Saigoneer

The Incredible History of Saigon’s Racetracks

Although it closed 3 years ago, for the city’s older citizens, District 11’s Phu Tho Horse Racing Ground represents a bygone era of racing and gambling in Saigon. While an important but fading cultural icon in its own right, some of its predecessors represent even greater goldmines of forgotten history.

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The Curious Case of Saigon's Vanishing Revolutionary Monuments

It’s often assumed that it’s only Hồ Chí Minh City’s colonial-era heritage buildings which are under threat. But during the research for his forthcoming book of walking tours, Tim Doling discovered that in recent years, several important revolutionary monuments have also been lost. 

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The Labor Swimming Pool: An Exaltation

With International Labour Day fast approaching, I’d like to take this opportunity to sing the praises of one of my favourite places in the city: Hồ Bơi Lao Động, also known as the Labour Swimming Pool. Nestled inside of the Labour Culture Palace on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, and with another entrance on Huyen Tran Cong Chua behind the Reunification Palace, it’s an absolute gem.

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20 Pictures of Saigon from Before You Were Born

We’re gonna go out on a limb and assume none of readers are more than 100 years old. Based on this assumption, we present 20 pictures of Saigon from before you were born.

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Old Saigon Building of the Week: The Signal Mast

A time-honoured landmark on the Saigon riverfront, the Signal Mast (mât des signaux in French, Cột cờ thủ ngữ in Vietnamese) was recently refurbished as the centrepiece of the Saigon riverside park.

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Saigon’s Hung Vuong Temple

Every year on the 10th day of the Hung Vuong Celebration (which just happens to be today), thousands of Vietnamese gather at the Hung Temple in Phu Tho Province to honor the country’s ancient and revered leaders of the Hong Bang period. But did you know that Saigon has it’s own Hung Vuong temple?

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Old Saigon Building of the Week: 48 Nguyễn Đình Chiểu

As demolition of 213 Đồng Khởi gets underway in earnest this week, we take a look at the crumling old Đa Kao headquarters of the company which built it.

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[Slideshow] 12 Old Pictures of the Notre Dame Cathedral

The Notre-Dame Cathedral is one of Saigon’s oldest and most iconic buildings. Built with imported materials from France, it was constructed between 1863 and 1880 in an effort to promote Catholicism in Vietnam. Due to its long history, it has been a centerpiece of Saigon’s urban narrative for over 150 years and an enduring reminder of the city’s colonial heritage.

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Old Saigon Building of the Week: Former Clinique Saint-Paul

For those condemned to a long daily commute along that busiest of city arteries, Điện Biên Phủ street, the clean, elegant lines of the Hồ Chí Minh City Eye Hospital (Bệnh viện Mắt, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, www.benhvienmat.com) – the former Clinique Saint-Paul – offer a refreshing contrast to the surrounding urban clutter.

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[Slideshow] 12 Colorized Pictures of Old Saigon

While old Saigon looked beautiful in black and white, adding a little color goes a long way to adding life to a photo (though photography purists would probably disagree). We've collected 12 colorized pictures of Saigon, all of which appear to have been taken prior to 1941 (our best guess given the content of the pictures) for your time traveling enjoyment. 

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A Date with the Wrecking Ball: 2 Historic Saigon Buildings Slated for Demolition

The proposal to build a 14-storey City Administration Centre behind the Hồ Chí Minh City People’s Committee building promises yet again to transform the skyline of the city’s central business district. Tim Doling takes a last look at two of the existing buildings on that block which will soon be consigned to history.

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BUDX HCMC