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Interesting Dining Experiences in Saigon, Vietnam

In recent years Vietnam has become a popular tourist and business destination. Its largest city, Saigon (also known as Ho Chi Minh City, population estimated at 9 million including surrounding areas), is becoming a dynamic and colorful city. Its dining scene is diverse and alluring.

Many people have asked us what are some great dining experiences. While we are not experts in this area, the following are some interesting dining experiences in Saigon.

The Deck Saigon

The Deck is perfect for romantic dinners or for brunch with family and friends. Its location is unique as it is the only restaurant of its kind to sit on the banks of the Saigon River. 

It is 15 minutes away from downtown Saigon, and can be reached by land or by boat (the restaurant can organize for a boat to come and pick up guests from the city center). Visitors can dine on the elegant and cozy outdoor wooden deck.

The Deck has been praised and awarded as one of Asia’s finest restaurants.

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The Chefs have designed a menu featuring contemporary pan-Asian fusion cuisine with an emphasis on simplicity. The best local and imported produce is sourced, including meat from New Zealand, seafood flown in from Phu Quoc Island and vegetables from Da Lat.

The staff and executives were very friendly and gracious. They supported our photoshoot at their location. The photos turned out beautifully.

Info: The Deck, 38 Nguyen U Di, Thao Dien, An Phu, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam   +84 8 3 744 6632

Cuc Gach Quan

Cuc Gach Quan is a unique dining experience – good ambience, authentic and comprehensive Vietnamese food, and friendly. It is located in a historical building, approximately ten minutes from the city center.

Cuc Gach is well known for its home-made, family style culinary tradition, with unique flavors and sauces.

Info: Cuc Gach Quan, 9, 10 Dang Tat, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, + 84 838480144

Monsoon Restaurant & Bar Saigon

Monsoon is interesting as it serves five authentic regional cuisines – Cambodian, Vietnamese, Thai, Laos and Myanmar.

Owned by a Thai national, who has lived and traveled extensively in the five countries, Monsoon started from a passion to bring to the aromas and flavors of each unique tradition to Vietnam.

The menu is divided by country. It includes an affordable set lunch option, and recently a Thai buffet has become available on Sundays.

Monsoon is more than just a restaurant. It hosts art exhibitions featuring emerging and established Thai artists, with the desire to create a platform for creative minds from both countries to meet and exchange ideas.

Thai cooking classes will also be available in the near future. The restaurant is set in a French colonial villa  with a charming courtyard, where food, history and art blend.

Info: Monsoon Restaurant & Bar Saigon, No.1, Cao Ba Nha, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, + 84 8 6290 8899

Air 360 Skybar

Air 360 Skybar is one of the coolest rooftop bars in Saigon with 360 degree views of the city, a lovely party atmosphere, a large swimming pool to cool off in and good drinks. The terrace has both dining and seatings in the bar.

If you like magnificent views, good party and modern atmosphere, then this will probably be a great experience for coffee, drink, events etc.

Info: 136, 138 Le Thi Hong Gam, Nguyen Thai Binh, District 1, Saigon, Vietnam+84 974 587788

Chill Skybar

Saigon Chill Skybar offers both a high energy club experience in an open air skybar and a chill out lounge areas and world class cocktail bars. They are recognized internationally via London International Property Award – in 2013 they were awarded with three separate accolades for Best Leisure Interior in Vietnam, Asia Pacific and International.

 The 27 Grill restaurant that is located one floor above and includes an open kitchen, VIP room with private balcony, glass enclosed wine cellar and a completely open air dining area on the rooftop of the building. Chill’s employees include award winning Danish Chefs as well as Vietnam’s best bartender for 2013 and 2014 in the Diageo World Class Reserve Competition.

   
Chill has stunning view of Ho Chi Minh City mixed with stylish red tables and vibrant feature lighting scattered throughout. Chill hosts some of the biggest events in the country and claims to be the place to be for models, celebrities, local elites, international luxury travelers and businessmen. It has hosted a variety of events for brands such as Mercedes, Porsche, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Johnnie Walker Blue Label and Christian Louboutin.

So if you want fun, prestige and stunning views, Chill may the place to go. However, the prices may be on the higher side. A cocktail costs close to US$20, although there is an excellent happy hour from 17:30 to 20:00 when all cocktails, long drinks and beers, and some wines and snacks are half price. There appears to be a cocktail dress code.

Info: 76A Le Lai Rooftop of AB Tower, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam +84 838 272 372

Do you have great dining experiences in Saigon, Vietnam to share with us? What are your favorite Vietnamese dishes?

Please feel free to send suggestions to and enjoy life to the fullest around the world with Hon. Pauline Truong on Facebook LinkedInInstagram, &Twitter !

 

What Are the Most Livable Cities in the World 2017?

As GlobePreneurs, it is important to choose countries with have quality of life as we travel and live in different countries. What are your cities of choice? What is the most livable city in the world?

For the seventh year in a row, Melbourne is the world’s most livable city (according to The Economist Intelligence Unit Global Livability Ranking 2016 and 2017). Melbourne scored 97.5 out of 100.

With great coffee, great dining experiences, a lively music and arts scene and lots of safe, open space, it’s no surprise Melbourne is rated the most livable city for the seventh year in a row.

Here is a chart on the top 10 most livable cities:

The ranking is based on an assessment of which cities around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions – across five categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

Australia, Canada and EU were the top countries. No cities in the United States, Africa or Asia made it into the top 10. 

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Is your city in the top 10 in the World’s Most Livable Cities? Did you enjoy traveling to these top 10 countries on the Most Livable Cities in the World List?

Please feel free to connect and enjoy life to the fullest around the world with Hon. Pauline Truong on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter!

Ref: World Economic Forum

Top 10 Restaurants Around the World

Can you guess what are the top 10 restaurants around the world?

A panel comprised of 1,500 food experts, chefs and critics picked the final 50 top restaurants around the globe. Most restaurants like Gaggan in Thailand, Clove Club in London, Narisawa in Tokyo, and Alinea in Chicago are regulars on the list. But this year there was a surprise winner. Can you guess which restaurant is number one?

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The following are the world’s 10 best restaurants:

10 Steirereck (Vienna, Austria)

Mugaritz (San Sebastián, Spain)

Maido (Lima, Peru)

Gaggan (Bangkok, Thailand)

Asador Etxebarri (Bizkaia, Spain)

Central Restaurante (Lima, Peru)

Mirazur (Menton, France)

El Celler de Can Roca (Girona, Spain)

Osteria Francescana (Modena, Italy)

Eleven Madison Park (New York, NY, U.S.A.)

This year  Eleven Madison Park in New York City knocked Osteria Francescana off the top spot. This restaurant will customize a guest’s experience by googling them in advance, provide tours of the kitchen in between courses, and pair wines with each dish depending on the individual diner’s tastes. The restaurant’s in-house jars of granola, made for guests to take home with them, are great. One Condé Nast Traveler writer described an evening spent at Eleven Maddison Park as “the kind of meal you hope to have at least once in your life.”

I love trying out new restaurants and cafes around the world. Which is your favorite in the world’s top 10 best restaurants list?

Please feel free to connect and enjoy life to the fullest around the world with Hon. Pauline Truong on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram , Twitter  and Pinterest.

Reference: Condé Nast Traveler

What are the Most and Least Expensive Cities for Beer?

Are you thinking of socializing and/or celebrating your wins with a beer party or pub gathering?

Deutsche Bank analysts collected data on how much it costs to get a beer (500 mL or 1 pint) in an expat area pub of a given city in 2017.

Beers are the cheapest in Prague ($1.30), Johannesburg ($1.70), and Lisbon, Portugal ($2.00). In comparison, they are most expensive in Oslo, Norway ($9.90), Singapore ($9.00), and Hong Kong ($7.70).

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The following is a comparison of the cost of beer in different cities around the globe:

Did you find this chart and information helpful? (Source: Business Insider)

Please feel free to connect and enjoy life to the fullest around the world with with Hon. Pauline Truong on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter!

GlobePreneurs Win: Svaha Challenges Gender Stereotypes in Clothing

Jaya Iyer wanted to live the American Dream, so she moved to the US from India carrying only a backpack full of ambition. She worked hard to obtain a Ph.D. in Fashion Merchandising (Iowa State University), taught Fashion Buying, and wrote a textbook on Fashion in Emerging Markets. After Jaya was unable to find an astronaut shirt for her space-obsessed daughter and had to buy one from the boys’ section, she saw a problem in the apparel industry and wanted to fix it.

Jaya teamed up with Eva Everett, a former Molecular Biologist who got fed up with people telling her that she did not ‘look like’ a scientist. Together they created Svaha apparel to challenge the gender bias that exists in the apparel industry.

‘Gender stereotypes exists in clothing at every age and our mission is to get rid of it – one piece of apparel at a time,’ says Jaya. Svaha believes that women should not have to choose between loving Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) and being feminine. The Svaha apparel line shows that ‘brainy is beautiful.’ Hon. Pauline Truong recently had discussions with Svaha regarding their traction and growing popularity in the U.S.A.


Where do you see Svaha five years from now?

Our goal is to be the go-to place for people who want to find clothes that defy gender norms. We started with children’s apparel, then very successfully moved into women’s clothing. We have big dreams for the expansion we are going to do next! Along with apparel, we hope to continue building our community and getting momentum behind our movement to fight for gender equality. 

 

Where is the clothing currently manufactured and what processes do you undertake to ensure your customers are satisfied with the end result?

The clothing is currently manufactured in India. We truly believe in using organic cotton and eco-friendly dyes and paying the people who make our clothes a living wage. The quality of our products is amazing, but this comes with a higher price tag than buying clothes at places like Target and Walmart. It can be difficult to convince people to pay a little bit more for clothes. However, we know from experience that once people buy from us, they come back for more! We think there are enough consumers out there who care about what we’re doing, and care enough about making ethical purchases to support companies, like us, who are trying to make a difference.

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What resistance and/or challenges have you faced with Svaha and your ideas?

With a limited marketing budget, reaching our customers has been our biggest challenge. But, now that we have so many customers who have bought our products, word of mouth has been a great one for us! We have the best customers and we want to continue making Svaha into a brand they adore!

If you started your company again, what would you do differently?

We believe that we have created a company that we always wanted to. We want to continue listening to our customers and make what would make them happy. There is nothing really we would have done differently. We will continue to make changes based on our customer demands.

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What is your advice for women who want to create change in the start-up arena?

Our biggest word of advice is to keep your eyes open and let your imagination run free. There are so many completely untapped markets out there in the apparel industry just waiting for the right entrepreneur to come along and find them. If you work hard and don’t give up on your dreams, the sky’s the limit in what you can achieve!

What is your advice for GlobePreneurs who want to live the American Dream?

You are lucky to live in an environment where anything is possible if you set your heart and mind into doing it. So, find an idea, stay focused, work hard, and achieve your American Dream!

Please feel free to send interview suggestions to Hon. Pauline Truong on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter!

What Should I Avoid Doing When Visiting U.S.A.?

Global travels enable us to build more successful personal and professional relationships in a diverse environment. I enjoy being in the U.S.A. Having lived, worked and undertaken business in many countries, I was asked ‘What should I not do when visiting the U.S.A ?.’  My online response received 5,500+ views per day for a while. So here it is…. a brief list of what one should not do when visiting the U.S.A (SMILE):

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1. Shout in airports and/or public places (especially if your friend’s name is Jack) – A loud ‘Hi Jack’ could get you in a lot of trouble! 😉

2. Provoke anyone – They may have a gun (even though most people in the U.S.A may not carry a gun around) 😉

3. Carry a toy gun or anything similar (this includes your kids) 🙂

4. Wear or do anything ‘strange’ on the plane or in public places  – For example, a fellow passenger on the plane alerted the authorities because he thought a math professor, who was solving math problems, was planning a terrorist attack! 🙂

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5. Be in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’ – This could happen in any country so it is good to be aware and careful.

6. Bring more than the allowed cash amount – currently this amount is about USD $10,000 (please verify from time to time). If you bring more than the amount allowed, it will most likely be confiscated at the airport, if not declared properly.

7. Violate laws and regulations – They are strict and it is essential to have good status as a visitor.

8. Forget to leave a tip – Waiters here depend on the tips as their salary is minimal. So a tip is customary.

9. Attempt to drive in traffic (especially in the larger cities) – It will zap your energy, take up most of your day and make you feel frustrated.

10. Have unreasonable expectations – For example, that you will find a job and get rich quick! It takes time, even for locals.

 

11. Attempt to do too many things in one day – The traffic and distance between places makes it a challenge to cross many things off your ‘to do’ list in one day.

12. Many more!

Any other suggestions? Please feel free to send suggestions to and enjoy life to the fullest around the world with Hon. Pauline Truong on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter!

Practical Resources For Becoming an Entrepreneur

Many people around the globe ask me ‘How do I become an entrepreneur?’ or ‘What resources are there for becoming an entrepreneur?’ Some people are just starting out, while others want to transition from their current careers and situations.

Being and entrepreneur can be fun, but it is also risky and challenging. Big changes are like an adventure. Massive changes are very challenging. It takes a lot of time and effort to do well in one discipline or field. It takes a different level of dedication to be able to build more layers on top of that and juggle many disciplines well.

My entrepreneurial journey is quite a co-incidence. While working as a lawyer and undertaking other roles in many countries, I participated in my own and family international businesses. En route to becoming a law professor, I realized that more entrepreneurship experience was required on my part to fully assist bright law students reach their full potential. My explorations lead to many exciting paths from real estate, venture capital to technology. These natural increments progressed to innovation, new product development and globalization.

Today we have many products and innovations in progress and incubated in different areas of the globe. While I am still learning and transforming as an entrepreneur every day, I just wanted to share some experiences before we launch into our GlobePreneurs Win Interview Series, per the request of many people around the world.

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The following are some (basic) practical resources and suggestions for becoming an entrepreneur:

1. Successful People: I learn a lot from successful people, especially when they share their words of wisdom, techniques, experiences online, in print etc. e.g. Richard Branson, Elon Musk etc.

2. Interviews: Many startup and company owners like to share their journey and wisdom. Hopefully our GlobePreneurs Win Interview Series will provide some great insights, advice and inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs and GlobePreneurs.

3. Entrepreneurship Magazines: There are usually lots of helpful materials available on entrepreneurship and business magazines such as Forbes, Huffington Post, Inc., Entrepreneur etc.

4. Formal Programs: There are many Startup accelerators and programs that help you with startups. e.g. The Founder Institute http://fi.co

5. Events: There are on-going conferences, seminars, networking events etc. There are also online events like hangouts and live chats/streams etc. You never know who you may meet online or otherwise!

6. Books – Some suggestions of recommended reading include:

‘The Fountainhead’ by Ayn Rand – Self-made billionaire Mark Cuban states that ‘this book is required reading for every entrepreneur.’

‘Business Adventures’ by John Brooks – This became Bill Gates’ all-time favorite business book after Warren Buffett recommended it to him in 1991.

‘Benjamin Franklin’ by Walter Isaacson – Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, says this book is one of his all-time favorites.

‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill – Daymond John, cofounder of clothing business FUBU and investor on ABC’s hit pitch show ‘Shark Tank,’ indicated that this book changed his life.

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7. Networking: This is a continuous process to build relationships, which may open doors for collaboration, introductions, exposure etc.

8. Experience: It is good to try a diverse range of projects. That will help you work out your passions, strengths, weaknesses etc. If you ‘fail’ or have some imperfections, that is ‘perfect as it is.’ Failure is essential for success in entrepreneurship. If we have not failed we have not been innovative enough. It is easier to be safe and not try new things. Most entrepreneurs who are successful e.g. Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs etc. have had their fair share of ‘failures.’ It is what we learn and how we carry on from failure that is important. I would not worry about ‘failures’ in entrepreneurship but rather see them as part of the journey to success!

Best wishes for a successful entrepreneurial journey! Please feel free to reach out and share your thoughts. Thank you for joining this amazing journey with us!

What aspects of this article did you find helpful? What are your suggestions for future interviews and features? Please feel free to send suggestions to and enjoy life to the fullest around the world with Hon. Pauline Truong on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter!

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