As usual, on vacation in foreign lands I tend to carry a small portable recorder with me all the time. You never know what once-in-a-life sound happening is waiting just behind the corner. Vietnam offered me a couple of interesting possibilities of recording local music.
Two times I went to a local traditional music shows in the old quarter of Hoi An (an old coastal town in the middle of Vietnam). Even being a bit touristry affairs, they were still fun to watch and listen. I really like the look and sound of traditional Vietnamese instrument dan bau (propably getting one myself).
On one occasion I was spending evening in the local park in HCMC when some blokes were launching their karaoke machines. "Oh, there's gonna be an out-of-tune western pop standard time", I thought first but I was happy to hear that they were karaoking some traditional music. Now that was something I never heard before. I even attended a big local free outdoor heavy metal/rock -concert with Vietnamese bands performing. Nothing original there, most bands sounding like Nightwish, Stratovarius or nu-metal rip-offs but still fun to see that a bit harder rock music is alive and well in Vietnam where some art forms are still struggling with censorship restrictions.
Otherwise the vacation was filled with searching for good places to eat (there was plenty of them), inspecting the surroundings (found one of the ugliest beaches I've ever seen - see the photo with sand bags and a drowned dog carcass) and interesting bulleting boards and signs, visiting ancient ruins of My Son & some temples... and of course hunting for records which I wrote about in my previous post.