The Globe as you know it is changing.
Coming June 2019

  • More thought-provoking stories that inspire
  • Independent, free and member-supported
  • Vote for, pitch and commission stories
  • Member engagement with our journalists

To understand more about why you are so important to our member-supported initiative, we encourage you to read the following from our managing editor ~ Read more

The Globe as you know it is changing.

Since 2007, Southeast Asia Globe has been a space for some of the region’s best writers and photographers to take our readers behind the headlines into the stories that shape people’s lives. Every month, you could expect to pick up our latest print edition and find high-quality journalism, analysis and artwork waiting on every page. And since 2007, we’ve fought to uphold our promise of quality and independence to you, our readers.

But, like we said, the world is changing. Print publications just aren’t reaching the audiences they need to fulfil their promise of informing, educating and entertaining the public. Advertisers continue to invest in digital platforms while printing costs creep ever higher. Print may not be dead, but it’s fighting for its life. And we’re tired of waiting by a sickbed for its condition to improve. We want to be present at the birth of something new.

That’s why Southeast Asia Globe is relaunching as a member-driven platform featuring daily long-form features combining world-class journalism with enthralling art design and data-centered tech. Through our core pillars – Power, Money, Life and Earth – we are focusing in on the central issues that our readers have always engaged with most, with the same in-depth coverage of politics, business, social affairs and the environment that you’ve come to expect since 2007.

But leaving print behind us doesn’t just save our backs from lugging stacks of magazines across Southeast Asia. It opens up a global readership who don’t just want to read the news, but have a say in the stories that we tell and the way that we tell them. We’re not asking you to take out another magazine subscription – our stories are open to all. What we’re offering our members is a space where they can pitch and vote on the stories that they think deserve to be told. We want to inspire an engaged and active community of members who vote for, comment on and contribute to the stories that matter most to them. We want to work with our members to curate the way they engage with the news – not just as readers, but as an active extension of our editorial team.

That’s how we’re changing to bring you great stories. Here’s how we’re not.

We’re independent. Always have been, always will be. We’re not owned by any corporation or aligned with any state. We choose the stories that we tell, and the way that we tell them.

We’re creative. We’re not interested in churning out breaking news stories on the hour, every hour. We believe that the best stories are the ones that come alive on the page, digging deeper into the issues that shape Southeast Asia – and bringing you along for the ride. From our dedicated designers to our new software development team, our commitment is to constantly challenge ourselves to find new ways of reaching out to our readers.

We’re open. Challenging governments, NGOs and businesses to be transparent with the public means nothing if we keep our own readers in the dark. That’s why we will be completely open about why we tell the stories that we tell – and how we pay for them. Work with us to build something that endures where many media fail, and decide with us exactly where that money is going.

Above all, we’re optimistic. And yeah, we know what you’re thinking. Faced with impending climate collapse, the rise of right-wing authoritarian governments across the world, widening wealth and income inequality and deepening divisions rooted in race or gender or creed, it’s hard not to open the papers and feel the weight of the world pressing down. But we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t believe that when people work together, they can make their little corner of the world a more just, open and equal place.

And that’s why we can’t do this without you. We believe that across the globe is a community of people who care deeply about social justice, environmental action and press freedom – and who will join in to help make those ideals a reality. We’re not just holding our hand out – we need your voice to play a vital role in building Southeast Asia Globe into a leading space for progressive causes in the region. Tell us what stories the mainstream media is missing. Share with us the causes that matter most to you, and how we can champion those causes not just across Southeast Asia, but the world.

Our vision is clear. By 2025, we want to be recognised for building a great space for outstanding journalists from across the region to explore new ways of telling Southeast Asia’s most vital stories. Let’s bring together a community of engaged and loyal members who want to help reshape the media rather than just read it. And we want to reach a point where our readers, not advertisers, are the ones working to support our shared vision of an inclusive media.

We can’t do this without you. Let’s get together and build something that we all believe in.

If you’re interested in joining us, sign up to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter. And watch this space.

The Gin House / The Saigon speakeasy igniting a quiet gin revolution in Vietnam

By: Thomas Brent - Posted on: November 2, 2018 | Featured

The Gin House opened in 2016 as a hidden Prohibition-inspired speakeasy in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. Co-founder and general manager Vuu Thanh Tan talks about sharing the art of bartending and his love of the juniper-based spirit with his countrymen

I have worked in the food and beverage industry for a long time – 12 years already. I started to work at the age of 16. After nearly five years working as a bartender… I set up the bar Snuffbox – it’s a speakeasy bar in Saigon – and I became inspired by the US Prohibition era.

“[In 2016] my partner and I decided to make a new bar, not a gin bar, just a cocktail bar. After two days, we came back home to think about the concept, and we agreed to make it a gin bar and we worked out the name the Gin House. We both had the same thinking and the same taste.

“The salary is not [high] in Vietnam, and the benefits are just so-so, so in the beginning, we just had a little bit of money in our hands and we [knew we couldn’t] open a gin house with just 30 bottles of gin. So we had to find a solution, and our solution was infusion. We researched and tried many, many ingredients to find a match for the best results. Now we have 25 of our own house-infused gins and 140 different bottles of gin that we have imported. We are the first [gin bar], and… we have the best collection of gin in Vietnam.

“[Up until] three months ago, the main door [to the Gin House] was different. It was glass, not wooden, like now. Before we didn’t have enough customers, but now we have enough customers and they know about us already, so they want to come here to enjoy talking with bartenders or talking with me, so I decided to change the door to make it a bit secret.

“Next I will focus on making more cocktails, importing more gin and thinking about the way customers enjoy the gin. We want to tell the customers why we serve a cocktail with this tonic or this flavour, or why we drink on the rocks or straight up. So I’m training the staff to do more of this, to give more information to the customers, to [help them] understand gin and more about bartending.

“In Vietnam, when old people like grandmothers and grandfathers think of bartending, they think of people working in a nightclub where the music is [boom, boom, boom]. They think it is not for good people and it is not a good job. It is very hard to change the mindset of the local people, but me and some [other] bartenders are working together already to try to make people understand this job.  

“Many bars are opening in Saigon, so the staff turnover is high, so it is difficult to get the staff to stay. But here, we are like a family – we take care of one another. I have my head bartender, Nguyen Thang Trung, who has worked here from the beginning. He just became the Ophir World Adventure Cocktail Competition Asia champion. Right now, he is cooking dinner for another of our bartenders – because, as I said, we are all like family.”

This article was published in the November 2018 edition of Southeast Asia Globe magazine. For full access, subscribe here.