Elip Cafe is a breath of fresh air in the concrete jungle.
Ho Chi Minh City nature lovers delight in architect Vo Trong Nghia's Elip Cafe, a spacious watering hole made almost entirely of bamboo.
Opened last August in Go Vap District, the Cafe is similar to Nghia's other famous cafes - Wind and Water and 1131 Cafes in neighboring Binh Duong Province.
The Cafe, made of some 10,000 bamboo shoots, is shaped like a giant ellipse, hence the name. In sticking with the theme, two ponds and a giant skylight are all oval-shaped.
Nghia has reputation for using all-natural materials.
Like his other Cafes, Elip Cafe features a large pond in the center which acts as a natural air conditioner as wind passes across the water surface and circulates throughout the Cafe.
The large pond creates a certain airiness in the Cafe. When it's still, the raised-pond looks like a sheet of glass or a mirror. When it rains, the sides of the pool become fountains as water slowly overflows.
An elliptical dome half-covers Elip Cafe's atrium, with the large pond in the center. The reflection of the dome is striking in the pond.
To enter the cafe, customers walk across a rock bridge over the pond, which is home to a few fountains.
Elip Cafe also has an air-conditioned section, separated by glass walls, with plush sofas.
Upstairs is a traditional tea room with low tables.
Elip is open from 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m. everyyday. It serves a wide range of dishes and drinks and provides free wifi Internet service. It also serves office lunches.
Foods and drinks at Elip Cafe are priced at VND16,000- 32,000 (US$0.90-1.80) per serving.
The cafe is located at 530/23 Thong Nhat Street, Go Vap District.