Saigon has endless experiences to discover. And Wink Hotels are community hubs. So, our guests get insights from in-the-know locals like our team to help them discover the coolest things to do. Sometimes we enlist the help of partners too. People like Vibeji. They have an online library of IRL experiential workshops and activities to try. And there’s a dedicated Wink section. So, we checked in with experience adventurer Hoang Le-Duy, their COO and co-founder, to co-curate our current top three.
Đọc bài viết bằng tiếng Việt
Vibeji are connectors. They search for the most interesting things to do and curate them for our guests. Their in-depth knowledge means the experiences are as interesting for locals as they are for visitors. They’re usually multisensory, too, from mystic night shows and dining in the dark to savoring the aroma of freshly brewed coffee you get to make yourself.
Wink x Vibeji
Hoang, a German-born Vietnamese who moved to Saigon two years ago, is no stranger to intense experiences. “Right,” he laughs, “I got really into ice swimming when I lived in Scandinavia.” Despite the danger, he became addicted. “It’s amazing how much our bodies can handle. After three or four minutes, the body starts to shut down the blood flow to your arms and legs. It’s a preservation mechanism to protect the organs. At that point, you stop shivering, your chest feels warm and your mind becomes incredibly clear…” We’re kind of convinced of its merits. “Seriously!” Hoang laughs, “The best one was during a clear night in Finland right in the middle of a dead-calm lake with just the starry sky above me…”
So we met up with Hoang to review Vibeji’s experience itinerary, and to pick out three of our favorites.
Our three favorite Saigon experiences right now
1 Latte Art At 96B Cafe & Roastery
Sure, you can drop by 96B Cafe & Roastery for a coffee. But there’s a lot more going on there. As their name suggests, 96B Cafe & Roastery also roast their own green beans out back. They’re pretty obsessive. 96B Cafe & Roastery are constantly researching the best approach to serving good coffee, playing around with blends and preparations. “True,” Hoang tells us, “they’re always experimenting!”
They’re also experts at latte art. And that’s where Vibeji come in, linking caffeine addicts who are aspiring artists to this hip neighborhood joint within walking distance of Wink Hotel Saigon Centre. At the latte art workshop, participants learn the basics. First, they learn to make the perfect espresso. After that they level up, understanding the interaction of milk with espresso…which becomes a cappuccino, topped off with some simple latte art. It’s all led by the 96B Cafe & Roastery barista, Phu.
2 Dine In The Dark At Noir
Noir is not new. So, it’s a testament to their insatiable desire for quality…and a quality experience that they’re still a must-visit Saigon dining destination. As they explain: “Of the five senses, sight dominates. Take away sight and our other senses emerge to interpret the world from another perspective.” It’s the kind of sensory experience Vibeji love to curate.
At Noir, you dine in complete darkness. Besides that, Noir employ blind and partially sighted staff to assist you during the evening, giving employment opportunities where there were previously few. “And you get this feeling of confusion as you try to figure out where the flavors are coming from, mixing up kiwis with tomatoes…” Hoang smiles about the giddy excitement and intrigue you get at a night at Noir.
One of the most rewarding moments happens right at the end, when you get to guess what you’ve eaten, and see images of what the dishes would have looked like had the lights been on. For this package, Noir offer two menus: East meets West or vegetarian.
3 Make Your Own Scent At Iris Nguyen – Perfumery House
Scent can be a very personal thing. And smell is a far more powerful sense than we sometimes appreciate. One study, from 2014, showed we can distinguish far more odors than we thought, at least 1 trillion! Admittedly, there’s not so many aromas on offer at Iris Nguyen – Perfumery House. However, they still offer a very special chance to explore your sense of smell, after which you get to create your own perfume.
During this scent experience, which lasts 60 minutes, the Iris Nguyen – Perfumery House team lead you in exploring 14 perfume scents which you can mix and play with until you reach the one for you. “What I love about this experience is not just testing out the different scents, but learning about how scent affects us emotionally,” Hoang tells us.