A 5-Stars (out of 5) Vet in Hanoi! Meet Dr. Bao

25 05 2011
Veterinarian in Hanoi

What's up doc??

BEEP-BEEP- IT’S DR. BAO MOBILE VETERINARIAN TO THE RESCUE

Just moved to Hanoi and in need of a recommended veterinarian? According to The New Hanoian Dr. Bao is just a phone call away. From emergencies to basic check-ups, Dr. Bao is on many pet-owner’s speed dial (0903223217). According to one cat owner, “Dr. Bao is a lively, affable guy and provides a service which is definitely needed by foreigners living in Hanoi. One call and the good doctor and his assistant will show up at your home and treat your critter for whatever ails ’em. A strong English language ability, funny tales and a good bedside manner are all included free of charge.”

SAME SAME BUT VERY DIFFERENT 

Not all practicing veterinarians are qualified to treat small companion animals. To date, universities in Vietnam focus on livestock care/treatment. Teaching small animal medicine is an after-thought and still considered a “luxury”. But as the country continues to develop and modernize the need for well-trained “pet vets” will increase. Having just finished one of James Herriot’s books, it is interesting to note the similarities in attitudes. Back in the early 1930’s, England was still a highly agrarian society (much like Vietnam) thus the need for qualified “farm animal doctors” was very important. People back then often ridiculed those veterinarians who did practice companion animal medicine, claiming it to be a blue-blooded hobby and not a real profession unlike the livestock veterinarians.

A TAIL OF TWO RABBITS

According to one of Dr. Bao’s patient’s (owner), “Kim and Sophie were both supposed to be girls. Imagine my shock and surprise when we returned from a holiday to find them, er, wrestling all over the house….Dr Bao to the rescue! He came and gave the bunnies a physical and took Kim away for an overnight stay. Eventually peace, calm and cuteness restored to our house! Dr Bao dispenses advice on pet care and overall is keen to provide education on how to respect and provide better care for animals. I always leave his number if we are holidaying so our pet minders can call if him needed.”

TWO MORE “PET”IMONIALS

“5 stars for Dr Bau! Fantastic service. Attentive, passionate and he knows his stuff! The house calls help my puppy avoid infectious diseases in a ‘clinic’ environment. Now he is vaccinated without fuss and at a reasonable cost. A plan was written up for the next few months and I also received some great tips ad advice. My puppy would have left with him if he could’ve.”

“Dr Bau has treated my kitten many times, he lives on the same street as me and always comes very quickly when I call. He has perfect english and genuinely loves animals. Whenever I call him he answers and he is always very thorough with his consultation. He is extremely kind and caring. When my kitten was really ill he took him to his house and gave him an IV drip and checked him/fed him/played with him many times during the night. He is extremely cheap compared to western prices just a few dollars for a home visit, maybe more for houses further away, his service could not be better!”

Me-owwww....





Pet-Friendly Hotel in Vietnam?

17 03 2011
Where to go with pets
“We’re goin’ for a ride!”

ANY PET-FRIENDLY HOTELS IN VIETNAM????

I’ll give you a quick answer, NO! As of now, there are no official pet-friendly hotels in Vietnam. But off the record, there are a number that will allow pets to stay if you can get someone to negotiate for you in Vietnamese. But before you start imagining yourself poolside at the Nam Hai or the Sofitels with Fifi, I have to let you know, all the 5-star hotels have a seriously strict NO DOGS, NO PETS allowed policy. Instead, look for the 2-star motels or any kind of backpacker establishment as a possible option. However, there IS one resort I know of in Vietnam who has a discreet pet-sort-of-friendly policy. It is a well-kept secret by many pet-owners in Hanoi. It is called the Van Chai Resort and it is about 170km (2.5-3 hours) outside of Hanoi. Pet Friendly Van Chai Click Here. The Resort is located on Sam Son beach, a private beachside sanctuary complete with indoor and outdoor pools, spa, and acres of well-maintained tropical gardens. Our three dogs got their first taste of freedom after a year of being on a leash in Hanoi. Van Chai is the PERFECT place to stay with your pets and a great escape from the pollution and mayhem of Hanoi.

Chillin poolside

We'd like 3 Liver-Daiquiris please!

WHERE’S THE S(PAW)??

Our dogs were over the moon at being able to run around the premise freely. At first they didn’t know what to do or where to go, they were so used to being leashed during their walks. I must stress that we went during the off-season, mid January, so it seemed like we were the only guests at the resort. Consequently, we were able to let our dogs run amok and explore to their heart’s content. Not sure, the management would be too thrilled to see dogs poolside during the peak season, with other guests lying around.

Van Chai Pet Friendly

"How's this pose? Did you get the boat in the background?"

PET-PARADISE!

With so much private beachfront, there was so much space for the dogs to explore and sniff around.  The hotel staff was also very friendly. However, it’s not the nicest beach, I’ve ever seen. Don’t expect a stunning seascape! The ocean is quite wild and the water is a chocolate brown color. The beach was dotted with broken shells and washed up “junk” yet it was a peaceful retreat after living in Hanoi. I am sure as the country continues to develop and pets become more popular, more hotels will consider changing their no pet policy to a pet-friendly one. As of now, the best place to go is Van Chai Resort, but please remember to pick up after your dogs so everyone can enjoy a clean, poop-free environment!

Van Chai beach and Nhopa

"I thought you said we're going to Miami Beach!"

"I'm going to pretend I don't notice you trying to do the peace sign behind my head!"

"I really dig this place because.... SQUIRREL!!!!!"

Van Chai and the Dogs

"Tam Biet Van Chai Resort! It was fun, although you should stock the mini-bar with bones instead of chocolate!!"





2011- Eating Cat in the Year of the Cat!

8 03 2011

 

Vietnam Year of the Cat

"Toi khong vui. Toi la meo!"

 

MMM…. FANCY FELINE FEAST!!!

2011 has started off as a good year for many… unless you are a cat!  Unfortunately, because the cat is the zodiac celebrity of the year, many Vietnamese have increased their consumption of cats. Like eating dog meat, cat meat is considered a part of the country’s traditional cuisine. Groups of men (more so than women), seated on mats spend their evenings sharing plates of dog/cat meat and drinking alcohol since the meat is believed to raise libido. It is also said to bring luck and good fortune. Some restaurants in Hai Phong and Ha Long Bay even advertise cat meat hot pot as “little tiger”, and cats in cages can be seen meowing away in their cramped and filthy cages. However, Vietnamese aren’t the only ones eating man’s best friend or furry feline, some visitors to the country also enjoy the novelty of tasting and saying, “I’ve eaten a dog!” or “I’ve just ate Garfield!”

Thit Cho/ Thit Cay/ Thit Meo Nha Hang O Saigon

 

DOG:COW… SAME SAME BUT DIFFERENT.

As a vegetarian, I don’t see the difference between eating a dog and eating a cow, both are meat. Although I was raised in a culture where we revere dogs and cats not eat them, I find it hypocritical to condemn a culture that eats dog as meat but not a culture that eats lamb, pigs, and other animals. HOWEVER, what I do vehemently object to is the way the dogs and cats are killed in Vietnam and other parts of Asia. As an animal rights activist and member of A.R.C. Vietnam (www.arcpets.com), I whole-heartedly object to the brutal manner in which dogs and cats are slaughtered. It is sadistic and very Dahmer-ish.

 

BRUTAL TORTURE OF CATS & DOGS

While in some cultures like Vietnam, the consumption of dog and cat meat may be seen as traditional or beneficial for health, I do NOT believe these arguments can justify animal cruelty. In Vietnam, cats and dogs are tortured and teased for a length of time before finally being killed. Whether a captured stray or a farmed dog/cat, many marketplace slaughter methods are deliberately designed to intensify and prolong the animal’s suffering. This is the result of a misguided belief that torturing an animal prior to death results in better tasting, adrenaline-rich meat. Killing methods include clubbing to death, throat-slitting, hanging by the neck and electrocution.

CURIOSITY DIDN’T KILL THE CAT, MR. NGUEYN DID!

The good news is that recent Vietnamese opinion polls – where animal welfare is a relatively new concept – suggest that the consumption of dogs and cats is losing popularity, especially with the younger generation. Although the consumption of cats is on the rise this year, the big picture suggests that eating dogs and cats is slowly beginning to decline as Vietnam clamors to become an international country and aspires to rise to first-world standards.  Fortunately, 2012 is the Year of the Dragon!

Dead Cats

"Meo Chet!"

Cat Meat

"Me-ow.... Me-owwww!"