Vice went to Vietnam to investigate the country’s binge drinking problem and a beer club called Hangover IV.
Hangover IV is one cog in a larger binge-drinking system that deserves a closer look. Upon entering the club, waitresses wearing skimpy outfits—branded with various beer logos—rush over to take orders; they’ll come around for the rest of the evening to refill your glass making it difficult to keep track of how many drinks are consumed. Hangover IV is decked out in beer-motivation, posters (“Keep Calm and Drink a Beer,” “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy beer and that’s kinda the same thing”) with tables to hold kegs and birthday cakes. Its color palette is a throwback to the eighties, with neon signage, but instead of jazzercising, customers are there to drink until they throw up; there’s a special sink in the bathroom for that, and it’s decorated with glitter.
Binge drinking in Vietnam coincides with an increase in domestic violence and drunk driving, neither of which has inspired much in the way of reform. Vice documents a fight between the Deputy Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Deputy Directory of the Department of the Interior, the latter whom ran out of a club bleeding after the Foreign Affairs Deputy smashed a glass over his head.
Until Vietnamese officials take this (and themselves) seriously, clubs like Hangover IV will continue to typify a drinking culture that is disconcertedly blind to the dangers of one (or ten) too many. [Vice] [Image: Flickr/RovingI]