Over the last 10 years, staff editor Jon Aspin has been producing ‘sparkling’ copy for everyone from mega rich beer companies and consumer electronics giants to local caravan dealers and Swedish Phd students. Born in the North East of England but raised in Australia, Jon has now worked on three continents, and remains curious about the others. Arriving in Vietnam 'on sabbatical' sometime during 2013, Jon soon got appointed ‘captain’ on a movie about a war and has tried not to look back since.
Wondering if we would find suitable subjects in the Backpacker Area for this month’s cover story, translator and photographer Vy and I meet at Chi’s Café — a long time District 1 haunt for Word staffers. Finishing our second ‘strategy’ beer and contemplating hitting nearby Bui Vien in search of material, at that moment, bookseller Van finds us instead. Wandering in from the alley, carrying her usual load of heavy travel favourites, we realise our luck, and immediately invite her to sit down, drink a smoothie and talk.
When I meet Bao for this story, he doesn’t recognise me. Why would he? Our last meeting was over two years ago. Back then, in his previous location on Phan Van Han, a busy market street just over the canal at the start of Binh Thanh, the shoe repairer and artisan restored some brown leather dress shoes for me, bringing them back from the brink.
Nicolas Privet is running to raise money for a cause — Les Enfants du Dragon
If your relaxation ambitions tend to hit a ceiling at ‘fairly typical’ experiences in ‘pretty good’ locations, Amanoi will truly blow your mind. Taking out the minor issue of whether or not you have the cash — or maybe you can afford the occasional front row seat to ‘how the other half lives’ — book now, because you’ll be investing in an experience that has absolutely nothing to do with ‘fairly typical’ or ‘pretty good’.
Show me a man who hasn’t waxed lyrical about a pattie of meat and two bits of bun in his hand, and I’ll show you a man who hasn’t lived. A good burger is simply good food, so it’s no surprise that it’s been on the surge here for a while in food-loving Vietnam. Yet, far from being sated, in Ho Chi Minh City the public’s hunger for a high quality and still affordable burger option has remained. Enter Relish & Sons.