Slideshow: Saigon Past and Present in a Single Image

As we've seen in our slideshows of old pictures, while Saigon is rapidly changing, some things and places stay the same. And what better way to illustrate this change than by overlaying the old with the new?


[Video] What Saigon's Streets Looked Like in 1993

Last week we saw some pictures of Hanoi from the mid-90s. Today, we're treated with a video which shows Saigon street life in 1993 captured by Dung Hua.

As with all the old Saigon pictures and videos, some things have changes but more has stayed the same.


The Oldest House in Saigon

While Saigon houses many wonderful examples of colonial architecture, there are few buildings standing that predate the 1880s. After all, the city isn’t particularly old, having been a fishing village for much of its early history. So what is the oldest building in Saigon?


Can Saigon Preserve its Historical Architecture?

The Ho Chi Minh City’s People’s Committee has launched a program aimed at preserving the city's architectural gems. Unfortunately, the focus is on the city's famous buildings rather than sites that are seriously threatened by unchecked development.

The program, with the intent to list and preserve Saigon’s artistic, iconic and collective architectural items, will rank sites based on the results of the Cultural Heritage Law, expected to be completed by the end of the year.


Saigon’s Citadel - Part 1

Hue was neither the first nor only Vietnamese city to house a citadel. Built in the late 18th century, a few years before its counterpart in Hue, the citadel in Saigon proved to be the key to Vietnamese hegemony over all of Vietnam and the establishment of the Nguyen Dynasty.


The Remarkable Tale of Ben Thanh Market

Large markets have been the cornerstone of many Vietnamese neighborhoods for over a century. When Saigon was still a collection of small towns, central markets acted as vital commerce centers where locals sold everything from tomatoes to blankets. While the dynamics of shopping in Vietnam have changed a great deal over the last 20 years, these markets still serve as important commercial arteries, especially outside of District 1. In this series, we’ll take a closer look at the history of these important buildings starting with the big boy, Ben Thanh Market.


Old Vietnamese Sports Center in District 5

Here’s another gem from the Tumblr blog, Old Saigon:

"This house is located on Hai Thuong Lan Ong Street, District 5. It is used as a sports and gymnastics center in District 5 for all kinds of popular Vietnamese and Chinese sports, such as badminton, table tennis, sepatakraw and lion dancing (a traditional Chinese ritual performed to bring good luck, especially during the Lunar New Year, in which two men dance while wearing a large ornamental lion head and body)."


District 8: Architectural Treasure Chest

Stumbling upon old buildings is one of the best things about living in Saigon. While many are in a state of disrepair, some have retained their original character. Photo blog, Old Saigon, highlights some of the best remaining colonial architecture in the city like the photo above.


Old Saigon: Pictures from Life Magazine

When looking at old pictures of big cities, what usually strikes us is how different yet similar things are today. Back in the 50s, Time Magazine ran some great pictures of Saigon, capturing its initial rise as “Pearl of the Orient”.


Abandoned Temple in District 2

Abandoned Temple.

Parts of central District 2 are currently a mish-mash of leveled neighborhoods where all that remain are the skeletons of old buildings.


Contrasting Past & Present

Old bridge. Photo by Khánh Hmoong

If you love old Vietnam photos as much as we do, you’ll get a kick out of these which contrast the present and past of some of Vietnam’s most famous sites.


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