​Foreigners watch World Cup in droves on Bui Vien in Ho Chi Minh City

Many foreigners have gathered at night in restaurants and on the sidewalk of a famous hubbub-filled street in Ho Chi Minh City to share their enjoyment and even disappointment during 2018 FIFA World Cup matches.

After 1:00 am on June 29, over music flaring out from restaurants one was able to hear the sound of excitement from the football spectators in Russia and Vietnamese sports commentators as foreigners were watching World Cup games shown live on several dozen screens along downtown Bui Vien Street, which locals colloquially call ‘Westerners’ Street’ due to the ubiquity of foreign nationals here, although not all of them come from Western countries.

Almost all restaurants on Bui Vien were visited by foreigners, with some even placing chairs on the sidewalk.

In a restaurant at the corner of Bui Vien and De Tham Streets, England fans danced with joy at half-time, only to be saddened by Belgium’s goal five minutes into the second half and Marcus Rashford’s missed chance in the 66th minute.

“It’s fine. England will also enter the next round,” said a 19-year-old British patron named Claudia Ross, giving a strained smile after England lost 0-1 to Belgium in their final group game.

Ross said she loved the atmosphere on Bui Vien, which a hotel staff member recommended to her, and was surprised by the sheer number of screens hung along the road.

Watching football with many others should be more enjoyable than staying alone in a hotel room, she said, adding that she usually joined such gatherings with friends in the U.K.

Billy Smithson, who was in company with two friends wearing jerseys of England’s football squad, said he was strolling along the street when he was attracted by the restaurant’s crowdedness.

“I really like the excitement here. I feel that everyone is football enthusiasts. It’s so great!” he said.

Women watch the England-Belgium match at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, June 29, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

An employee at the establishment said it was visited by many customers every World Cup season, and restaurants along Bui Vien installed screens on the façade of their own accord.

The above liveliness was not seen among Japanese nationals watching their home country team play Poland on June 28.

They were seen in small groups drinking glasses of beer while watching the match in restaurants along Le Thanh Ton and Thai Van Lung Streets, where there is a strong Japanese presence, in downtown Ho Chi Minh City.

In an alley that intersects with the latter road and is lined with multiple Japanese-style hotels and restaurants, several Japanese sat on a bench watching the match showed on an outdoor screen.

Foreign patrons watch a 2018 FIFA World Cup match in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, June 29, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

People watch a 2018 FIFA World Cup match in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, June 29, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

People watch a 2018 FIFA World Cup match in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, June 29, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

People watch a 2018 FIFA World Cup match in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, June 29, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

A man (foreground) sprawls in a chair while watching a 2018 FIFA World Cup game in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, June 29, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

By Thai Xuan

Source: Tuoi Tre News