AsiaLIFE volume 55
08 News & Events 12 Dispatches
Linh Street 18 Photo Essay: Tokyo
on the cover
22 Growing Up Expat
28 A Dog's Life
30 A Shot for Everyone
style & design
44 Quirky Creations 46 Connoisseur: Rolls-Royce 48 Paper Dolls
52 The List 78 Spotlight
80 Street Guide
34 The Last of the Letter Writers
88 Odd One Out 89 This Country Life
36 Back to Nature
90 Pub Quiz
38 Farang of the North
43 Cover Art Direction Johnny Murphy Photography Alex McMillan Model Ford Baker Special thanks to ISHCMC
4 asialife HCMC
41 Le Steak de Saigon 42 Lucca
13 Street Smart: Le Van 16 Q&A with Kim Fay
40 Sterling's Saigon
note from the editor
Group Director Sales & Marketing / Director Vietnam: Jonny Edbrooke firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor: Chris Mueller email@example.com Deputy Editor: Lien Hoang firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing Editor: Michael Tatarski email@example.com Editor-at-Large: Brett Davis firstname.lastname@example.org
If you saw last month’s fashion shoot spread and are interested in any of the products the models are wearing, visit their shop, Designer Forum, at 165-167 Le Thanh Ton, District 1 or check out Lindamaiphung.com.
6 asialife HCMC
Photo Editor: Fred Wissink email@example.com Production Manager: Nguyen Kim Hoa firstname.lastname@example.org Photography Interns: Alex McMillan and Rosa Chung Editorial Intern: Claire Jowell
For advertising and marketing enquiries please contact: +84 938 298395 / +84 8 6680 6105 or email@example.com
AsiaLIFE Group Group Editor / Director Cambodia: Mark Bibby Jackson firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Cambodia: Ellie Dyer Art Director Cambodia: Steve Tierney Sales Cambodia: Sorn Chantha Chantha@asialife.asia
Director Thailand: Nattamon Limthanachai (Oh) email@example.com Associate Editor Thailand: Yvonne Liang Photo Editor Thailand: Nick McGrath Sales Thailand: Piyalai Tandhnan (Ming) Ming@asialife.asia
It’s rare for me to be impressed by kids. Frankly speaking, I’ve never been a fan. When I look at the younger generations in the US now, I see what probably most older people similarly saw of my generation: music that seems to only be getting worse, young Americans more interested in iPads then imagination, and more concerned with getting Facebook likes than opening up a book that isn’t about vampires. So for this month’s cover story about growing up as an expat, it was refreshing to speak with a group of young, bright students who gave me some hope for future generations. These kids clearly have deep aspirations for the future and it was an enlightening interview. I wish them all the best. I’d like thank all of them for taking the time to speak with me as well as the International School Ho Chi Minh City for setting up the interviews. This month we also take a darker trip into the world of the cross-border dog trade. We’ve all seen dog meat for sale either with the heads already cut off or with the terrifying, toothy grin that is seen in most parts of the north. We have also all heard the rumours; that these dogs are sometimes skinned or boiled alive, an end to an already tortured existence. Our article will shed some light on some of these rumours and put others to bed. While I don’t condone stealing and eating people’s pets, the long tradition of eating dog in Vietnam still has a place, and our food columnist Richard Sterling delves into why many Vietnamese find the meat of our furry friends so tempting. Over the past couple of months you may have noticed some small changes in the layout to the magazine, and hopefully you’ll start to notice a more diverse array of articles. While our focus will always be on Vietnam, the addition of the Bangkok magazine and the cooperation between all three AsiaLIFE mags will allow us to bring you articles on topics we otherwise wouldn’t have the resources to report. It has been an exciting and trying time for AsiaLIFE these last few months, but I think you will all agree that the effort has been worth it. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out our new website at asialife.asia.
Regional Creative Director: Johnny Murphy firstname.lastname@example.org
Next time you're in Cambodia or Thailand, check out the latest issue of AsiaLIFE or download them from www.asialife.asia Find AsiaLIFE articles on
NEWS 1920s-themed Gala
Take a trip back to the Roaring '20s with Centre Medical International's annual charity gala, this year themed 'The Artists'. All profits go towards the surgery and treatment of destitute Vietnamese children, including cardiac operations that can cost $3,360. Sponsors can contribute in categories from $500 to more than $6,000. More about the fundraiser, to take place 24 Nov in the garden of the French Consulate, is at 08 38 27 23 66 or CMI-vietnam.com.
VietJetAir has a new promotion called ‘Enjoy flying with more flights’, offering 10,000 promotional tickets at VND 99,000 on the routes between Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang or Danang,
EVENTS as well as between Hanoi and Danang for travel from 14 Oct to 31 March. The mid-Oct kick-off is promoting the budget carrier’s decision to increase the frequency of those recent domestic routes to two round trips per day, except the flight from the south to Danang and back, which will happen three times per day. This month VietJetAir also will begin the route linking Ho Chi Minh City and Hai Phong. Routes currently under consideration include Hanoi - Phu Quoc, Hanoi - Dalat, and Ho Chi Minh City with Hue and Vinh.
Animal Rescue and Care will be having its first charity bazaar, where you will find anything from jewelry to children’s clothing to loads of delicious treats. It also
Red Dress Run
Saigon Hash House Harriers, the running club with a drinking obsession, will be holding its annual Red Dress Run on 7 Oct. As usual, the bus will leave at 2pm from the Caravelle Hotel. Running and walking trails are planned and all participants are required to wear a red dress. Proceeds raised will go to the charity Operation Smile. Please see Saigonhash.com for further details.
8 asialife HCMC
will be an adoption and awareness day, when you can learn more about the animals that are available for adoption and need animal welfare. Join them 6 Oct from 9am to 3pm at 47 Thao Dien Street, An Phu, D2. To host a stall, email email@example.com.
Bike for Swimmers
Drowning is still a problem among Vietnamese children, so help raise money to teach them to swim by participating in a Ho Tram charity bike ride 20 Oct. There is car and bike support along both routes: the 80km route in Long Thanh for the social, beginning at 7am, and the 110km route in Cat Lai for the fast, starting at 5.30am. Both take backroads with minimal highway exposure and end at Sanctuary, Ho Tram with barbe-
cue and beer at 2pm. The goal is for each rider to get $300 worth of sponsors. Register at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hotel Equatorial introduces the third Balade en France festival with food, wine, games, dance, animations, and a draw that includes two roundtrip tickets to Paris. The French fair takes place 26-27 Oct at the Saigon Grand Ballroom. If you can't make that, the Chit Chat at The Cafe restaurant offers a French buffet all month, at VND 760,000 including drinks, as well as a Sunday champagne brunch at VND 880,000. Meanwhile, Orientica Seafood restaurant and bar has a crab promotion through November, and Cantonese dim sum during the week, for VND
A ‘Best Hotel Restaurant’
Hanoi’s oldest destination for French dining recently proved it’s only getting better with age. Judges from TheDailyMeal.com singled out Le Beaulieu at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi as one of the ‘101 Best Hotel Restaurants Around the World’ in 2012. The contemporary haute brassiere was picked as part of a search that spanned six continents, 40 countries and 80 cities. More than a century old, Le Beaulieu has served diplomats, entrepreneurs and writers, including Charlie Chaplin, Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene. The restaurant’s French heritage is reflected in its well-preserved Indochine-era aesthetic, with marble and wood parquet floors, antique ceiling fans, and large windows overlooking the street.
48,000 per item. For more about any of these offers, call 08 38 39 77 77 or email dine@hcm. equatorial.com.
In one painting, called ‘A Negotiation’, two hands are dressed in suits, one holding up three fingers, the other holding up four. In another, called ‘With Love and Regards’, a hand takes the place of a man’s head and holds a brick, seemingly window-bound. These and other Daliesque works by Pham Huy Thong will go on display at the Craig Thomas Gallery with the theme, ‘Hands’. The solo exhibition will run from 18 Oct to 11 Nov. More information at 27i Tran Nhat Duat Street, D1, 09 03 88 84 31, Cthomasgallery.com, or email@example.com.
La Trattoria and Wine Bar
Opening in the middle of this month, well-known Italian ristorante and pizzeria La Braceria, at 11 Le Thanh Ton Street in District 1, will be replaced by a trattoria, or an informal Italian restaurant. La Trattoria del Buon Vino, run by Zoe and Riccardo Pacciani, will offer an entirely new menu with a remix of classical Italian cuisine with a contemporary, innovative touch, all of which will be prepared by Italian chef Alessandro D`Agnolo. There will also be a wine bar, Il Buon Vino, on the third level where there will be a selection of 30 different brands of wine in a chill, electronic atmosphere designed and played live by nu/jazz artist, DJHauiku69.
Peter and the Wolf
VinSpace Art Studio and Inspirato Music Centre have joined together to create a magical music and art event for all children. They’ll start with a music and story-telling concert, bringing the characters of Sergei Prokofiev’s literary classic to life. After the story comes Peter and the Wolf arts and crafts, making puppets of the characters the children just heard about. Admission for children is $20, adults $10. The event will take place 3pm to 5pm on 6 Oct at 4-6 Le Van Mien Street, Thao Dien Ward, D2. More at 09 07 72 98 46, info@ vin-space.com, or info@inspirato. com.vn.
In honour of Halloween, 2 Lam Son delivers a night of debauch-
Galerie Quynh presents new and rare work by acclaimed Ho Chi Minh City-based artists Hoang Duong Cam and Nguyen Trung from 3 Oct to 3 Nov. See their paintings at 65 De Tham Street, D1.
WEEKEND BRUNCH SEAFOOD FEAST 11 am - 5 pm
38 Nguyen U Di, Thao Dien, An Phu, D2, HCMC T +84 (0) 8 3 744 6632 E firstname.lastname@example.org W thedecksaigon.com
Please call for reservations or book through our website asialife HCMC 9
ery with specialty libations, a costume contest and other delights for a ‘spooktacular’ good time. Best costume wins not only bragging rights, but a complimentary two-night stay at Park Hyatt Saigon. Consolation prizes include an Urban Retreat Package at Xuan Spa and a complimentary bottle of vodka for the night. Party-goers also will find tempting liquid treats with Buy One Get One Free drink specials all night. The party begins at 5pm on 31 Oct.
The Lab and Saigon Players are putting on the Rocky Horror Picture Show from 31 Oct to 4 Nov at Bon Mua restaurant, 189A 1 Nguyen Huong Street, Thao Dien, D2. VND 600,000 tickets are available at ingridberry@ gmail.com and at the restaurant. More at Saigonplayers.com.
TNT Theatre Britain and American Drama Group Europe is bringing Shakespeare's crowning artistic achievement to Ho Chi Minh City. Join them to see scenes in which a mad Lear rages naked on a stormy heath against his deceitful daughters and nature itself. With some of the finest examples of tragic lyricism, the drama brings to light the relationship between parents and children when Lear decides to divide his kingdom among his three daughters, promising the ‘largest bounty’ to the one who loves him most. Tickets for the performances at the Opera House are VND 500,000 for adults and VND 300,000 for students for the 11am show, and VND 600,000 for adults and VND 300,000 for students for the 8pm show. Runs 25 to 27 Oct.
At the open-air Saigon Saigon Bar, spooky decoration, games, sweet and spooky Halloween drinks, ‘frightening food’ and shock-inducing shots await you and your friends. No cover. The party starts at 9pm on 31 Oct on the roof of the Caravelle Hotel, 19 Lam Son Square, D1.
10 asialife HCMC
Travel news from around the region and beyond
Sinatra or Beatles Recreating some of Frank Sinatra’s world-famous recordings, Louis Hoover captures the essence of Ol’ Blue Eyes, assisted by the cream of British musicians. His Salute to Sinatra act has toured the United States, Europe, Japan and now Singapore, where they’ll play at the Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands, 18 to 20 Oct. Tickets range from $45 to $100. Or, for the same price, catch The Bootleg Beatles at the same resort’s Grand Theatre, 8 to 11 Nov. The cover band pays tribute to the greatest pop group in history from top to toe, with four costume changes reflecting the Beatles’ evolution, as well as from note to note, using original instruments and with uncannily accurate vocals. Tickets at Sistic.com.sg.
Paintings, Demystified The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah Ubud is lighting a new pathway into Bali’s heritage with an ongoing series of classes on Batuan art and painting. Led by noted art expert and illustrator Bruce Granquist, ‘Art Afternoons’ traces the history and development of the highly regarded Batuan school of art, revealing links between Balinese culture and daily life and the village’s various art forms. The classes aim to demystify Batuan paintings, one of the island’s major art styles, and complement a four-night offer that includes a visit to the Arma Museum, home to a large collection of works from Bali’s three schools of art. For more information, please visit GHMhotels. com or contact Esther de la Cruz, 01 67 73 63 72 7, email@example.com.
Fun in Phuket If you’re looking for pampering, relaxation, romantic interludes, and active pursuits, Banyan Tree Phuket Resort is offering an early bird advantage. Book your stay seven days in advance and enjoy 25 percent off the best available rate. Valid for stays through month’s end, if reserved by 25 Oct. In addition, enjoy complimentary all day in-villa dining when staying in a one- or two-bedroom double pool villa. Also ask about specials at the Spa Sanctuary, an idyllic escape infusing healthy cuisine and award-winning spa and wellness treatments designed to ease your mind, uplift your spirits and rejuvenate your body. More at Banyantree.com.
12 asialife HCMC
Street Smart: Le Van Linh Street
Alex McMillan finds an abundance of local curiosities in District 4. This District 4 neighbourhood has a large and popular market, which is interesting enough on its own. But the best part about Le Van Linh is how the neighbours open up their homefronts and create a kind of alleyway market which spills out onto the street in an explosion of fruits, vegetables, fresh seafood and live poultry. Below you will find a few notable
places, but by no means is it an exhaustive list. Xom Chieu Market Corner of Le Van Linh and Hoang Le Thach The street is so short that youâ€™ll be able to find this large concrete market easily. It looks similar, with its utilitarian design, to the Reunification Palace in District 1. Inside you can find
a large set of standard market fare: jewelry, fresh meat, produce and clothing. It is popular with locals and has a parking section outside. It is definitely worth a look.
and chickens sitting tamely along the roadside can be a thrill. Be warned, if you are not buying dinner the ladies selling the birds do not take kindly to people taking photos.
Duck Ladies 19 Le Van Linh Living in Saigon, one can feel disconnected from wildlife and nature, so seeing 100 live ducks
Beefsteak Sot and BBQ 7 Le Van Linh This tastefully decorated restaurant has a variety of Vietnamese and western dishes
asialife HCMC 13
including rice, soups, salads and steaks. The average price per dish is around VND 50,000. If you are out for a coffee, they serve Trung Nguyen products and also have free WiFi. If you are looking for a quiet place to surf the web, then this is a good spot. When you are done eating and drinking, there is also a salon upstairs to get a massage or have your hair done. Beef Jerky Guy 43 Le Van Linh There is a cart with a man who sells dark black, smoky and juicy beef jerky by the bagful. A delightful treat while you walk around the stalls outside. The jerky costs VND 10,000 per bag. Pho Bo 47 45 Le Van Linh Selling Vietnamese pho with beef, this popular stall was full of locals come lunchtime. VND 30,000 a bowl. Te Sanh Hoa Shoes Repair 63 Le Van Linh Got some shoes with a hole in them? Don’t want to chuck out your old faithful sneakers? This shop has a team of five guys sewing and repairing shoes outside the storefront. Though we didn’t have any need to repair ours, it was nevertheless interesting to watch them deftly
14 asialife HCMC
handle shoes and work so effortlessly. Kim Hoang Eggs 81 Le Van Linh Are you making a quiche with four kinds of eggs? Fantastic. We have never seen a shop with so many different varieties of them. They have quail, duck, chicken, and most notably, black salted eggs for VND 6,000 each. Suong Sam Jelly 121 Le Van Linh Perched on the street in front of this address is a woman with a small red basket piled with upside-down cups of green jelly that seem to defy gravity. Inside the cups is an ivy-like plant’s green jelly, which is chilled and a great way to beat the heat. One cup is VND 4,000 or you can get three for VND 10,000. Vegetarian Vendor 88 Le Van Linh If you are looking for a vegetarian meal, this woman sells exactly that. There are several different kinds of meals available including vegetable and tofu dishes for an average price of VND 10,000 per Get directions serving.
Born in Seattle and living in Los Angeles, Fay based her debut novel â€” about western temple robbers making their way through colonial Shanghai, Saigon and Cambodia â€” on the years she spent living and travelling in the region. Photo by Julie Fay Ashborn.
16 asialife HCMC
Left & Middle: Vintage Cambodian Postcards. Right: Shanghai. Photo by Woodrow Ethier.
What’s your relationship with Vietnam? I was teaching English. It was 1995, Vietnam was coming out of isolation, and everyone wanted to talk. But I quit teaching after six months, I was really bad at it. So I ended up staying for four years and writing for the local magazines. I’ve gone back a half dozen times and written two books about it. And Cambodia? When I was in Saigon I read Silk Roads and that was really the spark for writing this book. When I read about Clara and Andre Malraux looting the temples, of course I wanted to see them for myself. Once I saw the temples, I understood how someone could be obsessed. One million people lived in [Angkor Wat] at the height of the civilization, and to think that just disappeared — that was unbelievable to me. So why include sections on Shanghai and Saigon? The reason I didn’t go straight to Cambodia is because I was always obsessed with Shanghai because my grandfather was a sailor, he was in the navy, and Shanghai seemed to be one of the sources of fascination for him because that’s where most of his photos were. Saigon just had to be in there because I was living there. What did you want to show about Saigon? I want to give people a sense of
space. When I go home and tell people I lived in Saigon, they have this look on their face, this one image, and it was war. I wanted to show people the city that I lived in, it was a beautiful city, a gracious city. When I moved to Saigon in 1995, there wasn’t a single skyscraper. The places I describe in the book still exist, Cho Lon still exists, and the streets with all the pharmacies. Why set the book in the 1920s? That is the time period when Malraux stole the bas relief. That was the original thinking. Then I started the research and realised it could only be this time period. In the late 1800s, with the rise of mass tourism, people would go all over the world, take what they wanted, and there were no laws protecting art. And you also have the revolutionary time period, communist parties come into being and ideas about who should be ruling a country. It’s kind of a free-for-all, in the political world and art world. It’s hard to escape the colonial aspect. Why was that important to you? I’d always been a reader of Graham Greene, George Orwell, W Somerset Maugham. They wrote about people who went into these countries and had this sense of entitlement, whether they were colonisers or just westerners. I was in Vietnam in 1995 and I was encountering people who were
stuck in a state of mind, that the country was still colonised. I can honestly say I did not set out to write about that. But the more I researched and the more my characters did their own thing, the more the argument just kept coming up. What argument? ‘Racist’ doesn’t do it justice because it’s not a broad enough word. Just this sense that, my culture is right and your culture is wrong. I still feel there’s an aspect of colonialism that informs a lot of western involvement in non-western countries. Businesses are run on the old colonial standards, despite it being the 21st century. The biggest thing that came across to me is the lack of fairness and the real divide, not just between rich and poor, but between cultures.
can have these compassionate relationships? And I said, because they wouldn’t have had these relationships. These were people out for themselves. Every time I tried to make my characters more compassionate, they stepped out of their context and everything felt untrue. Will there be Vietnamese/ Khmer translations? Let’s say a publisher in Cambodia or Vietnam wanted it but didn’t have the funding, I would be fine with that. My feeling is, I want it read. I know the household budgets in these countries, and I would rather people be able to buy it for 50 cents and be able to have conversations about it.
How do you present criticism of these colonisers without subjecting yourself to the same criticism? I didn’t want my characters to be jerks. They just were. I was constrained because of the time period. If they all became enlightened, that would be my 21st-century self trying to whack them upside the head. One problem with Greene, at least in The Quiet American, is the way he treats Vietnamese. Did you think about that? It’s funny, one woman asked me, why didn’t you include more local characters so they
The Map of Lost Memories by Kim Fay Hodder & Stoughton Trade Paperbaack, 323 pp, $21 asialife HCMC 17
Photo Essay: Tokyo
18 asialife HCMC
Daena Teng explores a lesser-known side of Tokyo, unearthing a culture richly dappled with a multitude of colours, tradition and modern values.
asialife HCMC 19
20 asialife HCMC
asialife HCMC 21
GROWING UP Expat As careers in international companies become more common, so do expat parents who shepherd their children across continents in search of the next paying gig. Some of these kids will have lived in more countries by the time they are teenagers than most expats will in a lifetime. While this may be intriguing to adults, it comes with a unique set of obstacles for these kids whose lives will forever be determined by their early years as nomads. Chris Mueller sits down with some of them and finds out just what itâ€™s like to grow up expat. Photo by Alex McMillan.
It’s hard to put a label on them. Some were born in their parent’s home country, before spending the rest of their lives moving around the world. Others have spent their whole lives in a foreign land, but foreign only to their parents. Since the 1950s, the children of expats have been called third-culture kids, a term first coined by sociologist Ruth Hill Useem. The label refers to children of expats, almost always from the same passport country, who spent most of their formative years living abroad, usually in one foreign country. The first culture is their parent’s, the second is their host country’s, and since they are not fully part of either, these children form a third. Originally the term implied that many of these children lived in a sort of limbo between cultures and identities. With so much exposure to ways of life different from those of
and though they may feel comfortable in their host countries, few ever truly assimilate. Expat kids in Ho Chi Minh City tend to live sheltered lives, staying within the confines of posh areas like districts 2 and 7. They take private cars to their expensive international schools and on weekends hang out with friends from school, most of whom live similar lives. But underneath this shroud of privilege, many of these expat kids have become more mature than the local peers in their passport countries and view the world in a completely different way. “They tend to be far more worldly and not prejudiced,” says Simens. The generation of third-culture kids that Useem first studied in India has now grown into adulthood, and many are now in positions of power and influence. One notable example is Barack Obama. As an increasing
“It’s difficult for me to get attached now because there is always this sense that the relationship is not real, like I’m going to leave anyway. Settling down is the future, it is the goal, but I don’t even know how to begin getting there” - Katla Nefstead, a former expat kid their parents, many of them were thought to have emotional and attachment issues, and difficulty fitting in. Julia Simens, a, Bangkok-based child psychologist and author of Emotional Resilience and the Expat Child, calls them a different name: invisible immigrants. One of the biggest problems these kids face is that many of them might look like they belong in their adopted country, especially those who have spent years there, but they don’t really understand the culture around them, she says. “It’s expected of them to know what’s happening,” she says. “But 80 percent of their lives are in international schools.” This means these kids are neither here nor there. Many don’t really have a home country, 24 asialife HCMC
amount of companies and jobs move overseas, third-culture kids are becoming more common and the international environment they are raised in is viewed as an asset. But this doesn’t mean life is always easy for them. Finding common ground Katla Nefstead works in the admissions and marketing department of an international school in Ho Chi Minh City, and if anyone can relate to expat kids, it’s Nefstead. She grew up hopping around the globe with her parents, who taught at international schools. Now 27, Nefstead spent her childhood in Thailand, Ecuador, Pakistan, Colombia, Cambodia and Honduras. After spending her early years abroad, Nefstead moved to the United States in 11th
grade and enrolled in public school for the first time, in small-town Michigan. Back then, no one thought of her as a third-culture kid, or even as child to expat parents. “I was just a spoiled army brat to everyone,” she says. Despite her globetrotting youth, Nefstead says her parents were never wealthy, but friends and family back in her native US struggled to understand this distinction. She says the far different experience in her new high school shocked her more than anything she had seen in her travels, including the drug culture of Colombia and the dire poverty of Cambodia. Immediately upon arrival, she noticed how much hatred many of her classmates had towards different races and cultures, and the exclusionary cliques that would form at lunch tables. “Before I went to public school, I had never heard the term nigger before,” she says. “We just never saw race that way because I didn’t really grow up with white people.” This was long before Facebook and Twitter, so she had lost contact with most of her friends in other countries. But Nefstead was an expert at making new friends. The ability to easily relate and speak to different types of people is the most common asset of kids growing up in an intercultural environment, Simens says. While it is still easy for Nefstead to meet new people, especially with an outgoing personality probably formed out of necessity, she has trouble in her adult life keeping long-term connections. “It’s difficult for me to get attached now because there is always this sense that the relationship is not real, like I’m going to leave anyway,” she says. “Settling down is the future, it is the goal, but I don’t even know how to begin getting there.” This, according to Simens, is the other overwhelmingly common attribute of thirdculture kids and adults. Living a life in which friends constantly come and go eventually burns many of them out, and they become reluctant to make any new ones. Rachel O’connell, 16, came to Ho Chi Minh City two months ago from her native Pakistan with an American father and Pakistani-Swiss mother. This is her first move abroad and she says so far it has been a surprisingly easy transition. The diversity of cultures at her school has been the most
asialife HCMC 25
26 asialife HCMC
interesting part of grappling with a new country. But everything is still fresh and she hasn’t had to say goodbye to many friends. But 16-year-old Vincent Bacac, who recently moved here with his French parents, knows that much of his effort to get comfortable in Vietnam will be in vain. Before coming to Vietnam, Vincent and his family already had lived throughout Asia, so he knows what it’s like to pack up and take off. “At first I kept asking, ‘Why am I different, why am I leaving?’” he says. He adds that transitioning can be difficult, but at this point it’s just part of life. “You have to make new friends every time you move and you just seem to forget about your old ones; you try to cling on to them but they get erased from your memory.” Lukas Schmelter, a 17-year-old German student who lived in the Middle East and Asia most of his life before arriving in Vietnam two years ago, has always found making new friends in a new country easy. But as with Nefstead, finding relatable friends in his passport country has proved to be a challenge. During a return to Germany for an internship, Lukas tried to explain what life was like in Vietnam and the places he had been, but most of the other interns couldn’t grasp it. “I feel like I overwhelm people if I talk about all the places I’ve lived in,” he says. “I found it better to just tell them where I’m from and move on.”
local language while his parents were away working. His first word was English, but in his early years he spoke far more Vietnamese. Now, however, he has forgotten much of the language. Sung Won Lim, 17, also has spent most of her life in Vietnam. Born in Korea to Korean parents, she has lived here since she was 4-years-old. But, like many expat kids, she has difficulty coming up with an answer when asked to identify her culture. When asked to describe it, she pauses for a moment before settling on a response: “unique”, but then elaborates. “My culture is like a sandwich,” she says. “The bread would be Korea, but the thing that makes it interesting and different would be the ingredients inside — the experiences and the different people I meet.” Unlike Ford, Sung Won has a more difficult time finding her place in Vietnam. Despite
Cultural confusion Of course, finding friends is just the beginning. Simens, the psychologist, says what can be more detrimental and difficult to notice is that these kids are wrestling with complicated notions of who they are and where they are from. But these questions are easy for Ford Baker, 15, who feels more Vietnamese than American. Born in Hong Kong to American parents, Ford has spent nearly his entire life in Vietnam. When asked where he considers home, Ford answered without hesitation. “That’s easy,” he says. “Vietnam is definitely my home” Like many expat families in the country, the Bakers left their young son in the care of a Vietnamese, who would teach him the
having grown up here, she still sees herself as more of an outsider. In Korea, too, she doesn’t quite fit in. “I can be a bit more open-minded than my cousins in Korea,” she says. “Everyone there is just focused on one path, which is to get into university, instead of looking at the path they want to take.”
diverse range of nationalities. Both Ford and Sung Won realise how fortunate they are to have grown up in this international environment, a stark contrast to the poverty they often see around them. Vincent agrees that he lives a privileged life, but not just because his family is better off than others. “The diversity you have to adapt to is incredible,” he says. “I’ve seen all these cultures and places, and it has helped me to grow up.” Lukas also feels that growing up as a third-culture kid has given him not only unique opportunities, but also a world perspective unmatched by his peers in Germany. “They talk about things they’ve seen on television and I can say, ‘I’ve visited that place,’” he says. “I’ve had the opportunity to see things they haven’t, or may never see. They see it as very abstract, but it’s normal to me.”
“It’s increasingly important for people to be tolerant and aware of other cultures and the mentality of other people. I think it’s a great privilege to have grown up like this” - Lukas Schmelter, 17
A privileged upbringing Although living under these circumstances can be difficult, there is no denying these children have privileged lives, not just in a monetary sense, but also for the unique opportunities living abroad has afforded them. All of the teenagers interviewed for this article are current students at the International School Ho Chi Minh City, one of the most expensive schools in the city, which has a
Many of these kids still struggle with making new friends and a few are worried about what it will be like to go to university, where they may have trouble connecting with their classmates, but they all agree that they would never choose a different life. “I think with the way the world is developing, it’s increasingly important for people to be tolerant and aware of other cultures and the mentality of other people,” Lukas says. “I think it’s a great privilege to have grown up like this.” Unlike the teenagers, Nefstead has had time to reflect on her childhood and says she has experienced and learned so much that there is now a world of possibilities. “So many doors are open,” she says. “I know so many things are out there, I just have to decide what I want.” asialife HCMC 27
A Dogâ€™s Life Thanks in part to Vietnam's demand for dog meat, thousands of traumatised canines are languishing in shelters across Thailand. Max Crosbie-Jones looks at the cross-border trade that put them there. Photo by Nick McGrath.
28 asialife HCMC
Photo courtesy of Soi Dog Foundation.
The undercover footage is hard to watch. Using nooses or iron tongs, dogs big and small are wrestled off Thai streets or farms, crammed into rusty metal pens and driven northeast to the Mekong River. Then, after being smuggled across the river into Laos, usually at night, they are driven hundreds of miles in blazing heat or driving rain to the slaughterhouses of Vietnam — up to half a million dogs a year, according to pessimistic estimates. “The dog meat trade is inhumanity at its worst,” says John Dalley, director of the Soi Dog Foundation, a Phuket-based NGO spearheading the expatled arm of the ongoing rescue and government-lobbying efforts. “The lucky ones suffocate to death on the journey, and the unlucky ones survive and are then killed in accordance with local beliefs — beaten or their legs broken, skinned or boiled alive.” Vietnam's taste for dog meat is well-documented, part of a cultural tradition stretching back centuries. It's nothing new that some people in Tha Rae, an impoverished district in northeast Thailand with a large Vietnamese immigrant population, also eat it and are involved in dog-smuggling syndicates worth millions of dollars. But only recently, after a string of interceptions by authorities, has the Thai end of the supply chain become headline news. Social media-savvy animal welfare groups like Soi Dog have been exposing the trade and trying to shame the authorities into action, as has traditional media. The aforementioned undercover footage, which surfaced recently in a
documentary, Hell on Earth, that's available on YouTube, has also helped. But there's another, more emotive reason the dog meat trade is suddenly very hard to ignore — pets. Until recently the dogs sent for export were strays that loitered on streets or farms and many Thai officials were secretly happy to see gone. No longer, explains Dalley. “As well as the old-fashioned method of purchasing unwanted animals in exchange for plastic buckets from poor parts of the country, gangs are now
For its part, the Soi Dog Foundation is pushing for stronger enforcement of existing laws, with limited success. “Since we started our 'Trade of Shame' campaign a year ago, more arrests of smugglers have been made than in the preceding 15 years, but they're still not being prosecuted,” says Dalley. Even when the Thai police, navy or border patrol units do intercept dogs, the law courts often rule that the traders can have them back. Dalley cites a recent case in which 70 dogs
“The lucky ones suffocate to death on the journey, and the unlucky ones survive and are then killed in accordance with local beliefs — beaten or their legs broken, skinned or boiled alive” snatching dogs,” he says. “We reckon as many as 90 percent are stolen pets. You can tell by their collars and how friendly they are.” Channelling the outrage A broad coalition that includes the Soi Dog Foundation, Animal Activists Alliance, Thai Veterinary Medical Association, politicians and celebrities is pushing for the adoption of animal cruelty laws. Online petitions with tens of thousands of signatories, as well as Bangkok demonstrations — the last of which drew 1,000 people in early September — are signs of widespread public support for such a move. But according to Pheu Thai politician Somsak Kiatsuranont, “it could take two or three years” for animal welfare laws to be ratified by Parliament.
were rescued, only for the judge to rule that the Tha Raebound smuggler could continue with his cargo if he paid a 9,000-baht fine. “Fortunately, he didn’t have it, so we paid it and in effect became their owners,” he says. Poverty is another reason the trade thrives. “Many of those out rounding up dogs are poor rice farmers who need an alternative income source during the rainy season,” says Dalley. “I've heard that the Thai livestock department may start educating them about different ways to make money … similar to what the Royal Projects did for hill tribes and the opium trade.” The real, underlying reason this black market exists is demand exists. And that's not likely to change soon. With the opening of the new highway
from Laos direct to southern China — another dog meat marketplace — it may even increase in the coming years. Shouldering the burden To demonstrate the levels of institutional neglect of man's best friend, Dalley recounts the sorry tale of how 200 dogs died from dehydration at a police station back in July after the authorities refused to take them in. None of this bodes well for Soi Dog's depleted coffers. The organisation, founded in 2003 to look after strays in Phuket, is a victim of its own campaign's success. Now supplying food, veterinary care, vaccinations and medicine for more than 3,000 dogs at four government-owned livestock shelters (three in the northeast, one in Kanchanaburi), Soi Dog has operating costs 40 percent higher than normal. Dalley believes things may soon reach a tipping point, not just because finances are tight, but also because there's no more shelter space to go round. “If there's another big interception the authorities are going to be stuck for somewhere to house them,” he says. Adoption offers the best possible hope for a better life, believes Dalley. “In the past three months about 300 dogs have been adopted by people in Thailand and overseas, but that’s still only a small minority,” he says. As for the rest, the sad reality is that, having escaped the dinner table, they are destined to grow old in captivity — that is, unless they starve, succumb to disease or, worse still, fall back into the clutches of the dog catchers. asialife HCMC 29
A Shot for Everyone The Saigon Shooters opens its netball court to amateurs and pros, to both men and women, making it a unique league in Southeast Asia and in a female-dominant sport. By Michael Tatarski. Photo illustration by Fred Wissink. If you’ve never heard of netball, it’s a lot like playing basketball but having to hit the pause button constantly. Players sprint up and down the court, except that each time the ball reaches a new person, that player has to freeze. To see it for myself, I decided to give this strange sport a shot. I met up with the Saigon Shooters last month in District 30 asialife HCMC
2, where they’ve been meeting Monday nights since 2010. The group became increasingly popular after introducing mixed-gender play last year to a game traditionally dominated by women. “Before that, it was just a bunch of chicks that got together to have a chuck around,” club coordinator Claire Morris told me, adding, “It's fun with the
guys, it keeps it less serious.” She admitted the Shooters had to allow men because they didn’t have enough participation. But the approach, unique to the region, turned into a benefit. Female players got used to competing and training with people who were faster and stronger. That gave them a leg up when travelling to regional
tournaments in Hanoi, Thailand, and Cambodia. “Playing with the guys gives us good practice, so when we go and compete against the top teams, like Singapore and Hong Kong, we've done admirably, and I think that's thanks to playing against men," said team member Helen Bartlett. According to the International Federation of Netball
Associations, 20 million people play netball in more than 80 countries. In Australia and New Zealand, it is the most popular female sport. But for those who, like I, aren’t from a Commonwealth country, a brief primer might be in order. Netball derived from early versions of basketball in England in the 1890s, so obvious similarities between the two remain. Both are played on courts, and the object is to score by getting a ball into a basket. Each team consists of seven players: three on defense, a centre, and three attackers, who must pass the ball up the court to try to score. The court is divided into thirds, and the ball must be passed through
each third, meaning end-to-end passes are not allowed. Unlike with basketball, there is no backboard, so most players take their shots from just below the goal. During my first taste of netball, I quickly realised the strangest aspect of the game is the fact that you can’t move once you receive a pass. Most sports I’ve played back home in the United States rely on incessant movement, so it took a few minutes to get used to flying down the court at full speed and then stopping completely as soon as I got the ball. That gives the game an interesting pace. I was put in the centre position, since that is the least confusing spot, but was
warned it would require a lot of running. Indeed, my teammates and opponents dashed back and forth, but once a shooter got near the basket, everyone stopped and waited for him or her to shoot. In basketball, on the other hand, other players constantly are jockeying for position as they watch the shooter. After running into a few people and committing a handful of fouls I didn’t understand, I began to get a feel for the game. Netball requires good footwork and hand-eye coordination, but by the end of the first quarter, a newcomer can get the hang of it, at least enough to start enjoying himself. "We have some people who have never played before, peo-
ple who have played for years, and everything in between,” Morris said. “It's a really good mix, and it's good fun." The Shooters local league consists of four teams, comprised mostly of teachers at international schools. But this year, they’ve introduced an under-11 league and will try to start an under-16 version in the near future. The hope is that once children get involved, their parents will become interested as well and attract broader participation. The Saigon Shooters play Monday nights at Australia International School, 36 Thao Dien, D2. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. asialife HCMC 31
Free -Walking This summer, when John Hung Tran opted to take no money on his walk from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnamese hoped it would restore their reputation of generosity. His own hopes for the cheap trip were more complicated. By Lien Hoang. Without food or water, John Hung Tran pitched his tent on Ly Son island, off the central coast of Vietnam. He made a fire with coconut shavings, hoped the men he’d met earlier wouldn’t come steal his camera, and settled into a fitful sleep
filled with dreams about juice. Confessing a fear of ghosts, the Vietnamese-American said in an interview later that he locked his tent with a twig through the zipper holes and woke up semi-hourly. But that was the only time in his
media-hyped, 77-day trek across Vietnam this summer that Tran had to find his own accommodations. Tran, who returned home to Hanoi last month, said that for the 76 other days between the capital and Ho Chi Minh City,
he had little trouble finding strangers to take him in, feed him, or give him a lift. “I was actually turning down a lot of people, especially if I met someone in the morning or afternoon,” said Tran, 23. In June, he set off on foot from
Photos courtesy of John Hung Tran.
32 asialife HCMC
Hanoi, toting a backpack filled with clothes, a tent, medicine, a pocketknife, spare shoes, a map, a camera, and a cell phone. Tran wanted to find out how hard it would be to traverse the country without any money in his pocket — relying exclusively on the charity of strangers to survive. With a long, smooth face and the build of a point guard, Tran calls himself a city boy who has gone camping only once or twice in his life. He grew up in Hercules, an ethnically diverse suburb halfway between San Francisco and the vineyards of Napa Valley. His mom escaped to California among the 1970s boat refugees, divorced his dad when Tran was 9 years old, and spoke to her children in English. So his main link to Vietnam was his grandmother’s storytelling. That is, until he took a semester out of his psychology courses at the University of California, Berkeley to study Vietnamese in Hanoi in 2010. The following year, he moved back to Hanoi and took up a hosting gig on VTC10 up until his cross-country hike this summer. Back in June, I interviewed Tran by phone and told him I didn’t see how he could possibly get Vietnamese to invite him into their homes and onto their motorbikes. He said he’d done a lot of volunteering at rural orphanages, so “I know the hospitality is there.” When we met more recently at a cafe overlooking the Turtle Pond roundabout in Ho Chi Minh City, Tran admitted it was tough in the beginning. “At first I didn’t want to do it all,” he said. “But when you get hungry....” Early on during the odyssey, Tran would procrastinate approaching strangers until
the day waned. When his legs or stomach couldn’t go on, he would scout out people based on their looks and demeanor, and then strike up a conversation. Sometimes he would start by asking for directions. “At first it was kind of weird to me, too,” he said. “Going and asking people, ‘Hey, can I stay in your home?’ is kind of odd and doing it in a country where I’m not fluent in that language. But after a while it became almost second-nature.” One of the locals who welcomed him was farmer Le Cong Thuong, who lives 150km south of Danang in Quan Ngai province. Thuong’s description of their encounter resembled the kind Tran had been having in nearly every province on his itinerary. They met along National Route 1A, where Thuong asked Tran why he was walking and how he found food and housing. In short order, he invited him to stay for a night and then have breakfast before heading out again.
“I didn’t know much about him, but I saw he was a young person travelling Vietnam and felt some responsibility to help,” Thuong said in Vietnamese when reached by phone last month.
Elsewhere, Tran would sleep on porches, share mats with children, have his own wooden bed, even spend the night in a Dalat post office. With a jaded tone, he recounted the one time he sought shelter at a church in Dong Nai province and was turned away.
He made friends who loaned him a bike for days, attended a wedding in central Quang Tri province, and harvested rice and corn. By Tran’s own account, he dodged a local official who wondered if his trip was legal and, one night, overheard his hosts cast suspicion on their sudden guest. “I didn’t want to stay where I wasn’t welcome,” he said, seeming to leave out more details that prompted him to take off the next morning. Before the two-and-a-halfmonth excursion, Tran said he knew people would accuse him of ulterior motives. Some said he was looking for a free ride, others that he was looking to get famous. But more widely, he has captured the imaginations of the Vietnamese public and media, who want to see him as a dogooder bolstering the country’s image. Some hoped his tour would prove the people’s hospitality and mark an antidote to recent, stinging travel reviews, like the Huffington Post article, ‘Why I'll Never Return To Vietnam’. Tran gained a touch of
celebrity as thousands flocked to his Facebook page and blog, Teachtoi.com, to read about his exploits. To hear it from Tran himself, the aim of his north-south expedition is less clear. It wasn’t about walking. It didn’t even focus on money. Vietnamese probably would be surprised to hear that Tran didn’t disagree with the Huffington Post blogger, who groused about locals cheating him during a vacation. Tran said those cheats are a problem, as are the urbanites who’ve grown materialistic or don’t glance twice at someone who’s fallen off a motorbike. Those make up part of a laundry list of challenges in Vietnam he’d like to tackle. Tran tossed around phrases like “social change” and “institutional obstacles” and said he used his trip to connect with real Vietnamese he might be able to help someday. Nguyen Thuy Linh, a Hanoian who updated Tran’s website while he was away, said her friend constantly would propose far-off solutions, like building his own orphanage, or starting an online network of Vietnamese and Viet Kieu. Linh, who works in marketing, painted the picture of an idealistic, at times impulsive young man. “Every hour, every minute, suddenly he’ll just pop out an idea about some crazy thing,” Linh, 23, said of Tran. On his journey Tran met farmers who were losing most of their foreign aid to graft, and villagers who wondered how local officials had so much money when their schools had so little. However lofty his dreams might be, Tran is taking some concrete steps. Now comfortably back in Hanoi, he is collecting books and clothing to send to poor students he met in northern Nghe An province.
asialife HCMC 33
Last of the Letter Writers With his arsenal of dog-eared dictionaries, maps, and postal code listings, Duong Van Ngo has translated snail mail in Vietnamese, French, and English at the Central Post Office for decades. By Sarah Dallof. ................................................................................................... With a gnarled finger, Duong Van Ngo points at the words he’s just written in my notebook: “Le Dernier Des Mohicans.” The Last of the Mohicans. He asks if I know what that means. “That,” Ngo says answering his own question with a smile, “is me.” At the Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh City, Ngo has spent 22 years writing and translating thousands of letters and documents into any combination of Vietnamese, French, and English. Everything from adoption forms to love letters have flowed from one language to another through his right hand. At one point, Ngo says, he worked alongside five other writers, but they’ve all passed away or grown too old to work. At 82 years old, he is the last warrior of handwritten correspondence. I meet Ngo at his workplace, in a part of town where American cafes and mass-produced souvenirs threaten to overtake French architecture and wide, historical boulevards. Inside the airy atrium of the post office, we talk about his predicament. Warm and self-deprecating, Ngo is hanging onto a job well past the age of retirement because he knows that once he’s gone, so is the profession. His memory is failing, just like his eyesight. An inoperable condition affecting his retinas forces him to wear glasses 34 asialife HCMC
and use a thick magnifying glass to read the documents he translates. “I know I am very weak and feeble,” he says. “ I do not know if I will work until next year. But I have no time to think about [my health problems.] Coming here, I am joyous.” Ngo has been a fixture at the post office since he was first hired at age 16. He had learned French in school and his employer sent him to English classes at age 36. His strong work ethic prompted colleagues to dub him 'The Little Corporal'. When he turned 60 and retired from his paid posting, he was asked to stay on as a letter writer and translator. Today, Ngo goes to and from work by bicycle and rarely takes holidays. He sits at the same bench five days a week, eight hours a day, surrounded
Photos by Sarah Dallof.
by thick, dog-eared dictionaries and books of ZIP codes under the watchful gaze of a Ho Chi Minh portrait. When a man approaches carrying a large mailing envelope, Ngo dons his glasses and moves the magnifying glass over the delicate script. It seems the customer’s package to a relative in France has been returned because of a wrong address. Ngo gets to work, consulting a map and pages of postal codes. “How much do you charge?” I ask after the man leaves with the envelope tucked under his arm. “VND 10,000 for a page,” he says. “But my customers are kind, they give me more.” Ngo’s job is to translate, not compose from scratch, but he’s always willing to offer tips to customers. He encourages them to use the words “I wish” or “I’d
like” instead of “I want” when requesting a favour. He also promises confidentiality. When I ask what he’s translated so far that day, he says he’s old and has already forgotten. When business is slow, Ngo walks around the lobby, pausing to chat with postal workers and guards. He obliges every tourist who approaches with an iPad or camera, requesting a photo. He smiles, his small frame usually overwhelmed in the snapshot by the western traveller posing with him. After the shutter clicks, he always shares an abbreviated version of his life story. Children stop their fidgeting to listen with rapt attention, and parents gaze at him with admiration. But the demand for his services has slowed with the rise of both digital communication and a multilingual generation. On each of the three days I visit, he sees no more than 10 people. Adapting with the times, Ngo translates electronic correspondence, too, but says they limit people’s ability to express themselves. “With letters, they can explain more about their inner thoughts,” he says. As his energy begins to wane, I say goodbye and promise to return with a copy of the article. He responds that he’d like that very much but asks that I remind him who I am when I come back. “I am 82,” he says again. “I forget everything.”
asialife HCMC 35
Back to Nature A trip to the wild forests of Cat Tien National Park and the comfort of the Forest Floor Lodge offer Chris Mueller a welcome escape from the chaos of the city. I had never seen so many leeches in my life. Dozens of them covered my lower legs, which were wrapped in canvas leech socks treated with repellant. The heavy rains that had penetrated the thick jungle canopy had washed most of the chemicals off, allowing the hordes of sticky worms to work their way out of my shoes and up my legs, attaching their bloodthirsty mouths to my thighs and stomach. I was looking for a weekend in the wild, and I certainly got it. It took us 15 minutes to remove our socks and pick off the leeches, which had injected enough anticoagulant to leave trails of unstoppable blood running down our bodies. We continued to find more of the greedy beasts that had worked their way down our pants and 36 asialife HCMC
up our backs while we watched the crocodiles slowly swimming across the placid lake as the rain clouds disappeared in the distance After a quick lunch, we stuffed our feet back into our still-infested shoes and prepared for the 10-kilometre journey through the jungle back to Forest Floor Lodge, a small retreat about four hours north of Ho Chi Minh City in Cat Tien National Park, a 72,000-hectare protected forest and swamp. As we walked through the dark, wet forest, past the spot where our guide had come face to face with a spitting cobra the previous day, I had to stop just to take in what was around me: huge, ancient trees covered with vines, alien-like red mushrooms sprouting from the ground, the
cries of monkeys and birds in the distance, and most importantly, fresh air. After a couple more hours of hiking, we made it back to the lodge. While not luxurious, the accomodations provide more than enough comfort than can be expected in such a remote area and it was a welcome sight after a long slog through the forest. The lodge consists of three tents, not the hastily set up nylon tents Iâ€™m used to, but permanent structures similar to safari tents. Each has a private covered deck overlooking the Ben Cu rapids on the Dong Nai River, which runs through the park. The tents are set away from the rest of the lodge and provide more privacy and views of the river.
Photos courtesy of Forest Floor Lodge.
Depending on whether it’s the dry or wet season, there is a three- to four-metre difference in the depth of the river. When I arrived, it was the wettest part of the year and the rapids were deafening, providing a soothing lullaby before bed. During the dry months, the rapids are quieter and the gibbons across the river in the endangered primates centre can be heard singing back and forth to their wild brethren in the forest. Inside the tent is a large bed with mosquito netting and a clean bathroom with propaneheated showers. The tents are very well-constructed and sealed tight so bugs and small animals can’t get in, though they sometimes do. For the hotter seasons, each tent is equipped with an air conditioner and
fan. If tents aren’t your thing, the lodge also has traditional Vietnamese wooden houses that are set up similarly but farther from the river. The Forest Floor Lodge aims to be eco-friendly and leave as small a carbon footprint as possible. The entire lodge runs on a diesel generator to augment the unreliable electricity supply. To conserve energy, the generators usually are turned off at night or when guests aren’t around, and each room is equipped with a powerful, rechargeable torch. If it’s particularly hot, or guests request power, the owners will keep the generator on. The restaurant and bar is in the main building overlooking the river. Most of the menu is simple, with excellently prepared Vietnamese food and
a few western options. All the ingredients are locally sourced and the owners try to find vegetable farmers who don’t use pesticides. All this comfort is welcoming after going on the many hikes, nature walks and tours offered in the park. Although the lodge cannot operate its own tours, it collaborates with park authorities who often can get the best guides. One of the partners in the lodge is a British biologist who knows the park and its animals well and has mapped out the area with a GPS. He also offers informative nature tours to guests when he is at the lodge. Cat Tien is considered to have the most diverse eco-system in the country. With hundreds of species of flora and fauna, many
endangered, there is much to see any time of year. Although tigers and rhinos have been poached to extinction within the park, there are still large mammals like guar, sun bears and wild boars, as well as a few elephants in the northern section. If walking around the jungle looking for animals is too daunting, there is also a bear rescue centre run by Wildlife at Risk, or ethnic villages that can be visited on foot or by boat. As the sun set over the river on my last evening at the lodge and the rain clouds began to move back in, the pressure of deadlines and the suffocating pollution and crowds that awaited me at home were far from my mind. Instead, all I could think about was when I would return to Cat Tien. asialife HCMC 37
Farang of the North A visit to a hill tribe, elephant show and traditional dance: some things are little changed in Chiang Mai since Queen Elizabeth II visited in 1972. With royalty in mind, Mark Bibby Jackson looks at the history of the city’s British consulate, which once housed George V’s polo elephants. When London merchant Ralph Fitch first visited Chiang Mai in 1586, it took him 25 days to travel overland from Burma to the city then called Jamahey. He describes the city as “a very faire and great towne, with faire houses of stone, well peopled, the streets are very large,” recounts traveller and writer Richard Hakluyt. Now the city is a short flight from Bangkok and has become a must for serious travellers to Thailand. Many of them, unlike Fitch, visit the old British consulate, which came to represent the centre for farang activity in the north of Thai38 asialife HCMC
land long after merchant’s first stepped into the walled town. The building known as the old consulate, and now home of the Chedi Chiang Mai hotel, was the second British consulate, though little is known of the first building. Built by the consul W A R Wood in 1915 on a plot of land owned by the British government, where a statue to Queen Victoria had stood since 1903, it served as residence for the official, his servants and four of King George V’s polo elephants. It proved the focal point for expat society, with the King’s or Queen’s birthday party being the main event of the social
calendar until 1978 when it was sold off by the British Government. While the ground floor was built on a one-metre high rectangular base to protect it from flooding, upstairs spacious verandahs caught the cool breeze drifting in from the river. In the absence of air-conditioning, the dining room was cooled by a punkah — a wooden board suspended from the ceiling — pulled by a punkah-wallah. One of the more remarkable elements of the building, as observed by Alberto Cosi in his article about the old consulate published in 1995 in Vimarn magazine, was that the building
was precisely 22 yards long, the length of a cricket pitch, although it was croquet rather than cricket that was played on the consulate’s green lawn. Despite housing his elephants at the consuate, George V never visited Chiang Mai. It was his granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II who became the first reigning British monarch to come here as part of a six-day tour of the country in 1972, accompanied by her regent Prince Phillip. According to the Chronicle of Thailand, the couple underwent an itinerary that would not appear out of place on the brochures of the many tour companies operating in Chiang
Photo of the second British consulate taken during a flood in 1953. The consul's residence is on the upper floor with offices below.
Photos courtesy of Chedi Chiang Mai (left) and Boonserm Satrabhaya (above and below)
W A R Wood, British Consul (1913-31), with staff in front of the second British consulate.
Mai now. They met “minority Meo, or Hmong, hill tribes who performed a cultural show” before the “rumps of two baby elephants, each painted with the word ‘Bye’, were shown to the royals”. Clearly the tiger sanctuary was not open then. However, John Shaw, who has lived in the city for the last 30 years and was honorary consul from 1990 to 1995, recalls that the trip did not go quite according to Whitehall’s best laid plans, with the royal automobile breaking down on the way back from the McKean Leprosarium, which was the first leprosy centre in Thailand. The royal couple then stayed
British consulate selling animals to raise funds for World War I.
at the Bhubing Palace where Shaw says “the Queen was offended by the attention that her husband gave to the dancing girls — so rumour has it.” Shaw does not believe the consulate building to be “so very special” in itself, but it was an important meeting place for expat society in Chiang Mai, even after the official sale had gone through. “I remember playing a last game of croquet on the lawn after it had been sold,” he says. In 2005 the building was converted into the Chedi Chiang Mai, a five-star hotel and spa, now managed by the GHM group. Although the new owners could not have had a
C E W Stringer, British Consul (1889-94, 1903-7), with staff in front of the first British consulate.
worse start, with the whole site becoming flooded shortly after it opened and closed for several months, Shaw says “the conversion to a hotel has been well done.” Certainly the integrity of the former consulate building has been maintained, although the dress code of those taking breakfast beside the Mae Ping river is something that Wood might have frowned upon. Architectecture firm Kerry Hill says, “The design intention of the scheme was to combine a city location with the atmosphere of a resort hotel, together with the integration of the existing colonial house, site
and hotel using a contemporary interpretation of traditional Thai materials.” The strong use of dark woods throughout, together with the space created by the L-shaped courtyard facing the river, has by-and-large achieved the architect’s aim. Although for those wishing to seep in the atmosphere of one of the most history-laden buildings in northern Thailand, taking High Tea in the shade of the verandah is an experience not to be missed. Unfortunately the polo elephants have long since gone, and as for a game of croquet, you’ll probably have to borrow a set from John Shaw. asialife HCMC 39
Chowing down on thit cho If you’ve been reading this column for any length of time, you know that it would sooner or later come to this. To that seemingly dark side of Vietnamese gastronomy, wherein people commit acts so shocking that to many a western wayfarer they seem to constitute a sin without a name. Yes, it’s time to talk about thit cho (dog meat). Also known as cay to or thit cay nam dinh. Down at the Pham you can take a short walk to Cong Quynh Street. At number 189 you’ll find the Sieu Thi Hanoi (Hanoi Supermarket). On the left you’ll see a short lane where there are a handful of dog meat shops. At the end of each lunar month diners come in such great numbers that motorcycles and cars clog the byways. Some Vietnamese like to invite their foreign friends to taste this dish; I think it is because they like to watch them squirm. Although many say dinner dogs are killed in an inhumane fashion, I often wonder why dogs would be slaughtered differently from other food animals. Any selfrespecting butcher can tell you that inhumane methods of slaughter, regardless of species, tends to spoil or toughen the meat. Now let it be known that Vietnamese people do keep dogs as pets, and they love them dearly. And they are never eaten by the owners. Well, perhaps in times of famine. At least seven different dishes of 40 asialife HCMC
dog meat are served in restaurants specialising in what is sometimes called ‘deer of the doorstep’. In the world of Yin and Yang, dog meat is believed to give warmth, therefore the more traditional eaters like to sit on a mat close to the cool ground in large and well-aired rooms. Getting together with friends to eat dog meat, quaff rice wine, and tell stories until everyone becomes a bit tipsy is what a local gourmand of my acquaintance describes as, “an inexpressible pleasure”. How is Fido prepared? Just like any other meat: roasted,
and tasty. After the hound is killed, the body is drawn, the ears and tail cut off, and the hair singed away. By now it looks very much like a roast piglet. But look to the shorter snout. See those canine choppers. Listen for people asking, “How much is that doggy in the window?” You’ll know it’s no swine. It is then trundled to the market where it might be sold whole to a restaurant or chopped into quarters for private consumption. What the dog tastes like depends on it's pre-dinner diet, as well as on the diner's at-
“Getting together with friends to eat dog meat, quaff rice wine, and tell stories until everyone becomes a bit tipsy is what a local gourmand of my acquaintance describes as, ‘an inexpressible pleasure’” fried, barbecued, boiled in a soup. Dog as a dish generally begins several days before the end of its days. It may be selected from a captive pack or it may be captured on the street, as is often the fate of common curs and runaways. (They could also be stolen pets. For this reason owners are very protective of their house dogs, and never let them go a' roaming alone.) During their last days, the dogs sometimes are fed well, to make the meat more tender
titude. If you have no qualms about feeding on Fido, he tastes a bit like pork with some beefy undertones; the flesh is firm, yet not tough. But if you have ever loved a dog as a pet and a faithful companion, you may find him tasting of bitter betrayal. I have even known people to suffer hallucinations when essaying this dark dish. They report seeing their dear doggies before them at the table, scowling their disapproval, minus their ears and tails. Beware.
Le Steak de Saigon Located in the same area as some of Saigon’s most expensive restaurants, Le Steak de Saigon could get away with being a bit pricey. But manager Cindy Kawak wanted to create a more affordable steakhouse. Thanks to a special agreement with a supplier of Australian beef, Le Steak de Saigon offers one of the best set meals in town: VND 200,000 for steak, a salad, and your choice of French fries, mashed potatoes, or vegetables as a side. There are also a handful of sauces to choose from, including béchamel, green pepper, and mushroom. The compact drink list includes a variety of coffee
and imported wine, served by the bottle or glass. The restaurant follows a French tradition of having just one main item on the menu, so the set meal is the only full-size option. There is also a cheese platter (VND 80,000), and a selection of home-made French desserts, including crème brulee, chocolate mousse, and a tarte of the day (VND 69,000). While the lack of options may be difficult for some people to accept at first, the small selection allows the chefs to ensure a high standard of quality. But they likely will add more menu items down the line.
Reasonably priced, quality steak and a friendly atmosphere in the heart of District 1. By Michael Tatarski. Photos by Fred Wissink. The current cut of meat on offer is strip loin, though Le Steak is still gathering feedback on what customers prefer. We ordered ours medium-rare with both fries and mashed potatoes on the side. Although the steak was a little rarer than expected, it was still flavourful. The homemade fries were excellent as well, hitting that perfect balance between crispy and soft, and the mashed potatoes were nice and chunky. For dessert we decided to try the tarte of the day. These tartes always consist of the same base, but are stuffed with a different fruit every
day. Ours was packed with almonds and pears, and the result was fantastic. The freshbaked crust crumbled on the fork, and the inside was sweet without being over the top. Le Steak de Saigon, which is operated by the Le Bouchon group, may not have the biggest menu in town, but the dishes it offers are well prepared with high-quality ingredients in a relaxed, bistro-style atmosphere. 15 Dong Du, D1 08 38 22 45 93 11am to 2.30pm and 5.30pm to 10pm weekdays, open later on weekends asialife HCMC 41
Lucca The day we visit Lucca, a party of 30 has walked from the upstairs bar, over to an extended table for a wine-food pairing event. The rest of us carry on. That’s the thing about this months-old trattoria. Despite the narrow cafe at the entrance, the upstairs is spacious enough that the owners could partition it four ways, easily accommodating special events along with regular diners. Settling into the comfortable, red leather booth that forms one of these partitions, we begin with organic greens dressed with deglased chicken liver and parboiled quail eggs (VND 120,000). The liver is slightly bitter, making it more resemble a pork rather than chicken 42 asialife HCMC
A trattoria, cafe and bar that gets lively at lunchtime but has space enough for a mellow meal. By Lien Hoang. Photos by Fred Wissink.
product, and its sauce creates a unique dressing with the red wine vinaigrette For pepper lovers, the roughly ground seed makes pleasant, surprise cameos throughout the salad, as it does with a number of Lucca’s mains, including the baked rabbit, sea bass, tuna steak and cured-salmon sandwich. Like all the sandwiches at VND 110,000, this comes with a small side of greens and roasted potatoes, and a great selection of breads, such as rye, ciabatta and focaccia. Though well-crusted, the sea bass (VND 250,000) is the plainest of the fish entrees, so the sauce, artichokes, garlic flowers and black olives bring welcome company. For a more sweetly
pungent option, choose the tuna (VND 260,000) but ask that the spinach be cooked lightly. If you’ve never tried rabbit (VND 260,000), start at Lucca, which serves it in a sauce of mushrooms, potatoes and bell peppers. As with frog, you’ll find that the dish tastes surprisingly like chicken, rather than more traditional game. Wherever your palate takes you come dessert time, bring mint. There’s no fresh fruit on the menu but it plays a starring role at meal’s end. The mango gelato (VND 20,000) tastes as close to biting into real mango as any frozen dessert ever has, while the apple slices poached in red wine add an acerbic twist next to the warm apple
strudel with vanilla sauce and cinnamon (VND 80,000). If you order the passion fruit panna cotta (VND 80,000) or tiramisu (VND 80,000), the strongest impression will come from the intensely fragrant strawberry on top. Besides a meal, Lucca’s central location near the Bitexco tower and its textured setup makes for an ideal place to meet colleagues or host a mixer. Or go alone, enjoy the covers of Ella Fitzgerald and James Taylor, and take in the view from the windows looking down on Ho Tung Mau Street. 88 Ho Tung Mau, D1 08 39 15 36 92 7am to late, seven days
Signature The Sheraton Hotel, once the tallest building in Ho Chi Minh City, has completed a major overhaul of the menu in its well-known Signature restaurant. Some things have stayed the same: The eatery itself maintains its perch on top of the hotel with arguably the best view in the city. But now German chef Jens Heier is at the helm and brings his extensive experience throughout Asia and Europe to add an Asian flare to all of the dishes. Our first sample of the new menu was the trio from tuna dish, an option off the set menu (VND 1.5 million per guest,
Already an institution in the city, this restaurant shakes things up with an all-new menu. By Chris Mueller. Photos by Fred Wissink.
VND 2.1 million with wine). The three-part dish consists of slices of poached turkey breast served with a creamy tuna sauce, which adds some needed moisture to the somewhat dry meat. It also comes with two thick pieces of rare tuna served on top of a strikingly green pesto sauce, which adds a bite to the fish. But the tuna tartare is the star of this dish, leaving a fresh, tangy aftertaste on the palate. The second dish, a veal chop stuffed with prawn mousse and served on a lemongrass risotto and saffron gravy (VND 950,000), has a more obvious
Asian twist. The tender veal is not overcooked, and the juice mixes well with the pureed prawns stuffed inside the meat. The whole ensemble has a mild, but pleasant taste that is further diversified by the distinct flavour of the saffron gravy. Infused with lemongrass, the warm bed of risotto ensures a uniquely Asian touch to the entree. We round out the meal with a new approach to a Thai classic, the sticky rice with mango and coconut ice cream (VND 170,000). The sticky rice is laced with mango and wrapped in a crispy filo pastry before being
lightly baked. For those with a sweet tooth, this dessert might not satisfy if it werenâ€™t for the side of coconut ice cream, which adds a rich flavour to the gooey rice. Signatureâ€™s new menu offers well-heeled diners a chance to indulge in choices that successfully mix western and Asian tastes while admiring the city that has quickly shot skyward around the hotel. Level 23, Sheraton Saigon, 88 Dong Khoi, D1 08 38 27 28 28 6pm to 10pm, seven days asialife HCMC 43
Photo by Fred Wissink.
44 asialife HCMC
The young couple behind a new clothing and accessories brand tell Claire Jowell how they combined their funky, fantasy-meets-sci-fi imaginations to create unique designs that are sure to turn heads.
riginal and creative clothing designs were previously few and far between in Saigon, but the city is starting to see a trend towards artistic and more unique clothing and accessory lines. Peril Apparel is the latest kid on the block, its hand-made T-shirt designs standing apart from the usual mass-produced variety found in the city. Freddy and Martha Perez, the young couple behind Peril Apparel, met in Vietnam four years ago and began to play around with some designs when they weren’t teaching English. Both come from creative backgrounds: Australiannative Martha earning a degree in film and Freddy, who is Mexican-born but grew up in the US, worked at a clothing design company before moving to Vietnam. Martha has a
passion for fantasy and Freddy for sci-fi, two outlandish imaginations reflected in their designs of robots, princesses and mythical creatures. Their workshop is in the attic of their District 4 house, where they are able to experiment with paints and fabrics inside the crumbling walls. Here, they turn eccentric sketches into stencils, which they then use to paint designs onto fabric that is cut out and hand-sewn onto the garment. They have produced several different men’s T-shirts and women’s tank tops, and Freddy has even made a few fabric belts, decorated with eyelets and fastened with large clips. Next they plan on making painted canvas shoulder bags. Peril Apparel also has produced a comical T-shirt
design aimed at expats that reads “Tai sao khong hieu,” which translates as “Why don't you understand” but is written with the wrong tones. Though several expats have bought the shirt, most Vietnamese shoppers at the last Saigon Flea Market were critical of this design, missing the subtle humour (or perhaps sarcasm) behind it. Freddy and Martha admit they may need to adjust their approach, realising their largest market will be Vietnamese customers, who are now on the search for something different to wear, as opposed to foreigners out to find the best bargain. So far Peril Apparel’s products are only available at the monthly Saigon Flea Market that is held one Sunday a month at Boomerang Bistro Saigon in District 7's Phu My
Hung. The market, which started at the beginning of this year, describes itself as a “quality new and vintage market, operating in the same vein as an artisan market”. It hosts around 70 traders, showcasing products from vintage and new clothes to framed art, accessories and home-ware. The market sees around 1,000 visitors each month and is filled with hip Vietnamese and foreign shoppers. The organisers are also preparing for the first organic and natural food and drinks market, scheduled to take place on 7 Oct. Though Peril Apparel as a brand is very much under construction, the quirky creations thus far will be available at the next flea market, and they hope to have their Facebook page and website fully operational for online orders soon.
Photos by Alex McMillan.
asialife HCMC 45
Connoisseur IT'S OK TO LIKE NICE THINGS
Rolls-Royce One of the oldest name brands in the automotive industry, Rolls-Royce produces arguably the most high-end cars on the planet. The name has become a byword for exclusivity and luxury, even to people who know little about cars. Rolls-Royce Limited, as the company was known initially, was founded by Charles Rolls and Sir Henry Royce in 1906. The firm quickly made an impact with the Silver Ghost, named the ‘best car in the world’ at the time by a prestigious motoring magazine. The chassis from this vehicle was even used to create Britain’s first armoured car during World War I. Rolls-Royce continued producing large, luxurious cars in the following years, and the company eventually began building aircraft engines as well. But in 1971 the British government nationalised the firm after spending on the development of a new jet engine nearly ruined RollsRoyce. Then, in 1973, the motor car business was spun off from the aircraft wing and re-named Rolls-Royce Motors. The next few decades were relatively lean for Rolls-Royce, and by the end of the 1990s BMW and Volkswagen were both vying to buy the brand after the then-owners made it clear they wanted to sell. In 2003 BMW took full control over Rolls-Royce and immediately began working on new models. The first car released under 46 asialife HCMC
BMW management was the Phantom, a large saloon, which has gone on to become one of the brand’s most popular cars ever and returned Rolls-Royce to the pinnacle of the automotive industry. In keeping with the brand’s traditional devotion to hand-made cars, only three robots are used at the factory where Phantoms are produced. Coats of paint are machinesprayed on each vehicle’s body, but everything else is done by hand, from welding the chassis together to stitching the leather interior. A powerful V12 engine allows the Phantom to hit nearly 200mph, an amazing speed for such a huge car. The Phantom was designed to be the ultimate luxury car, and it has been a huge international hit. Customers run a diverse range from Ameri-
can hip-hop artists to Saudi princes Spending a base price of roughly $400,000, Phantom owners are part of an exclusive club. With such a high price tag it comes as no surprise that the Phantom is available with a staggering array of options and luxury amenities. Customers can choose from 44,000 paint colours, and specify any leather colour. The ‘Bespoke’ programme allows buyers to ask for any custom option they may desire, as long as it is a reasonable request. The interior features a 26-speaker sound system, rear-seat tables, a refrigerator, and plenty of leather. In 2007 Rolls-Royce introduced the Phantom Drophead Coupe, a convertible twodoor version of the saloon. At $443,000 it is the brand’s most
expensive car and features many of the same amenities available on the full-size Phantom, with the additional option of endless headroom once the roof is down. The most recent addition to the Rolls-Royce lineup is the Ghost, a smaller four-door that begins at $255,000, making this car the ideal Roller for the budget-conscious. Of course, this doesn’t mean the Ghost is lacking in the luxury department, as it comes standard with a cashmere-lined roof, thermal imaging for driving at night, and radar cruise control. For more than a century Rolls-Royce has been producing some of the most opulent, technically advanced cars in the world, and with their current lineup the brand is more successful than ever before.
Phantom Drophead Coupe.
Crossing borders www.asialife.asia http://www.facebook.com/asialifemedia enquiries: email@example.com
Valentine Vu left Vietnam for Canada when he was just eight years old. Four years ago, at age 24, the young fashion designer returned to Vietnam to reconnect with his roots and has combined both cultures in his designs. His newest collection, Moonface 2013, was inspired by his mother’s round face, strength and her ability to break free from the demure image of the 'traditional Asian wife'. The collection mixes northern-Vietnamese traditional hats and Asian elements with Christian Dior's famous “New Look” collection from the late 40s. Photos by Alex McMillan.
48 asialife HCMC
asialife HCMC 49
asialife HCMC 51
Tel: 3936 0360 www.turkishairlines.com Awarded as the Best Airline in Europe offers the brand new Comfort Class to E conomy class: 46inch leg room, personalised entertainment screen and globally awarded cuisine on-board.
hotel & travel 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 City-Hanoi, as well as international flights to Bangkok, Phuket, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. 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. 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, with four economy class fare levels: low, basic, smart and flex.
Turkish Airlines 8th floor, AB Tower 76A Le Lai, D1
Vietnam Airlines Hanoi: 25 Trang Thi, Hoan Kiem Tel: 6270 0200 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.
Six Senses Con Dao Dat Doc Beach, Con Dao Dist, Ba Ria Tel: 064 3831 222 www.sixsenses.com/SixSensesConDao The first 5 star resort with 50 villas stretch across a mile-long beach, each villas has its own infinity-edge pool facing the ocean and a stunning restaurant.
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.
Dalat Easy Rider Tours 70 Phan Dinh Phung firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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. 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
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 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 email@example.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
take flight with travel promotions around the region
The mansion that was home to the last colonial ruler of Hue is the centrepiece for a luxury holiday package showcasing the former capital's historical marvels and legendary cuisine. La Residence Hotel and Spa in Hue will ferry travellers via a series of limo transfers, cyclo rides and river cruises. As part of a two-night stay, guests will visit the Imperial Citadel, Thien Mu Pagoda and Tu Duc's Tomb, and dine on authentic cuisine amid the gardens, ponds and pavilions of Tha Om Garden House, a traditional 19th-century estate. The culinary highlight is a three-hour dinner cruise on the Perfume River, complete with aperitifs, a lantern float, and a three-course Vietnamese or western menu. Price is $645 per person, based on double occupancy.
beckon the group for a mellow sunset flow or meditation followed by a dip in the sea. Sarah Martin will treat you to a rejuvenating one-hour deep tissue massage, focusing on your areas of muscle tension, leaving you with a deep sense of well-being. Prepare to be pampered in the fresh air. Contact Michelle directly for bookings at michelle@ michellelloyd.com.
Yoga and Massage Retreat
Mango Bay Resort on Phu Quoc Island is a little piece of paradise overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. The low impact resort is spread along 1km of beach, amid 20 hectares of largely endemic forest and gardens. From 17 to 21 Oct, Michelle Lloyd will lead morning sessions of Vinyasa yoga to energise for the day and the beach will
52 asialife HCMC
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.
Vietnamese food. Tuesday: international. Wednesday: Thai, including tom yum gung, green curry chicken, and sweet sticky rice with mango. Thursday: Vietnamese with cuisine from all three regions. Friday: Italian with fresh pasta, pizza, risotto, tiramisu cake, and ice cream. Weekend: seafood. Price: VND 420,000 per person, or for unlimited wine, VND 900,000. The restaurant can be reached at 05 86 25 69 36. The hotel also offers afternoon tea, 2pm 5.30pm, at the lobby bar overlooking the beach. VND 120,000 buys a cup of highland natural tea or Italian coffee with a fruit tart. Then settle into a free full body massage with the purchase of a body scrub and facial. Packages go for VND 1,459,000 and last till 31 Oct at the Vous spa, third floor, 05 86 25 69 38.
BBQ by the Pool Buffet, Tea and Spa
Novotel Nha Trang is launching a daily buffet dinner this month at its restaurant, The Square, with opportunities to try dishes from around the world. Monday: Asian with Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, Korean and
At the Mercure Danang every Friday, from 6pm to 9pm, enjoy your favourite barbecue meats and seafood with a salad bar and free flow of beer and soft drink. Live music band and views of the pool and Han River make it a great al fresco dining experience. Priced at VND 400,000 per person, but 50 percent off for children age 6 to 12.
facilities and a shopping arcade as well as a popular e-gaming centre. 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. Windsor Plaza 18 An Duong Vuong, D5 Tel: 3833 6688 firstname.lastname@example.org www.windsorplazahotel.com Located in a main shopping hub. Three restaurants, modern discotheque, conference centre, shopping centre, supermarket.
Vietnam Vespa Adventures 169 De Tham, D1, Pham Ngu Lao Tel: 3920 3897 www.vietnamvespaadventures.com Offers 3-day trips to Mui Ne, 8-days to Nha Trang or half-day tours of HCMC on classic Vespas.
HOI AN & DANANG
Villa Aria Muine 60A Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Mui Ne Tel: 062 3741 660 www.villaariamuine.com Villa Aria Muine is a boutique beach resort in Phan Thiet, Binh Thuan province. Set on a beautiful beachfront in the middle of the Mui Ne strip, the villa combines modern tropical style and French country luxury. 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 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.
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
Vedana Lagoon Resort & Spa 112 Minh Mang Tel: 054 3830 240 www.vedanaresorts.com Nestled on the shore of a peaceful and serene lagoon, vedana lagoon resort & spa is ideally situated between the two cities well-known as world heritage sites: hue and hoi an. The resort designed with a stylist harmony between the local traditional culture and a modern art concept with 27 villas, bungalows and 2 houseboats.
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.
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. Mia Resort Nha Trang Bai Dong, Cam Hai Dong, Cam Lam, Khanh Hoa Tel: 58 398 9666 www.mianhatrang.com Ultimate luxury resort with 50 rooms divided into villas and condos, catering by wel-known restaurant Sandals and Mojito's bar.
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.
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 Dang Giai, 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 mid-90s. Operates dive centres in Nha Trang, Whale Island, Hoi An and Phu Quoc.
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.
Buffalo Tours Agency HCMC: Tel: 3827 9170 Hanoi: Tel: 04 3828 0702 www.buffalotours.com.vn Exotissimo HCMCinfosgn@exotissimo.com email@example.com HANOI: firstname.lastname@example.org www.exotissimo.com
asialife HCMC 53
stairs 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.
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.
food & drink BAR RESTAURANTS
Alibi 11 Thai Van Lung, 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. 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. 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. 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 down-
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. 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. 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
Park Hyatt Saigon is expanding its loyalty program by allowing guests to earn and redeem points, not only at Xuan Spa, but at both restaurants, Square One and Opera, as well. Designed to reward people for all their purchases in the hotel, both non-hotel guests and guests will be able to reap the benefits. Free to sign up, the program awards five points for every eligible VND 20,800, equivalent to $1, spent at Xuan Spa, Square One or Opera. With Hyatt Gold Passport, members can earn free nights, meals, upgrades and spa treatments worldwide and with Travel Partners. Go to Goldpassport.com or call 08 38 24 12 34. Enjoy your weekends, during the week, too. The all-you-can-eat dim sum buffet at Mercure Danang is now extended to all week. There are more than 50 dim sum items to choose from, served with pickles, condiments and green tea. A wide range of steamed and fried dumplings, fried rice, noodles, and seasonal vegetables are ready to serve, and don’t forget to try the authen-
54 asialife HCMC
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. 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. Vasco’s Bar 74/7D Hai Ba Trung, D1 Tel: 3824 2888 Chic bar decked in deep reds that gets packed to capacity on weekends. Open Monday to Saturday with live music on Fridays. Food menu by chef with over 10 years experience at La Camargue. Also does excellent pizza. 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.
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 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 fresh-roasted coffee beans and tins of whole leaf tea. 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. 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. 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.
broaden your palate with promotions around town
Dim Sum Daily
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.
tic Chinese sweets: sesame balls. Price is VND 350,000 per adult and VND 175,000 for children from 4 to 12 years old. The Golden Dragon Restaurant, on the second floor, is open 11am to 2pm and 5pm to 9pm, closed on Mondays. Located at Lot A1, Green Island, Hai Chau District, Danang, telephone: +84 (0) 51 13 79 77 77.
palate. A resident sommelier and knowledgeable staff are there to help you choose the right wine and guide you through the experience. With the largest wine by glass selection in the country, they offer everything from casual to premium wine, by the glass. Find out more at Wineembassy.com. vn or Facebook.com/wineembassyvn. More at 13 Ngo Duc Ke Street, D1, 09 17 05 63 67, or Ms. Nhan at info@wineembassy. com.vn.
Have you always been curious about wine but found it too complicated to get started? Wine Embassy, a hip and sophisticated wine bar opening this month, can make wine easier to understand. Their sets of three glasses in tasting size on diverse themes, or trios, are perfect for wine beginners to sample, compare, and train their
Not just a regular buffet dinner at Restaurant Nineteen, come and say thanks together with the Canadian community on 8 Oct. A feast of Asian and western classics, fresh and cooked-to-order seafood, oysters, premium grilled and barbecued cuts, and an array of desserts. The star of the evening will be a whole roast turkey accompanied by stuffing, giblet, and cranberry sauce, together with holiday favourites such as garlic potatoes, buttered garden vegetables, pumpkin pie and pecan pie. Price is VND 1,170,000 per person including unlimited wine. Ground floor of the Caravelle Hotel, 19 Lam Son Square, D1.
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. 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.
Banh trang tron Although banh trang tron (rice paper salad) looks like a heap of mismatched ingredients, there's an organised chaos behind its construction. The base is comprised of shredded rice paper that's topped off with beef jerky, sour mango, peanuts, herbs and a fried and boiled quail egg. Mixing the ingredients in baby
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
prawn sauce moistens the salad and ensures that the diverse flavours distribute throughout. Banh trang tron can often be found around office buildings and schools, as it's especially popular with workerbees and students. And for only VND 5,000, it's a light and flavourful lunch that rivals any gourmet salad.
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 includes free flow of wine. Ngan Dinh Chinese Restaurant
Yu Chu InterContinental Asiana Saigon, corner of Hai Ba Trung and Le Duan, D1 Tel: 3520 9099 email@example.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.
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.
Le Bouchon de Saigon 40 Thai Van Lung, D1 Tel: 3829 9263 This French diner-style restaurant has an emphasis on hearty home cooking, courteous service and a relaxed atmosphere Chefs David Thai an Alexis Melgrani are well known industry figures and this venue can hold its own among the city`s many French restaurants
Saigon Indian 73 Mac Thi Buoi, D1 Tel: 3824 5671 Popular venue with an enormous menu. 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. 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.
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 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. Blanchy's Tash 93 - 95 Hai Ba Trung, D1 www.blanchystash.com A high-end bar and restaurant with outdoor terrace. With ex-Nobu London Chef at the helm, Blanchy’s offers tapaslike snacks that fuse Japanese and South American influences. Expect great things here from international DJs and renowned mixologists
asialife HCMC 55
Black Cat 13 Phan Van Dat, D1 Tel: 3829 2055 Tiny but popular District 1 restaurant serving up an excellent selection of Western and Vietnamese fare and an extensive range of sandwiches and burgers. 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. 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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. Hog's Breath 02 Hai Trieu, D1 Tel: 3915 6006 The popular Australian eatery's first foray into Vietnam. Centrally located on the ground floor of the Bitexc Financial tower. The legendary Prime Rib steaks are the centrpiece of the menu which also includes burgers, seafood and bar snacks. 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. 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. Koto 151A Hai Ba Trung, D3, Tel: 3934 9151 This is the Saigon arm of the renowned organisation that began in Hanoi a decade ago. Vietnamese food is prepared with innovative twist by young people Koto are helping get a start in the
hospitality industry and on a path for a better life. Market 39 InterContinental Asiana Saigon Ground Floor, Corner Hai Ba Trung and Le Duan, D1 Tel: 3520 9099 email@example.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 Steakhouse & Winery 25-27 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, D1 Tel: 3823 7373 Newfirstname.lastname@example.org 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, 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. Pacharan Tapas and Bodega 97 Hai Ba Trung, D1 Tel: 3825 6024
Thank you for your support and congratulations on your 35th anniversary From the 56 asialife HCMC
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. 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. Scott & Binh’s 15-17 Cao Trieu Phat Street, Phu My Hung, D7 Tel: 094 890 14 65 Bizuhotel.com A friendly, laid back restaurant in Phu My Hung that serves “comfort food with a twist”. Run by American chef Scott Marquis, this small joint offers classic favourites that are consistently well prepared, making it a popular stop for expats and visitors.
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. 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.
Basilico InterContinental Asiana Saigon, Ground Floor, Corner Nguyen Du and Hai Ba Trung, D1 Tel: 3520 9099 email@example.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 seafoodd dishes. Open daily 10 am until late. 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 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.
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. 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. 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.
asialife HCMC 57
Guiltless Pleasure: Dessert Wines of the World By Darryl Bethea In the pursuit of pleasurable dining experiences, I believe having a dessert, and a wine to go with it, is one the greatest in life. I don’t really have a sweet tooth (my waistline has issues), but occasionally a sweet ending is the happiest ending. No discussion on dessert wines can begin without explaining Botrytis Cinerea, or ‘noble rot’, a fungal growth that can devour up to fivesixths of a grape’s acidity and one-third of its sugar, feeding on moisture from within the grape. The result is a highly concentrated juice, producing some of the most expensive wine in Bordeaux. The cultivation of the grapes is the most labour-intensive, low-yield gamble in the world of viticulture. The longer the growers wait for the spread of the fungus, the more the vines are exposed to other environmental effects that can destroy an entire crop. Because of these factors, wines from the appellations of Sauternes, Cerons and Barsac are home to Bordeaux’s most luscious, satisfying and complex wines. Chateau d’ Yquem (also known as Liquid Gold) is the most famous of these. In Italy some of the best dessert wines are made using the passito process, in which the grapes are harvested and dried for several weeks, becoming raisins, producing sweet concentrated juice from
58 asialife HCMC
Trebbiano, Malvasia or Muscat grapes. Vin Santo, translated as 'holy wine', is a favourite to pair with an Italian cookie such as biscotti, which is dipped into the wine. Heaven! In Hungary, Tokaji wine is one of the world’s classic dessert wines. Tokaji wines are also produced with noble rot, and the sweetness levels are measured in puttonyos. Puttony is the name of the wood buckets that help produce the pure nectar from the grape. The higher the number of puttonyos, the more sugar (3: medium sweet; 6: very sweet). This wine is relatively unknown and represents a great value in dessert wines. In Germany and the New World regions, you will find a variety of wines, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon, Rieslings and Icewine (frozen grapes), which all have common traits of over-the-top lusciousness and ripe stone fruit aromas and flavours, yet great acidity, intense complexity and length that seems to go on forever. Not everyday wines, but wines that will surprise you with so much pleasure. Darryl Bethea is Group Sales Manager for Fine Wines of the World (09 3378 5005) and is a certified sommelier from the Court of the Master Sommeliers. Contact Darryl at 09 3378 5005 or email Darryl@ finewinesasia.com.
Banh cong Here's one you may have missed around town: banh cong. Also known as prawn cakes, these deep-fried, muffin-shaped delights are filled with minced pork, lentils, rice or soy flour and, of course, plenty of shrimp, including head, tail and skin. The mixture is prepared and
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. 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.
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.
fried in individual rounded moulds known as cong. Banh cong is served with a variety of herbs that do a fine job of absorbing the cake's excess oil. Finally, a dip in nuoc mam (fish sauce) and you've got a tasty and satisfying snack or meal. One prawn cake runs VND 6,000.
Baan Thai 55 Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 3744 5453 If you have been missing the delights of Bangkok nightlife then this restaurant and bar should be for you. The Thai chefs whip up all the traditional dishes you know and love, while in the bar there are a host of drinks and activities to help while away an evening. 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.
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.
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, set dinner, International breakfast is served from 6.30 am - 10.30 am. Blue Crab 49D Quoc Huong, Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 3744 2008 This seafood restaurant has some of the most well-prepared and cheapest seafood in town. Its menu offers everything from prawns, scallops and lobster to pork ribs and crab, all for rock-bottom prices. 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.
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. The Library InterContinental Asiana Saigon, corner of Hai Ba Trung and Le Duan, D1 Tel: 3520 9099 firstname.lastname@example.org
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. M52 Bar 52 Ton That Thiep, D1 Tel: 3821 6726 Sparsely-appointed venue with reasonably priced drinks noted for packing a punch. Owners Annie and Ms. Van are never too busy to check on their patrons, and the busy bartenders are quick with a smile. 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.
Quan Bui 8 Nguyen Van Nguyen, D1 Tel: 3602 2241 Well executed and delicious Vietnamese food at almost criminally affordable prices. Tucked away at the top end of District one, this place is worth seeking out for five-star food in a casual setting that will certainly not strain the budget. 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.
17-19-21 Ly Tu Trong Street, District 1, HCMC
BARS & LOUNGES
See bar restaurant listings for more popular watering holes.
T: (84-8) 3822 6111 Ext.101 M: 0918 802 526
F: (84-8) 3824 1835
W: www.norfolkmansion.com.vn Managed by Norfolk Group
Bar's bar 47 Phan Chu Trinh, D1
LOUISIANE BREWHOUSE Beachside Nha Trang Asian & Western Cuisine Swimming Pool & Private Beach www.louisianebrewhouse.com.vn
asialife HCMC 59
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. Saigon Saigon Bar 9th floor, Caravelle Hotel, 19 Lam Son Square, D1 Tel: 3823 4999 Popular bar usually packed out with tourists and business travellers searching for some delicious cocktails and a great view of the city skyline. Cuban band Warapo plays every night except Monday from 8.30 pm until late. Voodoo Lounge 92 Ho Tung Mau, D1 Voodoo paintings adorn the white walls at this small, attractive bar south of Sunwah Tower. A daily happy hour, plenty of stool space and a pair of dartboards make it a good place to grab a drink.
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. Hoa Vien 28bis Mac Dinh Chi, D1 Tel: 3829 0585 www.hoavien.vn Expansive beer hall serves up pilsner beer crafted from malt, hops and yeast from the Czech Republic. There’s also a large food menu and imported Pilsner Urquell. 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.
Fuse Bar 3A Ton Duc Thang, D1
60 asialife HCMC
A popular bar that plays primarily hiphop music. Every Tuesday Fuse hosts a ladies night where women drink for free. 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.
at home BAKERIES
Harvest Baking 30 Lam Son, Tan Binh Tel: 3547 0577 email@example.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. Schneider’s Finest 27 Han Thuyen, D1 Tel: 3829 1998 www.schneiders-finest.com Traditional German bakery bakes 45 different kinds of breads, rolls and baguettes and a wide range of danishes, pastries and cakes. Catering available. 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.
Saigon Catering 41A Vo Truong Toan, D2 Tel: 3898 9286
Provide services of catering, banquets, event planning, BBQ’s. For a custommade quotation e-mail SaigonGG@ gmail.com or call Huong on 0913 981128.
Southern American fare including skillet fried chicken, Belgium waffles and BBQ foods, red beans and rice, Jalapeno corn bread, and other classic southern sides. Delivery only via vietnammm.com
Xu Catering 71-75 Hai Ba Trung, D1 Tel: 3824 8468 www.xusaigon.com From the brains behind Xu Restaurant and Lounge comes this new catering service, promising the highest standards in service. Everything from the menu to the comprehensive bar service and the staff is tailor-made to your specifications.
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. Saigon Cooking Class by Hoa Tuc The Courtyard, 74/7 Hai Ba Trung, D1 Tel: 3825 8485 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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 30minute delivery or a free pizza at your next order (you must live within 2 km from a PHD store). www.vietnammm.com A free website that allows users to order delivery from dozens of restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City. Simply provide your address and phone number and pay the delivery driver in cash when he arrives Willy Woo’s www.vietnammm.com
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 coffee, 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. Kim Hai Butchery 73 Le Thi Hong Gam, 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. 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 walkin 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 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.
master of mixology
Squid ink risotto with crispy passion-fruit-glazed baby octopus
For risotto 1 cup Arborio rice 1 white onion, chopped small 1/2 cup dry white wine 2 bay leaves Chicken stock, heated 2 gr butter 2 tbsp squid ink 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese Mascarpone or whipped cream For baby octopus 500 gr baby octopus, cleaned Salt Corn starch Passion fruit juice Sugar Red chilli Method of Preparation For risotto In a medium saucepan heat a small amount of oil and sauté the onion for about two minutes or until translucent. Add the rice and sauté for another minute. Deglaze with white wine and add the bay leaves. Add chicken stock and slowly stir. Let the rice absorb the liquid and keep adding chicken stock while con-
stantly stirring until the rice grains are completely open. Remove from heat and add the butter, Parmesan cheese and mascarpone, stirring vigorously until the mixture is melted and has a creamy texture. Add the squid ink, and adjust seasoning. For baby octopus In a small saucepan reduce passion fruit juice and sugar until dense (caramel consistency). Remove from heat and add the diced red chilli. Season the baby octopus with salt, dredge in cornstarch and deep fry until completely crispy. Toss the crispy octopus in the passion fruit mixture. To serve Place the crispy glazed baby octopus on top of the risotto, garnish with micro cilantro or any other micro greens, and drizzle olive oil on the edge of the risotto. Tip Risotto can be pre-cooked and finished at the time of serving.
Recipes provided by Ana Esteves
62 asialife HCMC
Cocktails of the Macabre By Matt Myers As October arrives, I am remembering upstate New York, where I grew up. Apples are in season. The mornings are just starting to get chilly. Time to pull out those sweaters you haven’t worn in a while and get ready for Oktoberfest. Flash forward to Las Vegas, where I last worked and where we don’t have these fall-time favourites. Instead, we typically focus on Halloween, fused with the influence of Dia de los Muertos, thanks to our majority Mexican population. When that happens in Las Vegas, you are sure to have an exciting and indulgent time. Half nude girls wear Dia de Los Muertos body paint, competitors come from all over to show off there newest super-hero outfit, ladies wear that Victoria’s Secret apparel usually reserved for their boyfriends or husbands. Just peoplewatching on the Strip is quite the experience. In this spirit of Halloween, I have prepared a few recipes so you can throw your own Halloween-themed soiree. So pop in your fake vampire fangs, watch a few re-runs of True Blood and host your own Halloween house party. Patzcuero Ingredients 2oz Reposado Tequila 1oz pineapple juice 1/2oz Pimm’s No. 1 1/2oz lemon juice 1oz egg white 5 dashes angostura bitter
Directions 1. In a mixing glass combine all ingredients (except angostura and Pimm’s) and dry shake. 2. Add ice, shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. 3. Float Pimm’s to bottom of glass. 4. Spray top with angostura using skull stencil. “Moar” Ghosts & Stuff Ingredients 1 1/2oz vodka 1oz lychee puree 1oz fresh sweet and sour 3/4oz nigori sake Directions 1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass 3/4 full of ice. 2. Shake very vigorously into a chilled martini glass. For garnish: Skewered Lychee Eyeballs Ingredients 1 can of lychee or rambutan (peeled and pitted) 1 jar of red maraschino cherries (no stem) Directions 1. Drain cherries and rinse off juice. 2. Insert one cherry into each lychee. 3. Skewer sideways to make it look like two eyes looking the same way. Matt Myers is the director of beverage for MGM Grand Ho Tram.
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org Classes are held at Alpha Gallery taught by the gallery owner Bernadette Gruber, who offers the chance to learn monotype, intaglio and etching techniques.
Bobby Brewer’s Movie Lounge 45 Bui Vien, D1 Tel: 3610 2220 86 Pham Ngoc Thach email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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 email@example.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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
asialife HCMC 63
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.
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 email@example.com saigonaustraliancricketclub@yahoo. com www.saigoncricket.com English Cricket Club Richard Carrington Richard.carrington@pivotalvietnam. com firstname.lastname@example.org www.eccsaigon.com Indian Cricket Club Manish Sogani, email@example.com United Cricket Club Mr. Asif Ali, firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
DANCING DanCenter 53 Nguyen Dang Giai, Thao Dien, District 2 Tel: 3840 6974 www.dancentervn.com Purpose built studio with foreign trained dance instructors. Classes in jazz, ballet, tap, hip hop, yoga, zumba, belly, hula, capoiera and more. Kids can start from 4+ and adults of all ages and levels are welcome. Schedule and news on events available on-line. Salsa Dancing at La Habana 6 Cao Ba Quat, D1 www.salsaigon.com firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
64 asialife HCMC
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. 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. Suzanne & Saigon Yoga Tel: 090 835 2265 firstname.lastname@example.org Suzanne is an ERYT- 200 (Experienced) Yoga Alliance Instructor. She boasts two decades of experience, offering various yoga styles in District 2 and yoga retreats in Vietnam.
FOOTBALL & RUGBY
Australian Rules Football Tel: 093 768 3230 www.vietnamswans.com email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com Social, mixed touch rugby played every Saturday afternoon for adults at RMIT from 4 pm until 6 pm. Regularly
On Dreams, Part 1: Freud and Jung By Briar Jacques Dream analysis helps people bring to light unconscious information, enabling them to better understand motivations, defenses and the roots of challenges. Through analysing the symbols, setting, cast, dialogue and action of a dream (the manifest content) one aims to come into contact with issues, emotions and blocks (the latent content). Thus a process of integration can begin, resulting in greater awareness and self-determination. Sigmund Freud (1856 1939) viewed dreams as the “royal road to the unconscious”. Freud’s basic theory was that dreams are hallucinatory fulfillments of repressed wishes. The unconscious disguises the wish but creates a visual form that is connected to its true nature. It’s as if the unconscious wants the wish to be made conscious but seeks to achieve this in a way that is not too disturbing to the conscious psyche. Freud has been criticised for too often linking dream symbols to sex and aggression. Freudian analysis of dreams does make use of symbolic meanings derived from human experience (parents, siblings, birth, death, sex and anatomy). However, the main tool Freud used in deciphering dreams was “free association”. In this exercise, the patient uses the dream symbol as the starting idea and then engages in imaginative exploration and uninhibited expression in therapy. The therapist offers possible interpretations. Freud maintained that although dreams rich in symbology
mainly pertain to unconscious sexual wishes, this was not always the case. Like Freud, Carl Jung (1875 - 1961) viewed dreams as a pathway to the unconscious, but Jung saw dreaming as an attempt to express the self, rather than just repressed neurosis. Jung didn’t have a specific method for dream analysis. He advocated meditating on dreams and allowing meanings to emerge naturally. Dream images constitute a dream ‘language’ and arise from a wide variety of sources including memories, physical stimuli, everyday life and anticipation of the future. Jung maintained that dreams have two main functions: to help prepare for a future they sense and to help them find balance between opposites within. For Jungians, there is another important source of dream images — the collective unconscious. This is the part of the unconscious housing information from human lore, such as religion, myth and cultural practices. Images arising from the collective unconscious are called archetypes. Recognising archetypal content in dreams is valuable, as it signals large themes such as the individual’s place in humanity. Next month I will discuss some common dream symbols and how they are interpreted. Briar Jacques is a trained Australian counsellor who deals with issues like expat adjustment, depression, anxiety and drug abuse. Call 0 12 14 80 87 92.
welcomes visiting teams and tours the region for men’s contact and women’s touch rugby tournaments. Beginners welcome. Saigon Saints firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Dalat Palace Golf Club Phu Dong Thien Vuong, Dalat Tel: 063 3821 101 email@example.com The most beautiful course in Vietnam, combining the crisp mountain air with an environment of stately pine trees. Overlooking Xuan Huong lake, the 7,009-yard 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. Ocean Dunes Golf Club 1 Ton Duc Thang, Phan Thiet Tel: 062 3821 995 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. 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 email@example.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. 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.
asialife HCMC 65
Convivial atmosphere, contemporary Italian food styles and International chefs ...
Take away, corporate functions & special events catered for ...
local practitioners. Au fait with the latest treatments and techniques, the surgery prides themselves on their high standard of equipment & sterilization.
health & beauty
Tu Xuong Dental Clinic 51A Tu Xuong, D3 Tel: 3932 2049/050 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
WE WINE ... WE DINE Relax in Casa’s casual dining upstairs or downstairs ...
American Chiropractic Clinic 8 Truong Dinh, D3 Tel: 3930 6667 www.vietnamchiropractic.com A chiropractic, physiotherapy, foot care clinic staffed by American-trained chiropractors speaking French, English, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean. Treats back pain, neck pain, knee pain, also specializing in sports injuries, manufacture of medical grade foot orthotics. 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 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.
Experience a taste of comfort and converse with our friendly staff ...
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. 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 procedures 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.
66 asialife HCMC
European Dental Clinic 17 - 17A Le Van Mien, Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 0918 749 204/08
Westcoast International Dental Clinic 27 Nguyen Trung Truc, D1 Tel: 3825 6999 71-79 Dong Khoi, D1 Tel: 3825 6777 email@example.com www.westcoastinternational.com Canadian-run dental clinic staffed by French, Japanese, English and Vietnamese speaking dental professionals.
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 is host to a staff of professionally trained beauty therapists. Uses Dermalogica, Schwarzkopf and L’Oreal products. 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, top-notch 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 and medicated acne treatments. 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.
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.
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.
Starlight Dental Clinic Dr. Philippe Guettier & International Team of Dentists 2Bis Cong Truong Quoc Te, D1 Tel: 3822 6222 firstname.lastname@example.org With 14 years’ experience providing dental treatment to expat and Vietnamese patients, this well-known dental surgery is staffed by both foreign &
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. CARE1 Executive Health Care Center The Manor, 91 Nguyen Huu Canh, Binh Thanh Tel: 3514 0757 email@example.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 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. 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. HANH PHUC International Hospital Binh Duong boulevard, Thuan An, Binh Duong.
Tel: 0650 3636068 www.hanhphuchospital.com The 1st Singapore Standard Hospital in Vietnam. 260 –bedder, provide a comprehensive range of quality healthcare services: Obstertrics, Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Immunization, IVF, Health checkup, Parentcraft, Woman Cancer, Cosmetic Surgery… Just 20- minute driving from HCMC. HANH PHUC International Hospital Clinic 2nd fl., Saigon Trade Center, 37 Ton Duc Thang, D1. Tel: 3911 1860 www.hanhphuchospital.com The 1st Singapore Standard Hospital in Vietnam. The clinic is located at the center of Dist. 1, provides a comprehensive range of services specializing in Obstertrics, Gynaecology, Peadiatrics, Immunization, General Practice and Emergency. Open hours: Weekdays: 8am to 5pm; Saturday: 8am to 12pm. 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.
program and cooperates with most insurance companies in Vietnam and abroad. Open with doctors on call 24/7.
OPI 253 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, D3 International brand of nail care offering a variety of treatments from standard manicures at 50,000 VND to the whole host nail services such as acrylics, powder gell, cuticle treatments and French polishing. Quang Qui’s Nails 146 Le Thanh Ton, D1 242 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Locally popular spots with low prices and good service, offering anything you could possibly want for your nails. Nghia Beauty 20 Phan Boi Chau, D1 Tel: 3829 2688 Located next to the Ben Thanh Market, clean efficient and friendly staff service your hands and feet with a range of treatments while you relax in a comfortable atmosphere. Nail P.KH 51 Nguyen Huu Cau, D1 A well-known local place with a number of manicure stations and an extensive range of services.
SKINCARE Victoria Healthcare 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
Avon 186A Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, D3 Tel: 3930 4018 HCMC branch of the world’s largest direct seller of cosmetics occupies the ground floor of District 3 villa, selling brand names like Anew, Skin-So-Soft and Avon Natural.
The Body Shop 87 Mac Thi Buoi, D1 Tel: 3823 3683 31 Nguyen Trai, D1 Tel: 3926 0336 www.thebodyshop.com International cosmetics retailer with strong commitment to environment sources natural ingredients from small communities for its line of more than 600 products. Dermalogica Saigon Trade Center, 37 Ton Duc Thang, D1 Tel: 3910 0372 www.dermalogica.com U.S. brand of cleansers popular among skin care professionals. The line of toners, exfoliants, moisturizers and masques are engineered by skin therapists to be free of common irritants, and the company is categorically opposed to animal testing. The Face Shop 294 Hai Ba Trung, D1 Tel: 3820 2325 598B Nguyen Dinh Chieu, D3 Tel: 3832 2095 94 Nguyen Trai, D5 Tel: 3923 9868 Vincom Center, 70/72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 www.thefaceshop.com Local retailer for the South Korea-based international brand of natural body, bath and skincare products. The company pairs variety with value, offering hundreds of products for different skin types. Also has kiosks at Co.op Mart in Phu My Hung, Diamond Plaza and Zen Plaza. L’Apothiquaire 100 Mac Thi Buoi, D1 Parkson Saigon Tourist Plaza Parkson Hung Vuong Plaza The Crescent, 103 Ton Dat Tien, D7 64A Truong Dinh, D3 07 Han Thuyen, D1 Tel: 3932 5181/3932 5082 www.lapothiquaire.com firstname.lastname@example.org
asialife HCMC 67
French-made natural products for all types of skin. Also offers exclusive natural Italian skin, body and hair care from Erbario Toscano.
L’Occitane en Provence New World Hotel, 76 Le Lai, D1 French cosmetics company with a 30year history offering a range of bath and massage oils, essential oils, body and hand care products are especially well known. Also has outlets in all the major downtown shopping malls. Marianna Medical Laser Skincare 149A Truong Dinh, D3 Tel:3526 4635 www.en.marianna.com.vn Professional Laser Clinic in Ho Chi Minh City, Marianna owns the excellent experts in Aesthetic Medicine and the modern technologies such as Laser, Botox, Filler and all solutions can help you more beautiful and younger day by day
Independence Day By Gemma Jones What’s that? Your little angel has transformed into a demanding demon and suddenly wants to do everything independently with no help from mummy or daddy? Welcome to Independence Day — the dawn of a new age when everything becomes an exercise in testing patience. Strangely enough, my advice is to encourage this behaviour, even if it seems like your child is at an age when you should still be helping him or her. From the moment we are born, we strive to become independent adults. Remember that even the actions of babies under one year old, such as putting their hands in their mouths, are not completely involuntary actions. They are doing this because they want to. As they become more independent, toddlers still will need your reassurance. Getting the balance right between overseeing every move and pushing towards independence too quickly is one that I see parents get wrong time and time again. If your child decides to scramble up the climbing frame then let him try it and perhaps make his own mistakes. But equally, if he gets to the top and asks for help getting down, be sure to give that support. It is almost impossible to give definite guidelines on levels of independence at certain ages, as it will vary greatly from child to child. But it is very important to make sure your home is child-friendly
68 asialife HCMC
from the get-go. It can be frustrating for a little adventurer to have too many obstacles in the way and to constantly be told “no”. If toddlers show signs of making choices for themselves, parents will need to set limits on what they can and cannot do. An effective way to do this is by letting your child make a choice between two options. For example, select two outfits appropriate for the day’s activities, but let your child choose which one to wear. Doing small jobs is another fun way to gain confidence. Give them a rag to dust the table, ask them to help put away their clothes — they will find such tasks surprisingly enjoyable. Always show them how to do such jobs first and remember to praise their efforts. Most important of all is showing patience. As parents and caregivers we need to understand how confusing it is to be a toddler. Expect some defiant and disobedient behaviour, but remember that this is a normal part of a child carving her own identity, so offer plenty of choices and remain supportive whenever necessary. Gemma Jones has been working in childcare for more than 10 years. She holds an NNEB diploma in nursery nursing and is currently a principal at Cambridge Child Development Centre in Phnom Penh.
Sian Skincare Laser Clinic 71–77 Dong Khoi, D1 Tel:3827 6999 email@example.com www.sianclinic.com Skincare laser clinic offering the latest in non-surgical esthetic treatments including Botox, laser, acne treatments, hair loss regrowth, hair removal, skin rejuvenation and anti-aging treatments. Led by Dr. Tran Ngoc Si, a leading esthetic dermatologist from the hospital of Dermatology of HCMC. Yves Rocher 16-18 Hai Ba Trung Tel: 3824 8782 www.yves-rocher.com Small centrally located boutique retailing in French brand of botanical fragrances, face and body care, cosmetics and antiaging solutions.
DanCenter 53 Nguyen Dang Giai, Thao Dien, D 2
Tel: 3840 6974 www.dancentervn.com Children and teenagers from age 4+ can enjoy jazz, ballet, tap, hip hop, acro dance and break dance classes at this professionally run, newly built dance studio. Schedule and news on events available on-line. Helene Kling Painting firstname.lastname@example.org 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. Briar Jacques email@example.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.
Aqua Day Spa Sheraton Saigon, 88 Dong Khoi, D1 Tel: 3827 2828 Recently revamped luxury eight-room spa with a holistic approach to treatment, using natural Harnn products plus hot stone therapy and seaweed treatments.
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.
La Maison de L’Apothiquaire 64A Truong Dinh, D3 Tel: 3932 5181/3932 5082 firstname.lastname@example.org www.lapothiquaire.com Traditional French day spa in colonial villa with professional therapists and state-ofthe-art treatments. Complimentary use of swimming pool, sauna and steam bath. Has fitness centre and organic garden restaurant and offers gentlemen’s care. Winner of Guide Award 2005-2009. Also offers exclusive natural Italian skin, body and hair care from ErbarioToscano.
Tae Kwondo BP Compound, 720 Thao Dien, D2 and Riverside Villa Compound, Vo Truong Toan, D2 email@example.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.
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. Also offering Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage to reduce tension and reiki treatments.
Belli Blossom 4F-04 (4th Floor) Crescent Mall, Nguyen Van Linh Parkway, Phu My Hung, D7 Tel: 5413 7574 12 Mac Dinh Chi, D1 Tel: 3822 6615 www.belliblossom.com.vn firstname.lastname@example.org Belli Blossom catering to moms and babies with imported brands of maternity and nursing wear and accessories, infant clothes, baby bottles and feeding products, strollers, high chairs, slings, baby carriers, diaper bags, and many others. Brands available include: Mam, Mamaway, Quinny, Maclaren, Debon, Luvable Friends, Gingersnaps.
Renaissance Riverside Spa 8-15 Ton Duc Thang, D1 Tel: 3822 0033 No-frills Vietnamese, shiatsu and aromatherapy massages plus a room dedicated to foot massages at the atrium level. Also has sizable steam and sauna rooms at the club Xuan Spa Park Hyatt, 2 Lam Son Square, D1 Tel: 3824 1234 Beautiful spa with highly rated Swedish massage and water therapy including the unique 60 minutes Vichy shower to soften and smooth skin or the Indian Shirodhara with special oil for 45 minutes. Spa packages aimed at rejuvenation, calming, and hydrating are also available.
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.
Debenhams Vincom Center, 70 - 72 Le Thanh Ton, District 1 A superb range of unique and beautiful clothing for young children (from newborns to 12 years old) imported brand from UK. High to mid-range prices. DLS Paris 17/5 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Diamond Plaza, 34 Le Duan, D1 Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi, D1 Vincom Center, 70/72 Le Thanh Ton, D1 A superb range of unique and beautiful clothing for young children (from newborns to pre-school age) at high to midrange prices. The quality compensates for the price. Bedding, baby equipment and furniture and organic and natural supplies also kept in stock. Ninh Khuong 44 Le Loi, D1 Tel: 3824 7456 www.ninhkhuong.vn Well-known hand-embroidered children’s clothing brand using 100% cotton. Newborn to 10 years old (girl) and fourteen years old (boy). Also stocking home linens. Prices are reasonable.
ABC International School 2,1E Street, KDC Trung Son, Binh Hung, Binh Chanh Tel: 5431 1833 email@example.com 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 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 Xi Early Childhood Centre 190 Nguyen Van Huong, D2 Tel: 35192727 Early Childhood & Primary School Cherry Blossom 1 & Lotus 1, APSC Compound, 36 Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 3744 6960 Middle & Senior School East-West Highway, An Phu ward, D2 Tel: 3742 4040 www.aisvietnam.com An international curricula and PYP/MYP school. Senior students follow Cambridge A levels. AIS is the only school in Vietnam authorised to deliver the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Foundation Studies Year 12 curriculum. Well-resourced classrooms, highly qualified and experienced teachers, excellent facilities that support academic, creative and sporting activities. Book a tour at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. ERC 86-88-92 Huynh Van Banh, Phu Nhuan Tel: 6292 9288 www.erci.edu.vn ERC Vietnam is a member of ERCI Singapore. Founded by a group of successful business leaders around Asia Pacific. Our primary objective is to groom and mentor a new generation of business leaders in Vietnam equipped with skills to analyze and solve real-world business challenges of today. German International School 257 Hoang Van Thu, Tan Binh Tel: 7300 7247 www.gis.vn A bilingual English and German school, supported by the Federal Republic of Germany, where children can learn subjects in both languages. The curriculum follows the National Curriculum of Germany, which provides students the assurance they can enter or re-enter the German Education System at any time. Horizon International Bilingual School HCMC 6 Street 44, D2
SETTLING IN HO CHI MINH CITY… AS A STUDENT 'ĂďƌŝĞůůĂĂƌƌŝǀĞĚŝŶ,ŽŚŝDŝŶŚŝƚǇϵŵŽŶƚŚƐĂŐŽ͕ĨƌŽŵ^ŽĮĂ͕ƚŚĞ ĐĂƉŝƚĂůĐŝƚǇŽĨƵůŐĂƌŝĂ͘dŚŝƐŝƐŚĞƌĮƌƐƚƟŵĞĂǁĂǇĨƌŽŵŚŽŵĞĂŶĚ ĂĚŵŝƩĞĚƚŚĂƚƐŚĞǁĂƐƐŚŽĐŬĞĚǁŚĞŶŚĞƌĚĂĚƚŽůĚƚŚĞĨĂŵŝůǇĂďŽƵƚƚŚĞ ƌĞůŽĐĂƟŽŶƚŽsŝĞƚŶĂŵ͘'ĂďƌŝĞůůĂŬŶĞǁǀĞƌǇůŝƩůĞĂďŽƵƚsŝĞƚŶĂŵŽƚŚĞƌ ƚŚĂŶŝƚǁĂƐĐŽƵŶƚƌǇƐŽŵĞǁŚĞƌĞŝŶ^ŽƵƚŚĂƐƚƐŝĂ͘ŌĞƌĂĨĞǁǁĞĞŬƐŝŶ ƚŚŝƐŚŽƚĂŶĚĞǆŽƟĐĐŽƵŶƚƌǇ͕'ĂďƌŝĞůůĂƐŽŽŶĚŝƐĐŽǀĞƌĞĚƚŚĂƚƐŚĞƉƌĞĨĞƌƐ ƚŚĞĐƵůƚƵƌĞĂŶĚǁĞĂƚŚĞƌŝŶ,ŽŚŝDŝŶŚŝƚǇ͘^ŚĞĮŶĚƐƚŚĞƉĞŽƉůĞŚĞƌĞ ĨƌŝĞŶĚůŝĞƌ͕ŵŽƌĞĂƉƉƌŽĂĐŚĂďůĞĂŶĚǁĂƌŵĞƌ͕ǁŚŝĐŚ͕ŝŶĨĂĐƚ͕ƚŽŽŬŚĞƌƐŽŵĞ ƟŵĞƚŽŐĞƚƵƐĞĚƚŽ͕ďĞĐĂƵƐĞŝŶŚĞƌŚŽŵĞƚŽǁŶŝƚŝƐĐŽŵŵŽŶƚŽďĞ ƌĞƐĞƌǀĞĚ͘'ĂďƌŝĞůůĂŝƐĂzĞĂƌϭϭƐƚƵĚĞŶƚĂƚ'/ŶƚĞƌŶĂƟŽŶĂů^ĐŚŽŽů sŝĞƚŶĂŵͲŚĞƌĮƌƐƚŝŶƚĞƌŶĂƟŽŶĂůƐĐŚŽŽůĂŶĚĂůƐŽŚĞƌĮƌƐƚƟŵĞůĞĂƌŶŝŶŐŝŶ ŶŐůŝƐŚͲǁŚĞƌĞƐŚĞŚĂƐŵĂĚĞŐŽŽĚĨƌŝĞŶĚƐĨƌŽŵĚŝīĞƌĞŶƚƉĂƌƚƐŽĨƚŚĞ
Te: 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. KinderStar Kindergarten 08 Dang Dai Do, Phu My Hung, D7 Tel: 5411 8118/9 Offering bilingual preschool program with capacity up to 900 students with the most updated international standard. 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.
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. 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 KinderWorld’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.
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.
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. Nguyen Ngoc Diem Phuong 131C Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D1 A curious shop stocking a range of hand-made 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. 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.
ǁŽƌůĚ͗ŵĞƌŝĐĂ͕:ĂƉĂŶ͕ƚŚĞWŚŝůŝƉƉŝŶĞƐĂŶĚ^ŽƵƚŚ<ŽƌĞĂ͙͚dŚĞƌĞŝƐŶŽƚƐŽ ŵƵĐŚĐŽŵƉĞƟƟǀĞŶĞƐƐŚĞƌĞĂƚŽƵƌ^ĐŚŽŽů͘WĞŽƉůĞĂƌĞǁĂƌŵĂŶĚ ǁĞůĐŽŵŝŶŐ͘EŽŽŶĞĚŝƐĐƌŝŵŝŶĂƚĞƐĂƐƚŚĞǇŽŌĞŶĚŽďĂĐŬǁŚĞƌĞ/ĂŵĨƌŽŵ͘ ǀĞƌǇŽŶĞŝƐĂĨƌŝĞŶĚ͘dŚĂƚŝƐǁŚĂƚ/ůŽǀĞĂďŽƵƚďĞŝŶŐĂƚĂŶŝŶƚĞƌŶĂƟŽŶĂů ƐĐŚŽŽůůŝŬĞƚŚŝƐ͛͘'ĂďƌŝĞůůĂĮŶĚƐ,ŽŚŝDŝŶŚŝƚǇĂŐƌĞĂƚƉůĂĐĞǁŝƚŚ ůŽƚƐŽĨƚŚŝŶŐƐĨŽƌǇŽƵŶŐƉĞŽƉůĞƚŽĚŽ͘ƚƚŚĞǁĞĞŬĞŶĚ͕'ĂďƌŝĞůůĂůŝŬĞƐ ƚŽŚĂŶŐŽƵƚǁŝƚŚĨƌŝĞŶĚƐŝŶsŝŶĐŽŵŽƌƌĞƐĐĞŶƚDĂůů͘^ƵŽŝdŝĞŶĂŶĚ sƵŶŐdĂƵĂƌĞŚĞƌĨĂǀŽƵƌŝƚĞŐĞƚͲĂǁĂǇƐ͊'ĂďƌŝĞůůĂůŽǀĞƐsŝĞƚŶĂŵƐŽ ŵƵĐŚƚŚĂƚƐŚĞŝƐĂůƌĞĂĚǇƉůĂŶŶŝŶŐŚĞƌƌĞƚƵƌŶǁŚĞŶƐŚĞŐƌĂĚƵĂƚĞƐ ĨƌŽŵhŶŝǀĞƌƐŝƚǇ͘&Žƌ'ĂďƌŝĞůůĂ͕ƚŚĞŬĞǇƚŽŚĂǀŝŶŐĂƉŽƐŝƟǀĞ ĞǆƉĞƌŝĞŶĐĞŝŶĂŶĞǁĐŝƚǇŝƐƚŽŽƉĞŶƵƉĂŶĚŚĂǀŝŶŐĂŶŽƉĞŶŵŝŶĚ͘ ZĞĂĚŵŽƌĞ͚^ĞƩůŝŶŐŝŶ͙͛ƐƚŽƌŝĞƐĂƚ ŚƩƉ͗ͬͬǁǁǁ͘ĂĐŐĞĚƵ͘ĐŽŵͬǀŶͬŵŽǀŝŶŐͲƚŽͲǀŝĞƚŶĂŵͬƐĞƩůŝŶŐͲŝŶ www. acgedu.com/vn www.facebook.com/ACGVietnam www.youtube.com/user/ACGSchools
asialife HCMC 69
camera that also specializes in repairing all camera makes. Measurement equipment and spare parts also available. 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 BUSINESS GROUPS
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.
AusCham TV Building, Suite 1A, 31A Nguyen Dinh Chieu, D1 Tel: 3911 0272 / 73 / 74 www.auschamvn.org
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.
AmCham New World Hotel, 76 Le Lai, D1 Business Centre, Room 323 Tel: 3824 3562 www.amchamvietnam.com
British Business Group of Vietnam 25 Le Duan, D1 Tel: 3829 8430 email@example.com www.bbgv.org CanCham New World Hotel, 76 Le Lai, D1 Business Centre, Room 305 Tel: 3824 3754 www.canchamvietnam.org Citi Bank 115 Nguyen Hue St, D1 Tel: 3824 2118 Citibank Vietnam offers a wide range of banking services to both consumer and corpo-rate. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Future World 240 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D3 Authorized reseller of Apple computers and products, as well as some offbrand 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 after-sales 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.
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.
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.
Le Duc 5B Huynh Tinh Cua, D3 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.
Flamingo Corporate Services Tel: 2217 1662 Email: email@example.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.
Hung Hai 75 Huynh Thuc Khang, D1 A good place to purchase hard-to-find gear and some rare equipment, mainly auto focus lenses.
Pham The 11 Le Cong Kieu, D1 An authorized service centre for Nikon
70 asialife HCMC
Charity Begins at Home By Paul McLardie What is true altruism? According to the Oxford dictionary definition it means, “disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others”. There have been many acts of altruism throughout the ages, but from an economist’s point of view the question that needs to be asked is: What is the reward? Economics at a basic level is not all about maths and complicated formulas, it’s a social science on why people do the things that they do. An economist will always say there is a reason behind why the Gates Foundation gives away millions of dollars per year to worthy causes. Not all of us have a spare million to give away to whatever charities we like but we need to look at the reason we give to a charity in the first place. There may be a link to a family member we feel is worthy of our time or cash. I know that I will be supporting anyone who gets involved in this year’s Movember. I did it a couple of years ago and anyone who can remember me at the time, or has seen the photo on my driving licence, will understand why I am not growing one this year. I looked
like a ginger axe murderer (it was the light from the flash, honest). I will, though, support anyone that has both the ability to grow a tashe and can go a month without shaving. Altruism also can be practiced a bit closer to home. Look around at your husband or wife and your children. What will they do if something happens to you and you cannot support them financially? Even worse, what happens if you have an accident and are no longer around? You can still support your family after you have died. Yes, you will be paying for income protection or life insurance, something from which you personally will not be getting anything tangible. But be selfless and look into it, don’t just bury your head and hope the worst will never happen. It can and it does. It is always great having that warm feeling when you have helped someone out, but look closer to home and see how you can help out there as well. Paul McLardie is a partner at Total Wealth Management. You can contact him at paul. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.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) firstname.lastname@example.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. 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 email@example.com 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.
PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLANNING
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 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. Mekong-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.
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.
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.
SETTLING IN HO CHI MINH CITY… AS A STUDENT ůŝƐŚŝĂǁĂƐďŽƌŶŝŶEĞǁĞĂůĂŶĚĂŶĚŚĂƐůŝǀĞĚŝŶƚŚƌĞĞĚŝīĞƌĞŶƚƉĂƌƚƐŽĨ ƚŚĞǁŽƌůĚďĞĨŽƌĞĐŽŵŝŶŐƚŽsŝĞƚŶĂŵ͘tŚĞŶŚĞƌĚĂĚĂŶŶŽƵŶĐĞĚƚŽƚŚĞ ĨĂŵŝůǇƚŚĂƚƚŚĞǇǁŽƵůĚďĞƌĞůŽĐĂƟŶŐƚŽsŝĞƚŶĂŵ͗͞tŚŽŽŽͲŚŽŽŽ͕͊͟ ůŝƐŚŝĂƌĞŵĞŵďĞƌƐĐƌǇŝŶŐǁŝƚŚĞǆĐŝƚĞŵĞŶƚ͘tŝƚŚŚĞƌŵƵŵďĞŝŶŐ sŝĞƚŶĂŵĞƐĞ͕ůŝƐŚŝĂ͛ƐĨĂŵŝůǇŚĂĚĂůǁĂǇƐƐƉĞŶƚ^ƵŵŵĞƌ,ŽůŝĚĂǇƐŝŶ sŝĞƚŶĂŵƐŽĐŽŵŝŶŐďĂĐŬŚĞƌĞƚŽůŝǀĞĨĞůƚ͕ƚŽŚĞƌ͕ůŝŬĞĐŽŵŝŶŐŚŽŵĞ͘ ůŝƐŚŝĂŶŽǁĞŶũŽǇƐůŝǀŝŶŐĐůŽƐĞƚŽŚĞƌĞǆƚĞŶĚĞĚĨĂŵŝůǇ͘dŚĞǇǁŽƵůĚŽŌĞŶ ŐĞƚƚŽŐĞƚŚĞƌǁŝƚŚŚĞƌŐƌĂŶĚƉĂƌĞŶƚƐ͕ĂƵŶƚƐĂŶĚƵŶĐůĞƐ͕ƐŚĂƌŝŶŐƐƚŽƌŝĞƐ ĂďŽƵƚǇĞƐƚĞƌͲǇĞĂƌƐ͕ǁŚŝĐŚŝƐƐŽŵĞƚŚŝŶŐƚŚĂƚůŝƐŚŝĂŵŝƐƐĞĚŽƵƚŽŶŝŶŚĞƌ ĞĂƌůǇĐŚŝůĚŚŽŽĚ͘ƵƌŝŶŐŚĞƌƐƉĂƌĞƟŵĞ͕ůŝƐŚŝĂĞŶũŽǇƐƌĞĂĚŝŶŐĂŶĚĐǇĐůŝŶŐ ĂƌŽƵŶĚ;ƚŚĞƋƵŝĞƚƉĂƌƚƐŽĨͿƚŽǁŶ͕ĞǆƉůŽƌŝŶŐĚŝīĞƌĞŶƚƉůĂĐĞƐĂŶĚƐĞĞŝŶŐ ǁŚĂƚƚŚĞůŽĐĂůƐĚŽ͕ǁŚĂƚƚŚĞǇĞĂƚ͙ŚĞƌĂůůͲƟŵĞĨĂǀŽƵƌŝƚĞsŝĞƚŶĂŵĞƐĞ
ĚŝƐŚĞƐĂƌĞ͗WŚởĂŶĚĄŶŚĂŶŚ͘ůŝƐŚŝĂĂĚŵŝƚƐƚŚĂƚŽŶĞŽĨƚŚĞŵŽƐƚŝŵƉŽƌƚĂŶƚ ĨĂĐƚŽƌƐƚŚĂƚĐĂŶĞĂƐĞƚŚĞƐĞƩůŝŶŐͲŝŶƉƌŽĐĞƐƐŝƐ friendship͗͞tŝƚŚŽƵƚŐŽŽĚ ĨƌŝĞŶĚƐ͕ǇŽƵĨĞĞůĂůŽŶĞĂŶĚƚŚŝƐĐĂŶŬŶŽĐŬǇŽƵƌĐŽŶĮĚĞŶĐĞ͘͘͘ŝƚ͛ƐŝŵƉŽƌƚĂŶƚ ƚŽĮŶĚĂƐĐŚŽŽůŝŶǁŚŝĐŚǇŽƵĨĞĞůǁĞůĐŽŵĞ͘,ĂǀŝŶŐŐŽŽĚĨƌŝĞŶĚƐĂŶĚ ĞŶũŽǇŝŶŐƐĐŚŽŽůŵĂŬĞƐĂůůƚŚĞĚŝīĞƌĞŶĐĞƚŽŚŽǁǁĞůůǇŽƵƐĞƩůĞŝŶƚŽĂ ŶĞǁĐŝƚǇ͛͘ƐƚƵĚĞŶƚĂƚ'/ŶƚĞƌŶĂƟŽŶĂů^ĐŚŽŽůsŝĞƚŶĂŵ͕ůŝƐŚŝĂŚĂƐ ŶŽƚŽŶůǇĨŽƌŵĞĚĂĐůŽƐĞĐŝƌĐůĞŽĨĨƌŝĞŶĚƐĂŌĞƌĂǇĞĂƌ͕ďƵƚĂůƐŽĨĞĞůƐƚŚĂƚ ƐĐŚŽŽůŝƐĂƐŽĐŝĂůĞŶǀŝƌŽŶŵĞŶƚǁŚĞƌĞƐŚĞŝƐŵŽƟǀĂƚĞĚƚŽĚŽŚĞƌďĞƐƚ͘ ůŝƐŚŝĂŚĂƐƌĞĐĞŝǀĞĚĂŶƵŵďĞƌŽĨĐŚŝĞǀĞŵĞŶƚĂŶĚǆĐĞůůĞŶĐĞĂǁĂƌĚƐ ŝŶĂƌĂŶŐĞŽĨƐƵďũĞĐƚƐ͘^ŚĞŝƐŚĂƉƉǇǁŝƚŚŚĞƌĂĐĂĚĞŵŝĐƌĞƐƵůƚƐďƵƚ ŵŽƐƚŽĨĂůů͕ƐŚĞĨĞĞůƐƚŚĂƚsŝĞƚŶĂŵŚĂƐŚĞůƉĞĚŚĞƌƚŽďĞĐŽŵĞĂ ŐůŽďĂůĐŝƟǌĞŶ͘;ůŝƐŚŝĂ͛ƐƐƚŽƌǇ͚ƐĐĂƉĞ͛ǁŽŶƚŚĞ,ŽĂ^ĞŶ^ŚŽƌƚ ^ƚŽƌǇtƌŝƟŶŐĐŽŵƉĞƟƟŽŶŝŶDĂǇϮϬϭϮ͘Ϳ www. acgedu.com/vn www.facebook.com/ACGVietnam www.youtube.com/user/ACGSchools
asialife HCMC 71
Mekong Creations 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. 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. 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.
Phone Horror Stories By Gary Woollacott This month’s topic is a hot one in our Thailand office: the frustrations of voicemail and the inability to reach people. For sure, most have gone round and round in the voicemail system. The person doesn’t answer, press zero for the operator, the operator doesn’t answer, press another number and so on. Sometimes it feels like we could die of old age before anyone actually answers. The sad part is that companies aren’t usually aware of how awful their phone systems are. After all, they don’t really have to call themselves. It’s only we, customers and suppliers, who do. Most already know colleagues’ extension numbers and can easily navigate their own systems, but what does it say to those calling the company if outsiders can’t reach anyone? It’s like being told their business isn’t important at all and they should take it somewhere else (and I have a strong suspicion that many do). If you work for a company like that, take a few minutes to test it and see what you find out. If you don’t care, well, that’s another column. Companies should remember the phone is often the first point of contact. It makes sense, if you can, to have a human being answer calls. It’s a bit like a reception desk: Would you have an automated
72 asialife HCMC
system greet visitors or do you have a real person? A grumpy receptionist is no good. Companies need someone upbeat, knowledgeable and polite to set a positive first impression. We take careful notice when we visit potential (and existing) clients because we know our experience probably will be the same as candidates when they go to interview, and if it isn’t favourable, that can count against the company being considered as a future employer (or client). Have you ever called someone and a lazy colleague suggested you send an email rather than take a message? You've just called, why can’t he pass on a message? Yes it’s modern to email everything, but email is time-consuming and doesn’t convey emotion, essential when dealing with other human beings. Think about that the next time you can’t decide whether to email or simply pick up the phone. It may be old-fashioned, but it does work. As usual, let me know if you have any particular topic you would like to see covered here. Gary Woollacott is the CEO of Opus executive search in Vietnam and Thailand. He can be reached at +84 8 3827 8209 or via firstname.lastname@example.org. Opus is a partner of Horton International.
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. Unity 12 Dang Tran Con, D1 Tel: 3823 9375 email@example.com www.facebook.com/unitycompany Located opposite Galaxy cinema, Unity offers accessories that are designed to seamlessly blend in with your life. Familiar basics are given a contemporary update with the use of modern, alternative materials like silicone, rubber, and brushed aluminum. From orbital lamps and eggshell-white china, to wire-clasped water bottles, each individual piece complements the others in the collection to give your home a sense of Unity.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.estheticfurnishing.com.vn Design and manufacture as order with a mixture of antique and modern furniture. Friendly staff speak excellent English.
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 plasma-screen TVs to audio equipment. Most top brands are available.
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.
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.
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.
Nguyen Kim Shopping Centre 63-65 Tran Hung Dao, D1 Tel: 3821 1211 www.nguyenkim.com Stocks DVD/CD players, cameras, TVs, hifis 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,
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.
37 Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 6281 9863 Furniture shop that focuses on solid wood furniture and decorative items ranging from pillows and lamps to bedding. 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. The Furniture Warehouse 3B Ton Duc Thang, D1 Tel: 6657 0788 email@example.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. 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.
Blue Cross Vietnam 8th Flr. River View Tower, Thai Van Lung, D1 Tel: 3821 9908 www.bluecross.com.vn Blue Cross Vietnam is part of the Pacific Cross group of companies with over 60 years' experience in providing health and travel insurance to people and businesses who call Asia home. Our reputation for transparent, honest and reliable service means we are the strength behind your insurance. To make sure you are getting the most out of your insurance please contact us for a free quote.
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.
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.
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
112 Xuan Thuy Ward Thao Dien District 2 Ho Chi Minh City Tel/Fax. (+84) 8 62.819.917 firstname.lastname@example.org
asialife HCMC 73
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. Options for kids.
swimming pool and panoramic views of the city.
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.
HousingInteractive www.housinginteractive.com Offering an easy-to-use, comprehensive website that only lists authentic apartments and villas throughout Ho Chi Minh City. The website empowers users to make specific searches to narrow down properties in order to suit their exact requirements and save time. Upon selecting, HousingInteractive's professional staff is available 6 days a week to introduce tenants to their future homes.
Diamond Plaza 34 Le Duan Street Tel: 3822 1922 email@example.com Located in the heart of District 1, connected to Diamond PLaza. Services 1- to 4-bedroom apartments with gym,
InterContinental Asiana Saigon Residences Corner of Hai Ba Trung & Nguyen Du, D1 Tel: 3520 8888 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 48A Tran Ngoc Dien, Thao Dien, D2 Tel: 0989 007 700 www.namhouse.com.vn Provides rental properties, construction services and interior decorating. Supports professional services and after-sales. 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 email@example.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.
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. Opus Vietnam 2A Rolanno Offices, 128 Nguyen Phi Khanh, D1 Tel: 3827 8209 www.opusasia.net Established in HCMC in 2005, Opus ser-
74 asialife HCMC
vices 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allied Pickfords Satra Building, Room 202, 58 Dong Khoi, D1 Tel: 08 3823 3454 Kevin.email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Not just International or local moving and storage. Crown Relocations offer a wide range of services including orientations, immigration, home search, intercultural training through to pet relocation. Call the team on the above number and check out our website for more information. JVK International Movers Saigon Port Building, 3 Nguyen Tat Thanh, D4 Tel: 3826 7655/6 email@example.com www.jvk.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.
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. Fahasa 40 Nguyen Hue, D1 Tel: 3822 5796 Bookstore chain carries an expansive stock of office and home stationary; a one-stop shop for basic needs. 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.
Accessorize 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. Anupa Boutique 17/27 Le Thanh Ton, D1 Tel: 3825 7307 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. 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. Banana 128 Ly Tu Trong, D1 Women’s accessories and more, from bags, clutches and belts to clothes and jewellery, all at reasonable prices. 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 email@example.com Vietnamese brand of genuine leather bags, shoes, accessories and personal goods for men and women: notebooks for a classic vagabond look. Quality leather from crocodile, horse, snake and fish made by 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 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), tailormade silk dresses and tops. Has a wide range of materials on the second floor. Gallery vivekkevin FAFILM Building, 6 Thai Van Lung, D1 Tel: 6291 3709 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 71 Pasteur, D1 Tel: 3824 3652 77 Dong Khoi, D1 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. 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. Louis Vuitton Opera View, 161 Dong Khoi, D1 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 Rimowa Level 2 OperaView Tower, 161 Dong Khoi, D1 Tel: 3832 6941 email@example.com The German luggage maker is popular with a who’s who of the celebrity world. Their range of cases come in varying sizes and are made from high-tech materials to provide exceptional durability while remaining very light weight. 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
asialife HCMC 75
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.
firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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.
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.
The Colour Orange By Christina Yu Let’s play some colour word association. Orange: first thought, Halle Berry, channeling Ursula Andress in an orange bikini in Die Another Day. What is happening? Am I turning male? Even though it is definitely more FMH than Vogue, here is the definitive fashion direction of orange: the beach bikini, the sarong, the beach tote, the beach towel, etc. All of the foregoing go well in orange. And the tanner you are, the better you look. It even goes well with all your freckles. Fortunately, my second thought is Hermes. However, it is the orange box that I love, and I hope like mad that my husband has not bought me an orange outfit or, worse still, an orange handbag, not that Hermes often makes those. This leads me to the key to wearing orange (and to Hermes). It is fine as an accent, but wearing orange must come with a health warning: Imbibe in moderation. Hermes can get away with orange scarves because they have lots of other colours to confuse you so you do not notice you are wearing an orange scarf. Orange was popular in the 70s for interior decoration. Lots of restaurants used orange because it is a warm colour and was believed to encourage comfort eating. Clearly, the Al Fresco group
76 asialife HCMC
read this somewhere and took it to extremes (so, as we all thought, it is not the Al Fresco food that is making you hungry). Imagine a tacky diner in any old neighbourhood or remote town, and you can see those easy-towash-down, orange, plastic retro banquets and chairs, just waiting to be featured in the next Tarantino film. And if there is anything fashionable about orange apart from Hermes, it does look great as a Marimekko print on tablecloths and napkins. Here is what comes to mind with everyday orange: Guatanamo Bay prisoners (makes fugitives easy to spot), traffic cones, monastic robes. As you can see, orange is a great contrasting colour and is meant to be worn if you would like to stand out. But avoid the colour if you are on the larger side. It is named after a fruit, after all. Lastly, I’d like to invite readers to send in their best photos of someone wearing orange, to email@example.com. Prize is one very tasteful orange and brown Ipa-Nima weekender. Entries close on 31 Oct. Christina Yu is the creative director and founder of Ipa-Nima, an award-winning accessories brand. Email your questions to Christina@ipanima.com or visit Ipa-nima. com.
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
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. 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. 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
Lucas 69A Ly Tu Trong, D1 Tel: 3827 9670 Fashion store housing contemporary designs in casual, office and evening wear imported from Hong Kong. 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. 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. 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.
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. Balenciaga Rex Hotel, 155 Nguyen Hue Tel: 6291 3572 Sporting modern shapes and elegant items crafted from natural, raw and artificial materials. 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. 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.
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.
firstname.lastname@example.org www.valenciani.com Homegrown luxury boutique carries silk dresses, velvet corsets, chiffon shawls and a range of accessories, all designed in-house.
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.
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.
Geisha Boutique 85 Pasteur, D1 Tel: 3829 4004 email@example.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Song Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi, D1 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
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. 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. 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.
LINH‘S WHITE PLEASANT LIVING MINIMALISM 37 THAO DIEN (OPPOSITE AN PHU SUPERMARKET) 67 XUAN THUY - DISTRICT 2 PHONE: (84) - 62819863 - 62818488 E : firstname.lastname@example.org
asialife HCMC 77
Dep Fashion Runway 2
AsiaLIFE Launch Party at The Clubhouse, Bangkok
Photos by Alex McMillan and Nick McGrath.
78 asialife HCMC
French Tuesdays at Chill
Elle Fashion Show
asialife HCMC 79
1 h in Ch
PHU NHUAN Ng uye nV an
Huynh Va n Ban
hV an B
T han g on g Qu y
Ly Ch inh ng
en Hi g on hu oi .T hu .C Ng
Ng uy en Th ien
en uy Ng
e uy Ng
Th ua t
ity rs al ve tur es i Un f Na nc o cie S
M hi nT
nh Cha iet V m
ng Tro inh nB Tra
80 asialife HCMC
uo An D
g uon ng V
r che Tea ining Tra ersity v Uni
g on Vu ng u H
Ba nC o
Ly Tha i
Qu ye n
en uy Ng
V C u M hu on ar o ke i t
Ca oT ha ng
District 11 2km
Ng uy en Th o
g2 han 3T
o Xu Tu
Lan Ma n Spo Anh g Th ang Leis rts & Tam ure Clu b
i Th Vo
Tru on gD inh
en uy Ng
Sa inh Train igon Quy Sta en tion
Tan Binh 0.5km
n Dang Tran M
Le V a
Tran V a
Nguyen Du C4, D3, D4 Nguyen Hai Tu B4 Nguyen Hue D4, D5 Nguyen Huu Canh B2 Nguyen Huu Canh C5 Nguyen Huu Cau B3 Nguyen Khac Nhu E3 Nguyen Khoai F3 Nguyen Ngoc Phuong B5 Nguyen Phi Khanh B3 Nguyen Sieu C5, D5 Nguyen Son Ha D2 Nguyen Tat Thanh E5 Nguyen Thai Binh D4, E4 Nguyen Thai Hoc D3, E3, E4 Nguyen Thi Dieu D2, D3 Nguyen Thien Thuat D1, E1, E2 Nguyen Thong C1, C2, D2 Nguyen Thuong Hien D2 Nguyen Trai D3, E2 Nguyen Trung Ngan C5 Nguyen Trung Truc D4 Nguyen Truong To E4, E5 Nguyen Van Cu E2 Nguyen Van Hai B3 Nguyen Van Lac B5 Nguyen Van Thu B4, C3, C4 Nguyen Van Troi B1 Pasteur C2, C3, C4, D4 Pham Hong Thai D2, D3 Pham Ngoc Thach C3 Pham Ngu Lao D3, D4, E3 Pham Viet Chanh B5 Pham Viet Chanh E2 Phan Dinh Phung B2 Phan Ke Binh B4 Phan Van Han B4, B5 Pho Duc Chinh D4, E4 Phung Khac Khoan C3, C4 Suong Nguyet Anh D2, D3 Tan Vinh E4 Thach Thi Thanh B3 Thai Van Lung C5 Thi Sach C5 Thu Khoa Huan D4 Ton Duc Thang C5, D4, D5, E4 Ton That Dam D4 Ton That Thiep D4 Ton That Tung D2, D3 Tran Binh Trong E1 Tran Canh Chan E2 Tran Cao Van C4 Tran Dinh Xu E2, E3 Tran Hung Dao D4, E2, E3 Tran Khac Chan B3 Tran Khanh Du B2, B3 Tran Minh Quyen D1 Tran Minh Quyen C1 Tran Nhan Ton E1 Tran Nhat Duat B3 Tran Phu E1 Tran Quang Dieu B1, B2 Tran Quang Khai B3, B2 Tran Quoc Thao C2, C3 Tran Quoc Toan B2, B3, B2 Tran Van Dang C1, C2 Truong Chinh C3 Truong Dinh C2, D3 Tu Xuong C2, C3, D2 Vinh Khanh E4, E5 Vo Thi Sau B3, C2, C3 Vo Van Tan C3, D2, D3 Vuon Chuoi D2 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh B4, B5 Yersin E4
ng Ho Le
3 Thang 2 D1 Alexandre de Rhodes C4 Ba Huyen Thanh Quan C1, C2, D2, D3 Ban Co D1 Ben Chuong Duong E4 Ben Van Don E4, E5 Bui Thi Xuan D3 Bui Vien E3 Cach Mang Thang Tam C1, D2, D3 Calmette E4 Cao Ba Nha E3 Cao Thang D1, D2, E2 Chu Manh Trinh C4, C5 Co Bac E3 Co Giang E3 De Tham E3 Dien Bien Phu B4, C3, C2, D1, D2 Dinh Cong Trang B3 Dinh Tien Hoang B3, B4, C4 Do Quang Dau E3 Do Thanh D1 Doan Nhu Hai E5 Doan Van Bo E4, E5 Dong Du D5 Dong Khoi C4, D4, D5 Hai Cua B5 Huynh Tinh Cua B2 Huynh Van Banh B1 Khanh Hoi E4 Ky Con B3, C3, C4, D5 Hai Trieu C5 Ham Nghi D4, C5 Han Thuyen C4 Ho Hao Hon E3 Ho Huan Nghiep D5 Ho Tung Mau D4, D5 Ho Xuan Huong C3, D2 Hoa Hung B1 Hoang Dieu E4, E5 Hung Vuong E1 Huyen Tran Cong Chua D3 Huynh Man Dat B5 Huynh Thuc Khang D4 Ky Dong C1, C2 Le Cong Kieu D4 Le Duan C4, C5 Le Hong Phong D1 Le Lai C3, C4, D3 Le Loi D4 Le Quoc Hung E4, E5 Le Quy Don C3 Le Thanh Ton C4, C5, D3, D4 Le Thi Hong Gam D4, E3, E4 Le Thi Rieng D3 Le Van Phuc B3 Le Van Sy C1, C2 Luong Huu Khanh D2, E2 Luu Van Lang D4 Ly Chinh Thang B2, C2 Ly Thai To E1 Ly Tu Trong C4, C5, D4, D5 Mac Dinh Chi B3, C4 Mac Thi Buoi D5 Mai Thi Luu B4 Mai Van Ngoc B1 Me Linh B5 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia B2, C2, C3, D4, E4 Ngo Duc Ke D5 Ngo Thoi Nhiem C2, D2 Ngo Van Nam C5 Nguyen Binh Khiem B4, B5, C5 Nguyen Cong Tru E4 Nguyen Cu Trinh E2, E3 NguyenDinhChieu B4,C3,C4,D1,D2,D3 Nguyen Dinh Chinh B1
Gia Dinh Hospital
Ng .H uu
Ca u oc Toa n
Tru on g
DISTRICT 3 Le Q
Hu ye n
uy o en Th Ng on g
i Le La
Tra i uye n Ng
Nh u g an Gi o C
HCM City Boat Quay (for Vung Tau)
i u Ha n Nh Doa
uo cH un g
gD an Ho
u r ie iT Ha
n ha tT Ta en uy Ng
c Ba Co
Thu Thiem Ferry Port (for District 2)
g on Tru Ng
h an Kh
ao Xu C
Cat Lai Ferry 9km
u g Tr Con Ng.
ri Cu T
am gG inh on iB H i ha h T T en Le uy Ng Ky C on ru gT on .C g N
Le Cong Kieu
te et lm Ca
Saigon Bridge & Highway 1 3km
nh hi cC Du
hi . Ng H.H
u M p yen hie Hu T t e Ton Th a ng
n rsi Ye
CoT Marke ng Qu yn h
u Da Q.
L Ngu Pham
o Da Bus tion g
ha cK Thu h n Huy
i Lo Le
en uy Ng
ng . La
cT ha ng
h an Th e L
i Lo Le
Pham Hong Thai
n .V Be anh t L e Th ark M
iV an Lu at ng u Q ieu a S B o Ng Ca
l al H n n h To w n
nT ru ng Tru c
To nT ha t
nN nA uye
an hT rin h
Pa ste ur
o & Ga Bo rd tan en ic s a
n en ga uy g N Ng un Tr
. T. T
H ai Th
Lu on gH uu K
an Xu ieng hi hi R T i Le T Bu
Du en uy g N Ng uy e
Co ng Ch ua
an nT Va
Tru on gD
Po Cen H st tra ai Of l Ba fic Tru e n
an Du Le
a gh H ia
Hu Re-unification ye Palace nT
a Na ex m Al Ky Kh oi N
Nh ng Th an uo hQ H ua n an Xu o H hi nT ye u Ng
e eD dr
es od Rh
eT gh N t
n Va an Ph
n H tele HTV oa visio ng n
War n Remnants n Ta Museum o Va
Gi aT hi eu
uo cT ha o
nh Di n ye u Ng Ma cD inh Ch i an V o a C an Tr
Ng oc Th ac h
H St oa a Di diu Lu nh m
e uy Ng
u Th an V n
2 Bis Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D1
hu nP Bie
en B Di a
m Ta n Va ark Le P
Qu ye n
oc To an
Ma iT hi Lu u Ke Bin h
Ng u yen Van
Tha ch T hi T han ng h u a Tr Sa . C hi . T D o
ng uo Ph oc
Hoang S a
Khai Tran Quang Ng. Phi Khanh L. V. Ph uc
e uy Ng
N g u yen
ai .H .V
Pham Van Han
Truon g Sa
Nguy en D u
ha Tran K
h Tran Khan
Vo Huy Tan
Huynh Man Dat
Tha Ton D ng u Mu c seu m
at Tran Nh
Dinh Tien Hoang
Phan Xich Long
an Van B
District 7 & Nha Be
o Da asialife HCMC 81
radar More Useless Stuff
KJB Security Camera Lens Cup
Thisiswhyimbroke.com Thankfully, ordering online in Vietnam is still more effort than it’s worth. Otherwise, websites like Thisiswhyimbroke.com would take even more of our already fleeting amounts of dong. Created by a bunch of self-proclaimed geeks who do entirely too much window-shopping, this website has a seemingly inexhaustible inventory of “cool, useful, funny and unique products”. That means everything from severed fingers soap bars for $5 and $85 giant peanutbutter-cup cakes to $18,000 zero gravity weddings and $100,000 water jet packs. If ever there were a good place to throw away money on impulsive shopping, Thisiswhyimbroke.com is it.
For the Lazy Food Shopper
Supercook.com Do you ever end up with a random assortment of ingredients with no discernable way of using them? This is where Supercook comes in. The website has an easy-to-use, add ingredient function that allows you to make a list of every ingredient you have lying around, and then uses them to find recipe options from content across the web. The site aims to help you concoct a last-ditch meal, but also decrease the amount of wasted food. In a time of soaring food prices and famines across the globe, it only makes sense to use up everything you have, and Supercook offers an easy way to do it.
Five Super Neat Ways to Use a Hooker
Theoatmeal.com The Oatmeal is one of the funniest, well-informed and crassly-expressed webcomics out there. Matthew Inman researches, draws and narrates comics for the site, which he created in 2009. Topics range from how to avoid making annoying grammar mistakes, to lists of pet peeves. After seeing titles like “Six reasons to ride a polar bear to work” and “This is why an octopus is more awesome than your mom”, you’d expect the comics to just be funny, but they also can be surprisingly informative. Of course, there are some, like “Why we should be eating horses instead of riding them”, that are just there for a good laugh.
82 asialife HCMC
soundfix album review
by Mai Lynn Miller Nguyen
How To Dress Well
A Thing Called Divine Fits
This continues to be the year of re-constructed R&B. Following on the heels of the Weeknd and Frank Ocean comes How To Dress Well, the stage name for Brooklyn-based artist Tom Krell. His second album, Total Loss, advances the genre of ethereal R&B pop with his gossamer falsettos layered over minimalist accompaniment. He’s studied up on the torment-heavy moods of classic nineties R&B, but taken pages from the ambient music handbooks for production. Krell knows how to manipulate a lack of sound, interjecting thoughtful pauses into his rhythms. Reverb effects create a spatial quality, enveloping the listener in the delicate rainfall of Krell’s music. And it’s a pleasure when a heavier beat kicks in, as on the catchy ‘& It Was U’.
Who says alternative folk can’t have synthesisers? Chan Marshall defies expectations yet again with her ninth record. Performing as Cat Power, Marshall debuted 17 years ago and has built a career upon thoughtful music with a slight edge. Her last album, 2006’s The Greatest, earned critical acclaim for its mastery of simultaneous fragility and strength. Those qualities are also present on Sun, but Marshall focuses on giving new shapes to her work. Auto-Tune even makes a subtle appearance, an unnecessary tool for such a compellingly raw voice, but proof of her willingness to experiment. Highlights amongst the overall cohesive album include the gorgeous, sombre ‘Manhattan’, the more upbeat ‘Ruin’ and the inspirational 11-minute ‘Nothin But Time’, featuring an Iggy Pop cameo.
Britt Daniel and Dan Boeckner are like your two friends that you just know would get along. And then, as you predicted, they actually do hit it off. The first is the force behind Texan indie rock band Spoon and the latter is half of Montrealbased duo Handsome Furs. Their respective sounds draw from similar concepts and rhythms, with Handsome Furs slightly more electronic and Spoon perhaps more emotional. The idea of Daniel and Boeckner collaborating just seems to make sense. Their joint venture, Divine Fits, joins the two vocalists and songwriters with a keyboardist and drummer. The result feels like a natural progression of both complementary members’ styles, proof of how healthy a good collaboration can be.
One of the most anticipated albums of the year, Coexist is the second record from London scenesters the xx. Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim provide stunning vocals, but it’s producer Jamie Smith (known in the industry as Jamie xx) who is the group’s creative genius. Coexist follows the same line of the groundbreaking xx debut, with introspective lyrics gently crooned over beats vaguely reminiscent of dubstep. It’s these psychic beats that have made Jamie xx one of the industry’s most desirable producers, particularly after his direction of the Drake and Rihanna hit ‘Take Care’. Seems he’s worked his magic again with Coexist, producing intimate arrangements that fully capture the human experience of yearning in all its richness.
84 asialife HCMC
xoneFM top ten Hot 10 this last
artist Kat De Luna
Wanna See U Dance (La La La) Good Time
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together Gold Hall Of Fame
Anything Could Happen Somewhere Only We Know Doin' Dirt
Owl City feat. Carly Rae Jepsen Ronan Keating Leona Lewis feat. Childis Gambino Taylor Swift Owl City The Script feat. Will.i.am Ellie Goulding David Archileta Maroon 5
Beetroot By Claire Jowell
UK Top 10 this last
week week 1 2 3 4 5
1 new 37 3 5
7 8 9 10
4 2 6 8
title Hall Of Fame Say Nothing Gangnam Style Let Me Love You Blow Me (One Last Kiss) We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together Wings You Bring Me Joy I Cry Good Time
artist Script feat Will.i.am Example PSY Ne-Yo Pink Taylor Swift Little Mix Amelia Lily Flo Rida Owl City feat. Carly Rae Jepsen
US Top 10 this last
week week 1 2 3 4
3 3 6
7 8 9
5 10 9
One More Night We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together Some Nights Whistle Blow Me (One Last Kiss) As Long As You Love Me Lights Too Close Good Time
artist Maroon 5 Taylor Swift fun. Flo Rida P!nk Justin Bieber feat Big Sean Ellie Goulding Alex Clare Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen Neon Trees
The beetroot is hands down the most exquisitely coloured root vegetable. Its rough exterior is deceiving. When halved it reveals the most striking deep pink. As for the taste, you either love it or you hate it. The use of the beetroot dates back to the ancient Romans, who drank the vegetable’s juice as an aphrodisiac, as well as the Greeks, who would offer beetroot on silver platters to Apollo, the god of music. But today many have memories of the pickled jar of beetroot that gathered dust on the shelf, only to be brought out on a Sunday when the fridge was empty. Others can’t get enough of the stuff, dying many a meal bright pink. This vegetable, though magnificent on its own, does turn everything in its path the same garish colour which, though great in a wine gum, may not seem appetising on a plate. No one can dispute the great nutritional value of this root, which now is termed a ‘super food’, by marketers not scientists. Superfoods have substantially high nutritional value, and their consumption usually is recommended as preventative measures or alternative treatment for cancer. Whether you scoff at this or
nod your head, the dietary benefits of beetroot are undeniable. It contains very high levels of iron, magnesium, potassium, folic acid and vitamins A, B6 and C. Research has confirmed that beetroot can reduce blood pressure due to its high nitrate content. It is also an anti-oxidant that can stabilise blood sugar, lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Boiled, roasted or raw, beetroot can be served numerous ways. From the Eastern European soup borscht, to the top of an Aussie burger, this vegetable can be juiced, grated, julienned or mashed, and all in a scandalous shade of pink. My personal favourite is a roasted beetroot, feta cheese and pumpkin salad with balsamic reduction and a sprinkling of nuts. Thinly sliced beetroot can also be deep-fried and salted to produce delicious crisps. There are hundreds of recipes online, and the vegetable’s enthusiast range from actors to cyclists, claiming its intake increases their speed. It’s certainly the most trendy root vegetable around. Beetroots are available at all local markets around Saigon for next to nothing, so get on the beetroot train!
asialife HCMC 85
When young Victor's beloved pet dog Sparky is hit by a car, Victor decides to conduct a science experiment to bring him back to life, with just a few minor adjustments. At first, the human star of Tim Burton’s horror comedy tries to hide his home-sewn creation. But when the bolt-necked ‘monster’ wreaks havoc and terror in the hearts of Victor's neighbours, he has to convince them (and his parents) that despite his appearance, Sparky's still the good, loyal friend he's always been.
Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, the retired CIA operative with a "particular set of skills". On a trip to Istanbul, Mills gets a surprise visit from his daughter, Kim, and ex-wife, Lenore. But the happy reunion turns sour when Lenore is taken by people working for the father of a kidnapper Mills killed while rescuing his daughter in the first film. Kim goes on the run and Mills must rely on his lethal skills to track down his ex-wife and eliminate all who stand in his way.
Welcome to the Hotel Transylvania, where monsters and their families can live it up, free to be the monsters they are without humans to bother them. Dracula's lavish fivestake resort boasts guests like Quasimodo, Frankenstein and his bride, a mummy, and a host of others. In this 3D animated film, an all-star cast of new and old favourites includes Steve Buscemi, Kevin James, Andy Samberg, CeeLo Green, and Selena Gomez. Plus, Adam Sandler plays the star monster, who goes into overprotective mode when a boy discovers the resort and falls for the count's teenage daughter.
After detective Alex Cross (Tyler Perry) is told that a family member has been murdered, he vows to track down the killer. He soon discovers she was not his first victim and that things are not what they seem. He meets ‘Picasso’ (Matthew Fox), who kills Cross’ wife to send him a deadly warning. In this cat-and-mouse thriller based on one book in a series by James Patterson, Picasso pushes Cross to an ethical breaking point that leads to an unimaginable revelation that can change everything.
Opening Dates CINEMAS www.megastar.vn
Taken 2 (5 October) Frankenweenie (12 October) Alex Cross (19 October)
G: Galaxy Cinema
Hotel Transylvania (19 October)
M: Megastar Cinema
86 asialife HCMC
The information on this page was correct at the time of printing. Check cinema websites for screenings.
bookshelf Joseph Anton: A Memoir Salman Rushdie Random House
In his latest publication, Salman Rushdie turns away from fiction to recount his years spent in hiding. In 1989, the British-Indian's The Satanic Verses drew ire from Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who issued a fatwa against him. Rushdie spent the following nine years in fear of assassination, living out of public view and constantly on the move. His memoir, John Anton, explores the personal and political meanings of this challenging experience in his powerful writing style. Written from a third person perspective, the book is entitled with the pseudonym Rushdie used during this period.
NW Zadie Smith Penguin
Set in northwest London, NW tells the stories of four childhood friends adjusting to adulthood. Like in White Teeth, her acclaimed year 2000 debut at age 24, Zadie Smith focuses on strong, compelling characters, within greater social, cultural and philosophical contexts. The idea of identity is at the centre of the story, which ruminates on how we create who we are by the stories we tell ourselves. Each section is told by a different character, offering different perspectives into relationships and the way each sees himself as himself.
Telegraph Avenue Michael Chabon HarperCollins Publishers
The author behind The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon returns with Telegraph Avenue, a comic tale set on the border between Oakland and Berkeley in California. The first city has a large African-American population, whereas the latter is a bastion of white privilege. Archy and Nat are two best friends, one black, one white, who live in this intersection of worlds. The two men and their families, entangled together in various ways, confront the challenges of modern life. Using prose rich with cultural references, from Barack Obama to Quentin Tarantino, the novel explores themes of race and relationships.
How Music Works David Byrne McSweeneyâ€™s Books
Itâ€™s a busy year for David Byrne. This month, the Talking Heads front man released an album collaboration with St Vincent, and now the singer-turned-author publishes this meditation on music. How Music Works cannot quite be confined to one category, but encompasses general advice, biography and music history. He recounts the early years of Talking Heads in the 1970s, while also offering a prescription for music business veterans in a technological age. As quirky in prose as he is in music, Byrne offers an interesting look into his complicated mind.
asialife HCMC 87
Dana Filek-Gibson resigns herself to being a redheaded, blue-eyed curiosity to local Vietnamese. In a country where none of the local population shares my physical traits, and only a select few are aware my dress size even exists, I am an involuntary object of public show-and-tell. As a redheaded, blue-eyed westerner, I leave dogs and small children quaking with fear in my presence. I am poked and prodded by adults, who are forever informing me that my hair is 'yellow'. I have yet to meet an old woman who has not a) offered to find me a Vietnamese husband and b) touched my bum. Both privacy and personal space are things I've learned never to expect in Vietnam. Of course, I am not alone in this. Countless among us have been referred to as 'fat', and anyone with excess body hair is like a goat at a petting zoo. These are usually well-meaning observations, meant merely to satisfy an understandable level 88 asialife HCMC
of curiosity. For this reason, I go to great lengths not to chafe when asked what is wrong with my face (an alarmingly frequent question, by the way). There are, however, instances in which it is necessary to draw the line — say, for example, when a child tries to touch my eyeball because it's not brown. Unfortunately, sometimes these lines are as effective as a red light on a Saigon street corner. “Hi Dana,” my colleague says, slipping into the room to take a seat beside me. He rarely says ‘hello’ on its own, instead always affirming that he knows my name. “How are you?” “Fine, thanks,” I say, depositing the book I've been reading in my bag. I give him my full attention, turning to face his chair. But when we make eye contact his face falls, bewildered and vaguely concerned. “Are you tired?” he asks, his voice betraying a note of worry.
“No,” I say. He stares at me long and hard, trying to reconcile what he sees with my response. “You look tired,” he decides, studying me. “No.” I attempt to control the situation and discourage any further interest in my face. As I said before, this topic of conversation never goes well. “You got enough sleep last night?” he asks. I nod. “Yes.” These are ongoing curiosities: my sleep habits and my appearance when I arrive at work, because they are sometimes the first and only thing we talk about. I am determined to make my face a non-issue. We stare at each other, uncertain of how to proceed. “How many hours?” “The normal amount,” I say, too quickly. “Six to eight.” Nothing about my colleague's facial expression would
suggest he's satisfied with this answer. I, however, hold up the papers he's brought and begin studying them intently. We fall silent for a moment, both lost in the awkward in-between space of a conversation cut short. I open my mouth to ask a question, but it does not come out in time. “OH!” My colleague points an accusatory finger at the plastic cup in my hand. I nearly jump out of my chair. “What's this?” he asks. “A coffee,” I say, daring him to return to the subject. He does not. In tense whispers, we talk about work, and soon after he's off to a meeting downstairs. Probably meaning to counteract this very conversation, my colleague mentions the following week that I look nice — a simple, genuine compliment. I accept this as a personal victory: for once, no one is wondering what happened to my face.
This Country Life Through the death of a labourer Walter Pearson discovers that Vietnamese still celebrate life, even a wasted one.
His life was remarkably unremarkable. His death and funeral were something out of the ordinary. His name was Mind and he died at only 41 years old. He was also my Vietnamese wife’s first husband. In the mid-1990s Binh Long was even more remote than it is today. My wife was 21 years old, Mind slightly older. Her mother decided it was time she married and planned their union with his mother. He had few prospects. She had no one she wanted to marry. They moved into a tin shack on land his mother owned. She planted a vegetable garden and had two children. The couple worked as day labourers in the paddy fields, on the rubber plantations or on building sites. He worked when she found him work. He drank rice whisky every day and they argued. The more they argued, the more he drank. He had a hearing impairment. The more he drank the deafer he became, the deafer he became the less interest he took in his
family. They divorced after about a decade together. My wife went back to her mother’s tin shack and set about selling lottery tickets. He stayed in their tin shack. He continued to drink and worked as a labourer when he needed money. Most nights he ate dinner with his mother. Then one morning at about 6am we were woken with news that Mind had died. The local authorities had been building a culvert for a creek that runs across the road near our house. The culvert was about 2 metres deep. Upstream was a ford to drive across the creek. It dropped away sharply into the culvert. Early in the morning a friend drove over the ford and saw Mind’s bike and helmet at the bottom of the culvert. He told Mind’s mother, who said he hadn’t come around for dinner the night before, but she hadn't been surprised, because of the rain. A local woman who had a leaf vegetable patch downstream from the culvert went out early
in the morning to her patch. She went to the spot in the creek where she usually washed her vegetables. That’s when she saw Mind’s body on the bank. It did not take long for the police to put together what had happened. The day before, Mind went to pick up his pay and then went to play cards with friends, which involved plenty of drinking. When lunchtime came, they went to have something to eat and drink. Late in the afternoon, Mind took his friend home and left to go back to his mother’s place. This was the dry season, just before Tet. There was unseasonal heavy rain, causing the creek to flood. Mind tried to cross the ford, but the hard running water swept him and his bike down into the culvert where he hit his head and died on the spot. His body was taken downstream half a kilometre. The police released his body quickly and early in the morning he was laid out on the concrete area used for drying crops in front of his mother’s home. Rig-
or mortis had set in and his arms and legs were twisted at odd angles. Fifty people from the village gathered to watch him being cleaned up and then taken into the house to be dressed. At a time set by the Buddhist monk, he was placed in the coffin with green tea and it was sealed. Because Tet was so close he was buried very quickly, the monk setting a time late the following afternoon. Mind’s teenage son and daughter, with whom he had had no contact after the split, dressed in the traditional white outfits and were chief mourners. They stayed through the night and next day to receive those paying their respects. Mid-afternoon, the coffin was taken out and placed in a Ford Transit van hearse, and a procession of more than 300 people rode out to the cemetery where he was laid to rest. My wife was surprised at the large turnout. She remarked, “He was a man who did nothing except drink. I guess he just did not offend anyone.” asialife HCMC 89
pub quiz Rain 1) Which band released Rain as the second single from their album Love? The first single was 'She Sells Sanctuary'. 2) Which film tells the story of Raymond Babbit and his brother Charlie? 3) Rainier III was the ruler of which principality for nearly 56 years? 4) In which film did Steve Martin star as Dr Michael Hfuhruhurr? 5) Which Scottish-built ship was sunk in New Zealand in 1985?
prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1830 to 1834? 20) Agnes Grey was the debut novel of which famous sister?
Thoâng tin du lòch vaø vaên hoaù ôû Vieät Nam ASIALIFE HCMC Chòu traùch nhieäm xuaát baûn: Nguyeãn Thò Thanh Höông Bieân taäp: Thuùy Lieãu Söûa baûn in: Löu Thuûy Trình baøy: Coâng ty CP TT QC ASIALIFE MEDIA Bìa: Coâng ty CP TT QC ASIALIFE MEDIA
21) Goodluck Jonathan is the 14th head of state and current president of which country? 22) Who is the leader of the British Liberal Democrats? 23) Which European has been a head of state since 1975? 24) Which poet and playwright became the first president of the Czech Republic? Cold 25) Lee Kuan Yew is widely recognised as the founding 6) Jim Barnes is the lead vocalist father of which state? with which Australian band, who are touring again this year? Celebrity Hair Don'ts! 7) In the novel Ice Cold in Alex, 26) and the film of the same name, what was ice cold in Alex? 8) Who won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in Cold Mountain? 9) Who is the lead vocalist for Coldplay? 10) Which novel famously starts, "It was a bright cold day in April," 27) and the clocks were striking 13?
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: email@example.com Website:www.nxbhcm.com.vn - www.fiditour.com Thöïc hieän lieân keát xuaát baûn: Coâng ty CP TT QC AsiaLIFE Media In laàn thöù nhaát, soá löôïng 4000 cuoán, khoå 20,5cm x 27,0cm GPXB soá: 937-12/CXB/55-113/THTPHCM Ngaøy 16/08/2012 In taïi Coâng ty ITAXA, ñòa chæ 126 Nguyeãn Thò Minh Khai, Q.3. In xong vaø noäp löu chieåu thaùng 10/ 2012 AsiaLIFE Media Advertising Communications JSC 2Bis Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Da Kao Ward, District 1 Tel: +84 8 6680 6105 For advertising and marketing enquiries please contact: +84 938 298395 / +84 8 6680 6105 or firstname.lastname@example.org Distribution: Super Long +84 937 633283 AsiaLIFE is a registered trademark. No content may be reproduced in any form without prior authorisation of the owners. © AsiaLIFE Media Advertising Communications JSC
Blue 11) Which US state is known as the ‘Bluegrass State’? 12) In a 12-Bar Blues chord progression, how many different chords are needed? 13) Who played Tulsa McLean in the 1960 film GI Blues? 14) Which piece of technology takes its name from a Danish king, and its logo from his runic initials? 15) At 7 minutes and 23 seconds, which hugely successful single from 1983 starts with a distinctive semiquaver kick drum intro, programmed on an Oberheim DMX drum machine?
Pub Quiz Answers
90 asialife HCMC
30) 1) The Cult 2) Rain Man 3) Monaco 4) The Man with Two Brains 5) The Rainbow Warrior 6) Cold Chisel 7) The beer or lager 8) Renée Zellweger 9) Chris Martin 10) 1984 11) Kentucky 12) 3 13) Elvis Presley 14) Bluetooth (Harald "Bluetooth" Gormsson) 15) Blue Monday 16) Tarzan 17) Greyhound Lines 18) Lady Jane Grey 19) Earl Grey 20) Anne Bronte 21) Nigeria 22) Nick Clegg 23) King Juan Carlos of Spain 24) Vaclav Havel 25) Singapore 26) Barack Obama 27) Will Smith 28) Brad Pitt 29) Tom Cruise 30) Kevin Bacon
16) Which wild man was the heir to the Earl of Greystoke? 17) Founded in 1914 by Carl Wickman, which American company has more than 2,400 stations in North America? 18) Who became Queen of England for nine days in 1553? 19) Which baron served as
asialife HCMC 91