January on Bui Vien just before Tet. It’s mid-evening and the plastic chairs on the sidewalk are filling up. I park my bike neatly at the entrance of an alleyway to take photos and am greeted with irritation. Not from the hordes of cheap beer drinkers, but from the owners of one of the watering holes.

On the back of the release of his book, Vietnam: A Mosaic of Contrasts, Word speaks to Hoi An-based photographer and restaurant owner, Réhahn Croquevielle

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.

“Go until you hear yee ha!”


From the shade of a thatched roof, Ngoc Nguyen watches her two sons ride around the dusty enclosure. Clutching the reins, they follow instructions called out in a brisk British-accented clip.

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.

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.

 

Banged Up Abroad

Under lockdown for 24 hours day, confined within the same four walls for 16 days, no exercise permitted. A tempting view of a city unreachable teases through the glass walls of my ‘cell’. All I have is time to think about what I’ve done, and how I would do it all over again. My crime? Getting run over on a bicycle in the early hours of a Hanoian October morning. 

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