Brian Letwin

in Saigon

Every Morning, I'm Grateful for My Carless Ride to Work on Hoàng Sa Street

In the decade-plus of Saigoneer’s existence, we’ve had six offices strewn across different parts of Districts 1 and 3. Over that period, my homes have been located in Bình Thạnh and Thảo Điền, requiring significant commuting time.

Paul Christiansen

in Saigon

The Nhiêu Lộc-Thị Nghè Canal's Comeback Story

Water has no hometown.

Paul Christiansen

in Saigon

Our Toxic Relationship With Saigon Traffic: A Diagnosis

There is no way to describe Saigon traffic literally and have it understood by someone who has not experienced it.

in Hanoi

Sweating for a Good Cause at the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation Walk in Hanoi

I learnt of the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation in my first year living in Hanoi, through friends that had worked for the fantastic organization, or that were regular donors supporting it. This year, I was super excited to see their “Blue Dragon Marathon Walk” annual fundraiser announced, with the main Hanoian event looping around Thống Nhất Park's lake. Embracing the opportunity to contribute, I put my hand up for a 10K walk and enticed friends and family from around the world to send donations to the wander-for-a-cause.

in Vietnam

In the Mekong Delta, Ferries Are Childhood Friends and Daily Companions

The Mekong Delta is called Đồng bằng Sông Cửu Long in Vietnamese — the Nine Dragons River, for the way the mighty Mekong splits into multiple strands as it nears its final destination, the East Sea.

in Hanoi

Glide Over Hanoi in the Calmness of the Cát Linh-Hà Đông Metro Line

In many countries, urban metros are a mundane convenience — so ordinary that their users often take them for granted. But until the birth of Hanoi’s Cát Linh-Hà Đông Metro Line, residents of Vietnam had enjoyed no such air-conditioned, traffic-immune method of transportation.

Back Stories

Brian Letwin

in Roundups

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 Ni...

Brian Letwin

in Saigon

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...

Brian Letwin

in Roundups

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 [phys.org] - Vietnam to cover costs of bri...

Brian Letwin

in Roundups

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 i...

Brian Letwin

in Vietnam

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, ...

Brian Letwin

in Roundups

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 Ch...

Brian Letwin

in Roundups

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 [...

Brian Letwin

in Roundups

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 t...

Brian Letwin

in Saigon

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 ma...

Brian Letwin

in Vietnam

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 Vietna...

Brian Letwin

in Roundups

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 ...

Brian Letwin

in Roundups

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 attrac...

Brian Letwin

in Vietnam

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 popu...

Brian Letwin

in Roundups

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 [Vi...

Brian Letwin

in Saigon

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 ...

Brian Letwin

in Vietnam

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 retai...

Brian Letwin

in Vietnam

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

in Vietnam

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 m...

Brian Letwin

in Roundups

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 Currenc...

Brian Letwin

in Roundups

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 football...