Back Heritage » [Video] Roam the Streets of 1984 Saigon

[Video] Roam the Streets of 1984 Saigon

Life in 1984 Saigon was harder than it is now, but the lifestyle of the southern hub's residents remains largely unchanged, from our undying love of street food to the eclectic mix of personalities that roam its streets.

In this short video clip, American news reporter Jon Alpert paid a visit to Saigon in 1984 to chat up pretty much anyone that he came across on the street. Alpert used to be in charge of the Downtown Community Video Project in New York’s Chinatown. His documentary, titled Part of Vietnam: Talking to the People, was produced on the cusp of the 10th anniversary of the United States' departure from the Southeast Asian country.

Alpert’s encounters with 1984 Saigoneers include a trip to the city’s black market in which a fashion-conscious urbanite browsing for a pair of authentic Levi’s jeans. The pants cost VND5,000, which may seem like a total steal today but was half a year’s salary back then.

1984 Saigon also appeared to be the golden age of Beatles-inspired hairdos and flared jeans, a time when people drank locally produced root beer from Coca-Cola bottles. However, the quality of life back then was greatly hampered by a lack of basic necessities like gasoline and electricity. According to Alpert, Vietnam couldn’t afford electricity for the entire city so each night, a different quarter of the town got a power cut.

Take a trip down memory lane in 1984 Saigon with the video via YouTube user Vu Huu Long, below:

[Video via YouTube user Vu Huu Long]

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