42 Nguyen Hue is the Apartment block you won’t wanna miss

42 Nguyen Hue is the Apartment block you won’t wanna miss

The cafe apartment at No.42 found in Ho Chi Minh City is a sight to behold. It houses hip boutiques, independent artisans, and third wave coffee shops facing Nguyen Hue Walking Street. The historical building is a nine-story apartment that can be best described using a popular quote from Forrest Gump; it’s like “a box of chocolate – you never know what you’re gonna get!”

The apartment at 42 Nguyen Hue was built in the 1960s. It was used as a military housing for American troops and high-ranking officials working for the southern government. After the fall of Saigon, some of the properties were given to shipyard workers. As tourism flourished and the city developed, some rented out their units to cafes and shop owners albeit illegal. The government however have taken steps to close down the shops with a series of eviction notices. The shops are still open but their future is uncertain.

42 Nguyen Hue Cafe Apartment block Ho Chi Minh City travel tips to Vietnam, foodie wanderlust

The history of the place gave it its unique style mainly because it was originally intended as an apartment block. The building as a result, offered a layout different from most commercial spaces. You can instantly feel the homey vibe to it; the cozy feeling of the residential staircase and peaceful neighborhood.

With over 30 businesses inside, you are sure to find a perfect hang out space that caters to your need and liking. Tea and coffee aficionados will have the most fun sipping their drink while looking at the nice scenery at Nguyen Hue. We won’t be able to list all the shops in the building so we recommend you to check out the place for yourself and find the ambiance and style that suits you.

42 Nguyen Hue Cafe Apartment block Ho Chi Minh City travel tips to Vietnam, foodie wanderlust

42 Nguyen Hue Cafe Apartment block Ho Chi Minh City travel tips to Vietnam, foodie wanderlust

42 Nguyen Hue Cafe Apartment block Ho Chi Minh City travel tips to Vietnam, foodie wanderlust

42 Nguyen Hue Cafe Apartment block Ho Chi Minh City travel tips to Vietnam, foodie wanderlust

42 Nguyen Hue Cafe Apartment block Ho Chi Minh City travel tips to Vietnam, foodie wanderlust

42 Nguyen Hue Cafe Apartment block Ho Chi Minh City travel tips to Vietnam, foodie wanderlust

42 Nguyen Hue Cafe Apartment block Ho Chi Minh City travel tips to Vietnam, foodie wanderlust

 

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The Golden Bridge is the new top destination in Vietnam
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The Golden Bridge is the new top destination in Vietnam

The Golden Bridge is the new top destination in Vietnam

A new bridge just outside Da Nang is getting all the rave right now because of its unique design.

The Golden Bridge is located on the grounds of  Bà Nà Hills resort, in the Trường Sơn Mountains west of the city of Da Nang. The resort is already a favorite tourist spot offering wonderful scenery and amusement rides for thrill seekers. Their latest attraction, the Golden Bridge, is designed to feel like a walkway in the sky held up by two gigantic stone hands.

Golden Bridge Ba Na Hills Resort Da Nang travel wanderlust architecture design infrastructure hands of god

The bridge, designed by Ho Chi Minh-based firm TA Corporation, is part of a $2 billion project to promote tourism in the area. The 150-meter-long-structure is suspended at 1,400 meters (4,593 feet) above sea level  and extends over the edge of the cliff that offers a perfect 180° view of the Bà Nà mountains. According to the firm, the design of the bridge symbolizes the hands of God pulling a strip of gold from the land. The hands are also painted and decorated in such a way that it looks like a part of the jungle with mosses and leaves dangling all over it. Another ornament not to be missed are the purple Lobelia Chrysanthemums lined on each side of the walkway. It’s a design to evoke a perfect balance between human and nature.

Golden Bridge Ba Na Hills Resort Da Nang travel wanderlust architecture design infrastructure hands of god

This novel architecture has been a favorite instagram spot for both international and local travelers since it opened in June. The structure sits atop the mountain so the climate is a little different and can be foggy at times which adds to the ethereal effect of the place. Walking the Golden Bridge is a nice bucket list addition to anyone who is planning to visit Vietnam. You can also try the Bà Nà cable car – the worlds longest non-stop, single-rope cable car system that can also be found at the resort.

Golden Bridge Ba Na Hills Resort Da Nang travel wanderlust architecture design infrastructure hands of god

Golden Bridge Ba Na Hills Resort Da Nang travel wanderlust architecture design infrastructure hands of god

 

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Visit the little noodle shop featured in Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown
A guide to Vietnamese culture

 

A breakdown of Vietnamese pop music

A breakdown of Vietnamese pop music

Over the years, Vietnamese pop music has evolved and is slowly catching up to the global music trends of today. The country of Vietnam is full of talented singers and musicians known traditionally for their slow-heartwarming ballads. Like the rest of Asian Pop, the current local music scene is heavily influenced by western beats and the flourishing k-pop aesthetic but with their own unique twist to it. Here’s a list of Vietnamese pop music stars redefining the industry:

Son Tung M-TP

Vietnamese pop music Son Tung M-TP entertainment news

Son Tung M-TP is no doubt the biggest pop star in Vietnam as of late. He became the first Vietnamese artist to get a Gold Play Button – a recognition from Youtube for channels that surpassed one million subscribers. He is a trailblazer for the reinvention of Vietnamese pop music, often blending genres of hip-hop, R&B, and pop music. Song Tung M-TP is not only recognized by his revolutionary music style, but also his presence that is usually identified by his bad boy urban style.

MIN

Vietnamese pop music MIN entertainment news

MIN is originally a member of the popular dance group, St.319. She parted ways with them and started her own musical career. The style of her sound is very unique; it has an ethereal and dreamy vibe to it which is made possible by the sweet tone of her voice. Her music videos are very youth oriented, stylized by pops of color and dramatic story telling that is highly marketable to the hip crowd.

Mỹ Tâm

Vietnamese pop music Mỹ Tâm entertainment news

With a career spanning almost two decades, Mỹ Tâm is regarded as one of Vietnam’s most notable pop balladeers. Her songs are considered cult classics which gained her a fair share of international success. Her album Tâm 9, released in 2017, coincidentally reached number nine on Billboard’s World Album Chart. No doubt Mỹ Tâm’s career will continue to grow for another decade.

Soobin Hoàng Sơn

Vietnamese pop music Soobin Hoàng Sơn entertainment news

A new comer to Vietnamese pop music, Soobin Hoàng Sơn started garnering attention after the release of his music Phía Sau Một Cô Gái (Behind a Girl) in 2016. He had been in the underground scene for sometime before blowing up in mainstream music. Despite being new and at the top of his career right now, he still chose to allot some of his time to mentor up and coming artists on the side which gained him even more respect from the fans.

Hương Tràm

Vietnamese pop music Soobin Hoàng Sơn entertainment news

Hương Tràm was a product of a popular singing competition, The Voice of Vietnam. She won the first season back in 2012 and has since become a household name in the field of pop ballads, often singing about unrequited love. Her music video Em Gái Mưa, released in 2017, reached more than 100 million views making it one of the most viewed videos by a Vietnamese singer of that year.

 

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A guide to Vietnamese culture

A guide to Vietnamese culture

Vietnam is a country known for keeping its rich culture and traditions. The people of Vietnam are instilled with a deep respect for the environment and their ancestors. Having been colonized by France and occupied by the Japanese,  their history have strengthened their nationalistic ideologies and fought hard to emancipate themselves from foreign hold. Vietnam has a single-party socialist republic government and have mainly kept to itself but times are changing, and so is the country. Slowly, tourists are coming to the country and is becoming a popular destination among backpackers.

As visitors, it is important to know the Vietnamese culture to avoid messy situations. Here are some things you should know before touring the country:

People don’t want to be humiliated

If you come from a country with a liberal and outgoing personality, you might be surprised at how quite and passive people can be in Vietnam. Don’t take it as being rude; they are actually talkative people once you get their trust. They also don’t like to be humiliated in public so you should avoid arguing or bartering too aggressively that the locals might feel diminished or belittled. They are non-confrontational people.

Vietnamese culture Hanoi Ho Chi Minh travel tips wanderlust blog

Education is top priority

If you get a chance to speak to students in Vietnam, you will learn how strict their routine is. With a booming economy such as Vietnam, the environment can be a little competitive. For students, getting at the top of their class is a must if they want to secure a decent job after graduation.

Vietnamese culture Hanoi Ho Chi Minh travel tips wanderlust blog

Respect the elders

Vietnam is built on Confucian beliefs where respect for one’s parents, elders, and ancestors is a virtue. That means, don’t bring up any inappropriate topics such as death or sex when you are with them. Their advice is also greatly valued as they account old age as being wiser and more experienced. It can be a little bit frustrating when an older person speaks down to you, especially in an office setting, but respect their views and be patient with them.

Vietnamese culture Hanoi Ho Chi Minh travel tips wanderlust blog

War history is an important and sacred topic

Don’t ever besmirch their war veterans or speak ill of anything related to the war for that matter. It is a sensitive topic for them so unless you have something important to say, don’t include it in the conversation. Also, turning it into a joke doesn’t give you a pass. It is a very serious issue for them and again, they are a group of nationalistic people so their history is an essential part of their being.

Vietnamese culture Hanoi Ho Chi Minh travel tips wanderlust blog

Learn how to negotiate

Shopping in Vietnam is fun, especially when you understand the art of negotiation. As a foreigner, expect that the local vendors will charge you more for their products. It is their initial feeling of having all the cards against you. This is where you have to stand your ground and be wise about transactions. Negotiate the prices down up to the lowest they can offer and then, walk away. They will come back at you and give you their best reasonable price.

Vietnamese culture Hanoi Ho Chi Minh travel tips wanderlust blog

Tipping is not customary

Vietnamese people rarely tip in restaurants or bar. If you feel that a staff’s service was excellent, it is okay to tip but be very discreet. It is definitely not expected so do it at your discretion. However, tips are usual on salons and spas.

Vietnamese culture Hanoi Ho Chi Minh travel tips wanderlust blog

Food is a part of Vietnamese culture

If you are visiting as a guest, especially in someone’s home, you can expect that they will prepare and cook for you. No matter how full you are, never say no to a food being offered as they can take it as being rude. But don’t take more than you can eat! They respect the land and the food that is created from it; daily sustenance is a blessing for them. Obviously they are going to hate it if you waste food.

Vietnamese culture Hanoi Ho Chi Minh travel tips wanderlust blog

 

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Shopping experience in Hoi An ancient town

Shopping experience in Hoi An ancient town

Hoi An is popular among locals and tourists as a shopping destination. It offers a wide range of high quality yet affordable products and services such as suits, shirts, custom-made dresses and tailoring. Here are a list of things you can buy while visiting the ancient town of Hoi An.

Hoi An lantern

Hoi An lanterns, a traditional culture in ancient town, have a variety of colors that reflect the sophistication and talent of Vietnamese workers. Lanterns in Hoi An are durable, inexpensive, light and can be folded making it popular among tourists to buy as a gift or souvenir. You can get lanterns in the shops on Tran Phu street such as Ngoc Thu and Ngoc Thu lanterns and other shops on Le Loi, Nguyen Hue, Nguyen Thai Hoc.

Prices are subject to size, color, shape of the lantern.

HappyLuke travel tips to Vietnam - shop for lanterns

Footwear 

Shoes in Hoi An are rich in designs and plenty to choose from. You can find clogs, shoes, sandals and luxury footwears. The sellers here are very passionate and hospitable so you will definitely be satisfied with your shoe shopping experience. Notable shops in Hoi An are: Funky Shoes Shop at 38 Bach Dang Street, Cam Tu Shoes Shop at 8 Hoang Van Thu Street. You can also purchase nice looking, comfortable slippers in the area. Slippers are sold in the streets and markets of Hoi An.

HappyLuke travel tips to vietnam - shoe shopping

Skirts and dresses

Hoi An’s garment industry is well-developed, including a “quick” service to meet the demand of tourists but still ensure the quality and aesthetics of the dress. The fabric here is beautiful; they look sophisticated and thoughtful. Hoi An visitors love to get their clothes tailored in Vietnam. Minh An ward – area I of the ancient city, is home to 57 cloth shops and tailoring services such as Thu Thuy, Yaly, Phuong Huy, Thang Loi, A Dong Silk, Dong A, Bao Khanh, Gia Hung, Hanh Hung and Cam Nhan. 

Tailoring in Vietnam follows a standard process: the customer will shop for a fabric, pick a design, then the tailor will take the measurements and customer will have to leave his/her hotel address.  The tailor will schedule an appointment for fitting and will make the necessary adjustments afterwards if needed.

Those who have been to Hoi An can agree that the clothes here are inexpensive and beautiful, not to mention, the service is fast. In just a few hours, the mechanic will sew the finished clothes for you. If you can’t stay long enough, just leave the measurements and address and the store will deliver the product to you.

HappyLuke travel tips - shop for dresses

Artwork

After shopping for lanterns, shoes, and clothes, don’t forget to include artworks in Hoi An to your list. Composed of a large number of artists, Hoi An provides a wide variety of beautiful paintings and photographs but prices vary and can sometimes reach up to millions. You can find paintings in Hoi An at the Galleries such as Le Gai, Ha Ly, Thon Viet, Kim Chi.

HappyLuke travel tips to Vietnam - shop for paintings and photographs

Souvenir

After shopping in this ancient urban area do not forget to visit some souvenir shops such as Au Lac on Tran Phu Street, Ky Uc on Nguyen Thai Hoc Street. Popular among tourists are wooden sculptures, handbags, masks, bas-reliefs, Buddha statues or simply the To He’s grandmother sitting at the porch of the Bridge. Souvenirs are a nice way to make you remember all the wonderful experience you had while staying in Vietnam!

HappyLuke travel tips to Vietnam - shop for souvenirs