Romance of Tram Cafe is intoxicating

To impress for a meeting with a long-lost friend who moved abroad a long time ago I decided to choose Tram, a cafe which combines modern and classic design and turns a nice office space into a corner of nature. I was full of wishful thoughts whilst taking my friend on my motorbike to a location I knew would make him very happy in Phu Nhuan District. Not only would he be amazed that I had turned into a pretty woman as the last time he met me I was only a young bashful girl, but he would be delighted with the cafe design. The phrase ‘nice place for nice people’ stuck in my mind at that point. Six years after its grand opening, Tram is one of the most famous cafes in the city for foreign and local guests. It lures visitors firstly by its name ‘Tram’ which in Vietnamese means stillness or bass. The second impression is the small rocks which are arranged for guests to take a huge leap from the hustle and bustle of city life into a peaceful space which is separated from the noise by a wooden gate under the shade of old bamboo clusters. The path, made of rocks, is located above small streams where fish weave in and out and is surrounded by a small man-made waterfall and decorated by flowers, ornamental trees, ceramic vases and statues. “Tram wants to make guests feel that they are not in a hot, cramped and noisy urban area but instead they are whisked away to a tranquil and relaxed piece of heaven behind the wooden gate” said cafe owner Tran Phuong Thao. Much to my delight my friend was really interested in the cafe’s design. He said: “I thought I had come to the wrong address when I entered the gate and saw fish swimming on the tiny stream and murmurs of water, plus the chill of water and trees around. I thought I was going to a waterfall in some central region. But finally, I realized that you chose the best place for a best friend,” he said laughing. The cafe has two floors. The ground floor is cozy with small rooms, a red sofa and a system of small lanterns hanging around. A highlight is the woodblock paintings on the walls in combination with oil-on-canvas paintings. “The space is so artistic, so it is a popular venue for artistic and romantic people,” Thao said. The first floor is divided into two spaces. One has an indoor space with small tables and is separated with curtains and that area often attracts young people. While the outdoor garden space is a perfectly natural area almost hidden in the greenness of trees. “The murmurs of water are the voices of nature instead of music melodies and shades of old-aged giant trees function as metal roofs. This is the ideal place for someone like you who has a romantic soul and loves to hear the soft sounds of nature,” my friend teased me. My friend told me to stop for a second and listen to the sounds of life, of love, of sorrows and of happiness. I felt so alive at that point and knew that my meeting and venue has been a real success. I smiled. My friend smiled. We were caught in the moment, the sounds and our rekindled friendship. Tram Cafe is located at 100 Tran Huy Lieu Street in HCMC’s Phu Nhuan District. To book in advance, guests can call 08 2240 5306. By My Tran in HCMC

Just one corner of the atmospheric Tram Cafe – Photo: My Tran

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