Ladies’ Night at Lush Nightclub is one of the biggest parties in Ho Chi Minh City, and it draws in over a thousand partiers week after week. The dance floor is consistently packed shoulder-to-shoulder, swaying and shifting to soundtracks by some of Vietnam’s biggest DJ names alongside the occasional international superstar. Lush has been one of the most popular nightclubs in the city for nearly a decade, continuously raising the bar in clubbing with every new phase of development.
Tasked with tapping into the hazy nostalgic memories of 1990s Saigon, it was suggested by one person I spoke to that we voyage on a downtown pilgrimage to see where the bars used to be or still are. Our arms were twisted as we joined the trail.
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.
With Christmas right around the corner, it’s time to take a break from spending all our disposable income on nights out and invest in something that will give our loved ones at least a day’s worth of pleasure.
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.
“If you are an outsider looking in at urban surface water you can see two main things. One is the production of water — getting it out of the river and making it clean — and the second part is the distribution through a network of pipes to customers.”
“A product they trust.” In four simple words FrieslandCampina Vietnam managing director Mark Boot sums up why the Netherlands company and its iconic brand has gone from strength to strength in Southeast Asia, and in particular Vietnam.
The term Dutch Master has evolved from referring to artistic greats such as Rembrandt or Van Gogh to modern-day footballers like Johan Cruyff or Marco Van Basten. A bit of both will be on show at Ho Chi Minh City’s September 23 Park from Nov. 22 to Dec. 1, when the area next to Ben Thanh Market will be transformed into a little part of lowland Europe.
Only once did I hear a funny motorbike joke. It detailed the initiation levels of expats, from the ones who take taxis everywhere because “it only costs like one quid”, to the savvier expats like presumably everyone in the audience that night, who balance adventurousness with a sensible degree of road fear. Then there are the master expats “who don’t even wear a helmet anymore, because their heads have attained the leathery indestructibility of a newborn child’s”.
It’s half an hour before showtime. Dragonfly director Jaime Zuniga is darting around Q4, putting out fires while cheerfully greeting guests as he hurries past.
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.