Swimming education is a hot-button issue in Vietnam. With thousands of drowning deaths occurring each year, it’s something that should be seen as a crucial need. Unfortunately it isn’t. Vu Ha Kim Vy jumps into the deep end, finding answers to this paradox along the way
My mountainside room has a view, the kind of view that people travel halfway across the globe for — paddy field greenery that sweeps into an infinity of sky, limestone mountains and canals. Yet set in a remote part of southwest Vietnam on the edge of Cambodia, this is the type of sight that few overseas visitors to this country ever see. Until now.
Riding an ageing, pink Honda Cub dubbed The Pink Panther sourced and pimped by Digby and Glenn at Explore Indochina in Hoi An, Ants Bolingbroke-Kent rattled down the Ho Chi Minh Trail last year, taking pictures along the way.
The labor day/liberation day long weekend is upon Vietnam, and for most in the country's major cities, the five-day work hiatus is a good excuse to get out of town. But where to go? The Word editorial team breaks down their favourite travel destinations in Vietnam and southeast Asia that are perfect for the April/May break.
There’s a downside to the speed and chaos of driving in this country, and three of our editors have felt it personally. These are their stories. Photo by Mads Monsen
The painted names and tags around Ho Chi Minh City are not often the exciting, elaborate images that you see in other cities. But graffiti here doesn’t carry the negatives it does in other cities — an eyesore to some — as it’s still quite rare. So rare, in fact, that many people still don’t know what graffiti is.
Perhaps you’ve heard of GingerWork — the creative think tank behind events like Dichotomy, Carnival of the Dead or Wonderland. You might have run into Mark Harris, the distinctly ginger-haired founder, socialising or networking around town. Or maybe you’ve never heard of GingerWork. Perhaps it’s time, since GingerWork is one name to know in Hanoi right now.
When we think about artists, we typically imagine quirky individuals who fearlessly march to their own beats, immune to the stresses of the nine-to-five grind. They are introduced to us on magazine covers and at gallery openings.
I remember in my early days, seeing a T-shirt that read “I made it to Vietnam before McDonald’s did!” I recall loving that concept at the time; I felt original, like I accomplished something groundbreaking. With my nine-year anniversary of living in Vietnam having passed in June, along with the news recently breaking of McDonald’s finally coming to the country, I started thinking of all of the other things this city didn’t have when I first arrived. Here’s my list of eight things that made it to Vietnam before McDonald’s (but not before me).
The Cuban Brothers are coming to Ho Chi Minh City’s Q4 on Feb. 19, and the advance buzz is that this is one of the biggest pulls Q4 has garnered in a year of international coups, featuring the likes of The Cribs, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Steve Aoki.