Aboard The Vietage

Perched by the bow-shaped bar, I nurse the last of my mocktail, a liquid rainbow of roselle, lemongrass, mint and passion fruit. The hushed lounge is an unapologetic manifestation of nostalgia for the early 20th century. Rattan blinds and creamy curtains ensconce secluded corners. Dried tropical flowers spring from earthenware vases. As if part of the furniture, two dapper Englishmen perch opposite – though they grumble over laptop screens, not newspapers.

Vietnam’s Ghosts Are Hungry for iPhones

It’s 8pm in Hanoi’s labyrinthine Old Quarter and shop-owner Tran Thu Hien places her last $100 bill on the crackling street-side fire. I’ve watched her burn through thousands of dollars, but it’s still not enough. Hien, crouched over the blaze and dripping with sweat, has exhausted the cash. So she unpacks a box of personal items, pre-prepared for incineration: a gold Rolex, a pair of designer sunglasses, a pack of Cuban cigars and an iPhone X. Finally, Hien turns to a black Toyota Camry. The ca

Vietnam: Beyond the Stereotype

Vietnam is awash with antiquated and orientalist fantasies. Travel media outlets manufacture nostalgia for a colonial heirloom with crowded street kitchens and conical hat-wearing hawkers. Foreign travel companies overrepresent Vietnam’s beaches as if the country exists to serve sun-starved Northeast Asians and Europeans. And although Vietnam has been at peace for over four decades, American films continue to portray a perilous place reeling from war.

Bridge to Tomorrow

The Chao Phraya, Thailand’s major river, meanders through the center of the country, linking the ruins of the former capital, Ayutthaya, to the current one, Bangkok, about 50 miles to the south. The legendary waterway, which has nurtured Thai civilization for centuries, is what inspires—and flows around—Sala Bang Pa-In, a new island re- sort by Department of Architecture, the firm’s second project for the Sala Hospitality Group, a regional chain of nine luxury hotels, spas, and boutique properties.

Vietnam’s New Biophilic Architecture Is Going Wild

Picture architecture in Vietnam and you might imagine ancient temples buried down countryside lanes or faded colonial buildings lining the city streets. But spurred by unprecedented economic growth, this Southeast Asian country of almost 100 million is revamping its traditional image – and architecture is part of the overhaul. After decades spent trying to keep Vietnam’s unrelenting jungles out of the cities, visionary architects now harness th

Do Foreigners Have the Right to Complain about Countryside Karaoke?

If you haven’t experienced it, you probably don’t get out enough. You arrive for a short break at one of Việt Nam’s quintessential countryside destinations. The views from your rustic lodge are sublime. Streams meander through lofty rice terraces. Pockets of cloud cling to jungle-topped karst mountains. The rice paddies emanate a green so fanciful that it’s bordering on nuclear. But somebody, somewhere, is howling into a microphone, plunging the celestial landscape into an aural inferno with t
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