This Week in Saigon: Best Events 2 March - 9 March

By: Angee the Diva

Events to strengthen your body and improve your mental health

Arts and culture events, including thought-provoking plays, a compelling film, and an extremely unique drag show

Unique party events that are gonna breathe new life into Saigon

With so many great events this week in Ho Chi Minh City, it was hard to narrow them down! There’s a little something for everyone here, and even a few opportunities to catch me around town :-) So let’s get into Angee the Diva’s Best Events of the Week for 2 to 9 March.


Ground Breakers Night: Body Image and Self Acceptance

Chanh Bistro Rooftop Saigon Calmette, Floor 3, 171 Calmette St, D1
3 March | 7:30pm to 10:30pm | VND50,000

Leading Women is a new women’s public speaking group in Saigon that creates regular events for those who identify as women to express themselves on various topics that empower people of all genders. This time, they’re taking over Chanh Bistro Rooftop Saigon Calmette to discuss the issues around body image and self-acceptance. The panel of speakers aim to inspire people of all genders to love their bodies with all its unique features. And guess who’s on the panel - your’s truly! I’ll be bringing all the Angee the Diva sass and insights on my secret to self-acceptance. At the end of the panel, there will be an audience discussion and time to mingle with all the attendees.

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March Monthly Hike at Xuan Thanh

LaHolista Co, 22/01 Duong So 64, D2
9 March | 7:00am to 2:00pm | VND525,000

Sometimes you just need to get out of Ho Chi Minh City into some fresh air and green spaces. But if you’re like me, you don’t even know where to begin to find a little nature. Well La Holista has you covered with their monthly hikes. This month, La Holista is offering a longer hike than usual, a 15 km trek through the jungle of Xuan Thanh. The hike route is about 60 km outside of Saigon, so they are providing bus transportation from An Phu Supermarket in Thao Dien to and from Xuan Thanh. The fee also includes 2 protein sports balls, 1 lunch pack of organic whole wheat pasta with homemade organic cashew pesto and cashew parmesan, and 1 liter of water. The guided hike is about 4 hours, but it is suitable for beginner to intermediate level hikers. For more information, please visit the La Holista Facebook event page, or to register, please click the link.

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Motorbike First Aid

Co-Space, 5th Floor, 104A Xuan Thuy, D2
9 March | 9:00am to 12:30pm | VND1,500,000

I’ve had my fair share of motorbike accidents since being in Vietnam, and it’s so frustrating to have to mime my symptoms at the doctor or pharmacy. I hope to always safely arrive at my destination, but it would be nice to know what to do if misfortune strikes again. Enter Fitzpatrick First Aid Training. Following this hands-on first aid course at Co-Space in Thao Dien, students will be prepared to handle road burn, cuts, bruises, broken bones and even spinal injury. Upon completion of the course, students will also receive a Certificate of Attendance from Fitzpatrick First Aid Training. No matter how carefully you drive, it’s always good to be prepared in the event of a road emergency.

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A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer - A Play to Honor the Women in Our Lives

Soma Art Lounge, 6b Le Van Mien, D2
8 March | 7:30pm - 9:30pm | VND180,000 presale; VND200,000 door

On Women’s Day, Soma Art Lounge opens its doors to V-Inclusive to present a play in Saigon to honor the women in our lives - A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer. Sister play to the Vagina Monologues, this acclaimed play explores sensitive issues that women around the world face, including violence, human trafficking, child marriage, and the like with emotion, humor, and strength. This heart-felt and thought-provoking collection of monologues will be performed by some amazing talents of Saigon,, Angee the Diva!

The main purpose of this performance is not only to provoke thought and social action, but also to benefit the Little Rose Shelter which helps girls overcome many of the challenges that the play highlights. All proceeds from the play will go directly to Little Rose Shelter to help them continue their great work.

“Please note, this performance comes with a TRIGGER WARNING as it contains references to rape, sexual violence and gendered violence. Some themes may be sensitive for young children. Parental discretion is advised.”

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Rooftop Film Screenings: Guerilla Girl

Arcan, 236/43/13 Dien Bien Phu, Binh Thanh
6 March | 8:00pm to 11:00pm

Arcan Saigon’s Docunight is back! This week, join them on the rooftop for a compelling documentary: Guerrilla Girl. The film follows the arduous training of 21-year-old Isabel, a new recruit of Columbian Marxist-Leninist revolutionary guerrilla organization FARC. This movie delves deep into the complicated consequences of a country affected by civil war. The movie will start at 8:00pm so arrive early to nab a good seat. Arcan is offering an amazing drink special, too - free flow beer for only VND180,000!

event in saigonImage source: Guerilla Girl

Saigon Is Burning: Straight Dudes Edition

Soma Art Lounge, 6b Le Van Mien, D2
2 March | 8:00pm - 2:00am | VND100,000

The Genderfunk crew is back again at Soma Art Lounge to slay societal constraints with glitter! This time they’re burning up toxic masculinity with Saigon Is Burning: Straight Dudes Edition. Five straight male competitors will bring their fiercest and feminine performances to the stage to battle it out for the crown and a VND1,000,000 cash prize. Genderfunk is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for ALL humans to express themselves while throwing one hell of a party and drag show in Ho Chi Minh City! So let’s blur the lines of sexuality and gender for the pursuit of happiness, freedom of expression, and...glitter 😁.

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Urban Lights’ “Me, Asian?”

The American School Middle/High School Campus, 172-180 Nguyen Van Huong, D2

7 March | 3:00pm & 7:00pm | VND50,000 for students; VND200,000 for adults

The American School welcomes Urban Lights, fresh from the Perth Fringeworld Festival, for a visually stunning family friendly performance. Urban Lights' "Me. Asian?" is a performance art piece that attempts to answer the very complicated question, “Where are you from?” Told from the perspective of the bright group of Vietnamese and Korean young people, the performance is a mix of interviews, dance, cultural music and physical theatre. Purchase tickets by email from Ms. Kate Soper, the troup’s drama teacher, via email. These kids are shining stars, so don’t miss this very special performance!

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Drunken Cinema SGN: Bad Boys (1995)

The Hive Saigon, 94 Xuan Thuy, D2
2 March | 7:00pm - 10:00pm | VND150,000 - VND1,500,000

What happens when you combine classic movies with drinking games? Saigon is about to find out! Drunken Cinema SGN invites you to experience this fun interactive movie drinking game vieing of Bad Boys (1995) at The Hive Saigon. In high anticipation of Bad Boys 3 sequel, Drunken Cinema SGN’s inaugural event will include a Will Smith & Martin Lawrence tribute, opening stand-up comedy by Saigon Funny People, drinking game cards, props, and giveaways. Platinum Beer is sponsoring the event to make sure everyone has a great time with some of the tastiest craft beer in Saigon. Ticket prices are VND150,000 for Hive members (purchase at The Hive Saigon), VND200,000 for general admission, and VND1,500,000 for VIP seating of up to 5 people and a tower of Platinum Beer (purchase on TicketBox or at the door). Doors open at 7:00pm, so get in early to get a prime seat.

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Fashion Week Paris at No Vacancy

No Vacancy, 16 Thu Khoa Huan, D1
1 to 3 March | 9:00pm - 2:00am | FREE

No Vacancy is taking theme parties to new, fashionably chic heights. In celebration of Paris Fashion Week 2019, No Vacancy is offering daily promotions and giveaways for fashionistas. This event actually started on 25th February but continues through the weekend until 3rd March. On Saturday, get in the Ghetto Chic groove. Ladies who wear golden dress will receive 8 complimentary drink coupons for the special Paris Fashion Week cosmopolitan cocktails. And on Sunday, ladies can receive the same promotion for wearing long boots. No Vacancy is trying to be at the forefront of the innovative parties in Saigon by bringing fresh talent, pure urban music, and ridiculous promotions. This seems like a good week to dress your best to go check out a new party venue in Ho Chi Minh City.

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Kizz4U Kizomba Getaway Event

Sofitel Saigon Plaza, 17 Le Duan Blvd, D1
1 to 3 March | All Day | VND1,850,000 for Party Pass

What is Kizomba? It’s a genre of dance and music originating in Angola in Africa in the 1980s. (Okay, I totally paraphrased that from Wikipedia 😂) Dance isn’t meant to be explained; it has to be experienced. Now, thanks to Kizz4U, we can experience the premier Kizomba Festival in Saigon, held at Sofitel Saigon Plaza. They have curated a line up of Kizomba dance and cultural workshops, sunset pool parties, Kizomba dance performances, and themed social dance events led by international DJs and dancers all weekend long, all at the Sofitel Saigon Plaza. Be sure to check out the event page to get all the details. If you’re longing for something different than EDM music and live bands in Saigon but you still want to get your body moving, why not learn something new surrounded by passionate dance and party people?

Whether you’re into experiencing some performance art, getting fit in nature, or checking out the new party scene in Saigon, there are no shortage of events this week in Ho Chi Minh City.  Grab some friends start working down the list of Angee the Diva’s Best Events of the Week for 2 to 9 March. And say, “Hey!” if you see me around Saigon! #YoureWelcome 😘

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Golf in Vietnam

By: Simon Stanley

Golf in Vietnam. Great Experience


Although Vietnam has only 30 golf courses in operation, they are all very high quality and some outstanding designs by the top golf architects in the world. If you get the opportunity to play, you will not be disappointed and you will be made so very welcome wherever you go. As yet, there are no public golf courses in the country and golf is seen as a sport for the elite. Many of the top-position politicians and businessmen play golf as they see it as a good way to discuss business together.


Golf here is not as expensive as you would think. During the week, special offers mean you can play golf for around $60. This will include the green fee and caddie. Please note that caddies are mandatory and more about them later. Although many golf courses are ok for walking, due to the heat and the time taken to play 18 holes, it is wise to take a buggy. Prices vary from course to course, but a shared buggy charge will be around $15 per person.


golf in vietnam


Photo courtesy of Sea Links Golf Resort


When you arrive at the golf club, you will be welcomed by the Valet, who will direct you to Reception where you will book in. If you need rental clubs and shoes, the Receptionist will get them for you. Most golf clubs will offer acceptable rental clubs for about $25 for 18 holes or higher quality sets, such as Titleist or Taylor Made for $40. The price for shoes is usually $15. The Golf Shop will stock tees, gloves and golf balls and some clubs offer used golf balls for sale. They will also have a selection of shirts and caps for you to buy as souvenirs. You must be aware of the dress code. Each club will expect you to wear a proper golf shirt, golf shorts, not swimming trunks or very short shorts, golf shoes and each golfer must have their own set of golf clubs, Sharing is not allowed. All golf clubs have locker rooms and you will be given your own locker and key. Do not lose the key, otherwise they will charge you for a replacement.

golf in vietnam

Photo courtesy of Do Son Seaside Golf Resort

The caddie will help you on the golf course. When you book a tee time, insist on a caddie who can speak English. You will be spending 4 or 5 hours with them, so you do want to find out more about their life and you will find they are so interested in you. They will do everything for you except hit a golf ball. They will take care of your clubs, clean your golf balls, fill in divots, rake bunkers and repair pitch marks. They will describe each hole for you, tell you where the hazards are and even give you the line of the putt. As their salary is small, then you should give them a tip at the end of the round. The amount of tip is up to you, but the usual tip is 250,000 to 400,000 Vietnam dong per caddie ($13 to $20).

Make sure you are properly prepared for your round of golf. Drink plenty of water before you play and during the round. All golf courses have rest houses on the golf course and many return to the club house after 9 holes. Bringing your own drinks and food is a no no and should not be done.

After your round of golf, make sure you give yourself time to relax at the clubhouse with a welcoming and refreshing cold drink. Golf clubs are excellent places to eat, very reasonable in price and will offer both local and international menus.

Most of all enjoy yourself and take in the beauty of where you are. You are in a very special place with some friendly, smiling people who want to do their best for you and hope you will come back and see them again.

golf in vietnam

Other Golf articles by Simon Tinkler:
Golf in the North of Vietnam
Golf in Nha Trang
Golf in Da Nang
Golf in Phan Thiet and Mui Ne
Sea Links Golf Course - Heaven or Hell
Holes-in-One for BRG Group

Escape Hunt and Ubiquest in HCMC

By: Aleksandr Smechov

City Pass tries out two of Saigon’s most popular live detective games, Escape Hunt and Ubiquest, playing the role of a hard-nosed detective investigating a murder mystery.

Outside of theatre and video games, you don’t see much role play or interactive activities in Ho Chi Minh City. Luckily, we uncovered two detective games that drop you in the middle of a murder mystery, letting you live out those Sherlock Holmes fantasies (minus tobacco pipe and risk of death). Escape Hunt and Ubiquest are difficult (to an extent), immersive and rewarding – read on to find out exactly why they are some of the most fun you will have in Saigon.

Escape Hunt

Located somewhat furtively above The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is the quietly decorated lobby area of Ho Chi Minh City’s Escape Hunt office. Four rooms sit at various angles, blocked off by tall curtains. These are the escape rooms, and you will know nothing about them until you walk in, have the door shut and locked on you, and be given one hour to solve the mystery and find the key to unlock the door.

Escape Hunt HCMC

Escape Hunt is the brainchild of an English Psychologist who, after experiencing health issues and moving to Thailand, developed the idea of a detective game that has 2-5 players pitted against an intricate mystery.

Escape Hunt now has 25 locations, with a slew of others set to open in North America. The Ho Chi Minh City Escape Hunt branch was opened in September and has been popular with teens, universities, companies, tourists and expats.

Escape Hunt Saigon

Three of our staff stopped in for a 60-minute sleuth session. We were ushered into a low-lit room, explained the rules and left to solve the mystery and find the key to the door within an hour timeframe.

We heard the door sadistically lock and some moody music creep up. The game master was available for hints, but each time we asked for help from her we got minutes shaved from our remaining time.

Escape Hunt in Ho Chi Minh City

The puzzles are tricky, teamwork-oriented, and require some outside-the-box approaches. Few if any have solved the mystery and escaped the room without at least a few hints from the game master. Finding the next clue or coming upon an item you were searching for feels highly rewarding, and you get sucked into the role quickly. Time flies as you use a whiteboard to jot down notes and figures, collect pieces of evidence and nervously glance at the large LED clock ticking away.

It’s thrilling, addictive and relies on individual strengths working in unison rather than outsmarting the other person. As a team-building exercise or a rainy-day diversion, Escape Hunt is ace.

To check out available mysteries and booking options, check out the Escape Hunt booking page.


Ubiquest Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City’s second live detective game takes players outside the claustrophobic confines of a room and throws them in the streets of Saigon.

This doubles as a self-directed walking tour, but you may want to do the tour part after the live game – you’ll be too busy role playing a hard-nosed detective, questioning actors in various roles, finding mafia-tied ancient artifacts or any of the other challenges Ubiquest presents.

For our experience, we chose the Urban Tales game, a murder mystery set in Cho Lon, Ho Chi Minh City’s China town. We were picked up by a cute yellow 1967 Citroen 2CV, a happy-go-lucky young driver creaking away at the ancient dashboard. We arrived at a dilapidated living space, escorted up to the top floor and into one of the rooms, a few curious residents peeking at us through open doorways.

We were briefed, told to search the evidence room and given our gear (map, notebook, water, etc.), including cell phones for further instructions from the head detective.

Urban Tales takes three to four hours to complete. Be sure to go when the wind blows and the sun’s behind the clouds – you can easily get exhausted walking around in the unbearable heat on a cloudless day. Sun block and a decently wide hat are all but mandatory. You’ll be provided water but it’s a good idea to bring a bottle of your own too.

Ubiquest detective game

For entirety of the game, we set out into the streets of Cho Lon with our map and collection of evidence, going from actor to actor, uncovering details of the murder. The characters drop you clues and hints when you press them for information, sometimes refusing you if you don’t put enough pressure or reasoning into your argument. The acting is hilariously campy, and the game would benefit from some natural English speakers with an acting background, but the campiness is tolerable in the grand scheme, and allows you to play out your own amateur detective fantasies without judgment.

Ubiquest Cho Lon

We were pitted against two other teams, and although we were the first to find out the murderer, another team found the sacred artifact before us. Afterwards we all took cyclos to a Chinese restaurant for free lunch.

Urban Tales is an eclectic way to discover Cho Lon – or any other part of Saigon – just be sure to go when the sun isn’t blazing.

For more games, check out the official Ubiquest page.

Best Things to Do with Kids in Saigon

By: Barbara

Many of Ho Chi Minh City's things to do are suitable for families with kids of all ages. If you are living in Vietnam as an expat or just visiting, we list the 10 best things to do with your children in Saigon.

Don’t forget to comment below to let us know what are your recommendations!

City Parks and their Playgrounds

The city's parks are places where childish exuberance, which can be hard to contain in a hotel room, can be unleashed. Van Thanh Park in Binh Thanh District has paths and a field for little people who just need to run, as well as a small playground and a swimming pool. While the kids are busy being energetic, adults can relax in a bamboo hut over a small pond or work up a sweat on the tennis courts.

Saigon Parks

Listening to Songbirds

Tao Dan Park in downtown District 1 also has room to move, making it a popular spot for city dwellers to take their morning and evening exercise. And it's not just people who visit the park. Songbirds are taken to the park's little cafe (fronting Cach Mang Thang Tam Street) every morning, their cages hung from purpose-built frames to encourage them to sing. It's a fascinating experience to visit the bird cafe, especially watching the bird owners take their beloved pets home by motorbike.

Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre

The park, which has large playground and an indoor play centre, is a short walk from the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre. The 55-minute water puppet shows, all in Vietnamese, need to be booked a few days ahead.

You could continue the bird theme with a visit to Pet Me Coffee in Phu Nhuan District. This small drinks-only cafe has a resident mini-owl and several parakeets, which can be petted, as well as some larger more exotic birds who hang out at the front of the coffee shop.

Photo Source: Golden Dragon Theatre

Family-Fun in Suoi Tien Amusement Park

One of the city's wackiest attractions in town is the Buddhist-themed Suoi Tien Amusement Park. Allocate a full day here, especially if you plan to visit the vast water park section. The amusement park can be quite baffling if you're not well versed in Buddhist stories because there is limited signage in English. Still, a stroll through the strange displays, which include a wish tree and The Royal Herbal Wine Palace, can be very entertaining. There is also an aquarium, 4D cinema, a dolphin show and the Snow Castle, the perfect place to escape Ho Chi Minh City's heat ... by plunging into a sub-zero world of ice and snow.

Photo Source: Suoi Tien - Andrea Hale

Pretending to Be Adults in Kizciti

Younger kids will enjoy learning about the world of work at Kizciti in District 4. The staff here usually has enough English to explain how each activity centre works. Each child receives a small amount of kizo, the Kizciti currency, on entry and they must decide how to manage it. Some activities cost kizo, and some earn it. A small open-air cafe serves basic food and coffee to sustain the "kiz" and their parents through a long day of "work", which can entail learning to be a pilot, a paediatrician, a delivery person or a firefighter.

Photo Source: Kizciti

Indoor Kid’s Play Centres and Playgrounds

Ho Chi Minh City has several indoor play centres and amusement arcades. In the city centre, Vincom Center has a play area and a game zone in its basement. In District 2, there's a play area in the garden of Snap Cafe and in District 7 there's an air-conditioned indoor playground inside Bee Bee Premium Kid's Cafe (4th floor, 96-98 Cao Trieu Phat, Phu My Hung).

Older kids can while away a few hours at Paintball Saigon, X-Rock Climbing, in the pool at Lan An Sports Club or at the bowling alley on the fourth floor of Diamond Plaza.

Photo Source: Snap Café

Visit a Witch-Themed Café

Younger kids can be entertained for hours at the witch-themed Ba Cay Choi (Three Broomstick) cafe on the third floor of The Vista Walk in District 2. Activities at the cafe, which can be entered via the stairs or a giant slide, include candle-making, baking, hat-making and painting. Make sure you order something with a suitably disgusting name from the food and drink menu, such as bug mud or ghost pumpkin spaghetti.

There are more cool cafés for you to bring your children to: A long rainy Saigon afternoon can be spent playing board games and snacking on poutine at Monopolatte Au Play Cafe, while a long scary evening can be spent eating ribs. (There's a pool in the outdoor section).

Photo Source: Witch Coffee

Playing Detective in Escape Hunt

Escape Hunt is a game played indoors with a group of two to eight people. You are locked inside a room with a mystery murder to solve. It is one of the best thing to do in Saigon for families with teenagers. You must work together to find clues that will help you find out who is the killer and how to escape.

Learning Arts in Vinspace

In the expat area of District 2, there is a range of activities for older kids. Some of the more interesting include taking a workshop or joining a summer camp at Vinspace art studio.

Photo Source: Vinspace

Saigon Reunification Palace

The Reunification Palace is a prime example of a must-visit family-friendly attraction that has a special appeal for kids. The roomy but slightly run-down public areas could be the backdrop for a princess fantasy, while the basement war rooms will appeal to hero-types. Making the palace even more appealing is its location, a short walk from the Haagen-Dazs ice cream cafe.

Families traveling to Vietnam with kids should not worry about things to do in Saigon. We only listed our top 10 attractions but there are many more great ideas that will make your stay memorable. You may also want to read our article What to Do in 24-hour in Saigon.

Arabian Night in HCMC

By: Quang Mai

Funds raised from the event will be donated to Nguyen Dinh Chieu School for the Blind in District 10 to renovate and buy equipment for a Multi-Sensory Room that supports 305 students here to develope their academic learning. Multi-Sensory Learning happens when more than one sense is used to acquire and retain information – so applicable for children with multi-disabilities.


Saturday, 15th September 2012


From 7pm till late


InterContinental Asiana Saigon
Corner of Hai Ba Trung & Le Duan St., Dist. 1, HCMC

Ticket cost:

VND3,165,000 per ticket
VND31,650,000 per table of 10

Tel: (84-8) 3832 9912

Please click here to visit Arabian Night micro website

XO Tours: Much imitated but never replicated!

By: Barbara Dorothy Clarke

We all know that it is near on impossible to copyright an idea and protect intellectual property in Vietnam.

But what does that mean for your day to day business when you have an original idea and an excellent product?

Luckily although people can steal your ideas – in minute detail – and almost totally replicate your offering - it’s the little things that make a brand – and ensure that brand still stands head high above any pale imitations.

Spend 5 minutes with Tung who is the founder of XO Tours and his passion and enthusiasm for what he does is palpable. It is a simple idea – tourists want to see the real Saigon but not on the back of a grubby motorbike and behind an even grubbier driver. Step up XO Tours with female drivers with class, style and excellent English who are also able to provide a female perspective on life in Vietnam.

XO Tours was the first company in Vietnam to offer affordable motorbike tours with attractive female tour guides dressed in traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai. All the XO guides are handpicked and fluent in English but it is Tung’s focus on service that really sets XO Tours apart.

Tung invests heavily in every detail of his brand and his employees imbue the same high brand values. All his employees are trained to the highest standards – whether it is presentation, language skills, driving skills or personability . All employees are full time and their bikes are upgraded at Tung’s expense to ensure maximum comfort and safety for clients.

This is a business where the customer experience is king – people are buying memories and that is what he aims to deliver. Staff retention is key and bonuses and profit sharing make for motivated and loyal employees who are focused on growing the company by providing the best experience they can.

Customers come from all over the world and a high percentage of business comes from word of mouth – simply the best publicity you can get – being number 1 on Trip Advisor for 2 years can’t be bad either.

Bristling with new ideas, Tung started with basic tours – he was the first to do night tours – then first to do foodie tours. Now others are jumping on the bandwagon - some good -some not so good….

In spite of this, XO Tours is expanding and bookings are full – anything between 18-24 guests go out on any one night.

So competitors can steal his ideas, follow the same routes , and visit the same areas, cosy up to the same suppliers…..

Imitate they may – replicate never!

Do you know of any businesses with similar experiences?

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