Design Destinations: Vietnam

One lens through which to look at a culture is through its architecture.  Looking at Vietnam’s architecture you can see their own unique designs, but also the influence of Chinese and French design from the times those cultures imposed themselves on Vietnam.  Today Vietnamese design continues to come into its own, taking from all aspects of its past while also looking to modern design.  This means that whether a fan of traditional design or contemporary, there’s plenty to see if you take a trip to Vietnam.  Today we’re highlighting five destinations in Vietnam that design lovers should visit.


T House – Ho Chi Minh City

Completed in 2017, this stunning restaurant was renovated from an old house in a small alley.  The architects wanted to create an environment that provokes emotional interactions with architecture, and with the seamless overlapping relationship between the interior, the envelope, the garden, the alley, and the neighbors they certainly succeeded.  One look and you’ll want to stop in and have a meal here.


Viet Nam Quoc Tu Pagoda – Ho Chi Minh City

Built in the 1960s this pagoda is one of the largest Buddhist temples in the city.  The main complex of the pagoda spans seven stories, though only the first two are open to the public.  This restrictive access reflects some of Vietnam’s traditional architectural principles.  Besides the striking exterior and first two floors, visitors are given access to view the Buddha statue that is the centerpiece of the pagoda and are allowed to walk the grounds.


Son La Ceremony Dome – Sơn La

Surrounded by mountains and dense vegetation near the center of the city, the dome was built as part of the hospitality complex to create a new amenity space for the growing number of guests beside the ceremonial hall.  The pure bamboo structure is inspired by a traditional bamboo basket. Each dome has a double layered structure with a roof made of thatch. A skylight on the top of each dome allows natural lighting and natural ventilation.  The domes were designed to be in complete harmony with their wooded environment.


Ben Thanh Market – Ho Chi Minh City

Built in 1970 by the French, Ben Thanh Market is the oldest surviving market in the city.  Easy to get to, you can find almost everything from dry food to clothes for a reasonable price while experiencing the authentic Vietnamese market hustle and bustle.  From late afternoon until late night, the shops inside the market are closed, but several restaurants are open outside on the surrounding streets allowing you to enjoy the market any time of day.


Redot Restaurant – Ho Chi Minh City

This contemporary dining space stands out amongst the other restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City.  This transformed three-story townhouse has a facade covered in greenery.  The space is divided according to the size of the existing floors with each floor is aimed at a different audience.  The first floor is for families and older guests, with everything being square and compact, simple and not too aggressive.  The second floor is for the middle-aged group and office workers, with moderate light and using multiple shadow effect and darker patches of space.  The third floor is for young people and features completely open spaces and more green. The color tone is gradually shifted from black on the first floor, black and white on the second floor, and white on the third floor.

With so much stunning architecture both old and new, if this post hasn’t inspired you to book a trip to Vietnam, we don’t know what will.  We know we’re ready to pack our bags!  If you’ve already visited Vietnam, tell us if we left any must-see places off of our list.  If you haven’t, which of the above places do you most want to visit?  We’d love to hear what you think.