Back Society » Natural Selection

Khôi Phạm

in Natural Selection

Trái Thị: The Fruit of Heavenly Smell and Infernal Taste

If you had to pick a national smell that represents Vietnam, what would it be? There are a host of strong contenders: durian, lotus-scented green tea, fragrant pandan sticky rice, that enticing aroma ...

Paul Christiansen

in Natural Selection

Crickets Are More Than Just Chirpy Reminders of Our Childhood

Cricket song. You read the words and immediately hear the chirping. That thrilling trill of strummed air. Humans have been hearing that quivering echo since we first came into existence. And over...

Paul Christiansen

in Natural Selection

An Ode to Lục Bình, Vietnam's Invasive, Destructive, Beautiful Aquatic Jerk

Knotted gnarls of lush stems, leaves, vines; a verdant scrimmage of tangled plant matter kept afloat by buoyant bladders accented by pleats of pink petals that resemble the skirts of ballerinas trappe...

Khôi Phạm

in Natural Selection

The Rise and Fall of Phượng Vĩ, the Summer Icon of Our Teenage Dreams

I was a teenage cliché. No matter how much I try to rack my brain to find any other personal connection to the incandescently red tree that is phượng vĩ, I keep going back to my middle school crush an...

Paul Christiansen

in Natural Selection

The Ugly Truth of the Life and Impending Demise of the Hoàn Kiếm Turtle

Everyone knows the mythological story of the Hoàn Kiếm turtle.

Paul Christiansen

in Natural Selection

Thanh Long: How Dragon Fruit Proves Beauty Is Only Skin-Deep

Of all my accomplishments in life, my greatest may be the creation of The Banana Line. This is a ranking tool, based on the belief that if all fruits were lined up from worst to best, taking into acco...

Paul Christiansen

in Natural Selection

Khỉ Vàng: The Shit-Stirrer, Snack Thief, and Petty Criminal of Vietnam's Forests

I’m not a fucking idiot — That’s what I thought while looking at the sign hung from the door of my hotel room in Đà Nẵng.

Paul Christiansen

in Natural Selection

The Prehistoric Permanence of Cá Sấu, Vietnam's Farmed Predator

I’ve always hated cá sấu. Not because they’ve threatened my safety or had any real impact on my life whatsoever, but simply because they survived. When a meteor cratered into Earth 66 million years ag...

in Natural Selection

Gõ Nước: An Endangered Tree That Offers Hope for Conservation Efforts

Is it true that the more names something has, the more beloved it is? Consider all the nicknames you have for your best friends, or the myriad of terms people have invented for deities. If one can ass...

in Natural Selection

Đom Đóm: Why the Light Is Going Out for Fireflies in Vietnam

Much like their brief existence on Earth, once-common fireflies are quickly disappearing from Vietnam’s natural and oral histories.

Michael Tatarski

in Natural Selection

Mangroves: The Everyday Superheroes Protecting Vietnam Against Climate Change

When you think of ways to combat the inevitable ravages of climate change and sea level rise, what comes to mind?

Paul Christiansen

in Natural Selection

Kiến Ba Khoang: A Harbinger of Dread and Divine Punishment

People’s skin erupted with horrific boils that burst open, spilling stinging pus across vicious rashes. According to the Christian Bible, along with water turning to blood, frogs, lice, gnats, disease...

Michael Tatarski

in Natural Selection

Cầy Vằn Bắc: Caught in the Crossfire of the Cà Phê Chồn Industry

While Saigoneer’s Natural Selection series has already covered a number of iconic species and types of animals, including the tiger, Asian elephant, dogs and cats, there’s a good chance most of the pe...

Khoi Pham

in Natural Selection

A Eulogy for the Last Wild Cọp of Vietnam

The story of Vietnam and cọp is not one where we will come out looking good.

Paul Christiansen

in Natural Selection

Cá Chuồn: The Fish That Dreams Beyond Its Realm

Insects, pterosaurs, birds, and bats: flight evolved on Earth independently four times, so why do you think it’s so unlikely that you’ll find love again?

in Natural Selection

Bồ Kết: When Nature Dreams of Bubbles and Silky Hair

The first memory I have of bồ kết was when it was concocted into something completely different from its unassuming, modest self.

Khôi Phạm

in Natural Selection

Lêkima: The Flower Worthy of a National Heroine

Don’t you find it bewildering when you have existed for centuries, and are suddenly thrust into stardom due to a small cameo in a nationalist saga?

Michael Tatarski

in Natural Selection

Chó: The Four National Breeds of Vietnamese Doggos

It’s an inarguable fact that dogs are the purest of animals.

Paul Christiansen

in Natural Selection

Voi: From Hai Bà Trưng's Fearsome Companions to Tourism Servants

Does art need a purpose?

Khôi Phạm

in Natural Selection

Lá Dứa: The OG Queen of Vietnamese Desserts

There’s a 99% chance that a Vietnamese child’s first exposure to lá dứa, or pandan, is in the form of rau câu.