borrowing medical practice certificates, allowing them to administer medical treatment without proper training.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 10 Oct 2013 04:33:22 GMT
Video: Hanoi to Saigon by Train, in 9 Minutes

Last week Vietnam announced plans for a US$16 billion, 8 line railway that will provide modern rail service to the south and central regions of the country. There is of course, the current, century old railway - the Reunification Express - that runs from Saigon to Hanoi. The trip from the country's capital to its commercial hub takes about 2 days. While many shy away from this trip due to its length, it takes passengers on a journey through jungles, along pristine coastlines and over verdant ridges.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 10 Oct 2013 12:00:43 GMT
US to Provide Vietnam with Nuclear Fuel

Add the US to the list of nations helping Vietnam secure a nuclear future. The country joins Japan, Russia and South Korea as advisers and suppliers for Vietnam's planned nuclear power plants.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 29 Jan 2015 03:37:45 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Umbrella for a Sunny Day (1966)

Just a beautiful picture captured on Saigon's streets in 1966. 


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 23 Sep 2019 06:22:17 GMT
Morning Links: Vietnamese Manufacture Unmanned Aircraft, Submarines, Battleships

Railway planned to link Vietnam metro with new airport [Thanh Nien]

Vietnam-Japan trade turnover at US$16.3 billion in first 8 months [SGGP] 

Foreign banks lend $100 mln to Vingroup [Reuters]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Video: iPhone Thievery

Crime is on the rise in HCMC. The city may be installing video cameras and increasing the number of security personnel, but these won't solve the problem on their own. Thieves are conniving and thrive on their ability to identify easy targets.

This video should serve as a reminder to be aware of your surroundings when using expensive electronics.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 11 Oct 2013 06:04:03 GMT
A Look into the World of HCMC Sex Shops

Even though sex toys and unregistered aphrodisiacs are awesome illegal in HCMC, many sex shops stock these items and are seeing their profits soar. After all, it’s hard to run a business selling condoms and lube. To boost sales, owners have added everything from dragon-headed dildos to over-priced Viagra.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 11 Oct 2013 10:06:46 GMT
Behind the Cover: Saigon Artbook

Should art be luxurious or cool? Should it be for the masses or limited only to the educated elite? Should it be displayed only by established galleries or be exhibited in various venues around the city?


Fri, 11 Oct 2013 04:47:59 GMT
Escape Party: Enchanting Circus

From the organizer: 

a dOSe of ESCAPE – Summer Dance Music Festival in June 2013 at Diamond Island was considered a great music Festival with more than 10,000 participants, and it has created a big interesting event for young Saigoneers. In this coming back, Escape Halloween- Enchangting Circus will be held at Phu My Hung on 26th October 2013, from 3 p.m, promising an effervescent, sparkling, and fascinating festival that you will be deeply impressed.


]]> (Saigoneer) Sat, 12 Oct 2013 12:06:11 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

At Least 21 Dead in Vietnam Firework Factory Blast [Farsnews] 

Japan slow to realize nuclear plant export to Vietnam [Global Post]

High cholesterol might become top killer in Vietnam [Thanh Nien]

General Giap rests in peace in hometown [VoV]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 14 Oct 2013 01:58:27 GMT
[Updated] Saigon Bridge 2 Completed Ahead of Schedule, Will Open Tomorrow

[Update Below] After only 17 months of construction, Saigon Bridge 2 was completed yesterday and will open to traffic in early November.

The new, VND1.5 trillion (US$70.75 million) bridge, 987.3 meters long and 23.5 meters wide, will have 4 lanes for cars and 2 for motorbikes, running parallel to the original.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 14 Oct 2013 08:29:27 GMT
[Updated] Ministry Approves Increased 3G Fees

[Update Below] Vietnamese telecommunication companies are awaiting a decision by the Ministry of Information and Communication that would double 3G fees in the country.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 14 Oct 2013 03:38:39 GMT
[Video] Celebrity Chef Anthony Bourdain in Vietnam

Gordon Ramsay isn't the only celebrity chef obsessed with Vietnam. But unlike Ramsay, New York chef, Anthony Bourdain, has a surprisingly close connection to Vietnam, cultivated over many visits since 2000.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 24 Mar 2016 02:33:40 GMT
Street Signs: Nguyễn Huệ - Part 1

In this edition of “Street Signs,” we take a closer look at Nguyen Hue, one of Vietnam’s most prominent folk heroes and successful military commanders. While he died before his vision for Vietnam was realized, his conquests ushered in a century of Vietnamese unification.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 14 Oct 2013 09:35:36 GMT
Morning Links: Mass Evacuations in Vietnam for Typhoon Nari

Vietnam Vows to Boost Political Trust With China During Li Visit [Business Week]

Sustainable tourism in Vietnam inspires film [ABC]

Killer drunk drivers stalk Vietnam roads [Thanh Nien]

Mass evacuations in Vietnam for typhoon Nari [Economic Times]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
"Rear Window" - Screening @ deciBel

Psycho, Vertigo, Rear Window, The Birds and North by NorthWest are usually the first titles to burst out of people’s mouth when mentioning the name Alfred Hitchcock.


Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:26:09 GMT
Manga and Cosplay in Vietnam

Vietnam is a melting pot for Asian culture and loves to imitate the trends of its neighbors. From economics (China/South Korea) to music (South Korea/Japan) Vietnamese are truly masters of emulation, for better or for worse. One trend that has been gaining popularity is Japanese-inspired manga comics which have cult following across the world.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 15 Oct 2013 04:42:10 GMT
Typhoon Nari Devastating Central Vietnam

After wreaking havoc on the Philippines where it killed 13 people, Typhoon Nari made landfall this morning in central Vietnam, causing massive flooding, power outages and destruction of property.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 15 Oct 2013 05:14:14 GMT
Spain, Land of Churches, Castles and Wine - Part 2

This is part 2 of Spain, Land of Churches, Castles and Wine. Click here for part 1.

Of the many Rioja wineries that have opened their doors to wine lovers, we visited one of the best known in in the region: Bodegas Eguren Ugarte. The winery and vines are placed in a premium location: a flat area in between two mountain peaks, providing amazing views and a particular climate ideal for wine making. Their wines have won top international prizes and are delicious, though unfortunately, not yet available in Vietnam.


]]> (Alfredo de la Casa. Photos by Thoa Kieu.) Tue, 15 Oct 2013 06:57:06 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Vietnam's Chief Warns Against Growing Economic Divide, Again

Vietnam Vows Dong and Interest-Rate Stability for Growth [Bloomberg]

US alliance says Vietnam software piracy decreasing [Thanh Nien]

Dogs in Vietnam: Not just for dinner anymore [Reuters]

Paris Orchestra to perform in HCMC [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Wed, 16 Oct 2013 02:03:16 GMT
Students Need Their Sleepy-Sleepy Time

Renowned for their love of sleepy-sleepy time and the obligatory after lunch snoozes, Vietnamese parents are once again up in arms at the hours of a normal school day.


]]> (Peter Cornish) Wed, 16 Oct 2013 02:35:59 GMT
Slideshow: On the Red Carpet of "Am Muu Giay Got Nhon"

On Monday, Saigoneer attended the premier of the highly anticipated film, "Am Muu Giay Got Nhon" ("How to Fight in Six Inch Heels").

Since the movie was directed and produced by Viet Kieu and focuses on fashion, the premier attracted Vietnam's film and fashion A-listers.

With camera bulbs flashing, music blasting and celebrities striking glamorous poses, we were more attracted by the spectacle of it all than the overwhelming star power.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 28 Nov 2016 10:06:07 GMT
How Saigon's Largest Canal Cleaned up Its Act

You’ve likely observed groups of men fishing along the banks of Saigon’s Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal and wondered how fish could survive in its waters. Apparently it’s a bit cleaner than we may think. While the waters are still not pristine, a recent piece in Bloomberg outlined the canal's transition from smelly eyesore to public space.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 17 May 2016 14:20:21 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Looking Up (1966)

This striking image was taken from above Saigon's streets in 1966.

It's images like this that make one wonder where their subjects are today.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 23 Sep 2019 06:22:17 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Vietnamese Want City, Airport, Avenue Named After Gen. Giap

Half of Vietnam’s industrial sewage dumped into rivers untreated [Thanh Nien] 

Vietnamese want city, airport, avenue named after Gen. Giap [Tuoi Tre]

Vinalines former head guilty of corruption [Seashipnews]

Vietnam's Tea Industry Needs to Become More Sustainable [Teanewsdirect]


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 17 Oct 2013 02:09:32 GMT
Video: Girl Causes Accident, Brushes it off Like a Boss

Even though drivers in Vietnam seem to have mastered driving the wrong way on one way streets, this tactic can still result in accidents. Especially when the offender drives in the middle of the road.

In the video below, a female biker causes a motorbike pileup and brushes it off like nothing happened, even with drivers yelling at her. Props for staying cool as a cucumber but still a dick move if you ask us.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 17 Oct 2013 02:49:06 GMT
Typhoon Nari Leaves Path of Death and Destruction Across SE Asia

As Typhoon Nari swept through SE Asia this week, it left a path of death and destruction from the Philippines to Laos. Thousands of homes were destroyed, dozens of lives were lost and it may have even been responsible for yesterday's fatal plane crash in Loas. 


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 17 Oct 2013 03:52:49 GMT
Celeb. Chef, Bobby Chinn's Crusade for Safer Food in Vietnam

Vietnam may have some of the best food in the world but the country has recently struggled with food safety issues. Over the past few months, stories about tainted noodles and street drinks have been popping up in the local media, raising concerns among the public. A recent article from VOA News profiles celebrity chef, Bobby Chinn, who is trying to raise awareness about both food safety and sustainable fishing in Vietnam.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 17 Oct 2013 16:05:35 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Vegetable Prices Jump After Storm Nari

Government decrees support for atomic energy studies [Nhan Dan]

Oil refinery projects erected all across Vietnam [Tuoi Tre]

Vietnam cyber crime rising in 2013 - Vietnam Economic Times [Reuters]

4 Vietnamese among dead in Laos air crash [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 18 Oct 2013 02:50:07 GMT
Wine for Cats now Available in Japan (Yes, Really)

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in with our Japanese neighbors who always seem to be one-upping the world when it comes to whacky products. We present to you – cat wine.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 18 Oct 2013 07:38:47 GMT
Words: Loaned by the French, Borrowed by the Vietnamese

From pho and banh mi to motorbike culture, elements of French influence can still be found throughout Vietnamese society. The Vietnamese language also contains dozens of French 'loan words' that, while often spelled and pronounced a bit differently, serve as a reminder of the country's colonial past. And, unless you have a grasp on both French and Vietnamese, many of them don't seem particularly obvious.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 18 Oct 2013 07:56:50 GMT
Ben Thanh is One of the World's Best Food Markets: USA Today

American newspaper, USA Today, just published their list of the "Best food markets around the world" in which Saigon's own Ben Thanh Market ranked 15th. Along with fake DVDs and tourist nik naks, the market has some pretty awesome (and hot) food stands at its center. We've eaten at a few of them and yeah, they're delicious.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 18 Oct 2013 08:05:02 GMT
Event Rewind: Saigon Artbook Party

Last Thursday's Saigon Artbook Party was a hit. From 6 – 11, La Brasserie de Saigon, on the corner of Hai Ba Trung and Dong Du was packed with both locals and foreigners who turned out to support this new, artistic concept.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 07 Nov 2013 11:30:14 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

Chinese woman caught with 2.2 kg of drugs at airport [Tuoi Tre]

Vietnam gives green light to genetically modified crops [Vietnam Net] 

Vietnam's economy regaining growth momentum [SGGP] 

The Green Scene in Ho Chi Minh [WSJ]


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 21 Oct 2013 07:54:03 GMT
Errors Abound in Vietnamese Textbooks

Vietnamese parents are once again up in arms about their children’s education in what looks like yet another example of inconsistency and lack of attention to detail that so many have sadly come to expect.


]]> (Peter Cornish) Mon, 21 Oct 2013 04:55:29 GMT
Master Chef - Gastronomy Competition @ Mc Sorley's

Food lovers and amateurs chefs with a passion for sharing their favourite food and recipes should not miss Mc Sorley's event “Master Chef.” 

It is a gastronomy competition, where teams of 4 members maximum, cook a dish on the spot.


Mon, 21 Oct 2013 07:04:19 GMT
Yesterday's Flooding Breaks Record for HCMC. Today May be Even Worse.

If you were caught in waist-deep water yesterday, you weren’t the only one. The floodwaters reached 1.64 meters, breaking the previous record. But the worst might not yet be over.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 24 Oct 2013 15:02:49 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Man Dies in Underground Hole While Committing Gambling Fraud

Vietnam airlines plan fleet boom as roads and rail fail [WTAQ]

Vietnam city police to probe utilities for paying excessive salaries [Thanh Nien] 

Student keen on conserving ancient HCMC wharf [Tuoi Tre]

Mobile users resent huge 3G fee hike [SGGP]


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 22 Oct 2013 01:53:31 GMT
Saigon Blog Spotlight: SoJournaling Vietnam

Wanting to reconnect with his ancestral homeland, Kyle, a 23-year-old Viet Kieu from California, packed his bags and moved to Vietnam a few years ago. He has been traversing the country ever since and documents both his travels and experiences on his blog, SoJournaling Vietnam. Supplemented by his popular YouTube channel, he injects a bit of humor into the mundane via witty commentary and observational humor. Basically, the things we think, he says. And sometimes in a funny voice.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 22 Oct 2013 05:38:33 GMT
The Saigon Players Present: Rocky Horror Halloween Madness!

The Saigon Players are a non-profit community theater group who aim to uphold the arts while giving to charity. All the proceeds from their performances go towards a charity that the members personally choose.

This November, they are celebrating their 10th Anniversary and are presenting two shows: a Rocky Horror Picture Show Madness Screening and a cabaret-style presentation of comedy sketches called, “The Life Cycle of Saigon.”


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 30 Oct 2013 04:23:05 GMT
The Best Pho in Vietnam?

With thousands of pho shops across Vietnam, determining the best in the country seems like an impossible task. In fact, for any Vietnamese food, we would hesitate to crown a restaurant 'best of' since the zenith of any given dish could lie deep a winding alley. But this didn’t stop food writer, Joe Ray, from trying to nail down the best pho in Saigon and Hanoi in a recent piece for the Wall Street Journal.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 22 Oct 2013 03:20:56 GMT
Vietnam Airlines Flight Lands in Da Nang Missing a Front Wheel

Have you seen a giant wheel falling from the sky?

When a Vietnam Airlines flight landed in Da Nang yesterday afternoon, everything seemed to be normal. But after technicians carried out a routine examination, they found that the plane’s front wheel was missing. And nobody knows where it went.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 22 Oct 2013 06:21:29 GMT
Video: Local YouTuber Gives Away Free Ice Cream to Saigon Commuters

Troy Nguyen runs a YouTube channel dedicated to Vietnam. While most of his videos focus on his travels and interesting aspects of Vietnamese culture, every now and then, he sets out to help the people of Saigon in small but meaningful ways. Last week, to celebrate 5,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel, Troy took to the streets around Ben Thanh Central Bus Station to give away free ice cream to commuters languishing under the hot, tropical sun.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 22 Oct 2013 07:01:26 GMT
After Police Chase, 49 Endangered Pangolins Found in Ambulance

In yet another case of shady wildlife smuggling in Vietnam, after a brief chase, traffic police in the northern province of Phu Yen pulled over a suspicious ambulance and found 49 endangered pangolins.


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 23 Oct 2013 08:24:18 GMT
HCMC Street to be Named in Honor of Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap

Like many other countries, Vietnam uses street names to honor fallen national heroes. As such, it should come as no surprise that both HCMC and Hanoi are planning to name streets after the recently deceased General Vo Nguyen Giap.


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 23 Oct 2013 02:55:37 GMT
Fun with Old Saigon Maps (1790)

Even before the French formally occupied Saigon in 1859, they were active players in Vietnamese politics as early as the 17th century. Their influence can be seen in this 1790 map in the form of the massive citadel commissioned by Nguyen Anh.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:46:46 GMT
GLAM: Bringing Exciting New Art and Music to Q4

Get in the holiday spirit this Friday with a little dress up, great entertainment, and exciting new art!

GoGo City presents GLAM, an event that celebrates art and self-expression in its many forms. The aim is to engage current and potential lovers of art through different mediums and to inspire creativity and exploration.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 24 Oct 2013 09:16:37 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Vietnam Beauty Clinic Owner Arrested for Allegedly Killing Customer

Vietnam beauty clinic owner arrested for allegedly killing customer [Thanh Nien]

Vietnam: a nation of online gamers dominated by Chinese and Korean games [DW]

Saigonese artists featured in book series [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 24 Oct 2013 02:00:11 GMT
Special Delivery: Acquires

Vietnammm, one of Vietnam’s most popular online delivery sites, has been acquired by, a global leader in the industry. The move signals the Dutch company’s first move outside of Europe where they process over 1 million orders per month.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 24 Oct 2013 03:37:06 GMT
Um Kafe: Adding a Bit of Jazz to Saigon

Don’t you love it when, almost by accident, you discover cosy, out of the way music venues? Even more so if the music in question is jazz, a rarity in Saigon.

Jazz musician and painter Zan (Truong Giang) took over Um Kafe four months ago with the intent to preserve this originally decorated cafe, and to offer an intimate venue for jazz musicians to perform and experiment.


Thu, 24 Oct 2013 04:08:21 GMT
Vietnam Burns Through 4.17 Billion Packs of Cigarettes per Year

According to the Vietnam Tobacco Association, the country consumed 4.174 billion packs of cigarettes in 2012. With a population around 90 million, that’s good for an average of over 46 packs a year per person. Yikes…


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 24 Oct 2013 09:30:30 GMT
Fundraiser: How you Can Help the Victims of Typhoon Nari

Saigoneer has partnered with Venus Café to raise money and collect goods to help the victims of last week's Typhoon Nari which devastated central Vietnam.

To help families rebuild their lives and get food (prices have skyrocketed since the Typhoon), you can stop by the café to donate cash or non-perishable goods.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 24 Oct 2013 09:34:42 GMT
Are you a Saigoneer? Saigoneer T-shirts 

]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 24 Oct 2013 11:23:45 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Vietnam’s Population Hits 90 Million

Vietnam health official apologizes for death involving cosmetic surgeon [Thanh Nien]

Vietnam Motor Show opens in Ho Chi Minh City [SGGP]

“Wall Streets” in Saigon [Tuoi Tre]

Vietnam’s population hits 90 million [Vietnam Net]


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 25 Oct 2013 02:04:53 GMT
Start Your Engines! Vietnam Motor Show 2013

Whether we like it or not (for the record, we don’t) cars are becoming increasingly popular in Vietnam.

To showcase their newest models, 15 auto brands have set up shop at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC) in District 7.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 25 Oct 2013 03:31:21 GMT
9 Old Pictures of Saigon Street Vendors

The buildings and streets of Saigon can change in the blink of an eye. Gone are the streetcars, French street names and ox-drawn carts. As the economy continues to develop, the old Saigon is being replaced by skyscrapers, metros and Burger Kings.

However, there are elements of the city that have barely changed over the last century, one of these are street vendors. Check out the slideshow below of Saigon street vendors taken between 1900 and 1975.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 19 Sep 2019 09:00:04 GMT
Vietnamese Horror Film Reviewed by New York Times

Earlier this year, the government announced plans to overhaul Vietnam’s film industry. Looking to copy the success of Korea and Japan, officials are planning to invest over US$300 million of the state budget in new theatres and production facilities by 2020.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 09:36:32 GMT
Event Rewind: GLAM

Last night saw the first installment of GoGo City’s GLAM, a new art and music party, at Q4.

Live artistic expression was the name of the game - guests joined artist Yanneth Albornoz to paint huge murals while rocking out to the tunes of live DJs and Minh Kien.


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 17 Jan 2018 08:28:59 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

Rice farmers losing out on production profits [Vietnam Net]

7 dead, 40 injured in north Vietnam bus accident [Thanh Nien]

Vietnam Plugs into Renewable Energy Sources [Prensa Latina]


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 28 Oct 2013 02:03:49 GMT
Video: Hanoi - Saigon Time Lapse

It seems like time lapse videos are all the rage in Vietnam these days. A number of them have popped up over the last few months, some by amateurs and others by professionals. In either case, they do an excellent job of capturing the hustle and bustle of Vietnam's cities.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 03 Nov 2017 03:44:39 GMT
Hundreds Take to the Streets to Support Same-Sex Marriage in Vietnam

As the Vietnamese National Assembly gears up to debate gay marriage next month, hundreds took to the streets of Hanoi yesterday to highlight the issue. Part of the “Toi Dong Y” (I agree) festival, the event was organized by a number of LGBT groups from across Vietnam.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 03 Nov 2017 04:12:15 GMT
FALSE: Street Vendor Caught Using Rat Meat in His Soup

Last week, a report entitled, “The shocking truth about hu tieu street vendors,” wherein a hu tieu vendor was caught using rat in his soups, spread like wildfire across Vietnam's social media networks. Immediately, many called the story's validity into question and enterprising journalists at Tuoi Tre took to the streets and found it to be a complete fabrication.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 03 Nov 2017 03:27:19 GMT
Green Drinks: Can Ethics & Profitable Manufacturing Co-Exist?

From the organizer:

Join Green Drinks for a new experience at Bizu Cafe in The House of Saigon with a fresh Speaker this November. Rachael Carson will talk about the nuances of building a social enterprise in the economically and environmentally vulnerable region of Hue, Vietnam.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 03 Nov 2017 04:25:19 GMT
'Other Knowledges' - 2nd 'Encounter'

‘Other Knowledges’ is the second lecture presented by San Art as part of their ‘Encounter’ programme, which aims at bringing thinkers from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to Saigon.


Fri, 03 Nov 2017 04:20:27 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Over 50 Children Hospitalized After Vaccination; Vaccine Use Continues

Over 50 children hospitalized after vaccination; vaccine use continues [Tuoi Tre]

Economic slump hits Vietnam rural migrants hard [Thanh Nien]

Restructuring: Does it really happen? [Vietnam Net] 


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 29 Oct 2013 02:03:32 GMT
Last Remaining Ancient Muong House Burned to the Ground by Moronic Tourists

Last week, a group of tourists had the bright idea to start a fire in an ancient Muong house to cook up some corn. Why not? Corn is delicious! Unfortunately, the house was made of wood and quickly went up in flames. And the kicker – instead of telling museum staff, the group ran to their cars and drove off.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 03 Nov 2017 04:55:54 GMT
Video: Không Muốn Ăn Thịt Chó (Don't Want to Eat Dog)

"Studying another language is hard. Studying Vietnamese is ridiculous."

Ăn Đu Đủ, aka Dave just launched his blog, Daily Davey where he plans to chronicle his life in Vietnam. For one of his first posts, he wrote and performed a little tune called, Không Muốn Ăn Thịt Chó (Don't want to eat dog) where he sings about the challenges of learning Vietnamese while poking fun at those who think eating dog will give you special powers.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 03 Nov 2017 05:08:48 GMT
Zombie Walk Saigon Returns on Nov. 2

Saigoneer is proud to be a media partner of the upcoming Zombie Walk Saigon. In case you haven’t experienced it yourself, here’s the lowdown – people put on terrifying makeup, dress up and roam the streets of Saigon posing as flesh-eating zombies. Hundreds of people joined in on the fun last year and we expect an even better turn out this time around!


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 03 Nov 2017 06:44:50 GMT
10 Old Pictures of Advertisements in Saigon

Before 1975, large advertisements were commonplace in Saigon. But after the American War and the fall of capitalism in the South, ads were considered a vestige of the old order and were heavily regulated.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 19 Sep 2019 09:00:04 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Over 20,000 New Companies Open In HCM City In First Nine Months

Makers of fake veterinary medicine uncovered [Tuoi Tre]

Over 20,000 New Companies Open In HCM City In First Nine Months [Bernama]

Vietnam foreign investment up 66 percent [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 30 Oct 2013 02:04:49 GMT
In Vietnam, Cheating Will Cost You Dearly

In yet another effort to improve Vietnam’s education system, MOET, the government’s education and training ministry, has decided to impose a series of fines on those who engage in rule breaking behavior in the education system.


]]> (Peter Cornish) Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:53:51 GMT
This is What Saigon Looked Like in 1881

When this picture was drawn in 1881 by a ship captain known as Favre, the French were 22 years into their occupation of Saigon. In this short time, the city took on a decidedly colonial feel both in terms of architecture and infrastructure. While not a map, per se, there are plenty of interesting details of Saigon's past.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:46:46 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Construction of North - South Express Railway Re-Proposed

Construction of North - South express railway re-proposed [Vietnam Bridge]

Vietnam climate change response reviewed [Eco-business]

Vietnam cops suspended for drunkenly insulting reporters [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 31 Oct 2013 01:58:41 GMT
Trend: HCMC Students Getting High on Cough Medicine

Drugs may be incredibly illegal in Vietnam, but according to a recent report, like their western counterparts, some teenagers have discovered the magical powers of cough medicine. The difference is, instead of doing it for the high, Vietnamese students are using to get out of their academic responsibilities.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 09 Nov 2017 08:03:38 GMT
Ha-Ha Brings Beautiful Graffiti to Saigon

For someone like me that was raised in the land of Banksy – London – in which the east part of the city is nothing less than a playground for graffiti artists, where street art is considered something to be preserved as a cultural heritage rather than something that will bring you trouble; Saigon appears quite behind in this respect. Graffiti spots can be counted on the fingers of one hand.


Thu, 09 Nov 2017 08:47:16 GMT
Vietnam’s Population to Hit 90 Million Tomorrow

Tomorrow at 12am, Vietnam’s population will reach 90 million according to the General Office of Population and Family Planning.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 10 Nov 2017 04:08:15 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Vietnam Fines Chinese Tourist $1,700 for Distributing Maps

Vietnam fines Chinese tourist $1,700 for distributing maps [Asia One]

Vietnam’s film industry struggles to improve [Tuoi Tre]

Vietnam Navy receives first of six amphibious aircraft from Canada [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 01 Nov 2013 02:10:25 GMT
Hoi An: From Backwater to Tourist Hot Spot

Popular travel magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, just released their rankings for the most popular cities in Asia based on feedback from their readers. The ancient town on Hoi An came in second, just behind the former Japanese imperial capital of Kyoto. While impressive, Hoi An has been carefully tailored to the tastes and nostalgias of foreigners so it’s not a complete surprise to see it ranked this high.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 10 Nov 2017 04:42:38 GMT
Report: Vietnamese Online Shopping Market Climbs to $2.77 Billion

3 reports on Vietnamese online shopping trends have been released recently with drastically different numbers. But no matter which is correct (one has to be correct, right?), it’s clear that web purchases are becoming increasingly popular.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 01 Nov 2013 04:04:41 GMT
Video: What Will it Take to End Poverty in Vietnam?

A recent video produced by the World Bank tells the story of two brothers born in a poor family, one living in the mountainous area, one migrating to the city, to respond to the question: What will it take to end poverty in Vietnam?


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 01 Nov 2013 07:21:59 GMT
Vietnamese Architects Unveil Awesome Modular Bamboo Home Design

Vietnam is a land of floods and storms. While Vietnamese have long accepted this reality, mother nature has had profound impact on individuals and the country as a whole. Though some look for ways to control her, others know that this is at best a near-impossible task and instead focus on better integration with their environment.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 04:27:26 GMT
Event Rewind: Zombie Walk Saigon

Last night hordes of zombies descended upon downtown as part of the annual Zombie Walk Saigon.

Festivities begin at Red Bar where volunteer makeup artists added plenty of blood, open wounds and lacerated limbs to those who wanted to join in on the fun.


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 17 Jan 2018 09:06:18 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

Powerful storm approaching Central Vietnam [Tuoi Tre]

CNN continues broadcast in Vietnam under new rule [Thanh Nien]

New programmes in the pipeline for overseas residents [Vietnam Net]


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 04 Nov 2013 00:40:55 GMT
Interview: A Talk with Conceptual Artist Emilie Moutsis Von

Poe, Hawthorne, Washington Irving and Sartre are among the authors that French conceptual artist Emilie Moutsis Von has been working on, using the process of blacking-out parts of the text and combining ink drawings, she recontextualises their books. They become a vessel into the artist’s soul.


Mon, 04 Nov 2013 06:57:10 GMT
Bac Lieu Man Fined for Driving with his Feet

We’ve seen plenty of people do tricks on their motorbikes, usually late at night after some drinking. But police won’t hesitate to give you a massive ticket if they catch you in the dangerous act. Just ask Huynh Tuan An.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Mon, 04 Nov 2013 07:22:39 GMT
Can Vietnamese Fish Sauce Become an International Hit?

Fish sauce may be a daily staple in Southeast Asia but when it comes to the rest of the world, it’s relatively unknown (or known it it’s ketchup form). But some Vietnamese producers are looking to make fish sauce a truly international product.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 04 Nov 2013 04:53:11 GMT
Art Video International Film Festival (AVIFF)

From the organiser:

Calling all Video artists! AVIFF invites you to a presentation and video show case at Saigon Outcast on Wednesday 6th of November.

A fun, easy going, networking event for video artists and filmmakers.


Mon, 04 Nov 2013 07:06:52 GMT
Morning News Roundup: iPad Air Available in Vietnam, No iPad Air Fever

iPad Air available in Vietnam, no iPad Air fever [Vietnam Net]

British scooter buff creates electronic Vespa [Tuoi Tre]

Typhoon Krosa is forecast to strike Vietnam as a tropical storm [Reuters]


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 05 Nov 2013 01:42:57 GMT
HCMC Man Throws Acid on Woman who Rejected his Love

Well, here’s your ‘what the phở?’ story of the day. A 30-year-old Ho Chi Minh City man has been arrested for throwing acid on 5 young women in a bout of jealousy.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 05 Nov 2013 03:53:12 GMT
10 Old Pictures (and History) of the Saigon Opera House

The Saigon Opera House (aka the Municipal Theatre) is one of Saigon’s oldest buildings and one of the city’s best examples of classical French architecture. Constructed at the turn of the 20th century, it has performed many functions throughout its history, from theatre to refuge shelter to legislative offices.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Thu, 19 Sep 2019 09:00:04 GMT
Vietnamese Defence Minister: Don’t Trust Psychics

Due to the superstition present in Vietnamese society, many use psychics to get insight into everything from their future to finding the remains of loved ones who perished during the American war. But after the arrest of two ‘clairvoyants’ last week who were allegedly cheating people with fake tombs and remains to the tune of billions of dong, Vietnam’s defence minister urged people not to put their faith in them.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 05 Nov 2013 08:04:16 GMT
Mysterious Street ‘ Volcano’ Stumps Authorities

When a giant, fire-spewing sinkhole appeared on a HCMC street last week, city authorities rushed to find the cause. After a week of investigation, things are no clearer as scientists and firefighters have each put forth their own explanations.


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 06 Nov 2013 04:07:21 GMT
Report: Vietnam in Top 10 for Worst Air Pollution

Break out the face masks - Vietnam is in the top ten countries with the worst air pollution in the world.

The ranking comes from the recently released, 2012 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) which was presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos.


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 06 Nov 2013 09:26:05 GMT
Vietnamese Man Creates Working Replica of Batman's Batpod

Meet Vu Tang Lam, an obsessive Batman fan. And what do you get when you mix Batman with Vietnam? A replica of the batpod, of course!

Lam spent nearly 2 years creating his version of the famous batpod from Christopher Nolan’s Batman films.


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 06 Nov 2013 04:27:52 GMT
'Right Fiction' - Opening Exhibition @ San Art

San art Laboratory has arrived at the end of its third session, and as always, the artists in resedency will mark this moment with a final group exhibition, ‘Right Fiction’.


]]> (Zelda Rudzitsky. Photos by Alberto Prieto) Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:26:09 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Police Chase, Arrest Man for Robbing Japanese Tourist

In Vietnam, police chase, arrest man for robbing Japanese tourist [Thanh Nien]

All schools in HCMC close due to storm [Tuoi Tre]

Vietnam to host 28th Asian Advertising Congress [NST]


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 07 Nov 2013 02:15:40 GMT
4K Turkey Dash For the Orphans @ The Crescent

On November 17, come down to the Crescent to join Transcend People’s 4k Turkey Dash for the Orphans and Operation Smile in Vietnam.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 07 Nov 2013 03:00:24 GMT
As Domestic Demand Falls, Vietnam’s Motorbike Producers Look to New Markets

Even though Vietnam is the land of motorbikes, a struggling economy and market saturation have resulted in drop in domestic sales. As motorbike manufacturers expand their production facilities in Vietnam, their focus is shifting to international exports.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 07 Nov 2013 08:52:32 GMT
[UPDATED] Massive Storm Predicted to Hit Saigon Later Today

[Update Below] Don’t let the sunny skies fool you. A massive storm is predicted to arrive in Saigon later today with heavy, torrential rains.

According to the latest report of the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecast, the storm will make landfall on Vietnam’s south central coast a 1pm and continue towards Saigon.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 07 Nov 2013 09:54:42 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Super Typhoon About to Enter East Sea, Heading for VN

Vietnam courts orders fresh probe after ten-year convict exonerated of murder [Thanh Nien]

Vietnam: “Still much to do” on factory fire safety [Just Style]

VN textile & garment firms may fail to benefit from TPP [Vietnam Net]


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 08 Nov 2013 01:59:03 GMT
From Saigon, Rap with Spanish Flavour

Half Spanish, half Scottish rapper, Pain comes back with what is now his 5th mixtape (free to download), created and released in Saigon, where he is based now.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 08 Nov 2013 06:46:13 GMT
'Chungking Express' - Screening @ deciBel

Chungking Express was the film that made Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai (In the mood for love, 2046, Happy together) known to American and Western audiences, thanks also to the support of Quentin Tarantino (what is with Tarantino and being the godfather of Asian directors?), who, it has been said, fell deeply in love with Wong’s cinematic style. 


Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:26:09 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

Vietnam, US talk on intellectual property issues [Tuoi Tre]

Vietnam considers reusing 2G to upgrade 3G services [Vietnam Net]

Power motorbikes given green light [Vietnam Bridge]


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 11 Nov 2013 02:22:21 GMT
List: 20 Vietnamese Foods You Really Should Be Trying

Buzzfeed community member, Christina, just published a list - 20 Vietnamese Foods You Really Should Be Trying. It’s pretty comprehensive and seems to cover most of the staples though we probably would have added Bánh chưng, Bánh giò and gỏi ngó sen tôm thịt.

Anyhow, here’s Christina’s list. What would you add to the list?


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 11 Nov 2013 05:39:53 GMT
'Dead Farmers' @ Darts, Darts, Darts

Saigon-based alternative music collective Ở ĐÂU? are delighted to announce that Australian garage rockers Dead Farmers will be hitting Saigon on Thursday 21st November.


Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:26:09 GMT
A Complete Map of the HCMC Metro System

Saigon's first metro line may be under construction and its 5th line fully funded, but it's often hard to grasp what things will look like when all 6 are complete.


]]> (Saigoneer) Sun, 17 Nov 2013 19:04:52 GMT
Academics’ Qualifications not Worth the Paper They're Written on?

With yet another case of plagiarism amongst high ranking Vietnamese academics hitting the headlines, this time the tables are turned as the accused strikes back at his accusers.


]]> (Peter Cornish) Tue, 12 Nov 2013 18:06:45 GMT
A Day at Dam Sen Waterpark

I hit Dam Sen Waterpark on a scorcher, one of those days when the colour of the morning sky is as deep and synthetic as a blueberry Slurpee.


]]> (Jeff Gantner) Mon, 11 Nov 2013 16:28:56 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Vietnam Suffers 14 Deaths, but Spared the Worst of Typhoon Haiyan

Vietnam has strong retail market with high potential [SGGP]

Vietnam asks Australia and US for spying explanation [Vietnam Net]

Market for luxury cars growing in Vietnam [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 11 Nov 2013 17:08:59 GMT
Super Blop!! A Culture Cook-Off and Art Party

Programme and description as written by the organisers:

* 2-4pm: cooking contest (Cuộc thi nấu ăn) Chef line-up: Xem, Bông, mì ăn liền, X★?, Space Panther, v.i.v.i.d, Green Youth Collective


Sun, 17 Nov 2013 19:08:30 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Vietnam Man Caught Cooking Tiger Bones

Russian President Putin visits Vietnam [Vietnam Net]

Vietnam man caught cooking tiger bones [Thanh Nien]

51 traffic accidents per day over past week nationwide [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 12 Nov 2013 19:12:08 GMT
Dunkin’ Donuts Prepares to Open in Saigon

Watch out, Starbucks, there’s a new coffee chain coming to town. Dunkin’ Donuts, America’s leading coffee seller is preparing to open its doors in Phu My Hung in the next month.


]]> (Saigoneer) Sat, 16 Apr 2022 06:10:27 GMT
10 Old Pictures of the Saigon Zoo (Thảo Cầm Viên)

Established in 1869, the Saigon Zoo (Thảo Cầm Viên) is the 8th oldest zoo in the world.

The zoo and botanical garden were commissioned by Admiral Pierre de la Grandière, Commander of French forces in Cochinchina in 1864 and is home to hundreds of mammals, birds and rare plants.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 19 Sep 2019 09:00:04 GMT
Vietnam Urged to Plan for Climate Change

Vietnam must develop more climate-resilient cities and implement policies that will limit the impact of extreme weather on urban communities, according to three studies presented at last month’s Vietnam Urban Forum, a two day forum which discusses the scaling up of Vietnam’s urban upgrading efforts.


]]> (Andy Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 04:02:16 GMT
Morning Links: Same-Sex Weddings Officially Permitted in Vietnam

House approves two new Deputy Prime Ministers [Tuoi Tre]

Same-sex weddings officially permitted in Vietnam [Vietnam Net]

Vietnam holds anti-corruption dialogue with int'l donors, business community [Business Ghana]


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:59 GMT
Morning News Roundup: HCMC’s Diabetics Rise by 300% in 10 Years, Quadruple World Level

Vietnam court sentences Chinese meth smuggler to life [Thanh Nien]

Japan to put on film festival in Vietnam [AJW]

Saigon to have two new theaters [Vietnam Net]

HCMC’s diabetics rise by 300% in 10 years, quadruple world level [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 14 Nov 2013 19:34:18 GMT
Watch Your Step! Saigon’s Amazing Concrete Tiles.

Expressions like, "walk with your head held high" or "look forward" don’t always work, at least if you are in Saigon - to look to the floor can sometimes reveal hidden gems.


]]> (Lidia Gallardo) Thu, 14 Nov 2013 19:48:41 GMT
Based on Kyoto Sea Tour @ The Observatory

From the organisers:

BASED ON KYOTO (BOK) is a Japanese dance music unit consisting of DAICHI, a DJ and producer really active in the Japanese rave scene in the 90's, and MARRON,  a pioneer of guitar electronica, playing  for DUBDUB ON-SENG and Dubmarronics. They released four 12' and LPs that have been acclaimed by many,including Theo Parrish, Gilles Peterson or Carl Craig, but as well by accoustic musicians like Fernando Kabusacki, Bill Horist or .Grey Fillastine. 


Thu, 21 Nov 2013 16:58:25 GMT
Canvas & Wine: Paint Like Van Gogh

From the organizers:

D2 Get back to the 19th century and feel like Vincent Van Gogh! Van Gogh was a pioneer in the art of painting. His use of color, creative portraits and above all, his letters made him one of the most famous painters in the history of Art.


]]> (Saigoneer) Sun, 17 Nov 2013 16:34:59 GMT
$110m Pledged for Vietnamese Startups

It looks like Vietnamese startups are about to get a boost in funding. The Ministry of Science and Technology has announced a $110 million program called FIRST, designed to breathe financial life into the Vietnamese startup ecosystem.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 14 Mar 2016 04:57:10 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

Chinese woman receives life sentence for drug trafficking [Vietnam Net]

Singer fined $165 for flaunting breast onstage [Tuoi Tre]

Low-pressure system moving toward southern Vietnam [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 18 Nov 2013 01:00:49 GMT
31 Dead; Hoi An Deep Underwater After Massive Flooding Hits Central Vietnam

At least 31 people have died and 3 are missing after massive flooding on Vietnam’s central coast last weekend.

According to the Central Highlands Center for Floods Control and Prevention, 13 were found dead in Binh Dinh, 13 in Quang Ngai, two in Quang Nam, one in Kon Tum, one in Gia Lai, and one in Phu Yen.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 18 Nov 2013 04:16:18 GMT
Saigon to Add 11 New Piers to Spur Waterway Development

Saigon seems to stepping up its waterway development game. After cleaning and refurbishing large swaths of the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal, the city has just announced plans for 11 new piers to be built in order to stimulate waterway tourism.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 19 Nov 2013 00:30:30 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Art Deco Kiosk

One of the few 'benefits' (all of which came at an incredibly high cost for the Vietnamese) of French colonialism is the architecture they left behind.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 20 Sep 2019 08:50:20 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Tourism Sector to Hit Goal Two Years Ahead of Plan

Death toll in Vietnam flooding raised to 41, with 80,000 people displaced [Edmonton Journal]

Vietnam’s 5 tons of relief goods reach Philippines [Tuoi Tre]

Fire kills 6 in Vietnam capital [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 19 Nov 2013 22:07:15 GMT
46 Incredible Color Photos of 1915 Vietnam

Considering how rare turn of the 20th-century Vietnam photos are, we were especially excited to come across this Flickr album of 46 colorized photos from 1915.

The photos were taken by Leon Busy (1874-1950), a French officer serving in Indochina who was also an avid photographer.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 26 Sep 2019 03:40:48 GMT
Can Saigon Stop Sinking?

While this season’s heavy flooding has been blamed on large storms and high tides, some experts have been pointing to unchecked urbanization as the culprit. A recent Thanh Nien article took a closer look at the causes and implications of Saigon’s sinking landscape and offered some possible solutions.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 19 Nov 2013 23:57:46 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Strange Skin Disease, the First Ever in World, Found in Vietnam

Crunch time as Vietnam set for education shakeup, again [Thanh Nien]

Vietnam steps into an era of mobile data explosion [PC Advisor]

Strange skin disease, the first ever in world, found in Vietnam [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 20 Nov 2013 17:15:59 GMT
In the Spotlight: A O Show

A O show, currently being performed at the Saigon Opera House, might be the first accomplished Vietnamese “cirque” that proves that tradition and modernisation can coexist harmoniously. Or as director Tuan Le describes it, “A O is an open picture about Vietnam” that runs from the South to the North, from the past to the present and from the rural to the urban.


Wed, 20 Nov 2013 17:34:51 GMT
Video: Vietnamese News 'Presenters' Rap the News

In a bid to reach a younger audience, Vietnam Plus, a sister station of the Vietnam News Agency, has employed the services of local rappers to rap the news.


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 20 Nov 2013 17:57:16 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Thai Tourist Motorcycles Seized in Vietnam

New penalties on inappropriate public cultural behavior [SGGP]

Thai tourist motorcycles seized in Vietnam [Vietnam Net]

Hanoi approves massive transport project [Nhan Dan] 


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 21 Nov 2013 16:35:11 GMT
Number of Vietnamese Women Marrying Foreigners per Year? 100,000 and Rising.

At a recent conference in Hanoi, the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs and the Vietnam Women’s Union released figures showing that 100,000 Vietnamese women marry foreigners annually.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 21 Nov 2013 17:29:51 GMT
What the Phở Happened This Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

US$36 billion funded for nationwide poverty reduction [Nhan Dan]

Giant sinkhole found in Vietnam street [Thanh Nien]

Sleeping with call girls earns $24-$237 fines: decree [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 25 Nov 2013 02:32:04 GMT
'The Prestige' - Screening @ deciBel

Where does someone begin in praising Christopher Nolan’s films? The British-born, American-based director and screenwriter has made only eight so far – Following, Memento, Insomnia, Batman begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight and the Dark Knight Rises - but each and every one of them has managed to achieve, in their own terms, the chimera that many directors strive for: making intelligent and profitable films that can carry the sensibility of their creators.


Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:26:09 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Bill Gates Foundation Brings Free Internet to Rural Vietnam

Gold prices hit record low [VoV]

Vietnam probes 229 kg heroin case busted by Taiwan [Tuoi Tre]

Racehorse owners scrambling since closure of Vietnam’s lone track [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 26 Nov 2013 00:09:33 GMT
Video: Lightsaber Duel Brings Advanced Technology to Saigon's Streets

This classic video from a few years back gloriously reappeared in our lives this past weekend. With only 3,000 views, we thought it was being under-watched so here it is for those who haven't seen it before.

Unfortunately, the action is fairly short but the first 15 seconds of the video make it worth a watch.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 26 Nov 2013 03:18:37 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Vietnam’s Public Debt May Reach 95% of GDP

Diabetes goes boom in Vietnam [Thanh Nien]

Poor transport holds Delta back [VNS]

Vietnam Airplane lands on fuselage [Vietnam Net]


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 27 Nov 2013 17:21:32 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Air Pollution Cause of Chronic Diseases in Big Cities in Vietnam

Vietnam ministry seeks gov’t approval to limit personal vehicles [Thanh Nien]

Vagina massage services freely advertised in Vietnam [Tuoi Tre]

New Hemiphyllodactylus gecko species discovered in Cao Bang [Vietnam Net]


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 28 Nov 2013 01:00:00 GMT
10 Old Pictures of People in Saigon

We often look to old buildings in order reconnect with the past since they are clear and static reference points. Though useful, another important window into the past is the day-to-day lives of people - what they wore, ate and drove. 


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 19 Sep 2019 09:00:04 GMT
Priceless Vietnamese Parody of 'Fox Say' ('Bài Ca Phở')

Hit track, 'The Fox' from Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis has become a viral sensation the world over. As the ripples of its influence ping off different cultural walls, we end up with hilarious parodies like the one below, 'Bài ca phở' (What does the Pho say) from the always creative Pho Team.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 28 Nov 2013 08:00:00 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Condom Fashion Collection Earns Vietnam Guinness Record

Vietnam makes remarkable progress in HIV/AIDS control [SGGP]

Customs did not check the shipment containing 230kg of heroin [Vietnam Net]

Digital ad market booming in Vietnam [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 04 Dec 2013 01:26:58 GMT
Preview: Future Shorts Vietnam Returns

What are the connections that we consciously and unconsciously create among each other? How do the things we leave behind come back, without us knowing it, in our world? These are just few of the themes surfacing from the films selected for this week's Future Shorts.


Thu, 05 Dec 2013 11:30:03 GMT
Harley-Davidson's First Vietnam Dealership is Open for Business

World famous motorcycle maker, Harley-Davidson, opened its first showroom in Vietnam last weekend in District 7.

The showroom, located in Phu My Hung, opened its doors a day before the government lifted a ban on motorbikes with engines over 175cc.


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 04 Dec 2013 04:06:55 GMT
Vietnamese Parents Up in Arms About Finger-Chopping Math Problem

Mystery still surrounds claims of a math problem, purportedly asking first grade students how many fingers remain on their hand after chopping some off, as it goes viral on the internet and the education minister confirms its existence on national television.


]]> (Peter Cornish) Wed, 04 Dec 2013 09:14:13 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Vietnam Reviews Human Rights Laws

Vietnam reviews human rights laws [Vietnam Net]

Should sexy performances be banned? [VNS]

Bag snatchers caught red-handed, recorded by car camera [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 05 Dec 2013 01:42:46 GMT
Vietnam Ponders Ban on Motorbikes in Large Cities

Vietnam may be the land of motorbikes but some government officials have put forth a plan to ban them in the country’s urban areas to increase safety and reduce pollution. While the plan is being praised by some, others think it’s far too soon due to lack of public transportation alternatives and the role of motorbikes in Vietnam's socioeconomic development.


]]> (Saigoneer. Photo via Galen Stolee.) Thu, 05 Dec 2013 03:20:41 GMT
Report: The Saigon River Is Dying

A recent report found that the Saigon River, the city’s most important waterway, is severely contaminated and urgent steps must be taken to save it. Given the almost daily stories of untreated human waste and chemicals from factories pouring into the river, this probably doesn’t come as a surprise to many.


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 25 Oct 2017 08:23:51 GMT
Traffic Time Lapse from Kumho Asiana Plaza

It might not have the high production value of previous time lapse videos we've posted but this video, captured from the top of Kumho Asiana Plaza, still provides a nifty view of one of the city's busiest intersections during rush hour.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 05 Dec 2013 07:01:57 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Flood-Tide to Reach Peak in 61 Years, Saigon to be Submerged Again

Flood-tide to reach peak in 61 years, Saigon to be submerged again [Vietnam Net]

HCMC shows impressive economic growth [SGGP]

Vietnam’s aging rate among fastest in the world [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Brian Letwin) Fri, 06 Dec 2013 01:32:40 GMT
Video: Moronic Bike Racers Cause 2 Accidents in a Matter of Seconds

With traffic deaths and injuries on the rise in Vietnam, authorities have gone as far as to propose bans on motorbikes in the country's cities. But, as illustrated in the video below, reckless drivers pose a greater threat to public safety than the motorbikes themselves.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 06 Dec 2013 04:04:51 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Rue Kitchener (Nguyen Thai Hoc Street)

When Saigon was still a sleepy French backwater, the city's streets were full of 1 and 2 story colonial buildings, lined with lush, green tress.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:46:46 GMT
Exhibition Opening: Laurent Judge & Ayano Otani

From the organizer:

Laurent Judge, a French artist painter and graffiti artist, has re-formatted his original paintings, and printed them on wood.

Laurent will be pleased to present a limited series of his works at deciBel.


]]> (Saigoneer) Sun, 08 Dec 2013 06:27:39 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

Hundreds loot capsized beer truck [Tuoi Tre] 

High global test scores don’t mean Vietnam’s schooling is OK [Thanh Nien]

Per capita income in Vietnam reaches almost USD2,000 [Vietnam Net]


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 09 Dec 2013 01:43:34 GMT
Vietnam Will Soon be Home to Asia’s Biggest Brewery

Czech firm, BTG Holdings, has announced plans to build Asia’s biggest brewery in Vietnam’s Hoa Binh Province.

The brewery, with a total investment of US$116 million, should be completed by 2017 and produce 190 million liters of beer per year (mainly Budweiser) for export to Korea, Japan and China in addition to domestic consumption.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 09 Dec 2013 03:36:53 GMT
Images of Vietnam in 1992

We may post a lot about Saigon's pre-war past but, for a number of reasons, images from the 1980s and 1990s are hard to come by.

Fortunately, VNExpress just published a collection of photos taken by French journalist and director, Raymond Depardon in 1992.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 26 Sep 2019 03:40:48 GMT
UK Man Releases Album in Vietnamese

For us many of us non-native Vietnamese speakers, learning the local, tonal language is a tall order. But while most of us are satisfied learning ‘get by’ vocabulary, there are those who take their study of Vietnamese a bit more seriously, like Lee Alexander Kirby.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 09 Dec 2013 07:13:52 GMT
'No' - Screening @ deciBel

No completes Chilean director Pablo Larrain’s trilogy about the Pinochet regime.

Following Tony Manero and Post Mortem, No covers the last period of the dictator’s presidency, in which Pinochet was forced to call a referendum to legitimise his government due to persistent international pressure.


Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:26:09 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Banner Slamming Beer Looters Hung at Scene

No students, no money, many universities to be closed [Vietnam Net]

Vietnam Tightens Land Seizure Law After Farmers Protest [Bloomberg]

Vietnam's trade deficit to China surges to near $20 bln [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 10 Dec 2013 01:55:17 GMT
Video: Motorbike Meditation? Vietnam Man Shows off his Impressively Dangerous Skill

We're kind of in awe by this video which shows a Da Nang man speeding down the highway while standing on his motorbike. This is not an endorsement to try it yourself (this position likely takes years of disciplined training to master) since it's insanely dangerous. 


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 10 Dec 2013 03:28:52 GMT
Fashion Meets Communication Event @ Plan B

From the organizer:

This time, we are going to bring a fresh air to our regular event with a Fashion Show. This is to support young and talented fashion designers - a brand new inspiration for Communications Networking Event. This event is going to be a great opportunity for people to meet up and share experience with more than 200 professionals from different industries, a wonderful chance to broaden your business network, to meet up with young models and talented designers and explore the newest fashion trends.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 10 Dec 2013 04:52:52 GMT
Lam Boutique

‘Lam’ is a little jewel of a fashion boutique hidden away on the first floor of a building in Le Loi street.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 23 Jul 2018 07:22:45 GMT
Morning News Roundup: EVN Power Monopoly to be Short-Circuited

Kerry to tour typhoon-hit Philippines, Vietnam [Bangkok Post]

Local authorities recall deadly spurious liquor [SGGP]

Vietnam, UK share atomic energy experience [VoV]


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 11 Dec 2013 01:59:40 GMT
Airplanes Blamed for Damaged Roofs in Go Vap

There are many quality of life issues for residents living next to airports – pollution, noise and even increased blood pressure to name a few. But some residents in Go Vap District are encountering another problem, missing roofs.


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 11 Dec 2013 03:41:11 GMT
Vietnam’s Wild Elephants Are on the Verge of Extinction

“Vietnam will probably be the first country in Asia to lose its wild elephant.”

This was the dire prediction from Barney Long, Director of the Species Program at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) when speaking to National Geographic last month. If funding and law enforcement resources are not assigned to protecting elephants, this prophecy may soon come to pass.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 04:02:47 GMT
Report: 7-Eleven Coming to Saigon in 2014

Like McDonalds, 7-Eleven has been eyeing the Vietnam market for years. Now that Circle K, Family Mart and Shop & Go have softened the market for convenience stores, the ubiquitous brand is set to open its first Vietnam location within the next 3 months.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 12 Dec 2013 03:22:24 GMT
How to Use Fish Sauce (Nước Mắm) in Western Dishes

While fish sauce is a staple in many Asian countries, in the West, most prefer its cousin, ketchup. To break down some culinary walls, Asian food expert, Andrea Nguyen just published a great article in the Wall Street Journal about how to employ fish sauce in non-Asian cuisine.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 12 Dec 2013 07:55:29 GMT
Tastes Like Chicken Brings the Funk to Cargo

From the organizer:

Tastes Like Chicken are the funkiest band in Saigon.

This 8 piece line up of bad ass funksters will definitely get you dancing. Their Chicken stinks of funk and is served with lashings of James Brown and some Afro Funk sides.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 12 Dec 2013 04:18:22 GMT
Video: Just Some Guys Doing the 'Chicken Dance' on a District 1 Rooftop

As you may be aware, the Vietnamese 'Chicken Dance' craze has been sweeping through the country over the past month. The dance which tells you to "Lên nóc nhà" (go to the top), instructions that were taken literally by Dumbo Poreotics, a local dance group.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 12 Dec 2013 06:41:43 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Nationwide Hunt for Owner of Gucci-Milano Store in HCMC

Vietnamese, 2 Malaysians jailed for credit card fraud in HCMC [Thanh Nien]

Nationwide hunt for owner of Gucci-Milano store in HCMC [SGGP]

Internet business to earn VND100 trillion in 2018 [Vietnam Net]


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 13 Dec 2013 02:52:09 GMT
Christmas Eve Potluck Dinner + Secret Santa @ Saigon Outcast

From the organizer:

Everyone is welcome to Christmas potluck dinner and secrete Santa at Saigon Outcast on Tuesday, December 24, 2013, for our special edition of eating-too-much and enjoying a a Xmas themed music video.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 13 Dec 2013 02:39:07 GMT
Castaway (Lost Island) New Years Party Presented by Mc Sorley's, DeciBel Lounge and Saigon Outcast

From the organizers:

Dear Saigon, It’s been an amazing year, and the only way to end it is with an even more amazing party. This year forget lines, forget dress codes. Forget everything you think you know about NYE.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 13 Dec 2013 08:09:32 GMT
Hanoi Liquor Producer Closed, Staff Arrested After Deaths

After 6 people died last week from drinking methanol-laced rice wine from a Hanoi liquor producer, the distillery has been closed and its director has been arrested:


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 13 Dec 2013 04:25:02 GMT
Slideshow: Spectacular Color Photos of 1914 Hanoi

Over the next 2 weeks, Hanoi-based French Culture Centre (L’Espace), will be holding a “Hanoi Colour” exhibition, featuring 60 color images taken by French photographer, Leon Busy, between 1914 and 1917.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 28 Nov 2016 10:06:34 GMT
Sava: An Epicurean’s Paradise in District 2

Sava the Gourmet is located in a beautiful villa located in the heart of district 2. Although the company used to focus on wholesale products, it has recently extended its retail arm, bringing gourmet products to those living outside of downtown Saigon.


]]> (Alfredo de la Casa. Photos by Thoa Kieu.) Fri, 13 Dec 2013 06:55:15 GMT
Year’s Best Meteor Shower on Display in Vietnam TONIGHT!

Tonight is the best night of the year to catch a meteor shower according to Nguyen Duc Phuong, from the Vietnam Space Observatory Association.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 13 Dec 2013 08:59:00 GMT
What the Phở Happened Last Weekend? 10 Stories You May Have Missed

Kerry visits Vietnam, focus on trade, security, rights [Reuters]

Drug ring gets death penalty in Vietnam [AlJazeera]

App breaks record for largest speed dating event [ABS]


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 16 Dec 2013 03:12:26 GMT
Canvas & Wine: Monet and The Impressionists

From the organizers:

The Impressionist movement changed forever the concept of painting. The effect of light and color and the use of clear brush strokes played a main role in the paintings. With the help of our instructor and some images of paintings as a reference, you will enjoy painting like the impressionists!


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 16 Dec 2013 02:33:22 GMT
Rare Snowstorm Hits Sapa

Sapa, which is known to get light dustings of snow from time to time, was hit by a rare snowstorm on December 15 causing a massive 5km traffic jam.

The snow, measuring between 5 – 10cm, blocked the O Quy Ho mountain pass in Sapa on Sunday morning. Snow continued to fall as temperatures dropped throughout the day:


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 16 Dec 2013 04:39:33 GMT
Despite Heavy Investment, HCMC Flood Prevention Projects "Ineffective"

As the city continues to sink and tides reach historic highs, flooding is one of the greatest natural threats to HCMC. But at a meeting last week, city officials admitted that their heavy investments in anti-flood projects have failed.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 16 Dec 2013 04:08:40 GMT
[Updated] Scottish Botanist Missing in Sapa's Mountains

[Update Below] On October 30, Scottish Botanist, Jamie Taggart left his Sapa hotel to explore some nearby hills. After failing to show up on his schedule flight back home nearly a month later, his father reported him missing. So far, no clues have been found to help determine his whereabouts.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 16 Dec 2013 04:38:45 GMT
A Closer Look at the Images on Vietnamese Banknotes

Vietnamese banknotes are characterized by beautiful colors and illustrations that capture some of Vietnam’s most famous locations (and Ho Chi Minh, of course). We've previously written about their history but have you ever taken a moment to look closely at the images on the back of your dong notes? 


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 26 Nov 2014 08:17:29 GMT
US and Vietnam Prepare for Epic Catfish Battle

As many Pacific Rim countries gear up for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement (TPP), an unlikely conflict is growing between Vietnam and the US. Surprisingly, it’s neither centered on human rights nor environmental issues, but rather catfish.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 17 Dec 2013 07:56:01 GMT
KN House: Blurring the Line Between Inside and Out

While many of the unique homes we’ve written about in the past have been located in the south of Vietnam, we came across this gem in Hanoi. This house, built by Adrei-studio Architecture, was completed earlier this year for a local guitarist and his family. 


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 17 Dec 2013 07:28:09 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Prisoner Executed by Lethal Injection for First Time in HCMC

HCMC’s labor market has 265,000 jobs in 2014 [Tuoi Tre]

VietJet Air agrees $800 million engine deal with GE's CFM International [Reuters]

Another $907 mil in ODA pledged as Japan, Vietnam strengthen ties [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 18 Dec 2013 02:17:52 GMT
2 Foreigners Arrested for iPhone Snatching

In a reminder that crime transcends race, 2 foreigners were arrested last Friday for stealing an iPhone from a local woman in District 1.

The 2 thieves were identified as Sean Douglas, 17, an Australian national, and De Oliveira Grimbert Nicolas, 18, of Brazil.


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 18 Dec 2013 03:37:20 GMT
How a Viral Video is Challenging Vietnam’s Traditional Gender Roles

It’s an age-old story – a couple breaks up and someone asks to be repaid for various expenditures made during the relationship. This scene was captured in 2 recent YouTube videos which quickly went viral on Vietnamese social networks and, surprisingly, have spurred a (somewhat) serious dialogue about gender roles in Vietnam.


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 18 Dec 2013 04:55:33 GMT
Massive Old Map of Saigon (1968)

Since most of the old maps we dig up are limited in scope, focusing on the city center, we were excited to come across this comprehensive map of Saigon from 1968.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:46:46 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Fuel Price Hike Takes Consumers by Surprise

Fuel price hike takes consumers by surprise [Tuoi Tre]

Bankers, fat cats charged in massive Vietnam financial scandal [Thanh Nien]

Lao Cai suffers estimated loss of VND5 billon due to frost [SGGP] 


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 19 Dec 2013 02:14:31 GMT
Deaths and Abuse Reported at HCMC Daycare Centers

In a week hit by scandal of 2 nursery ‘baby-sitters’ abusing the children in their care, more light is being shed on illegally operating businesses that are left to care for the city’s children. And it doesn’t look good.


]]> (Peter Cornish) Thu, 19 Dec 2013 04:24:47 GMT
10 Beautiful Photos of Sapa's Majestic Snow

Last weekend's snowstorm in Sapa drew photographers from all over northern Vietnam who jumped at the opportunity to capture some great photos of the town's snow-covered hills, roads and residents. 


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 19 Dec 2013 03:55:48 GMT
The History of Saigon's Streetcars

We’ve posted images of Saigon’s old streetcars in the past but were unable to find much information written about them. Thankfully, Saigon historian, Tim Doling, recently published a piece about their history on his blog, Historic Vietnam.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:46:46 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Vietnam, US Sign Agreement for Clearing War-era Ordnance

EU offers €114 million to Vietnam’s health sector [Tuoi Tre]

Fund for natural disaster prevention to be established [Vietnam Net]

Middle and Affluent Class in Vietnam and Myanmar Will Double in Size by 2020 [Digital Journal]


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 20 Dec 2013 02:04:44 GMT
Sunday Garage Sale @ Saigon Outcast

From the organizer:

Remember the jumble sale and garage sale that Saigon outcast did last year? Where they collected a lot of toothbrushes and some other necessities for the orphanage in bien hoa? 


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 20 Dec 2013 02:24:47 GMT
Businesses Raise Alarm Over New Foreign Labor Rules

A November decree on foreign labor in Vietnam has businesses seriously concerned about their ability to fill vacancies for skilled workers. Numerous changes, including the diminished length of work permits, increased minimum experience thresholds and required approval by local governments, will make it significantly more difficult for both employers and workers to contribute to the Vietnamese economy.  


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 20 Dec 2013 09:13:58 GMT
Morning News Roundup: 12 Tons of Two-Year-Outdated Beef Found in Saigon Warehouse

Vietnam diplomat briefly held in Germany over $20k [Tuoi Tre]

Vietnam decree allows cops to shoot at resisters in self defense [Thanh Nien]

Saigon: 12 tons of two-year-outdated beef in seafood warehouse [Vietnam Net]


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 23 Dec 2013 02:04:28 GMT
Free Christmas Dinner @ deciBel

I have never been a religious person, so after my ‘lovely’ older brother decided to show off his cleverness by telling me that Santa Claus did not actually exist, my magical world was shattered and I no longer cared for Christmas.


Mon, 23 Dec 2013 02:20:28 GMT
Vietnam's First McDonald's to Open in HCMC After Tet

Last Friday, international burger giant, McDonald’s confirmed what has been predicted for years – its opening its first store in Vietnam, just after Tet. 


]]> (Saigoneer) Sat, 16 Apr 2022 06:18:43 GMT
Video: Now This How to Count in Vietnamese

A bit rusty when it comes to Vietnamese numbers? No worries, this guy will show you how it's done.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 23 Dec 2013 08:50:51 GMT
The Observatory: Bringing Fresh Art and Music to Saigon's Masses

If you are thinking “another bar in town,” think again. Last month, The Observatory officially celebrated its opening, with the photographic exhibition of Mai Huyen Chi and an incredible line up of music and visuals, including a mix between electronic and traditional Vietnamese music.


Thu, 13 Sep 2018 06:55:18 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Sinkholes, Shaky Building Cause Panic in Vietnam Court

Sinkholes, shaky building cause panic in Vietnam court [Thanh Nien]

GDP up 5.42% in 2013 [VoV]

Police propose publishing traffic violators’ names [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 24 Dec 2013 02:12:53 GMT
$1 Billion High-Tech Park Proposed for HCMC

As part of the continuing effort to modernize Vietnam’s workforce, authorities are reviewing a proposal for a massive science and technology park in HCMC.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 24 Dec 2013 04:37:21 GMT
Behold: The Invisible Bike Helmet

If you’re tired of bulky helmets ruining your carefully manicured style, 2 Swedes have created a product you may be interested in – an invisible bike helmet.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 24 Dec 2013 05:50:29 GMT
Video: Words of a Generation Vietnam

After centuries of social instability due to colonial occupation and war, Vietnam's younger generation (those born between 1975 and 1986) is finding its voice. But how does this group view themselves in the context of their country's development, both socially and economically?


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 24 Dec 2013 07:58:49 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Death Sentence for Machete Gang’s Young Boss

Death sentence announced for machete gang’s young boss [Tuoi Tre]

First submarine on the way to Vietnam [VoV]

Vietnam authorities continue probe into dubious 3G fee hike [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 26 Dec 2013 02:12:07 GMT
New Years Eve Party @ The Observatory and Broma

From the organizer:

People of Saigon! The time has nearly arrived for us to say bye bye to this bizarre year, and to start getting excited about meeting the next one because it's gonna arrive with a BANG.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 26 Dec 2013 03:10:00 GMT
Photography Courses with Quinn Ryan Mattingly

From the organizer:

Do you have a great camera or editing software but not sure how to get the most from it? Saigon School of Imaging is here to help. With current courses in Lightroom, Photoshop and Photography led by professional photographer Quinn Ryan Mattingly, we can help you finally learn the best way to shoot and edit your way to stunning images.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 26 Dec 2013 04:08:31 GMT
The 'Most Interesting Man in the World' Helps Clear Central Vietnam of Unexploded Ordinance

Jonathan Goldsmith, more commonly known as 'The Most Interesting Man in the World' from the wildly popular Dos Equis Beer commercials, recently teamed up with non-profit, Clearpath International to help clear the remaining 800,000 tons of unexploded ordnance left over from the American War that remains buried in Vietnam's soil.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 26 Dec 2013 06:54:07 GMT
Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Cyclo Drivers

Even though Saigon has gone through many changes over the last century, there are certain characteristics of the city that have endured.

Before the age of the motorbike, cyclos were one of the most common modes of transportation for locals and foreigners alike.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 23 Sep 2019 06:22:17 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Nearly 200 Kids Hospitalized for Suspected Poisoning

Annual GDP growth projected to reach 5.42 per cent [Vietnam Net]

Paint smell may have caused elephant to attack trainer [UPI]

Vietnam ranks third in world for shrimp production [VRI]


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 27 Dec 2013 01:57:45 GMT
Proposed $1/Day ‘Tourism Fee’ Draws Severe Criticism

As Vietnam seeks to boost its tourism industry, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has proposed a plan that would charge tourists an additional $1 per day on top of the cost of their tourist visas.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 27 Dec 2013 04:10:26 GMT
Starting Tomorrow: Big Fines for Peeing in the Street, Scolding Your Spouse, Selling Sex

A new decree that goes into effect tomorrow will raise fines for a number of ‘social evils’ already on the books while adding a few new ones.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 27 Dec 2013 07:38:36 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Seven Camping Students Missing at Sea

Vietnam's biggest telcos scam users by embedding services, concealing fees [Thanh Nien]

Lexus makes its Vietnamese debut [Vietnam Net]

Russia backs Ninh Thuan nuclear power plant [VoV]

Nation pays heavy price for industrial gains [VNS]


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 30 Dec 2013 02:16:15 GMT
[Updated] Slow Internet? Broken Cable Might Not Be Fixed Until February

[Update Below] If you've been experiencing internet problems since Friday evening, you're not the only one. The $560 million Asia America Gate Way cable, Vietnam's international internet connection, has been severed and might not be fixed until February.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 30 Dec 2013 04:57:00 GMT
Sci-Fi Cosplay Party @ Cargo

From the organizer:

Are you ready for fun night of live music, dancing, drinking and dressing up as your favourite Sci-Fi characters?

Join us for the biggest Sci-Fi party… ever in Vietnam! Project Sci-Fi will celebrate its Awards Party here in HCMC, and it promises to be a night of surprise, entertainment and fun!


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 30 Dec 2013 03:58:19 GMT
Saigon Experiencing Coldest Weather in 10 Years

Sapa isn’t the only part of Vietnam dealing with record breaking cold weather. Over the past few days, morning and night time temperatures in Saigon dropped to their lowest points in a decade.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 30 Dec 2013 04:09:42 GMT
Video: Driver Rams Thieves who Stole Side Mirror

It's like any other sunny afternoon - you're out driving your car, listening to the radio when, all of a sudden, a dubious pair steals your side mirror and speeds off on their motorbike. What do you do?

A local driver, recently faced with this decision, took the path that many of us would be tempted to take but would quickly abandon - ramming the bastards.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 02 Jan 2014 08:59:15 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Vietnam's Middle Class Set to Double

Vietnam PM wants property market open to foreigners [Thanh Nien]

HCM City: seven students die in beach accident [SGGP]

Vietnam eyes improvements to labour force [Vietnam Net]

Cities ready to welcome 2014 [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 31 Dec 2013 02:07:59 GMT
10 Awesome Traditional Vietnamese Songs

Petites Planètes compiled a wonderful sampling of traditional Vietnamese music, from funeral songs to those played in Hue's Imperial Citadel, and put the playlist online.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 31 Dec 2013 04:09:25 GMT
Saigoneer's Top 20 Stories of 2013

1. Vietnamese Architects Unveil Awesome Modular Bamboo Home Design

H&P has produced a demo of their long-promised bamboo houses which are designed to endure flooding and powerful storms. And the kicker? It can be assembled in 25 days at a base cost of $2,500.


2. 46 Incredible Color Photos of 1915 Vietnam

Considering how rare turn of the 20th-century Vietnam photos are, we were especially excited to come across this Flickr album of 46 colorized photos from 1915. The photos were taken by Leon Busy (1874-1950), a French officer serving in Indochina who was also an avid photographer.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 31 Dec 2013 16:37:19 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Twins in Hanoi Born From Deceased Dad's Frozen Sperm

Twins in Hanoi born from deceased dad's frozen sperm [Tuoi Tre]

Bus owners hold schools ransom over subsidies [SGGP]

Hanoi kilo submarine to enter operation on January 3 [VoV]


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 02 Jan 2014 02:05:52 GMT
Nguyen Hue Street (1871)

Nguyen Hue Street, one of Saigon’s oldest thoroughfares, has undergone numerous transformations over its history. With the craziness of the holidays and accompanying sea of motorbikes, it's hard to imagine Saigon as a sleepy colonial backwater. But this image of Nguyen Hue Street, taken around 1871, less than 10 years after the French formally occupied the city, paints the 'city' as a calm and sparsely populated area. 


]]> (Brian Letwin) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:46:46 GMT
Flower Power: US$190 Million Pledged to Develop Da Lat's Hi-Tech Flower Industry

Da Lat, the flower growing center of Vietnam, is about to get a huge financial boost. The municipal government recently approved a VND4 trillion (US$190 million) credit package in effort to turn flower cultivation into a high-tech industry.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 02 Jan 2014 07:26:41 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Vietnamese Man Finds 1,000-year-old Coins Buried in Garden

Peddling banned but still prevalent in Vietnam [Tuoi Tre]

Vietnamese man finds 1,000-year-old coins buried in garden [Thanh Nien]

Vietnam receives first Russian-made submarine [Zeenews]

HCMC earmarks VND7 trillion to reduce poverty households [SGGP]


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 03 Jan 2014 02:03:10 GMT
30-Day Visa Exemption for Foreigners Visiting Phu Quoc

Starting March 10, international travelers to Phu Quoc will enjoy a 30-day visa exemption.

The visa waiver is part of decision No. 80 signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on December 27 with the purpose of “support[ing] local authorities’ plan to transfer the island into an economic zone.”


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 03 Jan 2014 05:56:08 GMT
Laurent Judge: The Evolution of a Graffiti Artist

“It’s like a nightmare where everything is in slow motion, some lights will appear, then shadows and creature, which could be real but they are abstract.” This is how Parisian painter and graffiti artist, Laurent Judge described his work during our interview for his current untitled exhibition at deciBel lounge.


]]> (Zelda Rudzitsky.) Fri, 03 Jan 2014 09:08:46 GMT
Back to the Basics: The Struggle for an Organic Vietnam

After recent health scares from chemically-laced produce and dubious Chinese imports, Vietnamese consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that they don’t know where their food comes from. As this reality sets in, an organic food trend is growing in the nation’s urban centers. But with Vietnam eager to sign onto the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, it may be difficult for this trend to grow in the face of an international, free-trade economy focused on large-scale and increasingly globalized production.


]]> (Brian Letwin) Sat, 04 Jan 2014 08:33:18 GMT
New Year Gala Concert “Mozart and Tchaikovsky”

From the organizer:

You are invited to the NEW YEAR GALA CONCERT with the participation of violinist Nguyen Huu Khoi Nam, who is considered the pride of Vietnam in France. The program is choreographed and directed by South Korean maestro Park Ji Young who has achieved success in France and Europe. The audience would have chance to enjoy 2 famous works by Mozart and Tchaikovsky, 2 outstanding representatives of Classical and Romantic periods respectively.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 06 Jan 2014 02:22:34 GMT
After Massive Auto Tax Breaks, Will Saigon Become a Parking Lot?

It looks like Saigon won’t be able to avoid the 'car age' after all. Under new import rules for 2014, autos produced by ASEAN neighbors will receive a 50 – 60% tax reduction and many fear that Vietnam’s cities will be filled with cars before major public transportation projects are complete.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 06 Jan 2014 03:27:01 GMT
Hanoi Man, High on Meth, Cuts Off Sister’s Foot With Fruit Knife

Here’s another good reason to stay away from methamphetamines – they may lead you to cut off a family member’s limb.

Hanoi police arrested Tran Thanh Duy last week for severing the leg of his sister, Tran Thi Dung with a fruit knife as she suffered a seizure.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 06 Jan 2014 07:50:36 GMT
Saigon's Cầu Mống and the Remnants of Gustave Eiffel's Work in Vietnam

Many people will be familiar with the spurious claims that French civil engineer and architect Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923) was responsible for two of Vietnam’s most iconic buildings, the Long Biên Bridge (Pont Doumer) in Hà Nội and the Central Post Office in Hồ Chí Minh City. The prevalence of such claims makes it all the more strange that so few visitors to Hồ Chí Minh City are given the chance to visit the Pont des Messageries maritimes, which in truth is Eiffel’s only major surviving work in Việt Nam.


]]> (Tim Doling. Top photo by Kevin Lee.) Sun, 05 Jul 2020 03:43:59 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Chinese Tourists Caught Parading Illegal Map Through Vietnam

Chinese tourists caught parading illegal map through Vietnam [Thanh Nien]

$188 mln swindle case by bank staff now on trial [Tuoi Tre]

First Hospital Opens In HCM City Hi-Tech Medical Complex [Bernama]


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 07 Jan 2014 01:59:19 GMT
Vietnamese Teachers Told to Monitor Students via Facebook

In what is being seen as a bizarre move, Vietnamese teachers are being instructed to join Facebook and other social networks in order to ‘manage’ their students more effectively.


]]> (Peter Cornish) Tue, 07 Jan 2014 03:26:18 GMT
Beer Paradise: Vietnamese Beer Ranked Cheapest in the World

Thrillist, using crowd-sourced data from cost of living site, Numbeo, just published a list of the countries with the world’s cheapest beer. Somewhat surprisingly, our fair Vietnam took the crown with the average beer priced at $0.76. But things make a bit more sense when you realize that notoriously cheap bia hoi is included in the math.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 07 Jan 2014 04:47:49 GMT
Stand-up Saigon presents: The Best Comedy in Town

From the organizer:

We’re a collection of aspiring comedians who are dedicated to making you piss yourself...figuratively speaking of course.

So, the million Dong question is are you ready to laugh?


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 07 Jan 2014 07:22:52 GMT
Vietnamese Airlines Order Hundreds of New Planes but There’s Nowhere to Park Them

Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet and Jetstar have all placed ambitious orders for hundreds of new planes to upgrade and expand their aging fleets. But with the expansion of Saigon’s Tan Son Nhat still years away, some wonder exactly where the airlines plan to park their planes.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 07 Jan 2014 09:14:20 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Vietnam's Disgraced Vinalines Boss Says Senior Official Tipped Him Off to Arrest

Vietnam's disgraced Vinalines boss says senior gov't official tipped him off to arrest [Tuoi Tre]

Vietnam Raises Foreign Bank Ownership Caps to Aid System [Bloomberg]

Vietnam develops “wi-fi cities” [Vietnam Net]


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 08 Jan 2014 01:52:11 GMT
Saigon to Add High-End Public Toilets

In what can only be described as exciting news, city authorities have launched a pilot program to add ‘5-star’ public toilets to the busy streets of Saigon. 


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 08 Jan 2014 03:50:01 GMT
The History of The Nguyễn Văn Hảo Building, Saigon's Art Deco Flatiron

The Nguyễn Văn Hảo building is perhaps Saigon's best example of art deco flatirons. Standing just across from Ben Thanh market, many of us pass it each day with no knowledge of its history. We've again enlisted the help of historian, Tim Doling, to give us some background on this beautiful building.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:56:21 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Vietnam's Richest Families Earn Money from Property, Finance Sectors

Over 400 Vietnam state-owned firms dissolved or bankrupt in 2013 [Jakarta Post]

Vietnam upholds life sentence for Malaysian woman for drug smuggling [Thanh Nien]

Minister urges preventive measures against forest fires [VNS]


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 09 Jan 2014 02:01:22 GMT
Epic Road Trip: Ha Giang to Ca Mau

If you’re like us, slaves to the internet and our computer overlords, it can be easy to forget that Saigon is an urban bubble. In a reminder that there’s a whole other Vietnam out there, 4 friends – Chris Lusher (British), Trong Tung (Vietnamese), Bachir Sareh (French) and Morgan Ommer (German) spent months on their motorbikes, traveling 5,400km from Vietnam’s most northern point, Ha Giang to its southern tip, Ca Mau to raise money for charity.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 09 Jan 2014 04:44:43 GMT
Trend: Vietnamese Factories are Slowly Going Green

Mike Ives of The New York Times published a piece earlier this week on the growing trend of green factories in Asia, using Intel’s chip factory in HCMC as its focal point. According to the article, companies are going above and beyond local environmental laws in order to create energy efficiency that will lower operating costs.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 09 Jan 2014 09:08:56 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Workers Building Samsung Factory Riot in Vietnam

Vietnam becomes world’s No1 pepper exporter [VoV]

Workers building Samsung factory riot in Vietnam [Washington Post]

55 corruption cases detected in Vietnam in 2013 [Global Times]

VNAT sets sights on 8m tourists with new campaign [VNS]


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 10 Jan 2014 01:43:37 GMT
10 Sketches of Indochina From the 19th Century

Though already in existence, cameras were not the main tool used by the French to make visual records of their holdings in Indochina during the 19th century. In their infancy during this time, their fragile and expensive nature made cameras a rarity, especially when traversing Vietnam's dense jungles, winding rivers and treacherous mountains. Instead, sketches, like the ones in the slideshow below, were used to capture images of the region


]]> (Saigoneer.) Sun, 26 Apr 2020 03:55:55 GMT
Phởnny Business: 13 Vietnamese Restaurants That Use Puns

Some Vietnamese are taking advantange of the American love for puns to attract business to their phở restaurants. Buzzfeed recently published a set of photos showing how many California phở shops are putting a verbal twist on this Vietnamese staple with phởnominal results.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 10 Jan 2014 04:15:38 GMT
[Video] Saigon: Future Megacity

With Saigon's population rapidly expanding, a new set of challanges, both social and environmental have arisen. The city's growing pains have been well-documented and many argue that serious measures must be taken to address them in an efficent and timely manner.

As is the case with many infastructure and developement projects across Vietnam, foreign organizations are often the first to raise and address these issues. One such organization, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, just released a video that highlights the challenges facing a growing Saigon while offering up some solutions.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 05 Feb 2016 08:11:55 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Vietnam Entrepreneur to Test his Submarine Next Week

Vietnam to get IAEA help in building nuke plants [First Post]

VIETNAM: Textile and garment exports soared 19% in 2013 [Just Style]

Vietnam entrepreneur to test his submarine next week [Vietnam Net]


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 13 Jan 2014 01:27:48 GMT
Report: Cu Chi Tunnels Threatened by Erosion

One of Saigon’s most popular tourist attractions, the Cu Chi Tunnels, are under threat of erosion, according to a government statement.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 13 Jan 2014 03:32:59 GMT
Chemical Explosion Blamed for the Death of 4 HCMC Students

Well, this isn’t the news we like to see as Vietnam gears up for the Tet holiday. Last weekend, 4 students were killed when a blast tore through their District 10 house. Based on witness interviews, police suspect the group was using illegal chemicals to make firecrackers for the upcoming Lunar New Year.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 13 Jan 2014 06:23:33 GMT
Breadwinners: 10 of Saigon's Best Loaves

Being Filipino, I was raised eating fried rice and over easy eggs for breakfast. Pan de sal, the bread of choice for Filipinos, was something that was only sold at Goldilocks which was a good 45 minutes away from where I lived in northern California. Like Guinness, it just doesn't travel well.


]]> (Lolita Guevarra) Tue, 14 Jan 2014 04:28:42 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Falling Glass From Posh Vietnam Hotel Sends Tourist to Hospital

Hospital director accepts responsibility in baby kidnapping [SGGP]

Police probe Samsung factory riot in northern Vietnam [Thanh Nien]

Walmart to promote Vietnamese goods [Tuoi Tre]


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 14 Jan 2014 01:46:09 GMT
Behind the Cover: Saigon Artbook 2

The Saigon Artbook 2 party is coming up this Thursday at Zest Cafe. While tickets are currently sold out, Saigoneer will be giving a set of tickets away on our Facebook page later this afternoon. Here's some information about the artists of Saigon Artbook 2 and DJ Jase Nguyen who will be spinning at the party.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 14 Jan 2014 04:35:50 GMT
Trailer: Red Over the Rainbow - Vietpride 2013

As Vietnam becomes more accepting of their community (officially, at least), LGBT activists continue to publicize their struggle through the use of media. A forthcoming documentary from Hanoi-Based, French filmmaker, Vincent Baumont focuses on last year’s Vietpride event in Hanoi which has proved to be one of the most powerful tools for increasing public awareness about LGBT equality in Vietnam.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 14 Jan 2014 04:13:23 GMT
Expert: Saigon's Sidewalks a Model for Other Cities

While Vietnam frequently looks to NGOs and international organizations to make policy recommendations on topics ranging from the environment to the economy, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor thinks that Western nations should embrace Saigon's model for sidewalks which to promote community and create economic opportunities.  


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 14 Jan 2014 07:11:29 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Accurate Sketch of Baby Kidnapper Leads to Arrest

Accurate sketch of baby kidnapper leads to arrest [Tuoi Tre]

Rockefeller’s Firm Plans $2.5 Billion Vietnam Development [Bloomberg]

Vietnam PM approves findings about power monopoly’s violations [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 15 Jan 2014 02:15:30 GMT
Exclusive Interview: Electronic DJ, Daedelus

Electronic DJ, Daedelus, will be headlining this month's The Beats Saigon party as the collective celebrates its 7th anniversary. We caught up with Daelelus and talked about his new album, creative process and past visits to Saigon.


Wed, 15 Jan 2014 06:28:02 GMT
2 Vietnam Destinations Make New York Times "Must Visit" List

The New York Times just released their list of "52 Places to Go in 2014" and 2 Vietnam locations made the list - Quang Binh's Son Doong Cave and the Mekong River (yeah, we'll count that). Here's what the newspaper said about these 2 majestic locations.


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 15 Jan 2014 06:17:40 GMT
Old Saigon Building of the Week: Former Chambre de Commerce

Over the years, Mê Linh square – known immediately after the French arrived as the Rond-point and later as place Rigault de Genouilly – has lost many of its old buildings, including the imposing Commissariat de Police for the 1st Arrondissement, which once stood on the site of today’s Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon.


]]> (Tim Doling) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:52:33 GMT
The Saigon Players Present: Two

From the organizer:

Still part of the Saigon Players’ 10th Season, we present English dramatist, Jim Cartwright’s award-winning, tour-de-force play, Two. The play is about a night in a pub owned by a bickering husband and wife. Throughout the play, we see the pub’s different customers’ quirks and issues as well as the fragile relationship between the landlord and the landlady.  The play’s pacing will take the audience to a rollercoaster ride of human emotions and promises an engaging, heartwarming night.


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 15 Jan 2014 07:30:44 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Bitcoin Has Arrived in Vietnam

Ministry asks fuel wholesalers to keep fuel price stable [Tuoi Tre]

Vietnam raises $626 mln to clean Vinashin's foreign debt in 2013 [Reuters]

Vietnam wary after tourists to Israel disappear [Thanh Nien]

Bitcoin has arrived in Vietnam [Vietnam Net]


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 16 Jan 2014 02:01:19 GMT
Hai Phong: The Latest Vietnamese City to Add Free WIFI

Add Hai Phong to the list of Vietnamese cities offering free WIFI to their residents. 

The northern port city just completed its VND4.5 billion network that will serve 3 areas of the city, encompassing 1.9 million residents.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 16 Jan 2014 03:36:44 GMT
Behold: Japanese Fart Scrolls

It's been a while since we've checked in with our Japanese neighbors. And what piqued our interest this time? Traditional, Edo period Japanese fart scrolls, of course!

These scrolls are called he-gassen, which loosely translates to 'farting competition' or 'fart battle,' popular during the 17th - 19th centuries. 


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 09 Feb 2022 09:31:47 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Vietnam May Delay Building 1st Nuclear Power Plant

Chill continues in North, temp drops to 15.6°C in South [Tuoi Tre]

Real estate investors destroying Vietnam capital’s rivers [Thanh Nien]

Economists believe transparency in price adjustment necessary [SGGP]


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 17 Jan 2014 01:51:28 GMT
You'll Never Guess What These Boats are Made From

Unexploded bombs aren't the only thing the American military left behind in Vietnam after their failed interventions in SE Asia.

According to The Aviationist, many American fighter-bombers such as the F-4 Phantom used external fuel tanks (pictured below) to extend their operating range. While this allowed for longer missions, these tanks were heavy and produced additional drag, not ideal for combat operations.    


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 17 Jan 2014 06:10:57 GMT
Event Rewind: Steve Aoki

After successfully rocking Hanoi last December, Steve Aoki made his Saigon debut last night to the delight of hundreds of bouncing concertgoers.

Things started off a bit precariously with a last minute change of venue and start time, but luckily backup plans were made at the always-solid Cargo Bar/Q4.


]]> (Saigoneer) Sat, 18 Jan 2014 15:38:06 GMT
Weekend News Roundup: 2 Get Death for Killing, Dismembering Gay Partner in Southern Vietnam

Vietnam to revise laws to cope with runaway foreign investors [Vietnam Net]

Nuclear safety concerns in Vietnam could delay Japanese project [Asahi]

Vietnam on Alert for H7N9 Virus [SGGP]


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 20 Jan 2014 01:42:43 GMT
Old Saigon Building of the Week: French Masonic Lodge Le Réveil de L'orient

Saigon got its first French masonic lodge in the 1870s, when the Société civile le Réveil de l'Orient set up the Hôtel de la Loge Maçonnique Le Réveil de l'orient (Awakening of the East) at 17 rue d’Espagne, now Lê Thánh Tôn.


]]> (Tim Doling) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:52:33 GMT
Apocalaughs Now @ Cargo

From the organizer:

Professional alternative stand-up comedy returns to Saigon on Tuesday Jan. 21 at Cargo Bar.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 20 Jan 2014 03:56:11 GMT
Event Rewind: Saigon Artbook Party 2

Saigon Artbook released their second edition on January 16th at Zest Café where the books’ artists and locals came out to support Saigon’s growing art scene.

Zest proved to be an incredible space for the event with each of the 3 artists (Yanneth Albornoz, Dan Nguyen and Mr. Sith) having their own area to display their work.


]]> (Saigoneer. Photos via Nguyen Kei.) Mon, 20 Jan 2014 09:43:14 GMT
Morning News Roundup: 30 Get Death in Largest-Ever Heroin Trial in Vietnam

Ministry wants ban on natural forest exploitation [SGGP]

Gold US dollar bills for sale on Saigon streets [Tuoi Tre]

Privatization has its pitfalls in Vietnam [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 21 Jan 2014 01:49:08 GMT
Tet Bonuses Reveal How Teachers are Really Valued in Vietnam

Although Vietnam traditionally revers teachers and those working in education, as Tet approaches teachers working in the state system once again feel their low financial worth.


]]> (Peter Cornish) Tue, 21 Jan 2014 07:30:52 GMT
10 Old Pictures of Workers in Saigon

As Vietnam's economy has become increasingly intertwined with the global free market over the past decade, some elements of Saigon's pre-war, western-oriented economy have reappeared - Factories around Saigon are in full swing and workers flock to office buildings every morning. And what better way to see these parallels than through old pictures?


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 19 Sep 2019 09:00:04 GMT
Afro Sunday with Ray Lugo @ The Observatroy

From the organizer:

Forget the blues - Sunday January 26th is a day everyone can be very excited about because we've got RAY LUGO - frontman and founder of the world-renowned KOKOLO AFROBEAT ORCHESTRA - laying down a tropical, rhythm-driving mashup of a DJ set at The Observatory.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:26:09 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Efforts on to Prevent Oil Spill After Hydrofoil Accident

Vietnam reports first bird flu death in nine months [Global Post]

Vietnam wins $3.75 billion int'l court case [Vietnam Net]

4 arrested for Samsung factory riot in Vietnam [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 22 Jan 2014 01:58:18 GMT
National Geographic: Phu Quoc a Top-3 Winter Destination

Another week, another set of subjective travel ratings, this time from National Geographic Traveler Magazine. The publication just released their 2014 list of “Best Winter Trips” in which Phu Quoc ranked 3rd after Paris, France and Whitefish, Montana (really?).


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 22 Jan 2014 02:41:52 GMT
[Updated] Hydrofoil Goes up in Flames on Saigon River. Operators Were Warned About Safety Risks

[Update Below] Yesterday afternoon a hydrofoil traveling from Saigon to Vung Tau caught fire near Phu My Hung. Even with unclear evacuation instructions, the boat’s 80 passengers were able to safely escape without any serious injuries. Prior to the accident, experts had warned about lack of safety standards on the Soviet-era boats.


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 22 Jan 2014 05:58:25 GMT
Audio: Vietnam's Reggae Revelation

It may be played on repeat in tourist bars across Vietnam (and much of SE Asia) but reggae music has yet get traction in the local market. Hanoi-based journalist, Marianne Brown recently talked to artists such as JGKid who are looking to change this trend and put a Vietnamese stamp on the most prolific music genre to come out of Caribbean in the past 50 years.


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 22 Jan 2014 04:12:37 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Rescue Teams Sent to Stop Oil Spill Threat in Saigon River

Rescue teams sent to stop oil spill threat in Saigon River [Vietnam Net]

Vietnam hots up for Muslim travellers [TTG]

Vietnam bonds up on banks' liquidity, low inflation [Reuters]


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 23 Jan 2014 01:50:44 GMT
Tết Tây

Western New Year passed us by, towing an old sensation in its wake. It was a strange celebration, or if not completely strange then slightly out of joint. The Ball was stationary, and around its would be equator white faced clocks were placed at regular intervals, each one marking a time zone and a city therein.


]]> (Anthony Morreale.) Thu, 23 Jan 2014 03:59:19 GMT
Farewell, Cold Weather: Saigon Set to Warm up Before Tet

If you’re tired of getting out of the shower cold and shivering we’ve got some good news - Saigon is set to warm up with the arrival of Tet.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 23 Jan 2014 06:55:21 GMT
Morning News Roundup: In Vietnam, Hundreds of Thousands of Workers Get No Tet Bonus

Vietnam’s state companies get fat on privileges [Thanh Nien]

Five Hospitals to be Expanded in HCMC, Hanoi [SGGP] 

Vietnam’s Middle Class the Fastest Growing in Southeast Asia [Vietnam Briefing]


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 24 Jan 2014 01:36:06 GMT
Dairy Queen Opens First HCMC Locations

While McDonalds’ entry into the Vietnamese market has been getting a ton of press, another American fast food chain just made its Vietnam debut – Dairy Queen.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 24 Jan 2014 05:06:15 GMT
10 Old Pictures of Art Deco Buildings in Saigon

Art deco is by far our favorite architectural style, one which luckily, Saigon has in spades. However, with each passing day, these buildings are being torn down to make way for modern structures which, some argue, are necessary to accommodate Saigon's massive growth.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 19 Sep 2019 09:00:04 GMT
Australian Wine Dinner With The Yalumba Winery

What happens when you put together amazing food, great wines, excellent customer service and a fantastic host? Well the answer is that you feel in heaven, and that was how most, if not all, of us felt when we attended the Australia wine dinner organised by the Wine Warehouse and Yalumba, and hosted at Lubu in District 2.


]]> (Alfredo de la Casa. Photos by Thoa Kieu.) Wed, 25 Jun 2014 10:19:58 GMT
Weekend News Roundup: Organic Food Favorability Brings Great Opportunities to Vietnam’s Rice

Fireworks to sparkle nationwide on Lunar New Year’s Eve [Tuoi Tre]

Research on ancient ceramics wins int't award [VNS]

VietJet Air Expands Fleet To Meet Rising Demand [Bernama]


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 27 Jan 2014 02:18:35 GMT
Slideshow: A Look Inside Saigon's New Public Toilets

Last Saturday Saigon’s first batch of high-end public toilets (4-5 stars, whatever that means) were opened at Tao Dan Park, 23/9 Park and Le Van Tam Park in District 1.

The facilities are part of a pilot program organized by the HCMC People’s Committee and Transport Department which calls for 11 of these toilets to be constructed.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 28 Nov 2016 10:06:59 GMT
Morning News Roundup: ‘Jungle Men’ Adapt to New Life, Preparing for Tet

Modern rural market facilities prove expensive for vendors [VNS]

Road Construction Slow Due to Lack of Funding [SGGP]

Foreign capital into real estate is increasing [Vietnam Net]


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 28 Jan 2014 01:58:15 GMT
New Site Lets you Search Vietnamese Plane, Train and Ferry Tickets in English

As a foreigner in Saigon, you don’t need to know much Vietnamese to get by. But when it comes to travel, especially by modes that don’t include wings, things can get pretty complicated. Enter, a new site which lets you search and purchase plane, train and ferry tickets online and in English.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 28 Jan 2014 07:15:30 GMT
Saigon House Nominated for Archdaily's 'House of the Year' Award

Green and sustainable buildings are still in their infancy in Vietnam. However the trend is becoming more popular and slowly but surely, Vietnamese architects are entering this arena with great success. Local sustainable architecture pioneers, Vo Trong Nghia Architects, are responsible for some of the country’s most beautiful green designs and have been nominated for Archdaily’s ‘House of the Year Award’ for one of their projects in Binh Thanh which we’ve featured in the past.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 28 Jan 2014 06:03:39 GMT
Artist Spotlight: Landon Nguyen

18-year-old Saigon native, Landon Nguyen is an aspiring artist living in California. Though he has been a creative-type all his life, it wasn’t till he moved to the US that he realized his artistic potential. Nguyen has ambitions to one day become a creative director of an international cultural magazine that, “engages in world affairs and bridges the gaps of global diversity” to inspire creativity and show the importance of art in daily life in Vietnam.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 28 Jan 2014 06:52:42 GMT
Vietnamese Dishes with French Origins

Though the French occupiers are long gone, elements of their culture still exist in both Vietnamese language and society. One of the most obvious examples of this is Vietnamese cuisine which has a number of dishes that can be traced back to their French origins. recently published a list of these dishes and provided a bit of background as well.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 28 Jan 2014 08:10:54 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Highway, Railway Traffic Paralyzed as Truck Plunges Off Mountain Pass

Highway, railway traffic paralyzed as truck plunges off mountain pass [Tuoi Tre]

City invests over US$40 million in industrial zones [SGGP]

Vietnam city to examine visitors for new bird flu virus [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 29 Jan 2014 02:12:41 GMT
Facebook Gets Official in Vietnam

In a bid to increase its ad revenue, Facebook has partnered with a local advertising firm to make some money off of Vietnam’s 20 million Facebook users.


]]> (Saigoneer) Wed, 29 Jan 2014 03:38:49 GMT
Old Saigon Building of the Week: 141 Võ Văn Tần

The colonial villa at 141 Võ Văn Tần, next door to the Estar office building, is the house where acclaimed French writer Marguerite Duras (1914-1996) spent her last year in Sài Gòn.


]]> (Tim Doling) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:52:33 GMT
Artist Spotlight: Yanneth Albornoz

There are very few people that you encounter accidentally in your lifetime with whom you can strike a spontaneous four hour conversation as if you have known each other for a very long time. Usually when that happens, you are left with a sense of peacefulness, energy and a feeling of belonging because these people are letting you into their world, they are sharing their energies with you and, while most of us just pretend to be, they ‘simply are’.


]]> (Zelda Rudzitsky. Photo by Ludovic Tran.) Wed, 29 Jan 2014 04:47:24 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Over 160 Die From Traffic Accidents During Tet Holidays

Over 160 die from traffic accidents during Tet holidays [SGGP]

Foreign firms to show off GMO corn in Vietnam [Thanh Nien]

Czech botanists find new kind of vanilla in Vietnam [Prague Monitor]


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 06 Feb 2014 01:32:55 GMT
Old Saigon Building of the Week: Liên Thành Fish Sauce Company HQ

Now one of the few surviving heritage buildings in District 4, the ornate colonial edifice at 243 Bến Vân Đồn was constructed in 1922 as the second Saigon office of the famous Phan Thiết-based fish sauce manufacturer, Société de Lien-Thanh (Liên Thành Thương Quán or Công ty Liên Thành).


]]> (Tim Doling) Tue, 24 Sep 2019 03:52:33 GMT
Resource: A List Violations and Fees for Motorcycle Drivers in Vietnam

Considering most traffic violations in Saigon consist of a short conversation and ‘tip’ for your friendly neighborhood policeman, we were, admittedly, a bit unfamiliar with the full list of rules and fees when it comes to our motorbikes.

Luckily, Go Vietnam! was kind enough to translate and publish a full list so that we can be better informed drivers.


]]> (Saigoneer) Thu, 06 Feb 2014 04:17:52 GMT
Vietnam Mulling Options to Improve Road Safety, Air Quality

Vietnam’s worsening traffic and air quality and are no secrets and these problems are likely to get much worse before they get better. Faced with this reality, Vietnam is exploring ways to combat these serious public health challenges, but most solutions are unclear at best, according to Voice of America.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 10 Feb 2014 03:40:47 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Business Back to Normal as Holiday Winds Down

Business back to normal as holiday winds down [VNS]

Vietnam carrier poised to close $6.1 bln Airbus deal [Tuoi Tre]

Murder charges sought for brutal babysitter in southern Vietnam [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 07 Feb 2014 02:05:51 GMT
Infographic: The Most Popular Vietnamese Surnames

As Australia knows firsthand, the Nguyen surname is the most common among Vietnamese. But how does it stack up against others like Trấn, Lê and Phạm? One Vietnam put together a nifty infographic showing the distribution of Vietnamese last names and provided a bit of context as well:


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 07 Feb 2014 07:20:08 GMT
Artist Spotlight: Kristopher Kotcher

A child's imagination is pure, unpretentious, unique and unconcerned with other people's judgements or views. As we get older most of us tend to loose these qualities, often because there is an untold agreement that makes us associate growing-up with being serious and disciplined, all at the expense of playfulness, dreams and fantasy.


Thu, 27 Feb 2014 05:55:08 GMT
Vietnamese Developer who Made Flappy Bird Pulling in $50,000 Per Day

It’s unclear which is the hottest story trending in Vietnam right now – McDonalds opening in Saigon or the surprising success of Flappy Bird. What is clear is that the story of a Vietnamese programmer who spent a few nights creating a game that has shot to the top of the iTunes and Google Play charts over the past few weeks is more significant than the revelation that a fast food chain will have a pork sandwich.


]]> (Saigoneer) Fri, 07 Feb 2014 08:51:53 GMT
Weekend News Roundup: Passengers Refuse to Disembark After Cruise Liner Skips Stop in Vietnam

Exports will save Vietnam’s steel industry [Vietnam Net]

War on bear bile farms in Vietnam continues []

Vietnam manufacturing in best health in 33 months [Thanh Nien]


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 10 Feb 2014 01:46:08 GMT
We Hardly Knew Ye: Flappy Bird Developer Pulls Hit Game

While players of Flappy Bird spent the weekend trying for double digit scores and smashing their phones in frustration, the game’s maker shocked the world by announcing that he would be pulling the game.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 10 Feb 2014 03:01:28 GMT
Vietnam to Launch Urban Bike-Sharing Program in 2015

Following the success of bike-sharing programs from New York to Beijing, Vietnam is planning to launch pilot programs for 5 cities in 2015.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 10 Feb 2014 14:32:40 GMT
Press Roundup: McDonald's Opens in Saigon

Since just about every major news agency has covered last Saturday’s McDonalds Saigon launch, we thought that, rather than rehashing the same story, we’d make a roundup of articles from the foreign press that reveal how the world views the opening. Most articles were copies/adaptations of this AFP article so we only included the original version:


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 10 Feb 2014 05:33:13 GMT
Video: Real Virtuality #1 and friends just released a video with a bit of social commentary about the role of mobile devices in Saigon and what often happens when groups of friends get together (everyone just playing on their damn phones). From ordering food to miscommunications about sexual preference, the video shows the hazards and pitfalls of living in an ever-connected world in a hilarious way. 


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 10 Feb 2014 07:03:35 GMT
Morning News Roundup: Vietnam Seeks to Downsize Government

Vietnam seeks to downsize government [Thanh Nien]

HCM City needs $600mil for transport infrastructure [Vietnam Net]

Vietnam City Hoi An To Pedal Towards Eco-city Status [Bernama]


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 11 Feb 2014 01:55:37 GMT
Looking Back at Graham Greene's Saigon

Graham Greene’s The Quiet American is a must-read if one seeks to get a better picture of what Saigon was like in 50s or if you just enjoy a good novel (or both!). Saigoneer historian, Tim Doling recently reflected on Green’s bestseller and revisited some of the more significant landmarks in the book, some of which still exist today, on his blog, Historic Vietnam.


]]> (Saigoneer) Mon, 23 Sep 2019 06:20:04 GMT
Vietnam Nuclear Power Plans Delayed. Again.

Vietnam’s plans to build its first nuclear power plant have been imminently delayed. The 2010 target of constructing 8 power plants by 2025 has seemingly now become a distant memory.


]]> (Claudia Davaar Lambie) Tue, 11 Feb 2014 09:13:38 GMT
Flappy Bird Creator Receives Death Threats After Pulling Game

Apparently Flappy Bird is just about as addictive as drugs. Since it's creator, Dong Nguyen, pulled the game from the iTunes and Google Play Stores last Sunday, citing a constant bombardment from the media and potential buyers, many users have been experiencing symptoms withdrawal. According to CSNBC's Eli Langer, Nguyen has even received death threats over Twitter.


]]> (Saigoneer) Tue, 11 Feb 2014 08:58:07 GMT
Saigon Soul - Pool Parties

Looking to cool off from the Saigon heat while relaxing and listening to some chill tunes? Then check out the weekly Saigon Soul pool party held at the rooftop pool of the New World Hotel, every saturday through March 29, 2014.


]]> (Saigoneer)