Vietnam's food delivery market, even GrabFood, barely grew in 2021 thanks to stringent lockdowns. This created an opening for small players.
Michael Tatarski is a freelance journalist based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He has covered the environment, breaking news, social issues, politics, tech and more for publications such as the Washington Post, the Guardian, the Atlantic and Al Jazeera, and is available for assignment. He can be reached at [email protected]
Vietnam's food delivery market, even GrabFood, barely grew in 2021 thanks to stringent lockdowns. This created an opening for small players.
Vietnam's top e-wallet sees itself as a super app, but it doesn't have independent ride-hailing, e-commerce or food delivery services
In May 2020, Shivaprakash Nagaraju, senior scientist at The Nature Conservancy in India, was working in New Delhi when he contracted COVID-19. "I had breathing problems and other symptoms, and as a result I was isolated in my room for around two months," he told Mongabay in a Zoom call.
Like many fast-developing countries in the age of increasingly dire climate change predictions, Vietnam is at something of a crossroads when it comes to planning out the future of its energy production.
The confiscations happened in Vietnam near the border with Laos.
Soldiers stand guard as they block a road near a prison in Myanmar capital Naypyidaw on February 15, 2021, after the military seized power. Photo: STR / AFP "We thought it was literal-blasting propaganda on the megaphones for the military dogs to hear-stupid, and also funny."
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam - Seen from above, Cape Ca Mau National Park, at Vietnam's southernmost point, juts into the Gulf of Thailand like a verdant green toe. This dark green shade is created by an expansive, ecologically vital mangrove forest. But the province the park sits in, also called Ca Mau, is losing [...]
HUE, Vietnam - In October and November of 2020, a relentless barrage of nine typhoons and tropical storms slammed into Vietnam, setting off record floods and countless landslides. Nearly 200 people died, and property damage was estimated at $1.5 billion. Then-Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc responded on Nov.
"We made these two beers because we have patriotism," a marketing executive said.
One night two years ago, Lam Thi Le and Nguyen Van Thuong heard loud cracks coming from their neighbours' riverfront home. The neighbours left, and a day later half of their house collapsed into the broad Tien River as the land beneath it slid away.
As we reported last September, Vietnam's new Labour Code will, for the first time, allow the creation of worker organizations not affiliated to the official trade union. Michael Tatarski reports from Ho Chi Minh City on the initiative's faltering start.
The inquiries into currency manipulation and furniture exports, launched before the US election, could now be paused or cancelled.
There was outrage when a man slapped a woman on the butt in an elevator. But a fine after the incident exposed systemic problems.
Countries ravaged by coronavirus may see a vaccine as a silver bullet, but Vietnam's containment of the pandemic means it doesn't need to hurry.
HO CHI MINH CITY - In a move wildlife conservationists are hailing as a victory, Vietnam has established a new nature reserve encompassing critical habitat for numerous species, several of them threatened globally with extinction. Located in Quang Binh province in central Vietnam, the Dong Chau-Khe Nuoc Trong Nature Reserve spans 22,132 hectares (54,689 acres) [...]
HO CHI MINH CITY - Earlier this year, Vietnam's prime minister called for a ban of the wildlife trade in the country in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Several months later, the government released a directive on the wildlife trade. Hailed as a ban in some media coverage, the move fell short of that, as [...]
Trump's trade policies and tough stance on China have been beneficial to Vietnam. But he's also been wildly inconsistent.
From the top of a low hill, farmer Pich Sophat points to an area scarred by excavators. Remnants of a house can still be seen in the centre of land being cleared for Cambodia's Botum Sakor coal-fired power plant.
The 2019 tragedy in Essex and the pandemic haven't stopped demand for illegal Vietnamese migration. But costs and strategies have changed.
Earlier this month, Myanmar's Information Ministry announced that the country's Forest Department had seized nearly 850 tons of illegal timber between March 30 and April 5. Teak and other hardwoods accounted for the vast majority of the haul. No monetary value on timber was released, and the exact locations where the seizures took place was [...]
Hoang Anh Gia Lai, a publicly listed Vietnamese real estate, energy, mining and agribusiness giant, is at the center of recent allegations of clearing land in Cambodia that had been earmarked for local indigenous communities. HAGL, as the company is known, is involved in a diverse range of business sectors, but is best-known in Cambodia [...]
Surely parks such as Tao Dan or Le Van Tam, as well as the Nguyen Hue pedestrian street? These areas are certainly popular, but there is no denying that Saigon has a serious shortage of public space - and particularly green space.
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam - Recently disclosed results from an extensive survey have revealed the presence of several highly endangered species in a forest that is not currently under any legal protection in Vietnam's central highlands. Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and GreenViet, a biodiversity conservation NGO based in Da Nang, undertook months of [...]
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam - On July 23, after several months of anticipation within Vietnam's conservation community, the government released a new directive on managing the wildlife trade in the country. The directive's key provisions include an order to stop the already-illegal activities of "importing living or dead wild animals, eggs, larvae, parts and [...]
Vietnam's government faces crucial choices as it draws up a new national energy plan for 2021-2030. Due to be published this summer, the Power Development Plan 8 will provide a vision for power supply up to 2045.
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam - Conservation organizations in Vietnam sent a letter to the Prime Minister last week asking for an update on planned measures to curtail the trade and consumption of wildlife. In March, responding to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development [...]
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam - As the coronavirus pandemic continues its deadly onslaught around the world, the Vietnamese government has moved to ban the wildlife trade. Amid scientific theories that the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) began at a market in Wuhan, China, that sold live wild animals and animal parts, a [...]
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam - As the largest urban area in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is known for its kinetic pace of life, rivers of motorbike traffic, and relentless construction. With an official population of 9 million and a booming economy based on manufacturing, real estate and tourism, there is often little space [...]
Thanks to a number of proactive, aggressive steps its government took shortly after the coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, Vietnam has had just 320 confirmed COVID-19 infections and no reported deaths. With its outbreak apparently contained, Vietnam is looking anxiously at what comes next.
Envisioning such a reality is difficult, but it is entirely possible that this will come to pass, albeit long after anyone reading this in 2020 is dead. The delta is Vietnam's most vital agricultural region, producing 50% of the country's rice, including almost all rice for export, 65% of aquaculture products and 70% of fruit, according to government figures.
Features & Field Reporting
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam - The extended shutdown of Chinese factories from the coronavirus outbreak is upsetting supply chains as manufacturers feel the pinch from shortages of material and travel restrictions on staff.
From organisations rescuing human trafficking victims to schools dependent on international students, travel restrictions to China have taken a toll.
Accordingly, Robinson "follows a clear environmental policy for the purchase of tropical wood and wood products. We believe in our responsibility and are committed to basing our commercial activities on sound principles of proper forest management. These principles have been outlined by the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), which we fully support."
A spade strikes the bone-dry Cambodian dirt with a crunch, and the hunt is on. Chem Wai, a lanky, deeply tanned 53-year-old former soldier, has been collecting wild tarantulas and scorpions for most of his life. Wai knows this scruffy forest, located 20 miles north of Siem Reap and the astonishing ruins of Angkor Wat, like the back of his hand.
YEN THANH, Vietnam - For decades, since the height of the Cold War, young adults have left this rural region in droves - not for Vietnam's booming cities but for more distant shores.
"Cambodia has had one of the highest deforestation rates in the last few decades, which has significantly contributed to global climate change," Ledecq said. "Forested area in Cambodia declined 4.6 percent per year from 2010 to 2014 according to the country's government report available through the Regional Forest Observatory - Southeast Asia."
The study used 2016 farming records from 300 robusta farms in Dak Lak and Lam Dong provinces, two of Vietnam's biggest coffee producers. It found that coffee farms which grow non-coffee trees in addition to their primary crop help to sequester carbon emissions, while monocrop farms tend to act as carbon sources.
CAT BA ISLAND, Vietnam - While approaching Hai Phong, a major city on Vietnam's northeast coast, it is impossible to miss signs of the country's fast-growing economic might. GDP growth hit just over 7 percent in 2018, and foreign investors are swarming: Samsung alone has invested nearly $20 billion here.
Kim's unorthodox arrival, which involved taking his armored train from Pyongyang to Vietnam's border with China and then taking a car the remaining 100 miles to Hanoi, presented a particular challenge. Dong Dang, a town unfamiliar to many Vietnamese, let alone foreigners, would welcome Kim to the country, thanks to its border train station.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - Nguyen Phu Trong, the general secretary of Vietnam's ruling Communist Party, is expected to be chosen as the country's next president when the one-party state's rubber-stamp National Assembly meets on Monday, making him the first person since founding father Ho Chi Minh to hold both posts.
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam - While Southeast Asia is known as one of the world's fastest-growing economic regions, home to booming metropolises like Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Kuala Lumpur, it also hosts some of the planet's most vital ecological areas. The Greater Mekong, which includes Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar, is [...]
Read: About that movie trailer Donald Trump gave Kim Jong Un In locating the next meeting in Vietnam, a country that fought a devastating war against the United States but is now a fast-growing economy and a regional ally, the White House appears to once again be trying to illustrate what is on offer if Kim cooperates.
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam - On Jan. 28, a graphic new anti-wildlife-trafficking campaign called "Be Their Bodhisattva" launched at a major pagoda here in Vietnam's commercial center. Under the branch of Mahayana Buddhism widely practiced across Vietnam, a bodhisattva is someone who delays reaching nirvana in order to save others from suffering.
Vietnam's sweeping new Law on Cybersecurity (LOC) will allow authorities to access users' online data and censor content when criminal or anti-government activity is suspected. The Vietnamese government has said the LOC is aimed at protecting the country's active online space while creating a safer environment for internet users.
Vietnam performed the best of 151 countries in a study that assessed quality of life versus environmental sustainability. But researchers tell Southeast Asia Globe that, despite its achievements, the best-performing nation on the list still fails to meet the sustainability demands of an increasingly dire ecological outlook For Diep Nguyen, life in Vietnam is good.
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam - You've endured the long queues at check-in and immigration; patiently sat on the floor of a packed departure hall after being informed of a delay to your flight; before eventually being told to walk across a baking tarmac to your plane.
Ho Chi Minh City - Hanoi will host Vietnam's first-ever Grand Prix in April 2020 with drivers battling it out on the streets of the capital's western suburbs, but in a country where the sport is largely unknown, organisers will have to work hard to ensure the race's success.
HO CHI MINH CITY - Earlier this month the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a new report on the potential impacts of a 1.5C rise in global temperatures above pre-industrial averages. The report found that massive, destabilizing climate events could start impacting global society as soon as 2040, within the lifetime of most [...]
An American citizen is set to stand trial on charges of "disturbing public order" in Vietnam on Friday. William Anh Nguyen, a 32-year-old Houston native, was arrested during large-scale protests in Ho Chi Minh City on 10 June.
HO CHI MINH CITY - Two new Camellia species, a type of tea plant common to East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, have been discovered in a protected...
For ten years, Le Thi Thuy sold (rice noodle rolls) in front of the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens. She and her husband remember it as a busy, but also tense, experience. "Back then, if there was a policeman or urban security officer in sight I would tremble in fear and get ready to run away," she recalls in Vietnamese.
Before being deported from the United States and returned to his native Vietnam on December 20, 2017, Pham Chi Cuong, a wiry 47-year-old with intense eyes and a shock of graying hair, was living his version of the American Dream.
A petition calling on several major Singaporean banks to end their funding of thermal power plants in developing nations like Vietnam and Indonesia has shed light on the complex, transnational nature of financing for such projects.
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam - This shouldn't come as a surprise, but reporting on the environment in Vietnam is not an easy task. The one-party state was recently ranked 175 out of 180 in Reporters Without Borders' 2017 World Press Freedom Index, between Sudan and China.
Khanh Nguy Thi is an environmental pioneer in Vietnam. She has led her NGO, the Hanoi-based Green Innovation and Development Centre, or GreenID, to the forefront of policy discussions surrounding...
Details Published on Saturday, 07 April 2018 21:00 Written by Michael Tatarski. Photos courtesy of the World Mosquito Program. Just north of Nha Trang, the World Mosquito Program (WMP) is carrying out a project aimed at one day eliminating the risk of contracting dengue from mosquitoes.
DA NANG, Vietnam - President Donald Trump Friday delivered a broadside against unfair trade practices, warning of a coming crackdown from the United States on "violations, cheating or economic aggression." But in a bid to avoid souring his blossoming relationship with China and other nations in the region, he stopped short of placing the blame for everything from product dumping to currency manipulation and predatory industrial policies on other countries.
Look around the streets of Vietnam, and you'll notice crowds of young people glued to their smartphone screens. Such scenes are no different from elsewhere, but here, more than in almost any other country, there's a good chance they're interacting on Facebook.
PHONG NHA, Vietnam - Deep in the forests of central Vietnam, home to rare flora and fauna and the world's most spectacular system of caves, tourism is benefiting the local environment.
A look at Vietnam's tech industry
DA NANG, Vietnam - Top trade officials from the 11 remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed on a plan to bring the pact into force without the United States, according to a joint statement provided to POLITICO by the Chilean government.
DA NANG, Vietnam - The United States may not matter in broad trade negotiations taking place this week. As political and economic leaders from around the Pacific Rim gather here in Da Nang, a major city on Vietnam's central coast, for the 2017 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders' Week, negotiators will be busily reworking the TPP.
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam - After several weeks of silence, the Vietnamese government announced that it is working to begin an investigation into allegations of widespread illegal logging in Cambodia directed by Vietnamese companies and provincial government officials.
DA NANG, Vietnam - Conflicting reports have emerged on whether top trade officials from the 11 remaining members of TPP have reached a preliminary agreement, but as of now it seems that details are still being worked out.
TRUNG KHANH DISTRICT, Vietnam - The villages of Trung Khanh District, less than five miles from China on the Vietnamese side of the border, are a hard place to live. Surrounded by jagged, forest-clad mountains, scorching summers give way to freezing winters that can bring snow.
Across the Saigon River from central District 1's glass-and-steel skyscrapers, the Thu Thiem New Urban Area is slowly - very slowly - taking shape. Named after the swampy peninsula on which it sits, this long-gestating development will, perhaps, someday become a new financial, residential and commercial center, taking pressure off Saigon's overcrowded interior districts.
As Doan Ngoc Hai, the leader of Saigon's most aggressive sidewalk-clearing campaign in recent memory, takes a brief hiatus, headlines about towed cars and demolished buildings often obscure the reality that many people rely on that coveted space between the street and a building for their livelihood. ...
Vietnam is home to one of the largest African rhino horn consumer bases in the world, in addition to being a key transit point for shipments to China. By Michael Tatarski Throughout the month of March, a unique graffiti campaign popped up on the walls of several streets in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, the hyperactive commercial capital of Vietnam.
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam - On April 6, 2016 dozens of tons of dead fish began washing ashore along Vietnam's central coast. The phenomenon continued through the month, turning into what is considered the largest environmental disaster in the country's history. Fishing communities in Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên-Huế provinces [...]
For the first time in their histories, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are both in the middle of desperately needed major metro-system projects that aim to transform their cities. Both are facing delays, but a series of high-profile accidents has already cast a larger shadow over the Chinese-led effort in the capital.
CAO BANG CITY, Vietnam - Vietnam is home to some of the world's most endangered primates, many of which live in the country's mountainous, heavily forested far-northern provinces. Among the 25 most critically endangered monkeys, apes and lemurs in the world, three species are endemic to northern Vietnam.
DONG KY, Vietnam - A mere 45 minutes northeast of Vietnam's bustling capital city of Hanoi is the carpentry town of Đồng Kỳ, where conversations take place above the incessant din of electric saws cutting wood. A thin layer of sawdust coats every surface, and after a few hours you can feel the dust in your throat.
First published in late 2015, the Mekong Review has quickly garnered a sterling reputation in a region short on quality print publications. Minh Bui Jones, its founder and editor, talks to Saigoneer about what went into its creation, and how he envisions its future. ...
It'sBEEN A long day following the tourist trail in Da Nang, on Vietnam's central coast. And as the group's attention fades, somewhere around Linh Ung Pagoda and its huge statue of the Goddess of Mercy, their tour guide rattles off an alternative version of Vietnam's history and culture.
HO CHI MINH CITY - For millions of people around the world, a cup of coffee is necessary to start the day. Though it might seem like the supply of this popular commodity is endless, climate change and a growing demand is likely to bring about dramatic changes to global coffee production in coming decades.
The village of Cu Lac in central Vietnam is a postcard image of rural life. Water buffaloes and cattle graze among low-slung houses, and verdant rice paddies stretch to the nearby Ho Chi Minh Highway. The broad, green-tinged Son River flows past the length of Cu Lac, while a breeze whispers through the bamboo trees lining its banks.
Arts & Entertainment
In its second year, the art platform brought together 20 galleries from across Asia and beyond, highlighting a diverse range of contemporary Asian artists in one space. S.E.A. Focus 2020 ran from January 16 to 19 at Singapore's Gillman Barracks, a former British military facility that has been transformed into a sophisticated creative hub.
Details Published on Sunday, 25 March 2018 08:01 Written by Michael Tatarski. Illustration by Hannah Hoang. Given the size of the overseas Vietnamese diaspora, it comes as little surprise that the community has had a huge influence on the cuisines of countries around the world.
Southeast Asia isn't particularly well-known for its live music scene. Major international acts might only play Bangkok or Singapore, if they stop in the region at all. Home-grown acts are common, but often face challenges such as finding venues to play and outlets to build a fan base, as anyone familiar with the scene in Saigon knows too well.
Feature on teamLab's first-ever permanent exhibition, hosted at Singapore's ArtScience Museum.
Details Published on Friday, 01 December 2017 14:24 Written by Michael Tatarski. Top photo by Michael Tatarski. A new art exhibition in Saigon looks at the relationship between humans and nature, as well as the importance of clean water in daily life.
Details Published on Sunday, 12 March 2017 10:30 Written by Michael Tatarski. Photos courtesy of Saigon International Comedy. Ahead of Saigon's first major international comedy festival later this month, Saigoneer talks to members of the local stand-up community, from veterans to relative newcomers, to find out where the jokes are headed.
Details Published on Friday, 04 May 2018 18:37 Written by Michael Tatarski. Photos by Michael Tatarski. When it comes to tourism in Vietnam, it's hard not to be depressed by the frequent news of ruinous cable cars and mega-resorts, often accompanied by bulldozed natural areas.
Details Published on Tuesday, 16 January 2018 11:45 Written by Michael Tatarski. Photos by Michael Tatarski. Just south of Hue sits the Ho Thuy Tien Waterpark. Once a sign of aspirational middle-class family entertainment, it now sits abandoned, creating an eerie, graffiti-splashed destination in its own right.
The dense, untouched forests of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh province hide some of the world's greatest underground geological formations. Beneath the park's stunning limestone mountains lie Son Doong, the largest cave on the planet, and Hang En, the third-largest behind Deer Cave in Malaysian Borneo. ...
Details Published on Tuesday, 04 July 2017 12:00 Written by Michael Tatarski. Photos by Michael Tatarski Taipei is known as a highly advanced, efficient city famous for modern marvels such as the Taipei 101 and a fantastic metro system. On the outskirts of the city, however, things can get a little more gritty.
Details Published on Thursday, 25 May 2017 16:07 Written by Michael Tatarski. Photos by Michael Tatarski Da Lat is rightfully beloved for its cool climate, pine-scented air and verdant mountains. However, there is more to this popular Central Highlands city than just natural escapes.