Saigon weekend: What to do and where to go

By Phuc Trinh   June 7, 2023 | 10:41 pm PT
Experience a vibrant Saigon this weekend with symphonies, Malaysian flavors, burger festivals, art exhibitions, and French film screening.

A night of Mozart & Rachmaninov

The HBSO is honoring the 150th anniversary of Sergei Rachmaninov's birth with an evening dedicated to his music, alongside pieces by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Rachmaninov, a highly acclaimed composer and pianist, showcased his virtuosity from a young age and gained popularity as a conductor and soloist. He later emigrated to the United States and produced his last major work, Symphonic Dances, Op. 45. This composition, with its harmonies and inclusion of an alto saxophone, represents Rachmaninov's distinctive style.

A Night of Mozart & Rachmaninov. Photo courtesy of Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera

"A Night of Mozart & Rachmaninov" poster. Photo courtesy of Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera

The event also features selections from Mozart's repertoire, highlighting his impact on classical music. The evening begins with the overture from Cosi fan Tutte, K. 588, a two-part opera that faced challenges due to its challenging of social norms. Following that is Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467, known for its forceful and delicate interplay between the piano and the symphony.

The performance will be conducted by Honna Tetsuji, a renowned conductor and the current Music Director of the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra. Adding to the excitement is the young pianist, Le Trang Linh, who has garnered recognition through competition wins in various countries.

The event will happen on June 9, 2023, at 8 p.m. at the HCMC Opera House, 7 Lam Son Square, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1. Tickets start at VND 400,000 ($17) per person.

Taste of Malaysia

This weekend, you can indulge in the flavors of Malaysia at the Malaysia Food Festival held at Saigon Kitchen, where guest chefs Faridul and Irwan will present Nyonya dishes served with traditional dance performances by talented dancers from Malacca.

Taste of Malaysia at Saigon Kitchen. Photo courtesy of Hôtel des Arts Saigon - MGallery

"Taste of Malaysia at Saigon Kitchen" poster. Photo courtesy of Hôtel des Arts Saigon - MGallery

The Chef Buffet Lunch from June 9 to June 11 is priced at VND728,000 ($31) per person, which includes tea and coffee. Advance bookings made on June 9 also receive complimentary free-flow Heineken. For seafood enthusiasts, the Seafood Buffet Dinner on June 9 and 10 offers a spread at VND1,588,000 ($68) per person, including free-flow beer and soft drinks.

The festival takes place from June 9-11 at Saigon Kitchen on the 2nd floor of MGallery Saigon, 78 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St., Ward 6, District 3. Members and partners of Malaysian Business Chamber Vietnam will enjoy a 20% discount, and Accor Plus members up to 50%.

Saigon Burger Festival 2023

The Saigon Burger Festival 2023 is a burger extravaganza featuring burgers, craft beers, fine wines, exciting activities, and live DJ performances.

Saigon Burger Festival 2023. Photo courtesy of Saigon Outcast

"Saigon Burger Festival 2023" poster. Photo courtesy of Saigon Outcast

Several burger vendors will be present at the event, including Veggie Junk - Vegetarian Food & Bar, offering a selection of three vegetarian burger options such as mushroom, black bean, and crispy eggplant burgers.

The Wagon Wheel - American Comfort Cuisine specializes in American-style food, while Soul Burger uses 100% imported beef with a precise lean-to-fat ratio, ensuring delicious flavor and juiciness.

The event is scheduled for June 10, running from noon to 10 p.m. at Saigon Outcast, at 188/1 Nguyen Van Huong St., Thao Dien Ward, District 2. The entrance fee is VND50,000 ($2), and children can join for free.

French movie "Van Gogh"

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

Van Gogh. Photo courtesy of French Cinema Rendez-vous

"Van Gogh" movie poster. Photo courtesy of French Cinema Rendez-vous

This week's movie is Van Gogh, portraying the last days of Van Gogh's life in Auvers-sur-Oise, where he experienced a mix of love and despair. Despite his struggles, he produced a remarkable number of paintings and drawings during this period. The film delves into his relationships, the fear of failure, and the intense sensations of his final summer.

The screening will take place at DCiné Cinema at 6 Mac Dinh Chi, District 1. The event will start at 7 p.m. on June 10. Tickets are priced at VND60,000 ($2.50).

Exhibition "Love is all"

Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon is hosting an exclusive exhibition called "Love is all" in collaboration with local artist Tran Quang Dai. The exhibition delves into the complexity and beauty of love. The artist hopes to inspire a dialogue with viewers, posing questions about human existence and wellbeing. The goal is to evoke a sense of happiness, health, and contentment in visitors, leaving them with the feeling of being loved.

An artwork from the exhibition Love is all viewed from the above. Photo courtesy of Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon

An artwork from the exhibition "Love is all" viewed from the above. Photo courtesy of Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon

The exhibition is divided into two areas, the Atrium Lounge on level 5, which will run from June 6 to 11, and ROOM 511, also on level 5, which will continue until June 20. It is worth noting that all the artworks displayed in the exhibition, if sold, will contribute to the fund for Operations Smiles.

The exhibition is open to the public from 10 a.m to 6 p.m daily, at Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon, 15 Ton Duc Thang St., Ben Nghe Ward, District 1.

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