Last November, Arabesque and Saigon Concert Production proudly hosted the very first International Dance Festival in Ho Chi Minh City. Though modest in size, with representatives from just four countries, the event was successful in showcasing contemporary dance to the general public. It lasted seven days, with the main acts performing two back-to-back nights at the Opera House.
Across from the Word Ho Chi Minh City offices on Nguyen Cu Trinh, an outlier in the three-storey surroundings has been making its presence known, layer by modernist steel layer. Similar projects have been ongoing in Hanoi and Danang, entering the Accor hotel group’s hierarchy on the rung between Novotel and Mercure (midscale) and Sofitel (luxury). With all three properties grand-opened in the past few months and lording themselves above our smog-level heads, we decided to grab our toothbrushes and give their 30sqm, open-concept rooms a chance.
Heartbeat Saigon is about to celebrate one whole year of music and mayhem in Ho Chi Minh City. Never to let a celebration go by without some seriously hot names in music, Heartbeat Saigon is celebrating their first birthday this Saturday, Dec 14 at Cargo Bar and presenting none other than Gregor Welz.
I always knew I wanted to come to Vietnam when I first stepped foot into a Vietnamese restaurant in 2006. The photos of Halong Bay, Hoi An and Sapa on the walls, the musical rhythm of the chatter in the kitchen and then there was the food. To me, this was food I could eat every day with the delicate balance of sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami coupled with the fragrant, herby soups and salads.
I first remember visiting Royal City and being amazed to find a 1,280sqm ice rink in Vietnam, not only because of the summer heat but also for the fact it’s inside an underground shopping mall. Wonders will never cease, I thought, especially when I saw everyone but the instructors clinging to the sides, or wobbling along with a plastic penguin for support.
Two blue-enameled metal plates sit between us as 33-year-old Hanoi native Nancy Swan says dreamily, “My only real memory of these is when I was in kindergarten, all the kids had to use them… The adults didn’t want us to break the porcelain ones.