in In Plain Sight

Hanoi's Largest Indoor Aquarium Is Surprisingly Impressive for a Mall Attraction

I am a champion of the public aquarium. For many people, the aquarium is the only place where they can meet marine life outside of perhaps a wet market or seafood restaurant. Some research suggests that watching fish swim around can reduce stress and lower blood pressure, and that seeing marine life in their (simulated) habitats can inspire people to care more about these endangered species in their besieged environments. For the serious study of marine life, aquaria allow biologists to observe the behaviors of animals that are otherwise difficult to observe in nature. Vietnam has a few public aquaria: the Viện Hải Dương Học and Trí Nguyên Aquarium in Nha Trang, the Vinpearland-branded aquaria in Hanoi, Phú Quốc, and Nha Trang, and a handful of others. When Vietnam’s newest aquarium opened at the end of last summer, I had to go take a look.

Paul Christiansen

in Loạt Soạt

Social Commentary, Empathy in Nguyễn Quang Thân's Short Story Collection

Nguyễn Quang Thân passed away on March 4, 2017, several weeks before I moved to Saigon. So of course I never met him, but I feel like I know him. My first introduction was via An Insignificant Family, the fictionalized memoir written by his wife, writer Dạ Ngân, which includes a description of the 10 years they spent apart, writing letters to one another from opposite ends of the nation, followed by their life together. In the years since I first interviewed her about that novel, I’ve been blessed to be adopted as her son; one of the greatest gifts of my life. No visit with her goes past without him being mentioned. For years, Nguyễn Quang Thân has simply been Ba Thân. 

Paul Christiansen

in Music & Arts

At Bùi Chát's Painting Exhibition, a Freedom to Feel Without Preconceptions

Contemporary art can intimidate viewers. People often think they need familiarity with certain histories, theories, philosophies and biographies to appreciate a painting. I have friends who do not have a formal art education or extensive art background and thus think visual art is not for them. 

Paul Christiansen

in Literature

How Nam Cao Almost Ruined My Favorite Canal Cafe

Spoilers for an 80-year-old story that every student in the nation is required to read: the dog dies, the old man dies, his son's misfortunes show no sign of abetting. Simply, misery abounds at the end of “Lão Hạc.”

Paul Christiansen

in In Plain Sight

On a Boat Ride Through Nhiêu Lộc Canal, a Fish's-Eye View of Saigon

Could your life in Saigon be made into a quirky indie film? 

in Music & Arts

Galuocad's Artworks Create a Universe of Very-Vietnamese Whimsy

Staying in one place for an extended period can lead to what's known as the "boiled frog effect."

in Loạt Soạt

A World of Riveting Medically Inspired Magic in Vanessa Le's YA Debut

Captured by Butchers, the “blackmarket bogey men who deal in rare goods,” Nhika Suonyasan is caged and auctioned off to the city’s elite. A figure in a fox mask attempting to purchase her is outbid by a rich family that carts her off to a mansion that boasts luxury beyond anything Nhika has ever seen. The family immediately commands her to heal a witness to the wealthy patriarch’s death.

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in Culture

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...

in Music & Arts

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 vi...

in Music & Arts

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 combini...

in Culture

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 lacer...

Brian Letwin

in Culture

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 beh...

in Music & Arts

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...

in Culture

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 behavi...

in Culture

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 st...

in Culture

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 po...

in Music & Arts

'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.

in Culture

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 ente...

in Arts & Culture

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...

in Culture

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 ...

in Music & Arts

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 mur...

in Film & TV

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...

in Culture

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...

in Music & Arts

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 Gi...

in Music & Arts

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. T...

in Music & Arts

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 personall...

in Culture

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 sinc...