Khôi Phạm

in Natural Selection

10 Species of Lesser-Known Fruits to Get to Know Vietnam's Biodiversity

In the Vietnamese language, the suffix “cỏ” — meaning “grass” in the literal sense — is often used to signify that something is locally grown, no frills, and charmingly rustic; grassroots, if you will. Chó cỏ is the general term for the adorable mutts, usually mixes between Vietnam’s native dog species, born without the prestige of named breeds, while gym cỏ and net cỏ denote the casual gyms and internet cafes in one’s neighborhood. In the same vein of logic, may I put forth a new name for a special genre of Vietnamese fruits: trái cỏ?

Khôi Phạm

in Natural Selection

Trái Thị: The Fruit of Heavenly Smell and Infernal Taste

If you had to pick a national smell that represents Vietnam, what would it be? There are a host of strong contenders: durian, lotus-scented green tea, fragrant pandan sticky rice, that enticing aroma of shallots crisping up in hot oil. It’s hard to say no to tasty things, but for me, that honor unequivocally belongs to trái thị, the golden apple of Vietnam.

in Ẽplain

A Brief Primer Into the History of K-Pop Chế in Vietnam

My middle school memories are often peppered with the honking voices of adolescents chanting some silly chorus about household cleaning.

in Development

Saigon Metro Line 1 Announces July Launch Date, Free Rides in Phase 1

Will 2024 be the auspicious year when our legs could finally step on the metro platform for the first time?

in Health

Sweating out My Sadness on the Canal's Exercise Machines

We're all unlucky in love sometimes. When I am, I go jogging. The body loses water when you jog, so you have none left for tears.

Paul Christiansen

in Environment

Charting the Flow of the Nhiêu Lộc Canal From Start to Historical Start

When I fall in love with an album, I seek out the artist's first mixtapes and demos. When I come to admire a poet, I hunt down their early poems and chapbooks. I even linger over the old highlight reels of my favorite football players' college games. Understanding where something starts allows me appreciate it more. So it is with the Nhiêu Lộc–Thị Nghè Canal.

Khôi Phạm

in Society

Nhiêu Lộc Canal Hosted Trudeau's Night Run. Why Is It Not as Famous as Obama's Bún Chả?

You know how much Vietnamese culture revolves around food by the fact that one of the first questions we pose to any foreign visitor is “What’s your favorite Vietnamese dish?” Asking about other aspects of the country could invite honest opinions that some of us might not be prepared to hear. Deep down, more than anybody else, we know that our air quality is subpar and our urban cleanliness leaves much to be desired, but our food is the one thing every Vietnamese can trust to make us proud. What easier way to foster diplomacy than to center the conversation around deliciousness?

in Architecture

In Hanoi, a Family Home Balances Commercial Hustle With Spiritual Haven

If many Vietnamese families often opt to reserve one room in their house plan for ancestor worship, this household in Hanoi decided to dedicate an entire backyard to their family altar.

Back Society

Brian Letwin

in Development

[Photos] Changes to Saigon’s Skyline (2003-2013): Part 1

Within just a decade, Saigon’s skyline has changed dramatically. This is illustrated through photos taken by Michael Waibel, editor of the TP. Hồ Chí Minh: MEGA City photo book, from the Caravelle Hot...

Brian Letwin

in Sports

5 of Saigon’s Best Public Swimming Pools

As tempted as I am to jump into the Saigon River on scorching afternoons, taking a dip in one of Saigon's many public pools is a much more logical (not to mention safer) option.

Brian Letwin

in Tech

Report: Vietnam has Reached 25 Million Facebook Users

A market research study from Epinion, a Danish marketing agency, has found that 25 million of Vietnam’s 36 million internet users have Facebook accounts, reports VietNamNet.

Brian Letwin

in Development

Quang Ninh's Stone House

The Stone House from, you guessed it, Vo Trong Nghia Architects, was built back in 2011 but just caught our attention.

Brian Letwin

in Tech

Vietnamese Students Win 2 Awards at Intel Science Competition

2 Vietnamese high school students received awards for their projects at last week’s 2014 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) held in Los Angeles, California held May 11-16, r...

Brian Letwin

in Development

[Photos] Changes Over Time: Saigon's Canals (2003 - 2014)

A major feature of Saigon’s recent urban development has been the implementation of major infrastructure projects including upgrading canals across the city.

Brian Letwin

in Tech

‘Less Addictive’ Version of ‘Flappy Bird’ Coming This August

Get ready for an uptick in your blood pressure. ‘Flappy Bird’ is about to re-enter the world in a ‘less addictive’ form, according to the game’s creator, Dong Nguyen.

Brian Letwin

in Environment

Frenchman Swims the Length of the Mekong River to Highlight Pollution

While many of Saigon’s canals have been scrubbed and cleaned, the Mekong River is in bad shape. To highlight the polluted state of the region’s most important waterway, one which is used simultaneousl...

Brian Letwin

in Development

Future Saigon: Lim Tower 2

You may have noticed the large building going up on the corner of Vo Van Tan and Cach Mang Thang 8. This Lim Tower 2, a project being developed by CotecCons with financing from the JSC investment corp...

Brian Letwin

in Tech

Vietnam Reverses Ban on Local Online Gaming Companies

Vietnamese authorities have reversed a 4-year-old ban on the development of local online games after acknowledged that it has not only failed to limit their usage, but has allowed foreign firms to dom...

Brian Letwin

in Health

7 Reasons Why Vietnamese Food is Good for You

While you may have to watch out where you’re buying your produce in Vietnam, the cuisine itself is about as healthy you can get. The Huffington Post recently talked to the Vietnamese owners of Pho, a ...

in Development

[Photos] Looking Back at the Development of Phu My Hung (2003-2005)

Saigon South, the largest new urban area in Vietnam got its start in the mid-1990s through a joint-venture between a Taiwanese development company and a city development agency. The Phu My Hung New Ci...

Brian Letwin

in Tech

Why Twitter Won't Take Off in Vietnam

As the world’s largest social network, Facebook, continues its massive expansion in Vietnam, many have wondered why Twitter, which ranks second, is ignored. One of our favorite tech writers, Anh-Minh ...

in Development

Nearly Gone But Not Forgotten: 213 Dong Khoi

The magnificent art deco apartment building at 213 Dong Khoi has nearly been reduced to a pile of rubble to make way for a 14-story City Administration Center.

Brian Letwin

in Health

It's Harder Than You Think to Find Safe Produce in Vietnam

Mind the VietGAP. According to a recent report in The Guardian, Vietnam’s sole safety certification mechanism is at best ineffective and, at worst, pulling the wool over the eyes of Vietnamese consume...

Brian Letwin

in Development

Sustainable Home Design for Vietnam's Low-Income Earners

It’s all about the green. Earlier this week we looked at a sustainability-focused kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia Architects. While that project seeks to educate Vietnam’s youth, in the same compound, ...

Brian Letwin

in Health

Brew Nation: Vietnamese Consume 3bln Liters of Beer Each Year

While some raised doubts about a WTO report that found Vietnamese women outdrink Russian (and Vietnamese) men, there’s no question that Vietnam is a country that loves its beer. So much so in fact, th...

in Sports

[Video] Stressed? Why Not Try Some Laughing Yoga?

There’s a famous phrase, “Laughter is the best medicine.” A group of Hanoians are putting this to the test and mixing it with another highly-touted health booster – yoga. 

Brian Letwin

in Development

Vietnam Set to Overtake China as World’s Counterfeit Goods Capital

Due to rising labor costs in China, many counterfeit goods manufacturers are moving their operations to Vietnam. As the country becomes increasingly intertwined with the global economy via free trade ...

in Tech

Beautiful Photos of Saigon From Above

Camera-mounted drones are becoming increasingly popular in Saigon, capturing the city’s frenetic energy from the calm skies above.