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Carrot or

Stick

Choices in Learning


Relaxation in motion with a party twist. Ever feel like breaking away, Sailing Club Nha Trang is the place of fun, laughter entertainment and music for all to enjoy Visit our renowned beach club, dining and party venue, located on the stunning beachfront in Nha Trang. Experience an unforgettable weekend on 2-5 September.

For more information visit our website www.salingclubvietnam.com


AsiaLIFE volume 41

www.asialifehcmc.com

26 front

08 News & Events 16 Dispatches

food

42 Sterling's Saigon 43 Hog's Breath Café Saloon and Grill

17 Street Smart: Hoang Dieu, D4 20 Q&A with Dr Nghia

44 If Café

22 Photo Essay: Faces of Phan

45 Shang Palace

Thiet

on the cover

26 Cubs or Cottonwool

storyboard

32 A Jerk on the End

46 Art by Numbers 48 Connoisseur: Montegrappa Pens 50 Linda Mai Phung

34 Trash Talk 36 Fancy Dress

getaways

style & design

back

38 Fore!

54 The List 90 Spotlight 92 Street Guide

40 72 Hours in Seoul

101 Keeping Tabs 102 Pub Quiz

36 Cover Model Kim Xuyen Quinton Art Direction Johnny Murphy Photography Fred Wissink

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46


note from the editor

Brett Davis

Looking back on my childhood in Australia, I can reflect on a fairly relaxed upbringing. My parents were certainly very involved in the lives of my brothers and me, and although we did not have a great deal we never wanted for anything. Apart from my father’s (sadly misguided) hope that I may one day wear the baggy green cap of an Australian cricketer, there was never much in the way of pressure to follow any particular path. Academic results were important, in an abstract sort of way, but I don’t recall much close examination of report cards. It could probably be best summed up as a ‘do what makes you happy, and just do the best you can’ philosophy. The recent book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Yale law professor Amy Chua outlined a

Nguyen An Vinh A loyal AsiaLIFE intern, Nguyen An Vinh studied portraiture at the HCM City Photography Association. At the moment Vinh is working in 3D animation. It’s a field he really enjoys, however he is passionate about taking photos that will help others gain a greater understanding of Vietnam, and especially Saigon.

very different parenting approach to what I experienced. The book garnered world-wide headlines and generated furious debate in the media about how parents should approach their child’s education and development. Chua extolled the virtues of ‘Chinese-style’ parenting, an extremely strict approach with a relentless focus on study and academic excellence. This was at odds with the commonly-held belief, particularly in Western countries, that positive reinforcement was the best way to nurture a child. This collision of ideas is something faced by parents and educators here in Vietnam, particularly given the cultural diversity of the international school environment. In this month’s cover story, we talk to parents, teacher and students to get

both sides of this fascinating debate. This month is also a case of hello and goodbye for the AsiaLIFE team. Our contributing editor Frances McInnis is taking her considerable journalistic talents back to her native Canada. She may have only been here a short time but she set the bar high for all of us in terms of her skill and professionalism. Also leaving us is our inimitable editorial intern Stephy Thai, who is delving into the world of academia to undertake a Master’s degree. On a happier note, we are joined by new columnist Tabatha Carvan who will each month provide her quirky take on the travails of expat life in Vietnam. I also recommend you check out her very amusing and insightful blog ‘The City That Never Sleeps In’.

Next time you're across the border, check out the latest issue of AsiaLIFE Cambodia or download it from www.asialifeguide.com. 082011 ISSUE56

Cambodia

The guide to life in the Kingdom

Tabitha Carvan Tabitha left a corporate career in Australia to come to Vietnam as a conservation volunteer. While here she discovered her true calling: housewife. Between scrubbing the floors and baking muffins, she writes the blog 'The City That Never Sleeps In' about life in Hanoi. Her hobbies include being laughed at by Vietnamese people and writing about it. 6 asialife HCMC

www.asialifeguide.com

Find AsiaLIFE articles on


RENAISSANCE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL SAIGON PRE-SCHOOL PRIMARY SECONDARY

IT’S OFFICIAL – 100% IB DIPLOMAS AWARDED! RISS IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT ALL STUDENTS IN THE CLASS OF 2011 WERE EACH AWARDED THEIR IB DIPLOMA

IB SCHOLARSHIP 2011 - 2012 RISS is pleased to announce the continuation of its Scholarship Programme. Scholarships equivalent to 50% of annual fees to students with a minimum of 5 A’s or A* grades at IGCSE (valued at US$ 17,800 over 2 years) and of 20% to students with a minimum of 5 grade C’s or higher (valued at US$ 7,120 over 2 years). Applicants to the IB programme who have not studied IGCSE, may be awarded scholarships based on the results of an entrance examination.

REGISTRATION

Applications are now being received for academic year 2011 – 2012. Limited places are available from Pre-Nursery to Year 12. Visit: www.rissaigon.edu.vn Email: admission@rissaigon.edu.vn

74 Nguyen Thi Thap Street, Binh Thuan Ward, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, Tel: (84-8) 377 33 171 -- Fax: (84-8) 377 33 176


NEWS Mui Ne Hosts Sailing Regatta

Head to Mui Ne on September 2 and 3, to take part in the first sailing challenge at Suoi Nuoc Beach. There are three categories: A for those who have participated in more than 10 races before; B for those who've participated in less than 10 and The Youth for sailers under 18. Prizes include a range of sport and hospitality vouchers for the Mui Ne area. Register before August 25 and pay US $50/person/day; register after and pay $60/person/day (cost includes lunch, beverages and

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EVENTS BBQ buffet on Saturday). To register call 062 3836 099 or email reservation@fullmoonvillage.com. Visit fullmoon-village. com or mantasailing.org.

Online Rewards with Park Hyatt’s Xuan Spa Until August 31, visit xuanspa. com and book your reservation to enjoy 10 percent off your personalised treatment. The website allows you to easily select your treatment, pick your ideal time, state any preferences or special requests and later change your bookings with ease. No more worries about making a

phone call during business hours to schedule an appointment. Xuan Spa is located on the third floor of Park Hyatt Saigon and opens from 9.00 am to 10.00 pm every day. Advance booking is recommended. Discount will be applied to bookings made online only and will be reflected on final bill upon check-out after your treatment.

Take a Chill Pill at LYON Center

Every week Lyon Center offers: Meditation on Monday Monday 8 pm to 9.30 pm

Teacher: Robert $15 (10 lessons $12.50) Yoga for adults Friday 8.15 am to 9.30 am Teacher: Monique $10 Yoga for Children 6 to 9 years Saturday 8.30 to 9.30 (please sign up in advance, a maximum of eight children can join) Teacher: Monique $10 LYON Center for Self Realization is located at Duong So 4, So 60 Thao Dien Ward. Visit lyonyoga.com


Caravelle Bartender Shows his Flava at Mixxit Master 2011

The Caravelle Hotel is raising a glass to the latest victory of Saigon Saigon Bar’s Ho Hoang Huy, who outperformed 46 competitors to grab the title of Flair Champion at Mixxit Master Vietnam 2011 on June 23. Over the week-long competition, Huy impressed audiences and judges to earn spots in the final rounds of the Creative Cocktail and Flair categories, alongside the most talented contenders from throughout the city. Huy’s showmanship elicited top marks from international bartending experts, including Mr. Jeremy Merkel, creative expert bartender of Beam Global; and Mr. Manual Terron, global brand ambassador of Midori and chairman of the Bartender Association of Australia. The win is not the first occasion the team at the Saigon Saigon Bar have stood out for their exemplary skills. In May of 2011, bartender Dinh Quang Nam joined 100 competitors in the Hofex Show, one of Asia’s leading hospitality tradeshows. Dinh outshone representatives from some of the region’s foremost hotels, resorts and nightspots to place second in the Flairtending Cocktail Competition. Saigon Saigon Bar was named one of the Top 10 Exciting Entertainment Venues by the HCMC Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism in 2009.

Summer Promo at Soham Yoga

Until August 31, Soham Yoga Studio and Boutique will offer 25 classes to be used within six months for US $150 and threemonth unlimited memberships

for only $160. The studio is located at 84T/4 Tran Dinh Xu, District 1. Call 08 39 205 813, email y@soham.vn or visit soham.vn.

SLATE – The Bar opens at Moevenpick Hotel Saigon

Located on the 3rd floor of the hotel, the bar takes its name from the dark grey slate tiling that covers the floor of the entire area. The black, silver and turquoise colours reflect the vibrant and dynamic design concept of this contemporary Martini Bar. Slate – The Bar is open from 5.00 pm onwards. Live Entertainment Zest Band is from 7.30 pm to 10.30 pm on Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday; from 8.30 pm to 11.30 pm on Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit moevenpick-saigon.com or call +84 8 3844 9222.

Know Your Finances

On Saturday August 20 from 2 to 4 pm, Total Wealth Management will host a workshop called 'Know Your Finances' at their office at 66/11 Pham Ngoc Thach, District 3. In countries such as Australia, UK, Canada, USA, Germany, France and Singapore the government dictates compulsory savings and financial knowledge through regulatory acts and taxation. As an expatriate this responsibility is left to the individual and therefore education in this area needs to be accurate and relevant. 'Know your Finances' plans to fill this knowledge gap through an informal and interactive series of exercises. “Know Your Finances” will provide each attendee with the skills and information they need to know about their current asialife HCMC 9


financial position, the key financial ratios of their assets and liabilities and scenarios for their financial position in 5 and 10 years time. Email karin. eisenbach@t-wm.com.

Money Talk

On Wednesday August 17 from 6.30 pm, Afonso Vieira, the managing director of Total Wealth Management will present a talk called 'In Gold We Trust'. The presentation will take place at ERC Institute Vietnam at 88 Huynh Van Banh, Phu Nhuan District. With a slow moving real estate market, low interest rates on the US dollar, a fragile local currency, a stock market moving mainly sideways, investors in Vietnam and elsewhere are buying gold. But with the price now over 1.500 per oz, is the "gold rush" over or is it still a good investment? Vieira will discuss what to buy, where and when.

Dancenter Relocates

In September, Dancenter will relocate to a new purpose built studio space at 53 Nguyen Dang Giai in District 2 (across

Stay With Us and Win A Trip To Bali* ! Enjoy a memorable stay at Sheraton Nha Trang with our Summer School Holidays Promotion starting from VND2,300,000++/room/night, that includes: • Daily buffet breakfast for two adults • Free breakfast for two children under 12 years old sharing room with parents • 15% discount on food & beverage and Shine Spa body treatments (except for packages) • 20% discount on laundry services

from Nutrifort). And more space means more classes on offer! There will be new classes for kids and teens in break and acro dance and RAD ballet syllabus. Belly, tango, salsa and yoga will be added to the current repertoire of jazz, hip hop, tap and ballet for adults. Registration for kids and teens is currently taking place. Call 3840 6974, email info@ dancentervn.com or visit dancentervn.com.

Chef of Hanoi Metropole's Signature Italian Restaurant Honoured

After serving as intermediary between traditional Italian cuisine and Hanoi diners for almost two years, Academia Barilla awarded Angelina’s Chef Egidio Latorraca a Certified Master Chef of Italian Cuisine (CMIC) last week. The CMIC degree from the Academia Barilla in Parma, Italy is dedicated to chefs who have distinguished themselves over the years by preserving and developing authentic Italian cuisine and professionalism around the world.

First Class Graduates from Renaissance International School Saigon Accommodation + air tickets, etc…. Package worth over US$3,000!

Applicable for Vietnamese nationals, Overseas Vietnamese and expats working in Vietnam (proof of residence/work permit required upon check-in) Minimum 2 nights stay required Win 5 nights stay at The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali (www.westin.com/bali) including roundtrip economic class air tickets from Saigon/Hanoi to Bali for two persons, daily breakfast, two-way airport transfer and one theme buffet dinner for two at the resort’s Veranda restaurant during the stay. How to win? Guest will be entitled to one entry form per room for every TWO nights stay with us under the Summer School Holiday promotion from 20 June 2011 to 04 September 2011. All bookings must be made directly with the Hotel. The lucky draw will be held on 5 September, 2011, at the hotel. The prize validity is 6 months starting from 10 September, 2011, and 10 asialife HCMC subject to availability.

The Renaissance International School Saigon (RISS), located in District 7, formally graduated its first group of high school students on June 10. The students, all of whom recently completed the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, have been offered university places at prestigious universities in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Spain, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Singapore, with many receiving scholarships.

For reservations, please call 058 388 0000 or email reservations.nhatrang@sheraton.com


New Brazilian Steakhouse Opens

Brazilian steakhouse Samba has opened at 10C Thai Van Lung in District 1. The restaurant specialises in churrasco— slowly roasted skewered meat. All the meat—you can choose from 18 different types of BBQ, all served with a selection of salads, Brazilian dishes and grilled pineapple—is grilled using wood and charcoal for an extra smokey kick. All the beef and lamb served in Samba is imported from New Zealand. All-you-can-eat is 550,000 VND for adults and 320,000 VND for children. Diners can watch as the chefs prepare the meat, thanks to the restaurant's open kitchen upstairs. Call 6291 3106 or visit samba-asia.com.

Body Butter Duo

The Body Shop has unveiled its new innovative Body Butter Duo, providing two levels of moisturisation in one convenient product—a first in the beauty industry internationally! Body Butter Duo now makes your life easier. One product, two formulations, sharing the same fragrance—simply divided by smart packaging. Apply the rich infusion on areas such as elbows, knees, and legs, and use the normal skin formula on the rest of your body, for up to 24-hours of moisturisation.

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Moon Cakes

Hotel Equatorial To celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, Hotel Equatorial will make moon cakes in an array of flavours including roasted chicken, green bean, summer mango and scallop and shark fin. Discounts offered on bulk purchases and prices range from from 458,000 to 1,298,000 VND/box. To order, call 3839 7777 ext. 8000 or email dine@hcm.equatorial.com.242 Tran Binh Trong, District 5. Sheraton Saigon With the start of the Mid-Autumn season, celebrate with Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers by purchasing their authentic handmade moon cakes, from August 8 until September 12. Using ingredients of the highest quality, selection of moon cakes includes flavours like red lotus, white lotus, pandan, green tea, jasmine and black sesame. A box of four large moon cakes or six mini moon cakes cost 798,000 VND. You can also personalise your moon cake by adding your company name and logo. Gift certificates are also available. Sheraton Saigon is located at 88 Dong Khoi, District 1. Call 3827 2828 or email sheraton.saigon@sheraton.com. Yu Chu, InterContinental InterContinental Asiana Saigon’s moon cake returns this year at signature Chinese restaurant, Yu Chu. Renowned for their refined quality and exclusive packaging, Yu Chu’s moon cakes come with a stylish red lacquer box, which represents luck. Flavours include pure lotus seed, green tea, and pearl of harmony and nut cake. Each moon cake gift box contains four moon cakes for 988,000 VND ++. To place your order, please call 3520 9099, ext. or email dine@icasianasaigon.com.


AFL Grand Final at the InterCon

On Saturday, October 1, celebrate the AFL grand final in the InterContinental Hotel’s Great Ballroom. The party starts at 9.30 am and goes until 3.30 pm. There will be free-flow beer and wine plus a full buffet. There will also be raffles, auctions and lucky door prizes and the game will be showed on four big screens. Special guest to be confirmed.

Korean Air to Introduce the Second Airbus A380

Starting from August 8, Korean Air will operate three flights a week to Seoul/Incheon-New York route for a month and from September increase its frequency to seven flights a week. In August, operating every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, the flight will depart Seoul/Incheon at 11.00 and arrive in New York at 11:55 the same day. The return flight will depart New York at 14.00 and return to Seoul/Incheon at 17.20 the following day. Schedule for September onwards is soon to be confirmed. Designed with ultimate luxury and comfort in mind, and featuring a pioneering spacious interior, Korean Air’s second A380 is set to amaze passengers. Configured in a three-class layout with just 407 seats in total, the lowest configuration of any A380 operator so far, Korean Air’s double-decker A380s feature cutting-edge amenities, with 12 ultra luxurious First Class Kosmo Suites and 301 Economy Class seats on the main lower deck, and 94 fully lie-flat Prestige Sleeper seats in Prestige Class (business class) on the upper deck. Furthermore, it boasts unique in-flight facilities, such as the world’s first ‘Duty Free Showcase’ and a new onboard bar and lounge area, offering a brand new and highly enjoyable in-flight shopping and relaxation experience. Korean Air has ordered ten A380 aircraft; three of which will be delivered by the end of 2011 and the remaining five by 2014. The airline will gradually expand its A380 service to major destinations in Europe and North America, such as Paris and Los Angeles by the end of this year. Visit koreanair.com


Ho Tram Beach Resort & Spa Launches Photo Comp for Kids

Until September 15, Ho Tram Beach Resort will invite children aged between six and 15 to take part in its ‘Nature Detectives Kids Photography Competition’. Keep your eyes open and your camera at the ready to take photographs of the wildlife you find at the resort All pictures of new species of birds and lizard will be displayed at the front desk. Species that have already been discovered by other guest will not be counted. The pictures should be 11mm*16mm and will be judged by the guests staying in the resort during the period. The prize is a one-night stay at Ho Tram Beach Resort & Spa.

One More Express Boat Service to Vung Tau

Sea-Gull Express Joint Stock Company has put to use an express boat to ply waters between HCM City and Vung Tau City. The boat, named Duong Dong Express, can carry 300 customers. It will start at Nha Rong Wharf in HCM City at 8 am every day and return at 3.30 pm from Vung Tau. The ticket price is 280,000 VND per person for normal deck and 350,000 VND per person in the comfortable deck. The boat, built in Norway under European standards, has a maximum speed of 33 nautical miles per hour and can operate even in Force 9 winds. At this time, there are three hydrofoil service companies running on the route between HCM City and Vung Tau City everyday.

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dispatches

Travel news from around the region and beyond

V Integrated Wellness Courts Couples V Integrated Wellness at The Andaman is introducing a program to bolster the bond between lovebirds. 'Soul Connection' combines a sensual Yin & Yang Body Polish for two, Sensory Couples and Kahuna Wave massages, morning and/or evening guided nature walks and a bathing ceremony with complimentary champagne and exotic fruit skewers to help couples feel spiritually, emotionally and physically closer to one another. Starting around US $2,225 per couple, packages include four nights at The Andaman—a Luxury Collection Resort on Langkawi—daily breakfast for two and any meals from the V Healthy Cuisine menu. Email info@vintegratedwellness.com or call +60 4 959 1088.

Golf is Magnifique Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort in Siem Reap welcomes all golfers to Phokeethra Country Club’s internationalquality course with several special packages. Choose a one or two night stay—both including green fees and caddie buggy at the Phokeethra Country Club. Or, add Angkor Golf and a 4 pm late checkout to maximise your weekend.  Packages include superior double room with breakfast and transportation to respective golf clubs. One green fee can be exchanged for a one hour Khmer massage. Packages range from US $290 to $685. Valid until October 31. Phone +85563964600 or email H3123-RE@sofitel.com

Singapore Grand Prix Revs Up Get your tickets for the 2011 Singapore Grand Prix on September 23 to 25 and see multi award-winning band Linkin Park headlining on race day at the Padang main stage. In response to fans' requests, Race promoter Singapore GP has presented a new group-booking scheme for the three largest grandstands—the Bay, Padang and Pit Grandstands. Fans who purchase four or more tickets will save up to 10 percent, and groups of eight or more can save up to 16 percent. Purchase tickets online at singaporegp.sg, via the ticketing hotline +65 6738 6738 or at all SISTIC outlets.

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Michael Tatarski explores District 4's main drag. Photos by Nguyen An Vinh. Onore 396 Hoang Dieu This cozy corner café offers fresh baked treats outside, and more substantial fare inside. The welcoming, yellow interior invites you in from the heat, and the artwork on the walls celebrates the various types of food sold there. The menu is bread-centric, with sandwiches and banh mi accompanied dishes dominating. Burgers are dirt cheap—just 26,000 VND. Pizzas, which include Hawaiian, Margherita, and Tuna, are also served. Smalls go for about 60,000 VND, while larges cost around 120,000 VND. If you’re in a hurry, just grab a treat for under 15,000 VND and go. Café Yen Trang 325 Hoang Dieu An open-front café that looks an awful lot like an antiques store, Yen Trang features numerous shelves full of pottery. Weathered brown and green vases sit out in the open, while more delicate, blue and white porcelain bowls, jars, and vases

are enclosed in glass cabinets. Though not for sale, the items are nice to look at while enjoying an iced coffee, or maybe a game of checkers. Don’t miss the strange deer picture in the middle of the main wall. Miti 307 Hoang Dieu Whether you are a kid or a university student, Miti has you covered when it comes to bags. Ben 10, Barbie, and Power Rangers backpacks for the little ones cost around 250,000 VND, while sleek, black and red packs run up to 500,000 VND. You can also find laptop bags; a colourful range of leather purses and handbags; suitcases of various dimensions; and even fanny packs for the dorky dad in your life. The bags and purses are similarly priced to the backpacks, while the larger pieces of luggage run over 1 million VND. All items are made in Vietnam. Tre Vang L20 Hoang Dieu This hole-in-the-wall is chock asialife HCMC 17


................................................................ full of Vietnamese handicrafts for your house or apartment. Wicker baskets and magazine racks are piled high, while lovely light fixtures, which start at 200,000 VND, hang from the ceiling. The shelves are full of wicker objects that would be great for your desk, as well as jars made of coconut, which cost between 100,000 and 250,000 VND. There are also a number of very colourful decorative vases for sale. Look hard enough and you might even spot the small stack of cowboy hats in the corner. Edena 293 Hoang Dieu This Korean-owned company offers a “Premium Bedding Collection”, made in Vietnam. Everything you need to get a good night of sleep can be bought on-site or ordered here; pillows, blankets, mattresses, and a wide array of floral bed sheets. Comforters and sheets start at 600,000 VND, while mattresses go for close to 7 million VND. The store is tiny, so some items are only available through the catalogue. Phuoc Hoa 221 Hoang Dieu If you are in the market for a Buddhist altar, or any of the items usually kept in one, look no further than Phuoc Hoa.

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This tiny shop offers a huge array of religious paraphernalia; tiny tea cups; small, golden dragons and frogs; larger statues; and those big Buddha sculptures that you see in nearly every home and restaurant in Vietnam. Prices vary widely, from 35,000 VND for the cups to 1 million VND for a proper Buddha, and over 10 million VND for the handmade, wooden altars. Tan Hoang Yen 168 Hoang Dieu One of the most innocent-looking shops on the street is also one of the strangest. Tan Hoang Yen is an air-conditioned oasis that sells all of the birds-nest related products you would ever need. The actual nests, which are harvested in China and here in Vietnam, can be cooked in a soup, and supposedly offer numerous health benefits. They are very expensive—up to 13 million VND for a high-quality nest. Drinks, called Sanest, that are derived from the nests are far cheaper, ranging from 9,000 VND to 35,000 VND. Fashion T’Ny 48 Hoang Dieu Women’s fashion is the name of the game at T’Ny, and most of the garments are hand-made in the shop. The styles run the gamut from elegant evening


................................................................ gowns to very low-cut, very short dresses for a trip to your favourite club. More conservative blouses and trousers are hidden behind the flashy outfits. Prices run from 1.5 million VND down to around 300,000 VND.

coupled with a matching chair, costs 1.8 million VND, while the wardrobes cost closer to 3 million VND.

Nhan Quan 295 Hoang Dieu Nhan Quan’s specialty is hu tiu nam vang, the popular soup dish Duy Toan derived, long ago, from Chinese 305 Hoang Dieu cuisine. The restaurant’s décor is Duy Toan is a simple shop that typical Vietnam—stainless steel specialises in desks and wardstools and tables surrounded robes for children. All of the by whitewashed walls—but furniture is made of wood, and the food is far from boring. there is a bright array of colour Bright, fresh bowls of shrimp, options: neon green, pink, yelvegetables, beef, and pork greet low, and eggshell blue. If your you at the entrance, where the child doesn’t love the colours, dish is prepared with yellow he or she will certainly love noodles. Nhan Quan has been the decorations; most of the in business for eleven years, and pieces are decked out in stickis open 5 am to 12 am. A hearty AIS_AL41 1 Mickey 2607//2011 bowl 11:04 ers of Winnie the Pooh, of hu tiu goes for just Mouse, and Hello Kitty. A desk 30,000 VND.

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DR NGUYEN VAN NGHIA

A vet trained in the West is seeking to change the way animals in Vietnam are treated. Photo by Jonny Edbrooke.

Did you always want to be a veterinarian? Yes, when I was young I really loved animals, but had no education so I accidentally killed a lot of animals. For example, the birds in the trees, I took them. No one told me not to take them, the baby ones, and they died. I’ve always loved animals, and my mother told me I should be a veterinarian. How did you learn the proper way to care for animals? I worked with some French people and saw how they cared for the animals. It was very different. That was good for me to learn. When I went to France and England or read books from America, I saw how to love animals. I would see people feed the birds in nature. If an owlet fell from a tree, they—just normal people—would take it to a hospital. How is this different than what you see in Vietnam? I don’t see that here. Even if people love animals they don’t know how to love animals. There isn’t any animal welfare. You can see that many people don’t care much for animals. In Vietnam, if they saw the baby owl fall from the tree, they would ignore it or kill it. It’s common to see a baby kick a dog or a cat. This is something 20 asialife HCMC

they learn from their father and mother. We want to show people that it’s not nice to treat animals this way. It’s difficult now, but the best way to change something is to start with the young ones. What else would you like to see change in Vietnam? They eat dog and cat, but it is so bad. I am working on stopping people from eating them. People ask why it’s okay to eat pig and cow and not cat and dog, but there aren’t any meat inspections for dog and cat. If you eat it, where does it come from? It is usually stray dogs with rabies and disease. They also use sedation on these stray animals to catch them, so you are eating the poison. There is also a lot of dog-napping. When you eat the dog you are eating your friend. A lot of people, especially the owner who is missing the dog, are sad. When you come home the dog and cat say hello to you, whether it rains or if you’re rich or poor—why would you eat your friend? It’s unhygienic, unfriendly, and makes people feel sad. How do you feel about the Vietnamese attitude toward pets? Now that some Vietnamese are wealthy, they get exotic pets to show off, but they don’t think

about what is going to happen to the animal when they bring it to Vietnam. An Alaskan Husky was brought here and got bad skin problems because of the climate. When the animals get sick, they throw them out in the street instead of taking care of them. I treated the Husky and had it shipped to Canada where it can be healthy. You say people look down on your job here in Vietnam. Why is that? It’s very easy to become a vet here. It only takes six months. There are only programs to train you to treat large animals and it’s mostly when there are outbreaks of diseases that they need to be treated. Farm

animals are only expected to live six months before they are slaughtered so if the animals get sick and won’t bring any money the owner doesn’t want to treat them. Do you like your job? I am so happy. I love what I do. I love animals. I can help animals and provide a way to teach the students at the university how to care for small animals. You are involved with animal rescue in HCM City. What is the next step after rescuing them? When people find stray animals they bring them to me. I help them get well and there is a group that helps re-home them. We find stray animals and spay and neuter them—ten free every month, then we tag their ears and let them go. People worry about spaying their animals because it is painful and the animal can change a lot, but that is the old way where the vet didn’t use medicine and the animal could get sick. Now it’s a very easy procedure while your animal is asleep. It’s the beginning of teaching people how to love animals and care for them properly. Saigon Pet Clinic 33-41 Street, Thao Dien, District 2 Tel: 3519 4182


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Faces of Phan Thiet Through his photos, Duong Huu Thien tells each character's story—and explains their relationship with the sea. He has captured one old woman whose son and husband died at sea; a man who moved to the ocean to fish for squid after his wife left him to be with someone else. The stories he relays are heartrendingly human and real.

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Cubs OR Cottonwool The concept of 'tiger' mothers has caused headlines around the world in recent months. There are advocates of this super strict 'Chinese'-style of parenting but also those who believe in a more relaxed and supportive philosophy. Frances McInnis looks at both sides of the debate.

Photos by Fred Wissink Model: Kim Xuyen Quinton asialife HCMC 27


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Thoughts from…

These are the words of Yale law professor and self professed “Chinese mother” Amy Chua, who insisted that her young daughters practice music for hours each day. She made threats. She called them “stupid” and “garbage”. She yelled and lectured. “In retrospect, these coaching suggestions seem a bit extreme,” Chua muses in her muchtalked-about memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. “On the other hand, they were highly effective.” In the media swarm that has surrounded the book since its January release, “extreme” seems to be the most common criticism hurled at Chua’s defense of Chinese-style parenting. (Chua uses the phrase “Chinese mother” to denote a certain kind of very strict parent, but stresses that Chinese mothers can be of any ethnicity.) She has been lambasted not only for the way she speaks to her kids, but also her obsession with academic and musical achievement, the strict schedules she imposed, and her refusal to allow after-school sports, playdates or sleepovers. Yet many of the criticisms betray a hint of defensiveness, a shadow of worry—perhaps because, as Chua says, her parenting methods were rather effective. Chua’s daughters, the eldest of whom is headed off to Harvard next month, appear to be intelligent, confident and accomplished young ladies who are poised to succeed in whatever endeavours they choose. It’s enough to set many parents wondering: Is being a tiger mother what it takes to make sure our kids can compete? The question is especially relevant in expatriate communities because the mix of cultures within most international schools

includes both 'tiger children' and children with a more laid-back home life. It’s easy to start worrying that a child who doesn’t study all evening, learn an instrument, or speak several languages will lag in comparison to others. Postings on online expat forums bear testament to this concern, with parents seeking French and Mandarin tutors for toddlers, math tutors willing to work during the summer vacation, and one even looking for “music classes for 2.5 year old”. The tutors for toddlers may be overkill, but some of the other tiger mother practices have won supporters among psychologists and parenting experts. HCM City-based counsellor Briar Jacques says Chua’s book changed her negative view of high parental expectations. “I really liked that she looked at her children and assumed strength. That really challenged me—it makes me think maybe it would be good to push my son a little bit. When you look at the opposite kind of mums, who assume weakness and protect their kids from everything, I don’t think that does any good to a child.” Indeed, research shows that parents who hover protectively over their kids, slathering them with praise, and shielding them from every possible adversity (sometimes called 'helicopter parents') often produce offspring with low-self esteem and poor social skills. Psychologists agree that children who never struggle with difficult tasks also don’t earn the confidence that goes along with overcoming difficulties to achieve a goal. The tiger mother, then, by setting an ambitious goal (say, getting a good mark on a test), and giving her child the tools to achieve that goal (studying together for three hours), is also setting up a situation where the child can feel proud. “Kids get self esteem from their success,” Jacques says. “You’re helping a child to achieve in

THE TIGER KID My parents never complimented me. Even if I got straight A’s, and I was expecting a pat on the back—but it was like, “Yeah, so? You’d better get that.” I heard later from my parents’ friends that they were proud of me, so I knew that they were proud of me. But they didn't show it. Growing up, my dad would lecture us all the time. If we didn’t do something, he’d ask, “Why are you so stupid?” and we had to kneel at the wall. I had to sing karaoke in Vietnamese with my dad every day for an hour and he would correct my pronunciation. I had to get the tones perfect. I’m glad that my dad pushed me to work harder because I want the style of life that my parents aspired for me. Of course, there were times when I was jealous of other kids, but their parents also didn't spend so much time with family. I wasn’t even going to go to prom—I had never been allowed to go to school dances. For prom, I had to go with my tennis instructor, because my dad liked him since he was scared of my dad. I would raise my children the way I was raised, but it depends on your child’s temperament. It was beneficial for me and my brother. My sister… she’s more rebellious and sensitive; she wants to understand herself and doesn’t care about making money. It was very tough on her. The negative comments pulled her down. But it worked for me. I am a confident person, so, when he would say “Why are you stupid?” I would say, “No, I’m not.” So it depends on the kid— parents need to know their kids.

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“You need to let your child make some choices, make some mistakes, while they’re young, before they get out there,”

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their environment and that’s good on lots of levels. You’re giving them power and agency in their environment.” Along with high expectations, rote memorisation is another classic technique of the tiger mother that might have a bad rap. Memorisation and drilling went out of vogue among educators in the 1960s, but more recent neurological research shows that repeating the same task until it becomes automatic can actually free up mental energy for higher-order thinking. For instance, it is only once a child has mastered a piece of music that he or she can think about the emotion it should evoke. Other researchers argue that memorising long texts provides valuable 'exercise' for different parts of the brain, such as the area responsible for fluency with symbols and eloquence. For most, however, the strongest argument in favour of tiger parenting is the academic results. The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings compare the ability of students from around the world in reading, science and math. Last year’s results included students from Shanghai for the first time and they trounced the rest of the world, coming in first in all three categories. Most education experts attributed their success to the longer hours and harder work put in by Shanghai students in comparison to their international counterparts. That said, those results may come at a very high cost, such as the emotional fallout from being relentlessly managed by taskmaster parents. As a school psychologist for several international schools in HCM City, Daniel Hahn acknowledges that tiger kids are high-achievers. “But what is the emotional stress that these kids are going to have?” he wonders. “Some of these students are going to cram schools all day Saturday, with normal school from Monday to Friday, and homework with parents in the evenings. How much can you really do?”

Experts also say that excessive focus on exam results can detract from other educational objectives such as creative thinking. They argue that when school becomes about passing a test, kids begin to self-edit, worrying whether their ideas are 'correct' or the 'right answer', hampering imagination and creativity. Social skills and problem-solving might also be underdeveloped in situations where parents and teachers make the decisions and children are expected to obey without question. “You need to let your child make some choices, make some mistakes, while they’re young, before they get out there,” says Hahn. “If you have a ‘don’t ask questions, don’t talk back to me’ policy, you’re not letting that happen. You’re not letting your child strengthen themselves by problem-solving.” That constant monitoring and drilling can also result in overstressed parents and strain the parent-child relationship. “I resented my mother until very recently,” says one tiger child, now in her twenties. “She would compare me to other kids—Asian mothers are masters at that. She’d point out another kid who won a scholarship or skipped a grade. But when I beat them, they were forgotten and it was just on to the next one.” Other tiger children report feeling like they must constantly achieve in order to receive love and approval. So, yes, it’s clear that tiger parenting does help a child to compete—academically, at least. However, what the tiger mum can lose sight of in the whirl of studying, music classes and parent-teacher interviews, is that academics are only one part of the equation. Ensuring your child gets straight A’s is a difficult task, but the full responsibility of a parent is much more daunting: nothing less than to prepare a child mentally, emotionally and socially to take care of themselves and contribute to society. That’s an awful lot to cram into those evening study sessions.

Thoughts from…

THE TEACHER I teach at a school where the parents are all really intense. Lots of the mums stay at home, since a lot of them are families who have been moved here by a company. So when the kids get home from school, they’re dealing with Mum all day—Mum all day every day! If the kids aren’t listening or working, you just have to mention their parents. I don’t even tell them how I would punish them. All I say is, “I’m not the one taking this test home. I’m not the one who has to show these marks.” You can see them thinking it out, and they go quiet. That’s all it takes. The kids I teach are all 13 to 14 years old. They’re still kids—they'll whine if you give them homework. They all do extra-curriculars: Korean school, piano lessons, math classes. They all do them—it’s just understood. But there are no sports; sports are not emphasised or encouraged. There’s just no real program at the school. At parent teacher interviews, the parents are all very concerned. The mothers come in, and they want in-depth descriptions of every subject. They want to know what they should be working on at home; they take it really seriously. I think the kids care more compared to when I was at school in North America. They'll drill you. Why is this wrong? How can I get perfect? They crave marks. If you give them a checkmark, they’re like, “What? What does this mean?” They want a number. I tell them it’s a hundred percent, and they’re so relieved. They just crave the marks.

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There are some surprising options in Saigon for a day’s fishing, as Brett Davis discovers. Photos by Fred Wissink.

F

ishing is an odd pastime, when you stop and think about it. For your average city-dweller, it is not the most efficient way to supply your evening meal. But recreational angling is never really just about catching a fish; it is as much, if not more, the chance to take part in an activity that requires a stillness and patience sorely lacking from our everyday lives. Indeed, it is difficult to think of any recreational activity that allows for so much quiet contemplation. Added to this is the 32 asialife HCMC

occasional (sometimes very occasional) thrill of snagging your prey and getting in touch with your inner hunter/gatherer. Still, despite the apparent incongruities of fishing in the name of leisure, the activity remains eternally popular. There is little doubt about the keenness of local Vietnamese guys when it comes to wetting a line. On most afternoons and certainly on weekends it is a common sight to see blokes with their fishing-kit bags slung over a shoulder and heading to the nearest waterway.

Now, some of these waterways would perhaps be seen as less than ideal spots to catch a fish. Certainly I have not seen any fish pulled from the befouled creeks, ditches or tidal swamps that permeate the city. Not that this appears to deter hoards of guys trying their luck on any given day. However, if you are of a mind to escape the helter skelter of Saigon life for a few hours of fishing, there are some more acceptable options in and around the city. We decided to spend an afternoon kicking back at two

such places to get a taste of fishing, Saigon-style. The Raw Prawn ‘Prawning’, as it is known in Australia, is generally done using a net in sandy shallows. I will admit it was not until I came to Vietnam that I found out you can fish for shrimp with a line and a hook. A tiny hook with a tiny piece of worm on it, but nonetheless. From the outside, Kieu Dam looks like a large shed lying behind a vacant block off an unsealed road in a neighbourhood


near the Lotte Mart in District 7. On the inside, it is a whole different story. Part of the space is given over to a restaurant, with cane tables and chairs, large panels depicting countryside scenes lining the walls and wall-mounted fans humming overhead. The centrepiece, though, is what looks very much like a large suburban swimming pool. This really is fishing with all the creature comforts. Take a seat by the pool and the helpful staff will bait the hook for you and bring you a beer. It is a simple fixed line set up with a float set at the exact length to keep the hook just scraping the bottom of the pool. There is not much else to do but have a drink and wait for the float to bob below the surface. This means the bait has been taken and a slow, steady raise of the rod is required. Some of the little suckers put up a fight but it is not particularly taxing. It can be a little tricky getting the shrimp off the hook. They can deliver a surprisingly sharp nip with their claws. Again, the ever-present staff can help out.

We bag about ten good-sized shrimp in just over an hour. Our catch is kept in a net attached to the side of the pool and dangling in the water. The kitchen will prepare them to your liking or you can take them home. It is not bad value at 100,000 VND for an hour and 10,000 VND less for each subsequent hour. The One That Got Away A bag of fresh shrimp tied to the bike, we drive about ten minutes and turn off Nguyen Van Linh in Binh Chanh District and make our way to Xuan Huong Fishing Park. A former fish farm, the park has a lagoon roughly the size of two football fields. Dotted along the edge of the water are a series of huts and other shelters where you can fish while being protected from the elements. It really is a pleasant spot; surrounded by greenery and away from the noise of traffic, it is easy to forget you are only 20 minutes from downtown Saigon. There are some people with serious fishing gear casting way out into the middle of the lagoon where the big fish are. Our 40,000 VND rented rods are more modest

and we are threatening only the fish silly enough to wander within six feet of the bank. I’ve seen some one metre-plus fish hauled out of this place, but on this particular evening nobody seems to be having much luck. Perhaps the Kenny G music being piped over the speakers is putting the fish to sleep. I would have thought they would be jumping out of the water, if only to end their torment. Still, soundtrack aside, it is nice to just be by the water and we are treated to a spectacular sunset. The park has a kitchen with a full menu, so you will not go hungry even if the fish aren’t biting. They will cook up your catch if you are lucky enough to jag a fish and this is charged by weight. Prices are extremely reasonable so it makes for a fun, good value day out. Kieu Dam 793/35/4 Tran Xuan Soan, Tan Hung Ward, District 7 Xuan Huong C12/40 Long Vinh, Ap5, Binh Chanh District asialife HCMC 33


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T R ASH

TALK

Frances McInnis digs into HCM City’s informal recycling network to find out whether it’s really as efficient as we’d like to think. Photos by Christian Berg. You stand in front of the garbage bin holding an empty bottle and, with a guilty twinge, you drop it in. You soothe your conscience by thinking that one of the many collectors roaming HCM City’s streets will track down your bottle and make sure it is recycled. Still, a small seed of doubt remains: is it responsible to rely on an informal network of local pickers and trash buyers to do our environmental dirty work for us? As HCM City hurtles towards modernisation, that informal recycling network is coming under fire for health and environmental risks. City environment officials and professional waste management companies are pushing for Vietnam to adopt a modern recycling strategy—and soon, before the rising volume of trash becomes completely unmanageable. Officials from the city’s Environmental Protection Agency estimate that the volume of trash could more than double by 2025. In response to that looming threat, authorities have already begun to make changes to HCM City’s sanitation systems. In 2007, Vietnam Waste Solutions, a subsidiary of a California-based company, opened the Da Phuoc Integrated Waste Management Facility on a 128-hectare island in Binh Chanh District. The facility, which the company says is operated according to US standards, is now receiving 3,000

tons of trash a day, or about half of the city’s garbage. However, Da Phuoc’s mammoth building for sorting trash and its composting both stand empty and quiet. “We’re also supposed to receive 500 tons a day of household recyclables, and 100 tons a day of compost,” explains Kevin Moore, the company’s director of operations. “How much are we actually getting? Zero.” That’s because the city’s trash has already been combed through by the time it arrives at the facility, says Moore. The broken glass, metal and plastic are processed into cups, plastic motorcycle parts, helmet shells and other products. Meanwhile, scavenged paper becomes packaging, and old cloth is used as rags at carwashes. This informal network generates as much as 400 million VND a day and provides jobs for between 10,000 and 15,000 people, according to Nguyen Dinh Tuan and Nguyen Thi Thuc Thuy of the city’s Environmental Protection Agency. It’s also highly efficient. “The waste that does come to us, it’s some of the cleanest waste from around the world,” says Moore. “There’s almost no recyclables. Everything is pulled out at street level.” However efficient it may be, this informal system also has its problems. Some of these unregulated operations dump or burn trash after separating out the recyclables, while

recycling factories use outdated equipment and techniques, resulting in Dickensian-like work conditions and toxic fumes and wastewater. Many outfits are in residential areas where the smoke and foul water runoff can cause sore eyes, diarrhoea and skin or respiratory problems. The garbage also attracts vermin, increasing the risk of rat or insect bites. The pickers themselves are also facing many of those same health problems, as well as direct contact with broken glass, faeces, toxic chemicals, needles and bandages. To mitigate the health and environmental risks, Moore argues, all recycling should be centralised and organised by the city or through city contracts. However, that’s easier said than done. Earlier this year, a pilot recycling bin project in HCM City failed because the sorting was too onerous for residents and the bins were too expensive for the city, according to Vietnam News. It is also counterproductive to completely do away with the existing system, which can eliminate as much as a quarter of the city’s waste, says David Wilson, a professor at Imperial College in London who studies recycling in developing countries. “If modernisation sweeps away the informal sector in the name of cleaning up the city, suddenly the city is dealing with 100 percent of its waste instead of 75 or 80 percent. The

costs of collecting and disposing with that properly are also going up. I would guess, in HCM City, it’s probably tens of millions of dollars a year—not a trivial amount.” Doing away with the informal network would deprive about ten thousand of the city’s poorest people their livelihood. Many of the waste pickers are underprivileged women who have few other employment options—women like Ngo Thi Cong, 38, who has collected bottles in HCM City for the past six years. She earns between 100,000 and 200,000 VND a day to help support her two children, who live in the countryside. “I have low education and couldn’t find a good job to earn much in my hometown,” she says. “I moved to the city and do this job because it is the easiest and doesn’t need much money to start.” She says that if recycling were taken over by large companies, she would have to leave HCM City because there’s nothing else here for her to do. A more workable solution that has succeeded in other cities, says Wilson, is to integrate the informal system into the formal one. “There is an opportunity for a win-win situation,” he says. Collectors would have access to clean, sorted trash from households and permission to dump in sanctioned landfills, while the city could ensure they follow regulations and pay taxes. asialife HCMC 35


Vietnamese youth are dressing up as their favourite Japanese comic book characters. Beth Young finds out why. Photos by Alex Belikov. They go by Japanese nicknames, dress up like their favourite Japanese comic book characters and even punctuate their speech with Japanese words. They are part of Vietnam’s fast-developing cosplay culture—a movement that’s gaining momentum among Saigon teens in particular. Thanh Truc, 16, joined a cosplay group just over a year ago. She says her passion for reading manga comic books and watching anime TV shows spurred the decision. The high school student prefers to be called Syaoran or puppy in Japanese. She is part of a 20-strong cosplay group called 2B who gather in Le Van Tam Park on Hai Ba Trung to practice their craft. They are, in fact, a fan club. Their idol is Japanese comic book writer/illustrator Hiromu Arakawa. Of her work, the kids in 2B agree that their favourite series is Fullmetal Alchemist. The story centres on brothers

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Edward and Alphonse Elric and their experimentations with alchemy. Truc loves to dress up as Lan Fan, one of the main female characters in the manga series and a skilled fighter. She says donning the character’s signature black tunic makes her feel powerful. Her friend Dam Tam, 22, or Hyo when she’s cosplaying, says that dressing up makes her feel more confident. “The characters that we become are so beautiful and strong.” She adds that she’s made some great friends through cosplay. Best of all, they’re people she may otherwise not have met—they’re all of varying ages and go to different schools or universities. 2B looks forward to the cosplay festivals hosted in the city. They have attended several already this year. By 2B’s estimates, the last one held in Le Thi Rieng Park in District 10 attracted thousands of cosplayers and spectators alike. “It


was very crowded,” Tuong Vy, 18, says. “It was hard to find a place to sit.” Truc explains that the festivals usually kick off with a yosakoi performance. It is a meld of traditional Japanese dance movements and modern music. Karaoke generally follows, with participants singing songs from their favourite anime shows. Japanese games are also played. These festivals are a chance for cosplayers to show off their skills. Individuals as well as groups perform 20-minute plays, dressed in full manga garb. To prepare, Truc says the members of 2B work together to write their own scripts and make their own costumes and props. They are judged by their peers and competition is fierce. More serious cosplay groups, like the highly-popular HCM City-based FFBs, also perform at these festivals. More than a thousand people ‘like’ the group’s Facebook page. And

Saigon’s most famous cosplayer, Mellysa, is among FFB’s ranks. The internet, and indeed Facebook, is an important tool for the cosplay community. It acts as a forum for them to share the photographs they take of themselves dressed in full costume. All the photos on FFB’s page, at least, are manga-inspired. While 2B concedes there are some very talented Vietnamese comic book writers, there’s something extra special about those penned by Japanese authors. “In Vietnamese comics, the characters look like real people. In Japanese ones, they all have big eyes—they’re so cute. Even the ugly characters are cute!” Vy says. Maybe therein lies cosplay’s appeal for Vietnamese youth. It’s a world where you can completely transform your identity and become a character that is extraordinary.

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Even a non-golfer like Brett Davis can appreciate a weekend golfing escape if the location is this spectacular. My tee shot came to rest near the edge of the manicured fairway. Less than a hundred metres away was the 10th green at Ocean Dunes Golf Club in Phan Thiet, the flag on the pin flapping lazily in the breeze. Unfortunately, I was playing the 18th hole. Such is my golfing ability, this is not an unusual occurrence. However, despite golf being my greatest handicap, it was still nice to be out of HCM City for a weekend on the Binh Thuan coast to play a couple of

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the country’s leading courses. Along with Ocean Dunes we were also scheduled to play the nearby Sea Links Golf and Country Club course in Mui Ne. Now, I have three simple yet strictly adhered to rules when it comes to playing golf: Firstly, no cart, no start. Mark Twain said golf was a good walk ruined, so I always elect to remove the walking from the equation. Next is that nine is fine. When you play as badly as I do there is just no need to subject yourself to the rigors

of 18 holes. Finally, golf was invented by the Scots so one should always have whisky on hand. It seems only right and proper. Despite shanking my next shot I managed to find myself back on the 18th fairway about 150 metres from the green. My next shot was, believe it or not, a majestic five iron that hit the left side of the green and rolled to within a dozen feet of the hole. It was one of those maddeningly rare good shots that stop you from abandoning the game of golf completely.

The ride to the green gave us a chance to take in the Nick Faldo-designed layout. The course makes the most out of its beachfront location. I had elected to play the back nine because many of the holes have wonderful views of the ocean, and I was also advised by the club’s general manager that it was the less challenging half of the course. Two putts and it was an even par five for the hole and a nice way to finish the day. Even nicer was one of the club’s specialty frozen margaritas on


returning to the clubhouse. The two courses, Ocean Dunes and Sea Links, have joined forces under the banner of ‘Golf the Beach’ to promote golfing getaways to this section of coast, which is only five or six hours drive from Saigon. There are a plethora of accommodation options available in the area and we get put up for the night at Blue Ocean, the Life Resorts property on the beach strip in Mui Ne. The resort is relaxed and comfortable, and we have dinner in the main dining area by

Blue Ocean

the beach to the sound of waves crashing a few yards away. Early the next morning our group boards the bus for the short ride to Sea Links Golf and Country Club. Built on sand dunes rising 80 metres above sea level, the course is an impressive sight. It is very much a links-style course in that the natural terrain has been largely retained in favour of a more sculptured design. The undulating fairways and long distances from the back markers make me particularly thankful for the ‘no

cart, no start’ rule. The temperature was already soaring as we loaded up the buggies and headed to the first tee. The previous night had been a little more raucous than intended and it had the effect of making my suspect technique even worse. Normally I have a natural left to right slice, but somehow on this occasion I developed a hook to the left. It wasn’t until the spectacular par three 8th hole that things seemed to right themselves. The hole slopes downhill with the blue of the East Sea behind

Ocean Dunes Golf Club

and to the right of the green. A birdie on that hole and a solid drive from the 9th tee had me once again pondering the vagaries of this game as we rolled up the cart path towards the clubhouse. I would not, by any measure, describe myself as a golfer, but those little moments where it all comes together stick in the mind. It is probably enough to get me coming back again. That, and there are few lovelier spots to escape the city for the weekend than this stretch of coastline.

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Looking to pack in one of the world’s biggest cities in three days? On an extended layover between New York and Phnom Penh, Mai Lynn Miller Nguyen does some Seoul-searching in the South Korean capital.

Tokyo, Beijing and Hong Kong may be northern Asia’s traveller hotspots, but Seoul is gaining ground as a worthy tourist destination. The annual number of visitors to Seoul pales in comparison to the aforementioned metropolises, but perhaps that makes the city all the more enticing. Sprawled across more than 600 square kilometres, Seoul lacks the uncomfortably crowded feeling one would expect in a city populated with over 10 million residents. The capital begs for weeks of exploration, but, given some determination to conquer the distances, a traveller can experience the city’s mix of modernity and traditionalism in only three days. Seoul has experienced a cultural and commercial renaissance within recent years. Bypass the tourist areas and join in-the-know locals at some of the city’s best sightseeing, dining, shopping and nightlife spots. 40 asialife HCMC

Day One: A Glimpse Of The Past 10 am - Fit for A King Although the original structure was destroyed in the 16th century, visitors can still have a royal experience at the Gyeongbokgung Palace, a replica completed in the 20th century and now framed by rising skyscrapers and majestic mountains. Arrive at 10 am to see a changing of the guard that could easily rival the proceedings at Buckingham Palace in ceremonial splendour. Highlights include the Hyangwonjeong pavilion, picturesquely placed in the centre of a water lily-filled pond. Meander through the garden at an easy pace, but save time to browse the Folk Museum, a free institution dedicated to Korean customs and artistry. Adult fee is 3,000 won, under 18 is 1,500 won. 1 pm - Old World Feel Located within a quick walk from the palace, the Sam

cheong-dong neighbourhood in Jongno-gu is a delightful place to spend an afternoon. Winding pathways lead to quaint Bukchon Hanok-style traditional residences. Duck into boutiques to browse colourful dresses and wellcrafted leather handbags. A few vendors sell hot Korean snacks but for something heartier, try Tosokchon (85-1 Chebu-dong, Tel: 02 737 7444), known for chicken and ginseng soup, or Sanchon (14 Gwanhun-dong, Tel: 02 735 0312), a vegetarian restaurant owned by a former monk. Afterwards, survey contemporary art galleries on the Samcheong road. 7 pm - DIY Grilling Korean barbeque is a must for any carnivorous visitor. Mapo Soot-bool Galbi (62-6 Nonhyeon-dong, at Dosan Boulevard, Tel: 02 516 1522) is one of the city’s many barbeque joints. What it may lack in style—customers sit on the ground and the décor scheme is

basic—the restaurant makes up for in taste, with a selection of good quality meats. Diners can choose amongst pork or beef options, which are delivered as raw strips on a plate. Then the fun begins. Individual grill stations mean that patrons can watch their feast sizzle at their own table and control the cooking level. 9 pm - Raise a Glass Toast your first evening in Seoul at the 3 Sixty Wine Bar on the 20th floor of The Banyan Tree Hotel (San 5-5, Jang Chung-Dong 2-Ga, 02 2250 8000). The luxury hotel brand opened in Seoul in 2010, creating a modern resort in the city. Head up to the rooftop bar, which includes both an intimate indoor area and an al fresco space. When the evening brings the temperature down outside, the waitstaff are happy to light a fireplace, ignite a heat lamp and bring out some warm blankets to ensure customer comfort. But even a few chills


are worth it—the bar affords a spectacular view of Seoul’s bright lights. Day Two: Get In On The Action 11 am - Market Frenzy Explore Namdaemun Market, an explosion of colour, noise and smells to awaken the senses. A few stalls hawk the usual tourist trinkets—printed silk fans, chopstick sets and little teddy bears dressed in traditional Korean costume— but otherwise, Namdaemun is the mecca for locals to stock up on bedding, pottery, clothing and much more. Check out shops devoted to ‘KPop’, the vernacular for Korean Pop, Asia’s current music sensation. Notebooks, posters, key rings and nearly any other product you can imagine are emblazoned with the images of the pop stars. People also line up for titbits from food stalls, and the area has a number of nofuss restaurants. 3 pm - Art at Great Heights Namsan Tower is the city’s most iconic skyscraper, but 63 Building (60 Yeouidong, Tel: 02 789 5663) challenges its predecessor with a gallery space on the 59th floor. Those who are afraid of heights be forewarned—the rapidly rising glass elevator can give a rush to even the bravest of visitors.

Once at the zenith, it’s a toss-up of what deserves your attention first: the exhibited art or the panoramic view of Seoul. On a clear day, the city appears endless, stretching beyond the borders of what the eye can see. 7 pm - Viva the Nightlife Hongdae is the realm of the city’s youngsters and night owls. In contrast to the more manicured parts of the city, the area has a grungier feel and is home to a number of lively bars and boutiques that stay open late. A wealth of restaurants offers diverse cuisine, including American, Japanese and varied Korean eateries. Escape the boisterous crowds by strolling down quieter side streets to more relaxed drinking spots. Aa Design Museum and Café (408-11 Seo-kyo Dong, Tel: 02 3143 7311) offers drinks and nibbles in a room full of eclectic furniture, whereas Castle Praha (Solnae 6-gil) resembles a Czech citadel and has a popular underground beer hall. Day Three: Explore New Korea 9 am - Pastries and Pleasantries With a cosy ambience and friendly service, Alaska (Sinsadong 550-22, Tel: 02 545 5872) is an inviting place to spend a leisurely meal. The neighbourhood’s ladies who brunch agree, holing up in the café to

while away the hours over gossip and coffees. Alaska’s mighty array of pastries is full of temptations both sweet and savoury, including muffins, croissants and sausage-filled buns. Try the refreshing ice tea, which comes topped with a glacier of shaved ice. Afterwards, take a walk around nearby Dosan Park, a small, tidy patch of greenery, surrounded by high-end design shops like Hermès and Paul Smith. 11 am - Chic Shopping Nicknamed the ‘Paris of Seoul’, the Garosu-gil Street in Sinsadong is no longer just upand-coming—it has definitely arrived. Lined with shady trees, chic boutiques and cutesy cafés, Garosu-gil is abuzz on weekends. Snag a seat at an open-air eatery like Bloom and Goûte, a charming flower shopcum-restaurant serving Western dishes, and watch the sidewalk become a catwalk as the city’s trendsetters trawl the shops while dressed to the nines. To fill some consumer impulses of your own, wander into Åland, a concept store featuring apparel, accessories and knickknacks from young South Korean designers. 7 pm - Truly Local Situated just outside of the Apgujong subway station, Sawore Boribap (610-5 Gujeong, Sinsa-dong, Tel: 02 540 5292) is

a notable restaurant for locals. Colleagues, couples on dates and families frequent the simple yet spacious contemporary Korean restaurant. The servers bring out an assortment of kimchi, the fermented, seasoned vegetables that accompany many Korean dishes. Don’t miss the Bi Bim Bap, considered one of Korea’s signature dishes, which combines vegetable, chilli paste, beef and, Sawore Boribap’s signature, a hearty portion of barley rice substituted for the typical white rice. 9 pm - Cheers, Seoul Soju is not the country’s only alcoholic specialty; the milky white makkoli is also a Korean rice wine worth trying. Help Me Bar, located in Cheongdamdong, Gangnam-gu, is a hip drinking spot specialising in the latter. An outdoor seating area fills up with fashionable young locals, and the inside walls are adorned with cheeky drawings. As a food dish must be ordered along with the drink, try the kimchi pajeon, a piquant Korean pancake-like dish. And what better note to end a trip to Seoul than on some more kimchi? Travelling to Seoul: Asiana Airlines, Korean Air and Vietnam Air offer five non-stop flights from HCM City to Seoul Incheon (around five hours duration) departing daily. asialife HCMC 41


Nachos What in the great wide world could Hollywood heart-throb Clark Gable, nachos, and Vietnam ever have in common? Hey, this is Vietnam. Never be surprised at anything! In 1932 Gable, the then reigning 'King of Hollywood', and Jean Harlow made a flick called Red Dust. Gable played a rubber planter and Harlow a hooker. And the red dust referred to in the title was the soil of southern Vietnam. Yeah, you got that right. The action took place in the Mekong Delta. Many movie goers of that day first became aware that there was a place called Vietnam through that movie. And the movie was quite a hit. Now fast-forward 21 years. Harlow had died young, but the king still reigned and people wanted to see him reprise his role as the plantation owner in love with the 'soiled dove'. So Director John Ford hired Ava Gardner for the prostitute part, and gave her and Gable the old script. Little had been changed, except the title and the location. The scene had moved to Africa, and the title had been changed to Mogambo. But it was still the old Indochina tale, redux. Now fast forward to 1994. A yank named Michael, who happens to be an old movie fan, opened a restaurant on Thi Sach Street and called it Mogambo, for the movie. It's now at 50 Pasteur, District 1, but it's still decorated in the old movie theme. A poster of Gable graces the wall opposite the bar. The walls are paneled with bamboo. There are skins and stuffed beasties, and paintings of wildlife, and the pattern of the floor tiles recalls the zebra. So what has all this got to do with nachos? First let me tell you what a nacho is. It is a bastard child conceived of the Mexican kitchen, adopted by the Tex-Mex kitchen, and embellished and beatified by the Cal-Mex kitchen. 42 asialife HCMC

Sainthood should not be far away. At its most elemental it is nothing more than a corn chip dressed with cheese, tarted up with salsa, and perhaps besmeared with fried beans. It may be further cloaked with sour cream, bejeweled with jalapenos, enriched with meat, decked out with slices of olive and perfumed with cilantro. It can be either the temple virgin or the painted lady of Cal-Mex cuisine. At ballparks in the USA it is the neighborhood tramp.

You will not find it in Mexico except where Americans and Canadians tend to loiter. Although northern Mexicans do enjoy a breakfast “torta” similar to the nacho, a semi hard roll sliced in two and toasted. Then it is spread with frijoles refritos and topped with cheese or avocado or both, maybe a bit of salsa. Not exactly a nacho, but 'same same only different'.

The nacho’s origin is largely unknown to the general population, but through the labours of the diligent researchers of the Oxford English Dictionary, and the archivists of the Church of the Redeemer in Eagle Pass, Texas, I have learned it. It was in Texas in 1943 that a certain group of “ladies who lunch” went on a shopping trip to the Mexican town of Piedras Negras, just below the US/ Mexico border. They decided to lunch at the Victory Club, where Senor Ignacio Anaya reigned over the kitchen. As with Caesar Cardini and the Caesar Salad (see a few issues back) he was short of goods at the moment. So he cooked up some corn chips, slathered them with what he had, no doubt liberally lubricated the ladies with liquor, and served them his famine fare. The ladies loved it. Either they or he, the record does not specify, named the dish for Ignacio. But they used the diminutive: Nacho. And what does all this have to do with Mogambo? Well, to my mind, “Mogambo Mike” as I shall call him, is one of the two guys who serve the best nachos in town. And he will even build your plate of nachos to order. You want want more of this or less of that? You want vegetarian? You want lime scented chips or plain? Half order or full? (Be warned, a full order requires four diners and eight beers.) And that other guy who serves a good nacho? That would be Geoff Deetz of the Black Cat at 13 Phan Van Dat, District 1 . Of course everything Geoff serves is top notch (or should I say top nacho?). And he'll serve you a great big margarita to go with your nachos. Yay! But when you're jonesing for nostalgia, and that nexus of Gable, nachos and the red dust of Vietnam, head to Mogambo. See you there. Richard Sterling


Hog’s Breath Café Saloon and Grill Many Australians will be familiar with this popular chain of steakhouses. For the last few years Hog’s Breath Cafes have been expanding into Asia in places like Thailand and Singapore. Now they have arrived in Vietnam with the recent opening of their venue on the ground floor of the Bitexco Tower in District 1. The main game is, of course, the famous prime rib steaks, which are available in the regular cut (180 to 200 grams) and the Aussie cut (280 to 300 grams). There are a host of options available in terms of preparation and accompanying sauces and sides. These range

from the natural prime rib (620,000/720,000 VND), blackened prime rib, hickory smoked, blue cheese (all 640,000/740,000 VND), and the prime reef ranger (690,000/790,000 VND) that comes topped with prawns and creamy chilli ranch sauce. These steaks are cooked for up to 18 hours at very low temperature. The minimum they can be cooked is to medium because of the elongated cooking time, but the resulting tenderness is the equivalent of a rare steak. All the steaks come with either mash and vegetables or signature curly Hog Tail fries. If you are not in the mood for a steak you can also try other

An Aussie favourite in Saigon's centre. Photos by Fred Wissink.

mains such as the pan seared barramundi with salad (210,000 VND), chicken parmigiana (240,000 VND) or the bangers and mash (180,000 VND). Some of the quick lunch items on offer include a range of gourmet pizzas for one like the traditional pepperoni (160,000 VND) or Hawaiian (150,000 VND), or the Boss Hog supreme (180,000 VND). Burgers and wraps are also popular and you can try the Boss Hog double burger (190,000 VND), grilled chicken burger (150,000 VND) or the chicken caesar wrap (120,000 VND). On the starters menu, the American-style buffalo wings

with blue cheese sauce (1/2kg 100,000 VND / 1kg 160,000 VND) are already proving a hit with patrons. Another perennial favourite are the potato skins topped with cheese and bacon (160,000 VND). The restaurant is well fitted out, which befits its place in the city’s landmark tower, but at the same time manages to be welcoming and relaxed like Hog’s Breath Cafés the world over. An addition to Saigon’s dining options many expats will welcome. 11 am to 12 am, seven days Ph: 3915 6006 2 Hai Trieu, District 1 asialife HCMC 43


If Café Located in a refurbished home built in the early 30s, If Café retains the essence of the Indochinese era. The original tiled floor remains, as does the textured and slightly cracked limestone walls. Industrial touches like hanging light bulbs reminiscent of those used during the French occupation have been added. The menu is Vietnamese— with a twist. Instead of preservative-laden fish sauce, the dishes are reliant on drawing out the flavours from fresh, organic produce. Sea-salt, sugar, citrus and vinegar give an extra kick. Similarly, only free-range chicken and seafood caught daily from Nha Trang is used. A special effort is made to match wine to each dish. The owners believe that Vietnamese cuisine is the perfect comple44 asialife HCMC

A fine-dining Vietnamese restaurant with French flair. Photos by Nguyen An Vinh. ment to wine, as it is light, with flavours that aren’t too overpowering. First we sit down to a pot of Mariage Freres tea in the sitting room. It’s a melange of flavours, but beautifully delicate and subtle with hints of smooth vanilla. Out in the dining room, dinner is served up. To start, egg rolls filled with mushrooms and baby clams (48,000 VND) along with a mangosteen salad (148,000 VND). The egg rolls are perfect: non-greasy and seasoned just so. The dipping sauce is a mixture of vinegar, lime, garlic, chilli and basil. It is tart and slightly spicy. The salad is amazingly fresh, the tart mangosteen a wonderful accompaniment to the shrimp, pork, basil, carrot and onions. A sprinkle of fried onion on top

finishes it off nicely. The main dishes really represent If Café’s emphasis on fresh, clean flavours. The soup of the day (128,000 VND) has been made with a crab stock and is bulked up with added Vietnamese spinach and muop—a local eggplant-type vegetable. The grilled red snapper, calamari and lemongrassmarinated beef (all 138,000 VND) are cooked on searing-hot river stones. This way, no cooking oil is necessary and the combination of steam and heat from the stones ensures maximum tenderness is maintained. We dip the seafood in If Café’s signature dipping sauce. It is a zesty combination of young green peppers, chilli, sea-salt and lemon that explodes in your

mouth. The prawn curry (198,000 VND) is also an unexpected surprise. The sauce is made from leaves, crushed grilled cashew nuts and, most surprisingly, avocado. The result is a creamy, light curry that leaves room for dessert. Lucky, as the steamed banana cake with green pandan sauce (68,000 VND) that we try for dessert is absolutely delicious. Best served warm, it is a not-too sweet treat that is gooey and moist. For quality and value for money, If Café is a serious contender on Saigon’s Vietnamese fine dining scene. 38 Dang Dung, District 1 Tel: 3846 9853 cafeif.com Open daily 7 am to 10 pm


Shang Palace The Shang Palace restaurant adjoining the Norfolk Mansion is a staple on the city’s Chinese food scene. It looks every inch the traditional high-end eatery that could have been lifted straight from Beijing. The restaurant is spacious and has several private dining rooms for special functions. At lunchtime it is strictly a dim sum affair, however with more than 50 items on the menu there is no shortage of choice. Perennial favourites such as the barbeque pork buns (55,000 VND) and steamed prawn and pork dumplings (70,000 VND) make an appear-

One of Saigon's most venerable Chinese restaurants. Photos by Nguyen An Vinh.

ance, along with some more interesting numbers like the steamed chicken feet in black bean sauce (45,000 VND) and pan-fried fish skin dumplings (70,000 VND). New on the menu in August, the Shang Palace is introducing some vegetarian options. Executive Chef Simon Cheung gives us a preview of the dishes, the first of which is a kind of sushi roll affair of mushroom, carrot and radish wrapped in seaweed and deep fried. It is served with a tangy lemon sauce. Next is another type of roll, this time employing thin slices of pumpkin and bitter melon wrapped

around cabbage, mushrooms and kai lan and served with a carrot puree. Finally there is the simple and elegant combination of steamed asparagus and slices of broccoli stem served in a pumpkin broth. Restaurant Manager Rosa Chong says the new dishes reflect diners’ desire for healthier options. But have no fear if you are a dedicated carnivore as there is still plenty to choose from on the a la carte dinner menu. Chef Simon dishes up one of the Shang Palace’s signature dishes, the mantis shrimp fried in salt and pepper (market prices). The meat has been removed from

the tails and is presented atop the pink and white shell. To finish we have the outstanding stewed beef rib (320,000 VND), served with mushrooms and sautéed spinach. The meat is incredibly tender and can almost be cut with a spoon. Venerable though the Shang Palace may be, it is still reinventing its menu and giving diners healthier and more diverse options. 17-19-21 Ly Tu Trong, District 1 Tel: 3823 2221 Lunch 10 am to 2 pm, dinner 3.30 pm to 10 pm, seven days. asialife HCMC 45


ART BY NUMBERS

An artist who follows mathematical principles to create. By Beth Young.

Photo Fred Wissink

46 asialife HCMC


G

eorge Papadimas is artistic eccentricity personified. Dressed in a staple uniform of black stovepipe jeans and a form fitting T-shirt in the same shade, the HCM City-based artist who hails from Melbourne, Australia, gesticulates wildly as he describes his art’s direction, from past to present. Like most creative types, George has a tendency to do this in minute detail; however, he interjects frequently to make sure the listener understands, pausing often to ask, “Do you know what I mean?”. If there’s a misunderstanding, George is sure to explain— in near-scientific language—for behind every piece that he creates, there is a methodical, mathematical process centred on chaos and order or Yin and Yang. The concept has fascinated him since his career’s inception. Though he studied as a

painter, George’s work has taken a decidedly different course. For a two-man exhibition called Static Motion last year with Vietnamese artist Nguyen Thanh Truc, he created imposing black matte painted steel sculptures. Once upon a time he compiled a series that focused entirely on text, and, in line with his ongoing study of contradictory natural elements, another using red and blue as its basis. Much of George’s work transforms when looked at from different angles. “As you walk around them, some pieces morph,” he says. George believes that there is a force beyond his design process that dictates his work’s structure. Two pieces he created for the Static Motion exhibition highlight his meaning. “I didn’t realise it until I’d finished, but if you turn this piece (pointing to one sculpture) upside down

and place it on top of that one, they fit together exactly.” In fact, George considers himself a “process artist”. He can flit from painting to sculpture at will as the end product isn’t really his concern. It’s the natural progression from beginning to end that counts. “It happens naturally. Yes, there’s a methodical process, but there’s a real organic-ness about the result.” Innate or not, George is still the quintessential perfectionist, unsatisfied until a creation is just so. As he follows a numerical path, his artworks must be accurate, and he is pedantic about achieving precision. “I strive for extreme perfection,” he says. As such, George stands by during the pre-fabrication process to ensure his vision is realised. “It’s about achieving a higher level of accuracy,” he explains. “I’ll hold the steel at

the exact angle I want and say, ‘Quick, quick, weld it now!’”. His artistic exploration is never finished. Work that he completed years ago still has room to evolve. For example, a collection comprising ten television screens that flashed different colours in accordance with a particular number sequence is now being put to music. George says he’s continually looking to give his work extra depth, more layers. “I like to reinvestigate old theories,” he says. George’s excitement about his work is contagious. He talks at break-neck pace about experiments he’s working on, exhibitions he has planned and the process that dictates his creations. Even though mathematic formulas guide his creative process, there’s no shortage of directions he can take. Visit georgepapadimas.com. asialife HCMC 47


Connoisseur IT'S OK TO LIKE NICE THINGS

Montegrappa pens To write with a Montegrappa fountain pen is an experience. Lightweight and crafted from only the best quality materials, the signature gold nib makes for smoothness unsurpassed by any other writing implement. Many world leaders and celebrities would agree. Famed Italian leaders including Victor Emmanuel III and Benito Mussolini used Montegrappa pens. And Boris Yeltsin gave his limited edition Montegrappa Dragon to Vladimir Putin as a symbolic handing over of power. The Dragon is one of the most prized among collectors. Since it was released in 1995, the sterling silver version has increased three-fold in value; the solid gold, 10-fold. Tradition sets Montegrappa

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pens apart. Since 1912, the company has been manufacturing in the same historic factory located on the banks of the River Brenta in Bassano del Grappa, NorthEastern Italy. During World War Two, American writers Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos bought their pens direct from this factory. Montegrappa strives to achieve the perfect meld of form and function. To do this, a combination of unique materials like celluloid, precious metals and ebonite are used. This is matched with traditional decorative methods like die-casting, hand-etching and low-relief engraving. The most expensive Montegrappa pen is the Peace Pen. At $1 million, it is the priciest

writing implement in the world. The solid platinum pen was created to celebrate an association with the Peace Parks Foundation, which supports sustainable economic development, conservation and biodiversity. Both the foundation and the pen share a dove motif. The pen is also decorated with stippleengraved Baccarat glass panels and 1259 diamonds—making 48 carats in total. The pen’s seven crystal facets are handengraved with 184 doves. If a Montegrappa exceeds the budget, there’s nothing wrong with a generic fountain pen. Look for a pen that feels good in your hand, performs well under any condition, is aesthetically appealing and, most importantly, is good value for money.


FREEDOM AND  COMFORTS OF HOME  IN INTERCONTINENTAL 1-BEDROOM RESIDENCES. 

Designed to  comply  with  the  innovative  'live,  work,  entertain'  lifestyle,  InterContinental  Asiana  Saigon  Residences are a great choice for those who seek for unique and enriching experiences in Ho Chi Minh City.  For one night or years, our fully furnished and fabulous 78 sq.m 1-bedroom residences are available now for  lease.

For more information, please contact our exclusive leasing agent  Cushman & Wakefield at 0936 458 000 Corner Nguyen Du & Le Van Huu Streets,  District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam email: info.vietnam@ap.cushwake.com


LINDA MAI PHUNG 50 asialife HCMC


Linda Mai Phung is a French-Vietnamese ready-to-wear fashion label striving for ecological textiles and ethical production. Things Cafe 14 Ton That Dam, District 1 First floor to the left, yellow door contact@lindamaiphung.com www.lindamaiphung.com Tel: 01 255 94 65 13

asialife HCMC 51


Accessories from Song, 8 Le Thanh Ton Model : Penelope Cadeau Photographer : Fred Wissink

52 asialife HCMC


HCM City: 16th Floor, Sun Wah, 115 Nguyen Hue, D1 Tel: 3832 0320 www.vietnamairlines.com.vn The domestic route map is extensive, with several flights daily between major and less touristed cities throughout Vietnam. Flies internationally throughout Asia and to Paris, Frankfurt, Moscow, Sydney, Melboure, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

listings

hotel & travel

CON DAO

AIRLINES Air Asia 254 De Tham, D1 Tel: 3838 9810 www.airasia.com Asia’s largest low-cost airline operates one daily flight between HCM CityHanoi, as well as international flights to Bangkok, Phuket, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. Air France 130 Dong Khoi, D1 Tel: 3829 0981 ext. 82 Fax: 3822 0537 www.airfrance.com.vn An airline with a vast and effective global network. Now flies direct to Paris. Cathay Pacific 72-74 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D3 Tel: 3822 3203 www.cathaypacific.com Hong Kong-based airline makes three flights daily to HCM City and two flights daily to Hong Kong’s international airport. Fares start at about $300. Malaysia Airlines Unit G8 Ground floor, SG Trade Center 37 Ton Duc Thang, D1 Tel: 3824 6663 www.malaysiaairlines.com Offers daily flights from Hanoi and HCM City to Kuala Lumpur for about $200 round trip, with four economy class fare levels: low, basic, smart and flex. Vietnam Airlines Hanoi: 25 Trang Thi, Hoan Kiem Tel: 6270 0200

escape

Con Dao Resort 8 Nguyen Duc Thuan Tel: 06 4830 949 www.condaoresort.com Modern hotel with 45 rooms and seven villas set on 2km of private beach. On-premise facilities include restaurant, bar, beach-view swimming pool, tennis court and volleyball. Organizes outdoor activities and tours. Saigon Con Dao Resort 18-24 Ton Duc Thang Tel: 06 4830 155 www.saigoncondaoresort.com Opened in summer 2009, Saigon Tourist’s 82-room hotel has a restaurant, swimming pool, tennis court and health club with sauna. Another 30 villas are available in the adjacent sister hotel, a renovated colonial-era administration building. Tours organized by hotel.

DALAT Ana Mandara Villas Resort & Spa Le Lai, Ward 5, Dalat Tel: 063 3555 888 www.anamandara-resort.com Luxury 35-acre resort encompasses 17 restored early 20th-century villas and 65 rooms set in the rural highlands. La Cochinchine Spa offers wide range of treatments. Le Petite Dalat Restaurant serves Vietnamese and fusion cuisine. Heated swimming pool, art gallery and cooking classes in organic garden. Mercure Dalat 7 Tran Phu, Dalat Tel: 063 3825 777 www.mercure.com Built in 1932 as the Hotel Du Parc, this 144-room resort pairs French colonial architecture with modern amenities. Cafe De Le Poste serves French homestyle, international and Vietnamese

Vedana is offering a yoga and meditation retreat until December 20 for groups with a minimum of four people. The retreat costs US $900 ++ (single) or $650 ++ per person for twin share. Includes transfers to and from Hue airport, five days/four nights accommodation in a lagoon view bungalow, morning and afternoon meditation classes, three daily healthy meals, two body therapies of choice (one hour each), guided visit to Hue world heritage sites and free wi-fi. Until September 30, Park Hyatt Saigon will offer its Short and Suite Summer Getaway promotion. The deal includes accommodation in a Park Suite for US $510 ++ per night for a double room with early check in on Saturday and late check out on Sunday. A 60-minute massage for two is included

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at El Patio and El Oriental, snacks at Cava Lounge and tapas at Latino Bar.

Sofitel Dalat Palace 12 Tran Phu, Dalat Tel: 063 3825 444 www.accorhotels-asia.com Stately lakeside hotel was built in 1920s and retains the period’s aesthetic. It encompasses 38 rooms, five suites, a gourmet restaurant, brasserie, piano bar and Larry’s Bar. Golf can be arranged, and there’s tennis, boules, snooker and billiards on premise.

Mercure Hanoi La Gare 94 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hoan Kiem Tel: 04 3944 7766 www.accorhotels.com Situated in the Old Quarter with 102 bright, spacious and modern rooms, Brasserie Le Pavillion restaurant serves Vietnamese and international cuisine.

activities Phat Tire Ventures 73 Truong Cong Dinh Tel: 63 3829 422 www.phattireventures.com Runs guided trips for hiking/trekking, mountain biking, rock climbing, kayaking and canyoning in the highlands surrounding Dalat. Also operates mixed trip adventure packages and ropes course set among pine forest with 100+ metre Flying Fox zip line. Dalat Easy Rider Tours 70 Phan Dinh Phung dalateasyriders@yahoo.com www.dalat-easyrider.com Ride pillion with English-, French- or German-speaking tour guides on motorbike adventures that start in Dalat and snake through mountains, jungles and deltas, lasting anywhere from three to 21 days. Trips terminate in Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hanoi, Mui Ne or HCM City. All hotels and entrance fees included.

HANOI Intercontinental Westlake Hanoi 1A Nghi Tam, Tay Ho Tel: 04 6270 8888 www.intercontinental.com Located on the waterfront with contemporary Vietnamese design, restaurants, business services, fitness centre including exercise classes and pool. Melia Hanoi Hotel 44B Ly Thuong Kiet Tel: 04 3934 3343 www.meliahanoi.com Located in the city centre with 306 comfortable guestrooms elegantly decorated, complete with a host of modern amenities. Dining includes Asian cuisine

Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi 83A Ly Thuong Kiet Tel: 3822 2800 www.moevenpick-hotels.com Conveniently located in the heart of Hanoi’s business district, a 40-minute drive from Noi Bai International Airport and only 5 minutes from the city centre, Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi is the latest five-star hotel in town, tailored to meet the needs of discerning guests and especially corporate travellers. Sheraton Hotel Hanoi K5 Nghi Tam, 11 Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho Tel: 04 3719 9000 www.starwoodhotels.com “Resort within a city” boasts 299 spacious guest rooms with panoramic views, fitness centre, international restaurant and Hemisphere Vietnamese restaurant. Sofitel Metropole 15 Ngo Quyen, Hoan Kiem Tel: 04 3826 6919 www.sofitel.com Located downtown. Colonial-style hotel with well-regarded restaurants/bars serving French & Vietnamese cuisine, plus Italian steak house.

HO CHI MINH CITY Caravelle Hotel 19 Lam Son Square, D1 Tel: 3823 4999 www.caravellehotel.com One of the city’s most prestigious venues. Features a casino, Reflections Restaurant and al fresco 9th-floor Saigon Saigon Bar. Equatorial 242 Tran Binh Trong D5 Tel: 3839 7777

take flight with travel promotions around the region

Vedana Lagoon Resort & Spa

Park Hyatt Saigon

cuisine. Facilities include tennis court and sauna.

as well as a Sunday Prosecco bunch at Opera. Other dining options are also offered at a 10 percent discount. Call 3520 2324 or email reservations.saiph@hyatt.com.

Life Resorts

Life Resorts is offering its Spa-tacular Life Package for women. Stay for one night in a superior room for two at Blue Ocean Resort Mui Ne and Life Wellness Resort Quy Nhon for US $75 or at Life Heritage Resort Hoi An for $95. Pay an extra dollar and receive a daily voucher for one spa treatment. The package is available to Vietnamese and foreign temporary residents, and is inclusive of taxes and service charge. Visit life-resorts. com.

InterContinental

This month, the InterContinental Spa will offer its Relax and Beauty package for

1,490,000 VND. The anti-aging treatment employs only natural products to restore and moisturise the face and neck or to release tension in the body. Call 3250 9099

Caravelle Hotel

Stay two nights in a deluxe room (US $368 ++ for single/$428 ++ for double) and receive free daily buffet breakfast at Nineteen Restaurant. In addition, choose from two packages at the hotel’s Qi Spa. Package A includes 30-minute sauna, steam bath and jacuzzi, 60-minute Swedish body massage and 30-minute foot massage. Package B includes 30-minute sauna, steam bath and jacuzzi, 60-minute Qi body massage and 30-minute nail care and colour treatment. All treatments must be booked 40 hours prior. For bookings, email rsvn@caravellehotel.vnn.vn.


www.equatorial.com/hcm On the intersect of 4 districts, with 333 rooms, Orientica Seafood restaurant and bar, Chit Chat cafe, pool (swim-up bar), gym. InterContinental Asiana Saigon Corner of Hai Ba Trung & Le Duan, D1 Tel: 3520 9999 saigon@interconti.com www.intercontinental.com/saigon 305 rooms/suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, five restaurants/bars, meeting/ banquet facilities, spa/health club and lounge with panoramic view. Mövenpick Hotel Saigon 253 Nguyen Van Troi, Phu Nhuan Tel: 3844 9222 www.moevenpick-saigon.com Has 278 well-appointed rooms/suites, five restaurants/bars, meeting/banquet facilities and a shopping arcade as well as a popular e-gaming centre. New World Hotel 76 Le Lai, D1 Tel: 3822 8888 www.newworldsaigon.com Located in the city centre, with gym, outdoor pool, tennis court, event space and Dynasty Chinese restaurant. Park Hyatt 2 Lam Son Square, D1 Tel: 3824 1234 www.saigon.park.hyatt.com Luxury colonial-style hotel includes 21 suites, lobby lounge with live music, Xuan Spa, pool, gym, international dining at Square One. Renaissance Riverside 8-15 Ton Duc Thang, D1 Tel: 3822 0033 www.renaissancehotels.com 349 rooms/suites with panoramic views over Saigon River. Conference/banquet facilities, rooftop pool, gym, two restaurants. Sheraton 88 Dong Khoi, D1 Tel: 3827 2828 www.sheraton.com/saigon Luxury downtown hotel with Level 23 bar, Mojo cafe, Li Bai Chinese restaurant, fine dining at The Signature on the 23rd floor. Sofitel Saigon Plaza 17 Le Duan, D1 Tel: 3824 1555 www.sofitel.com/2077 One of the city’s top hotels with in-room Wi-Fi, two restaurants with international cuisine, two bars, six conference rooms, outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre. Villa Hotel at Thao Dien 195 Nguyen Van Huong, D2 Tel: 3744 2222 www.thaodienvillage.com Colonial-style boutique hotel and spa with fine dining on the banks of the Saigon River in expat enclave. Windsor Plaza 18 An Duong Vuong, D5 Tel: 3833 6688 services@windsorplazahotel.com www.windsorplazahotel.com Located in a main shopping hub. Three restaurants, modern discotheque, conference centre, shopping centre, supermarket.

activities Saigon Scooter Centre 25/7 Cuu Long, Tan Binh District Tel: 4848 7816 www.saigonscootercentre.com One-stop rental service with a wide selection of scooters/motorbikes available for around town travel or long trips. Vietnam Vespa Adventures 169 De Tham, D1, Pham Ngu Lao Tel: 3920 3897 www.vietnamvespaadventures.com Headquaters located in Cafe Zoom. Offers 3-day trips to Mui Ne, 8-days to

Nha Trang or half-day tours of HCMC on classic Vespas.

HOI AN & DANANG Life Resort Hoi An 1 Pham Hong Thai, Hoi An Tel: 0510 3914 555 www.life-resorts.com Within walking distance of Hoi An. Rooms are chic and minimalist, offering all the mod cons. Two restaurants, two bars and an outdoor pool. Nam Hai Tel: 0510 3940 000 www.ghmhotel.com Luxury resort accommodation from single villas to sumptuous five-room dwellings with private pools. Facilities include 8 private spa villas; 3 beachfront swimming pools; library; and tennis, basketball and badminton courts. Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa Cua Dai Beach Tel: 0510 3927 040 www.victoriahotels-asia.com Set on its own stretch of beach with 105 rooms spread through a traditional fishing village design of small “streets” and ponds.

activities Hoi An Motorbike Adventures Tel: 0918 230 653 www.motorbiketours-hoian.com Two-wheeled tours of the Central Highlands, Ho Chi Minh Trail, Monkey Mountain and more on a fleet of Minsk dirt bikes and fully and semi-automatic motorbikes. Customers can drive or be driven on half- to five-day trips. Mango Cruise info@mangorooms.com Chef Duc from the celebrated Mango Rooms restaurant and his wife Ly offer a cruise down the Thu Bon River, complete with a meal from a menu created by Duc himself.

HUE Mercure Hue Gerbera 38 Le Loi Tel: 054 3946 688 www.mercure.com Overlooking the Perfume River, this centrally located hotel has 110 contemporary rooms. Local Hue cuisine and international fare served at Le Bordeaux, and drinks served up top at Sky Bar or in the ground-floor Lobby Bar. Pilgrimage Village Resort & Spa 130 Minh Mang Tel: 054 3885 461 www.pilgrimagevillage.com Boutique resort with hut, bungalow and villa accommodation draws on natural environment and local culture. Features Vedana spa, two restaurants serving Vietnamese & Western food and imported wines and three bar/lounges.

NHA TRANG Evason Hideaway at Ana Mandara Ninh Van Bay, Ninh Hoa, Khanh Hoa Tel: 058 3728 222 www.sixsenses.com/hideawayanamandara An island hideaway accessible only by boat, 58 private pool villas, international and local restaurants, wedding services, water sports and scuba diving. Evason Ana Mandara Nha Trang Beachside, Tran Phu, Nha Trang Tel: 058 3522 222 www.sixsenses.com/evasonanamandara Beachside resort set in 26,000 square metres of tropical garden, with 74 guest villas, three restaurants, Six Senses Spa. Novotel Nha Trang 50 Tran Phu Tel: 058 625 6900 www.novotel-nhatrang.com Each of the 154 rooms has a terrace with seaviews in this modern hotel


located in the city centre. The Square serves international cuisine in a dining room overlooking the bay. Sheraton Nha Trang Hotel & Spa 26 - 28 Tran Phu, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Tel: 58 388 0000 www.sheraton.com/nhatrang Luxury hotel with 284 ocean view rooms, six restaurants and bars, club lounge, infinity edge swimming pool, spa, yoga studio, cooking school, Sheraton Adventure Club and (connected at) Link@Sheraton.

PHAN THIET L’Anmien Beach Resort Mui Ne Beach, KM10, Ham Tien Ward Tel: 062 3741 888 www.lanmienresort.com Beachfront resort with 90 fully equipped rooms, business centre, spa, fitness centre and outdoor pool. Princess D’Annam Resort and Spa Khu Hon Lan, Tan Thanh, Ham Thuan Nam, Binh Thuan Tel: 062 3682 222 www.princessannam.com Located on Ke Ga Bay with 57 exclusive villas, eight swimming pools, two restaurants and 1,800 square metres spa complex. The Sailing Club 24 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Mui Ne, Phan Thiet Tel: 062 3847 440 www.sailingclubvietnam.com Open bar overlooking the sea, spacious rooms, restaurant, swimming pool and day spa. Victoria Phan Thiet Resort and Spa Mui Ne Beach Tel: 84 62 3813 000 www.victoriahotels-asia.com Located on a private beach, 60 cosy bungalows, natural spa experiences among other great activities on offer at the resort.

activities C2Sky Kitesurfing Sunny Beach, 64-66 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Tel: 0916655241 www.c2skykitecenter.com Operates two schools roughly 500m apart, staffed by IKO-certified instructors. Offers a half dozen course types, as well as instructor training. Equipment rental and repair. Mui Ne Cooking School Sunshine Beach Resort, 84 Tuyen Quang Tel: 062 383 0755 Al fresco classes begin with a trip to Rang Market and focus on the provincial cuisine of Binh Thuan, like banh xeo (crepes with beef or seafood) and goi hai san (seafood salad). WindChimes School Saigon Mui Ne Resort, 56 Nguyen Dinh Chieu www.kiteboarding-vietnam.com Surf school situated on 235m of beach offers kiteboarding, windsurfing and surfing classes in multiple languages taught by IKO-certified instructors. Equipment rented and trips organised. Satellite school at Bamboo Village Resort.

PHU QUOC

La Veranda Ward 1, Duong Dong Beach Tel: 077 3982 888 www.laverandaresort.com Set amid tropical gardens along a beach. Features a highly-rated spa, beach grill, Vietnamese, Asian and European cuisine. Mango Bay Ong Lang Beach, Phu Quoc Tel: 0903 382 207 www.mangobayphuquoc.com

Low-cost seaside resort with ecological outlook promotes nature activities, forest walks, snorkelling, open-air seafood restaurant. No TV or telephone.

SAPA

Victoria Sapa Resort Sapa District, Lao Cai Province Tel: 020 0871 522 www.victoriahotels-asia.com Mountain chalet perched over the village wth cosy but modern guestrooms overlooking the lawn and garden. Ta Van restaurant overlooks Mount Fansipan and Ta Fin bar has a stone hearth fireplace. Connection from Hanoi by private train.

SCUBA DIVING Note: AsiaLIFE only lists dive centres recognized by international dive training programs, such as the Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI) and Scuba Schools International (SSI). We strongly advise against diving with unaccredited dive centres in Vietnam. Rainbow Divers 55 Nguyen Giai Dang, An Phu, D2 Tel: 3744 6825 www.divevietnam.com Diving tours and career/instructor development offered by Vietnam’s first PADI centre. established in the mid90s. All courses can be started at the state-of-the-art dive centre in An Phu, from beginner pool work and theory to divemaster and instructor certification. Operates dive centres in Nha Trang, Whale Island, Hoi An and Phu Quoc. Octopus Diving 62 Tran Phu, Nha Trang 058 826 528 www.divenhatrang.com PADI/SSI dive centre based in Nha Trang and affiliated with the Sailing Club Co., with additional centres in Mui Ne and Hoi An. Offers a range of services, including children’s Bubblemaker classes, courses in specialised techniques and divemaster certification.

VUNG TAU

Ho Tram Beach Resort & Spa Ho Tram Village, Xuyen Moc Tel: 06 4378 1525 www.hotramresort.com Located about 45km from Vung Tau in the Phuoc Buu Reserve Forest, Ho Tram Beach Resort & Spa boasts uniquely designed bungalows and villas.

TRAVEL AGENTS Buffalo Tours Agency HCMC: 81 Mac Thi Buoi, D1 Tel: 3827 9170 Hanoi: 94 Ma May, Hoan Kiem District Tel: 04 3828 0702 www.buffalotours.com.vn Tailor-made itineraries, communitybased tourism, cultural tours, adventure trips, golfing and premium trips offered by locally run and well-respected travel agent. Exotissimo HCMC: 20 Hai Ba Trung St, D1 Tel: 3827 2911 infosgn@exotissimo.com SD5-2 Grand View, Nguyen Duc Canh, Phu My Hung, D7 Tel: 5412 2761/62 pmh@exotissimo.com HANOI: 26 Tran Nhat Duat St, Hoan Kiem Tel: 04 3828 2150 infohanoi@exotissimo.com www.exotissimo.com French-owned agency specializing in flight bookings, package holidays and a range of well-run cultural and historical tours of Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

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Cafe Latin 17 Dong Du, D1 In its third location, this expat favourite continues to deliver good food, an extensive drink list and a comfortable atmosphere. Two levels to watch sport on or simply unwind. Said to serve the best chicken parmigiana in Vietnam.

listings

food & drink

Corso Steakhouse & Bar Norfolk Hotel, 117 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Located in the chic Norfolk Hotel Corso Steakhouse & Bar is well known for its steak imported from the US and Australia. Good destination for both lunch and dinner.

BAR RESTAURANTS Ala Mezon 10 Chu Manh Trinh, D1 Tel: 6291 0447 www.alamezon.vn Colourful four-storey venue serves fusion French-Japanese cuisine, as well as cocktails and wine by the glass. Space spans a restaurant, lounge and main bar and spacious, airy rooftop. Open 5 pm to late. Alibi 5A Nguyen Sieu, D1 Tel: 3822 3240 Hip without being showy, this versatile venue has a pleasant front porch, stand up bar and comfortable lounge seating with bright, warm décor and great tunes. Drinks list is extensive and the food menu boasts French-style mains. Bernie's Bar & Grill 19 Thai Van Lung, D1 Tel: 3822 1720 Serves a solid menu of certified Angus and imported Aussie steaks, fresh pasta, thin crust pizza, sandwiches and mains in an old school steak house setting. Drink menu includes smoothies, cocktails, premium wines and spirits and Saigon's largest martini.  Buddha Bar 7 Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 3744 2080 An Phu institution serves up tasty meals and good drinks in a friendly, chilled environment. Plenty of room to relax inside or out, plus a pool table on premise. 

feast

La Habana 6 Cao Ba Quat, D1 Tel: 3829 5180 www.lahabana-saigon.com This charming little place has seating indoors and outdoors, upstairs and downstairs to fit your dining pleasure. Relaxed environment with frequent live music. Offers Spanish and Cuban fare including paella and a tapas fiesta comprising three plates. Open late daily.

Phatty’s 46-48 Ton That Thiep, D1 Tel: 3821 0705 www.phattysbar.com Jaspa’s Steve Hardy and Ben Winspear’s sports bar has five widescreen TVs, a large drop-down screen and lots of pub grub and beer for fans looking to take in a game or two. Qing 110 Pasteur, D1 www.qing.com.vn Sophisticated downtown bar just off Le Loi specializes in Asian tapas, Asian/ South American fusion dishes and a few delectable deserts. Variety of good wines by the glass or bottle.

Mogambos 50 Pasteur, D1 Tel: 3825 1311 This restaurant has been around since the mid-1990s, which offers an insight into its enduring quality. Specializes in American grain-fed steaks, hamburgers and salads served in a pleasant atmosphere. 

Sheridan’s Irish House 17/13 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 3823 0793 www.sheridansbarvn.com Cosy Irish pub with authentic Irish decor, a pleasant atmosphere and regular live music. Wide range of classic pub grub, East Asian dishes and a fantastic breakfast fry-up available from 8 am.

O’Brien’s 74/A2 Hai Ba Trung, D1 Tel: 3829 3198 A large Celtic-style pub popular with media types that has an interior done in brickwork and wood, and an upstairs dining area. Draught beer is happy hour between 3 pm and 7 pm. Great pizzas.

Storm P Bar & Restaurant 5B Nguyen Sieu, D1 Tel: 3827 4738 www.stormp.vn This friendly hangout is a favourite with both the Scandinavian community and English-speaking expats. Offers Danish cuisine to go with the drinks. 

The Tavern R2/24 Hung Gia 3, Bui Bang Doan, D7 Tel: 5410 3900 Boasts good international food, a pool table, dartboards and sports coverage on large screens. Outdoor seating on mutiple levels. Second floor sports lounge hosts DJs at the weekends.  ZanZBar 41 Dong Du, D1 Funky, modern interiors and varied international breakfast, lunch and dinner cuisine. Imported beers, cocktails, gourmet espresso coffee, and happy hours make ZanZBar a great after-work spot. Open late.

CAFES Annam Cafe 16-18 Hai Ba Trung Cosy corner cafe with free Wi-Fi overlooking Hai Ba Trung. Serves a slate of gourmet sandwiches, coffee and wine. Bobby Brewer’s 45 Bui Vien, D1 Tel: 3920 4090 70 Nguyen Cong Tru, D1 Tel: 3821 8100 86 Pham Ngoc Thach, D3 Tel: 6299 1990 www.bobbybrewers.com This is an attractive fast-food style coffee shop with friendly staff and good lattes. All the coffee is roasted on the premises and there are comfortable couches and travellers aplenty making it a chilled place to hang out.  Cafe Terrace Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi, D1 This funky café is frequented by trendy types attracted by the leather lounges, outdoor terrace and 52 non-alcoholic fruit concotions. Cay Da Cafe Ground floor, Moevenpick Hotel Saigon 253 Nguyen Van Troi, Phu Nhuan Tel: 3844 9222 ext. 118 www.moevenpick-saigon.com Stocks the Moevenpick’s chef’s most delicious cakes, pastries, ice cream and sandwiches. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf 12-14 Thai Van Lung, D1

broaden your palate with promotions around town

Feast on a multitude of authentic Argentinean dishes and treats at Top of the Town. Savour traditional appetisers and indulge with sizzling Argentinean beef. Finally, top your meal off with silky smooth Flan De Leche. If you’re looking to really satisfy your sweet tooth, try some Churros coated in sugar served with rich hot chocolate. Call 3833 6688 ext. 2626. 25th Floor, Windsor Plaza Hotel. 18 An Duong Vuong St., District 5

KFC

Until August 31, all KFC stores in Vietnam will offer the ‘Summer So Good’ promotion. When you buy any KFC combo with upsize Pepsi, you will get a scratch coupon with a code inside to join the lucky draw program on KFC’s website. Prizes up for grabs include MP3 players, mobile speakers, recorders, headphones, and more. For details visit kfcvietnam.com.vn. Teachers, register for your discount card at

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Peaches: The Curry Pub Sky Garden 2, S57-1, Phu My Hung, D7 Tel: 5410 0999 Serves up dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, China, Japan, Singapore and Indonesia with a focus on healthy preparation and fresh produce.

Le Pub 175/ 22 Pham Ngu Lao, D1 www.lepub.org One of Pham Ngu Lao’s favourite watering holes, Le Pub also has a good menu of well-executed pub grub and international favourites. Hearty breakfast is available all day and specials are offered daily.

TOTT Bar & Restaurant

Mekong Merchant

Pasha Bar & Restaurant 25 Dong Du, D1 Tel: 08 629 136 77 www.pasha.com.vn Turkish–Mediterranean restaurant located in heart of HCMC serves halal and high quality food with ingredients imported from Turkey, Spain, Singapore, Egypt, New Zealand, Japan and France. Long happy hour half price by glass. Various shisha flavours.

Mekong Merchant and Bistro to get a 10 percent discount for food and drink. Free drink for all those who register in August. Happy Hour Tasty Bites from 4 to 7 pm. Enjoy our chef’s surprise complimentary daily bites with all happy drinks.

Market 39

The InterContinental’s Market 39 will offer its school holiday promotion until the end of August. Children under the age of 12 can enjoy a complimentary buffet lunch when accompanied by adults. Call 3520 9999. Corner Hai Ba Trung and Le Duan, District 1

Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers

Famous mixologist duo Dannie and Ben Sorum will perform at the Sheraton Saigon’s Mojo Café and Level 23 from August 10 to 14. They will also offer a interactive cocktail class showcasing the latest international trends on August 12 from 6.30 to 8.30 pm. Book in quick as classes are limited. The

two-hour cocktail class includes ingredients and costs 500,000 VND ++ per person. Call 3827 2828 for more information. 88 Dong Khoi, District 1

Yu Chu

Until the end of September, the InterContinental’s signature Chinese restaurant, Yu Chu, will cut 25 per cent off a la carte orders. The offer is valid at dinner time and for groups with three or more people. For more information call 3520 9099. Corner Le Duan and Hai Ba Trung, District 1

Lobby Lounge

From August 6 to 19, the Caravelle Hotel’s Lobby Lounge will serve champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries a la carte. A flute of Taittinger Champagne, half a dozen fresh strawberries and high-quality melted chocolate costs 380,000 VND. Call 3823 4999 or visit caravellehotel.com. 19 Lam Son Square, District 1


BE A GUEST OF PRINCESS D’ANNAM RESORT & SPA

STAY 2 NIGHTS, PAY ONE USD 225 net / Mandarin Suite / Night. From 10 Jan 2011. Valid for Local Residents. Terms & Conditions Apply.

Recommended by Condé Nast Johansens & Kiwi Collection

Ke Ga Bay, 35 km South of Phan Thiet Tel: (84 62) 3682 222; Fax: (84 62) 3682 333 Email: info@princessannam.com Website: www.princessannam.com


94 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D3 Nowzone, 235 Nguyen Van Cu, D5 Metropolitan Bldng, 235 Dong Khoi, D1 International café chain with a wide variety of coffees and teas, as well as light snacks and food. Also sells freshroasted coffee beans and tins of whole leaf tea.  Gloria Jean's Coffee Grand View, Phu My Hung, D7 Tel: 5412 228 Gloria Jean's provides the highest quality gourmet coffee and teas. Stocks more than 30 flavours of coffees and tea as well as a selection of gift items.  Jubarcalypse 35 Dong Khoi, D1 Tel: 3827 7930 Jubarcalypse has an interesting underground design. Playing jazz music, it’s

the perfect place to re-energize with a refreshing selection of juices and snacks. Loaves and Fishes 5 Street 11, Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 3547 0577 Coffee house on a side street near Riverside Apartments serves up drinks and serves the full line of Western-style baked goods from Harvest Baking. Mojo 88 Dong Khoi, D1 www.sheratonsaigon.com A top-end cafe with an attractive interior, outdoor terrace at street level and comfortable lounges upstairs. Good business coffee or lunch venue. Paris Deli 35 Dong Khoi, D1 Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi, D1

Tel: 3821 6127 Grand View Building, Nguyen Duc Canh, Phu My Hung, D7 Tel: 412 2179 Petite boulangerie/cafe decked out with French-style furnishings. Offering tasty French and international dishes with a range of lunchtime specials at reasonable prices. That’s Café Rivergarden, 170 Nguyen Van Huong, D2 The Crescent, 103 Ton Dat Tien, Phu My Hung, D7 Hailing from the U.S., That’s Café is a new Khai Silk initiative. Claiming to provide the best coffee in town in a comfortable and friendly atmosphere, it’s a great place to hold a business meeting or catch up with friends. Une Journee A Paris 234 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 3827 7723 15B Ngo Quang Huy, An Phu, D2 Tel: 0128 608 9551 A Parisian-style café that serve French cuisine, coffee and pastries like fondant chocolat, baba au rhum and tropezienne. Free Wi-Fi. Open Monday to Saturday from 7 am to 7 pm. X Cafe 58 Pasteur, D1 Tel: 3914 2142 Bright, spacious foreign-run cafe decorated in the style of an Alpine chalet. Popular with local makers and shakers, has a great open-plan upstairs area and two outdoor terraces. Regular live music and homemade ice cream. Nguyen Trai location includes children’s playground. Catering available.

Vine Cellar Door Ho Chi Minh City 41 Hai Ba Trung, Ben Nghe ward, Dist 1, HCMC T:(+84.8) 3822 2284

Weekly wine tasting every Saturday 1:30 to 5:30pm Only 200,000 vnd

Hours of operation 10:00 am - 10:00pm

Zenta 41 Mac Dinh Chi, D3 A large, extravagant, kitsch cafe with several rooms resembling airport departure lounges. Customers, though, tend to gravitate to the more attractive outdoor terrace with its pond and waterfall-style water features.

CHINESE Dragon Court 11-13 Lam Son Square, D1 Tel: 3827 2566 Open until 2am, this vast, no-frills eatery gets packed with hungry locals who savour generous portions of tasty dim sum. All the Chinese staples are here. Expect a good feed for under 100,000 VND per person. Dynasty Restaurant New World Hotel, 76 Le Lai, D1 Tel: 3822 8888 Fine Chinese dining in an opulent restaurant reminiscent of the Middle Kingdom’s imperial days. Delicacies clock in at 500,000 VND, but most dishes fall between 80,000 to 180,000 VND.

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Huy Long Vien 99 Nguyen Du, D1 Tel: 3823 7799 www.huylongvien.com A magnificent Chinese restaurant with a leafy slate-tiled courtyard, Chinese lanterns and a labyrinth of water works. Lunchtime dim sum is 120,000 VND, while the a la carte menu runs higher with Chinese specialties such as Peking duck for 400,000 VND. Kabin Renaissance Riverside Hotel, 8-15 Ton Duc Thang, D1 Tel: 3822 0033 Elegant dining space with beautiful decor and great views over the river offers extensive lunch and dinner menus featuring authentic gourmet Cantonese and Szechuan dishes and an assortment of dim sum at lunchtime. Li Bai Sheraton Hotel, 88 Dong Khoi, D1 Tel: 3827 2828 Imperial-styled restaurant named after a famous Chinese poet. Excellent lunch time dim sum buffet for USD $17.00. Nightly à la carte menu with dishes going from 100,000 VND. Lotus Court 1st floor, Moevenpick Hotel Saigon 253 Nguyen Van Troi, Phu Nhuan Tel: 3844 9222 ext. 168 www.moevenpick-saigon.com Dim Sum and exciting Cantonese cuisine in a unique and elegant setting. Ming Dynasty 23 Nguyen Khac Vien, Phu My Hung Tel: 5411 5555 Decorated in Ming Dynasty-style; offers 100 dim sum varieties and 300 dishes prepared by a chef from Hong Kong. The restaurant’s Imperial Buffet costs USD $39 per person and includes free flow of wine. Ngan Dinh Chinese Restaurant Windsor Plaza Hotel, 18 An Duong Vuong, D5 Tel: 3833 6688 Beautiful wood paneling, colourful hanging lanterns and a sparkling mineral gallery make for a relaxing dining experience at the Windsor. Feast on roasted Pi Pa duck, giant grouper and steamed king prawns. Be sure to check out monthly specials. Ocean Palace 2 Le Duan, D1 Tel: 3911 8822 Both traditional and trendy Chinese dishes are prepared by chef from Hong Kong and served in an opulent 280-seat dining room in this restaurant opposite the zoo. Intimate private rooms and larger party rooms available for booking. Shang Palace Restaurant Norfolk Mansion, 17-19-21 Ly Tu Trong, D1 Tel: 3823 2221 www.shangpalace.com.vn


An upscale Chinese restaurant with a spacious and welcoming atmosphere. The menu boasts a wide range of Hong Kong Cantonese cuisine, including both dim sum, a la carte and set menus, regularly changed by the creative chefs. Thao Li Restaurant Grand View C, Nguyen Duc Canh, Phu My Hung Tel: 5412 5999 Daily Dim Sum Buffet costs USD $9.90 per person, starting from 11 am. The daily A La Carte Dinner Buffet costs $14.90 per person; includes more than 55 dishes. Truyen Ky 261B Dao Duy Tu, D10 Small homestyle Chinese restaurant specializing in the salty Hakka cuisine of southeastern China, including tofu and chilis stuffed with fish paste. Yu Chu InterContinental Asiana Saigon, corner of Hai Ba Trung and Le Duan, D1 Tel: 3520 9099 dine@icasianasaigon.com Specializing in authentic Cantonese and Peking cuisine. Award-winning chef prepares dishes including handmade noodles, dim sum and wok-fried items. Wide selection of live seafood. Five interactive kitchens.

DESSERT PARLOURS

FRENCH Agapéstro River Garden, 170 Nguyen Van Huong, Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 0903 669 252 Serves fine French cuisine originating from all over France—particularly seafood and dishes prepared from foie gras. Annamite French Restaurant 21 Tu Xuong, Ward 7 D3 Tel: 6277 8332 annamite-restaurant.com The new VN restaurant area of D3 opens a classic French dinning option, led by ex Caprice chef. Snug atmosphere with a classic touch . French favourites such as escargot in garlic butter, Pan fried goose froie gras, duck in port wine, poached river sole with saffron sauce and classic flambé crepes. Au Manoir de Khai 251 Dien Bien Phu, Q3 Tel: 3930 3394 This top-end contemporary French restaurant is set in a picturesque colonial villa with a lush courtyard and a lavish interior. Full of private rooms and opulent lounge areas, this unique eatery is the brainchild of Vietnamese fashion guru Hoang Khai of Khai Silk fame. Offers up dishes such as lobster consomme, panfried duck liver, salmon medallions with Moet and escalope de foie gras.

Bo Gia (The Godfather) 29 Ngo Duc Ke, D1 20 Ho Huan Nghiep, D1 299 Nguyen Van Troi, Tan Binh Does brisk lunchtime trade with its selection of more than 25 ice cream favours and Vietnamese noodle and rice dishes.

La Fourchette 9 Ngo Duc Ke, D1 Tel: 3829 8143 Rustic downtown restaurant, with a good longstanding reputation for serving good traditional French fare at reasonable prices. Open 12 am to 2 pm and from 7 pm to 10 pm.

Ciao Cafe 40 Ngo Duc Ke, D1 With a number of branches downtown (21 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai and 26 Tran Cao Van, among others), this popular cafe offers a mixture of food, drinks and books. Boasts about 20 ice cream specials and serves crepes, sodas and shakes.

La Nicoise 42 Ngo Duc Ke, D1 Tel: 3822 8613 Small French-style bistro, with pretty mosaic tiled bar and tables. Offers a good range of teas, coffees and espressobased drinks. Lunch menu changes daily, but always encompasses traditional French food. Open until 10 pm.

Fanny Ice Cream 29-31 Ton That Thiep, D1 Tel: 3821 1633 Vincom Center, 70/72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 www.fanny.com.vn Tranquil open-terraced heaven for ice-cream lovers. Menu contains fresh fruit, ice cream, sherbets and sorbets (coconut, caramel and Bailey’s ice-cream and mango sorbet are standouts). All you can eat first Friday of the month.  Ministry of Food 30 Le Loi, D1 Tel: 3827 7898 Vincom Center, 70/72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Two-floor dessert house specializing in Italian and Japanese treats serving a wide array of ice cream flavours using milk from Japan’s dairy capital. Also serves sandwiches and bento boxes. New Zealand Natural 3rd Floor, Parkson Department Store 39-45 Le Thanh Ton, D1 4th Floor, Diamond Plaza, 34 Le Duan 1st Floor, Saigon Superbowl, 843 Truong Son, Tan Binh www.newzealandnatural.com Serves flavours ranging from chocolate ecstasy, fruits of the forest and boysenberry dream by the scoop. Yogen Fruz 118 Pasteur, D1 106 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D1 Vincom Center, 70/72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Panorama Apartments, Ton Dat Tien, Phu My Hung, D7 www.yogenfruz.com Frozen yoghurt parlour is decked in modmeets-IKEA decor and serves no-fat, and low-fat fro-yo blended with fresh fruits, as well as soft serve and smoothies.

Le Jardin 31 Thai Van Lung, D1 Tel: 3825 8465 This delightful restaurant in a picturesque garden setting is open for lunch and dinner and serves excellent French food at reasonable prices. Main courses cost about 60,000 VND and a carafe of house wine costs 50,000 VND. L’en Tête 139 Nguyen Thai Binh, D1 Tel: 3821 4049, 0903 188 091 This stylish bistro and gallery serves up a large selection of French fare representing an excellent selection of classic French fish and meat dishes, as well as international cuisine. Live music on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays starting at 8 pm. MM Bistro 23 Thao Dien, An Phu Tel: 3744 6478 A French-style bistro that serves up design-your-own antipasto platters, tartines, healthy juices, desserts and more. Also sells homemade bread, the most popular being the signature wholemeal.

INDIAN Ganesh 15 - B4 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 3822 3017 Casual dining with takeaway available, Ganesh serves up both North and South Indian culinary traditions. Very reasonably priced, with vegetarian curries from 40,000 VND and chicken dishes from 64,000 VND.  Saigon Indian 73 Mac Thi Buoi, D1 Tel: 3824 5671 Popular venue with an enormous menu.

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imbibe

street gourmet

Northern Italian Drops By Darryl Bethea and Michael Doyle Second only to France, Italy is one of the world’s top producing wine countries. With the Alps to the north and Africa to the south you have a wide range of climates, elevations, sun exposure, soil types, and bodies of water contributing to the terroir that the best wines of the world are famous for. Just take a look at the North starting with the Piedmont region (Piemonte in Italy). Piedmont is one of Italy’s two greatest wine regions, with a high number of status wines like Barolo and Barbaresco, made from the nebbiolo grape. These wines are big, powerful, majestic red wines that can benefit from ageing. It is not unlikely to wait for 10 to 12 years or more after bottling to take your first drink. These wines are not wimpy, and should be paired with equally powerful, flavour rich meat dishes, rich risottos, foods that can benefit from the tannins. The most widely planted grape of Piedmont is the Barbera. Barbera originates from the same region, but is totally different in character. No long ageing requirements needed, no hard-edged tannic edges, just a juicy, flavourful, medium bodied red wine with excellent acidity balance. (Perfect alone or with food.) The best Barbera will be found in the town of Alba (Barbera d’ Alba). This wine is the most popular in Piedmont; just starting to gain popularity in Southeast Asia. As for premium white wine, you will be hard pressed to find a better white wine than that from the Cortese grape. This wine produces a crisp wine with citrus and mineral notes. The best is made in the

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village of Gavi, thus the common name of this wine is Gavi di Gavi. Near Italy’s Riviera, the wine can be paired with any fresh seafood, an easy and foolproof food pairing. Next let's take a look at the 'Holy Trinity' of the North, Tre Venezie. Comprised of Trentino-Alto Adige, FriuliVenezia, and Veneto, this is the northernmost region in Italy. Steep alpine valleys create some of the most famous and acclaimed white wines. Have you heard of Pinot Grigio, Soave, Prosecco, and Pinot Bianco? When it comes to the red wine of this region, you will find Amarone, and Valpolicella. The main difference in these wines is that Amarone is left on the vine longer, then dried on bamboo shelving in the cellar for three to four months, resulting in a more intense, full bodied, higher alcohol content (minimum 15 percent alcohol level) wine, with complex levels of taste and mouth feel. Take away the extra time on vine and special drying process, and you have Valpolicella. Next month, we’ll travel south. Darryl Bethea is Group Sales Manager for Fine Wines of the World (093378-5005) and is a Certified Sommelier from the Court of the Master Sommeliers. Michael Doyle is Group General Director for Fine Wines of the World (0903731032), a Certified Specialist of Wine (Society of Wine Educators) and a Certified Sommelier from the Court of the Master Sommeliers.

Banh bo dua At first glance, it's easy to mistake banh bo dua for a tart, mini quiche or even a knish. But take a bite and you'll know you're eating classic street food. The outside is made from two thin pieces of baked wheat flour that fit over each other, and the filling is a mixture of shredded

coconut, lentils and sugar. To eat this chewy, sweet treat simply slice it up and serve or remove the baked wheat covering to enjoy the coconut mixture directly. Banh bo dua is served warm and can be found around town all day. A serving costs 5,000 VND.

Serves both southern and northern Indian dishes like tandoori, biryani, dosa and idly snacks, plus a wide range of vegetarian dishes. Offers a set lunch menu. Cater service is available. 

takes meat seriously. The mixed grills and rodizio are fantastic and served in generous portions. No meat-eater should miss the churrasco: 12 cuts of meat carved at your table, plus unlimited salad.

Tandoor 74/6 Hai Ba Trung, D1 Tel: 3930 4839 www.tandoorvietnam.com Part of a chain of restaurants covering Hanoi and Saigon, Tandoor features a large selection of standard northern Indian dishes, including a good vegetarian selection. Excellent cheap set lunches and reasonable prices all around. Will organize catering for events. 

Au Parc 23 Han Thuyen, D1 Tel: 3829 2772 Lavishly decorated brasserie borrowing from Moroccan and French styles and popular during lunchtime with expats. Specializes in Middle Eastern and North African food. The salad menu is a favourite, and a great range of lush smoothies and juices are on offer. 

INTERNATIONAL Al Fresco’s 21 Mac Dinh Chi D1 Tel: 3823 8427 27 Dong Du, D1 Tel: 3822 7317 D1-23 My Toan 3, D7 Tel: 5410 1093 400 Nguyen Trai, D5 Tel: 3838 3840 www.alfrescosgroup.com Theme restaurant boasting a range of Tex-Mex, Italian and Australian-style BBQ dishes. Huge portions and tasty Australian ribs coupled with a good atmosphere and helpful staff. Good lunch menu.  Amigo Grill 55 Nguyen Hue, D1 Tel: 3824 1248 Outstanding steaks made with Australian, U.S. and Argentine beef, served in a cosy, family-friendly environment with large tables and banquette seating. Dishes like leg of lamb and seafood are also on the menu. Open 11 am to 11 pm. Au Lac Do Brazil 238 Pasteur, D3 Tel: 3820 7157 36/19-21 Pham Van Nghi-Bac, D7 Tel: 5410 5566 www.aulacdobrazil.com A Brazilian barbecue restaurant that

Black Cat 13 Phan Van Dat, D1 Tel: 3829 2055 628 An Binh, An Phu, D2 Tel: 3898 9837 Tiny but popular District 1 restaurant serving up an excellent selection of Western and Vietnamese fare and an extensive range of sandwiches and burgers. The District 2 location also features a slate of sushi and Mexican food, and the District 7 outpost has a full barbecue menu.  BoatHouse 40 Lily Road, APSC Compound, 36 Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 3744 6790 Riverside restaurant with umbrella-shaded tables spread across outdoor deck and small indoor dining room. Serves remarkably fresh and inspired dishes made with choice local and imported ingredients—favourites include the sirloin burger and pan-fried fish and chips. BoatHouse Cafe 37 Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 6281 9182 BoatHouse’s sister eatery for take-away and delivery service. Offers coffee, breakfast sandwiches, juices, smoothies, pre-packaged salads, sandwiches, burgers and fish and chips. 


Boomarang Cresent Residence 2-3-4, No. 107 Ton Dat Tien, PMH, D7 Tel: 3744 6790 Riverside restaurant with umbrella-shaded tables spread across outdoor deck and small indoor dining room. Serves remarkably fresh and inspired dishes made with choice local and imported ingredients—favourites include the sirloin burger and pan-fried fish and chips. Byblos Restaurant & Shisha Lounge 11 Ngo Duc Ke, D1 Tel: 3825 7781 www.byblos.com.vn Downtown restaurant serves a menu of Lebanese starters, salads and mains served in a casual dining room. Catering available. Events and weekly belly dance show hosted.  Cafe Evita 230 Nguyen Van Huong, An Phu, D2 Tel: 3512 3888 Academic-themed menu at this outlet near the British International School includes meals like The Principal, a triple-decker club with fries and salad and burgers that range from First to Fourth Grade. Also has a wood-fired pizza oven.  Cafe Saigon Ground floor, Moevenpick Hotel Saigon 253 Nguyen Van Troi, Phu Nhuan Tel: 3844 9222 ext. 234 www.moevenpick-saigon.com An international buffet with unique food concepts that is perfect for gathering family and friends. Cham Charm 3 Phan Van Chuong, Phu My Hung Tel: 5410 9999 The highlight of this upscale, beautifully decorated Asian restaurant is a special seafood buffet that includes Portuguese oysters, Alaskan crab, lobsters, sushi, sashimi, Japanese-style seafood, Langoustine prawns, American Angus beef and much more. Errazuriz wines are also included in the buffet. Part of the Khai Silk chain. El Gaucho 5D Nguyen Sieu, D1 Tel: 3825 1879 Cresent Residence 1_12, No. 103 Ton Dat Tien, PMH, D7 A classic Argentine steakhouse where beef is the main attraction. There is still plenty of other options on the menu, in addition to an extensive wine list. Open from 4pm until late every day. The Deck 38 Nguyen U Di, D2 Tel: 3744 6632 Serves upmarket takes on regional specialties made with fresh local and imported products. Well-designed, minimalist dining space and bar on the river are a serious draw. The Elbow Room 52 Pasteur, D1 Tel: 3821 4327 elbowroom52@yahoo.com American-style bistro offering a wide range of appetisers, soups, salads, sandwiches, mains and desserts, plus an extensive wine menu. Open daily 7.30 am to 11 pm. Breakfast served all day. Gartenstadt 34 Dong Khoi, D1 Tel: 3822 3623 Opened in 1992, it’s the first venue in town to offer German food with specialities such as pork knuckle and authentic German sausages prepared fresh each day. Also offers imported German draught beer. Good Eats NTFQ2, 34 Nguyen Dang Giai Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 3744 6672 Easteran and Western dishes are low in saturated fat and made from all-natural ingredients. Organic vegetables, herbs and spices accompany meals. Even the French fries are healthy. 

Halal@Saigon 31 Dong Du, D1 Tel: 3824 5823 www.halalsaigon.com Serving up a range of Vietnamese and Malaysian dishes prepared according to halal guidelines including ban xeo, pho and roti chennai and seafood favourites such as shrimp, squid and mussels. Hideaway Cafe 41/1 Pham Ngoc Thach, D3 Tel: 3822 4222 www.hideawaycafe-saigon.com Stylishly decorated and relaxing restaurant and cafe serving an eclectic range of tasty European-style food. Dine al fresco in the charming courtyard.  Jaspa’s 33 Dong Khoi, D1 Tel: 3822 9926 www.alfrescosgroup.com Unpretentious brasserie-style restaurant specializes in Australian-influenced international fusion cuisine. Full range of drinks including Australian and French wines and good cocktails. Hosts monthly Spam Cham networking event.  Juice 49 Mac Thi Buoi, D1 Tel: 3829 6900 Bright and stylish deli-style restaurant serving salads, sandwiches, quiches and meat pies with French fries and potato salad. Also has daily lunch and dinner menu. Excellent smoothies and juices, as well as novelty drinks like wheatgrass shooter and Cannonball cocktail.  Kita Coffee House 39 Nguyen Hue, D1, Tel: 3821 5300 Four-level restaurant serving a wide menu of mains, pastas, salads, sandwiches, soups and appetizers for lunch and dinner, as well as a variety of coffee and fresh fruit juices. Includes a bright ground floor cafe, sophisticated Old World second floor bar and rooftop dining. Set dinner everyday from 5pm.  Market 39 InterContinental Asiana Saigon Ground Floor, Corner Hai Ba Trung and Le Duan, D1 Tel: 3520 9099 dine@icasianasaigon.com Seven interactive live kitchens offering French, Vietnamese and Southeast Asian cuisines, including a bakery, French patisseries, pancakes, tossed salads, grilled steak, seafood, wok-fried items, noodles and pasta dishes. Mekong Merchant 23 Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 3744 4713 Set in a courtyard, this rustic Australianstyle brasserie has brought modern international cuisine to suburban An Phu. Popular for weekend brunches. Weekly specials and seafood flown in from Phu Quoc.  New York Dessert Cafe (nydc) Restaurant and Cafe NOWZONE 235 Nguyen Van Cu, D1 Metropolitan 235 Dong Khoi, D1 Parkson Flemington 184 Le Dai Hanh, D11 Vincom Center, 70/72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 The Crescent. Phu My Hung, 107 Ton Dat Tien, D7 New York themed menu offering a wide selection of Western dishes and desserts, including a variety of cheesecakes. New York Steakhouse & Winery 25-27 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, D1 Tel: 3823 7373 New-york@steakhouse.com.vn www.steakhouse.com.vn Chic dining venue designed in a classic New York City Art Deco. Open every day until late. Specializes in certified U.S. Black Angus steak, and features a fully stocked wine cellar. Guests are invited to bring their own wine on BYOB Mondays. Orientica Hotel Equatorial, 242 Tran Binh Trong,

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D5 Tel: 3839 7777 www.equatorial.com/hcm Top-end seafood and grill restaurant boasting modern decor. Good service and excellent food presentation make this a pleasant alternative to the downtown scene.

recipes Raspberry Trifle makes 4 cups | prep time: 15 minutes

Pacharan Tapas and Bodega 97 Hai Ba Trung, D1 Tel: 3825 6024 This tapas restaurant and bar serves up superb Spanish fare crafted from authentic imported ingredients. The exclusively Spanish wine list is extensive and Sangria is half price during happy hour from 5 pm to 7 pm and all day Wednesday. The Refinery 74/7C Hai Ba Trung, D1 Tel: 3823 0509 Authentic bistro with cane furniture outside, informal indoor restaurant section and a bar area. Cuisine is light, modern European. The menu spans a price range to suit most budgets. Reflections Caravelle Hotel, 19 Lam Son Square, D1 Tel: 3823 4999 Contemporary fine dining that combines Asian flavors with classic Mediterranean cuisine in an ambiance of understated elegance and European style. Special culinary events include guest chefs from Michelin-star establishments around the world. Private rooms are available.

This is an ‘oh-so-simple’ dessert that is ‘oh-so-beautiful’ to behold. You just need to assemble it and pop it in your fridge! 1 store-bought butter cake 2 cups of raspberry jam 1 tin of fruit cocktail 1 1⁄2 cups custard Whipped cream Raspberries ONE Cut butter cake into slices, spreading jam on each. Insert into bottom of glass. TWO Pour some fruit cocktail juice to soak the cake. Add a layer of fruits on top. THREE Pour in custard and repeat again from butter cake until you have enough layers to fill each glass to the brim. FOUR Chill it in the fridge for 5 hours or overnight. FIVE When ready to serve, spoon whip cream on top and fresh raspberries. Custard: 1 1⁄2 tbs custard powder, 2 cups milk, 1 tbs sugar / condensed milk ONE Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl and zap on high (900 watts) for 2 mins in microwave. Every 1⁄2 minute, take out custard and whisk it. This will prevent it from curdling and forming a top skin. For more information contact Elizabeth Png-Reade at elizabeth.png-reade@electrolux.com

Recipes provided by

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Riverside Cafe Renaissance Riverside, 8-15 Ton Duc Thang, D1 Tel: 3822 0033 International venue opening onto the bustling river sidewalk, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and particularly noted for its sumptuous buffet selection which combines Asian, Western and Vietnamese cuisine. Samba Brazil Kitchen 10C Thai Van Lung, D1 Tel: 6291 3106 www.samba-asia.com Serves traditional Brazilian churrasco— prime meat that has been skewered and roasted. The all-you-can-eat menu includes a selection of salads and grilled pineapple and costs 550,000 VND for adults and 320,000 VND. Open daily 11 am until late. Sandals 93 Hai Ba Trung, D1 www.sailingclubvietnam.com Casual dining in evocative 3-floor space with blonde wood accents and cosy seating throughout. Kitchen turns out elegant and inspired fare at surprising value for money: meal-sized salads; filling burgers, wraps and sandwiches. Signature Restaurant Level 23, Sheraton Hotel, 88 Dong Khoi, D1 Tel: 3827 2828 Fine dining with panoramic views over central HCM City. Food is stunningly presented, top-end European cuisine with Asian influences cooked by German chef Andreas Schimanski. A la carte or five-course set menu available. Skewers 9A Thai Van Lung, D1 Tel: 3822 4798 www.skewers-restaurant.com Rustic Mediterranean restaurant where subtle colours and exposed brickwork combine with jazzy tunes. Serves tabouleh, falafel, couscous and kebab. Highly rated for its grilled meats, bread and dip combos, soups and pastas.  Square One Park Hyatt Saigon, 2 Lam Son Square, D1 Tel: 3520 2359 Specializing in high-end Western and Vietnamese cuisine, Square One serves charcoal-grilled meats and seafood, as well as steamed and wok-cooked Vietnamese fare. VillaFB 79 Suong Nguyet Anh, D1

Tel: 3823 3822 www.villafb.com Refurbished villa with a spacious designled indoor dining room and an elegant enclosed courtyard. Serves bun noodle dishes for breakfast and lunch before switching to a menu of Eastern and Western fine dining for dinner. Warda 71/7 Mac Thi Buoi, D1 Tel: 3823 3822 Chic, middle-eastern themed eatery swathed in oranges and reds serving Lebanese cuisine prepared by Damascan chef, Nouman. Mezze and tapas are the main draw, but you can also puff on hookas post-meal. Xu Saigon 71-75 Hai Ba Trung, D1 Tel: 3824 8468 www.xusaigon.com Inspired restaurant with an F&B director with a passion for mixing Vietnamese cooking with flavours and styles from around the world. Sleek but sparsely designed, the restaurant serves nouveau takes on Vietnamese cuisine.

ITALIAN Baby Spoon Cafe & Restaurant Head Office: 47 Phan Chu Trinh, D1 Tel: 3822 3356 Fax: 3822 3357 SB 2-1 Parkview, Phu My Hung, D7 Tel: 5412 0145 Level 3, Diamond Plaza, 34 Le Duan, D1 While Baby Spoon is primarily Italian, a vast selection of international cuisine is served in this Japanese-inspired restaurant. Basilico InterContinental Asiana Saigon, Ground Floor, Corner Nguyen Du and Hai Ba Trung, D1 Tel: 3520 9099 dine@icasianasaigon.com Contemporary and casual trattoria-style restaurant specializing in authentic Italian dishes and homemade desserts. Woodfired pizza oven and a wide selection of Italian wines. Casa Italia 86 Le Loi, D1 Tel: 3824 4286  www.casaitalia.com.vn Serves home-style Italian cooking including pasta and pizza as well as a selection of steak and seafood dishes. Open daily 10 am until late. Centro Caffe & Ristorante 11-13 Lam Son Square, D1 31 Ngo Duc Ke, D1 6 Thai Van Lung, D1 This is home of Illy coffee in Vietnam. Offers modern and traditional Italian cuisine in three central locations with lunchtime set menus and regular wine tasting evenings. Good spot for business coffee meetings. Good Morning Vietnam 197 De Tham, D1 Tel: 3837 1894 Popular authentic Italian restaurant with additional outlets around the country. Specializes in thin-crust pizza, pasta and a range of Italian dishes. Good selection of Italian wines.  La Braceria 11 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 3824 7446 www.labraceria.com.vn A Mediterranean-style grill house that serves imported prime steaks, lamb, duck and fresh seafood as well as pasta and pizza. Great selection of old and new world wines. La Hostaria 17B Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 3823 1080 Rustic eatery specializing in top-end traditional cuisine from various regions in Italy. Main courses from 130,000 VND with daily specials on offer. Serves excellent pizza. 


Opera Ground floor Park Hyatt Hotel, 2 Lam Son Square, D1 Tel: 3824 1234 Slick, contemporary eatery with exposed brick and glass. The space revolves around an island kitchen from which chefs produce gourmet Italian fare. Internationally trained chefs work with the freshest and finest ingredients around to produce some superb dishes. Pendalasco 87 Nguyen Hue, D1, Tel: 3821 8181 One of the city’s oldest Western restaurants, Pendalaso serves a wide range if Italian favourites, as well as remarkably authentic crispy, thin-crust pizza.  Pepperoni’s 111 Bui Vien, D1 Tel: 3920 4989 Attractive pizza and pasta restaurant from the same chain as Al Fresco’s. Good cheap buffet lunches on weekdays and all-round large and tasty portions.

Pomodoro 79 Hai Ba Trung, D1 Tel: 3823 8998 A family-oriented Italian restaurant serving traditional fare are surprisingly reasonable prices. Offers daily lunchtime specials and has an extensive wine list. Sarpino’s 125 Ho Tung Mau, D1 Tel: 3821 7788 Tasty American-style pan pizza in a pleasant and fresh Italian-themed environment. Four sizes available, from personal to extra large, with a large range of toppings. Also serves pasta, soups, wings and salads.  Scoozi 6 Thai Van Lung, D1 Tel: 3823 5795 Italian pizza restaurant affiliated with Centro Caffe serving tasty gourmet pizzas prepared in a wood-fired oven. The delicious creations restore one’s faith in HCM City’s ability to turn out a quality pie.  Villa Romaine Thao Dien Village 195 Nguyen Van Huong D2 Tel: 3744 6857 Set on the banks of the Saigon River, Villa Romaine offers traditional Italian pizzas and pastas in an alfresco setting with an excellent wine list. Open till midnight Sunday to Thursday and till 1 am Friday and Saturday.

JAPANESE

Chiisana Hashi River Garden, 170 Nguyen Van Huong, Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 6683 5308 0903 669 252 Serves authentic Japanese cuisuine including sashimi, sushi, tempura, sukiyaki and shabu shabu. Dragon Hot Pot 122-124 Ho Tung Mau, D1 Tel: 3915 1001 info@dragonhotpot.vn Japanese hot pot restaurant serving motsu nabe, Japanese barbeque and lots of sake and shoju.

Nishimura Mövenpick Hotel Saigon, 253 Nguyen Van Troi, Phu Nhuan Tel: 3844 9222 Exquisitely prepared sushi and sashimi from a globetrotting chef with three decades’ experience. A wide range of cooked dishes and monthly meal promotions are also available. Set lunches cost about USD $15. Okinawa Yamaneko 13/1 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 3823 8433 www.yamaneko-vn.com Part restaurant, part Japanese pub

serving up a variety of Okinawa favourites like sashimi with sea grapes, namakari and goya champuru plus sushi and soba. The Sushi Bar 2 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 3823 8042 3A Ton Duc Thang, D1 Tel: 3911 8618 This brightly lit Japanese-style restaurant serves over 40 varieties of sushi at reasonable prices. Sit at the sushi bar or in private rooms upstairs. Open until 11.30 pm, delivery available on request. 

Kissho 14 Nguyen Hue, D1 Tel: 3823 2223 Fax: 3823 3343 kissho.wmcvietnam.com Saigon’s newest Japanese restaurant boasts a multi-concept cuisine set in a cutting edge interior. Specialties include teppanyaki, yakiniku, sushi and sashimi crafted by expert chefs. The freshest imported meats and seafood round out the menu, accompanied by an extensive selection of fine wines and Japanese spirits. Open 11.30 am to 2 pm and 5.30 pm to 10 pm. Iki Ground floor, Moevenpick Hotel Saigon 253 Nguyen Van Troi, Phu Nhuan Tel: 3844 9222 ext. 127 www.moevenpick-saigon.com A Japanese restaurant that turns the notion of the common hotel sushi eatery on its head thanks to an affordable menu and a fun atmosphere. K Cafe 74 A4 Hai Ba Trung, D1 Tel: 3824 5355 Small, cosy and cheery, this café is noteworthy for its cracking hand rolls. Salmon skin rolls are also a treat. The assorted sushi and sashimi, tasty and beautifully presented, costs around USD $8. Leave some room for homemade yoghurt. MOF – Japanese Sweets & Coffee Level B3-17A, Vincom Centre, 70-72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 30 Le Loi, D1 Refined Japanese café specializing in unique desserts and food. Focusing on use of organic products, this casual eatery has a comprehensive Japanese dining menu along with a wonderful selection of sweets and offers possibly the most divine and delectable gelato in HCM City.

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Tama-Gawa Thao Dien Village 195 Nguyen Van Huong D2 Tel: 08 37446857 Anh Phu’s only Japanese restaurant, Tama-Gawa serves fresh sushi and other delicacies. Set lunches begin at 120,000 VND. Zen 20 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 3825 0782 Located amid the sea of Japanese restaurants on Le Thanh Ton Street, Zen offers a wide range of Japanese dishes. The yakitori station grills up fantastic steak and quail’s eggs, and the chilled udon noodles are also a standout.

KOREAN 25 Si 8A/6D Thai Van Lung, D1 Tel: 3824 6921 Traditional Yasik-style drinking restaurant.

Winter and summer scene murals fill the walls of this dual level eatery. Large menu with favs like budae jjigae, a mix of chilli paste, Spam, hot dog and tofu, as well as super spicy duruchigi. Hana 8 Cao Ba Quat, D1 Tel: 3829 5588 Japanese-Korean fusion in the heart of District 1. Contemporary decor with a private, yet open feel. Broad menu including cooked and raw fish and traditional hot pot with fish eggs, rice and vegetables. Kim Bab Chun Gook R4 42 Hung Phuoc 2, Phu My Hung Tel: 6296 9057 Korean boonshik/snack food eatery serving up a wide variety of light but substantial foods including dumplings, rameyon and fish cakes.

Kumdo 6A Pham Ngoc Thach, D3 Tel: 3824 3253 Korean beef barbecue served in small, welcoming dining rooms with barbecues built into tables. Large selection of raw meat specialties.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN Chaba Thai Thao Dien Village 195 Nguyen Van Huong D2 Tel: 3744 6857 Cosy restaurant nestled in the middle of Thao Dien Village offering authentic Thai food. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Lac Thai 71/2 Mac Thi Buoi, D1 Tel: 3823 7506 An elegant restaurant tucked in an alleyway and decorated with art-deco furniture. Authentic Thai cuisine prepared by two Thai chefs. Food is tasty but less spicy than you’d find in Thailand.  Little Manila S2-1 Hung Vuong 2, Phu My Hung, D7 Tel: 5410 0812 Small, no -frills eatery with outdoor and indoor seating located on a quiet street. Serves a range of dishes from the Philippines (pictured on menu for those unfamiliar) and draught San Miguel. Thai Express 8A Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 6299 1338 www.thaiexpress.vn Modern restaurant with a massive menu of Thai specialties served in moderate proportions. The menu inludes chef’s recommendations and background on Thai cuisine. Warning: some dishes will test your tongue’s threshold.

VEGETARIAN

Hoa Dang 38 Huynh Khuong Ninh, D1 Swish vegetarian restaurant on a quiet street that serves up nutritious dishes, including meatless versions of bun bo, pho and steamboat. Cosy bar serving non-alcoholic drinks, fruits and other sweets. Saigon Vegan 378/3 Vo Van Tan, D3 Tel: 3834 4473 Rustic vegan restaurant with extensive menu of healthy food at moderate prices. Lots of tofu dishes and soya chicken/beef, soups, banh bao and more. Also has a kids menu. Viet Chay 339 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, D3 Tel: 3526 5862 Upscale vegetarian restaurant specializes in fake meat dishes. The attractive dining room is suffused with natural light. Located within the walls of Vinh Nghiem Pagoda.

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VIETNAMESE Banian Tree River Garden, 170 Nguyen Van Huong, Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 6683 5308 – 0903 669 252 A fine dining Vietnamese restaurant that serves authentic cuisine. Offers a set lunch from US $8 per person, set dinner from $15 per person. International breakfast is served from 6.30 am - 10.30 am. Cha Ca Viet Nam River Garden, 170 Nguyen Van Huong, Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 6683 5308 0903 669 252 Serves Hanoi specialty Cha Ca—turmeric grilled fish with noodles and dill. Com Nieu 19 Tu Xuong, D3 Tel: 3932 6288 The house specialty, com nieu (smashed rice), comes with a shattered-crockery and flying-rice show at this well-known restaurant, prominently featured in Anthony Bourdain’s A Cook’s Tour. An extensive and tasty selection of southern Vietnamese cuisine rounds out the menu. Hoa Tuc 74 Hai Ba Trung, D1 Tel: 3825 1676 This comfortable high-end restaurant serves traditional Vietnamese fare with a contemporary, classy twist. Expect to find your local favourites as you’ve never experienced them before. Beautifully plated, this is Vietnamese cuisine at its best. Lang Nuong Nam Bo 285/C145 Cach Mang Thang Tam, D10 Tel: 3862 2569 Warehouse-sized quan well-regarded among locals serves everything from beef, chicken and fish to porcupine, weasel and field mouse. Great destination for intrepid gastronomes. Has standard hot pot, rice and noodle dishes too. Mandarine Restaurant 11A Ngo Van Nam, D1 Tel: 3822 9783 Fine dining Vietnamese-style courtesy of two sumptuously decorated colonial villas, an antique wooden stair and a menu spanning all regions of Vietnam. Traditional music performances are available for dinner. Nam Phan 34 Vo Van Tan, Q3 Tel: 3933 3636 Well known at its previous corner location on Le Thanh Ton, Nam Phan continues to serve modern Asian cuisine including asparagus and crab meat soup, stewed bellyfish in pineapple and grilled duck breast in orange sauce. Set in a restored colonial villa, the interior is alive with reproductions of Cham-era bas-reliefs and is inspired by Euro-Zen.


Nghi Xuan 5/9 Nguyen Sieu, D1 Tel: 3823 0699 Located down an alley just past Hai Ba Trung, featuring an attractive open firstfloor and upstairs dining rooms with dark wood furniture and carved woodwork. Serving Hue staples, crab and prawn spreads and an impressive array of wines and cocktails. Ngon Vietnamese Thao Dien Village 195 Nguyen Van Huong D2 Tel: 3744 6857 Located at the picturesque Thao Dien Village, Ngon offers authentic Vietnamese cuisine including alfresco cooking and dinning with traditional music on Thursday nights and traditional water puppet show on Saturday nights. Ngon Restaurant 160 Pasteur, D1 The long lunchtime queues tell the story: good food at low prices. More a food court than a restaurant, this has become a major favourite for its airy decor combined with cheap and tasty noodle, rice and other standard dishes. Papaya 68 Pham Viet Chanh, Binh Thanh Tel: 6258 1508 www.chi-nghia.com Hanoian classics mingle with new interpretations created by Chi Nghia, whose experience and dedication to clean, fresh ingredients set Papaya's menu apart. 10 am to 11 pm, 7 days. Temple Club 29 – 31 Ton That Thiep, D1 Tel: 3829 9244 This high-end restaurant attached to an elegant lounge bar is a must-try for its art deco atmosphere as much as for its food. Mains go from around VND80,000 to VND150,000. Wrap & Roll 62 Hai Ba Trung, D1 Tel: 3823 4030 SA1–1, My Khanh 1, Nguyen Van Linh, D7 Attractive downtown venue that brings street-style food into air-conditioned and uncluttered comfort. Choose prewrapped appetisers such as the cha gio (spring rolls) or roll-it-yourself mains with ingredients like pickled shrimps, beef on sugar cane, fish, grilled eel and pork. 

nightlife BARS & LOUNGES See bar restaurant listings for more popular watering holes. Amber Room 59 Dong Du, D1 Tel: 6291 3686

info@theamberoom.com A true London meets New York lounge, with chilled out tunes during the day and more funky vibes at night. A pleasant meeting place for drinks and a bite to eat.

Cosy BAR with Jazz music

Bar's bar 47 Phan Chu Trinh, D1 Tel: 3822 3352 Small luxurious upstairs bar adjacent to Ben Thanh Market, offers a welcome retreat from the bustle of the city centre. Customers are served with relaxing music and a wide selection of cocktails, whiskies and Japanese Sake. Open nightly 6-late.  Cloud 9 2bis Cong Truong Quoc Te, D3, HCMC (Corner of Turtle Lake Roundabout & Tran Cao Van), Tel: 0948 445544 Recently opened with beautiful déco, this rooftop lounge bar has its stunning views at night. Live DJ, great cocktails and desserts. Open 6pm till late. 

47 Phan Chu Trinh, Dist 1, HCMC Opposite Ben Thanh Market upstairs from Baby Spoon

Tel: 08 3822 3352 Open 6pm to late

Level 23 23rd Floor, Sheraton Hotel 88 Dong Khoi, D1 Tel: 3827 2828 One of the best views of the city from this upmarket terrace bar and lounge. Excellent cocktails don’t come cheap but the atmosphere is great with live music throughout the week and a live DJ every Monday. The Library InterContinental Asiana Saigon, corner of Hai Ba Trung and Le Duan, D1 Tel: 3520 9099 dine@icasianasaigon.com Unwind with a glass of wine or a cup of tea. The Library provides a welcoming atmosphere for those in search of calm, comfort and personalized service. Park Lounge Park Hyatt Hotel 2 Lam Son Square, D1 Tel: 3824 1234 Elegant lounge bar, with classic songs played every night by international musicians. The salubrious surroundings are matched by the range of the drinks, with vintage wines from USD $6 to $10 per glass. Tiger is $4.50 a bottle. Purple Jade InterContinental Asiana Saigon, corner of Hai Ba Trung and Le Duan, D1 Tel: 3520 9099 Chic lounge blends the stylistic influences of contemporary design and opium dens. Hosts live music and serves special drinks, including Shaoxing and Maotai rice wines and an exclusive selection of luxury spirits. Q Bar Opera House, 7 Lam Son Square, D1 With low ceilings, intimate cubbyholes, colonial arches, gold paint, ultraviolet

LOUISIANE BREWHOUSE Beachside Nha Trang Asian & Western Cuisine Swimming Pool & Private Beach www.louisianebrewhouse.com.vn

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lighting and clubhouse beats, this is a bar that has a reputation for being a place to be seen. Great outdoor terrace and late-night indoor opening.

BREWHOUSES Alderbrau 98 Nguyen Du, D1 Small brewhouse decorated with antique brewing miscellanea, with an enclosed garden for outdoor swilling the small range of house brews and bottled imports. The kitchen dishes up sausages, German fare, and Vietnamese dishes. Gammer Czech Beer 107 Pasteur, D1 Tel: 3824 8619 www.biatuoitiepvn.com Attractive, multi-story Czech beer hall furnished with heavy wood and outfitted with a few flat screen TVs tuned in to sports. Dark and blonde beers are available, as well as a full menu of Vietnamese food from mussels to rabbit. Lion Brewery 11C Lam Son Square, D1 Tel: 3823 8514 Microbrewery featuring traditional German brew technology and German fare like pork knuckle and wurst. Good spot to meet friends and enjoy a hearty meal and a whole lot of beer.

Au Parc Catering Services 23 Han Thuyen, D1 Tel: 3829 2772 Catering services available every day of the year for birthday cakes, dinner parties, wine tastings and corporate events. For a custom-made quotation e-mail auparc@hcm.vnn.vn or call Quynh on 0908 196261. Saigon Catering 84 Xuan Thuy, D2 Tel: 6281 8388 Provide services of catering, banquets, event planning, BBQ’s, daily deliveries and cocktail parties. For a custom-made quotation e-mail SaigonGG@gmail.com or call Huong on 0913 981128.

COOKERY CLASSES Caravelle Hotel Cooking Classes Caravelle Hotel, 19 Lam Son Square, D1 Tel: 3823 4999 Full-day Vietnamese cooking classes for groups of up to 20 people. The classes include a visit to the market with the sous chef.

Fuse Bar 3A Ton Duc Thang, D1 A popular bar that plays primarily hiphop music. Every Tuesday Fuse hosts a ladies night where women drink for free and two bottles of wine can be purchased for 2 million VND.

Saigon Cooking Class by Hoa Tuc The Courtyard, 74/7 Hai Ba Trung, D1 Tel: 3825 8485 i.briosca@saigoncookingclass.com contact@saigoncookingclass.com Cooking classes available from Tuesday to Sunday 10 am-1 pm/2 pm-5 pm. Students make an entire meal that includes traditional dishes like pho and cha gio, as well as more creative fare. Conducted by Vietnamese chef in English, Japanese or French on request.

Lush 2 Ly Tu Trong, D1 Tel: 3824 2496 A large and lavishly decorated bar and club popular on weekends. Good DJs playing the latest in beat-based music and the city’s beautiful people add to the sights and sounds. It’s on-par with Western clubs in both ambience and drinks prices.

Vietnam Cookery Centre 362/8 Ung Van Khiem, Binh Thanh Tel: 3512 1491 Well-known Vietnamese cooking classes with half-day and more indepth eight-day courses. Students work in a comfortable kitchen area with their own stove and workspace. Eight-day course costs USD $160.

NIGHTCLUBS

at home BAKERIES Harvest Baking 30 Lam Son, Tan Binh Tel: 3547 0577 harvestbaking@yahoo.com This authentic bakery offers a range of specialty baked goods for delivery. Offering bagels, scones, breads, desserts,cakes, tarts and more. Chocolate fudge cake and cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing highly recommended. Pat A Chou 65 Hai Ba Trung, D1 25 Thao Dien, D2 The home of the long and crusty baguette. Supplies many restaurants but also sells wholesale. The miniature patisseries such as crème brulée and cheesecake are worth a taste. Opens at 6.30 am. Tous Les Jours 180 Hai Ba Trung, D3 Part of the Korean bakery chain, Tous Le Jours stocks a superb range of freshly baked good from sugary treats like pain au chocolat to superior quality baguettes and loafs. Voelker 17 A7 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 7303 8799 39 Thao Dien, An Phu, D2 Tel: 6296 0066 Small bakery turns out sweet and salted pies and mousses in addition to baguettes and a range of Western sweets.

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CATERING

DELIVERY Da Vinci’s Pizza 001B Hoang Dieu, H1, D4 Tel: 3943 4982 Wide variety of brick oven pizza, calzones, spaghetti, subs and sandwiches. Pizzas come in medium and large sizes and pay homage to Italy with names like Verrochio, Pompeii and Assisi.  KITCHEN Tel: 0974 444 001 kitchen.net.vn Visit the website and start an account to begin ordering fresh, homemade meals to your home. Options include beef lasagne, big chicken and mushroom pies and pork dijon as well as a variety of sausages and vegetarian dishes. Must order a minimum of three dishes at a time. Pizza Hut Delivery (PHD) Tel: 3838 8388 www.pizzahut.vn Serving up pizza, pasta, chicken wings and much more. PHD guarantees 30-minute delivery or a free pizza at your next order (you must live within 2 km from a PHD store).

GROCERIES Annam Gourmet Market 16-18 Hai Ba Trung, D1 Tel: 3822 9332 41A Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 3744 2630 SB2-1 My Khanh 4, Nguyen Duc Canh, D7 Tel: 5412 3263 / 64 www.annam-gourmet.com Boutique grocer with wide selection of foreign foods; Annam-brand cof-


street gourmet

Bo bia ngot If you're looking for a midafternoon pick-me-up, bo bia ngot is a sure thing. Found throughout the South, it's made with sugar cane, shredded coconut and black sesame seeds neatly wrapped in sweet rice paper. As the sugar cane melts, it turns into a sticky paste, making this already extra-sweet treat

fee, tea and spices; and household products. Wine and premium beer, full deli counter, produce, dairy-frozen and baked goods on second floor. Classic Fine Foods 17 Street 12, D2, Tel: 3740 7105 www.classicfinefoods.com Luxury food primarily imports for wholesale, but also takes orders for its range of dry goods, cheese, meat, poultry and seafood from private clients. Gastro Home Delicatessen 100 Xuan Thuy, Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 6281 9830 Deli filled with fresh French-inspired delights ranging from salads to fish and vegetarian, meat and poultry dishes. Open 7 days from 9.30 am to 9 pm. Kim Hai Butchery 41 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, D1 Tel: 3821 6057 or 3914 4376 Excellent chilled imported beef, lamb, veal and other meats sold at reasonable prices. Metro An Phu, D2 Tel: 3740 6677 www.metro.com.vn Warehouse wholesaler located just off the Hanoi Highway in D2 between the Saigon Bridge and the tollbooths. Sells bulk food, fresh fruit and vegetables and meat, as well as paper products, cleaning supplies, housewares--basically everything. Organik 11A Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 090 273 3841 www.organikvn.com Online grocer based out of Dalat selling a range of organic vegetables and groceries, as well as imported

even sweeter. Bo bia ngot carts are often found near schools by the ca vien chien (fried fish ball) carts and are popular afterschool snacks with young children. But, be warned: eat too many of these tasty indulgences and you won't have room for dinner. A serving will cost you 5,000 VND.

all-natural products such as cereal, soymilk and tea. Operates a retail shop in An Phu. Phuong Ha 58 Ham Nghi, D1 Tel: 3914 1318 A mini-supermarket that sells an extensive assortment of imported packaged food, cheese, meat, fresh fruit, vegetables and fine wines. Veggy’s 29A Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 3823 8526 Sky Garden Pham Van Nghi, Bac Khu Pho, D7 Riverside Apartments 53 Vo Truong Toan, Thao Dien, D2 Popular expat market with a huge walk-in fridge area stocked with fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy products and a range of meats. Imported canned and dried foods, wines, beers, soft drinks, spirits and snacks also available.

LIQUOR & WINE The Warehouse 178 Pasteur, D1 Tel: 3825 8826 924 Tran Hung Dao, D5 Tel: 6261 1525 www.warehouse-asia.com One of the city’s premier wine distributors, The Warehouse is an aptly named, stylish wine store that stocks a full range of both New and Old World wines, sparkling wines, Champagne, spirits, imported beers and accessories. VINE Cellar Door 41 Hai Ba Trung, D1 Tel: 3822 2284 A popular wine stockist with a very wide selection of labels from around the world for those who are serious about their vino. A range of fine cigars also available.

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culture CLASSES AngelsBrush by Vin Tel: 0983377710 Shyevin@mac.com Oil painting course gives learners the opportunity to work from the different objects; explore different mediums, materials and techniques; and interpret line, tone and colour. Instructor works with students on individual basis. Helen Kling Oil Painting 189/C1 Nguyen Van Huong, Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 0903 955 780 hk.painter@gmail.com/helenkling@ yahoo.com www.helenkling.com Helene is a French painter who teaches beginners (children and adults) various techniques and the art of working with different mediums. She is also a fantastic tool for advanced artists who are looking to increase their creativity. Both day and night courses are available. Helene has a permanent exhibition at FLOW, located 88 Ho Tung Mau, D1. Printmaking alphagallery@bluemail.ch Classes are held at Alpha Gallery taught by the gallery owner Bernadette Gruber, who offers the chance to learn monotype, intaglio and etching techniques.

CINEMAS Bobby Brewer’s Movie Lounge 45 Bui Vien, D1 Tel: 3610 2220 86 Pham Ngoc Thach info@bobbybrewers.com Popular top-floor home cinema showing movies five times a day on a large screen. Email for the latest schedule. Cinebox 212 Ly Chinh Thang, D3 Tel: 3935 0610 240 3 Thang 2, D10 Tel: 3862 2425 Cinebox cinemas show both original language films with Vietnamese subtitles and the dubbed versions. Future Shorts futureshortsvietnam@gmail.com www.futureshorts.com/vn Vietnam branch of the international network screens foreign and local short films around town. Events often incorporate other media and elements, including live music, performances, installations and discussion. Submissions accepted. Galaxy Cinema 116 Nguyen Du, D1 Tel: 3822 8533 230 Nguyen Trai, D1 Tel: 3920 6688 www.galaxycine.vn Large, modern cinema that shows the latest foreign releases in English (with Vietnamese subtitles). IDECAF 31 Thai Van Lung, D1 Tel: 3829 5451 French cultural centre and cinema theatre. Showcases French movies with English and Vietnamese subtitles. Also hosts movies and documentaries from a number of overseas film festivals. Lotte Cinema Diamond Plaza, 34 Le Duan, D1 Tel: 3822 7897 LotteMart, 469 Nguyen Huu Tho, D7

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Tel: 3775 2520 www.lottecinemavn.com Modern cinema with four-way sound system. D7 location houses luxury theatre Charlotte with 32 seats and eight sofas. me phim HCM City-based film initiative that provides support to local filmmakers and hosts regular film screenings/discussions. Email dduukk@gmail.com for information or join the Facebook group. Megastar Hung Vuong Plaza, 126 Hung Vuong, D5 Tel: 08 2222 0388 CT Plaza, 60A Truong Son, Tan Binh Tel: 6297 1981 www.megastarmedia.net State-of-the-art cinema complex screening the lastest blockbusters with plush, reclining seats. All movies shown in original language with Vietnamese subtitles.

GALLERIES a little blah blah OUT-2 STUDIO, L6 FAFILM Annex 6 Thai Van Lung, D1 albbsaigon-2010.blogspot.com Operates as an engine for contemporary art by organizing projects, exhibitions, screenings and talks. Runs one major art project each year and a reading room with more than 1,000 texts on art, design and creative culture. Free for everyone and open Tue to Sat 10 am to 6 pm. Blue Space Contemporary Arts Center 97A Pho Duc Chinh, D1 Tel: 3821 3695 bluespaceart@hcm.jpt.vn www.bluespacegallery.com Busy, working gallery with easels propped up outside situated in the grounds of the beautiful Fine Arts Museum. Holds regular exhibitions by local artists. Duc Minh Gallery 31C Le Quy Don, D3 Tel: 3933 0498 Housed in an opulent colonial mansion, private museum and art gallery showcases the private art collection of Vietnamese business tycoon Bui Quoc Chi. Containing more than 1,000 pieces that range from traditional to contemporary. Galerie Quynh 65 De Tham, D1 Tel: 3836 8019 www.galeriequynh.com The city’s only international standard gallery, housed in a modern, two-floor space. Organizes regular exhibitions featuring established, emerging local/ international contemporary artists, publishes original catalogs in both English and Vietnamese. Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum 97A Pho Duc Chinh, D1 Tel: 3829 4441 btmthcm@hotmail.com Institution housing contemporary/traditional works by Vietnamese and foreign artists. Pieces date from as early as the 7th century. Includes Vietnamese antiques, art crafted by the Cham and Funan peoples. San Art Independent Artist Space 3 Me Linh, Binh Thanh Tel: 3840 0898 hoa@san-art.org www.san-art.org Artist-run, non-profit exhibition space featuring contemporary work by young Vietnamese artists. San Art hosts guest lecturers and curators. A reading room of art books and magazines is open to the public. TuDo Gallery 53 Ho Tung Mau, D1 Tel: 3821 0966 www.tudogallery.com Hosting permanent exhibitions of works by the city’s artists, Tu Do deals in oils, silk paintings and lacquerware. More than 1,000 pieces on show.

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sports & leisure Sport Street Huyen Tran Cong Chua, D1 between Nguyen Du and Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Services include mending and restringing broken tennis rackets. Products range from badminton birdies and rackets to basketball hoops, free weights, roller blades, scooters, soccer jerseys and all manner of balls. Trophies & Custom Signage Street Le Lai, D1 between Truong Dinh and Nguyen Thai Hoc Offers custom engraving on trophies and plaques made of plastic, wood, metal and glass.

CRICKET Saigon Cricket Assocation Social cricket league plays 25 overs a side matches Sunday mornings at RMIT’s District 7 pitch. Season runs November through May, with friendly games throughout the pre-season. Practice on Saturdays and Sunday afternoons. Australian Cricket Club Terry Gordon terrygordoninasia@yahoo.com.au saigonaustraliancricketclub@yahoo.com www.saigoncricket.com English Cricket Club Richard Carrington Richard.carrington@pivotalvietnam.com info@eccsaigon.com www.eccsaigon.com Indian Cricket Club Manish Sogani, manish@ambrij.com United Cricket Club Mr. Asif Ali, asif@promo-tex.net keshav.dayalani@rmit.edu.vn

DANCING DanCenter 46/2 Nguyen Cuu Van, Binh Thanh Tel: 3840 6974 www.dancentervn.com Modern, centrally located studio with foreign trained dance instructors. Classes for kids age 5+ in jazz, ballet, hip hop and tap dance. Classes for adults in yoga, jazz, hip hop, salsa, belly, tap and capoeira. Salsa Dancing at La Habana 6 Cao Ba Quat, D1 www.salsaigon.com salsaigon@gmail.com Six-week salsa package at 350,000 VND for single persons and 550,000 for a couple, run by Urko. Lessons every Tuesday (beginners L.A. style at 7.30 pm; intermediate L.A style at 8.30 pm). Registration required.

FITNESS & YOGA AIS Sports Centre 36 Thao Dien, An Phu, D2 Tel: 3744 6960, ext 126 sportscentre@aisvietnam.com www.aissportscentre.com Features six-lane, 25-metre pool, basketball and netball courts, astroturf hockey/football area and outdoor gym equipment. Available for party hire, with BBQ included on request. Membership packages available. Kids swim club and adult masters programmes. Rainbow

Divers offers scuba diving courses for children and adults. Free morning yoga. California WOW Xperience Parkson Plaza, 126 Hung Vuong, D5 28/30-32 Le Loi, D1 Tel: 6291 5999 The world’s biggest fitness centre chain is one of Saigon’s most modern places to get your sweat on. Located in Hung Vuong Plaza, CWX offers a huge workout area and all kinds of classes including spinning, KickFit, yoga and more. Caravelle Club Spa 19 Lam Son Square, D1 Tel: 3823 4999 Modern and stylish gym with lots of cardiovascular machines and free weights. The swimming pool is a great place for a dip, and the massage parlour, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi are there for winding down. Curves 15 Trinh Van Can, D1 Tel: 3821 0319 www.curvesvietnam.com Curves is a women’s only fitness franchise with over 10,000 locations and four million members. The centre offers a famous 30-minute total body workout that they say will burn up to 500 calories. Features training on ‘double positive’ resistance equipment. Daphne Chua Tel: 012 6662 6467 yogadaphne@gmail.com www.daphnechua.com Classes taught by a Yoga Alliance certified teacher from Singapore that focus on breathing and body awareness, combined with fluid movements to perfectly balance body and mind. Hatha, Restorative and Vinyasa classes are offered in group and private sessions. Diamond Way Buddhism Meditation Group Tel: 093 804 3753 Email: SaigonGompa@gmail.com www.diamondway-teachings.org Meditation group using methods of Tibetan Buddhism. Diamond Way or Vajrayana Buddhism guides practitioners to experience the nature of their own mind to reach Enlightenment. Equinox Fitness & Leisure Centre Equatorial Hotel, 242 Tran Binh Trong, D5 Tel: 3839 7777 Decent-sized 3rd-floor gym with modern cardio and weights machines, sauna, steambath, jacuzzi, and large 4th floor pool great for swimming laps. Hollywood Fitness World H3 Building, 384 Hoang Dieu, D4 Tel: 3826 4639 One of the latest & best workout environments in the city, suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Personal training is offered. Erick Tony Varin, Fitness and Swimming Instructor Tel: 0939 026 540 Erickforcearca@hotmail.com French instructor offers individual adapted programmes at home or at your gym, including weight loss, muscle gain, athletic training and post-traumatic treatment. Swimming and aqua aerobics classes for groups or individuals are also offered. K1 Fitness and Fight Factory 346 Ben Van Don, D4 Tel: 0918 337 111 www.teamminetti.com Fitness centre teaching English and Thai boxing, karate, Vietnamese martial arts, judo, fencing, grappling, and mixed martial arts with classes for both adults and children. All training conducted by a professional foreign instructor. L’Apothiquaire Fitness Centre 64A Truong Dinh, D3 Tel: 3932 5181 www.lapothiquaire.com


Internationally-certified teachers offer daily classes in Sivananda, Iyengar, Power, Yoga, Abdo-Pilates, Taebo and Aqua-Aerobics. Peaceful swimming pool, sauna and steam room. La Cochinchine Rex Hotel, 146 Pastuer, D1 Tel: 3825 1812 (ext 7477) New and affordable fitness centre located in the heart of the city. This gym has a wide range of weight machines, as well as many cardio machines, including treadmills, cross-trainers and bikes. A good variety of classes are available, including yoga and aerobic dance. Legend Hotel Fitness Centre 2A-4A Ton Duc Thang, D1 One of the best hotel fitness centres. Very well-equipped gym with cardiovascular and weight machines, along with a circular swimming pool and massage parlour. A three-month membership costs USD $400++. Nutrifort 2B1 Chu Manh Trinh, D1 Tel: 3825 8560 news@nutrifort.com/www.nutrifort.com Comprehensive health and fitness centre offering customized exercise, nutritional counseling to members. Specializing in weight loss programs, core/body alignment training with Pilates equipment. Healthy snacks available. NTFQ2 Spa 34 Nguyen Dang Giai, D2 Tel: 3744 6672 Therapeutic massage with a focus on sports massage to increase circulation, remove lactic acid build-up, restore flexibility and relieve back pain. Park Hyatt Fitness Centre 2 Lam Son Square, D1 Tel: 3824 1234 Luxury health centre with the full range of facilities including swimming pool, steam room, jacuzzi and fitness centre. Threemonth peak membership costs USD $810++ and off-peak is $450++. Renaissance Hotel Health Club 8-15 Ton Duc Thang, D1 Tel: 3822 0033 Stylish health club with gym, swimming pool, steam room, massage parlour, pool-side bar and an outstanding view of the city. Costs USD $140 a month, or $10 a day. Saigon Fitness Club New World Hotel, 76 Le Lai, D1 Tel: 3822 8888 The modern Nautilus-equipped gym is staffed by highly-qualified instructors to cater for your fitness needs. Features a swimming pool, floodlit tennis court, golf driving range, jogging track, sauna, and massage rooms. Saigon Yoga Tel: 090 835 2265 info@saigonyoga.com www.saigonyoga.com A yoga centre with highly qualified instructors offering hot yoga, Hatha Flow, restorative yoga, kids’ yoga, pre and postnatal yoga and injury rehabilitation. Also does corporate team building and yoga teacher training as well as organising yoga retreats. Sheraton Fitness Level 5, Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers, 88 Dong Khoi, D1 Tel: 3827 2828 sheraton.saigon@sheraton.com www.sheraton.com/saigon Sheraton Fitness features a team of trained professionals and new Technogym equipment. Members have full use of leisure facilities and receive discounts at hotel bars and restaurants and Aqua Day Spa. Soham Yoga Studio & Boutique 84T/4 Tran Dinh Xu, D1 Tel: 3920 5813 Soham offers Vinyasa Flow, Sivananda

and Power yoga all taught by Yoga Alliance certified instructors. Soham's boutique stocks high-quality yoga products from Manduka and Jade as well as locally made yoga accessories and international yoga publications. Sofitel Saigon Plaza Fitness Centre 17 Le Duan, D1 Tel: 3824 1555 Small but well-equipped gym with helpful staff and quality equipment. Membership costs USD $700++ for six months and $1,300++ for a year. Also runs a number of fitness classes including yoga. Yoga & Meditation Centre 335 Dien Bien Phu, D3 Tel: 3929 1706 www.ymc.org Professional team of Western and local teachers show you how to practice a combination of yoga and meditation with a range of classes such as Hatha, Yin, Vikram, Ashtanga yoga and Pilates. Yoga Living 95 Pasteur, D1 Tel: 098 880 4598 info@yogaliving.com.vn www.yogaliving.com.vn Yoga studio offering hatha, vinyasa, power and ashtanga yoga. Schedule can be self-made by members.

FOOTBALL & RUGBY Australian Rules Football Tel: 093 768 3230 www.vietnamswans.com vietnamswans@gmail.com The Vietnam Swans play regular international footy matches around Asia. Training sessions are held weekly in HCM City (2.30 pm Saturday, RMIT D7) and Hanoi (midday, Saturday, UN International School, Ciputra). All skill levels and codes welcome. Les Gaulois de Saigon www.gauloisdesaigon.com info@gauloisdesaigon.com A new team of French footballers, the side invites players and their families to come and join in their friendly training sessions, where everyone can get together and enjoy the sport while making new friends. Contact Sebastien on 0919 691785 or Romain on 0908 060139. RMIT Vietnam sports.recreation@rmit.edu.vn A new player on the SIFL scene with a team made up of students from the University. They have their own football ground on-site consisting of two brand new pitches. Contact Landon Carnie. Saigon Raiders jon.hoff@saigonraiders.com Sociable football side who are always on the lookout for new talent for their weekly matches and training sessions. The team participates in the Saigon International Football League and also has regular fixtures against local teams in the outlying provinces and also participates in international tournaments. Saigon Rugby Club Tel: 0903 735 799 www.saigonrfc.org saigonrugbyfootballclub@yahoo.com Social, mixed touch rugby played every Saturday afternoon for adults at RMIT from 4 pm until 6 pm. Regularly welcomes visiting teams and tours the region for men’s contact and women’s touch rugby tournaments. Beginners welcome. Saigon Saints chris@saigonsaints.com www.saigonsaints.com Expat football club of all ages, which has been running since 1995 and plays in the SIFL. Regularly venture on international tours especially to Bangkok and Manila and play in other local and international tournaments. The players train weekly, and new players are encouraged to join.


counsel corner

How can we deal with anxiety? Be kind to yourself while you work through the emotional challenges involved in moving to a new country. Investigate

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Dalat Palace Golf Club Phu Dong Thien Vuong, Dalat Tel: 063 3821 101 dpgc@vietnamgolfresorts.com The most beautiful course in Vietnam, combining the crisp mountain air with an environment of stately pine trees. Overlooking Xuan Huong lake, the 7,009yard course is an enjoyable challenge for golfers of all levels. Dong Nai Golf Resort Trang Bom Town, Trang Bom Tel: 061 3866 288 / 3677 590 www.dongnaigolf.com.vn Large golf resort with 27 holes, plus a villa complex, bar, sauna. jacuzzi and billiards. The resort sits on 160 hectares of land in Dong Nai Province, about 50 kilometres from the city. Membership starts at USD $2,000 a year.

Anxiety By Briar Jacques Anxiety can become a problem for the adjusting expatriate. Often the ‘trailing spouse’ bears the brunt of the emotional issues involved in resettling. They may also find themselves in a minimally supported and structured situation in comparison to their employed partner. It’s easy to understand how someone who never considered themselves anxious before may suddenly find themselves just that. Issues such as medical care, weather, air quality, neighbourhood, security, amount of free time, entertainment, money and quality time with one’s partner may change dramatically with an overseas move. Immediate challenges arise—a new residence, children to a new school, one partner giving up their job, change in family routines and different accepted gender roles in the host country. If these challenges aren’t adequately dealt with, lasting strains may emerge. One result of this may be the development of some form of anxiety. Health challenges, often common to new expats, may compound the problem. Anxiety and physical health are related in complex, reciprocal ways. Anxiety disorders have been linked to cardiac disease, skin problems, migraines, metabolic disorders, gastrointestinal issues, allergies and random muscular pain. Health issues such as these, of course, also cause and increase anxiety.

GOLF

physical issues which may be feeding the anxiety. Women should look carefully at their hormonal health as imbalances will greatly affect emotional coping ability. Make your home a safe space where you can be yourself and connect with loved ones. Develop a solid exercise routine. Eat really well. Cut out caffeine—it will only aggravate an already nervous state. Limit alcohol consumption. Drinking to ‘relax’ can temporarily help but there are much more effective relaxation techniques. Do yoga. It is a very old and complete system addressing physical, mental and spiritual health. A word of caution If your anxiety persists and seems to be ‘taking over’, you may need the help of a professional. Anti-anxiety drugs should never be self-prescribed. I say this because it is possible here. If you decide to use medication you should put yourself under the care of a mental health professional, preferably a psychiatrist. Talk therapy needs to accompany the drug therapy so they can work hand in hand to identify where the anxiety came from, what triggers it and how to manage it. Psychotropic medication needs to be monitored and you should never stop taking anti-anxiety drugs suddenly—you must be weaned off them safely by your doctor. Briar Jacques is a trained Australian counsellor who deals with issues like expat adjustment, depression, anxiety and drug abuse. Call 0122 480 8792.

Ocean Dunes Golf Club 1 Ton Duc Thang, Phan Thiet Tel: 062 3821 995 odgc@vietnamgolfresorts.com Designed by Nick Faldo, the 6,746-yard par-72 course winds through seaside dunes, with the variable coastal breezes changing its character each day. An enjoyable and eminently playable course and has become a favourite venue for expatriate tournaments. Saigon South Golf Nguyen Van Linh, Tan Phu, D7 Tel: 5411 2001 sgs.golf@yahoo.com.vn Nine-hole mini golf course and driving range set amongst attractive gardens just behind FV Hospital. Membership starts from USD $700 for 6 months. Visitors’ greens fees for a round of golf are around USD $16 before 5 pm and $19 after. Club, shoe and umbrella hire is also available. SaigonSports Academy League Tel: 093 215 3502 greg@saigonsportsacademy.com www.saigonsportsacademy.com 12-week, 5 a side community football league with Adult, U18, U14, U10 and U7 divisions. Matches held at Thao Dan Stadium in District 1. Corporate, local and expat teams compete in adult division with cash prize for champions. Song Be Golf Resort 77 Binh Duong Blvd, Thuan An Tel: 0650 3756 660 info@songbegolf.com www.songbegolf.com Located 22 kilometres from the city centre, the premier golf course in the area features an 18-hole, 6,384-metre course. Also has tennis courts, a swimming pool, and a gymnasium. Vietnam Golf and Country Club Long Thanh My Village, D9 www.vietnamgolfcc.com This facility consists of two courses of 18 holes each, one of which is designed in a more traditional Asian style, and the other in international style. Has other attractions such as boating, tennis and a restaurant area.

LEISURE Hash House Harriers www.saigonh3.com Running club that meets every Sunday at 2 pm at the Caravelle Hotel to go on a run in different locations out of town with their traditional balance of exercise and beer. Phun Runner info@phun-run.com Social running group that meets Saturdays at 7 am for a scenic run around Saigon before breakfast. Great way to explore the city, meet fellow runners and get fit for future events. Check website for rendezvous points.

Rangers Baseball Club Isao Shimokawaji isao.shimokawaji@sapporobeer.co.jp A baseball club always looking for additional players of any age, race or experience level. Plays Saturdays or Sundays, often against Korean or Vietnamese teams. Saigon International Dart League www.thesidl.com A highly popular group in town, the darts club runs a competitive year-long league for 16 pub-based teams. There are some excellent players in this sociable and international group. See website for details of how to join and latest 180 scores. Saigon International Softball League sisl@saigonsoftball.info www.saigonsoftball.info The league plays slo-pitch softball every Sunday (usually at the Taiwanese School in Phu My Hung) and always welcomes newcomers. Saigon Pony Club Lane 42, Le Van Thinh, D2 Tel: 0913 733 360 A standout facility offering pony rides, riding lessons, horse clinics and pony rentals. Also hosts events and birthdays. Senior Expat ChitChat Weekly “Coffee Talk” meetings among seniors at the Palace Hotel Café (56 – 66 Nguyen Hue, D1) each Tuesday from 10 to 11.30 am. The informal group is for local expatriates and English-speaking foreign travellers who meet to share experiences and make new friends. Call club organizer Sheldon Pruss at 0932 031 837. Squash The Landmark, 5B Ton Duc Thang, D1 Tel: 3822 2098 ext 176 www.thelandmarkvietnam.com One of three squash courts in town. Membership is open to non-Landmark residents and drop-in players. Lessons and racquets are available for additional fees. Balls are provided. Book in advance or phone for further information. Ultimate Frisbee RMIT, 702 Nguyen Van Linh, D7 www.saigon-ultimate.com Join in this exciting popular sport every Sunday afternoon from 3pm to 5pm in Saigon South. Pan-Asian competitions also organised for the more experienced. Contact David Jensen at 0909458890 Vietnam Hobby Brewers hobbybrewer.vietnam@gmail.com www.hobbybrewer-vietnam.de.tl Small group of beer enthusiasts gather bi-monthly at microbrewery to talk beer, share brewing tips and sample homemade suds. The group is keen on taking on new members with an interest in learning how to brew. Vietwings Paragliding info@vietwings-hpg.com Promoted by a local advertising executive turned test pilot, paragliding, hang-gliding, trike plane can be performed in several locations across southern Vietnam including Dalat, Phan Thiet, Tay Ninh. Call Loco on 0903 825607 for more information. X-Rock Climbing Phan Dinh Phung Sport Centre 75 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, D3 Tel: 6278 5794 503A Nguyen Duy Trinh, D2 Tel: 2210 9192 www.xrockclimbing.com Offering safe and professional climbing for anyone aged 4 and up. Featuring mountain climbing routes rated from beginner to advanced, climbing and belay-safety courses and training, birthday parties, corporate team building. Excellent facilities for children and annual membership for kids.


listings

health & beauty ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE American Chiropractic Clinic 8 Truong Dinh, D3 Tel: 3930 6667 or 0917 180 764 www.vietnamchiropractic.com A modern clinic providing chiropractic, physiotherapy, and foot care. Staffed by American-trained chiropractic physicians and a licensed American-educated doctor of physical therapy who speaks French, English, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean. Ciro Gargiulo CARE1 Executive Health Care Center The Manor, 91 Nguyen Huu Canh, Binh Thanh Tel: 3514 0757 care1_reception@vietnammedicalpractice.com www.care1.com.vn A holistic approach is used by this acupuncturist and traditional medicine practitioner to rebalance the body’s energy fields. A wide range of ailments are treated including back pain, allergies and insomnia. Institute of Traditional Medicine 273-275 Nguyen Van Troi, Phu Nhuan Dr. Le Hung is the man to see at this well-established traditional hospital & training centre. He speaks good English and provides excellent treatments in a clean environment. The Institute also provides acupuncture lessons at USD $30 per day. Osteopathic Medicine/Physiotherapy – David Truong Tan Tel: 0903 09 81 24 www.osteopathy-vietnam.com French-trained osteopath and physiotherapist specializing in the treatment of back pain and muscular, ligament and joint problems using a holistic approach and gentle manipulative techniques. Consultations available at International SOS in District 3 and Nutrifort in Districts 1 and 2. Theta Healing – Jodie Eastwood Tel: 091 859 1933 www.thetahealing.com A unique energy healing technique for mind, body and spirit. Jodie is a UK qualified practitioner based in HCM City. Traditional Medicine Hospital 197 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, D3 Friendly staff speak little to no English at this well-known ad spotlessly clean hospital offering treatments that combine traditional Chinese medicine with modern knowledge and expertise.

COSMETIC TREATMENT Cao Thang Lasik & Aesthetic Clinic 135-135B Tran Binh Trong, D5 Tel: 3923 4419 A modern clinic offering a comprehensive range of optical services. Specializes in LASIK correctional procedures, costing from USD $700 to $1,100 for both eyes. English spoken. Open seven days a week. FV Hospital Cosmetic Surgery 45 Vo Thi Sau, D1 Tel: 6290 6167 6 Nguyen Luong Bang, D7 Tel: 5411 3366 www.fvhospital.com International-standard cosmetic proce-

dures from simple dermabrasion and chemical peels to collagen injections, nose and eye shaping, liposuction, and breast enhancement. Procedures carried out by French and Vietnamese doctors using the latest equipment. Parkway Shenton International Clinic Suite 213-214, 37 Ton Duc Thang, D1 Owned by the Singapore-based healthcare giant Parkway Holdings, this aesthetics clinic offers a range of both surgical and non-surgical treatments including dental reconstruction.

DENTAL Accadent Dental Clinic 1st Floor, 161 Dong Khoi, D1 Tel: 3825 8528 English and German-speaking dentists. Accadent provide State of the Art German quality Dentistry, Sterilisation, customer care and Painless Treatments. German dentists are specialised in Esthetic Dentistry, Implants, Periodontology and Endodontics with latest German quality to all needs. European Dental Clinic 17 - 17A Le Van Mien, Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 0918 749 204/08 3744 9744 Expat English and French-speaking dentist. Performs full range of dental treatment including whitening, aesthetic fillings, porcelain crowns, full ceramics, veneer and orthodontic treatment. 24hour emergency line: 0909 551 916 or 0916 352940. Koseikai Dental Clinic 3rd floor, 21 Nguyen Trung Ngan, D1 Tel: 3910 6255 info@koseikai.com.vn www.koseikaidentist.com A member of Dental Clinic Vietnam, provide full range of dental services with the latest in technology, delivery of laboratory work and new technologies now available.

MARIANNA MEDICAL LASER SKIN CARE 149A Truong Dinh street, Ward 9, District 3, HCM Tell: 08.3526 4636 – 3526 4635 - Hotline: 0903 731 555

(*) More information, please contact consultant or www.en.marianna.com.vn

Starlight Dental Clinic Dr. Philippe Guettier & International Team of Dentists 2Bis Cong Truong Quoc Te, D1 Tel: 3822 6222 doe.linh@gmail.com With 14 years’ experience providing dental treatment to expat and Vietnamese patients, this well-known dental surgery is staffed by both foreign & local practitioners. Au fait with the latest treatments and techniques, the surgery prides themselves on their high standard of equipment & sterilization. Tu Xuong Dental Clinic 51A Tu Xuong, D3 Tel: 3932 2049/050 drhung01@yahoo.com www.nhakhoatuxuong.com Provides general and cosmetic dental services at reasonable prices. Specialises in implants, orthodontic treatments and making crowns and bridges. Staff are professional and speak English. Westcoast International Dental Clinic Ben Thanh Clinic, 27 Nguyen Trung Truc, D1. Tel: 3825 6777 The Practice: Level 1, 71-79 Dong Khoi, D1. Tel: 3825 6999 info@westcoastinternational.com www.westcoastinternational.com Westcoast International Dental Clinic provides quality dental work, combining state-of-the-art techniques, a talented and highly skilled team and affordable prices. See Medical listings for hospitals with dental services.

HAIR & SALON Anthony George for London Hair & Beauty FIDECO Riverview Building 14 Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 3744 6475 www.aglondonsalon.com.vn Top British stylist George brings his unique flair to hair in District 2. The modern, stylish and professional salon

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is host to a staff of professionally trained beauty therapists. Uses Dermalogica, Schwarzkopf and L’Oreal products. Shampoo, cut and blow-dry starts at USD $26; mini facials from $12. Jasmine 45 Ton That Thiep, D1 Tel: 3827 2737 jasminespa@hcm.vnn.vn Friendly and efficient staff offers haircuts and a wide range of services including waxing, manicures, pedicures and other beauty treatments. Skin renewal facial, salt or rice body scrub & deep tissue massage costs USD $98 Le Brian Salon 201 Calmette, D1 195 Nguyen Van Hoang, D2 Vietnamese-American hairstylist with dual locations, offering a full range of hair services, as well as professional make-up application. Lloyd Morgan International Hair Studio 234 Nguyen Van Huong, Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 090 8422 007 International stylist Lloyd Morgan is one of the best in town. He’s been in the business for over 30 years and brings his expertise to this established, topnotch salon. Qi Spa 151 Nguyen Van Troi, Phu Nhuan Tel: 3844 1719 Caravelle Hotel Tel: 3824 7150 Mövenpick Hotel Saigon, Tel: 3997 5437 High-end salon and spa offers the standard range of services in a calming atmosphere with good service. Waxing, nail services, hair dressing as well as luxurious facial and massage treatments on offer. Souche 2nd Floor, Saigon Trade Centre 37 Ton Duc Thang, D1 Tel: 3910 0372 A top-end beauty salon using the Dermatologica line of skincare products. Specialises in personalized facial care treatments from USD $30 and medicated acne treatments from $40. Waxing and other aesthetic services are also available in a pleasant atmosphere with excellent service. Sunji Matsuo Hair Studio Saigon Paragon, 3 Nguyen Luong Bang, D7 Tel: 5416 0378 Celebrity hairstylist Sunji Matsuo’s Singapore-based hair salon has a variety of hair services including scalp treatments, rebonding and hair extensions.

technology provides fast and accurate diagnoses. Centre Medical International (CMI) 1 Han Thuyen, D1 Tel: 3827 2366 www.cmi-vietnam.com Located downtown next to the cathedral, the centre provides a high standard of medical care from qualified French and Vietnamese physicians. Its range of services include general and tropical medicine, cardiology, gynaecology, osteopathy, pediatrics, psychiatry, speech therapy and traditional Eastern medicine. Columbia Asia Saigon Clinic 8 Alexandre de Rhodes, D1 Tel: 3823 8888 Respected multi-specialty clinic with foreign and local physicians. Doctors on call 24 hours a day. Standard check-ups cost between 400,000 VND and 800,000 VND. Counselling Martin Donnelly 0946 015 697 mdonnell36@msn.com Briar Jacques 0122 480 8792 bjacques123@gmail.com Helps families, individuals, couples, children and teens. Caring and confidential counselling to address expat adjustment, depression, anxiety and substance abuse. Takes a holistic approach to enhance wellbeing on all levels. Family Medical Practice HCMC Diamond Plaza, 34 Le Duan, D1 Tel: 3822 7848 www.vietnammedicalpractice.com Leading international primary healthcare provider, with a 24-hour state-of-the-art medical centre and highly-qualified multilingual foreign doctors. Extensive experience in worldwide medical evacuations with car and air ambulance on standby. Also in Hanoi and Danang. FV Hospital 6 Nguyen Luong Bang, D7 Tel: 5411 3333 www.fvhospital.com A foreign-owned international-standard hospital with a mixture of French and Vietnamese physicians. Offers quality services, comprehensive patient care and is particularly well regarded for its maternity care. Full array of dental services from examination, cleaning and whitening to fillings, cosmetic procedures and implants. 24-hour emergency line: 3411 3500.

MEDICAL

Hanh Phuc International Women & Children Hospital Binh Duong Boulevard, Thuan An, Binh Duong Tel: 650 363 6068 www.hanhphuchospital.com Managed by Thomson Medical Singapore, Hanh Phuc hospital provides a comprehensive range of facilities and service for primary to tertiary healthcare, focus in Obstestrics & Gyneacology and Paediatric. Soft opening was on the 3rd January 2011.

Australian Clinic & Pathology Diagnostics (ACPD) 273-275 Ly Thai To, D10 Tel: 3834 9941 www.australianclinic.com.vn Services include general outpatient healthcare, corporate / visa healthchecks, X-ray, full laboratory and in-house pharmacy including specialist medical services covering cardiology, paediatrics, obstetrics, gynecology, orthopedic and dermatology.

International SOS 167A Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, D3 Tel: 3829 8424 www.internationalsos.com Globally-renowned provider of medical assistance and international healthcare. Specializes in offering medical transport and evacuation both within and outside of Vietnam for urgent medical cases. Foreign and Vietnamese dentists. Has multilingual staff.

CARE1 Executive Health Care Center The Manor, 91 Nguyen Huu Canh, Binh Thanh Tel: 3514 0757 care1_reception@vietnammedicalpractice.com www.care1.com.vn Sister clinic of Family Medical Practice, CARE1 is an executive health care centre offering comprehensive preventative-care checkups in a modern and professional setting. State-of-the-art

Victoria Healthcare International Clinic 135A Nguyen Van Troi, Phu Nhuan Tel: 3997 4545 79 Dien Bien Phu, D1 Tel: 39104545 Well-regarded clinic offering general examinations and specializing in pediatrics, digestive diseases, cardiology and women's health. Offers a membership program and cooperates with most insurance companies in Vietnam and abroad. Open with doctors on call 24/7.

The Salon 21-23 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D1 Tel: 3822 9660 65 Le Loi, D1 Tel: 3821 6394 Reliable haircuts from well-trained stylists at this local salon with multiple locations. A haircut starts at USD $28 for women and $22 for men.

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questions for the coiffeur

By Lloyd Morgan Recently I have begun to notice, with more and more regularity, the amount of blondes in the city who have really dry ends, bordering on frizzy. Either the colourist is overlapping the colour or they are blow-drying and washing their hair far too often. I believe it’s probably a combination of all three. If you are completely blonde and are happy with the colour you have, make sure any new colour goes only on the roots if you’re using bleach. If using a tint, a little overlapping is OK. All the same, careful application is the key. The same principle applies to highlights. Due to the cheap price in Vietnamese salons, I find expatriates get their regrowth touched up more often than they would in their home countries. If the hair stylist isn’t experienced enough, the hair can end up destroyed. I have seen really bleached blondes with terribly dry ends and there is absolutely no need for it. Girls also tend to blow out their hair here more frequently as it is so cheap. Remember the humidity you live in, though, and the fact that you wash your hair more often due

to sweating. All of these factors will contribute to dryness. Lastly, we have hair straightening with flat irons—a procedure that flattens the cuticle. It is OK to straighten your hair in moderation. If it is done frequently, the cuticle will shatter. Try not to overdo it and make sure you do regular coconut milk baths and deep conditioning treatments to drench your hair with extra moisture. Be careful to check that the treatment is the real deal and not just normal conditioner. If you swim, cover your hair with coconut or olive oil before you get in the pool. This will block out the chlorine. Also, use good shampoos and conditioners. Brands like Wella, Loreal, and Swarzkopf are the most accessible here. Sure, they are a little pricier than generic brands, but at the end of the day you get what you pay for. Otherwise your hair may well be paying the price. Lloyd Morgan runs the Lloyd Morgan International Hair Studio at 234 Nguyen Van Huong, Thao Dien, D2. Contact him at 0908 422 007 or lloydart@ yahoo.com.


Congratulations

ACG International School Vietnam is now an IB World School ACG International School Vietnam is proud to announce that it has received full International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) Authorisation for the Kindergarten and Primary School. Authorisation has been obtained commending the high quality staff, facilities, teaching and learning programmes.

www.acgedu.com

East - West Highway, An Phu Ward, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Tel: (08) 3747 1234. Fax: (08) 3747 1235. Email: acgvn@acgedu.com


listings

family ACTIVITIES Alpha Gallery 10 Chu Manh Trinh, D1 Printmaking classes for both adults and children run by Swiss artist Bernadette Gruber. Six-week courses start with the basics and swiftly move students towards producing proofs and final prints from copper plates they have created. Freedom of expression is encouraged and other mediums are also explored. Conservatory of Music 112 Nguyen Du, D1 The established training centre for professional musicians offers private piano and violin lessons to foreigners in the evenings. Helene Kling Painting helene_kling@yahoo.com Offers classes in oil painting to both children and adults for 150,000 VND and 300,000 VND respectively. Classes are paced to suit each student. Martin Donnelly & Briar Jacques mdonnell36@msn.com Cel: 0946 015 697 bjacques123@gmail.com Cel: 0122 480 8792

Helping families, individuals, couples, children and teens. Caring and confidential counselling to address issues such as expat adjustment, depression, anxiety and substance abuse. We take a holistic approach to enhance wellbeing on mental, emotional and physical levels. Rubba Duckies Swim School rubbaduckiesswim@hotmail.com Parent and infant water familiarisation classes in a group environment from six to 48 months. Classes take place at Somerset Apts., D1; Riverside, D2; APSC, D2 or AI D2 and D3. Email for schedule. Saigon Movement An Phu Tel: 098 702 7722 saigonmovement@gmail.com Sports and creative movement classes for kids 2 to 11. Classes improve children’s total body awareness through a variety of games and sports-based activities. Phu My Hung schedule starts in September. Saigon Pony Club Lane 42, Le Van Thinh, D2 Tel: 0913 733 360 Close to X-rock climbing centre, kids from three and upwards can ride one of the stable’s 16 ponies. Lessons with foriegn teachers last 45 minutes and cost 350,000 VND for kids from age six. SaigonSports Academy An Phu and Phu My Hung Tel: 0862 819 790 info@saigonsportsacademy.com Sports academy founded by pro tennis coach currently offering tennis, football, basketball and swimming training to kids 4 to 18. Professional coaches integrate international concepts and systems to draw out athletes’ natural abilities. Also operates a youth football league.

The Performing Arts Academy 19A Ngo Quang Huy, D2

Tel: 090 339 0675 info@paa.com.vn www.paa.com.vn Enrolling aspiring learners 6 and up for instruction in guitar, singing, piano, flute, clarinet, saxophone and drums. ABRSM qualified. Group dance and drama session also available. Offering Tiny Tots music enrichment & dance program for ages 3-5. Tae Kwondo BP Compound, 720 Thao Dien, D2 and Riverside Villa Compound, Vo Truong Toan, D2 phucteacherkd@yahoo.com Private and group classes are run after school three times a week by the friendly Mr. Phuc. Anyone over the age of five is welcome to join in the course, which costs USD $50 for 12 classes/month with a $25 fee for non-members. Contact Mr. Phuc directly on 0903 918 149.

BABY EQUIPMENT Baby 66B Cach Mang Thang Tam, D10 A large store stocking a good range of baby needs, including toys, buggies, cots and bottles. Prices are reasonable. Babyland Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi, D1 Quality products including car seats, buggies, prams and travel cots and a good selection of baby toys. Carries Avent bottles and sterilizer sets, and a small range of educational books. Prices are higher than the other places, but so is the quality. Maman Bebe Vincom Center, 70/72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 3825 8724 www.mamanbebe.com.vn Stocks an assortment of modern strollers and car seats. Also sells various utensils and practical baby products. Small

selection of clothing for ages newborn to 14 years. Me & Be 230 Vo Thi Sau, D3 40 Ton That Tung, D1 141D Phan Dang Luu, Phu Nhuan 246 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, D3 101-103 Khanh Hoi, D4 287A Nguyen Van Troi, Phu Nhuan The closest thing to Mothercare the city has to offer. Stocks a substantial range of apparel for babies including bottles and sterilizers, cots (including travel cots), clothing, toys, safety equipment and more, all at reasonable prices. Me Oi 1B Ton That Tung, D1 A small shop adjacent to the maternity hospital bursting at the seams with everything you need for your baby. Clothing, footwear, bottles, nappies, nappy bags and toys all at reasonable prices. New Parent Street Nguyen Thong Street, D3 between Ly Chinh Thang and Ky Dong Street. An interesting array of baby formula and hard liquor. A one stop shopping cluster for first time parents.

EDUCATION ABC International School 2,1E Street, KDC Trung Son, Binh Hung, Binh Chanh Tel: 5431 1833 abcintschoolss@vnn.vn www.theabcis.com UK standards-based curriculum awards diploma with IGCSE’s & A Levels certified by Cambridge Universit examinations board. From playgroup to pre-university matriculation. Served by 80+ British teachers. Good facilities and extra-curricular activities. ACG International School East West Highway, An Phu, D2 Tel: 3747 1234

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www.acgedu.com Part of the Academic Colleges Group’s international network of schools, ACG offers comprehensive education from kindergarten to senior high school and a range of extracurricular activities. International curricula (IB PYP and Cambridge International Examinations). The Australian International School Saigon Cherry Blossom 1 & Lotus 1, APSC Compound, 36 Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 3744 6960 Middle & Senior Campus 21 Pham Ngoc Thach, D3 Tel: 3822 4992 enrolment@aisvietnam.com www.aisvietnam.com An international curricula and PYP/MYP candidate school. Senior students follow IGCSE and Cambridge A levels. Only school in Vietnam authorized to deliver University of New South Wales Foundation Studies grade 12 curriculum. Wellresourced classrooms, highly trained and experienced expatriate teachers, outfitted for academic, sport, creative activities. British International School Primary Campus 43 - 45 Tu Xuong, D3 225 Nguyen Van Huong, D2 Secondary Campus 246 Nguyen Van Huong, D2 Tel: 3744 2335 www.bisvietnam.com With campuses all over the city and expansion underway, BIS offers a mixture of both English and International curriculabased education alongside excellent facilities and extra-curricular activities. Senior students follow the IGCSE and IB programmes. Canadian International School SC 39, Panorama Building, Nguyen Duc Canh, Phu My Hung, D7 Tel: 5412 1549

Residential Quarter 13C, Nguyen Van Linh, Phong Phu Commune, Binh Chanh www.cis.edu.vn cis@cis.edu.vn The first Canadian international school in Vietnam offers classes from kindergarten to grade 9 for local and foreign students. Teaches core Ontario curriculum and awards Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), recognized by universities worldwide. Vietnamese programme taught by local teachers. Horizon International Bilingual School HCMC 6 Street 44, D2 Tel: 5402 2482 www.hibsvietnam.com The only bilingual international school offering dormitories for their students. Located in the most prestigious area in HCMC offering from kindergarten up to grade 12. The school apply 100% Vietnamese curriculum, MOET as well as an intensive English program. HIBS also has 2 campuses in centre Hanoi. International School HCMC 28 Vo Truong Toan, D2 Tel: 3898 9100 www.ishcmc.com One of 136 schools around the world to be accredited as an IB World School. Offers all three of the IB programmes from primary through to grade 12. The school is fully accredited by CIS and NEASC and has a strong focus on community spirit and fosters an awareness of other languages and cultures. International School Saigon Pearl 92 Nguyen Huu Canh, Binh Thanh District Tel: 2220 1788/89 www.issp.edu.vn Opening in August, 2011, the single purpose-built campus will cater for nursery through grade five. In the second year, sixth grade will be added. ISSP’s long-term strategic plan includes complete middle and high schools. In the

spring of 2011 ISSP will host the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (the largest American accreditation agency in Asia). Accreditation will allow children to easily transfer to schools abroad. The Little Genius International Kindergarten 102 My Kim, Phu My Hung, D7 Tel: 5421 1052 Kindergarten with U.S.-accredited curriculum, modern facilities and attractive school grounds. Montessori International School International Program 42/1 Ngo Quang Huy, D2 Tel: 3744 2639 Bilingual Program 28 Street 19, KP 5, An Phu, D2 Tel: 6281 7675 www.montessori.edu.vn Montessori utilizes an internationally recognized educational method which focuses on fostering the child’s natural desire to learn. The aim is to create an encouraging environment conducive to learning by developing a sense of self and individuality. A wide array of curriculum/ extra-curricular activities are on offer including Bilingual programs. Renaissance International School 74 Nguyen Thi Thap, D7 Tel: 3773 3171 www.rissaigon.edu.vn IB World school, one of Vietnam’s international schools operating within the framework of the British system. RISS provide a high quality English medium education in a stimulating, challenging and supportive environment. The purpose built, modern campus has excellent facilities. RMIT 702 Nguyen Van Linh, D7 Tel: 3776 1369 Australian university located in District 7, offers a highly regarded MBA and undergraduate courses in various fields.

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Saigon Kids Centre 104A Tran Quoc Toan, D3 Tel: 3932 5579 saigonkidscentre@yahoo.com An international childcare centre for children aged between two and six years old. Offers a homely and warm environment for children to play and learn. Saigon South International School Nguyen Van Linh Parkway, D7 Tel: 5413 0901 www.ssis.edu.vn An International school environment offering an American/international program in a large, spacious campus, to children from age 3 to grade 12. Great facilities, extra-curricular activities and internationally trained teachers giving unique opportunities to learn. Saigon Star International School Residential Area No. 5, Thanh My Loi Ward, D2 Tel: 3742 STAR Fax: 3742 3222 enroll@saigonstarschool.edu.vn www.saigonstarschool.edu.vn Offers a British primary curriculum approved by Cambridge University and integrated Montessori programme for nursery and kindergarten. Qualified, experienced teachers and small class sizes cater to individual needs and abilities. Singapore International School (SIS) No.29, Road No.3, Trung Son Residential Area, Hamlet 4, Binh Hung Ward, Binh Chanh District Tel: 5431 7477 44 Truong Dinh, D3 Tel: 3932 2807 Ground floor, Somerset Chancellor Court, 21 - 23 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D1. Tel: 3827 2464 The Manor, 91 Nguyen Huu Canh, Binh Thanh. Tel: 3514 3036 www.kinderworld.net Students play and learn in an environment where the best of Western and Eastern cultures amalgamate to prepare Kinder-


World’s students for today’s challenging world drawn from both the Singapore and Australian curriculum. The school offers International Certifications such as the iPSLE, IGCSE and GAC. SmartKids 1172 Thao Dien Compound, D2 Tel: 3744 6076 26 Street 10, D2 Tel: 3898 9816 www.smartkidsinfo.com An international childcare centre that provides kindergarten and pre-school education for children aged between 18 months and 6 years. A fun and friendly environment, the school focuses on learning through play. The American School 172 - 180 Nguyen Van Huong, D2 Tel: 3519 2223 info@tasvietnam.edu.vn An independent and private collage preparatory school with a highly individualized and personalized program, The American School of Vietnam offers a strong, US based curriculum for Kindergarten through Grade 12.

Parkson Plaza 39-45 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Arcade game after arcade game line the top floor here with a bowling alley and a decent food court thrown in on the floor below. A good place to take the kids after trawling through Parkson’s numerous concession stands. Vincom Center 72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 3936 9999 A six-storey shopping centre that houses the world’s most famous luxury brands plus more than 250 fashion retailers and various restaurants. Each level has a coffee corner to help weary shoppers recoup while looking over the city. Open daily from 9 am to 10 pm.

PARTIES Beatrice’s Party Shop 235 Le Thanh Ton, D1 A lovely little shop selling everything you need to throw your little ones a good party. A catalogue of entertainers showcases a number of party favourites such as magicians, circuses and more.

Diamond Plaza 34 Le Duan, D1 The top floor arcade and bowling alley is bound to keep your little ones entertained for hours with an impressive array of video games. Some child-friendly dining options too, with Pizza Hut on hand, a KFC and a New Zealand Natural ice cream concession.

Nguyen Ngoc Diem Phuong 131C Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D1 A curious shop stocking a range of handmade fancy dress costumes such as masks, superman outfits and much more. The stock changes seasonally, so this is a good place to stock up on Halloween, Christmas and other holiday-specific party costumes. Prices are also on the cheap.

Gymboree Play & Music Somerset Chancellor Court 21-23 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D1 Tel: 3827 7008 www.gymboreeclasses.com.vn The Gymboree Play & Music offers children from newborn to 5 years old the opportunity to explore, learn and play in an innovative parent-child programmes.

The Balloon Man Tel: 3990 3560 Does exactly as his name suggests – balloons. Great service has earned this chap a reputation around town for turning up almost instantly with a superb selection of balloons. Also provides helium balloons. almost instantly with a superb selection of balloons. Also provides helium balloons.

ENTERTAINMENT

MONTESSORI Early Childhood Program International & Bilingual (English and Vietnamese/ French/or Mandarin)

For children aged 6 months to 6 years. Half day and full day. Admission accepted for Summer program 2011 and for school year 2011-2012. Register now for special offers!

Outstanding indoor & outdoor facilities. After school activities for children 3-10 yrs: Music, PE, Art, language classes, cooking, homework assistance . www.montessori.edu.vn info@montessori.edu.vn Thao Dien Campus: 42/1 Ngo Quang Huy, Dist.2, HCMC An Phu Campus: Ground floor, Block B, An Khang/Intresco Apartment (Behind Metro supermarket Dist.2, HCMC)

Montessori

Tel: 37442639 - 38783164 0903 858659

International School of Vietnam

The KinderWorld Group founded in 1986, offers a diverse education combining the best of Eastern values with an International education for our students

EDUCATIONAL PROFESSIONALS seeking employment in the following fields are invited to submit their CVs. South Vietnam: Email: jobapplication-hcmc@kinderworldgroup.com North Vietnam: Email: jobapplication-hanoi@kinderworldgroup.com PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHERS

• Required qualification - Degree (Education) - Degree (Non - education) + ESL qualification - Diploma + 5 years teaching experience

• Required qualification - Degree (Physical Education) - Degree (Education) + PE teaching experience

PRIMARY TEACHERS

• Required qualification - Degree + CELTA (or equivalent)

• Required qualification - Degree (Education) HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS • Required qualification - Degree (Education) - Degree (Non - education) + Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

@ Van Phuc, Hanoi 2D Van Phuc Diplomatic Compound, 46 Van Bao Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi Tel: (84-4) 3726 1601 @ Ciputra, Hanoi Block C3 (NT III B), Phu Thuong Ward, Tay Ho District, Hanoi Tel: (84-4) 3758 2664 @ Somerset Grand Hanoi 3rd Floor, 49 Hai Ba Trung Street, Hoan Kiem District. Hanoi Tel: (84-4) 3934 7243 @ The Manor, Hanoi C5-C11, 1st Floor, The Manor Building, My Dinh, Me Tri New Urban, Tu Liem District, Hanoi Tel: (84-4) 3794 0209 @Somerset Hoa Binh, Hanoi 3rd Floor, 106 Hoang Quoc Viet Street, Cau Giay District, Hanoi Tel: (84-4) 3755 8182

@ Saigon South, HCMC No. 29, Road No. 3, Trung Son Residential Area, Hamlet 4, Binh Hung Ward, Binh Chanh District, HCMC Tel: (84-8) 5431 7477 @ District 3, HCMC 44 Truong Dinh Street, Ward 7, District 3, HCMC Tel: (84-8) 3932 2807, 3932 2808 @ Binh Duong New City Lot F7, The New City of Binh Duong Industrial, Service and Urban Complex, Ben Cat District, Binh Duong Province Tel: (84-8) 5449 5959 @ The Canary, Binh Duong No 4, The Canary, Binh Duong Boulevard, Binh Hoa Commune, Thuan An District, Binh Duong Province Tel: (84-650) 628 2454 @ Vung Tau Lot 8, Dai An Residential Area, Ward 9, Vung Tau City Tel: (84-8) 358 4402 @ Danang 139 Le Loi Street , Hai Chau District, Da Nang City Tel: (84-511) 384 0495, 384 0654

ICT TEACHER • Required qualification - Degree (ICT Education) - Degree (Education) + ICT teaching experience

@ Saigon South, HCMC No. 29, Road No. 3, Trung Son Residential Area, Hamlet 4, Binh Hung Ward, Binh Chanh District, HCMC Tel: (84-8) 5431 7477 @ District 3, HCMC 44 Truong Dinh Street, Ward 7, District 3, HCMC Tel: (84-8) 3932 2807, 3932 2808 @ The Manor, HCMC Ground Floor, The Manor Building 91 Nguyen Huu Canh Street, Binh Thanh District, HCMC Tel: (84-8) 3514 3036, 3514 3037 @ Binh Duong New City Lot F7, The New City of Binh Duong Industrial, Service and Urban Complex, Ben Cat District, Binh Duong Province Tel: (84-8) 5449 5959 @ The Canary, Binh Duong No 4, The Canary, Binh Duong Boulevard, Binh Hoa Commune, Thuan An District, Binh Duong Province Tel: (84-650) 628 2454 @ Vung Tau Lot 8, Dai An Residential Area, Ward 9, Vung Tau City Tel: (84-8) 358 4402 @ Danang 139 Le Loi Street , Hai Chau District, Da Nang City Tel: (84-511) 384 0495, 384 0654

• Required qualification - Degree (Music Education) - Degree (Education) + Music teaching experience

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• Required qualification - Degree (Chinese)

MUSIC TEACHERS

KINDERWORLD INTERNATIONAL KINDERGARTEN (KIK)

@ Cau Giay, Hanoi Dilmah Building, Duy Tan Street, Dich Vong Hau Ward, Cau Giay District, Hanoi Tel: (84-4) 3795 1036 @ Van Phuc, Hanoi 2D Van Phuc Diplomatic Compound, 46 Van Bao Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi Tel: (84-4) 3726 1601 @ Ciputra, Hanoi Block C3 (NT III B), Phu Thuong Ward, Tay Ho District, Hanoi Tel: (84-4) 3758 2664

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listings

A shop for all your professional accessory needs. From lighting equipment to tripods and reflectors, the shop offers the best equipment and service in HCM City.

living

Pham The 11 Le Cong Kieu, D1 An authorized service centre for Nikon camera that also specializes in repairing all camera makes. Measurement equipment and spare parts also available.

BUSINESS GROUPS AmCham New World Hotel, 76 Le Lai, D1 Business Centre, Room 323 Tel: 3824 3562 www.amchamvietnam.com AusCham TV Building, Suite 1A, 31A Nguyen Dinh Chieu, D1 Tel: 3911 0272 / 73 / 74 www.auschamvn.org

Tree Hugging Bling By Paul McLardie Remember when keeping up with the Joneses meant buying the newest model of mobile phone when it came on the market? Now it seems that if you do not have the MacBook, the iPhone and the iPad at the same time, your life will end in a horrible, horrible mess. Such ostentatious displays of wealth prompted economist Thorstein Veblen to coin the term conspicuous consumption. There is a taste for conspicuous consumption here in Saigon. Even if people can not afford the true brand, we have all seen people branded from head to toe in fake brands. Sometimes with hilarious results. It is not just here in Saigon though, Conspicuous consumption has hardly gone away; what do you think bling is? Now it’s got a right-minded cousin: conspicuous conservation. Whereas conspicuous consumption is meant to signal how much green you’ve got, conspicuous conservation signals how green you are. Like carrying that 'I’m not a plastic bag' bag, or ditching the gas guzzler for a Prius. People have realised though that they can still have the big car and not have to put a windmill and solar panels on their maid's Attila to prove that they are green. It is very easy to drop into a conversation that you are environmentally friendly because you have invested in a renewable forest plantation in the Gobi Desert, or a Yak sanctuary in outer Mongolia,

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but do you really want to take the risk in that sort of investment? People that know me, know I am the furthest away from being a tree hugger you will ever meet, but that is not the reason why I do not think that ethical investments should play a major part in your investments and savings. Ethical or green investments have a place and they can work well within a balanced portfolio, but you need to ask yourself these questions. Do I want to save the world? Do I want to look good to others? Or do I want to feel good that I am doing something? If you want to save the world on your own and your future does not matter to you, keep on generating wave power every time you have a bath and invest in the Guatemalan squirrel hospital cooperative fund. For the latter two questions, I would seriously look at your priorities. Looking good and feeling good is great, but at the cost of your and your family's future security. Hmmm, maybe not. Like I said earlier, ethical or green investments can have a place in a well balanced portfolio and for an individual investor, remember, never but all your organically grown eggs into the same fair trade basket. Paul McLardie is a partner at Total Wealth Management. Contact him at Paul. mclardie@t-wm.com

British Business Group of Vietnam 25 Le Duan, D1 Tel: 3829 8430 execmgr@bbgv.org www.bbgv.org CanCham New World Hotel, 76 Le Lai, D1 Business Centre, Room 305 Tel: 3824 3754 www.canchamvietnam.org Citibank Sun Wah Tower, 115 Nguyen Hue Boulevard, D1, HCMC Tel: 3824 2118 International Center, 17 Ngo Quyen, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi Tel: 3825 1950 Citibank Vietnam offers a wide range of banking services to both consumer and corporate clients. Services include corporate and investment banking, global transaction services, and consumer banking. In Vietnam for 15 years, Citibank has a presence in both HCMC and Hanoi. Eurocham 257 Hoang Van Thu, Tan Binh Tel: 3845 5528 www.eurochamvn.org German Business Group 21-23 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D1 www.gba-vietnam.org Singapore Business Group Unit 1B2, 21-23 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D1 Tel: 3823 3046 www.sbghcmc.org Swiss Business Association 42 Giang Van Minh, Anh Phu, D2 Tel: 3744 6996 Fax: 3744 6990 Email: sba@hcm.vnn.vn www.swissvietnam.com Hong Kong Business Association New World Hotel, 76 Le Lai, D1 Business Centre, Room 322 Tel: 3824 3757 / 3822 8888 www.hkbav.com NordCham Bitexco Building, 19-25 Nguyen Hue, D1 Tel: 3821 5423 www.nordcham.com

CAMERAS Hung Hai 75 Huynh Thuc Khang, D1 A good place to purchase hard-to-find gear and some rare equipment, mainly auto focus lenses. Le Duc 5B Huynh Tinh Cua, D3

Shop 46 46 Nguyen Hue, D1 Small shop run by photographer and collector. The owner’s more collectible pieces are pricey, but entry-level manual focus SLRs from the 70s and 80s are affordable.

COMPUTERS Computer Street Luong Huu Khanh, D1 between Nguyen Thi Minh Khai and Nguyen Trai This stretch of District 1 is literally wall to wall with small shops selling computers, printers, monitors and everything computer related, more so toward the NTMK end of the drag. iCenter 142A Vo Thi Sau, D3 Tel: 3820 3918 Professional, polished Apple retailer and repair centre with an attractive showroom featuring some of the latest in accessories and audio. English-speakers on staff. Honours Apple service plans. Future World 240 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D3 Authorized reseller of Apple computers and products, as well as some off-brand items like headphones. Excellent service and English-speaking staff. Accepts credit cards. Phong Vu Computer 264C Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D1 Tel: 3933 0762 www.vitinhphongvu.com The biggest and busiest of the PC stores in town. Known for good, efficient service, in-house maintenance and aftersales repair on the second floor. SYS Vi Tinh Saigon 96C Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, D1 www.vtsaigon.com A superb place with an excellent reputation for after-sales service with competent English speaking staff and a wide range of products and services. Freeware and shareware also available on the store website.

CONSULTING Concetti 33 Dinh Tien Hoang, D1 Tel: 3911 1480 www.concetti-vn.com Consulting and research company for technology transfer and investment. Embers-Asia Ltd. Level 9, Nam Giao Building, 80-8 Phan Xich Long, Phu Nhuan Tel: 3995 9163 www.embers-asia.com With a focus on experiential learning, Embers-Asia has been creating and delivering high-performance training and development solutions for corporations, embassies, international schools and NGOs throughout Southeast Asia since 2002. TORNAK Vietnam 79C Dien Bien Phu, D1 Tel: 09 3351 7402 www.tornak-vietnam.com Tornak Vietnam is an international training consultancy specialised in leadership development and team performance solutions. We challenge and empower professionals to build better organisations. Ernst & Young Saigon Riverside Office Center, 2A-4A Ton Duc Thang, D1 Tel: 3824 5252


www.ey.com Professional service firm specializing in advisory, assurance, tax, transactions and strategic growth markets. Flamingo Corporate Services Tel: 2217 1662 Email: info@flamingovn.com www.flamingovn.com Specializes in business immigration, providing services like visas, work and resident permits, police clearance, APEC cards, authentication and legalization of work experience certificates and degrees in Vietnam and abroad. Grant Thornton Saigon Trade Centre, 37 Ton Duc Thang, D1 Tel: 3910 9100 www.gt.com.vn International business advisors specializing in auditing, management consulting, corporate finance, risk management and information technology. IF Consulting IBC Building, 3rd Floor 1A Me Linh Square, D1 4th Floor, 5 Ba Trieu Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi Tel: 3827 7362 Fax: 3827 7361 Email: pascal@insuranceinvietnam.com Private insurance and finance. Indochine Councel Han Nam Building, 65 Nguyen Du, D1 Tel: 3823 9640 www.indochinecounsel.com Business law firm specializing in legal services to corporate clients in relation to their business and investment in Vietnam. Inspired Image 42/2A Ho Hao Hon, D1 Tel: 091 635 2573 www.inspiredimage.co.uk Image consultant and personal stylist. Previous clients include business leaders, TV presenters and busy professionals. International Management Initiative for Vietnam (IMIV) info@imiv.org www.imiv.org The International Management Initiative for Vietnam (IMIV), a non-profit initiative within VinaCapital Foundation that promotes excellence in business leadership and management by bringing to Vietnam proven international executive education and professional development programmes. Odyssey Resources Limited 7th floor, Etown 3, 364 Cong Hoa, Tan Binh Tel: 3812 5562Â odyssey-resources.com Leading mid-tier accounting services firm in Vietnam. Odyssey provides accounting and management consulting services, along with tax advice and Australian tax agents. Phuong Nguyen Consulting TPC Business Center, 92-96 Nguyen Hue, D1 Tel: 3829 2391 www.pnp-consulting.com Specializing in business facilitation, conferences, education counselling, market-entry research and IT/business consulting. Prism Information Technology Services Level 4, YOCO Building, 41 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D1 Tel: 3829 6416 info@prism.com.vn A foreign-owned information and communications technology company that offers value-added IT solutions. Enables local businesses to attain and maintain international IT standards to be more competitive in the marketplace. Rouse & Co. International Abacus Tower, 58 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, D1 Tel: 3823 6770 www.iprights.com Global intellectual property firm providing

a full range of IP services including patent and trade mark agency services. Star Management Limited 92-96 Nguyen Hue, D1 Tel: 3897 2765 www.starlimited.com Business advisory services for companies investing in Vietnam, business project advancement and a range of business development services. TMF Vietnam Company Limited Unit 501, 5th Floor, Saigon Trade Center 37 Ton Duc Thang, D1 Tel: 3910 2262 ext. 113 Fax: 3910 0590 www.tmf-group.com With headquarters in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, TMF Vietnam specializes in accounting outsourcing and consulting. Total Wealth Management 66/11 Pham Ngoc Thach, D3 Tel: 3820 0623 www.t-wm.com Specialists in selecting and arranging tax-efficient savings and pension plans for expatriates. Offers councel on private banking services, wealth protection in offshore jurisdictions, currency risks and hedging strategies. Towers Watson Vietnam (formerly Watson Wyatt and SMART HR) Sun Wah Tower, 115 Nguyen Hue, Suite 808, D1 Tel: 3821 9488 Global HR consulting firm specializing in executive compensation, talent management, employee rewards and surveys, HR effectiveness and technology, data services and total rewards surveys.

DECOR Antique Street Le Cong Kieu Street, D1 between Nguyen Thai Binh and Pho Duc Chinh A variety of antiques and faux antiques from Thailand, China and Vietnam including silverware, compasses, lighters, brass knockers, urns, vases, abacuses, religious and pagan statues, candlestick holders, furniture and watches. Asian Fish 34 Mac Thi Buoi, D1 Boutique-style arts and crafts store selling locally made gifts and souvenirs, all designed by the Japanese owner. Products include clothing, bags, crockery, sandals, chopsticks and jewellery. Aquarium Street Nguyen Thong Street, D3 between Vo Thi Sau and Ly Chinh Thang Dedicated street has everything one needs to display fish: tanks, decor, feed, filters and the fish themselves. Budget Housewares Street Corner of Pasteur and Nguyen Dinh Chieu Stock up on shower heads, kitchen supplies (juicer, spatula, grater, etc.), coat racks, clothes hangers, pots, pans, champagne flutes, bowls, coolers, trash bins, ironing boards, magazine racks and the like. Chau Loan 213 Dong Khoi, D1 Tel: 3825 7991 Gallery based in a colonial shophouse stocking mainly Vietnamese-themed oil paintings and images of Buddha. Also deals in better-known reproductions. Decosy 112 Xuan Thuy, D2 Tel: 6281 9917 Producer of a large selection of European styled furniture and interior fittings, specializing in wrought iron and patine (distressed) wood finishes. Also stocks a wide-range of decorative accessories, crockery and fixtures. Custom design services available upon request. Dogma 175 De Tham, D1 Tel: 3836 0488

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www.dogmavietnam.com Located upstairs from Saigon Kitsch, this art gallery deals in Vietnamese propaganda posters, apparel, accessories and random paraphernalia. Large prints are sold at USD $60 each and small prints cost $25. Minh Boutique 15 Nguyen Thiep, D1 Lacquerware pieces, tea boxes, teapot warmers, ice buckets and sake drinking sets all handmade in Vietnam. Also sells a range of silverware, egg holders and ice tongs. OUT-2 STUDIO L6 Fafilm annex 6 Thai Van Lung, D1 Tel: 3825 6056 STUDIO@OUT-2.com www.out-2.com Studio space for independent designers to showcas their wares, sell their work and meet with clients. Open Monday t Saturday 10 am to 6 pm.

Being Gracious in Business By Gary Woollacott A topic often overlooked in our busy lives is the importance of being gracious, having the attitude that we can all win by negotiating an outcome. It doesn’t have to be a win-lose situation. There's a tendency in this part of the world to see negotiations as onedimensional (professionally and personally). But, handled well, almost any negotiation can result in a win for all parties involved. I learned when I was an investment banker how essential it was to treat the other side fairly. An innate sense told me that pushing too hard might backfire if those on that side of the deal were my colleagues next time. They might be unwilling to work with me; at the very least there might be some residual annoyance which hardly bodes well. Being a reasonable negotiator who is able to see both sides helps counterparties to take you more seriously. And credibility is essential if there is a point that you really can’t concede. Otherwise they might regard your stand as just another bluff—with poor consequences whichever way things turn out. A real example: a multnational company that has sought to get the lowest possible price from recruitment agencies. In itself that isn’t a bad thing: why not try to get the best deal? But

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compounded with arrogance and disregard for their counterparties’ professionalism (and their simple need to make a profit—they aren’t charities) then no wonder that the company finds that agencies are unwilling to deal with them. Unsurprisingly it also has a problem with high staff turnover. Their most recent HR director is calling in favours to see if anyone is prepared to work with them. The simple answer is yes, we might be, but on our terms and don’t expect any discounts. Good manners cost nothing. Being gracious costs nothing. Bring these qualities to your next negotiation and notice the difference. Be prepared to leave value on the table—what goes around comes around anyway—and see the reaction. Some people will think you are crazy but others will respect you for it and hold you in higher esteem: a thoroughbred professional who knows how to negotiate to win the war, not just the battle. As usual, let me know if you have any particular topic you would like to see covered here. Gary Woollacott is the Chief Representative for Opus executive search in Vietnam and Thailand. He can be reached at +84 8 3827 8209 or via gary@opusasia.net. Opus is a partner of Horton International.

Phuong Mai 213C Dong Khoi www.phuongmai-gallery.com Gallery specializing in original oils by Vietnamese artists. The works here are a mish-mash of styles but do contain some standouts, particularly well-known local artists La Hon, Quy Tam and Pham Trinh. Sapa 125 Ho Tung Mau, D1 Offers a better selection of hill tribe handicrafts than most of its rivals. Concentrates mainly on the hand-woven clothing of the indigenous tribespeople of the region. There is also a line in ladies’ shoes and the standard range of silk wraps and bags. Son & Then Photogallery 94 Mac Dinh Chi, D1 Adorning the walls of this gallery-cumcafé are a number of photographs by local photographers mostly focusing on tasteful female nudes. Smaller prints start at USD $20 while larger works can reach $500. Framing, consulting and delivery services are also available. Vietnam-Quilts 64 Ngo Duc Ke, D1 Tel: 3914 2119 www.mekong-quilts.org NGO enterprise specializes in quilts and sells a range of appealing handmade products created by underprivileged women in Binh Thuan Province.

ELECTRONICS Hi End Audio 84 Ho Tung Mau, D1 A standout that stocks the very latest and greatest in home entertainment. Retails in everything from giant plasmascreen TVs to audio equipment. Most top brands are available. iDEAS Shopping Centre 133-141AB Cach Mang Thang Tam, D3 The largest of the electonics stores along the street, the three-storey iDEAS sells every type of electronic and home appliance imaginable. Offers proper warranties. Staff speaks some English. Nguyen Kim Shopping Centre 63-65 Tran Hung Dao, D1 Tel: 3821 1211 www.nguyenkim.com Stocks DVD/CD players, cameras, TVs, hi-fis and more from Sony, Sanyo, Panasonic, Philips and other major manufacturers. Also a good place to pick up electronic kitchen supplies like coffee makers and rice cookers, as well as large and small appliances, from hot water heaters to regrigerators. Phong Vu 125 Cach Mang Thang Tam, D1 Tel: 6290 8777 www.vitinphongvu.com Two-storey electronics store retails in international products conveniently

grouped by brand. Carries computers, home audio, printers, hard drives and more, as well as a variety of mobile phones, handheld electronic devices and accessories. Savico 117 Ho Tung Mau, D1 Tel: 3821 7993 One-stop electronics and home appliance superstore. All products have a one to three-year warranty. Tech Street Huynh Thuc Khang Street between Ton That Dam and Nguyen Hue, D1 Sells compact discs, DVDs, electronic money counters, video games and systems, Discmans, mp3 players and portable DVD players.

FURNITURE Appeal 41 Ton That Thiep, D1 Tel: 3821 5258 A small, upscale shop that offers modern accents for the sleek dining room. The colours of the over-sized vases and fruit bowls are either glistening red or lacquered black. AustinHome 20 Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 3519 0023 Outstanding quality and style for your home. The shop says its products are hand-picked by an American furniture expert from the best factories in Vietnam. Upholstery, accessories, antiques and more. Catherine Denoual 15C Thi Sach, D1 Tel: 3823 9394 Beautiful showroom with clean lines and a sumptuous array of bedroom products including bedside lamps, linens, pillowcases and duvet covers. Decosy 112 Xuan Thuy, D2 Tel: 6281 9917 Producer of a large selection of European styled furniture and interior fittings, specializing in wrought iron and patine (distressed) wood finishes. Also stocks a wide-range of decorative accessories, crockery and fixtures. Custom design services available upon request. Esthetic 11 Nguyen Huu Canh, Binh Thanh Tel: 3514 7371/7372 Fax: 3514 7370 esthetic@vnn.vn www.estheticfurnishing.com.vn Design and manufacture as order with a mixture of antique and modern furniture. Friendly staff speak excellent English. Furniture Outlet 3A Ton Duc Thang, D1 Tel: 2243 7955/3911 0104 Wide selection of well-crafted and carefully constructed pine wood pieces at good prices, aimed at customers craving a taste of Europe. Furniture Street Ngo Gia Tu, D10 between Ly Thai To and Nguyen Chi Thanh Very affordable furniture can be found on this stretch: couches, mattresses, desks, chairs, etc. It often takes some looking to find a gem. A connected sidestreet, Ba Hat, features woodworkers’ shops. Gaya 1 Nguyen Van Trang, D1 Tel: 3925 1495 www.gayavietnam.com Four-floor store featuring the work of foreign designers: home accessories and outdoor furniture by Lawson Johnston, linens by Corinne Leveilley-Dadda, furniture and lighting by Quasar Khanh, laquerware decor by Michele De Albert and furniture and decor by vivekkevin. Linh’s White 37 Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 6281 9863 Furniture shop that focuses on solid wood furniture and decorative items ranging from pillows and lamps to bed-


ding. Also offers kids’ furniture and custom pieces. Rare Decor 41 Hai Ba Trung, D1 Tel: 3822 2284 137/1 Nguyen Huu Canh, Binh Thanh Tel: 3840 6304/5 Leading home furnishings company in Vietnam, supplying high quality, unique products. Also offer custom made furniture, accessories and lighting for commercial projects and home use. Remix Deco 222 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D3 Tel: 3930 4190 www.remixdeco.com Boutique furniture store in sprawling white with modern furniture including sofas, tables and seating from around the world. Featured designers include Le Corbusier, Ray & Charles Eames, Philippe Starck and Ludwig Mies Van der Rhode. The Furniture Warehouse 3B Ton Duc Thang, D1 Tel: 6657 0788 namtran121@yahoo.com, ttpnam@ webtnl.com Offers a range of reasonably priced Italian, European and French colonial sofas, indoor/outdoor wooden furniture, lighting and interior décor, as well as custom designs based on clients’ specifications. All at international quality export. The Lost Art 31 Nguyen Cong Tru, D1 Tel: 3829 0134 Extensive product range as well as comprehensive interior design service, from initial conceptualization to design, manufacture and installation of unique products. Thien An Furniture 90A Nguyen Dinh Chieu, D1 Tel: 3910 5650 A range of beautiful furniture with a distinct traditional flavor from colourful silk lampshades, wooden carved beds, screens, chests and more. Tran Duc Homes 33 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, D1 Tel: 7300 0777 Level 5, Wonderbuy Center, 27b Nguyen Dinh Chieu, D1 Tel: 6291 8485 B2-25, Vincom Center, 70-72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 3993 9700 Wood solutions partner for high-end residential and resort projects. Experienced in manufacturing and installing wooden modular housing, interior fittings and contemporary indoor and outdoor furniture.

LEGAL Allens Arthur Robinson Saigon Tower, 29 Le Duan, D1 Tel: 3822 1717 www.vietnamlaws.com Australian law firm for law translation services and legal advice on foreign investment and business in Vietnam. Baker & McKenzie Saigon Tower, 29 Le Duan, D1 Tel: 3829 5585 www.bakernet.com International law firm providing on-theground liaison and support services to clients interested in investigating, negotiating and implementing projects in Vietnam. Frasers International Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi, D1 Tel: 3824 2733 www.frasersvn.com Full service commercial law firm providing international and Vietnamese legal advice to both foreign and local clients specializing in transactions in Vietnam.

Indochine Counsel Han Nam Building, 65 Nguyen Du, D1 Tel: 3823 9640 www.indochinecounsel.com Business law practitioners specializing in mergers & acquistions, inward investment, and securities & capital markets. Limcharoen, Hughes and Glanville Havana Tower, 132 Ham Nghi, D1 Tel: 6291 7000 www.limcharoen.com Full service international law firm with head office in Thailand. Main focus on real estate in Asia. Phillips Fox Saigon Tower, 29 Le Duan, D1 Tel: 3822 1717 Full service law firm providing legal services in healthcare, education, crime, banking and hospitality among others. Pricewaterhousecoopers Legal Saigon Tower, 29 Le Duan, D1 Tel: 3823 0796 www.pwc.com/vn Part of a network of international legal and financial advisors, PWC gives both specialist and general legal advice with a focus on mutli-territory projects. Rödl & Partner Somerset Chancellor Court 21-23 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D1 Tel: 3824 4225 www.roedl.com European legal firm assisting foreign investors with structuring/establishing companies, investment projects, and mergers & acquistions.

LIGHTING

•Moving Services •Orientation •Pet Relocation •Work Permits •Home Search •And much more... HCMC: +84 8 3933 0065 HANOI: +84 4 3941 0805 info@santaferelo.com.vn • www.santaferelo.com

Caodong Design Boutique 37bis Mac Dinh Chi, D1 207L Vo Thi Sau, D3 Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi, D1 Spanking new store with a range of beautiful items ranging from interesting lighting with decorative table lamps with hand-painted paper shades and some lovely leather boxes and gift ideas. Light House 92 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, D1 Tel: 3914 2662 Vincom Center, 70/72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Small retail shop is packed with ceiling and wall light fixtures, and a good selection of desk and ceiling lamps. Most of the stock is decidedlly modern and sleak. Luxury Light 1483 My Toan 1, Nguyen Van Linh, Phu My Hung, D7 For those who really want to bring a touch of luxury to their homes, this place deals with Italian imported lighting from the ultra - modern to the traditional Murano style chandeliers. Extremely expensive reflecting the quality of the design and workmanship. Mosaique 98 Mac Thi Buoi, D1 One of the best and most diverse selections of lamps in town with everything from the ordinary decorative lotus silk lamp to more inventive and original designs in lacquer and silk.

MOTORBIKES

Bike City 480D Nguyen Thi Thap, D7 Luxury motorcycle shop carries a range of accessories, including apparel. Sells Vemar helmets, a brand that passes rigorous European Union standards. Protec Helmets 18bis/3A Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D1 248C Phan Dinh Phung, Phu Nhuan 417B Nguyen Dinh Chieu, D3 American nonprofit manufacturer makes helmets with densely compressed polystyrene shell with ABS, PVC or fiberglass exterior, available with polycarbonate shatter-proof shield. Lots of options for kids.

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Zeus Helmets Founded in Taiwan to manufacture cool, comfortable helmets that meet worldwide safety standards. Basic models feature thermo-injected shells constructed from lightweight ABS composite with interiors lined with moisture-absorbant brushed nylon. Shops selling authentic Zeus helmets are located on Pham Hong Thai near Ben Thanh Market.

Thao Dien Village 195 Nguyen Van Huong, D2 Tel. 3744 2222 A riverside complex of international-standard hospitality and F&B outlets with a boutique hotel, four restaurants featuring Italian, Thai, Japanese and Vietnamese cuisine, an event house, meeting rooms and a day spa with well-equipped health-club.

REAL ESTATE

The Nest Tel: 090 319 8901 (Laurence) Tel: 090 793 3000 (Thuong) laurence@thenest-vietnam.com thuong@thenest-vietnam.com www.thenest-vietnam.com Real estate agent maintains a well-organized and frequently updated website listing apartments, villas, townhouses condos and offices. Renters/buyers can receive regular updates via email.

CB Richard Ellis Me Linh Point Tower, 2 Ngo Duc Ke, D1 Tel: 3824 6125 www.cbre.com International property consultants and developers with both commercial and private properties for sale, lease and rent. Diamond Plaza 34 Le Duan Street Tel: 3822 1922 lntdung@diamondplaza.com.vn Located in the heart of District 1, connected to Diamond PLaza. Services 1- to 4-bedroom apartments with gym, swimming pool and panoramic views of the city. InterContinental Asiana Saigon Residences Corner of Hai Ba Trung & Nguyen Du, D1 Tel: 3520 8888 saigon@interconti.com www.intercontinental.com/saigonres Contemporary residential space in the heart of the major business and cultural area in District 1. There are 260 one, two or three-bedroom units plus health club and outdoor swimming pool. Namhouse Corporation 24 Xuan Thuy, Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 0989 007 700, 0989 115 511 www.namhouse.com.vn Provides rental properties, construction services and interior decorating. Supports professional services and after-sales.

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Riverside Apartments 53 Vo Truong Toan, D2 Tel: 3744 4111 www.riverside-apartments.com One of the first luxury serviced apartments in town located next to the Saigon River set in lush tropical gardens. Savills Viet Nam Level 18, Fideco Tower, 81-85 Ham Nghi, D1 Tel: 823 9205 www.savills.com.vn Savills Viet Nam is a property service provider that has been established in Vietnam since 1995 offering research, advisory services, residential sales, commercial leasing, asset management, retail advisory, valuation, investment advisory and more. Sherwood Residence 127 Pasteur St., D3 Tel: 3823 2288 Fax: 3823 9880 Hotline: 0917470058 leasing@sherwoodresidence.com


www.sherwoodresidence.com Sherwood Residence is a luxury serviced apartment property and the first property certified by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism. Modern living spaces meet prime location, comfort and class with 5-star facilities and service. Snap Tel: 0989 816 676 www.snap.com.vn Online Real Estate service providing information on rental properties exclusively in District 2. Full listings online.

RECRUITMENT First Alliances #609, Saigon Trade Center 37 Ton Duc Thang, D1 Tel: 3910 2080 Fax: 3910 2079 www.firstalliances.net cv@firstalliances.net As Vietnam’s most established recruitment consultancy, First Alliances operates across all major industry sectors and at all levels of seniority. Also providing HR outsourcing solutions for staffing and payroll,overseas employment and education services. HR2B / Talent Recruitment JSC Thien Son Building, 5 Nguyen Gia Thieu, D3 Tel: 3930 8800 www.hr2b.com HR consulting advises businesses on how to improve employee productivity. The search team specializes in matching senior level Vietnamese professionals and managers to top level opportunities in both major cities. Navigos Group 130 Suong Nguyet Anh, D1 Tel: 3825 5000 www.navigosgroup.com Recruitment agency offering a complete portfolio of HR services including executive search, HR advisory, training, online recruitment, and print recruitment advertising. Opus Vietnam 2A Rolanno Offices, 128 Nguyen Phi Khanh, D1 Tel: 3827 8209 www.opusasia.net Established in HCMC in 2005, Opus services local and multinational companies seeking to recruit high quality personnel. An Associate of Horton International, one of the world’s leading search groups with over 30 offices worldwide. For more info contact info@opusasia.net. Smart HR Capital Place Building, Suite 601, 6 Thai Van Lung, D1 Tel: 3823 5828 www.smarthrvietnam.com Human resource consultants specialising in job search and selection, and human resource management. Vietnamworks.com 130 Suong Nguyet Anh, D1

Tel: 5404 1373 www.vietnamworks.com Excellent section on advice for jobseekers focusing on topics such as resume writing, cover letters, interview technique and more.

RELOCATION AGENTS

Houses & Villas For rent in Dist.2, HCM: An Phu, Thao Dien, & Tran Nao

Allied Pickfords Satra Building, Room 202, 58 Dong Khoi, D1 Tel: 08 3823 3454 Kevin.hamilton@alliedpickfords.com. vn http://vn.alliedpickfords.com Moving and relocating services company specializing in business and office moves. Overseas and specialist movers also available. Crown Worldwide Movers 48A Huynh Man Dat, Binh Thanh Tel: 3823 4127 www.crownrelo.com International moving company serving diplomats and private customers, employees and expats, providing domestic and iternational transportation of household, office and industrial goods.

Save time: See all pictures & details online. Updated daily.

www.snap.com.vn

JVK International Movers 6th floor Saigon Port Building, 3 Nguyen Tat Thanh, D4 Tel: 3826 7655/6 www.jvkasia.com International agengy with a full range of services including sea/air freight services and worldwide transit coverage. Santa Fe Relocation Services Thien Son Building, 5 Nguyen Gia Thieu, D3 Tel: 3933 0065 www.santaferelo.com Provides a range of services including home/school search, language/cultural training, tenancy management and immigration/visa support.

STATIONERY Custom Signage Street Le Lai, D1 between Truong Dinh and Nguyen Thai Hoc Offers custom-designed signs and custom engraving on trophies and plaques made of plastic, wood, metal and glass. Pi-Channel 45B Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 3822 0253 www.pi-channel.com Boutique shop carries up-market collections of pens and notepads, as well as desktop organisers, clocks, calendars and frames. Corporate services offered. Stationary and Printing Street Ly Thai To Street, D3 starting at Dien Bien Phu and running southeast More than 25 stores providing photocopying services, from business cards to flyers and colour prints to invitations.

LINH‘S WHITE PLEASANT LIVING MINIMALISM 37 THAO DIEN (OPPOSITE AN PHU SUPERMARKET) 67 XUAN THUY - DISTRICT 2 PHONE: (84) - 62819863 - 62818488 E : linhnguyen@hbdecor.com.vn

- www.linhfurniture.com

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femme fashion

listings

fashion ACCESSORIES Accessorize 48 Dong Du, D1, Tel: 3822 1081 Vincom Center, 70/72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 www.monsoon.co.uk/icat/accessorize Fashion-forward accessories including necklaces, handbags, wallets, flip-flops, sunglasses, hair accessories, belts and more. Alfred Dunhill Diamond Plaza, 34 Le Duan, D1 A timeless style in male luxury providing formal and casual mens accesories tailored for the discerning man. Also stocking handcrafted leather goods.

Cheap Thrills By Frances McInnis We’re lucky enough to live in HCM City, where cheap clothes can always be found in markets, tiny boutiques, even street stalls. The problem is it’s all too easy to get overexcited by the prices and lose your head. It’s only once the shopping frenzy is done and you’re back home looking at your treasures that you start to notice the loose threads, shoddy zippers and wonky colour combinations. Suddenly all that clothing—most of which will never make it out of the closet—doesn’t seem like such a good deal. To ward off the buyer’s remorse, here are a few guidelines for shopping at cheap stores without looking cheap: • The most obvious sign of a bargain buy is a garish colour. Unless it’s a particularly nice hue, stick with neutrals; clothes always look most expensive in black and cream. Avoid yellow, hot pink and toobright white like the plague— they are dead giveaways. • Steer clear of hardware like grommets, studs and chains. Generally, this kind of detailing is too ambitious for cheap manufacturers—gold paint starts peeling off, grommets are improperly attached, or these heavy elements pull at flimsy fabric.

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• Ditto with all spangles, sequins and jewels. Just back away. • Look for fabric that does a good job of approximating silk, jersey, rayon or linen and make sure the material is thick enough to be opaque. Stretch lace, fake leather and anything shiny tend to look cheap. • No gimmicks, no slogan T-shirts, no hearts, no butterflies. You are not in junior high. (Unless you are in junior high, in which case go nuts!) • Decent cheap jeans can certainly be found, but make sure you actually try a few pairs on to compare, even if you have to hover behind the curtain-cum-changing room that they rig up in the market. • Do a quick once-over for quality. Sure, you’re not expecting workmanship, but check for any blaring defects. Stitching should be small, uniform and not pull the fabric unevenly. • Know what can and cannot be fixed. You can cut off loose threads, throw away an included belt, and even have a tailor adjust the hem or make minor adjustments. However, it’s a waste to invest a lot of money in altering a cheap item—the fabric and workmanship won’t last long enough to make it worth your while.

Anupa Boutique 17/27 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 3825 7307 anupaboutiquevietnam@anupa.net The ever-changing boutique retails in the elegant design of anupa accessories made from high-quality leather. Collections available range from men, women, executive, travel, spa, yoga, board games, boxes and semi-precious stone jewellery. Collection changes on weekly basis. Also carries toys, stationery, Unitdot Bamboo eye wear, Ella Charlotte scarves and ladies' apparel brand Things of Substance.

bags start at about USD $30, and many are suitable for both day and night. Creation 105 Dong Khoi, D1 Tel: 3829 5429 A two-storey shop selling scarves, intricate handbags (from USD $30), tailor-made silk dresses and tops. Has a wide range of materials on the second floor. Prices start from $65 for an ao dai with simple embroidery. Gallery vivekkevin FAFILM Building, 6 Thai Van Lung, D1 Tel: 6291 3709 info@vivekkevin.com www.galeryvivekkevin.com Handcrafted pendants, necklaces, rings and bracelets. The gallery’s focus is on design, craftsmanship and finish, as well as educating clients on the intricacies of each piece. Gucci 88 Dong Khoi, D1 Tel: 3827 6688 Located on the main shopping street in HCMC, this flagship store brings Florentine fashion to an array of luxury leather goods such as briefcases, luggage and a selection of men’s shoes for office or more casual occasions. Ipa-Nima 85 Pasteur, D1 Tel: 3824 3652 New World Hotel, 76 Le Lai Well-known Hanoi-based fashion brand. Founder Christina Yu is a former lawyer turned designer who produces eclectic and eye-catching handbags. Also stocks costume jewellery and shoes. J. Silver 803 Nguyen Van Linh Parkway, D7 Tel: 5411 1188 Make a statement without being ostentatious with handcrafted silver jewellery from the boutique store. Expect big, interesting pieces that are simple yet glamorous.

Bally Rex Hotel, 141 Nguyen Hue, D1 Diamond Plaza, 34 Le Duan, D1 www.experience.bally.com Flagship store in the Rex Hotel providing luxury Italian-made accessories for men. Among these are shoes, belts, wallets and a collection of male jewellery.

Laura V Signature 11 Dong Du, D1 Tel: 7304 4126 www.laurav.net Vintage designs aplenty with everything from jewellery and hair accessories to funky styled sunglasses, umbrellas and colourful maxi dresses.

Banana 128 Ly Tu Trong, D1 Women’s accessories and more, from bags, clutches and belts to clothes and jewellery, all at reasonable prices.

Lovely Lien Jewellery 20 Le Loi, D1 A small and unassuming jewellery store with beautiful and reasonably-priced necklaces, bracelets and earrings. You can also bring your own precious stones or ask the designers to make something unique for you.

Cartier Diamond Plaza, 34 Le Duan This well-known designer brand displays a wide range of accessories for men. Famous for its watches, Cartier also stocks pens, key rings, belts and sunglasses. Cincinati 177P Dong Khoi, D1 www.cincinati.vn info@cincinati.vn Vietnamese brand of genuine leather bags, shoes, accessories and personal goods for men and women such as notebooks for a classic vagabond look. Quality leather from crocodile, horse, snake and fish made with excellent local craftsmanship. Cleo-Pearls 30 Nguyen Dang Giai, An Phu, D2 Tel: 091 3587 690 Jewellery designer Birgit Maier operates Cleo-Pearls from her home, specializing in necklaces, bracelets, earrings, key holders and bag accessories. All pieces created with gemstones, fresh water pearls and beads. Coconut 100 Mac Thi Buoi, D1 Bags of all shapes and sizes rule the roost in this small shop. Made of silk and embroidered to the brim, these unique

Louis Vuitton Opera View, corner of Dong Khoi and Le Loi Tel: 3827 6318 Designer brand name housing traditional craftsmanship of luxury leather goods for men and women. An array of bags, wallets, cuff links and watches are available. Mai O Mai 4C Dong Khoi, D1 Tel: 3829 4007 A superb little place with beautiful jewellery and accessories to suit all budgets. Silver necklaces, bracelets, rings and more in both classic and imaginative designs, as well as gorgeous handembroidered bags. Mont Blanc Diamond Plaza, 34 Le Duan Notable for fine writing instruments, Mont Blanc also houses cuff links and other male accessories Scorpion Vincom Center B1, 70 - 72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 3993 9889 www.scorpionbag.com Selling high-end leather products for both men and women, including shoes, handbags, belts and other accessories. Features a variety of leather in bright colors and styles.


Tic Tac Watch Shop 72 Dong Khoi Tel: 0838 293519 www.tictacwatch.com Elegant show room displaying some of the world’s most recognized Swiss brands such as Rolex, Tag Huer, Baume & Marcer, Omega and Hirsch. On-site watch repair service and complementary watch evaluation available. Also carries a small collection of vintage Rolexes. Tombo 145 Dong Khoi, D1 Of all the embroidered and sequined bags, shoes and tidbits (or “Zakka” shops) that can be found in Dong Khoi, this shop’s has products that are prettier than most. Shoes can be custom-made and the sales staff is friendly. Umbrella 35 Ly Tu Trong, D1 and 4 Le Loi, D1 Tel: 6276 2730 www.umbrella-fashion.com Sophisticated boutique showcasing a diverse range of imported women’s accessories. Also houses women’s garments from office wear to cocktail and party creations.

ACTIVE WEAR China Beach Surf Club Diamond Plaza, 34 Le Duan, D1 Stocks famous surf and surf-inspired brands like Reef, Rip Curl and men’s wear from Volcom. It has everything you’d need for a visit to the beach and more. There are string bikinis, tees, board shorts, caps and thongs, just to name a few. Pinko Rex Hotel, 146-148-150 Pasteur, D1 Tel: 3827 2240 Spacious and simple store displaying women’s sportswear imported from Hong Kong and China. Body lotion and perfume imported from America. Roxy and Quiksilver Parkson Plaza, 39-45 Le Thanh Ton, D1 The original active living and extreme sports brands, Roxy and Quiksilver products combine form and function. Choose from outdoor gear to cool indoor clothes. TBS Sports Centre 102 Nguyen Van Troi, Phu Nhuan This store stocks a range of good sports clothes and equipment from big name brands such as Puma, Adidas, Ecco, Nike and Converse. Volcom Diamond Plaza, 34 Le Duan, D1 Chic and funky ladies’ apparel brand from America. Lots of tank tops, minis and shorts for day tripping with girlfriends or lazing on the beach.

READY TO WEAR unisex 2bling 246 Huynh Van Banh, Phu Nhuan Specializes in urban streetwear, with a range of t-shirts, sneakers, baseball caps, hoodies and more. Tees are both imported from around Asia and designed in-house. BAM Skate Shop 174 Bui Vien, D1 Tel: 0903 641 826 In addition to a range of decks, wheels and trucks, this small shop is stocked with bookbags, skate sneakers, track jackets and t-shirts emblazoned with your skateboard company of choice. Bo Sua Local Streetwear Vincom Center, 70/72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 3993 9599 www.bosua.vn An offshoot of the Boo street-style skater fashion brand made popular in Hanoi, this brand translated as “Cow Milk”

features fun colourful t-shirts, women’s casual wear and sneakers that celebrate the quirky street life of Vietnam. “ello 263 Huynh Van Banh, Phu Nhuan This tiny little shop on Phu Nhuan’s hipster fashion strip is stocked with some of the coolest trend items in HCMC. Carries a frequently refreshed selection of Tshirts, skinny pants and women’s tops. FCUK 127 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Diamond Plaza, 34 Le Duan, D1 Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi, D1 Vincom Center, 70/72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 3914 7740 www.frenchconnection.com Trendy UK brand with a selection of fashion-forward dresses for women and smart workwear and funky casual wear for men, all at middle-market prices. Konheo 32 Dinh Tien Hoang, Binh Thanh Tel: 6653 4187 info@konheo.com www.konheo.com Founded and run by a group of local Vietnamese guys, this T-shirt store flaunts simple-cut T-shirts with playful prints and humorous printed texts. Also does custom made t-shirts for 160,000 VND. Levi’s Flagship Store 19–21 Dong Khoi, D1 Tel: 3500 1501 The 320-square-metre retail space spread over three levels offers the city’s largest and most exclusive collection of Levi’s bottoms, tops and accessories. L’Usine 151/1 Dong Khoi, D1 Lifestyle store and cafe housed in a period building restored to evoke the aesthetic of an early 20th-century garment factory. Carries an exclusive, frequently refreshed line of imported men’s and women’s fashion, including T-shirts and footwear, and a range of unique accessories. Entrance via the street-level Art Arcade. Replay Vincom Center, 70/72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 116 Nguyen Trai, D1 187 Hai Ba Trung, D3 Tel: 3925 0252 Wide variety of shoes, clothing, denim for teens and university-age men and women. Carries boots, sandals, pumps and sneakers at mid-range prices. Runway Vincom Center, 70/72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 3993 9988 runway.sg@global-fashion.vn Massive and minimalist design-led interior lets ultra high-end designer garments stand out. Carries men's, women's and children’s clothing, swimwear, shoes, accessories along with home décor. Brands include Chloe, Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga, Sergio Rossi and Eres. Versace 26 Dong Khoi Designer brand in men’s formal wear. Houses suit jackets and trousers, shirts as well as an array of men’s accessories. Also stocks womens clothing and shoes. VOV Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi, D1 403 Huynh Van Banh, Phu Nhuan www.vovietchung.com Retail base for Vo Viet Chung, one of Vietnam’s best-known designers. VOV is known for blending traditional form with contemporary cuts, colours and textures.

men Lucas 69A Ly Tu Trong, D1 Tel: 3827 9670 Fashion store housing contemporary designs in casual, office and evening wear imported from Hong Kong.


style for gents

Massimo Ferrari 42-A1 Tran Quoc Thao, D3 Tel: 3930 6212 Bespoke menswear shop also boasts its own brand of contemporary preppy attire tailored for the tropics. Carries a line of European-quality shoes, bags and accessories designed in-house, as well as exclusive Orobianco unisex bags, designer fragrances and eyewear. Mattre 19 Nguyen Trai, D1 Tel: 3925 3412 This local men’s clothes shop has some funky tops and jeans for more fashionforward males. Apparel in sizes that fit the typical Western man’s frame are often available. Another store is located on Hai Ba Trung and Ly Tu Trong Milano Sheraton Hotel, 88 Dong Khoi www.milanogoods.com A conjoining shop with D&G offering a selection of men’s shoes and accessories with a sideline in women’s clothing. D&G provides a collection of menswear, from casual jeans and T-shirts to uniquely designed suit jackets.

Suiting Up In Style By Nacho Navarro Even though we live in a tropical climate, it is important to know how to choose the right suit. Do you go for a jacket with one, two, three or more buttons? Single-breasted or double-breasted? Single-breasted Single-breasted suits are buttoned while standing. When the jacket is buttoned, all buttons except for the bottom button are fastened. This rule is adequate for two-button suits and three-button suits, as well as the rarer four-button suits. To prevent bunching, the single-breasted jacket should be completely unbuttoned while the wearer is seated. The single-breasted suit is appropriate casual and business attire. Inspired by riding jackets, the four-button jacket has had many revivals over the last century. Considered a fashion suit (not a classic) this style is best suited to tan, slender young men. Leave the top button unfastened if the suit has soft, roll-over lapels. lf the suit has a firmly pressed lapel fold you should button the top button. A jacket with three buttons in the front is almost always a good look. As fashion trends change so do the position of the buttons; sometimes this causes the top button to be too high. If more than half your tie is covered, excluding your knot, the buttoning is too high. In the case of three-button suits, which have the lapels rolling over the top button, the top button should not be fastened. With a typical three-button

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suit, you can opt to button the middle button only or the top two buttons. A jacket with two buttons up high looks good, but two buttons down low looks even better. Low buttoning styles have a tendency to make the wearer appear slightly shorter in stature and his body slightly longer. Button the highest button only. A one-button jacket worn closed also looks good. Double-breasted Double-breasted suits have a wide overlap in the front with two rows of buttons on the front of the overlapping fabric. Double-breasted suits should be kept buttoned. Doublebreasted suits are dressy and are suitable as business attire or for a special occasion. You can wear six buttons with one closed—this looks good. Six buttons with two closed is the shape of the classic blazer. When there are six or more buttons on a jacket, you will be able to trace its origin back to a military uniform. Keep three of the six buttons closed if you don’t mind looking taller and possibly thinner. And avoid pinstripe suits in favour of the wider set and chalk-striped pattern. Nacho Navarro is the cofounder of Italian fashion brand for men, SANTO NERO ®. He is also a coach at JetSet® Vietnam, instructing in all areas of style and elegance for men. You can contact him at nacho. navarro@santonero.com.

Mizada 150 Ly Tu Trong, D1 Tel: 3822 2508 mizada07@yahoo.com An A-to-Z collection of men’s clothing with an influx of new fashion arriving on the racks regularly. Carries smart, casual shirts, trousers, jeans and jackets, as well as bags and scarves. New Urban Male 226 Ly Tu Trong, D1 Tel: 3824 4416 www.newurbanmale.com Caters to a wide range of consumer tastes from beach duds to streetwear. The goods include international men’s brands such as Havaianas, C-IN2, Jabs Waterboys, Rebel Jeans and aussieBum. Also carries men’s grooming products. Timberland Parkson Plaza, 39-45 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Sells everything the brand is known for, from heavy-duty boots to tops and trousers that are both smart and casual. The emphasis is on muted tones and unobtrusive logos for men who don’t like to show off.

women Axara Vincom Center B1, 70 - 72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi, D1 21 Nguyen Trai, D1 Tel: 3993 9399 www.axara.com Carries women’s clothing suitable for work, weekends or evening. Luxurious fabrics and simple cuts and styles all at reasonable prices. Also carries handbags and accessories.

www.itamoda.com.vn Luxury women’s clothing store with racks organized by designer. Carries small collection of unique pieces from designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Alberta Ferretti, Blumarine, Valentino, Philosophy and Brunello Cucinelli. Chloe Rex Hotel, 155 Nguyen Hue, D1 Tel: 6291 3582 Parisian-influenced fashion house specializes in simple, traditional designs with a feminine and fashionable twist. Jeans, satin dresses and a wide array of accessories are on display. Contraband Parkson Plaza, 39-45 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Ready-to-wear brand for hip, modern women. Range includes office wear to evening wear. The collection is updated each month with new international trends. Esprit 58 Dong Khoi, D1 Outpost for the international brand of colourful, preppy men’s and women’s casual wear. Etam 188 Hai Ba Trung, D1 Famous all over the world for their French style. There’s a large range of shirts, T-shirts, dresses and more. Also available in Zen Plaza and Diamond Plaza. Gaya 1 Nguyen Van Trang, D1 Tel: 3925 1495 Carries a range of couture and pret-aporter garments and silk and organza dresses in vibrant colours created by Cambodia-based designer Romyda Keth. Geisha Boutique 85 Pasteur, D1 Tel: 3829 4004 enquiry@geishaclothing.com Facebook: Geisha Boutique Australian fashion label offering a contemporary range of casual and evening wear with an Asian influence. Printed tees, singlets, shorts, skirts, jeans, summer scarves, dresses, silk camisoles and satin maxi dresses. Kookai Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi French brand stocking classic, feminine, styles with a twist. Gypsy day dresses and classic little black dresses at mid- to high-range prices are perfect for twentyand thirty-something women. La Senza 47B–47C Nguyen Trai, D1 Tel: 3925 1700 65 Le Loi, Saigon Centre, D1 Tel: 3914 4328 www.lasenza.com Boutique carrying a wide range of bras, panties, pyjamas, accessories and lounge wear.

Balenciaga Rex Hotel, 155 Nguyen Hue Tel: 6291 3572 Sporting modern shapes and elegant items crafted from natural, raw and artificial materials.

Labella 85-87 Pasteur, D1 This three-storey shop will take care of all your wardrobe needs: affordable clothes, shoes, bags and lingerie, all well made and fashionable.

BCBGMAXAZRIA Vincom Center, 70/72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 American brand sells women’s day dresses and tops, evening gowns and wear-to-work attire in many prints and colours. Also carries a small selection of accessories, sunglasses and watches.

Le Samedi 21 Nguyen Trai, D1 Tel: 3925 5013 Boutique retailing in clothes imported mainly from Italy and France, from cocktail dresses to chiffon skirts.

Bebe Saigon Center, 65 Le Loi, D1 Tel: 3914 4011 www.bebe.com An international brand that specializes in contemporary, modern tees and sexy, elegant dresse, tops and party attire. Bon Mua Boutique Vincom Center, 70/72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 3993 9888

Lulu Lacy www.lululacy.com Boutique label featuring retro designs in high-quality fabrics. Website frequently refreshed with latest offerings, including maxi-dresses, tailored blouses and shorts. Shop online or request a party at your house. Mai Lam 132-134 Dong Khoi, D1 Tel: 3827 2733 www.mailam.com.vn Boutique store housing an eclectic mix of


vintage designer clothes and accessories made in Vietnam. Specializing in handsewn, multi-dimensional embroidery, the re-design of the traditional ao dai and an army vintage collection. Mango 96 Mac Thi Buoi, D1 Tel: 3824 6624 Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi, D1 Vincom Center, 70/72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 A favourite with fashion-conscious women, this mid-range store stocks clothes from simple tees and jeans to evening wear. Marc Jacobs Rex Hotel, 155 Nguyen Hue , D1 Tel: 6291 3580 This spacious shop with high-ceilings carries up-market clothes, shoes and accessories from the internationally recognized designer brand. Muse Boutique Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi, D1 Boutique store carries well-known international brands like Miss Sixty, BCBG, Rock Republic, True Religion, Tbags and Killah. Nang Boutique 181 Dong Khoi, Room 209, D1 iheartnang@gmail.com Houses an assortment of mix-and-match skirts, floral dresses, chiffon lace-trimmed gowns and accessories, such as hats, shoes, bags, scarves and jewellery. Song Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi, D1 76D Le Thanh Ton Offers women’s fashion designs by Valerie Gregori McKenzie, including evening dress, tops and hats. Valenciani Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi, D1 Tel: 3821 2788 66-68 Nguyen Trai, D1 Tel: 7302 4688 valenciani.sg@gmail.com www.valenciani.com Homegrown luxury boutique carries silk dresses, velvet corsets, chiffon shawls and a range of accessories, all designed in-house.

SHOES Charles & Keith 10 Mac Thi Buoi, 18-20 Nguyen Trai Tel: 3925 1132 Vincom Center, 70/72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 www.charleskeith.com Singapore brand housing youthful and trendy shoes of a contemporary, high fashion design. Converse 186 Hai Ba Trung, D1 148 Nguyen Trai, D1 122 Ba Thang Hai, D10 Tel: 3827 5584 www.converse.com.vn

Sells iconic Chuck Taylor, Jack Purcell and All-Star sneakers and Converse brand clothing and accessories. Also at department stores around HCMC. Dr. Marten’s 173 Hai Ba Trung, D3 Tel: 3822 4710 Air Wair sandals and shoes here feature the classic yellow stitching and chunky rubber soles. Also stocked with clothes and accessories by Replay and Kappa tracksuit tops. Nine West Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi, D1 Vincom Center, 70/72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Stocks an extensive range of designer footwear for women. Handpicked by a global community of independent trendsetters and stylists. Sergio Rossi 146AB Pasteur, D1 Rex Hotel, 141 Nguyen Hue, D1 World-renowned Italian brand stocks a diverse European-style collection of upmarket shoes and bags made of quality materials, from crocodile and python skin laterals to garnishings of Swarovski crystals and colourful beads.

TAILORS Dieu Thanh 140 Pasteur, D1 Tel: 3824 5851 www.dieuthanh.com Experienced tailor shop specializes in swimwear and cotton clothing, as well as business suits, evening dresses, luxury fabrics and accessories. Dzung 221 Le Thanh Ton, D1 One of the most reliable and respected men’s tailors in town with prices and production time to reflect the quality of the workmanship. Shirts start from US $30. Massimo Ferrari 42-A1 Tran Quoc Thao, D3 Tel: 3930 6212 Traditional Italian sartorial techniques are employed to offer a full wardrobing service and custom tailoring for men. Stocked with imported fabrics primarily from Italy. In-office and workplace fittings available. Thuy Nga Design 7 Lam Son Square, D1 Conveniently located at the Opera House, this local boutique is a one-stop shop for both men and women. The range includes clothes, men’s and women’s accessories and costume jewellery. Uyen 13 Nguyen Thiep, D1 An excellent option with English-speaking staff and a good selection of fabrics (although the price takes a dip if you bring your own) and some off-the-rack staples to copy. Reasonable prices.

Mekong Creations specialises in unique locally produced household and gift items, including papier mache, silk, bamboo, and water hyacinth products. Mekong Creations also produces items for luxury French brand Terre d’Oc and has permission to sell these designs locally. Mekong Creations is a project of parent NGO Mekong Plus, that supports community development programmes in remote villiages in Vietnam and Cambodia. The key objective is to generate employment for women. All profits from products sold are returned to the villages. Mekong Creations focus is to provide rewarding employment, increase family incomes and improve conditions for children in these remote communities. Our producers are trained in production techniques for their field and supported in design and marketing by Mekong Plus. All products are made in the villages allowing more time to be spent with families.

112 Xuan Thuy Ward Thao Dien District 2 Ho Chi Minh City Tel/Fax. (+84) 8 62.819.917 shop-hcm@decosy.biz

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Slate the Bar Photos by Brett Davis 90 asialife HCMC


Phattys Photos by Alex Belikov asialife HCMC 91


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3 4th Floor ONG&ONG Building 159 Phan Xich Long St Ward 7, Phu Nhuan District

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DISTRICT 4


boxoffice

Bridesmaids

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Cowboys & Aliens

The Smurfs (3D)

Annie (Kristen Wiig) is a maid of honour whose life unravels as she leads her best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph), and a group of colourful bridesmaids on a wild, hilarious ride down the road to matrimony. Annie's life is a mess, but when she finds out her best friend is engaged, she simply must serve as Lillian's maid of honour. Lovelorn and broke, Annie bluffs her way through the expensive and bizarre rituals. With one chance to get it perfect, she'll show Lillian and her bridesmaids just how far you'll go for someone you love.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes follows James Franco—a scientist working on a cure for Alzheimer's Disease. The cure works on a chimpanzee named Caesar who uses his powerful intellect to lead an ape uprising against all of humankind. Set in present day San Francisco, the film is a reality-based cautionary tale, a blend of science fiction fact where man's own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.

1873. Arizona Territory. A stranger with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. He discovers that the people of Absolution don't welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde. But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky. Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation.

Audiences everywhere are in for a Smurfy good time as the Smurfs make their first 3D trip to the big screen. In the Middle Ages, the evil wizard Gargamel discovers the Smurfs' village and chases them into a wooded area. The Smurfs get scattered and some of them follow Clumsy Smurf into a forbidden grotto. A magical portal opens and they tumble from their magical world into ours - smack dab in the middle of Central Park. They take shelter with married couple Patrick and Grace Winslow and try to find a way back to their village before Gargamel tracks them down.

Opening Dates CINEMAS G: Galaxy www.galaxycine.vn

M: Megastar www.megastarmedia.net

T: Thang Long www.giaitrithanglong.com/cinema

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Cowboys & Aliens (August 12) The Tree of Life (August 12) Bridesmaids (August 5) Rise of the Planet of the Apes (August 19) The Smurfs (3D) (August 5) Friday Night (3D) (August 26)

The information on this page was correct at the time of printing. Check cinema websites for screenings.


bookshelf The Lake

The Anatomy of Influence: Literature as a Way of Life

Melville House

Yale

Banana Yoshimoto With a pseudonym of ‘Banana’, it’s no surprise that the author’s work is often distinguished by its quirkiness. Like fellow Japanese author Haruki Murakami, Banana Yoshimoto conjures up unusual characters and situations set in a modern Japan. The Lake, a new translation of Yoshimoto’s 13th novel from 2005, is the story of a burgeoning romance between Chihiro, a mural artist, and Nakajima, a graduate student. As Chihiro comes to know Nakajima more, particularly when he takes her to meet a pair of clairvoyant siblings, she discovers more about his mysterious past. A portion of sales proceeds will be contributed to Japan disaster relief.

Harold Bloom

If you went to high school sometime over the past 50 years, chances are you encountered the prolific writings of literary critic Harold Bloom. With the skill of being able to read 400 pages an hour and apply his critical eye to every word, Bloom has been a tour de force in the world of written words. Now 81 years old, Bloom looks back at his literary life in The Anatomy of Influence, a memoir and series of analytic essays in one. The critic explores his own fascination with the idea of influence amongst writers, a topic he has focused on for most of his career.

Turn of Mind

The End of Anger: A New Generation’s Take on Race and Rage

Atlantic Monthly Press

Ecco/HarperCollins Publishers

Alice LaPlante

The film Memento is the obvious comparison that comes to mind for the plot of first-time novelist Alice LaPlante’s Turn of Mind, which also pits an unreliable memory against an unsolved mystery. Suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, the narrator struggles to remember whether or not she is a killer. Dr Jennifer White is a former top orthopaedic surgeon who now barely recognises her children, and the leading suspect in the murder of her best friend, who is found with four fingers expertly removed. Flashing back to happier days with the bewildering present never too far away, the author demonstrates an agile sleight of hand.

Ellis Cose

Some heralded the election of a black man to the presidency as the end of racism in America. Yet journalist Ellis Cose sees the event more as a sign of the end of anger—a contemporary understanding of race that relies not on rage (as in the civil rights movements of the midcentury), but on more complicated attitudes. Acknowledging that racial inequality continues to be a serious issue in the US, Cose finds this era’s African Americans to be guided more by optimism than resentment. Interviewing successful figures, including African American graduates of the Harvard Business School, Cose shows that opportunities “feel” increasingly in reach.

asialife HCMC 95


soundfix album review

by Mai Lynn Miller Nguyen

The Cool Kids

Bon Iver

Tom Vek

Little Dragon

When Fish Ride Bicycles

Bon Iver

Leisure Seizure

Ritual Union

The album title seems a twist on that old one-liner, “When pigs fly". That’s what it felt like it would take for The Cool Kids to finally unleash the first album they’ve been promising for over three years, now out on Mountain Dew’s Green Label Sound. When the Chicago-based duo’s single 'Black Mags' blew up on the blogosphere in 2007, The Cool Kids became alternative hip-hop heroes, opening for M.I.A. ahead of releasing a full-length. Fish must be cycling out there somewhere, although it feels like the album has lost its edge—golden-age rap nostalgia is already prevalent. Fortunately, The Cool Kids know how to do it well, and their type of free and easy jams will always have a following. It’s a largely homogenous effort, with a summertime mood and start-andstop rhythms that don’t vary much from track to track, but if something ain’t broke, why fix it?

Justin Vernon is not your average Kanye West collaborator. The Wisconsinite singer-songwriter is the driving force of Bon Iver, a band with its roots in American folk yet unafraid to expand the margins of its sound. Two songs on last year’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy helped propel Bon Iver into the mainstream public’s consciousness. Not that an endorsement was needed, as the premier album in 2007 rightly won over staunch admirers anxious for a second effort. Bringing in a team of musicians that include strings, percussion and saxophone, Vernon created an ensemble piece more sophisticated than the largely solo debut, but without losing a minimalist approach—the exception being album closer 'Beth/Rest', a relatively intricate track with a key from eighties power ballads. From 'Perth' to 'Calgary', the album is infused with geographical references.

For a 30-year-old fairly successful musician, Tom Vek is awfully world-weary. A recurring theme of disillusionment appears throughout the Brit’s second album, Leisure Seizure, the follow up to his 2005 We Have Music. “What you have perceived as life is no more than a chore,” he sings on the glum 'A Chore'. Then there are songs with titles like 'We Do Nothing', 'World of Doubt' and 'Too Bad'. Even the droning timbre of Vek’s voice is enough to convey a defeatist tone. Vek’s unusual singing style has its charm, but can grow annoying if listened to for all 12 songs in succession. A few tracks are destined for grab bag play list success, especially the standout 'Aroused', which has Vek sounding at his most bright eyed and bushy tailed, cheered up with a snappy rhythm that matches the song title’s implications. Not quite as powerful as his earlier work, but still engaging.

I first came across Little Dragon while listening to my iPod on shuffle a couple months ago—usually a voyage of discovery through yet unheard downloads. When the group’s 'Nightlight' came up, I pressed repeat. I was pleased to find that nearly the entire album, Ritual Union, also warrants multiple listens. It’s the third record for the Gothenburg-based quartet, who has somehow kept largely under the radar since their first appearance four years ago. Electronic beats are styled in slightly jazzy patterns. Then there are the androgynous vocals— captivating, with a twinge of otherworldliness—of Yukimi Nagano, who is half Japanese, half Swedish-American. The group was christened in honour of her nickname; granted to her rumoured tantrums of frustration during band practices. Judging from the album’s reception thus far, it looks set to be the year of the Little Dragon.

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xoneFM top ten

endorsed

Official xoneFM Vietnam Top 10 this last

week week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

title

5 3 2 1 7 Reentry

Smile I Wanna Go The Show Goes On California King Bed Iridescent Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) New Say hello to goodbye 8 Edge of Glory Reentry Lazy Song 9 The Story of Us

artist Avril Lavigne Britney Spears Lupe Fiasco Rihanna Linkin Park Katy Perry Shontelle Lady Gaga Bruno Mars Taylor Swift

US Top 10 this last

week week 1 2 3

1 3 5

4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2 4 9 6 11 12 10

title Give Me Everything Party Rock Anthem Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) Rolling In The Deep The Edge of Glory Super Bass The Show Goes On Good Life Tonight Tonight Don't Wanna Go Home

artist PITBULL feat. Ne-Yo LMFAO Katy Perry Adele Lady Gaga Nicki Minaj Lupe Fiasco Onerepublic Hot Chelle Rae Jason Derulo

UK Top 10 this last

week week

title

1 2

1 2

Glad You Came Louder

3 4

3 4

5

5

The A Team Best Thing I Never Had How We Roll

6

9

Give Me Everything

7

6

8 9 10

8 7 10

Don't Wanna Go Home Bounce Changed The Way You Kiss Me Last Friday Night (TGIF)

artist Wanted DJ Fresh feat. Sian Evans Ed Sheeran Beyonce Loick Essien feat. Tanya Lasey Pitbull/NE-YO/Afrojack/Nayer Jason Derulo Calvin Harris feat. Kelis Example Katy Perry

Hip Hop 101 By Jessica Bloom Refresh your playlist with a lesson in hip-hop straight from the airwaves of Brooklyn Radio. Slow internet speed might make you wary of downloads, but hook up to a solid connection and go make yourself a sandwich because these mp3s are worth it. The Rub, aka Cosmo Baker, DJ Ayres and DJ Eleven, have conveniently compiled hip hop tracks by year for free download on their website. The series begins in 1979 with Grandmaster Flash and ends with UGK in 2009. In between is some serious nostalgia with A Tribe Called Quest’s ‘Scenario’ in ’92, Biggie’s ‘Juicy’ in ’94 and MF Doom’s ‘Doomsday’ in ’99. Each track flows effortlessly into the last one making these mixes great for treadmills and dance floors. If you know nothing about the genre, copy and paste the accompanying track lists and study up. Soon you’ll be talking about how Jay-Z’s flow changed so much from ‘95’s ‘Get Wit That’ to ‘06’s ‘Show Me What U Got’. If you’re an old hand at Old School, brush up on the newer stuff. 2008, for example, features classic

acts like Busta Rhymes and The Roots with emerging talents like Kid Sister and The Cool Kids. Other tracks from the new millennium volumes include LMAFO, Pitbull and even a song featuring Lady Gaga— but Cosmo’s got an answer for that. In The Rub’s interview with Brooklyn Radio about the History of Hip Hop series, he says, “…today in 2010, hip-hop is the definition of pop music, it’s as simple as that. So in that capacity it makes sense to put things like Flo Rida…in the mix because it’s representative of where the music is today.” The mixes can be found at www.itstherub.com/?cat=15. Not a very cohesive address, admittedly, but some things are worth the effort of copying down a rogue symbol or two. Along with their weekly show on Brooklyn Radio, The Rub boys have DJed in over 50 cities all over the world and put out six CDs and 11 albums of their eclectic hip hop mixes—so, if you want more, there’s more. Individual songs are available at itstherub.com for download.

asialife HCMC 97


radar Only beauties allowed

beautifulpeople.com You can call them shallow, but they won’t care. They’re too beautiful. This dating website is proud of the fact that it’s exclusive. Beautifulpeople.com is based on the idea that everyone wants to be with someone attractive. Thin-skinned, insecure people should not apply. When you sign up, thousands of current beautiful members of the opposite sex vote on your photo and a profile. They have no qualms rejecting anyone. If you make it past the bouncers, you will have access to events, parties, and coveted guest lists throughout the world. The site is also frequented by some of the world’s leading model scouts, talent agencies and production companies.

Viewing made easy

myp2p.eu Miss watching live sports matches and news shows from around the world? Myp2p.com links you to external P2P and mediaplayer/flash channels as well as providing the free software necessary to connect to these channels. You can search by country, type of program, team, or competition. Everything is free and channels are rated so you can know which ones will provide better viewing. It seems to be easier for those with Windows, but there is also a good deal of information on how to set myp2p up on your Mac. Let the games begin!

One breath at a time

breathingearth.net Breathingearth.net is a real-time simulation of the birth rate, death rate and CO2 emissions throughout the world. Place your mouse on any country and the bottom of the map shows this information and other statistics based on the amount of time you have been watching the site. Reading the key will help you understand the shifting colours, starbursts and black spots that are continually bouncing around the map. If you can drag yourself away from the map, there is information below on statistics, CO2 emissions, environment and climate change, and ways to help.

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THE TWO OF US 'American Steve' Mueller and 'Australian Steve' Simmons met in HCM City more than a decade ago. Over a beer on De Tham Street, the two Steves tell Frances McInnis why they have a lot more in common than a first name. Photo by Brett Davis.

Steve Australia

Steve Mueller I came here in ‘98 and he got here in ’99—we were both teaching English at the same school. The first time we met, I remember we were at a teacher’s day and Steve had just arrived. We were going to sing karaoke, and he got up there and he was the hit of karaoke day. He’d sing anything cheesy! The kids loved it. We had a lot in common: we were both surfers, we liked to go out, we were the same age. We both liked to live in the moment, have a good time. At first, I was American Steve, and he was Australian Steve. There was also an Irish Steve and a Canadian Steve. That’s thing about being born in the ‘60s—everyone is Steve. When I started dating my wife, we’d spend a lot of time right here [at Café Zoom on De Tham]—this is her café.

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She was always busy so the best way to hang out with her was here, so I spent a lot of time here and Steve would hang out with me. Back then, there was no paving out front here, and it was a more Vietnamese style café. The Vespa theme came later. There were just rows and rows of folding chairs and we’d sit out here drinking. At times, we’ve gone our own ways. I’ve stayed in Vietnam, Steve went to Japan, to the Middle East. But when we meet up again, it’s the same. We do what good friends do together: we go out for a drink together, reminisce. Like, somehow, when we’d go out drinking, always at the end of the night he’d end up talking about American politics. Americans, guns and oil, that’s what it always was!

Those were the Bush days—and I was spot on! At the school we worked at there were a lot of guys who were very down on life and their jobs. I just thought Steve was fun and had energy, and was trying to enjoy his time. Steve’s a very generous guy, very patient. I really appreciated him coming to Australia for my wedding six years ago. He knows how to have fun in most situations—I think that's why we like Vietnamese people. They’re fun-loving and don’t take things too seriously. Both of us came to Vietnam looking for opportunity. We thought we could do more than teach English, and we started a business together, where we were training staff in hotels here. He ended up pursuing hospitality with his Vespas and tours, while I stayed in education. I was away from Vietnam for

eight or nine years. I came back for a job. When I came back, some of the places we used to go to weren’t there anymore, they’re either holes in the ground or new buildings. And everyone has a motorbike now. If you were sitting here 11 years ago, there would be cyclists going past. You don’t really have that feeling that Vietnam is just opening its doors—it’s really part of the global world now. I think mostly the changes are pretty positive. One of the nicest things about Vietnam for me hasn’t changed: it’s got the energy. It’s a young population, and the people don’t have much but are very happy. We also still give each other a hard time like we used to. He thinks I’m lazy—he thinks I need to work harder! My rebuttal? Well at least I’m focused on the moment!


Keeping Tabs Sometimes the local sense of humour means you have to laugh or you'll cry. Or both. By Tabitha Carvan.

I don’t know very much about Vietnamese humour, but I know that my Vietnamese friends like jokes about boobs, and that the passengers on Vietnam Airlines can’t get enough of that secondrate Candid Camera they show on the little screens. I am convinced, however, that the Vietnamese are actually comic geniuses. I present Exhibit A. One evening, my boyfriend and I were dining at an eerily silent and empty upscale restaurant. It was like it was too fancy to have sounds. Or customers. Indeed, we were the only ones there until an older foreign gentleman—I would say sixty, in the latter stages of a mid-life crisis—arrived and made a beeline for the bar to chat to the lovely young bar girl. The gentleman ordered his drink and broke the eerie silence to make painfully sleazy small talk with the several-generations-younger girl, all the while nibbling from a bowl of peanuts that was sitting on the bar. And then it came out of nowhere: Bar Girl: I don’t think you should eat the peanuts. Man Having A Mid-Life Crisis: Why? Bar Girl: Because peanuts are bad for old people.

Man Having A Mid-Life Crisis: [Eerie silence] I used every last piece of selfcontrol within me not to shout SMACK-DOWN from across the room. It was a delicious moment; impeccable comic timing. “Put that in your pipe and smoke it” I thought. But then I realised, no, he probably shouldn’t because smoking is bad for old people. The Vietnamese penchant for bluntness is well-known. I’m

You wouldn’t necessarily call this bluntness 'comedy', but if you do, living in Vietnam instantly transforms from being mildly humiliating to being completely hilarious. In a case of 'if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry', you just need to see Vietnam as the humour capital of the world. People pay good cash money to see standup comedians perform this kind of side-splitting off-colour material. Instead of skulking off

"It was a delicious moment; impeccable comic timing. “Put that in your pipe and smoke it” I thought. But then I realised, no, he probably shouldn’t because smoking is bad for old people." sure you have many examples of your own. Like when a man at your workplace approaches you at the water cooler to tell you that he and the rest of the Finance team have all been discussing your outfit. “I have been chosen to come and ask you,” he says. “Why are you wearing pyjamas to work?”. Okay, so maybe this didn’t happen to you. And, for the record, I was actually wearing a two hundreddollar Japanese designer dress. But never mind, you know what I’m talking about.

to bed, Mr Too Old For Peanuts should have applauded the bar girl’s virtuoso deadpan routine. To bring home my case, I present Exhibit B. This happened when a Vietnamese colleague of mine met my boyfriend for the first time. She said she was very pleased to meet him and exclaimed, “Oh, look at you two, you’re a perfect 10!” “Oh, that’s so nice! Thank you!” I said. To which she responded, “Yes, he’s the 1 and you’re the 0”.

It took me several beats to work out that this was, in fact, the best fat joke the world will ever hear. My colleague was oblivious to my boyfriend’s horrified donot-go-there face (which I’ve seen many times before, most notably when the lady at the airport check-in counter asked me if I was pregnant), so she continued. “Yes,” she said. “And without him, you’re nothing!” WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! I gasped so forcefully that I was literally propelled backwards. Only my massive fatness stopped me from keeling right over. I clutched my hands to my chest in shock. It was perfection. It had everything. An insult masquerading as flattery, ingenious wordplay, and a diabolical one-two finish about how fat girls can’t get a guy. My boyfriend’s do-not-gothere face became his oh-noshe-didn’t face, the grimace indicating that he feared the worst. I paused to fix forever in my mind this moment of comic genius, and then, I cried buckets of tears. Yes, that’s right: tears of laughter. With a few sobs of humiliation thrown in for good measure. asialife HCMC 101


pub quiz

The Fountain of Age – Identify these 5 aged celebrities 21)

Ahoy there! 6) What title is given to the officer in charge of finance and passenger welfare on a cruise ship? 7) Which measure of speed is equivalent to one nautical mile 22) per hour? 8) What is the full character name of the pirate played by Johnny Depp in the 'Pirates Of The Caribbean' series of films? 9) What was the name of the sailing vessel that the Pilgrim Fathers travelled on to America? 10) Who was the arch-enemy of 23) the cartoon character Captain Pugwash?

Breakfast Time 11) The Scots use a spurtle for stirring what? 12) Which foodstuff was invented by a sanatorium supervisor in 1894 aimed at reducing the sex drive of inmates? 13) Which actor is married to The Closer star Kyra Sedgwick? 14) Apart from the Peach Melba dessert named after the Australian opera singer Dame Nellie Melba, what other foodstuff has been named in her honour? 15) What was Paddington Bear’s favourite food?

102 asialife HCMC

Chòu traùch nhieäm xuaát baûn: Nguyeãn Thò Thanh Höông Bieân taäp: Nguyeãn Vónh Trung Söûa baûn in: Löu Thuûy Trình baøy: Coâng ty TNHH QC TM DV Ba traêm saùu möôi laêm ngaøy Bìa: Coâng ty TNHH QC TM DV Ba traêm saùu möôi laêm ngaøy Nhaø XuaáT baûn toång hôïp TP. Hoà Chí MINH 62 Nguyeãn Thò Minh Khai, Q1 ÑT: 38225340 – 38296764 – 38220405 – 38296713 – 38223637 Fax: 84.8.38222726 Email: tonghop@nxtphcm.com.vn Website:www.nxthcm.com.vn - www.fiditour.com Thöïc hieän lieân keát xuaát baûn: Coâng ty TNHH QC TM DV Ba traêm saùu möôi laêm ngaøy In laàn thöù nhaát, soá löôïng 4000 cuoán, khoå 20,5cm x 27,0cm GPXB soá: 326-11/CXB/147-29/THTPHCM Ngaøy 08/04/2011 In taïi Coâng ty ITAXA, ñòa chæ 126 Nguyeãn Thò Minh Khai, Q.3. In xong vaø noäp löu chieåu thaùng 08/ 2011 365 Days Advertising Trading Services Co.,Ltd L4,159 Phan Xich Long, P7, Phu Nhuan District Tel: +84 8 3517 2208 Managing Editor: Brett Davis brett@asialifehcmc.com

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Lunch Time 16) In which Sex Pistols song did they proclaim “You’ll always find us out to lunch”? 17) Name the novel by William S. Burroughs which was made into a film directed by David Cronenberg? 18) Which Olympic Gold winner sprinter complained about the press and their fixation

Thoâng tin du lòch vaø vaên hoaù ôû Vieät Nam ASIALIFE HCMC

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Pub Quiz Answers

1) Which snackfood features a man with a handlebar moustache on the packaging? 2) What was the surname of the wonderfully named “King Camp” who invented the safety razor? 3) How many of Snow White's dwarfs had beards? 4) Which sea-faring historical figure is said to have singed the King of Spain's beard in 1587? 5) Which company did the American Victor Kiam buy because he was so impressed by their electric shavers?

with his “lunchbox”? 19) "Lobster Thermidor aux crevettes with a Mornay sauce, served in a Provençale manner with shallots and aubergines, garnished with truffle pate, brandy and a fried egg on top and ..." What is missing from this Monty Python lunch dish? 20) Which Phnom Penh eatery describes itself as a “Gourmet Sandwich Bar”?

1) Pringles 2) Gillette 3) 6 4) Sir Francis Drake 5) Remington 6) The Purser 7) A knot 8) Jack Sparrow 9) The Mayflower 10) Cut-throat Jake 11) Porridge 12) Kellogg’s Cornflakes 13) Kevin Bacon 14) Melba Toast 15) Marmalade Sandwiches 16) Pretty Vacant 17) Naked Lunch 18) Linford Christie 19) Spam 20) The Lunch Box 21) Justin Bieber 22) Gwen Stefani 23) Madonna 24) Cristiano Ronaldo 35) Benicio del Toro

Beardy Weirdy!


AsiaLIFE HCMC 41  

Tiger Mums Issue

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