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  • [HCMC] Ballet in Vietnam

    Still an emerging art form decades after being introduced.

    Ballet was first introduced by the French during their occupation of Vietnam, along with other art forms, such as opera and classical music. Throughout the decades, ballet has gradually developed on Vietnamese soil, but it still remains a nascent art form that has yet to gain popularity among the local population. In recent years, major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have seen a series of successfuThe bigger problem, however, is that Vietnamese audiences have little interest in this

  • [HCMC] English Books

    The Booklover’s Guide to Saigon.

    It’s always been the bane of the expat – finding books in your own language while you’re living in a foreign land where it’s not widely spoken. Foreigners throughout Asia complain about this subject, and the pain is especially acute for those who are ardent book lovers. Fortunately, there are a number of options available for those who want to get their hands on a good read. Never a better time for a good book While English-language books aren’t that easy to find

  • [HCMC] Vietnamese Sand Paintings

    Making art, one grain at a time.

    Pass by Miss Lan’s shop and take a glance at the displays – at first you might think they’re all somewhat grainy photographs. Look closer, however, since each and every piece is a unique sand painting enclosed between two panes of glass. This relatively new art form is unique to Vietnam, and there’s no better place than HCMC to appreciate it. Artist Y Lan is widely credited with inventing Vietnamese sand painting. It all started in 2001, when she went to her

  • Buying an Apartment

    Laying claim to your own slice of Vietnam is fraught with complications.

    Expatriatism is nothing new. It’s given to the human race to wander, and it’s part of our natural instincts to want to make a new home of a foreign land. Part of that journey is to lay down new roots, but this is an urge that can become frustrated if the legal system of your adopted country prevents you from doing so. For years, it was impossible for a foreigner to buy property in Vietnam – but we are now in the midst of a period of change, and things are looking hopeful for those who choose

  • [HCMC] Vietnamese Classes

    Are you ready to step up and take on Ho Chi Minh City’s greatest challenge?

    There are a number of conditions that need to be met if you’re going to have any hope of speaking in Vietnamese, but the most important one is something that only you can bring about – the firm decision to learn it. Sure you need enough time to practice, you need to find someone to teach you, and you need to summon up some degree of enthusiasm that’ll keep you going during the tough patches – but until you actually fix the decision in your mind that this entirely

  • [HCMC] Getting a Tattoo

    Safely illustrated in the city of Saigon.

    Whether or not you’re partial to becoming an illustrated man or a tattooed lady, there’s always some degree of mystique in the act of permanently marking the body. For many expats, the emotional and psychological transformation that accompanies leaving one’s home and putting down roots in an exotic country like Vietnam is most appropriately acknowledged with a thing of beauty that will forever change your body into an work of art. Without meaning to sound like an overly

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