The Saigon Spirit

A craft distiller taps pure sugar cane for a southern rum renaissance Clement Daigre is part of a growing number of small distillers setting up in Saigon to produce some of the finest spirits money can buy. Almost unrivaled access to quality, organic ingredients from local producers is a key attraction, as is a burgeoning market that Clement hopes will soon tire … Read more

Bring on the Bacteria

Making your own fermented foods for better gut health Food has the power to heal. For some this is common sense, however, for many others it is a radical statement. Arguably, those in developed countries are likely to fall into the latter camp, as decades of drug-focussed medicine has led us to believe that antibiotics are the answer to all ailments. The … Read more

A pleasure doing business with you

A Japanese perspective on living and working in Vietnam Japanese businesses are some of the best known in the world. From technology leaders Sony and Panasonic, to automotive giants Honda and Toyota, to consumer staples like Yakult; there are few countries that Japanese firms do not reach. In Vietnam, Japan’s influence is perhaps felt most strongly on the roads: Honda being the national motorbike brand of choice. … Read more

Sound Check

Long used in meditation, Tibetan singing bowls are said to ease stress and help with healing A fairly established theory is that sounds, depending on their character, can be soothing. Ocean waves breaking gently on a sandy shoreline, or the sound of heavy rain on a sturdy rooftop when safe and dry in a warm, soft bed, for example (rather than on a flimsy xe … Read more

From Madonna to Enlightenment

Discovering conscious clarity and peace through Sivananda yoga My first exposure to yoga was, if I’m honest, through Madonna. I was 14 when the American pop icon relaunched herself as an earth mother with her Ray of Light album, attributing her new impressive, toned physique to the “Ashtanga” form of the practice. In pursuit of a similar set of triceps, I tried yoga in … Read more

Write to Live

Calligraphy

Leave the world in a few fluid strokes I met the indomitable Barbara Adam, local author, founder of Saigon Street Eats and organizer of the Calligraphy and Coffee Trail tour I was about to embark on, on the steps of Saigon’s iconic Opera House on a bright Saturday morning. Having never tried Vietnamese calligraphy before, … Read more

Capture and Release

Explore the city with a different focus. There are few things that will get any reasonable person out of bed at 6am on a Sunday morning. For the keen Saigon street photographer, however, this is the sweet spot. As Quinn Ryan Mattingly, owner of Saigon School of Imaging and local tour leader explained to me, … Read more