Saigoneer

10 Old Pictures of the Saigon Zoo (Thảo Cầm Viên)

Established in 1869, the Saigon Zoo (Thảo Cầm Viên) is the 8th oldest zoo in the world.

The zoo and botanical garden were commissioned by Admiral Pierre de la Grandière, Commander of French forces in Cochinchina in 1864 and is home to hundreds of mammals, birds and rare plants.

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10 Old Pictures (and History) of the Saigon Opera House

The Saigon Opera House (aka the Municipal Theatre) is one of Saigon’s oldest buildings and one of the city’s best examples of classical French architecture. Constructed at the turn of the 20th century, it has performed many functions throughout its history, from theatre to refuge shelter to legislative offices.

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The Story of Saigon's Floating Hotel

There was a time, not too long ago, when Saigon wasn’t full of tourists and backpackers. In the late 1980s, Vietnam had just opened its doors to the west and was rushing to renovate its decrepit colonial-era hotels. With few local options available, international investors found an ingenious way to fill the need for 5 star accommodations in the city – a floating hotel.

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Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Colonial Corner

Just as it is today, Dong Khoi St. (formerly Rue Cantinat under the French and Tu Do from 1954 - 1975) has long been of Saigon's busiest and most important boulevards.

Due to it's history, the street provides us with some of the city's best examples of colonial architecture as seen in the picture above (along with a bunch of wonderful classic cars and art deco neighbors).

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The Story of Tan Son Nhat Airport

As the plan for Saigon's massive Long Thanh Airport moves forward (despite some objections), we thought we'd take a minute to look back at the long history of old standby, Tan Son Nhat. 

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The Story of Saigon’s Opium Refinery

Many of you have probably enjoyed a meal in the courtyard at 74 Hai Ba Trung, which currently houses a number of high-end restaurants such as Vasco’s, Hanayuki, Annz and The Refinery; the latter being the most noteworthy as its name connects to the original use of this area – an opium refinery.

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Saigon’s Citadel - Part 2

This is part 2 of our series on Saigon's citadel. You can read part 1 here.

Nguyen Anh (AKA Gia Long) would never use his citadel for military action as hostilities only resumed after his death in 1831. Shortly before he expired, Anh selected Minh Mang, his youngest son, as heir to the throne rather than his older son, Prince Canh.

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Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Saigon Railroad Building

Not too long ago, the park across from Ben Thanh Market was the location of the city's main train station.

Even though the station moved to District 3 following the American War, remnants of the old station, such as the the former Vietnam Railways headquarters seen above, still remain.

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Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Majestic Hotel (1920s)

The Majestic Hotel has occupied its current location along the Saigon river since 1925.

Commissioned by Chinese businessman Hui Bon Hoa, the hotel has undergone a number of major renovations over the years and will undoubtedly see more (In July 2011, Saigon Tourist, the hotel's current operator, announced a massive expansion project including 2 20+ story towers).

The picture above captures the hotel in it's original glory.

 

Old Saigon Picture of the Day: 33 Export

Old Saigon Picture of the Day: Standard Radio (1970)

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