Managing Editor of Word Vietnam. Destined to be a dairy farmer until he accepted a spur of the moment job offer in Japan in 1998. After making it big in Japan, he now finds himself wrangling stories in Vietnam instead of cows in Australia. Matt has been living in Saigon since 2010.
Something feels different upon stepping inside Layla for the first time that sets it apart from other cocktail bars in the same category around Saigon. It could be the floor-to-ceiling windows that bookend the space and allow the last of the fading afternoon light to filter in before the sun dips behind the buildings along Dong Khoi Street below.
With so many good accommodation options and places to see within a short distance of Ho Chi Minh City, it can be difficult deciding on where to go. Perennial favourites like Phu Quoc, Dalat and Hoi An are a quick hop away by plane. Vung Tau is a short drive these days or 80 minutes by boat. Likewise, it doesn’t take long to get to the Mekong Delta cities of Ben Tre and Can Tho further south.
Matt Cowan and Mike Palumbo explore the land where the oddest-looking fruit in Vietnam is grown, the dragon fruit.
Much loved Saigon band Bad Neighbor plays their final show
The Pullman Saigon Centre has come up with a novel way to keep abreast of evolving food trends in Vietnam — a pop-up style burger bar. The brainchild of general manager Tony Chisholm, the concept came about in recognition of the need for high-end hotels to move on from “the old historical cliche” of offering just club sandwiches.