The first, Thao Dien, in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 2, has now become a destination, a hub for people going out to eat and drink. It’s taken almost 30 years to get to where it is now.
The second, West Lake in Hanoi’s Tay Ho area, has been on a gradual upward spiral since the road around the lake was completed about seven or eight years ago.
Yet, this is a story that starts many years before.
A Tale of Two Suburbs
In Thao Dien it commenced in the late 1980s when the petroleum giant, BP, moved its employees into the APSC Compound by the river. With the opening of two international schools, over time, more expats chose to move into the area. Then in 2005, Buddha Bar opened up. Not too long after, Mekong Merchant.
In Tay Ho it started with the gradual relocation of NGO workers and UN staff moving out to Xuan Dieu. In the early 2000s Vine Restaurant and Wine Bar opened its doors, while the United Nations International School (UNIS) relocated to a campus in nearby Ciputra. Then in 2009, Don’s Bistro burst onto the scene.
From humble beginnings to an eating and drinking scene that attracts people from other areas of the city, we give you Stories from The Strip, restaurant and bar stories from businesses in both these areas. Businesses located on Xuan Thuy and Thao Dien Streets in Saigon; Xuan Dieu and Quang An Streets in Hanoi.
It’s not all a process of ‘build it and they will come,’ though. As one restaurant owner told us, “It’s easy to open a restaurant, but it’s very difficult to keep it open.”
To read the other articles in this series, click on the following links: