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Vietcetera: Our Nine Most Popular Stories Of 2018

In 2016, Vietcetera launched as an online briefing with a focus on affairs, business, and society of the new Vietnam. Inspired by our own discoveries, Vietcetera began as an English language platform with the mission of sharing stories about the new Vietnam to an international audience.

With a modest, yet loyal, following of readers after less than one year in publication, we made available earlier this year a Vietnamese language version of Vietcetera. It opened a new, ambitious goal for our publication: to become a trusted voice of the new Vietnam in both English and Vietnamese language.

Since its start, our Vietnamese content site has contributed to a more than two-fold increase in readership (and in our team). Our recent trajectory has us hopeful of reaching more readers as we dispatch more eyes and ears to the ground for the best stories here in Vietnam – and around the globe. We’ve also invested more capacity into video, animation, and motion graphics production, which will be a core focus of our business in the coming years.

2019 will mark a new chapter for the brand. Aside from continuing to double down on Vietnamese language content and visual communication production, we will be launching new vertically-focused content sites that will sit alongside our flagship product, Vietcetera. Stay tuned as these new sister content sites roll out.

As we close 2018 and look to the future, we want to take this opportunity to look back and see which stories resonated the most with our readers. Here are our nine of our most popular stories from the last year. Wishing you happy holidays and all the best for 2019, we thank you for another year of generous support.

-HT, CEO and Editor-at-Large

Chip Huyen Talks Tech And Travel Writing

Chip Huyen
Chip Huyen is a millennial icon among Vietnamese. It’s no surprise her story on Vietcetera was one of the most read of 2018. – HT

“Chip Huyen was…creative director of Vietnam’s second most popular search engine, Coc Coc, she launched the community action group Free Hugs Vietnam, and she interned at Netflix—experiencing their innovative approach to culture and recruiting firsthand.”

In this profile, Vietcetera chats with Chip Huyen, Stanford University graduate and travel writer, about her latest projects, like her book, Humans of A.I. Chip also reflects on the popular Netflix show Black Mirror and her work for Free Hugs Vietnam.

This article is also available in Vietnamese.

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Jean-Marc Nguyen Quoc Trung: Finding Love On The Bachelor Vietnam?

The Bachelor Vietnam
The Bachelor Vietnam show unexpectedly caught the attention of the world, in a good way. -HT

“‘You don’t have a phone, a computer, or any external connections—you’re in a bubble which multiplies everything by ten. It’s so deep and emotional, and so exhausting that I didn’t recognize myself by the tenth episode…’ Jean-Marc remembers.”

This year, The Bachelor Vietnam made waves globally when two female contestants brought their “unprecedented same-sex love story” to reality television. In the wake of this news, we met for a one-on-one interview with this series’ bachelor Jean-Marc Nguyen Quoc Trung. Jean-Marc Nguyen Quoc Trung speaks about his decision to participate in the show, on the challenges of living on a reality-TV set, and the now-famous Episode 5.

This article is also available in Vietnamese

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Nguyen Qui Duc Built A Storybook House On A Hill

House on the hill
Shooting Duc’s home in Tam Dao, and winning an award at the Berlin Flash Film Festival for best short doc in the process, was one of the highlights for our video team this year. -HT

“In Tam Dao, I spend most days in silence, eat and drink less, and get more serious about my ideas.”

Dalat-born journalist and creative Nguyen Qui Duc immigrated to America as a youth, returning to Hanoi as an adult and becoming a well-known restaurant owner. Featured in both a Vietcetera Spaces video and in the New York Times, the home Duc built to escape the Hanoian summer heat boasts a glass-pyramid entrance and an infinity pool. Vietcetera speaks with Duc about his home and the thought and effort that went into its design.

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Vietnamese Photographers: Five Artists On The Rise

Vietnamese photographer
Vietnam is home to a number of talented designers and artists. Lets not forget those emerging photographers, too. -HT

“Vietnamese photographers are taking advantage of both international and local shows like the Angkor Photo Festival and Hanoi DocLab to increase the reach of the their work.”

Once dominated by internationally known creatives like the French photographer Réhahn, whose prints have sold for as much as US $50,000, Vietnam’s photography scene is witnessing the rise of more local artists than ever. From Lac Hoang’s eye for fashion photography to Dat Vu’s knack for documentary art, Vietcetera celebrates the skillsets of five of Vietnam’s most promising young photographers.

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Cultural Trends In Vietnam: Five Experts Share Their Insights

VNCT
Our 2018 trends piece was one of the most widely shared stories on our site the past year. We look forward to rolling out the 2019 edition soon. -HT

“Driven by opportunities for overseas study, greater disposable income, and returning Viet Kieu, Vietnam is redefining itself.”

Vietnam has moved away from the stereotypes of conical hats and pho that have long defined it to the rest of the world. And so, inspired by the cultural changes already rocking Vietnam to its core, Vietcetera spoke with five local experts about the most important cultural trends of 2018.

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Vietnamese Fashion Brands: The Future Of Brick And Mortar Retail

Vietnam’s retail market is booming. What trends should we look out for? -HT

“Vietnam is home to one of the world’s fastest emerging luxury markets with around 1.5 million Vietnamese now accessing high-end retail outlets.”

Although Vietnam’s online retail market is said to have grown by over 61% in the last year, physical stores still play an important role for both consumers and business owners. In this editorial, we breakdown the future of brick-and-mortar retail in Vietnam, from luxury boutiques to shopping malls and traditional markets.

Tattoos in Ho Chi Minh City: Five Of The Best Shops

Saigon Ink
An emerging scene, getting inked in Saigon has never been easier. -HT

“From old-school to black line and geometric patterns, tattoo artists in Saigon run the whole range of styles.”

Getting inked in Saigon is much more affordable than in, say, New York City or London. And with a tattoo art scene evolving and innovating as fast as the city’s cultural scene, there are plenty of up-and-coming tattooists worth a visit. In this guide, we outline the best tattoo parlors in Saigon.

This article is also available in Vietnamese.

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Baozi Founder Chris Huynh Brings Taiwan-Inspired Cuisine To Saigon

Baozi
A personal favorite, reserved for team outings or hosting out-of-town friends. Baozi represents the best of Saigon’s boutique dining scene. -HT

“If you look at our menu, it’s hard to put our flavor into a single category. We like to say that good food speaks for itself.”

As out-of-home dining in Vietnam continues to rise, Vietcetera decided to sit down with Saigon’s Chris Huynh, founder of the Taiwan-inspired restaurant chain Baozi. Known for its delicious pork belly and fried chicken bao buns, as well as its a la carte Scotch eggs, the restaurant chain is a lesson in the successful importation of foreign food concepts into Vietnam.

This article is also available in Vietnamese.

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Saigon Guide: Where To Work, Eat, Drink, And See Art In The City

We’re often asked for our up-to-date Saigon guide—the kind you share with best friends and out-of-town guests. So, with tourist numbers hitting a record peak and locals increasingly on the lookout for newly opened and off-the-beaten path places, here’s Vietcetera’s Saigon guide to the most interesting places to work, eat, drink, and see art in the city right now.

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This post is also available in: Vietnamese

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