Saigon weekend: what to do and where to go

By Phuc Trinh   July 6, 2023 | 01:45 am PT
Get ready for a vibrant weekend in Saigon! Explore the city's cultural and culinary scene from an orchestra concert, and botanical art exhibition, to an Australian black winter truffle menu.

A night of Spanish music

The Saigon Opera House will host "A Night of Spanish Music" this Friday to celebrate the bicentennial of French composer Édouard Lalo, who was inspired by Spanish melodies and rhythms.

The concert will also feature works by Spanish composers Pablo de Sarasate and Enrique Granados, and Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona. The performers will include Paris-born Franco-American violinist Stéphane Tran Ngoc, who has won numerous awards and played in more than 30 countries, and conductor Tran Vuong Thach, who is the former director of HBSO and a Meritorious Artist of Vietnam.

A Night of Spanish music. Photo courtesy of Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera

"A Night of Spanish Music" poster. Photo courtesy of Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera

"A Night of Spanish Music" is a celebration of Spanish music and its influence on composers from different countries and backgrounds. The concert will feature works such as the 12 Spanish Dances for String Orchestra by Enrique Granados, or the Carmen Fantasy, op. 25 by Pablo de Sarasate, one of the most challenging and technically demanding violin pieces ever composed.

The event will happen at 8 p.m., on July 7, at the Saigon Opera House, at 7 Lam Son Square, District 1. Tickets are available starting at VND400,000 ($17) per person.

Exhibition "FLORA of Southeast Asia" (Botanical Art)

"FLORA of Southeast Asia", an exhibition on botanical art, will be held for the first time in Vietnam at De La Sól - Sun Life Flagship. The exhibition is organized in association with the Botanical Art Society from Singapore. It is designed to engage visitors and make them think about the possibility of these plants only existing on digital platforms in the future.

FLORA of Southeast Asia. Photo courtesy of De La Sól

"FLORA of Southeast Asia" poster. Photo courtesy of De La Sól

Botanical art is a combination of science and art, as artists use various mediums such as watercolors, graphite, colored pencils, oil paints, and acrylic to create botanical art. The exhibition will showcase more than 130 artworks by artists from around the world, depicting native plants from Southeast Asia, including Vietnam.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is the artworks by Phan Thi Thanh Nha, the only Vietnamese artist whose works are displayed at Flora of Southeast Asia - Singapore. She will present her newest pieces at the exhibition in Vietnam.

The event will be on display from July 6 to July 16, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., at De La Sól – Sun Life Flagship, at 244 Pasteur Street, District 3.

French movie "Rien à Foutre" (Zero F**ks Given)

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.

IFV, Dciné and Trigger Film Academy are proud to present the screening of "Rien à Foutre", a Franco-Belgian comedy-drama film.

The film, which premiered at the 74th Cannes Film Festival in the Critics' Week section, follows the life of Cassandre, a flight attendant for a low-cost airline who travels around Europe in search of herself after losing her mother in a car accident. The film also explores the themes of loneliness, identity, and environmental issues.

Rien à Foutre. Photo courtesy of French Cinema Rendez-vous

"Rien à Foutre'' poster. Photo courtesy of French Cinema Rendez-vous

Cassandre is a 26-year-old who lives a careless and carefree existence, working for a ruthless hyper-capitalist company named Wing, partying in nightclubs, and having brief encounters with strangers from dating apps.

She seems to have no goals or aspirations beyond the dream of one day working for a better airline, like Emirates. But when she is fired from her job, she has to face her past and find a new direction for her life.

The screening of "Rien à Foutre'' will take place on July 8, 2023 at 7 p.m. at DCiné Cinema, located at No. 6 Mac Dinh Chi, District 1. The ticket price is VND60,000 ($2.50) per person.

Australian black winter truffle menu

Lüne Restaurant & Bar invites food lovers to celebrate the Australian black winter truffle season with a menu designed by Chef Adrien Guenzi. The menu features dishes that highlight the rich and earthy flavor of this fungus, which is imported from Australia.

The Australian black winter truffle is an edible fungus that grows underground at the base of hazelnut and oak trees. It is prized by chefs and gourmets for its aroma and taste. The truffle season in Australia runs from June to August.

Australian black winter truffle menu. Photo courtesy of Lüne Restaurant & Bar

"Australian black winter truffle menu" is advertised in a photo by Lüne Restaurant & Bar

Diners can choose any dish from the a la carte menu, or enjoy the full five-course experience for VND2,000,000 ($85), which includes a free amuse-bouche.

The truffle menu will be available until the end of July, at Lüne Restaurant & Bar, 17/14 Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1.

Muffins workshop for kids

La Haye Kitchen & Bar is hosting a workshop for children to learn how to make muffins this weekend. The workshop is part of the eatery's summer activities that aim to provide new knowledge and fun for the kids. At the workshop, the kids will learn how to mix the ingredients, bake the muffins, and decorate them with frosting and sprinkles.

Children will have an opportunity to unleash their creativity and create their own unique muffins. Photo courtesy of La Haye

Children make muffins at La Haye. Photo courtesy of La Haye

Parents can sign up their children online and bring them to the workshop, where they will also get special gifts from La Haye. The ticket price is VND350,000 and includes one muffin, one drink, one certificate, and one voucher worth VND300,000. The workshop is suitable for children over 3 years old.

The event will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on July 9, at Lüne Restaurant & Bar, at 215 Dien Bien Phu, Ward 15, Binh Thanh District, HCMC.

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