51 episodes

Think news, gossip, drive-time radio and mates bantering at the front bar of the pub but without the fights, and you'll have the essence of TBP. Each week join Matt, Mel & Andy who have a combined total of over 25 years of lived experience in Ho Chi Minh City as they chat, debate and laugh about what's new and old in Vietnam's biggest city. If you’re a foodie, traveller, history buff or just want to be educated and entertained about Vietnam and Southeast Asia, then The Bureau Podcast is for you!

The Bureau Podcast The Bureau Asia

    • Society & Culture

Think news, gossip, drive-time radio and mates bantering at the front bar of the pub but without the fights, and you'll have the essence of TBP. Each week join Matt, Mel & Andy who have a combined total of over 25 years of lived experience in Ho Chi Minh City as they chat, debate and laugh about what's new and old in Vietnam's biggest city. If you’re a foodie, traveller, history buff or just want to be educated and entertained about Vietnam and Southeast Asia, then The Bureau Podcast is for you!

    American architect, interior designer and artist Bill Bensley

    American architect, interior designer and artist Bill Bensley

    After the news, I interview the incomparable Bill Bensley who's brought to life more than 200 hotels and resorts in over 30 countries, including five amazing properties in Vietnam. Bill is widely regarded as one of the finest designers of our time and is responsible for designing Capella Ubud in Bali – a resort with ultra-luxurious tents that in 2020 was voted the best hotel in the world by Travel + Leisure Magazine. During the interview, we find out what he's cooking up in Africa and how he typically approaches his projects. After that, Mel drops by to chat about Detour – a new French-style cafe in Ho Chi Minh City inspired by the Mediterranean vibes of southern France, while I tell her about my boat trip up the Saigon River to the Lady Trieu gin distillery! Let's get into it!

    See more of Bill's work on his website: www.billbensley.com

    Follow Bill on Instagram: www.instagram.com/billbensley

    Connect with Bill on Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/bill-bensley-336984b3



    Follow Mel on Instagram: www.instagram.com/melaniecasul

    Follow Matt on Instagram: www.instagram.com/mattcowansaigon

    Follow The Bureau Asia on Instagram: www.instagram.com/thebureauasia

    Follow The Bureau Asia on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/thebureauasia

    Join The Bureau Asia Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/TheBureauGroup

    Visit The Bureau Asia website: thebureauasia.com

    • 37 min
    Australian journalist, foodie and restaurant critic John Lethlean

    Australian journalist, foodie and restaurant critic John Lethlean

    After the news, I interview highly-respected Australian journalist, food writer and restaurant critic John Lethlean who’s been motorbike riding up in the north of Vietnam for the past couple of weeks on holiday. John’s been writing about hospitality and reviewing restaurants for more than 25 years for some of Australia’s largest publications, including The Age and The Australian newspapers, and is about to embark on a new journey having written his last review for The Weekend Australian magazine last weekend. To wrap up the episode, Mel swings by to chat about some new restaurant openings and menus around town.

    Follow John on Instagram:  www.instagram.com/johnlethlean

    Follow John on Facebook: www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100057845537353

    Follow Mel on Instagram: www.instagram.com/melaniecasul

    Follow Matt on Instagram: www.instagram.com/mattcowansaigon

    Follow The Bureau Asia on Instagram: www.instagram.com/thebureauasia

    Follow The Bureau Asia on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/thebureauasia

    Join The Bureau Asia Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/TheBureauGroup

    Visit The Bureau Asia website: thebureauasia.com

    • 41 min
    This young Saigoner's passion project has just been published internationally

    This young Saigoner's passion project has just been published internationally

    After the news for the week, Matt interviews emerging Vietnamese poet Quynh Nguyen after the release of her first book of poetry called When Dead Birds See The Light a collection of 16 poems with love as the theme running throughout. She explains the process of publishing her debut book and opens up about love in her own life. After that, The Bureau Asia's Content Manager, Mel, pops by for a chat about her "royal watching" this week, road rage and her lack of driving skills! Meanwhile, Matt bemoans how the worsening traffic conditions in Ho Chi Minh City may eventually become a deal breaker.

    Get yourself a copy of Quynh's book here:

    Amazon  https://www.amazon.com/When-Dead-Birds-See-Light/dp/B0B1FVB3JP

    Paperbacks https://paperbacks.vn/

    Ohquao https://ohquao.com/

    Follow Quynh on social media:

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/quynhnguyen.author

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theauthor_quynh/

    Follow Mel on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/melaniecasul/

    Follow Matt on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mattcowansaigon/Follow The Bureau Asia on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/thebureauasia

    Join The Bureau Asia Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheBureauGroup

    Visit The Bureau Asia website: https://thebureauasia.com

    • 54 min
    This Yorkshireman's 10 years in Saigon have gone by in a Wink

    This Yorkshireman's 10 years in Saigon have gone by in a Wink

    As usual this season, Matt kicks off the episode with some of the latest news from Vietnam from the past week or so, followed by an interview with Wink Hotels brand director David Kaye, then to wrap it up, The Bureau Asia's content manager Melanie Casul pops by to make some cheeky cold calls to concierges at some of Ho Chi Minh City's finest hotels for dining and drinking recommendations. How do they fair?

    Follow David on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/cavestagram

    Check out Wink Hotels: https://www.instagram.com/winkhotels

    Check out The Dot Magazine: https://thedotmagazine.com

    Check out Capella Hanoi: https://www.instagram.com/capellahanoi

    Check out JW Marriott Phu Quoc:  https://www.instagram.com/jwmarriottphuquoc

    Follow Mel on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/jwmarriottphuquoc

    Follow Matt on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/mattcowansaigon

    Follow The Bureau Asia on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/thebureauasia

    Join The Bureau Asia Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheBureauGroup

    Visit The Bureau Asia website: https://thebureauasia.com

    • 1 hr 19 min
    The Singaporean who hasn't stopped travelling since the end of Covid

    The Singaporean who hasn't stopped travelling since the end of Covid

    After five big news stories that hit the headlines in Vietnam this past week or so, I interview Joleena Seah who hasn't stopped travelling since travel restrictions were eased post-Covid. To wrap up the episode, I review three of the four stunning Bill Bensley-designed luxury resorts in Vietnam.

    Follow Joleena's travels on Instagram: www.instagram.com/joleenaseah

    Follow Joleena's PR work on Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/joleenaseah

    Follow Matt on Instagram: www.instagram.com/mattcowansaigon

    Join The Bureau Asia Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/TheBureauGroup

    Subscribe to The Bureau Asia YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/c/TheBureauAsia

    • 45 min
    The man who's lived out of a suitcase for 20 years

    The man who's lived out of a suitcase for 20 years

    I'm back this season all on my lonesome without Mel and Andy to hold my hand nor (more importantly) to stuff things up or get into arguments! First up in this episode, some Vietnam news, followed by an interview with a fellow who's been living out of a suitcase for the past 20 years as he follows his digital nomadic life across Asia and the rest of the world. To close out the episode, I review a new bar opening in the former gangster heartland of District 4 in Ho Chi Minh City. 

    Follow Nomadic Notes:

    Website – www.nomadicnotes.com

    Facebook –  www.facebook.com/nomadicnotes

    Instagram – instagram.com/nomadicnotes

    • 41 min

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