Ho Chi Minh City might be locked down but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to talk about.
In fact, quite the opposite.
The Bureau Podcast has you covered with six of our latest podcast episodes with Matt, Mel and Andy ranging in topics from the latest in Ho Chi Minh City news, what the future of travel will look like in Vietnam and quizzes that are both fun and educational.
1. Millennial slang, 9/11, HCMC news and dream trips in the Philippines and Vietnam
Our resident Milliennial Andy gives Gen-Xers Matt and Mel a quick lesson on language they’re clearly too old for in a lighthearted segment that includes their suggestions for 2021’s Word of the Year before they tone things down to remember the tragedy of 9/11 – 20 years on since the terrorist attacks in the US that shook the world.
In this segment they recall what they were doing at the very moment the World Trade Centre twin towers collapsed, which is followed by a quiz featuring some of the world’s most historical moments.
As usual there’s an update on Ho Chi Minh City news and its Covid-19 situation, including a discussion on the potential issues confronting venues and patrons once bars and restaurants reopen.
Wrapping up the show is a segment for anyone who’s missing travel in which some truly unique experiences in the Philippines are revealed, followed by Matt, Mel and Andy’s dream trips in Vietnam they want to take once road trips are allowed again.
2. The future of travel in Vietnam
Vietnam remains under 24/7 curfew, and with caseloads increasing, there appears to be no end in sight for the pandemic.
Yet, amid this gloomy forecast, some hope for those of us confined to our homes has emerged as the Prime Minister implies via the media that lockdowns can’t go on forever and that the country needs to move on.
We also interview Dr Nuno Ribeiro, a senior lecturer and leading researcher in tourism and hospitality at RMIT Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City, about the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on travel businesses in Vietnam, including what steps will be taken to open up a travel industry that reported approximately US$33 billion in tourism revenue in 2019 but is now in tatters.
3. Men in uniform, US Vice-President hits Hanoi, expats divided over vaccine, unusual burgers
While US Vice President Kamala Harris visited Hanoi this week with very little fanfare, the same can’t be said of Vietnam’s military who landed in Ho Chi Minh City to manage the city’s Covid-19 crisis.
In a true act of winning the hearts and minds of the citizens – especially the hearts – the boys in green lit up social media in Vietnam’s biggest town with steaming images of them topless sorting out rations on the streets and in warehouses.
Tiktokers, both straight and not, city-wide hoped that the eventual knock at their front door would be from the scantily-clad footslogger of their dreams delivering essential goodies and saving the day from evil.
Meanwhile, this rollicking episode wraps up with a tasty chat about what unusual Vietnamese ingredient Matt, Mel and Andy would like to see in a burger.
4. Ho Chi Minh City’s migrant worker exodus, looming 24/7 curfew, Phu Quoc travel bubble, historic Saigon sights, a pirate story
Matt, Mel & Andy provide fresh updates on Ho Chi Minh City’s increasing Covid-19 caseload, how the current curfew from 6pm to 6am is affecting the city, and what can be expected with the latest announcement that from August 23, the city will be under curfew 24/7 indefinitely with the military in place to ensure everything goes to plan.
Despite arguably the strictest lockdown on the planet, Vietnam is still playing with the idea of a travel bubble agreement with other countries and has earmarked Phu Quoc as a possible destination.
Meanwhile, the old Saigon was in the news again this week with images of the US military’s withdrawal from Kabul conjuring up reminders of its withdrawal from Saigon almost 50 years ago.
Off the back of that, each of the crew recommend a historic place in Vietnam to visit once travel is open again.
The episode concludes on a lighter note with a pirate story too crazy to be true!
5. Friday the 13th Special
Join Matt, Mel & Andy talking superstitions, Pizza Hut and Vietnam’s own Pizza 4Ps in Cambodia, the Nas Daily backlash in the Philippines, and what it’s like trying to make a living in Vietnam as an influencer or content creator.
6. Ho Chi Minh City news, silence in the Nguyen Thai Binh neighbourhood, tonedeafness on social media and a new co-host
Some restaurants and bars in Ho Chi Minh City are offering vouchers as an alternative form of cash flow during forced closures – good idea or not?
Meanwhile, one of our favourite neighbourhoods in District 1 is but a shadow of its former self. Our new co-host Andy has flip flops on the ground there and he provides a grim-looking snapshot of the alleyway in which he lives.
As this is all going on, Aussies in Vietnam are divided over the Australian Embassy’s stance on accessibility to Covid-19 vaccines, and both Mel and AT call out tone deafness on social media at a time when discretion is probably the best policy.