Today, Dave the Traveling Music Man writes about the music in Vietnam, or the lack thereof….
Recently, I had the privilege to travel to Vietnam for a fast vacation. It took a long time to get there but was well worth it. Most of my time was spent in Ho Chi Minh City doing a lot of walking, sightseeing and just plain looking around.
While I was crossing the streets and fearing that I wouldn’t get run over by the sea of never-ending motorbikes, I kept my eyes open for any music around the area. I figured that a city like this would be flourishing with live music. To my surprise, I didn’t see all that much available.
I passed by a few places that advertised live jazz music. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to see it, but it seems to be out there somewhere. Another interesting thing that I noticed was that there weren’t any street musicians. I did manage to see one person on a corner playing an instrument that sounded like a slide guitar but that was about it.
Another place that I saw on my walk was a storefront that had a sign that said Woodstock Live Music. I’m sure that would have been a trip to behold! But once again, I didn’t go back later on to see if it was open and if there was in fact live music. I was probably asleep from the jetlag then.
I asked some of the local children what bands they liked. I got the usual suspects from them like Justin Beiber and Maroon 5. They had no idea who the Ramones or Blondie were.
Even though the music scene wasn’t looking too prosperous, I did see a Music Conservatory.
Also noteworthy to mention, was that I did see a few music stores on the block of the Conservatory. The music stores were mostly piano shops selling local brands. Having said that, I did manage to run into a music store that sold guitars, basses and electronic instruments. The salespeople were very nice and allowed me to play any instrument to my heart’s content (while Kathy waited outside wondering if I’d been abducted).
There is obviously an opera scene in Saigon as the Saigon Opera House (Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theater) was right near the Park Hyatt, where we stayed. However, it was closed when we tried to take a look inside.
It would be interesting to hear your stories about your Vietnam music experiences. Any music I didn’t experience other than the pumped up disco type music in the local bars and stores and the society music in the lounges? Happy music travels!