The Songbird and the Frenchman

Hoi An continues to deliver the goods.  It’s a seething yet strangely soothing melting pot of people, tastes, clothes, ideas and music.

Today we met Michel, a charming Frenchman who has lived in Saigon for over 20 years.


Michel had been sent to Saigon as a troubleshooter for his firm, the dongs and Francs weren’t lining up and Michel proceeded to uncover fraud and fake paper trails on a grand scale.

Whilst sorting this out he wandered down to a club near his lodgings and gazed upon and listened to and fell in love with Anh Tuyet, a famous singer and interpreter of the works of the great Vietnamese classical composer, Van Cao.  Anh’s remarkable voice was said to be the only one that could do justice to Cao’s work.  She was the Dionne Warwick to his Burt Bacharach.





Anh and Michel on their wedding day in 1995.


We found and played the film clip below at the cafe with Michel this afternoon and the beauty and purity, the colour and depth, the fragility and feeling of this woman’s voice and Van Cao’s beautiful melody brought tears to our eyes.



And in a quick side step from the sublime to the strange here is the tattoo on the arm of the charming young Finnish girl who was sitting at the next table with her Australian husband.


We advised her to stay away from Nha Trang if she wanted to keep her arm.


2 thoughts on “The Songbird and the Frenchman

  1. Interesting characters. They look like they wouldn’t be out of place in an episode of the Avengers with John Steed and Emma Peel.
    Nice to hear Hou An is different from Nha Trang.


  2. Very different Wal. We reckon you wouldn’t go wrong with a couple of weeks here. Between the old city and the beach there’s nothing to do but relax and eat and drink and shop and wander about admiring the beauty and serenity of the place.


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