Saigon weekend: What to do and where to go

By Phuc Trinh   May 18, 2023 | 11:52 pm PT
Unleash the fun in Saigon this weekend. Immerse in the enchanting world of opera, savor Latin American flavors, and indulge in a mouthwatering food festival.

Musical night 'From the New World'

The Opera House is set to host a performance of Symphony No. 9, also known as "From the New World," this Sunday.

Composed by Antonín Dvořák in 1893, the symphony gained global recognition and even traveled to the moon with astronaut Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 mission.

From the New World poster. Photo courtesy of Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera

"From the New World" poster. Photo courtesy of Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera

The symphony will follow six opera and operetta pieces by renowned European composers. These selections from Verdi, Humperdink, Smetana, Borodin, and Lehar, written around the same time as Dvořák's symphony, offer a glimpse into the conventional music of the era.

The event will take place on May 21 at 8 p.m. at The Opera House, 7 Cong Truong Lam Son Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1. Tickets start at VND400,000 ($17) per person.

Latin America week at Market 39

Market 39 welcomes the arrival of chef Jimmy, Chef de Cuisine of Hotel Indigo Bangkok Wireless Road. Food lovers can indulge in a buffet showcasing over 70 distinctive dishes from 12 Latin American countries, along with a selection of seafood.

Latin America Week poster. Photo courtesy of InterContinental Saigon

"Latin America Week" poster. Photo courtesy of InterContinental Saigon

Embark on a culinary adventure as Chef Jimmy brings the flavors of the Caribbean and South America to Market 39. From the tantalizing taco and chipotle pork ribs of Mexico to the steak chimichurri of Argentina, the menu features a wide range of favorites.

For those with a sweet tooth, the buffet also offers Latin American desserts, including fresh churros, Caribbean rum banana flambé, chocoflan, brigaideros, chajá and cocadas.

Don't miss out on your final opportunity to be part of this event taking place on May 19. The event will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., on the corner of Nguyen Du and Le Van Huu St., District 1. Prices start from VND1,680,000 ($71.50) per person, including house wines, beer and soft drinks.

French movie "Queen Margot" (La Reine Margot)

French cinema rendez-vous is a new weekly event introducing the richness and diversity of French cinema through the screening of a variety of very different films. Screenings are held by French Cinema Rendez-vous and Institut français de HCMV.

This week's film is "Queen Margot", a fast-paced adventure filled with plots and love stories. Set in the 16th century French Royal court, this historical drama follows the fate of Marguerite de Valois, the daughter of Catherine de' Medici, who is forced to marry Henri of Navarre, the leader of the Protestant Huguenots, to end the religious war. However, Margot falls in love with a young nobleman named La Môle, who is also a Huguenot. The film won several awards, including two Cannes Film Festival prizes and five César Awards.

Queen Margot movie poster. Photo courtesy of French Cinema Rendez-vous

"Queen Margot" movie poster. Photo courtesy of French Cinema Rendez-vous

Mark your calendars for May 20 as "Queen Margot" takes the spotlight at DCiné Cinema at No. 6 Mac Dinh Chi, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. The screening will commence at 7 p.m. Ticket price is VND60,000 ($2.50) per person.

Food Festival "An Cho Da Them"

If you love food, you won't want to miss the food festival "An Cho Da Them" (Hunger fest), presented by Coca-Cola. The festival is back with more than 100 dishes for you to savor this year. Whether you're a fan of traditional or modern cuisine, you'll find something to suit your taste buds at this event. Visitors can also win prizes and get exclusive offers from Coca-Cola, such as tote bags, food vouchers or discounts.

The festival will take place on May 20 and 21, from 9 a.m to 10 p.m. at Ho Chi Minh City Cultural House for Youth, 4 Pham Ngoc Thach St., Ben Nghe Ward, District 1. Admission is free.

Exhibition "Hoa Mat"

The exhibition "Hoa Mat" (Eye flowers) is the first solo exhibition of Thien Minh, a Vietnamese photographer who specializes in B&W portraits. This exhibition celebrates his 10-year journey as a professional photographer.

Minh's works explore beauty and perception through the multidimensional nature of art, especially photography. "Hoa Mat" reflects Minh’s connection to nature and his vision of beauty through photography.

The exhibition invites visitors to explore the different dimensions of art and how we perceive and appreciate beauty.

The event is held at Villa Medium, 240B Pasteur St., Vo Thi Sau Ward, District 3 until May 25. Admission is free.

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