Saigoneer Podcast

61 EpisodesProduced by Saigoneer

The Saigoneer Podcast is a weekly show allows listeners to take our reporting, insight and banter anywhere through in-depth discussions on Vietnamese society and culture, as well as interviews with special guests.

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Preserving Architectural Heritage & the One Thing We Would Change About Saigon

June 23rd, 2019

36:07

On this week's show, we begin (1:10) by discussing Saigon's disappearing architectural heritage. Much has been written about the city's failure to …

The War on Plastic & Our Vietnam Superpowers

June 16th, 2019

45:05

On this week's show, we begin ̣(1:06) by discussing Vietnam's new national campaign against plastic waste. Such garbage is a massive problem here, so what do we hope to see from this effort, and what sort of impact have …

'The Third Wife' Controversy & Vietnam's Protein Consumption

June 2nd, 2019

36:45

On this week's episode we start (1:23) in the movie world. 'The Third Wife,' the critically acclaimed indie film festival darling directed by Ash Mayfair and filmed here, was released in Vietnam recently, but only …

The Laughing Gas Debate & Our Favorite Sauces

May 26th, 2019

43:18

On this week's show, we begin ̣(1:14) by discussing news that officials are considering adding nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to the list of banned substances. Balloons filled with laughing gas have become hugely …

Vietnam's Reading Culture & Another Viewpoint on Folk Wisdom

May 13th, 2019

46:21

It's our 50th episode!

As unabashed bibliophiles, we care and think about book culture and trends a lot. In our first segment, we discuss what we’ve …

Overseas Vietnamese Laborers & What if a Zombie Apocalypse Hit Saigon?

May 1st, 2019

38:53

On this week's show, which comes a few days late due to two national holidays, we begin (1:14) by discussing challenges which Vietnamese laborers in …

A Reckoning on Child Harassment; That Burger King Ad; & 'Startup Vietnam' Author Andrew Rowan

April 21st, 2019

59:34

We're back from a two-week break!

On this episode, we begin (1:20) with a discussion about sexual harassment of children in Vietnam following a recent …

Listener Mailbag

March 31st, 2019

45:22

Happy April Fools' Day!

On this week's episode, we sort through a pile of unsolicited listener questions ̣(0:55) and ponder answers to age-old …

Our Favorite Vietnamese Poems; Perceptions of Foreign Cuisine

March 24th, 2019

54:18

On this week’s episode, we devote our extended first segment (2:14) to poetry. We each read a favorite poem by a writer of Vietnamese descent and then discuss it while looking into the context, as well as the pleasures …

The National Senses of Vietnam, Local Street Cred

March 17th, 2019

41:30

On this week's episode we begin (1:17) by sharing our nominations for Vietnam's 'national senses,' if such a thing existed. What smells, sounds, sights, tastes and textures do we think best exemplify the country? The …

Vietnamese in Reality TV Shows & the Domestic Tourism Boom

March 10th, 2019

38:25

On this week's episode, we begin ̣(1:15) by discussing Vietnamese contestants on international reality TV shows who have made headlines recently, from Christine Ha on 'MasterChef US' to the Giang brothers on 'Britain's …

Vietnam's Many Lunar Calendar Festivals; Familial Pressure During Holidays

February 24th, 2019

41:56

On this week's episode, we begin (1:45) by discussing a few of the incredibly diverse, occasionally bizarre festivals that coincide with specific dates on the lunar calendar throughout Vietnam. Everyone knows about Tet …

Redesigning Saigon's Parks; Recreation in the City

February 17th, 2019

39:15

On this week's episode, our first after the Tet break, we begin (1:12) with a look at Saigon's parks and precious little green space. If we were in …

[Recast] Fruit Fight, Urbanist Hanoi Launch and Saigon Duo

February 10th, 2019

51:44

This episode originally aired on April 15, 2018.

Our first segment (1:28) evolved from a recent office conversation about which fruit deserves to be …

[Recast] Writing in a Second Language, Saigon's Japan Town and Artist Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen

February 3rd, 2019

42:05

This episode first aired on June 10, 2018.

On episode 17 of the Saigoneer Podcast we begin (1:28) with a discussion of some of the challenges involved …

A Tết-Themed Nhậu Roundtable Special

January 27th, 2019

32:55

This episode, our last before the Lunar New Year, is a simple one. We enjoyed a few beers and then discussed (1:19) burning questions such as: "How …

Superstitions, Real or Fake?; and 'The Future is Asian' Author Parag Khanna

January 20th, 2019

55:03

This week's show features an extended conversation about superstitions (1:10), both Vietnamese and western. We also play a game where we guess which ones are real, and which are not.

Our interview guest (21:29) is Parag …

Food Delivery Apps and Where We Think Trump & Kim Should Meet

January 13th, 2019

36:47

Happy New Year! On our first episode of 2019, we begin (1:22) by discussing food delivery platforms like GrabFood and GoFood. What benefits do they create for customers, drivers and restaurants, and what problems do …

[Recast] Nhậu Culture, Street Food Update and a Chat with Radio 18+ Host Sam Hang Tran

January 6th, 2019

54:56

This episode originally aired on September 30, 2018. We will return with a new show next week!

On this week's show, we begin (1:24) with a look at …

[Recast] Fakes in Vietnam, Kick-ass Millenials and a Deep Dive on Thu Thiem

December 30th, 2018

56:49

This episode originally aired on May 20, 2018.

This week we begin (1:22) with a look at the prevalence of fake goods and businesses in Vietnam, and …

[Recast] The Nhậu Roundtable Special

December 23rd, 2018

40:50

This episode originally aired on July 15, 2018.

On this week's show, we celebrate our 21st birthday by drinking a few alcohol-infused Japanese drinks …

Year in Review and a Look Ahead to 2019

December 16th, 2018

41:25

On this week's show, our last of 2018, we begin (2:24) with a look back at our favorite segments, guests, moments and bánh mì banters from our first year on the air.

Then (20:39) we'll share some comments and feedback …

English as a National Language, Vietnam Cliches in Foreign Media & Food Writer Soleil Ho

December 9th, 2018

59:03

On this week's show, we begin (1:16) with a discussion on what it would mean for English to be named Vietnam's second national language, as recently …

The Retro/Vintage Aesthetic Trend and a Street Food Update

December 2nd, 2018

35:10

On this week's show, we begin (1:19) with a chat about the retro/vintage trend that has spread through Vietnamese cafes, restaurants, design, typography and more over the last couple of years. What does this say about …

[Recast] Contemporary Vietnamese Literature and the LGBTQ Community in Vietnam

November 25th, 2018

58:21

This episode was originally released on March 9, 2018, before we began recording in a studio. We'll be back with a new episode next week. Enjoy!

We’re back! This week we made up for lost time over our month-long break …

Vietnam's Beauty Pageant Obsession; Bad Behavior by Vietnamese Abroad

November 18th, 2018

36:46

On this week's show we begin (1:17) with a conversation on beauty pageants and their place in Vietnam. Why do these often-obscure contests get so much media coverage? What do these events say about beauty standards in …

VinFast's New Electric Motorbike; Adapting Foreign Dishes to Local Tastes

November 11th, 2018

27:13

On this week's show, we begin (1:07) with a discussion on the Klara, the first electric motorbike model launched by VinFast, the automotive arm of Vingroup. Will Vietnamese consumers buy into electric bikes?

Then …

Our Take On 'The Bachelor Vietnam'; Western Holidays in Vietnam; Combatting Human Trafficking

November 4th, 2018

50:47

This week we begin (1:14) with our take on the recently concluded first season of 'The Bachelor Vietnam.' Did the show manage to escape the misogynistic shadow of its American cousin? What do we make of how the …

Drunk Driving and Finding Phong's Depiction of Transgender Vietnamese

October 28th, 2018

36:22

We begin this week (1:18) with a discussion on drunk driving in Vietnam in the wake of a horrific accident which occurred in Saigon early last week. What can be done to combat this perennial social issue?

Then (14:46), …

Co-working Spaces and Vietnam's Four Mythological Creatures

October 21st, 2018

30:30

On this week's show, we begin with a look at the spread of co-working spaces in Saigon (1:08). What do these spaces say about work in the digital age, and do we want to use them?

Then (10:45) we look at Vietnam's four …

Nhậu Culture, Street Food Update and a Chat with Radio 18+ Host Sam Hang Tran

September 30th, 2018

54:56

On this week's show, we begin (1:24) with a look at nhậu culture in Vietnam. What does this age-old drinking tradition tell us about masculinity and …

Saigon Traffic Plans, Mid-Autumn Festival and Saigonita Founder Tam Le

September 16th, 2018

44:26

On this week's show, we begin (1:36) with a look at two major plans related to traffic in Saigon: the complete repaving of Nguyen Huu Canh Street, and a proposal to create a network of minibuses to reach people who live …

Fast Fashion, Bubble Tea Madness Returns and Urban Tales Cholon

September 9th, 2018

41:00

This week we begin (1:18) with a look at fast fashion in Vietnam in the wake of UNIQLO's announcement that it will expand to the country next fall. What does the arrival of brands like H&M, Zara and UNIQLO mean for …

The Asian Olympics, Saigon's Disappointing Museum Scene & Travelfish Co-founder Stuart McDonald

September 3rd, 2018

49:33

On this week's show, we begin (1:20) with a conversation about the just-concluded Asian Olympics and what they mean for Vietnam, especially in terms of football and the incredible reaction to the success of the mean's …

Gender Roles in Vietnam, Public Indecency and Human Geographer Michael Waibel

August 26th, 2018

50:26

We're back! On this week's show, we begin (2:04) with an extended discussion on gender roles in Vietnam. From drinking sessions to driving and the …

Seafood Fight, Traditional Medicine and L'Arrange Rhum

August 12th, 2018

46:17

This week, we begin (1:07) with a debate over our favorite types of seafood, a conversation which turns rather philosophical in the end.

Then (12:45), we discuss traditional Vietnamese medicine, which is quite different …

Exercise in Vietnam, Street Cred and Hanoi Zine Library

August 5th, 2018

53:34

This week we begin (1:06)with a conversation about exercise in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh championed exercise as a form of patriotism, but how have views …

Decadent Vietnamese Dishes and Marriage in Modern Vietnam

July 29th, 2018

37:57

On this week's show, we begin (1:14) by salivating over our favorite Vietnamese dishes when we're in the mood for something greasy, dirty or …

Reflections from Hanoi, World Cup Madness and Cave Expert Howard Limbert

July 22nd, 2018

45:45

On this week's show, we begin (1:17) with a discussion on some of the micro-level differences between Hanoi and Saigon. Our co-hosts Paul and Thi …

The Nhậu Roundtable Special

July 15th, 2018

40:50

On this week's show, we celebrate our 21st birthday by drinking a few alcohol-infused Japanese drinks and discussing vital matters such as:

- Which …

Transportation in Saigon, Women in Tech and a Singaporean Foodie

July 8th, 2018

38:52

On this week's show, our 20th, we begin(1:17)with a semi-civil discussion about transportation in Saigon. Is walking all it's cracked up to be? Can we go beyond the car/motorbike binary? What about using the river?

Then …

Forgotten Traditions, Making Vietnamese Food Even Healthier and Renaissance Woman Mai Nguyen

July 1st, 2018

42:57

On this week's show, we begin (1:34) with a look at some traditions of past eras that have largely fallen by the wayside in this modern age, such as teeth blackening and cricket fights.

We also honor a few habits that …

Queer Representation in Vietnamese Pop Culture, Street Food Update and Marou Chocolate

June 24th, 2018

44:40

On this week's show, in honor of Pride Month, we begin (1:20) with a discussion on queer representation in Vietnamese pop culture. Vietnam's …

Writing in a Second Language, Saigon's Japan Town and Artist Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen

June 10th, 2018

42:05

On episode 17 of the Saigoneer Podcast we begin (1:28) with a discussion of some of the challenges involved in writing in Vietnam, both overall and …

Fake News Euphemisms, Vegetable Fight and Stand-up Comedian Vu Minh Tu

June 3rd, 2018

37:54

This week we begin (1:20) with a game based on news euphemisms created by local officials - for example, 'water accumulation' instead of flooding and …

Vietnamese Folk Tales and Artist Quynh Lam

May 27th, 2018

39:40

This week's show features a super-sized segment on Vietnamese folk tales (1:09), in which we share some of our favorite legends and stories.

Our …

Fakes in Vietnam, Kick-ass Millenials and a Deep Dive on Thu Thiem

May 20th, 2018

56:49

This week we begin (1:22) with a look at the prevalence of fake goods and businesses in Vietnam, and whether or not they're a bad thing. This follows …

An Argument for Vietnamese Movies; Unique Digital Sub-cultures; and One Journalist's View of Vietnam

May 13th, 2018

49:13

This week we begin (1:23) with a look at the strides Vietnamese cinema has taken in recent years, both in terms of production quality and …

Street Food Roundup, #MeToo in Vietnam and Dr. Phuong Mai Nguyen

May 6th, 2018

38:49

We begin (1:37) with a roundup of some of our favorite recent Saigon street food escapades, as listeners have asked for more food coverage. How does banh mi dim sum or a seafood feast sound to you?

Then (10:20) we …

Unique Hobbies, Mental Health and Nomadic Notes

April 22nd, 2018

37:57

This week we moved into a recording studio, meaning this episode will sound different from all of our previous ones.

In our first segment we share the stories of the most unique hobbies we've come across in Saigon, …

Fruit Fight, Urbanist Hanoi Launch and Saigon Duo

April 15th, 2018

51:44

Our first segment (1:28) evolved from a recent office conversation about which fruit deserves to be the national fruit of Vietnam. That debate …

Ghost Stories, Vietnam's Super-Rich and Cambodian Rock & Roll

April 8th, 2018

55:16

In honor of Friday the 13th, we begin (1:36) with a chat about our favorite local urban legends and ghost stories, including a Shakespearean tale of separated lovers in Da Lat and the mysteries surrounding Saigon's …

Deadly Fires, Grab Beats Uber and Building 'Green' in Vietnam

March 30th, 2018

39:33

We start with a conversation about local fire safety in the wake of last week's deadly apartment building fire in District 8, as well as a string of smaller blazes in recent days.

Then, we discuss Grab's acquisition of …

Vietnamese Cuisine Abroad, Food Writer Andrea Nguyen and Saving Ancient Art Forms

March 23rd, 2018

49:14

Our first segment (1:12) covers several great youth-led projects that have highlighted traditional forms of Vietnamese art that would otherwise be …

Spotify Arrives and the Ties that Bind Vietnam & Japan

March 16th, 2018

42:15

This week we covered Spotify's long-awaited launch in Vietnam and how this will change local listening habits, as well as the impact it could have on …

Contemporary Vietnamese Literature and the LGBTQ Community in Vietnam

March 9th, 2018

58:20

We’re back! This week we made up for lost time over our month-long break with an episode featuring two longer, in-depth conversations. Unlike in previous shows, this episode features just one staff discussion: a deep …

U-23 Football Pride, Bubble Tea Madness and the Saigon Heat

February 9th, 2018

36:07

We're one month old! On this episode, our last before the Tet holiday, we discuss the staggering national outpouring of support during the U-23 …

Grab & Uber, Indie Music and Modernist Architecture

February 2nd, 2018

41:29

This week we discuss how Grab and Uber have revolutionized the way Saigoneers get around, in addition to the regulatory challenges these disruptive …

2017 Recap, a Record Tourism Year and Coffee

January 26th, 2018

35:31

This week we discuss the biggest changes and stories in Saigon from 2017, as well as last year's record-breaking international tourism figures and the impact this industry is having on Vietnam's environment.

Our …

Street Food, Star Wars and Sidewalks

January 18th, 2018

34:14

In our debut episode we discuss street food vendors in Southeast Asia receiving international awards, as well as Vietnamese representation on the big screen in recent movies such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi and …

Saigoneer Podcast Preview Episode

December 19th, 2017

5:05

Welcome to the Saigoneer Podcast! Debuting in January, this weekly podcast will allow listeners to take our reporting, insight and banter anywhere. This preview episode will give you an idea of what to expect - give it …

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