Mushrooming Vietnam Cafes Offer Much More Than Coffee

Cafes mushrooming across Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi seek to create unique identities by offering everything from virtual golf to cat menageries, according to Vietnamnet.

At Ho Chi Minh City’s Café Screen Golf on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street you can play virtual golf on over 30 Korean golf courses thanks to a giant 3D screen and a motion-detection setup that projects the trajectory of the golf ball from your swing onto an image of the course you choose. Café Screen Golf has three rooms that cost costing VND200,000-400,000 (US$10-20) an hour. Coffee starts at VND18,000 (US$ 80 cents).

L’usine on Dong Khoi Street in downtown HCMC is a French-style bistro that features paintings by contemporary artists and a selection of designer clothes from London, Paris, New York and Tokyo as well as fresh sandwiches and home-style cakes. It attracts a mostly female clientele.

Men are more likely to be found at iLounge café on Pham Ngoc Thach Street near the city center. Along with treats like chocolate iLoungue and Hawaii coconut juice starting at VND16,000 (US$ 80 cents), the café services Apple products like iPad, iPhone, and Macbook. Clients can surf the web using its wi-fi connection while sipping something at a 10% discount while their iPhone is being fixed.

Iceland Coffee across from Thong Nhat Park features classified ads for restaurants for sale along with a broker who can help you buy and sell restaurants. The café is also appealing for its unhindered view of the Dao Duy Anh-Le Duan- Dai Co Viet- Giai Phong junction and is an ideal spot for watching holiday fireworks.

Hanoi’s Ailu Café was started by a 20-year-old woman to offer cat lovers a place to bring their cats or to just pet the menagerie of stray cats assembled there. If you like one, you can adopt it. To faciliate better interface with felines, Ailu is furnished with low Japanese-style tables and floor cushions on the wood floor.