A weekend at expatriate enclave Thảo Điền

The early winter breeze at sunset seems cooler at Thảo Điền’s Boat House Restaurant where some diners have light food after walking their dogs for a stroll.

The atmosphere is so peaceful.

Sitting there you feel as if you were on board a boat in the Sài Gòn River, with greenery in the opposite river bank and the city center far away and full of dust and noise.

From time to time, airplanes fly past in the distance.

Go to the Hà Nội Highway, cross the Sài Gòn River Bridge, then make a left, you will see Thảo Điền, an expat enclave.

The luxury area provides residents with access to exclusive gardens and pools, tennis courts, guarded compounds, and pricey speedboats available for river trips into District 1.

So many expats live there for a while in a year while holidaying in cosmopolitan cities across the globe.


A view of Boat House Restaurant

Most villas in Thảo Điền are owned by Vietnamese, who live in other places and rent the villas to expats.

Most Thảo Điền residents are from foreign consulates and organizations in Hồ Chí Minh City, as well as foreign companies.

Passing by the beautiful Lily Road, I reached the Boat House Restaurant.

In early winter it is so cool.

While some people have weekend dinner with family and friends at home, others come to the restaurant to enjoy live music from Mark Hilton, a story telling singer.

Using his acoustic guitar and, occasionally harmonica, Hilton plays beautifully folk and country blues.

The prolific songwriter and seasoned storyteller sings his own songs.

With his acoustic trio, Hilton brings together many years of touring experience covering the Byron Bay Blues & Roots Festival, St. Kilda Festival, Brunswick Music Festival, the Adelaide Fringe, the Darwin Festival, the Sea Breeze Festival, the Woodford Dreaming Festival, countless pubs and clubs along Australia’s east coast and overseas tours to Bali and Việt Nam.

“Humorous and honest – swampy, soulful songs and gritty realism” is the remark about Hilton’s style by Ray Kennedy, a Grammy award winning producer.

And his “swampy, soulful songs and gritty realism” can give some different feeling to diners at the Boat House Restaurant.


Source: The Saigon Times


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