Current Perspectives of Vietnam

History is a series of perspectives on events; the victor usually writes the final version but there is no denying that there are Chinese, French, American, and Soviet perspectives when exploring Vietnam’s past. Examining present day Vietnam is seen through the eyes of individuals—those who have come here for the first time, locals, or those who have adopted this crossroads of development and tradition as their home. No matter which category you fall into, Vietnam will definitely be a wild and crazy ride at first, filled with extreme high points and it will also leave you frustrated and bewildered at other times.

On this blog, we mostly explore cross-cultural issues, business, and recent news and events all in an attempt to better understand Vietnam, its culture, and its people. However, the Vietnam experience is not uniform–that is to say that it is different for everyone who lives, works, or travels in Vietnam. For example, imagine a 20-something year old single British male English teacher’s experience in Saigon compared to the Hanoian experience of a 30-something year old Indian wife and mother of two. Or perhaps that of a 50-year old single American businessman working for a multi-national corporation (MNC). Or a young French woman, in a long-distance relationship, who is working for a non-governmental organization (NGO) in a remote town located in central Vietnam. You get the point (and, by the way, these were all fictional but plausible examples).

Perhaps the most interesting perspective is that of the Viet Kieu (or “Vietnamese Sojourner“). Thousands of people fled Vietnam during the Second Indochina War and thousands more fled after Vietnam was reunified in 1975, resulting in millions of people creating the Vietnamese diaspora throughout primarily North America and Europe. Many Viet Kieu families left Vietnam with just the clothes on their backs and settled into a new country to call home, usually starting over again with almost nothing. Subsequently, the Vietnamese government took a hardline position on those who had fled the country and denounced them as traitors. After some years, the Vietnamese government eventually called for the Viet Kieu to come back to Vietnam to reintegrate and afforded them special property and business rights in order to help speed up Vietnam’s economic development.

The younger Viet Kieu bring an interesting perspective to Vietnam—they usually grew up in culturally Vietnamese households but were exposed to western cultures and societies–undoubtedly mashing up the best elements from east and west. A Viet Kieu’s ability to have one foot in the west and another here in the east allows him/her to integrate more easily here and to bridge the cultural gap that non-Vietnamese sometimes find difficult to overcome. However, some Viet Kieu may, over time or immediately, reveal an arrogance that local Vietnamese can sense, perhaps due to socio-economic disparities. Actually, the best combination for people who seem to understand high global standards and the local way of doing things are Vietnamese who have successfully studied abroad and have been exposed to a different lifestyle. They are able to reflect, learn, and grow in ways that only travel and living abroad allow.

Only by opening up to differing perspectives can we begin to understand the world around us and how we fit in it. So, the following is a non-exhaustive list of blogs and videos relating to life in Vietnam (from mostly an outsider’s perspective). Of course, there are also Vietnamese bloggers and video bloggers (Vbloggers). We can’t share links to them here for legal and liability reasons (and if you don’t speak Vietnamese then they may serve little use to you, especially if using Google Translate).

It’s important to note that GKTA Group Limited neither endorses nor condones the varied views expressed in the blogs below—unless expressly stated otherwise. They are listed to demonstrate that no two people will have the same Vietnam experience although there will be many similarities and overlapping challenges.


Flying The Nest

Who? An American English teacher expat in Saigon

What? A pretty raw look at living in Saigon as an English teacher and interesting experiences encountered while meeting other cultures.

Why? Because English teachers seemingly make up 80% of the expats here in Vietnam.

You should check out this post.


Why Am I Here?

Who? A British expat who has made Saigon her home with her multi-cultural family.

What? Ms. Ray mostly “ blogs about the ups and downs of writing and living in Vietnam.”

Why? Insight from someone whose first time in Vietnam was in 1996 and has a deep reservoir of global experiences.

You should check out this post.


Because We Camp

Who? A traveling, backpacking, really rad couple going by the brand, “Because We Camp.”

What? A landing in Hanoi and subsequent travel down south to Saigon via motorbike.

Why? Included because it provides an accurate portrayal of a common first impression of Vietnam and it was enjoyable to watch.

You should check out this episode.


My Seasons In Saigon

Who? A former American university president.

What? A transitional blog, where the writer shares his thoughts and juxtaposes historical themes with cultural elements.

Why? Experience in the American education system and now heads up a university in Vietnam.

You should check out this post.


World Economic Forum Blog

Who? From current Prime Minster Nguyen Tan Dung.

What? A summary of the economic state of Vietnam and some projections for the near future.

Why? Self-explanatory.


Welcome To Vietnam

Who? From an American political writer.

What? A first-time account in Hanoi and Vietnam largely through a political lens.

Why? Entertaining first impressions of being in Hanoi–looking forward to Part 2 in Saigon.


Graduate of the Year

Who? NY Times writer Nicholas Kristoff.

What? An extraordinary look at one Vietnamese girl who defied all odds to become Graduate of the Year.

Why? Recent American college graduates, here’s one face of your competition who is willing to work harder for less money than you are.


Expat Diary: Saigon

Who? A nomadic photographer.

What? One woman’s view as an expat in Saigon.

Why? A blog about living in the moment—something that can be hard when adjusting to new settings, new faces, and new conditions.

You should check out this post.


SoJournaling Vietnam

Who? A younger American Viet Kieu.

What? Straight from California and living in Saigon for at least three years, Kyle Le (or ethnic version: Ky Le Le) showcases various interesting experiences from finding a good burger to asking foreigners what their impressions are of Vietnam.

Why? He has some interesting interviews with celebrities and foreigners.

You should check out this clip.


Departures. Vietnam.

Who? An American/Canadian team ventures off in Vietnam in association with National Geographic.

What?  A look at a Viet Kieu’s first time in Vietnam, traveling throughout the land, and the importance of family.

Why? Come on, it’s National Geographic.


And finally, from the perspective of a drone.


The point of this post was to communicate that everyone has something to add to the tapestry of the Vietnam experience but also that those experiences should be scrutinized (even ours) until the reader has had the chance to check out Vietnam for him/herself. There is no substitute for direct experience but short of that, the account, analysis, or opinion that you entertain should be sound, relevant, and contextual.

In the end, Vietnam is what you make of it—through the good times or the bad times or whatever experience in between. It’s not always easy to live here but after some time you will come to enjoy it and perhaps even thrive in the environment here. If not, then the alternatives always available are to go back to wherever you came from or to move on, which, in that case, there is no shame since Vietnam is not for everyone.

But while you are here, the only thing that you can directly control (and throughout life) is your attitude: toward others and toward the situation that you are in. We hope that these other current perspectives of Vietnam have allowed you to gauge how your experiences and perceptions are in line with other people. Should you wish to, please share your own experience in Vietnam below. 

Vietnamese Music Trends

The music scene here, like many things in Vietnam, is constantly changing. Traditional, pop, and electronic music all fuse together to take new forms, create unique sounds, and propel sub-cultures forward. While Vietnam has had its own flavor of electronic music, known as Vinahouse, it seems as if the global EDM craze is finally beginning to take a hold here with underground events leading the charge.

Late last year Steve Aoki performed for the first time in Hanoi (during his first trip to Vietnam) and then proceeded to celebrate this year’s Tet holiday with a show in Saigon. And earlier this year, Wally Lopez came back to Blanchy’s Tash in Saigon after his first time the year before. Now, Hardwell is the latest house music DJ scheduled to come to Vietnam for the first time ever as part of his “I am Hardwell” tour. Hardwell will be playing in Saigon’s Quan Khu 7 stadium on September 28 and General Admission tickets are currently on sale for 600,000 VND (approximately $30). VIP, VVIP, and CA tickets are also available.

[Update August, 2015: Zedd recently played in Ho Chi Minh City and Skrillex is scheduled to play in both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi next month.]

The larger-than-life style of music that is presented by Steve Aoki, Hardwell, and their contemporaries is full of high-intensity and high-energy beats and rhythms that lead into a “drop” where the crowd is simultaneously jumping or fist-pumping in unison. This variety of house music is growing in popularity with young and trendy Vietnamese here where most of the electronic music heard takes the form of Vinahouse, a hard-hitting, repetitive beat that continues until the end of a song.

Rumored to have originally been a Russian intro beat (lasting for no more than 30 seconds), the steady thumping seems to have captured the hearts of Vietnamese electronic music enthusiasts as they extended it to last the entire length of a song. Vinahouse can be heard everywhere: gyms, discotheques, and even street shops blare Vinahouse through speakers set up on the sidewalk in an attempt to draw a passerbys’ attention.

Actually, most of the music that can be heard in the streets of Vietnam’s cities comes in two styles: Vinahouse, or more traditional and soulful Vietnamese songs that usually have a somber deliverance. As in much of Asia, karaoke is popular here and citizens will sing karaoke in their homes with the volume turned way up for their neighbors to hear in the early to mid-evening. Some entrepreneurs have even set up portable “karaoke stations” on wheels where they can serenade diners on the sidewalk while they eat in exchange for a donation before moving on to the next group of diners.

The Music Scene in Vietnam

The music scene here is a far cry from the days of CBC Band. If you happen to go to any establishment where pop music is played then you will definitely hear Flo Rida’s Whistle at least once and perhaps several times per night. You might also hear variations of other American techno-remixed pop songs in some of the nightlife institutions of Saigon such as Lush, Apocalypse, and if you are unlucky/unsober enough to end up there, GO2 Bar on Bui Vien in Pham Ngu Lao. However, there are also Vietnamese clubs like Canalis and New Saigon where strictly Vinahouse tunes are blasted at dangerously high levels and patrons are dazzled with light arrays, lasers, and strobes while inhaling copious amount of cigarette smoke. Occasionally, some foreigners are mixed in with the crowd but the customers there are overwhelmingly locals.

Some of the more progressive and alternate locations for music other than remixed Billboard Top 20 hits and/or Vinahouse include Broma, Bootleg, and The Observatory in Saigon; and Cama ATK, Madake, and Rockstore in Hanoi. There are also small but growing communities comprised of lesser-known genres of music like DubStep and Drum and Bass (DnB). For example, Saigon Beats and Heart Beat Saigon are two organizations comprised of music enthusiasts who passionately promote new and different kinds of music and sounds in Saigon.

For live music, there are a number of options for covers and original performances. For example, bar chain Seventeen Saloon (present in Hanoi and Saigon) features live music (mostly rock) on a regular basis. And original acts such as Mai Khoi take the audience on a wild, sensual, and bilingual journey that pushes boundaries in what is perhaps one of the best live performances in Southeast Asia.

In terms of larger events, full blown music festivals such as RockStorm (a rock festival, as the name implies) and the HEC KPOP festival can appease fans of those genres–or headliners can opt for music venues such as Cargo in Saigon and Hanoi Rock City in Hanoi.

Vibration Festival: 24 Hours of Good Vibes

Interestingly, a growing trend in Vietnam is that of the “micro” festival whereby events are organized and operated in a gray legal area and the events lends itself to be more of an infusion of creative expression rather than cranking out popular hits while patrons in the VIP section post real-time photos on Facebook. Names like EdenQuest FestivalHalloween EscapeHanoi Sound Stuff, and A Dose of Escape all conjure up images of partying, dancing, and good times.

[Update August, 2015: Quest Festival V will be held in November, 2015.]

One such event was the Vibration Festival, which we attended last weekend. The festival was located about 10 kilometers outside of Hanoi at the nearby Minh Hai resort. The event started at 2:00 PM but we arrived around 9:00 PM and stayed until about 1:30 AM. By the time we arrived the bia hoi (literally, “fresh beer”) had run out so only shots were available at the bar. Our tickets were 100,000 VND (approximately $5) each but were double the price at the door for those who didn’t buy tickets in advance. Approximately 10 DJs were on the lineup with each playing a variation of some genre or sub-genre of electronic music. It was hot but the mood was pretty festive especially after midnight. The food was provided by a local company, Highway 4, and appeared to be almost artisan in presentation.

Americans, Canadians, French, British, and, of course, Vietnamese (plus other nationalities) were dancing under a full moon partially obscured by rolling clouds. By 10:30 PM the dance floor was full with a crowd that seemed to be about 85-90% westerners. Organizers estimated that around 300 people attended the event.

We had the opportunity to speak with the main organizer, an Irishman who goes by the moniker Bad GraFX. Like many expats, he now does something totally different than what he originally came to do in Vietnam. He started organizing events like Vibration Festival in order to have a good time and to be able to listen to the kind of music he and his friends wanted to hear.

The overall atmosphere at Minh Hai resort was relaxed and the heat didn’t seem to take the wind out of the sails for most people. Still, 24 hours of partying is intense, especially in the hot summer sun so it will be interesting to see the second iteration of the Vibration Festival and its changes, if any.

Music “And More” Festivals

Some people might not like mainstream musical acts as part of the western export “package” to developing countries because it overshadows local and independent artists. But getting globally recognized talent to perform in Hanoi or Saigon also raises Vietnam’s profile as a growing destination for international music genres and its fans–and it also potentially introduces locals and expats to new kinds of music. One thing is certain: these commercial headliners, micro festivals, and branded events will continue to shape Vietnam’s music scene as artists, musicians, and enthusiasts seek outlets for creative expression here in Vietnam.

We would love to see a major electronic music festival with global and local names playing across different stages. Perhaps this vision could be realized in Da Nang due to the international airport and accessible coastline. Beautiful Hoi An is nearby which could also benefit from the overflow of a festival. And there is even space for such an event, in the former American airbase. Before that can happen, perhaps the next step in Vietnam’s evolving music scene is to combine music with film or interactive tech a la SXSW, MOSO, or Incubate (albeit on a smaller scale) whereby the music, art, entrepreneur, and tech communities can meet and merge to share views and exchange ideas. For sure, a Vietnamese mash up of those domains would be raw, unpredictable in its specific outcomes, and overwhelmingly positive in its products.

Hackathon Vietnam 2014

Last weekend approximately 30 teams in Hanoi and 70 teams in Saigon competed locally in a Hackathon primarily organized by Silicon Valley VC firm Formation 8 in coordination with Hanoi-based incubator and consulting firm, 5Desire. In Saigon, the event was held at the National Academy of Public Administration and in Hanoi the event was held at the University of Science and Technology. Held over two days (Friday, August 1 and Saturday, August 2), the hackathon essentially served as a startup convention featuring guest speakers, presentation panels, and workshops. But the main hackathon portion itself consisted of 23 hours of coding as teams turned their wireframes, designs and visuals they had prepared earlier into prototypes or Minimum Viable Products (MVP).

The event in Hanoi culminated in two pitch sessions where teams presented their final products of the 23-hour hackathon to a panel of judges from 1:30 PM until 6:00 PM on Saturday with some brief breaks in between. According to the Hackathon Vietnam 2014 website, up to four member teams comprised of “any student, developer or technology enthusiast in Vietnam who [were able to] travel to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City on the day of the hackathon” attempted to examine one of the following themes:

• Connecting More With Mobile

• Social Networking across Regional Cultures

• Integrating Technology into Education

• Pushing Wearables into Everyday

• Spirit of Innovation

After the team presentations in Hanoi, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology Tran Viet Thanh was able to personally congratulate the winning teams. Another distinguished guest, Joe Lonsdale, Cofounder and General Partner at Formation 8 was present on Friday to speak to the hackathon participants. Mr. Lonsdale was previously in Vietnam earlier this year when he spoke at an event in Saigon in January.

The Teams and Products

We caught most of the presentations in Hanoi. For us, the most interesting product was Dicterious, “The English Studying App.” The UI was presented in a gorgeous flat design style and what we liked most about the app was that the game mechanics allowed the user to learn some English, learn some local history, and to have fun while doing so—all at the same time. At one point one of the judges stated that a serious English learner wouldn’t use an app like Dicterious and asked the team leader if it was primarily a learning tool or a game. The team leader responded that it was primarily a game but, in our opinion, it most resembles a learning tool with gamification elements.

Early on, one team’s mission was to “solve daily problems with social knowledge and photos.” Basically, the team was attempting to create a “knowledge flow” and have users contribute to the communal knowledge for a particular geographic area. There is especially a need for this kind of service for foreigners in Vietnam because there are a multitude of repeat postings on the two main Facebook expat groups, “Hanoi Massive” and “Expats in HCMC.” Most of these postings revolve around trying to find a suitable neighborhood to rent in, where to buy a particular foreign product, or asking for general help in some way. Surely there must be a more efficient way to organize repeatedly requested information for users to consume. Perhaps there is a potential business model in finding a way to phase out the same Facebook group posts over and over again via a social platform which can pair locals with foreigners for joint problem solving and cultural exchange.

Another interesting product was a bookmarker for maps. Yes, Google Maps has a save feature where you can “star” a location but after a while it can be hard to remember why you starred one place versus another. One of the prevalent features (although not unique) of Vietnam is that there are entire streets full of stores devoted to the same product or a similar range of products (lights, engines, bathroom furniture, etc.). So if a startup can find a way to organize, classify, and present that data to consumers (especially foreigners) then there might be a way to monetize that database. Perhaps the product or service can be as simple as a more accurate online map of Vietnam in terms of addresses with an overlay feature showing where there are clusters of similar stores across Hanoi or Saigon. was another intriguing concept and upon reflection it or something along those lines could be a hit here. It’s a mobile social network application which gives you the ability to record a message for people you give a gift to. In a country (and most of Asia for that matter) where pictures of food and selfies are some of the most recorded media, perhaps the team is onto something. We can definitely see younger Vietnamese use this service to declare their affection for one another via video, which can then be uploaded to Facebook for the entire world to see.

The Winners and Prizes

The top three products were Voicepedia, Genius Kid, and Imaginator with the TT team (Voicepedia) winning the Hackathon and Genius Kid coming in second place. Coincidentally, both members of the TT team have the same name: Nguyen Duc Tam. There were also five honorable mentions for the teams that impressed the judges in one way or another.

Imaginator gave anyone (the team suggested teachers) the ability to create an online course. Perhaps they can tap into the growing popularity of Udemy and tailor the product to help content creators such as YouTube Stars establish new revenue streams.

Genius Kid, an edutainment app, had a nice UI and it looks like the well-presented art style might resonate with parents as well as children. If Vietnamese parents believe that the app will give their kids an advantage or will create “gifted children” at home then the Genius Kid app will be one step closer to being successful.

The winning team, TT, utilized text-to-speech technology in order to access Wikipedia articles. For their efforts, the winning team won a cash value of $11,500 which, according to the hackathon website, includes:

“A round trip for all winning team members to Silicon Valley to visit Formation|8 portfolio companies, Introduction to Silicon Valley’s top VC’s and Formation|8 portfolio companies. Dinner with Formation|8 team[.]”

The second place team won $750 and the third place team won $500.

The Takeaway

Overall, the event was a success—it was clear to see the enthusiasm of the teams when presenting, the judges were keenly interested in the presentations, and there were a number of compelling visions that were realized by the end of the hackathon. While not the first ever hackathon in Vietnam, or even the first bi-city hackathon in Vietnam, it was the biggest one yet. What mainly separated this hackathon from others before it was the high-profile organizers from the US and Vietnam as well as participation from members of Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology.

However, there were a few disappointments. The pitches in Hanoi were mostly in Vietnamese, apparently due to a change by the judges in order to accommodate some of the more nervous teams. The fact remains that English is the language of business across most of the world and if any of the teams want to end up in Silicon Valley on a permanent basis then they will have to be comfortable pitching to potential investors in English.  Also, the ending of the hackathon in Hanoi was rather abrupt. Of course, it’s understandable from the participants’ perspectives–and they must have been exhausted by the end of the 23-hour hackathon, but it would have been nice to speak to the teams at the end or to make some connections between the participants and attendees. After all, there was at least one Fortune 20 company representative in the crowd who was actively scouting startups in the region (and others in the crowd who were recruiting).

Going forward, it will be interesting to see how often events like this one will take place in Vietnam now that it has been done at this scale. The startup community in Vietnam has had its ups and downs with more of the latter lately as signaled by the closing of co-working space Saigon Hub earlier this year. More local events such as hackathons and other community-building activities are needed to continue to drive the startup community in Vietnam in a positive direction, i.e., to raise the local standards to a global level. Ultimately, the hackathon was a watershed moment for the startup community in Vietnam—now it will be up to the entrepreneurs, coders, and technologists to keep the momentum going in the months ahead.

Lotte Center Hanoi

A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to check out Lotte Center Hanoi which is in its final stages of construction. Lotte Center Hanoi is located at 54 Lieu Giai in Ba Dinh District and has been under construction since October 2009. The building is about a 30 minute drive from the Noi Bai International Airport and is nearby the Australian, Korean, Spanish, and US embassies. Its grand opening is currently scheduled for September 2, 2014.

Along with the workers, we had to pass through security turnstiles in order to access the site and then proceeded to head down into the parking area to reach the elevators that would bring us up into the office space. Since it was an active construction site (with three around-the-clock shifts), we donned safety hardhats and were escorted by a Lotte representative at all times.

From the beginning of our tour it was clear that safety was a major priority for the management of Lotte Center Hanoi. This focus on safe working conditions was especially refreshing to see since safety sometimes seems like an afterthought for many construction projects in Vietnam. It’s not uncommon to visit any construction site in Vietnam and see workers walking around barefoot, not using ear protection when operating loud machinery or not utilizing eye protection when welding, and not properly utilizing climbing harnesses when scaling scaffolding. In Vietnam, sometimes hardhats are worn more to protect workers from the sun’s rays than to protect their heads from falling debris.

However, at Lotte Center Hanoi we saw workers in neon safety vests, we saw portable and regularly-interspersed fire extinguishers, and there were clear evacuation route notices everywhere we went so we were impressed by Lotte’s commitment to safety. Restricted areas were clearly marked off and hallways were generally free of clutter (preventing a fire hazard). Floors were protected with thin sheets of wood and giant cloth sheets were even draped over the massive openings in the lobby to try to contain the air conditioned cool air from blowing out into Kim Ma or Lieu Giai streets. According to Lotte Coralis Vietnam, from October 2009 to June 2014 the site has undergone 14,000,000 man hours without an accident. It’s a great example of how a construction site should be managed and we hope that in the future safety will be a higher priority for more general contractors and developers in Vietnam.

Defining the Hanoi Skyline

As a major part of the Hanoi skyline, the building is immediately noticeable from Tay Ho District and appears to tower over the taller Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower (which is farther away from the city center than Lotte Center Hanoi) from the north side of West Lake. The building’s exterior shape is in reference to the ao dai, the traditional Vietnamese dress and the building is actually separated into two towers: Tower A and Tower B which are connected via Sky Garden. At night, the façade at base of the building lights up in a spectacular array of changing colors to match the ever-changing color of the “Lotte” sign.

Throughout the building, First Grade building systems are used and the building uses some advanced techniques, which makes it a pioneering project for Vietnam. For those worried about tectonic plates, the building can withstand a 7.0 magnitude earthquake due to the two-layer outrigger system which enhances its structural stability. Low-carbon dioxide concrete was used to construct Vietnam’s largest support base structure and the building features rainwater harvesting and gray water systems, which makes it a truly eco-friendly project.

World Class Interior Features

Overall, the feel of the space is quite nice even with ongoing construction and unfinished areas. The building is divided into four main spaces: Serviced Residences, Hotel, Office, and Commercial. The Observation Area is on the 65th floor and will feature a Sky Deck like the one in Chicago. The Serviced Residences and Hotel are from the 33rd to 64th floors flanking both sides of the Sky Garden that occupies the center of the building. The hotel will have 318 rooms of which 83 will be suites and 235 will be Deluxe Rooms. The 32nd floor is the Technical Floor and the Offices are located on the 8th through 31st floors. On the 7th floor, there will be an outdoor swimming pool, a basketball court, separate male and female saunas, an indoor golf range, a yoga room, a gym, a jacuzzi, and an outdoor BBQ grill area. Starting on Ground Floor and continuing to the 6th floor will be the Lotte Department Store and Lotte Mart. There will be five levels below-grade which will contain the parking area for the building.

One of the unique features about Lotte Center Hanoi is the Sky Garden, which is a series of atria inside the building that occupy the middle space between Tower A and Tower B. They are four-story (office floors) and five-story (residential floors) areas for communal activities such as meetings, private events, or just a place to relax. For the office spaces, the tenant on the ground level of each atrium is able to modify the atrium to reflect a company’s culture (within Lotte specifications). The office space also features one of four raised floors in Hanoi, making it easier for the tenant to outfit the space to meet specific technology needs.

There are one, two, three, and four bedroom Serviced Residence layouts to choose from with the one bedroom (64-84 m²) pricing around $2,700 per month and four bedroom (175 m²) available for around $7,000 per month. If you do end up moving in, make sure to ask for permission before hanging any paintings. All the serviced apartments we saw had a beautiful view of West Lake but most serviced apartments should have a view of the north, west, or east due to the building space distribution. Double Low-E multi-layer glass are used in the Saint Gobaint windows, which are imported from France. Some bedrooms might have a Sky Garden view as opposed to a skyline view depending on how many bedrooms a unit has. All apartments are equipped with WiFi and wired internet connections.

The bedrooms all have different styles, themes, and layouts, ranging from lighter woods to darker tones with complementary appliances. Regardless, each apartment is fitted with a single downlight near the entrance that is motion activated to provide light as soon as you enter the apartment, and which will turn off automatically once you leave. It’s a great and rather simple feature than can be helpful in any residence.

For private events there will be three banquet halls (Crystal Ball, Charlotte, and Emerald) to choose from plus a Wedding Center on the 6th floor. Depending on which banquet hall, it can accommodate anywhere from 100 to 900 people. A wedding celebration in the Crystal Ball banquet hall might be the new standard for Hanoi’s elite.

Perhaps the most-anticipated feature of Lotte Center Hanoi will be the rooftop restaurant on the 68th floor called “Top of Hanoi.” It will be an open-air restaurant with a surrounding view of Hanoi—something that does not yet exist in Vietnam at or near that height. Additionally, there will be six other food and beverage (F&B) outlets to choose from, featuring a variety of cuisines and flavors.

A New Level of Luxury in Vietnam and in Asia

If you end up living in one of the Serviced Residences in Lotte Center Hanoi, then you might never have to leave the building for most of your activities, provided that your office is downstairs, you shop at Lotte Mart or Lotte Department Store, and any visitors you might have stay in the five-star hotel. It’s truly an amazing vision that has been realized in Hanoi and we look forward to what the Lotte Group has in store next for Vietnam.

Lotte Group has the Lotte Legend Hotel in Saigon so this is its second hotel in Vietnam. It’s built by Lotte Group, a conglomerate that has over 60 business units and employs over 60,000 people with headquarters in Japan, but significant business divisions located in South Korea.

Lotte Group is currently building Lotte World Tower in Seoul, Korea. It will be almost twice the size of Lotte Center Hanoi but currently about 70 of 123 floors are complete. When it will be finished in 2016 (scheduled), it will be the sixth tallest building in the world.

The Lotte Group is named after Goethe’s work of art, “Charlotte.”

For more information about Lotte Center Hanoi please contact Nguyen Thi Hien (Ms. Hien) in the Marketing Department via email at or via telephone at +84 97-925-9190.