Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What's new in Ho Chi Minh City?

As a western expat, you are desperate for news and, more important, for events. With a limited cultural life in Saigon, every art exhibition or even the latest Hollywood movie are something you need to see.

My brother just told me that he went to a Lionel Richie concert in Germany, and yes, I was a bit jealous. The last concert I saw was Ronan Keating in Phnom Penh.

So whats the reason why popular western artists never stop in Vietnam or Cambodia? Is it the infrastructure? Is it a licensing issue? Or are they just afraid to not make enough money?

So with the lack of a Rolling Stones Club Tour in Saigon, other topics are getting more important. The Restaurant A moved, a new bridge opened, the construction work in Street C is finished. And yes, of course, D is getting divorced from E.

Even in a city with 8 million population, it's kind of a village for western expats. That's not bad, I am from a small town.

Oh, by the way, I haven't see a recent issue of Asia Life? Any news about that?


Anonymous said...

Very interesting issue, Mr.Wanhoff

Imho, I think there are basically two primary "sources"

1. Cultural exchange: Dana Leong, Bob Livingstone and his and son, Peter Yarrow (of P, Paul & Mary), Dennis Beddingfield and the coming Ozomatli somewhere next month. Some 3 or 4 years, the famous Carmina Burana was played here in SG. The name says it all: free (invitation needed) and almost no trouble w/ license thing. These are sadly not very well received by the public and have certain targeted audience, esp those w/ contacts.

2. Showbiz, aimed at the youth and popular music (rock music stimes). We actually have kinda periodical events like the Tiger contest (last year Chemical Romance played here, as you may know it already) or Rock Storm (local one). At times, "hot" pop figures are also invited like ... Bi Rain (a big failure of his) or a bit better Shayn Ward in Ha Noi. I believe the producers know how to deal w/ the rest. These are either free (promo) or really expensive, and the audience, in turn, is already named.

(You know it better than me I think, the much more focused but rather occasional are the ones held at the Conservatoire, where obviously very few Vnese are found and truly enjoying that music)

As a SG native, I could not agree more about its cultural life. Trying to catch up w/ almost every event, I remain as leisure as it could be.

Now I can only hope the big stars in the past would some day arrive and have their own event here. But then, I'm afraid they wouldn't neither of the above 2. Or eager to join the events organized by expats themselves, like the Annie Get your gun months ago.

Just my 2 cents.

Have a nice day.


My blog said...

I am in UK and what you are asking is the same as I am ask why there are as many as Asian cultural events in London :) I think it depends on how you define cultural events.

Again I guarantee you that there are more Western things to do in Saigon than Eastern things to do in London.