As we roll out our launch, a few of our U.S. employees have been traveling to Vietnam to assist our team there. It’s a country that is embracing technology, and recently the New Economics Foundation even rated it the 5th happiest country in the world. Happy people in a thriving country seem to go hand-in-hand.
I am based at our Santa Monica headquarters, which isn’t a bad place to be either. However, I wouldn’t mind taking an extended stay in Vietnam to help with our launch. Although it would be mostly work and no play, I think I would use a couple “sick days” to explore this fascinating country.
Recently, my colleagues put together a list of things to do in Vietnam. Little did they know, I already had been creating a list of my own. Here’s what I’d do if I ever find myself traveling to Vietnam!
What to Eat, Drink and See When Traveling to Vietnam
First stop, Ho Chi Minh City!
- Sure, you can go to a fancy place and spend as much money on a meal as you would in Los Angeles, but why? I’d head over to Quan Hoa Dong and hit up the street food stalls. Eating is more than just food you consume, which is why I recommend experiencing this mother-daughter owned restaurant located near the Ben Thanh Market. It may be a step up in price compared to nearby markets, but it’s as authentic as it gets and I think the quality and vibe are worth the extra money.
- With so many expats in Vietnam, it makes for exciting culinary experiences. Thus, Pizza 4P would be on my list. This pizza joint was started by 4 friends from Tokyo and I’ve heard nothing but great things. Not only did Thrillist review it as one of the best pizzas in the world, but the New York Times also raves about the freshness of ingredients.
- I’d start my day at The Workshop Café. If Monocle has approved this café, you know it’s gotta be good. It’s refreshing to see baristas who actually care about their jobs (I’m talking to the 98% I deal with on a daily basis here in LA!) and are excited to showcase their top bean choices and drinks for your delight. My personal recommendation is the coffee from Dalat in Central Vietnam.
- After a long day of work, I’d head over to Pasteur Street Brewing Company and grab a couple cold ones. It feels like a secret bar located off an unassuming alley. But their beers are top notch. Considering they distribute to over 50 places around the country, it’s safe to say Vietnam is catching on to high quality beer!
- I’d wander around the city and look for architecture created by Vo Trong Nghia. This world-renowned architect was just awarded the Prince Claus Award, which honors visionary artists and organizations worldwide. With Vietnam making great strides to be a more eco-friendly country, it’s this man’s work that makes it easy on the eyes to go greener.
- The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre is a world-class creative hub that aims to showcase and encourage further awareness of artistic and cultural expression in Vietnam. Aside from showcasing world-class art, FCAC offers a publicly accessible library, workshops, classes, a co-working space and a café bar. The motivation behind this social enterprise is to focus on wellness as you network and connect with others.
- Chua Hue Nghiem is a temple recommended by a couple of our colleagues in our Vietnam branch. Like most temples in Vietnam, it’s a total work of art and an amazing place to experience.
- I’d get around in a vintage restored Vespa thanks to Vietnam Vespa Adventures, and hopefully not break 7 bones in my body while perusing the city. Actually, my wife would probably fly out to Vietnam in a rage if she knew I was on a scooter. I’d be better off getting a bicycle made out of bamboo HERE.
Well, those are the things I’d do if I was the one traveling to Vietnam. Stay tuned for adventures in Hanoi!