Fine Arts Museum, Ho Chi Minh City
Peeling ocher walls, sun-bleached curtains, musty corridors, a fountain full of pond scum: Saigon’s oldest art museum is atmosphere incarnate, like Miss Havisham’s parlor gone tropical. Come for the stunning colonial architecture, gorgeous stained glass, antique cage elevator, and the chance to transport yourself back to la vieille Indochine. The collection itself is ho-hum, full of outsize propaganda paintings of people marching and/or carrying machine guns. Unlike the building, it lacks any sense of intimacy.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.