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Beatnik, hippy, left-field, Bohemian. These are all words used to describe people who are unconventional, whose actions, thoughts and ideas are not run-of-the-mill.


The nature of Vietnam attracts people who are unconventional and artistic. Once a pariah state, and still the only country to defeat both America and China in war, this country’s location, outlook and history of resistance makes it unique. So living in Vietnam, a nation sitting on the far edge of Asia, requires a certain outlook, a certain way of seeing the world that may at times be at odds with what we would deem to be normal elsewhere. After all, how many countries on this planet still have a Communist government? Not many.


Over the next few pages we look at the artsy people who’ve chosen this country as their home. Who are they? What do they do? What makes them tick? We also delve into the lives of those Vietnamese who are doing something unusual, something unconventional and against the grain. There are many.


Through the stories we have put together, we have tried to get a sense of the Bohemian, underground yet artistic nature of this country. In the 1990s it was Prague and Berlin. A long time before that it was Bali. Chiang Mai has also had its day. But for the past few years, if you want somewhere in this region that is truly Bohemian, it’s Vietnam.

To read the other articles in this series, click on the following links:


Painter, tattooist and some-time graffiti artist.   Danny refuses to give his real name. He
Artist and teacher.   The idea is to keep evolving, growing, and then expanding. One ...
The comic strip artist.   If you think my story is interesting, sure,” says Fred Serra when
The custom guitar maker.   From Bob Dylan to Jimi Hendrix to Joni Mitchell, the guitar has
The sketch artist.   Drawn to Ho Chi Minh City for work and to fulfil a dream that was
The abstract artist.   Despite being only in her mid-20s, in June 2016 Maida Gayle suffered
The vintage clothing store owner.   Sat in her vintage clothing store, with her short boyish
The cartoonist.   This is the first time someone’s used ‘Bohemian’ to describe me,” laughs
The fashion designer.   Fashion is not usually synonymous with ethics, but May Cortazzi is
The psychedelic artist.   Although he may have started down the conventional English

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