A cute cafe on the top floor of an abandoned apartment building in Saigon where they serve amazing drinks from skull pint glasses.
Another live blog, this time from a totally random cafe in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. My purposely long and over-the-top subhead says it all, really ~ Beauty Coffee House is part of an emerging trend in Saigon where small business owners are moving into derelict apartment buildings in order to create unique environments, and no doubt cut costs on rent. These “cafe apartments” are also home to boutique fashion shops and design agencies, yet from street level you wouldn’t even know they exist. Totally hidden away, part of their charm is their anonymity, and so finding them is part of the fun.
The cafe I’m in right now can reached from the bottom of a dark staircase in a run-down apartment building in District 1. Climbing the dark steps it almost feels like you shouldn’t be here, and that the building is just empty, waiting to be demolished. A few floors up however, amongst the graffiti and broken walls, this unusual coffee shop appears out of nowhere. In total contrast to the dark dingy corridors, the cafe is bright with a cool breeze coming in from the outside.
Check out the video below to get a feel of the vibe of the place ~ walking up from the bottom, and then reaching the cafe at the top.
One thing I have twigged on to quickly in Saigon is that all the best places you have to work to find ~ be it cafes such as this, or the amazing local areas devoid of tourists. In recent years I rarely do any sort of planning on my trips, but each morning I have searched online for some cool stuff and it has paid off. This morning I was walking around a concentrated series of intricate alleyways on the border of District 5, and now I am sipping a lime and salted apricot ‘beauty drink’ from a skull pint glass on top of an abandoned apartment building. This is my idea of a holiday. (They had ‘mint milk’ on the menu too ~ kinda gutted I didn’t get that.)
Check out some other photos from the building itself, as well as the cafe, and if you are ever in Saigon and want to check out something different, definitely come here. Drinks are only $1.75 and the vibe is just great.
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Address: Lầu 4, 14 Tôn Thất Đạm, Nguyễn Thái Bình, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh. Open 7am – 11pm.