A culinary walk through France - in Saigon

By Thao Vi, Thanh Nien News

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Emmanuel Ly-Batallan, Consul General of France in Ho Chi Minh City, introduces Balade en France at a press briefing on October 3, 2014. Photo: Thao Vi Emmanuel Ly-Batallan, Consul General of France in Ho Chi Minh City, introduces Balade en France at a press briefing on October 3, 2014. Photo: Thao Vi
The biggest French food and wine festival in Ho Chi Minh City will take place on October 24 and 25 at the Hotel Equatorial, according to a press briefing on Friday.
Balade en France (Ride in France) aims to present French wine and gastronomy. The event, like its name, is an opportunity for Vietnamese to discover France,” said Emmanuel Ly-Batallan, Consul General of France in HCMC.
This year, organizers will not offer package tickets like previous years but an entrance ticket that grants guests access to the event to enjoy music and magic performances. They can then buy coupons worth VND20,000 (US$1) each and exchange them with food, beverage and desserts.
The price of each product will vary from VND20,000 to VND80,000.
Three Vietnam-based French bands, Hot Tzigani, Gwenilli, and Peche à la mouche, will perform on stage while several magicians from BNP Magic crew will walk through the room and entertain guests with their tricks.
Other activities of the festival include a lucky draw with souvenirs, a photobooth, the presence of several cartoonists, a painter’s live show and games in the kids corner.
Last year the event attracted 1,600 guests with 70 percent being Vietnamese. Organizers said they expect the fifth edition of the festival to welcome roughly 1,800 people.
Entrance tickets cost VND150,000 ($7) if buying in advance and VND300,000 on the day of the event. It is VND120,000 for children under 14 and free for those under five.
Tickets can be found at the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Vietnam (5B Ton Duc Thang Street, District 1), Hotel Equatorial (242 Tran Binh Trong Street, District 5), and Air France agents.

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