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Vagabond a perfect spot for café hopping



by Gia Linh 

The rising trend of ‘café hopping’, visiting more than one café during a single outing, has resulted in the omnipresence of many ‘instagrammable’ cafés.  The Vagabond Patisserie & Cafe in HCM City’s District 1’s Trần Cao Vân Street is one such venue, well-known among cafe-goers and sweets-lovers for their meticulously made seasonal cakes and drinks.

The word ‘vagabond’ is a nod to the owners’ philosophy of running their business outside traditional frameworks.

QUAINT: The Vagabond in 9 Trần Cao Vân Street in HCM City’s District 1 is famous for its beautiful decor and tasty cakes. – VNS Photo Gia Linh

I got to know The Vagabond through their advertisement on Instagram, and was completely taken by how pretty their cakes are. Seeing the pictures, reading the captions, and knowing that they made their pâtisserie from scratch stirred my curiosity. 

I could not wait to see this café, especially as I love baking. With two of my like-minded besties, we planned a date immediately.

Upon arrival, we were immediately awed by how it looked on the outside, an old world European concept with black-and-white exterior designs, an entrance filled with various plants, and decorations creating a mysterious, cozy atmosphere.

It was lively inside, but not too busy; jazzy 90s’ music was playing in the background. The staff were attentive, quickly setting up a table for us.

The interior had an antique, vintage theme: yellow lights, wooden tables and chairs, a floor-to-ceiling old bookshelf; it felt like a European café in the 80s.

Once we scanned through the menu, we were completely invested in the place. There are dozens of options, from desserts to coffee, tea, and even homemade ice-cream. We took a long time choosing, and ended up with three ‘no-baked’ cakes and two icy drinks.

The order came in no time, and the plating was perfect. We took tons of pictures, amazed by how beautiful the dishes looked, not wanting to ruin them. 

After planning what order we should try the cakes (from the mildest to strongest), we tried the mango and Yuzu (Japanese citrus fruit) mille crêpe first. The aroma from the Yuzu hit us on the tip of our tongues, fresh and citrusy. The combination between the rich cream, tangy hint of Yuzu and mango, and soft, light crêpe layers was so refreshing.

Since it was cherry season, we could not skip the Souvie on the menu, a ‘cherry-bomb’ full of complex components, textures and flavours.

It was covered in a paper-thin layer of berry-flavoured chocolate, and on top was glossy marmalade made of cherry chunks. The inside was a work of art, with cocoa sponge-cake at the bottom, then a layer of chocolate mousse, cherry compote, and a third layer of cherry-infused cream cheese on top. The components worked together amazingly. The hint of chocolate recognizably enhanced the natural, sweet cherry flavour. 

CAKE OFF: The Vagabond seasonal cakes are visually satisfying and taste amazing. – VNS Photo Gia Linh

Setting the cakes aside, we headed for our drinks, starting off with the cherry berry kumquat tea. While we did find the tea refreshing with the taste of cherries and kumquat, and it would pair decently with creamy, heavy cakes, it was just a bit on the bland side. 

Contrary to the tea, we could not stop drinking the oat milk with brown sugar toddy palm, which more than lived up to our expectations. The milk was creamy, nutty, the sugar syrup added a hint of sweet, caramelising taste, and the brown-sugar coated toddy palms were chewy. We think we even prefer this one over traditional milk tea!

DELIGHTFUL DRINK: The nutty oat milk with caramelised brown sugar
toddy palms was an addicting drink. – VNS Photo Gia Linh

We finished off with a Greenerie, our last cake. According to the menu, this one contained a trio of pistachio, cherry, and matcha (a rather peculiar combination). At the bottom was a thin layer of Kyoto matcha sponge cake, on top was again the cherry compote, and finally, there was the pistachio cream. The matcha taste did not overpower the other flavours, and I especially loved the sheer nuttiness of the pistachio cream. It was my favourite cake of the three.

We sat and talked for hours, enjoying the last bit of everything. Nothing was overly sweet, and portion sizes were just enough. 

Items on the menu range from VNĐ80,000 to 180,000, and our bill came to around VNĐ660,000 (US$28), a great deal for the superb cakes and drinks.

The Vagabond also has another branch at 118 Hà Huy Tập Street, District 7.

With great service, beautiful decorations, and top-tier cakes and drinks, I highly recommend The Vagabond to those who want to have a unique café outing. VNS

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Vietnam sees record number of int’l tourists in November



Vietnam served over 1.23 million international tourists in November, up 11% month-on-month, the record monthly number in 2023, according to the Vietnam National Authority of Tourism (VNAT).

Vietnam sees record number of int'l tourists in November hinh anh 1Foreign tourists in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi – Vietnam served over 1.23 million international tourists in November, up
11% month-on-month, the record monthly number in 2023, according to the
Vietnam National Authority of Tourism (VNAT).

In the first 11 months of 2023, the country welcomed 11.2 million foreign arrivals,
3.8 times higher than the figure recorded in the same period last year, and equal
to 68.9% of the figure in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. Of the total, visitors
traveling by air accounted for 87.3%.

The VNAT said the
Republic of Korea (RoK) maintained its position as the largest tourist market of
Vietnam in the Jan-November period with 3.2 million arrivals, accounting for
28.5%. It was followed by China and Taiwan (China).

Meanwhile, Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia;
and the UK, France and German were respectively the top markets in in Southeast
Asia and Europe.

In November 2023, the number of European arrivals witnessed the strongest
growth among the continents, up 58.5% compared to the previous month. The number
of Chinese visitors continued to maintain a growth of nearly 10%.

Statistics from the General Statistics Office (GSO), Vietnam raked in an estimated
34 trillion VND (1.4 billion USD) from tourism activities in the reviewed
period, up 50.5% year-on-year.

The US travel site – Travel Off Path also has run an article stating four reasons
why Vietnam is increasingly becoming a favourite destination for “digital nomads”,
including the new visa policy which took effect on August 15, 2023.

Since early 2023, localities nationwide have actively offered many tourism
products and cultural and sports activities to stimulate tourism demand.

Notably, Hanoi has launched 15 night tourism products to promote the advantages
of night services, contributing to promoting the city’s socio-economic


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RoK’s Chungcheong region enhances tourism cooperation with Ha Long



Authorities and the tourism sector of the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s Chungcheong region are seeking ways to boost tourism cooperation with Ha Long Bay – a UNESCO-recognised World Natural Heritage in the northern province of Quang Ninh.

RoK’s Chungcheong region enhances tourism cooperation with Ha Long hinh anh 1Ha Long Bay (Photo: VNA)

Seoul – Authorities and the tourism sector of the Republic
of Korea (RoK)’s Chungcheong region are seeking ways to boost tourism
cooperation with Ha Long Bay – a UNESCO-recognised World Natural Heritage in
the northern province of Quang Ninh.

According to the tourism council of the
region which comprises Daejeon, Sejong, South Chungcheong, and North Chungcheong,
recently representatives from the RoK discussed with those from Vietnamese
localities on the opening of a direct air route between Cheongju and Van Don
airports, and other measures to promote exchanges between the two countries.

Earlier, representatives from the tourism council
of the region visited Ha Long city where they signed a memorandum of
understanding on cooperation with the Vietnamese tourism sector.

A Ha Long K-Street imbued with the Korean
style is expected to be put into operation next April, with an aim to promote
the country’s culture in the city.

Ha Long Bay attracts around 14 million
tourists each year./.


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Da Nang city hosts APOT Forum 2023



The Asia Pacific Onboard Travel (APOT) Forum 2023 is taking place in the central coastal city of Da Nang from November 25-28.

Da Nang city hosts APOT Forum 2023 hinh anh 1An overview of the Asia Pacific Onboard Travel (APOT) Forum 2023’s press conference. (Photo: VNA)

Da Nang – The Asia Pacific Onboard Travel
(APOT) Forum 2023  is taking place in the central coastal city of Da Nang from November

This is the second time the APOT has been held in the city
after the first successful organised in 2014.

This year’s edition features a range of activities, including a competition among catering chefs and an exchange of knowledge in the aviation sector and related industries in the Asia-Pacific
region, namely in-flight services, catering, interior design, supply,
transport and travel.

The highlight of the event was the Catrion “Jet Setters
Palette” cooking contest on November 26 organised by CATRION, a Saudi
Airlines Catering Company. There will also be an exchange between chefs to be
held on November 27. Notably, participating chefs will enjoy a performance
by Master Chef Dimuthu, so the exchange will be an opportunity for chefs in Da
Nang to learn, exchange and practice kitchen skills.

Keerthi Hapugasdeniya, the founder of APOT, said that previously, the APOT forum
was successfully held in many different nations such as the Republic of
Korea, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Australia, China and Vietnam.

Within the framework of the event, delegates will be taken to the Sun
World Ba Na Hills tourist area to try local cuisine, and participate in a
sightseeing tour on the Han River to enjoy the beauty of Da Nang at night.

APOT is a non-profit organisation dedicated to collaboration,
knowledge sharing and advancement in aviation and related industries in the
Asia-Pacific region.

Over the past decade, APOT has
continued to organise annual events and forums that bring together leaders and
experts to drive growth and positive changes in the industry./.


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